Category Archives: the unknown

I’m Back Baby!

I’ve been away from blogging

(the featured image is of a cherry grown from a tree I planted 10 years ago. It fruited in July. A timely metaphor for this period of time.)

I can’t point to any one reason why I haven’t blogged this past month-plus. Guess the creative tank was empty. I tried to force myself to write a couple of times over the past month…

Last month I installed an app that tracks my phone use. It’s called “StayFree” (I’m not being paid to say this, though I’d sell out too). And my results have been… Embarrassing.

Screenshot of the app Stayfree, showing app use time.

I have a severe internet addiction problem. (Though I guess the app missed all the time I spent listening to audiobooks on audible. I don’t count that time since it’s good for me.) This has been a problem, especially in the past year. But damn. 274 hours?! Oof.

Picture of WordPress app data.
Wow, I expected my total use time to be much lower than 8 hours 😐. I certainly didn’t spend much of that writing.

The content I did write didn’t feel up to par. I don’t know. I’ve felt scattered and unfocused when writing. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself or attached to perfectionist tendencies. (Edit: Today, I cut up and saved the valuable bits. Which became this post)

Whatever it is, I feel like my life is at another transition point. I think a shift to something new.


French Toast, Donny Burgers, Peanut Butter, and Lemon Slushee Weed oh my!

It’s been a bit since the last blog post. (34 days!) I’ve been busy. Well, not that busy… More focused on doing well at my new job. Hyper-focused. I like what I do for work: trimming weed, my coworkers, and the company. (I wish that I could post pictures. I can’t because this is a form of social media. I wonder if it’s okay a)

Eat, work, sleep. Repeat. As for writing, it felt like the creative well was low, and I needed a small break.

Everything is going well, and I’m slowly feeling secure the company will last more than four months. ( I have no reason to see that they’d close or fail. Thanks to anxiety… )

I’m giving it my all, and I am happy to. The company’s goal is to have the best cannabis in the state. It’s a mindset shift. At my last job, they also had high standards for trimming, but you can only do so much with average-quality products. It’s so refreshing to work at a company like this. It’s like a high-end restaurant… Without the soul-destroying stress, heat, or snobbery.

Last week, we were ‘bucking’ to cut cured, dried branches of product to a smaller size for storage, and the workroom smelled like french toast. The kind that uses fake high fructose corn syrup, imitation vanilla extract, butter, and ground cinnamon/nutmeg you can find on a grocery store spice shelf.

A huge perk of working with weed is the aromas. The best stuff or dank can smell like so many things, from diesel, skunk, to flowers, to a tropical island, to french toast. Grown ideally, it sticks to your gloved hands.

Picture of weed in a mason jar. Strain: Peanut Butter Crunch.
Pictured above: Peanut Butter Crunch cannabis. I received this as a sample to smoke. Getting samples is a perk of working in the cannabis industry. Thanks Fire Bros! This strain is available at recreational stores in WA state!

They’ve been around for five years, built a massive new warehouse to grow multiple times more products due to demand, and hired people to meet it.

The work is pleasant yet challenging. I feel it’s opened my mind to a time when I enjoyed being the best I could be. To grow every day at work. I had this at my last weed job too. It’s a very different culture when everyone is in the same building. My previous job was at a branch location. (Except for our growing team. There is a massive warehouse where our weed is grown. It used to be in our building.) It’s a nice change to regularly see the owner and upper management doing whatever needs to be done. They ask how we’re doing. They want feedback for improvement and mean it.

So many green flags, yet I’m paranoid. I’m trying not to worry about the other shoe dropping. I don’t want to lose this job: good people, a good workplace, and good company.


Once again, the coronavirus pandemic has been the antagonist.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/How-Do-I-Get-a-COVID-19-Vaccine.html

(AKA: Yes, but) I had two separate covid scares week. I felt sick on Monday — fatigue, fever, muscle soreness, and common cold symptoms– so I left work after 45 minutes. I drove to the drive-thru testing center and got a precautionary Covid test to be safe. The test center said the results would be ready in 24-48 hours. So, I had that stress, along with not knowing what was up.

Tuesday morning, the first covid test was negative! What a relief… I’m just sick with a cold. So I took it easy. I had just enough energy to fill my ballot and drop it off at a local community center voting drop box… Driving there in my new car!

I finally have my car! A 2013 Toyota Prius! All thanks to my Dear Aunt M! Love you, Aunt M!

