The only thing you can count on in life, is change.
I’ve been fortunate in life to have a large family. Six aunts and an uncle on my mom’s side of the family. Despite life’s ups and downs, they’ve been the one constant. So, it’s tough to be reminded that they are human, vulnerable.
Two of my aunt’s are in the hospital.
My Aunt A who has been kind and loving to me –despite our polar opposite politics– has late stage cancer. Nobody deserves to suffer from cancer… At any stage of life. We’re prepared for the worst… ☹️
My Aunt M fell, and needs live in support. Something else is up, and we hope it isn’t serious. I hope she recovers, and is okay. There is too much unknown. It’s hard to see this happen to her, as we’ve been so close in my life. I’m so grateful I got to visit her last year. ☹️
It’s so hard to see people I love age. Especially right now during the pandemic. I haven’t even had a funeral for my grandfather, who passed last October.
This too will pass, until we all do. Despite being sad, I’m grateful for these tears. Back to “one day at a time”.
Song of the post: Blowin’ in the wind by Bob Dylan.
This week I started a new job as a Processor at Walden Cannabis. Working in the legal weed industry is like a job in a warehouse where you process and package food in bulk. It can be repetitive work, but isn’t so bad wearing headphones and listening to stuff. I’ve been catching up on audiobooks, and listening to music. It’s minimum wage work ($16.67, which may sound like a lot but not really in Seattle.), but the company offers benefits once I hit 3 months. I also get paid based on how much I produce daily based on a unique point system. So far I’ve been keeping up with other coworkers. I’m a little anxious about future performance reviews because I haven’t had this before in the workplace, and college was so long ago. It’s been 15 months since my last 5 day a week full time job, so this new lifestyle is a dramatic change. From sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen, at home with cats, occasionally with mom working remote… To starting at weed, trimming each piece, and sorting as usable and grinding material, sitting in an (uncomfortable) office chair with coworkers.
The only problems with this job are tiny: The chairs we sit in are really uncomfortable, and the workspace is cramped. I believe, based on the faded sign out front, that it used to be a auto shop of some kind. Maybe two cars could fit in it bumper to bumper.
I like my coworkers, I like my job, and I have experience doing this work. I don’t know my long term career plans, but that’s okay. That isn’t anything new, and what’s important is that I have something stable finally. This company has been around since pot became recreational in WA state around 2012, and they have been expanding, so those are good long term signs. There are many possible futures opening up. I could stay here and learn on the side, rise up in the company, or go back to school for something else. It’s nice to have possible options. The goal for now is to be mindful and live day to day. To do my best these next three months and lock this great opportunity down.
Getting this job means I had to change my therapy appointments. My therapist has been great with this, fitting me in at the end of the day. It’s frustrating how a huge portion of available therapy appointments are during the day shift. Maybe this is different outside of the US. In the past, I was able to do therapy when I worked restaurant night shifts, or when I was unemployed. I can’t afford to take an hour off work on minimum wage. I could do appointments at work… But my current workspace is tiny. Even though everyone has headphones on, and a bluetooth boombox is on during work, I don’t think that would be enough privacy for therapy. I dunno.
One day at a time.
One step at a time. It’s been 14 months since the last full time job, 13 months since the pandemic began. Gotta remember to be patient. My goals of getting a car, and moving out are in progress. Maybe it’s time to slowly test the dating waters.
It feels good to have a full time job that has pleasant coworkers, and work Im familiar with. A set schedule. With this, I can build a foundation for the life I want. I’m so grateful for all of this.
For the first time in years, I’m excited about the future.
Song of the post: Harder, better, faster, stronger by Daft Punk
On Tuesday, I was finally able to schedule the shot. The shot the world has been waiting for. As we watched the world behind a mask. Wednesday, with little fuss I got the first dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine. The whole process took a total of 25 minutes once I arrived at Lumen field. In fact, it took longer to travel there than getting the vaccine.
Time may change me
13+ months following the rules for survival. Masking up every time I go outside… Passing people on sidewalks as I would a commercial truck passing a car like when driving. Glaring at assholes with their masks not on. People became hazardous objects. Practicing steady breathing each time I had to go grocery shopping. Holding my breath, pressing against aisles to maintain space. Anxiety spiking each time some selfish local dumbass not being courteous in closed spaces. Socializing existing on the internet only. The number of times I saw friends a family… I can count on one hand After the Pandemic.
The pandemic isn’t over yet. Like when Biden was sworn in on January 20th, I felt a huge weight lifted off me. One more shot to go, and I’ll be safe. Finally, an ending.
