This year has been a rough one.
A year ago this week, or maybe last week, John and I moved back to Atlanta from Chicago for him to start his new job with a subcompany of Delta Airlines as their airplane maintenance technician. We blindly picked out an apartment, applied for it, rented a truck, loaded it, and headed back to Georgia.
The apartment was not where we thought it was and, a year later, it is not even close to as nice as it looked on the website (but then again, most apartments never are). We have had both our spare and master bedroom flood. The master bedroom flooded a few months ago and backed sewage into our tub and master closet. Two weeks ago, there was a water leak in the upstairs laundry room which seeped into our spare bedroom closet and laundry area. Everything is falling off its hinges. Management is the WORST at fixing anything in a timely manner or communicating with.
The job I finally got in February wound up not working out after seven months. The attorney I worked for was not the genuinely kind and compassionate person she made herself out to be and her son, another attorney, seemed to go out of his way to make the job of all of the admins in the office as hard as fucking possible. There was such deep disorganization and poor lack of communication, and even with our new office manager (who was great), our voices went unheard and our struggles uncared for. Between all of the drama going on within the office and the 200 miles a week I had to commute to it for comparatively low pay and barely ever seeing John, I had enough by mid-October and quit.
And now I am unemployed again and I have about $2000 saved up to make my car payment and minimum credit card payment for however long that lasts. I don’t like my car enough to be making the $319 a month car payments on it for the next six years and sometimes wish we moved back to Chicago so I didn’t need the damn thing and could just walk and use public transportation again. And even though I got a substantial amount from the car insurance company when my Camry was totaled over the summer (a car I loved and would have had paid off this month if that nice guy in his huge truck hadn’t slammed into me) that knocked a chunk out of my credit card debt, it is now like I never got that money. I am back to $8000 in credit card debt.
I know. It is not a lot of debt compared to what others my age are in, but it feels like this weight I will never be able to lift off of me.
I also don’t like how my resume has consisted of jobs that didn’t last me a year over the past three years because I am not a flighty person and that’s what it looks like I am.
I’m 36 now. Turned 36 nearly three weeks ago. I still say it feels like I am now living the early 20s I didn’t get to live in my early 20s because back then, I was doing what nearly all of my friends are doing now in their mid-30s: raising children. Not MY children but my siblings, Ben and Caleb.
I feel so unsettled right now and it is such a struggle not to compare myself to my friends and others my age who have their own homes, good paying careers, and are able to do fun things like travel and take vacations and not live so paycheck-to-paycheck like John and I are (which we are now doing again on one income because of me). My apartment feels so cluttered and plain because I have no idea how to decorate and with all of the maintenance issues we’ve had lately, I don’t feel like decorating because I just want to leave already. We live out in the middle of nowhere, which who knew that was possible being 25 miles away from downtown Atlanta, but here we are. Everything is a drive. Everyone is a drive.
I also feel incredibly alone.
On top of everything else going on, it has become very apparent our dogs Louie and Missy are both senior dogs now. Louie had a cancerous mass removed from his abdomen a month ago and has been on a downward spiral since. Not eating as much. Unable to go to the bathroom. I think he may have had a seizure Sunday night but John disagrees. He’s a 15-year-old dachshund. We probably don’t have a whole lot more time with him and that is breaking my heart.
Missy, our 10-year-old Jack Russell, is sick again currently with her THIRD massive mouth infection in the past year and I have to take her to the vet in the morning. She is running a fever, has chills, won’t eat, won’t drink any water, just wants to sleep, and is congested.
I hate that they are both sick and I especially hate how much it costs to make them feel better now. I’m sure Missy will have to have more teeth removed (she’s down about 21 so far, I think it is) and will need more antibiotics and that adds up so fast.
Everything feels really hard right now.
And speaking of having a huge weight I can’t lift off of me, it has been incredibly frustrating and disheartening to watch my body regain the 50 pounds I lost nearly 14 years ago over the past year. I am back up to 270 pounds (274.5 lbs is still my highest yet). I know clothing sizes have changed tremendously over the past 14 years though because previously at this weight, I wore a size 26/28 and at least a 3X. Now? Size 18 in my Old Navy jeans and dress pants from Lane Bryant and a 2X in tops and dresses at Target, Old Navy, Torrid, and Lane Bryant. So crazy.
I know so much of it was from me stress and emotional eating over everything I went through with my job and not being able to take vacation time to go anywhere and losing my car and not being able to get out of debt and all of the loneliness I’ve felt being so isolated in this apartment and with John’s and my opposite schedules. I tried to work out – even had a gym membership for a Planet Fitness one exit down on my way home from work – and was too exhausted to go most of the time and hated walking on the treadmill. I just wanted to go home, eat dinner, and go to bed, and by the time I got home because I often had to stay late, eating dinner and going to bed was about all I had time for.
I have spent so much of this year so deeply depressed and wanting to both crawl out of my skin and walk out the door and never come back. I am still here because of John, Mama, my brothers, and my best friends who have reached out to me when I’ve needed them the most but was too depressed to say anything or ask for help.
One of these gifts that I did not ask for but that I received was Rosie Molinary’s book Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance from my long-time best friend Brandi who sent it to me for my birthday. (It was on my Amazon wishlist but way down the list so I didn’t expect to receive it.)
I originally planned to go through the book in a paper journal but hand writing is way slower than typing, and I thought maybe if I write my responses in this blog, someone will stumble upon them and they will help them somehow feel less alone.
Instead of starting another NaNoWriMo that I won’t finish in November, my goal is to spend the next 365 days going through this book and writing out my responses. If no one reads them, that’s okay. This is for my healing. I need a comeback. I need to feel like I am doing something productive with my life, that I am not wasting it. I need to throw my feelings, thoughts, and words out into a void since screaming as loudly as I can in this apartment might alert someone to call the police on me.
Tomorrow, November 1st, marks nine years since I moved out of Alabama and on to a life of my own in Atlanta. I think it is only appropriate that I kick off yet another chapter of my life tomorrow as I dive into yet another unknown and try to survive.
Day 1 tomorrow.