Picture of 2013 prius
Yeah, like that. I’m not comfortable sharing my car yet. This’ll do for now.

Wednesday, I went to work driving by myself in my car for the first time in… like, 7 or 8 years. That whole time I was sharing a car with my mother because it was convenient, and I couldn’t afford another one because of poor mental health and working minimum wage jobs. My mental health has dramatically improved due to therapy and the right mix of medications. If it weren’t for my persistence in my health and good decisions, I would not be in this good spot where I have options. I still have the stuff to work on, but I’m treading water. I’ll take it. With this, I can progress. I am so grateful for all of that.

I worked the day, double-masked for safety. I got through the day but was exhausted. I should have stayed home.

Thursday morning, I turn on my phone and get a message on slack from one of my bosses. Another potential Covid exposure at work on Monday. The appointment was canceled, and everyone who got tested got a sick day. I got tested again and had to wait another 24 hours for a result.

Friday. That morning the result was: Negative! Whew. It seems most of my coworkers tested negative too, which is reassuring. I decided to take Friday off, too, as I wasn’t much better.

In Summary, Two negative covid tests but a bad cold. Waiting for test results is fucking stressful. While we have a mask mandate at work, it could be enforced a bit more. I feel there needs to be a company meeting going over what masks are considered safe (A few coworkers wear neck gaiters, which don’t provide proper protection) and how to properly wear a mask (Aka over the nose, on at all times inside). We need a vaccine requirement for employment.

I’m fucking tired of being considerate anymore. Way past being patient. It’s been 16 months. The pandemic is still raging, and I’ve done everything right. It’s fucking bullshit that only 50% of people are vaccinated at this point. I wish our government would save the remaining vaccines for the kids under 12, send the rest out to the parts of the world that want them, and force the unvaccinated adults (who do not have a valid medical exemption) to pay for them through our insurance system. I want to run up to a denier and shake them. Don’t you care about kids? Don’t you care about the elderly? Don’t you care about the sick? Don’t you care about the well-being of your friends or family? Don’t you care about your fellow human?

This lyric from A change gon come by Sam Cooke sums up how I feel right now as an American, as a person of the world:

“Then I go to my brother
And I say, “Brother, help me please”
But he winds up knockin’ me
Back down on my knees.”

This came up on Genius.com for the song lyrics:

“This line refers to Blacks in the United States who did not openly support the Civil Rights Movement. Often, these people were afraid of violent retribution, and preferred to keep their fellow men “on their knees” in front of whites to avoid conflict. Cooke’s record producers were especially guilty of this.

They were more interested in keeping him popular among white listeners, than allowing him to speak out against race-related injustices in his music. This song was the first politically charged recording of Cooke’s, and was his way of “getting off of his knees.”

Ironically, the track was initially buried on the B-side of a semi-popular single by his producers. Rather than being released to stand on its own, the executives were too worried it would degrade Cooke’s popularity with whites.”

https://genius.com/1300893

It’s no wonder why another civil rights reckoning is happening during the pandemic. (Fucking stalled in the Senate by the same people making the pandemic worse, Republicans). Everyone is equal in the face of a virus. Corona Virus doesn’t care about your skin color, your feelings, your politics, or anything about you. It exists to spread in ideal conditions. The only way you are safe is to get the vaccine. To wear a mask and distance themselves from others.

You know… I need a Pandemic Anger Anonymous support group. Something. Another year of this? Ugh.

Oh, I finally feel a sense of peace and understanding regarding all the grief I went through last year. I’m sorry, and I vow never to act that way again.

It’s nice not to have that weighing on me every day… on top of 2021’s stuff.

Rest in Peace, Aunt Ann.


Thank you for reading this; I realize I haven’t been consistent lately… And I want to get back on the blog horse. If you enjoyed this, please give it a like, and tell me what you think in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please GET VACCINATED, wear a mask indoors or near people, that covers your mouth and nose. Wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2021. All rights reserved.

A half dozen days since the chickens died

The eggs live on after the chickens. Included are the last feathers from Edna (top left, all white), Betty ( second row, brown and white), and Nutmeg (far right, brown and white).

