Rye Meetings

Personal

“So, I’ll have to work next week.” “...” “If I have to work, I have to work. But I don’t want to get you sick.” “I don’t want to get sick either. I don’t want you to get sick.” “I don’t know what to do... Do you want me to stay with a friend for the time being?” “I... I didn’t even think about that.” “It’s just a thought,” I shrugged half-heartedly. “But it won’t matter if I can’t get insurance.”

I pissed my partner off with this suggestion. Like silent-treatment-level pissed off.

I prefer to talk out whatever is bothering me, and I want to do that candidly with anyone I upset. I understand things can get heated, and things may be said that are hurtful, but that’s the point of talking things out.

Now, I think I understand he didn’t want to attack my view on work, dedication, and sacrifice.

School was the centerpiece of my life until I graduated high school. After that, I had to find another centerpiece because schooling in the U.S. is expensive. So that became work when I moved out at 19. I sacrificed much of my sanity and wellbeing for the sake of being a good student. I can’t say I’ve changed much in that regard, except that I’m older and have a better understanding of what a healthy and sustainable life is.

I realize that he probably was hurt that I wanted to sacrifice my health for a paycheck. And I was willing to sacrifice our time together for me to make money without getting him sick.

I should probably care more about my wellbeing than I currently do. I should probably value my life more than I currently do. Such is the journey of a 20-something.

Until last month, I was insured through my family’s insurance plan. Because of Covid-19, my family does not have that insurance anymore.

Fortunately, my current supply of medication will last me through the first week of August. But if anything were to happen between now and then, I’d have to pay full price for medical services and medication. That’s not the kind of money a 21-year-old has to spend comfortably. I’m proud that I’ve put the majority of my stimulus money in my savings. Still, that money will quickly disappear when my medication runs out and when I feel the need to see a therapist.

I can’t live without my medication. I don’t ever want to revert back into that creature. That nervous, self-loathing mouse who struggled to conform with every breath they took. They’re still there, they’ll always be there. That’s the nature of medication, to make you the optimal version of yourself to survive in this world. I understand some people choose not to take medication for that very reason. I understand some people look down on others for taking medication and advocating for it. I don’t want to be me at my core. I’ve been that and I never want to again.

My first day back to work is tomorrow and I work for a nonessential store in a hotspot for disease. I have to talk with my boss about insurance. I have a feeling they will not provide insurance even though losing insurance through my parents is a qualifying event. I hope I’m wrong. But even if I am, I doubt my boss will let me shelter-in-place. I hope I’m wrong about that too. Luckily I have a job on the horizon I could be able to secure as a replacement for this one. I'm not 100% sure that I will get that job, but it’s better than no prospect.

Right now, it hurts to know that I’ll have to be assertive about my wellbeing. And that this assertiveness may conflict with what people, I’ve come to care for, want for themselves and their goals in life. It hurts that my boss might make an excuse or make it difficult for me to get coverage.

This whole situation gives me the same vibe as when I left home. It was so scary. I’m glad I did it in the end.

Maybe this will be the same.

#Personal #Monologue #Covid19

“Jack of all trades, master of none – Oft better than a master of one.”

This is something I try to remind myself of often. Being the curious person I am, my interest is piqued by all sorts of subjects. This leads to a lot of different activities I want to explore in such a small amount of time.

I see the look in my partner's eyes as he watches me march off to work through my JavaScript course, write 500 words, and/or follow along with a calligraphy book. I know he's thinking, “How long will this one last?” If I had it my way, I'd be involved with countless different hobbies. But I only have two hands, and there are only 24 hours in a day.

My latest interest is drawing. I've always wanted to sketch the characters I've created, but never really pushed myself to. Playing Octopath Traveler has changed that. Even though they're not my own characters, I definitely want to take time to draw these people. I never thought I'd be someone to draw fanart for a lot of reasons, but here I am.

I can't draw well right now, and I won't for a long, long time — but this is something I want to work on.

The adult in me tells me to commit to one hobby or a select amount of hobbies and hone them. But my end-goal isn't to become a master in any of these fields. At most, my hobbies are something I'll tell someone during an interview or in a conversation. My end goal isn't to be a commodity.