Just gonna have to be a different man
A new beginning. Today I got a new job! Full time work as a cannabis processor with a company that looks great to work for. I had a really good vibe in the interview Monday. I’ve been in shock today. My life is finally moving forward. My hard work the past year is paying off. A year ago I was at rock bottom. 15 months since my last full time job.
Therapy was amazing on Thursday. My therapist and me got to celebrate all these achievements. All the hard work paying off. All the hours last year on zoom working through my problems. Showing up every week ready to do the work. Choosing to be vulnerable, honest, and open to feedback.
Talking about everything made me cry. I wept tears of joy. I’m choosing to appreciate these wonderful feelings instead of the future. Its been a very long time that I’ve felt tears of joy because of a tough goal. A hard earned win. It’s been a tough year. Living through 2020 by itself is an amazing thing.
It is possible to change for the better.
I’m only here because I didn’t give up on therapy. I gave it another shot because I asked for help. My needs weren’t being fulfilled, and I couldn’t do it alone anymore. I’m here because I used the past year to work on myself full time. Daily therapy zoom groups, weekly therapy appointments with homework, reading relevant books, youtube videos about relationships and psychology, Mark manson articles, subreddits, Spotify meditation/mindfulness/positive affirmations tracks, and blogging. All thanks to being laid off from Willie’s Reserve. Thanks unemployment! Thanks WA Applecare! Thanks Mom! Thank you blog readers! Thank you friends!
No more covid Limbo
I can finally feel safe to visit people. The world will return to normal. All we have to do is persist a little bit longer. The end of the pandemic is on its way. All thanks to the covid-19 vaccines.
Thank you, science!
P.S. This isn’t to say I’m not anxious or free from doubts. It’s just nice to appreciate good things happening.
It hasn’t hit me that I actually have a full time job on Monday. With this I can get a new car. With this I can move out on my own. With both the vaccine and the job, I can live life again. I wonder what I’ll be like a year from today?
Happy Birthday, Reilly. This was quickly the most extended year of our life. Last year this time, it felt like your entire world imploded. Then the earth closed down because of the danger of coronavirus. Despite that, you also finally got the help you needed in therapy. That took ten-plus years for everything to line up right. The right combination of medicine, treatment, and groups. This was so effective because you were and are committed to doing the work. You made that happen by not giving up. You gave it another chance by resisting that call to end your life last year.
You got a new cat. It was tough to lose my old cat, Flip, in December 2019. Like other loved ones I’ve lost, I think about him from time to time. He was a great kitty that lived a long life of 18 years. But, nine months later, you found Coco (nut). She is fantastic in other ways than Flip, and I look forward to having her as my cat in the future.
You got another job, way better than expected, and did a good job. Sadly, the product didn’t sell, and it didn’t work out. That’s life. Thanks to that job, you have had two interviews in the past month. Finding work is way easier now compared to a year ago. There are so many job postings. Despite being laid off from your previous job in January 2020, if it wasn’t for your efforts to be successful, work hard, and achieve your goal of working there for at least a year… You wouldn’t have had unemployment to pay your bills all this time. I don’t remember ever thanking them, so I will now. Thank you, Willie’s Reserve, for hiring me and for that 14-month job experience.
You tried several times to find a person to date, and you did. It was a short online relationship of two months. It didn’t last because we weren’t compatible, but she was still my first girlfriend. That was the first time I’d experienced romance, and it was terrific. I certainly did not think this was possible after that painful friend’s breakup/crush. Maybe I’ll return to online dating in the future, but for now, it’s on pause. The apps are deleted from my phone. I would consider dating someone I met in person. But that’s after I get the vaccine, and social stuff opens up again.
This would not have happened if I wasn’t committed to self-improvement and therapy. Thanks to youtube and the videos I watched, I found helpful advice from relationship coaches such as Susan Winter. I felt like I went through college-level classes in dating and relationship skills.
I know on an intellectual level that I’ve improved in many areas. But thanks to the weird anti-social world of the pandemic, I haven’t had many opportunities to practice them. This past year feels like an extended sports offseason.
So, Happy Birthday, Reilly. You made it another year. If I’m lucky, I have another 40-50 years. Maybe longer. Regardless, I made it another year in the most challenging year of my life. Hope is on the way, and I will appreciate all the little things I took for granted before the pandemic.
I feel like this song is a perfect reminder to be tender/patient with yourself and the world right now.
Song of the post: Try a little Tenderness by Otis Redding.
P.S. I’ll be returning to posting once a week on Saturday starting next week. Maybe I can post more often in the future. For now, once a week is the best I can do.