It feels weird to say that as I frame a lot of what I do in how I can be useful to others. Honestly, I've had this mindset since I was a child. If my hobbies make me more valuable to someone, like an employer, then that's a huge plus for my future — anyone's future. I think that's why others sometimes pressure us flighty people to settle for one or a select amount of hobbies.

My end goal really is just to enjoy life and learning.

But I'm starting to realize that knowledge has a complicated relationship with status.

Nothing will ever stop me from being inquisitive. Though I can't help but purse my lips and wonder if all I'll ever be to some people is the set of skills I've learned.

#Monologue #Personal

Sweet Honey in the Rock – Wanting Memories

I first heard this song at a closing ceremony. It was a closing ceremony for what I will call here, this summer school for fun. Our choral group sang this. This version is the closest to what I heard in that auditorium.

This was the summer before my senior year in high school. It was and still is the best summer and time of my life. I’ve rattled on about how I’m an inquisitive person, and that was to my detriment socially. I say this though because I know being inquisitive is not something to be ashamed of, like I believed it was. At this summer school, everyone was inquisitive. And they were all my age. I’d never been in such an environment before.

There is nothing like feeling you belong.

For context, I was 17 and I was a veritable hot mess. In my junior year, I had a few mental breakdowns, but nothing that took away from my near-valedictorian grades. However, in my senior year, I had several breakdowns, which resulted in me almost flunking out of school. These breakdowns also resulted in my admission to a children’s psychiatric ward.

My senior year is the year my obsessive-compulsive disorder took center stage. And I had absolutely no understanding of it. I was convinced to the core that this meant I was schizophrenic like my grandmother.

Imagine a voice yelling through a megaphone horribly degrading, lewd thoughts. All this while you’re trying to think the instinctual thoughts to live and function in this world.

Among them these thoughts: “You’re a piece of shit.” “You should pick that up.” “Why even try? Just give in and kill yourself.”

These were never physical voices, and I never had hallucinations, so no psychiatrist diagnosed me with schizophrenia. These were all internal voices in my head — these voices weren’t me and they weren’t auditory. With that I also had small routines that then I was sure would keep me sane. With all this I was diagnosed with severe OCD.

This song is that the summer before my path in life became unmistakeably foggy. This song is the summer before I understood that my future would not be yet in my hands until almost two years later simply because my mental illness was an impediment to my family. This song is the summer where I felt comfortable approaching the world at my fingertips like a child at a globe. Now I look at that globe, years later, and thumb over it lovingly. There was a moment in time where I couldn’t approach the world without cowering in fear of my OCD and the opinions of my family.

This is one of the few songs that bring me to tears. In fact, I believe it is the only song that does that.

I remember being surrounded by people who never doubted me, what it was like to be encouraged to be yourself, even encouraged.

I guess I’m trying to search for that quietly wherever I find myself.

Right now that perfect summer is a memory. I understand it is a memory that is always with me and defines who I am as a person. It is a memory that gives me courage that maybe one day I’ll find another place, another person, another thing that embraces me the same. It is a memory that isn’t poisoned by my mental illness, where I was truly happy.

If I don’t ever come across this elusive environment, I have the peace that I experienced it all the same.

I can’t say that I was immediately confident in myself after attending this summer school for fun, but it started an irreversible snowball effect of me believing in myself. Without this summer school, I’m not sure there’d be any chance in me believing in myself now. I’m not sure there’d be any chance of me living past seventeen years.

I doubt I’ll ever feel a loving push like that again. But it is a goal in my life to come back and teach for this institution. At the very least, be a resident advisor for a hall. There are others out there who need this experience. It would be an honor for me to guide them through their journey. If I can get just one kid to understand they are not alone, ever, I could die happy.


“I think on the things that made me feel so wonderful when I was young. I think on the things that made me laugh, made me dance, made me sing. I think on the things that made me grow into a being full of pride. I think on these things, for they are true.”

#Music #Personal #SongFeature

When I lived with my siblings, we (I say we and I really just mean my sisters) were into the entire beauty guru scene on YouTube. We’d watch all the beauty bloggers, follow their social media, fawn over their merch and giveaways. That was our one unifier.

“Jeffree Star just came out with a new video?” “A new palette’s out??” “Did you see his collab with Tati???” “Did you see the NikkiTutorials drama????”

Moving out I matured, as one does when away from home. I got a job and had to start paying bills. I was able to break down where my money was spent. Makeup was no longer a primary joy in my life.

Today, my mother told me to call my sister — the one I never video chat with. She told me that my sister wanted help with applying for unemployment. I tensed up when she asked, and she could tell.

I told her applying for unemployment took me an hour, and I doubt I could help her much since we’re in different states. I was also tense because I have an odd relationship with this sister.

I tried to explain this to my mother.

“What’s wrong?”

“I have to mentally prepare myself to talk to her.”

“...Why? She’s your sister.” That’s a fair statement. Albeit for a typical cookie-cutter family.

“Because I need to be careful about what I say. I never want her to reject me out of her life.”

My mother laughed in what I guess one could call disbelief. And she tried to figure out what I meant exactly.

And as with any issue in me and my siblings’ lives, my mother eventually asked — “Is it something I did?”

Yes. And no.

By our mother not being consistently present throughout our childhood, as the oldest of four, it was on me to be a part-time parent. And because I was a girl, that made me mom when mom wasn’t around.

With my youngest sister and my brother, it’s very easy for me to shift into a dual mother-sister role. There is a translucent curtain I can summon that’s natural for our dynamic. I was mean to them occasionally because that’s what siblings inevitably are to one another. But I never was a tyrant. With my other sister, I was a monster to her.

With this sister, I was shitty to her when we were little. I was absolutely awful. All the pinches, all the shoulder punches, all the shut-ups. And when I realized I could curse without extreme reprimand, I called her a bitch freely. This was around when I was eleven. She was nine or so.

After this, I ignored her for a while; I started my period and began to feel genetics working its magic on my pubescent mind. I only realized too late what I’d done. I could blame it on my parents for not being there and flaying the hellion out of me. But that’ll only cover so much of the blame. It’s best that I’m honest because truthfully and selfishly that’s the only way I’ll ever live with myself. Even if I was a child I did not treat my sister like a sister should.

There’s no illusion of me being a mother because I pushed her away.

So when I talk to her, I talk to her understanding that I’m probably not someone she looks up to, nor ever really will. Not that my other siblings look up to me, but she has even less reason to.

I talk to my sister understanding that I was a monster to her in her formative years, when our mother was absent and there was no other prominent female beside me in her life.

I don’t think she’ll ever know how sorry I am. That’ll be my cross to bear for our relationship — if nothing else.

I do keep in contact with her. Nothing heavy, just memes and songs via text. And she shares the same stuff with me too. So it’s not like I don’t talk to her, even if it’s not real conversation. Without makeup to talk about, I feel there is nothing that really unifies us now.

At the end of the day, she is my sister. And I know some effort into our relationship is better than no effort.

I love my sister. I don’t think she will ever know how much I love her. I’d be sad if she didn’t love me back, but I’d understand. She is her own person. She must walk through this world on her own. At the very least I’m thankful she was in my life.

And hopefully she will continue to be a part of my life.

#Personal

I’m aware of two fronts I portray to people, at least in-person.

One is a guarded detached statue. I think that’s how I viewed my dad for most of my childhood. The other is a bombastically naive waif, which is how I saw my mother. I generally am guarded and polite around strangers — my father. When I get comfortable, I find I am my mother. Not as crazed as she was, but still emulating her chaos even if in short bursts. And it’s when I’m channeling my mother my missteps always sting worst.

Today a customer or a friend of mine came in. (I would consider her my friend, and I think she would consider me one as well.) She frequents my store almost weekly. She had a baby late last year. She also has a son that’s about five years old or so. She came in tonight with her husband, her baby, and her son.

I remember the first time she came in. I was the one to greet her and her husband and bring them into the fold of our store culture. She was one of those people I immediately got along with and understood. And she’s been coming back ever since.

Both her children have the near-same racial mix that my siblings and I do. Growing up, I never saw a lot of kids that looked like me beyond my siblings. I saw kids that looked like fragments of me. She knows this. I think that also contributes to our mutual camaraderie.

I got off work serendipitously as her small clan arrived.

As soon as I saw her, I hugged her. I asked her how she was.

Last time we spoke, she was emotional, waiting for her period. She told me she wasn’t doing well. I asked why.

“I’m pregnant,” she said.

“Oh, wow... Well, at least you’ll have three beautiful children.”

Her face darkened, “... Tell that to him. There won’t be a third one.”

My gut interpretation was that her partner would not believe their third child would be beautiful. Not that she was going to get an abortion.

So, I trodded off to inform him he was wrong, playfully.

“What do you mean this next one won’t be adorable?”

He simply raised his eyebrows.

My co-worker, who was listening, stepped in to comfort her. It didn’t dawn on me until after they left that she was deciding to have an abortion.

That’s not something I’ve ever been told implicitly or explicitly by a friend.

I think about abortions concerning myself a lot. I never really think about abortions concerning others much. I have thought about it. But at the end of the day, I am not going to tell someone else what to do with their body. I’ve thought a lot about my body. I’ve done a lot to my body, good and bad. And I still think about everything, if this entry tells you anything.

I want kids. I do think about that quite a bit. I want something to take care of that I can let go out into the world and be their own person. Quite selfishly, too, I want to do a better job raising my kids than my parents did of my siblings and me.

I know if I were to get pregnant now, I would need to get an abortion.

And I’d hate myself for it. But my partner told me from the beginning he’d resent me if I ever got pregnant and decided to keep it. And he’s told me that he knows an abortion would be hard on me. This is true. So there are two things I’m never telling him regardless if they happen or not.

Right now, I am without a car and a bachelor’s degree. Both of those together make my life unideal if I were to be homeless suddenly. I’d hate myself more if I were pregnant without a place to call my own and jobless.

I do have people that would help me were this the case. But I never want to be reliant on another person again. I’d much rather die poor on my own circumstances than be rich under someone else’s. And I never like to assume people will do anything for me, even if it’s socially expected for me to assume this in certain situations with certain people. My parents have at least taught me that much.

I might not want kids in the future. So all of this thinking may be for nothing. But hearing my friend quietly admit that she was going to the doctor in the coming weeks, that pulled me into this.

I don’t really have anyone to run to to talk about this with candidly.

So here we are.

#Monologue #Personal

I notice myself at times talking down to my cats like my parents did to me and sometimes still do. I woke up to my kitten knocking over my glass of water on my nightstand. My immediate response was something along the lines of, “Why did you have to do that?!”

You would think being scarred that way would bar me from ever talking like that to anyone. But no, it doesn’t work that way. Maybe for some people, it does. But shitty parenting behaviors seem to cycle themselves. I’ve seen it with my friends with co-workers. If that’s all you’ve ever known, you can’t help but apply that yourself to situations. Fortunately, I had teachers and counselors present to recognize that the way I was often talked to is not a way you should speak to children.

While that guidance doesn’t stop me from treating someone that way, it leaves me more sensitive to wording and tone — which is a start.

My cats aren’t human babies, so it’s not like they can understand what I say. Regardless, they are my babies to me all the same. And if/when I ever do decide to have children, I can’t talk to them like that. I refuse to raise them like that.

I still love my parents. Even though my childhood was rough around the edges — it could’ve been much, much worse.

But it’s my parents’ tone of voice that is the predominant negative voice that echoes within my head. No matter how good I feel, that voice is often in partnership with my own negative personal voice, heckling my every action and thought.

I want that voice to end with me. My kids, human or not, shouldn’t ever have that linger in their minds. The only tone they should ever feel from me is loving support and firm discipline.

Even with the right precautions, they may inherit the gamut of mental illnesses that run in my blood. But I can at least control that one voice.

So that’s what I will do.

#Monologue #Personal #Parenting

I spent a good portion of today going through my things and discarding what didn’t spark joy, or KonMari-ing. I was working on the papers section of that method. I dug up all the papers I carried with me and found acceptance letters from a few colleges along with orientation materials for one. I came across orientation materials for one college and acceptance papers from two others.

I had no use for any of the material, so I discarded it. It sparked disappointment, regret — not joy as Marie Kondo reams into the brains of all who read her work. I kept one acceptance letter, though. The acceptance letter addressed specific parts of my application. That made me feel pretty cool. It still makes me feel cool. Even though there was no guarantee I’d go to their small college, they felt like they could write me a personalized something. Truthfully, I’m a sucker for shit like that.

I don’t have the money to go to school, and won’t for a while. I’d give up a lot to be in a classroom right now with others roughly my age having my brain go a million miles a minute with questions, but I’m working on getting a car. This is not what I thought I’d be doing at this age when I was a wide-eyed high school freshman, but it’s better than what my life would’ve been if I had stayed.

I used to boil over with the opportunity to rant about what my father did to me. Whenever anyone asked me why I wasn’t in school, I’d tell them it was a long story. And before they’d even expressed further interest, I was off telling them the whole ordeal.

I’m not mad at him anymore. I can’t be mad anymore. I am so far removed from the time everything regarding my undergraduate education went down the drain — it isn’t productive to linger on it.

But I do believe, he fucked me over in a way a parent is not supposed to fuck over their child. And I won’t forgive that. I love him regardless because he is my father. That is something that will stain the record of our relationship, even if my stance mellows. Not a grudge so much so as a footnote.

I’ve got a little over three more years to go until I hit that glorious age of independence in the eyes of the FAFSA. I’ll be a dinosaur on campus. But that won’t matter because I’ll be sure of myself. 18-year-old me, as excited as she may have been to learn, would not be sure of herself at all on campus.

So I guess that’s something to credit him for in the end.

#Personal #Monologue #College

Monologue: Best Friends

I feel like Michael G. Scott whenever a friend explicitly acknowledges our friendship. Like I want to fucking bolt the hell out of there like I'm not the father on Maury or something. I like the initial warm feeling of acceptance, I enjoy that. But I hate the feeling that they may have latched onto a part of me that's not really me and continue to expect me to behave a certain way when there’s no guarantee.

It’s not like we're in a romantic or sexual relationship, and we’re not necessarily having a kid. But someone confessing that they are my friend gives me a feeling that I have an obligation. An obligation to take care of something that I didn't have to before. And a very small, but very, very loud part of me doesn't like that.

I never thought I'd understand this feeling of not wanting to define a relationship because I can be incredibly sensitive at times. But I do understand and it makes me sad because I know I shouldn't be this afraid to commit to a friendship or really most friendships for that matter.

I’m pretty sure I alienate myself more than I'd like to admit. I’ve made amends with the fact that I'll never really have a best friend. I will always be marching to the beat of my own drum, or rather my own playlist in reality. Part of me is capable of friendship — I have friends — but taking that a step further is with a declaration of a “good” or “best” is anxiety-inducing.

#Personal #Monologue #Friendship

I saw my boss from my previous job today.

Not that I look that much different from over a year ago, but I didn't want her to recognize me at first. She was extremely pleasant. And asked me how I'd been. We had a short conversation. I told her I was figuring myself out in a lot of regards — driving, school, etc. — and I was stressed about it. She told me that all that was definitely stressful, but that I could do it, despite that. And that was really nice to hear.

My first job was actually an office job as a teenager. The job I had with her was my second job. She was really hard on me. She definitely embraced the tough aspect of tough love. I am 99% sure she thought I was mentally handicapped because of the way she treated me after my first day.

On my first day working fast-food, my nerdy, nervous self asked her a few questions about working in the industry and specific things about our restaurant. Our conversation was quick. At the end of it, she looked me dead in the eyes and said: “You're not gonna make it here.” And then she promptly left me to do my orientation training on a laptop. I tried my best not to visibly cry during that.

I remember coming home that first day and crying in my partner's car. I didn't want to go back because I felt so shitty. My parents made me feel like that. I didn't willingly want to work somewhere where that feeling was replicated. But my partner said to just take it one day at a time — And he wouldn't judge me if I quit.

So I did that. And I stayed there for a little over three months, and then I came across the job I have now.

At one point during my short employment, she sat me down and we discussed a few of my personal struggles: my OCD, depression, my rocky relationship with my parents. She told me I needed to stop making excuses for myself in the most loving way possible. I needed to be fearless. Even though she was still rough around the edges with her delivery, I knew exactly what she meant. And so I do my best to carry that with me.

It was nice to see a face that believed in me.

#Personal #RambleRamble #Blog

Yeah, I love music too much to not share it with anyone.

The current song I'm adoring:

Comb My Hair ft. Tesia & Bruhnice – Pretty Boy Aaron

Might do this weekly or as I discover songs that I really vibe with.

I'm honestly still figuring out what I want to do with my write.as. I'm thinking about taking down my poems and whatnot and just leaving this for for personal reflections/journaling... We'll see.

🎶 ~So let me comb my hair for you, baaaby~ 🎶

#Music #Personal #NowPlaying #CurrentlyAdoring