On Chickens

Edna and Nutmeg were 4 year old hens born in Duvall WA. They lived a life typical of hens living in the city after growing up in the countryside. They’d wake up around 7am every day, climb down their house and wait to be let out into the yard. Every day, they’d dutifully do their jobs as chickens: laying eggs, searching for bugs to eat, dig in the dirt when warm for a dirt bath, perch on objects to be in a patch of sunlight, eat the food my mother bought them. Each time my mother or me was outside, they follow us as we walked to the alley, often squawking to us as hello. I’d greet them each time with a “Hello girls” or by name. Betty was independent, kinda crazy, and at the top of the pecking order from day 1. Nutmeg was a typical groupie and usually at the bottom of it. Nice but a pushover to the other chickens.

I helped, but the Chickens were my mom’s thing. She did the dirty work of cleaning their coop and taking care of them whenever the chickens had treatable ailments. She found them dead. Apparently it happened like an hour before I got home from work, as mom worked from home today.

To say the two chickens died, is a gentle way of saying viciously murdered.

There wasn’t a noisy ruckus by Edna or Nutmeg, or a sign something was wrong.

The chickens could be quite noisy when they wanted to. They’d squawk every day while laying eggs, in that classic chicken way. It wouldn’t take much for them to alert someone in the house.

This crime happened so fast, the victims never had a chance.

No sign of forced entry. The exterior and interior fences undisturbed.

No witnesses.

Inside was a gruesome murder scene.

Decapitations with further gore.

There was clear signs of struggle. Bloody feathers, and occasional blood spots.

Mom found them. Later said that she let out some loud explicit words. In shocked agony of these murders.

Her guess is that a “raptor bird” or other predatory bird swooped in and killed the chickens. Which do live in the area. We’ve spotted hawks, falcons, owls, and bald eagles from the backyard before. Not that surprising considering Seward Park is close. (Which is a large wooded park with the nests of many birds including bald eagles)

(All I can imagine are flying velociraptors from Jurassic Park when she said raptors did it. )

( I guess nature is far more brutal. )

(Further, that I as a privileged person in the modern world…am privileged to have chickens as pets, and that we didn’t have to eat them.)

By the time I went in the coop to inspect, mom had already buried the chickens. It felt odd stepping in their fenced area as that portion of the backyard had been theirs for 5+ years for this generation and the last. Sure enough they really were gone.

The only evidence was fluffy white feathers from Edna, and orange-brown and white feathers from Nutmeg strewn about.

Hard to believe that they’re gone.

I’ve been looking to the coop, for the chickens out of habit through the kitchen window above the sink. A habit developed these past 5 years. They always had something going on, a project or task throughout the day. Each evening they’d march into their coop to perch on a branch at the top to sleep. The hens would huddle right next to another.

Mom doesn’t want to get new chickens and I don’t either, so this will likely be the last time I have chickens as a pet. It’s the only time I’ve had birds as a pet.

I’ll have to buy eggs at the store from now on…

Rest in peace: Nutmeg, Edna, and Betty.


I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been focused on work. It’s been massive life adjustment. Going from unemployed at home all day back to a 40 hour a week job in a new location is a complete change. I’ve been tired after work Also the whole lifestyle change outside of work. I’m handling it well, and doing well at my job. Another 6 weeks or so, and I’ll have energy to do activities during the week. Self care has been first priority.

Thanks for reading!

Beginnings, Middles, Ends…


Beginnings

For my entire adult life until like April of this year, I was ashamed of my sparse dating experience. I felt my shame was evident to everyone else, despite my never telling anyone in person. I felt safe in the anonymous false comfort of Reddit and other message boards. Now, I think: Fuck it. It is what it is. I’ve come to terms with it. I can’t change the past, and I’m not starting from zero. I do have experience and knowledge about relationships and dating. The few times I have been in the dating pool, I’ve learned each time. In the past year, I’ve grown so much; it’s like I got a college degree in that stuff.

But ultimately, a degree is an ending and a starting point. The whole point of learning anything is to use that information in the world. Though I’ve changed for the better, I’m still afraid. Afraid of rejection. I’m worried I’m not enough. Last month, I paid for a month of Tinder and Bumble and did not have much luck. I’ve gotten a handful of matches, but only one conversation went somewhere with a natural person. Fucking catfish.

Which, was when I told her that I had met someone (the catfish before I figured it out) and wished her luck. I got a fantastic response back, which was heartwarming. I’m not sure I want to reconnect yet… My heart needs to rest.

I feel my dating profile might need improvement. Therefore, I have room to improve as a person and man. Thanks to stuff easing up, I can go out and do activities in person with vaccinated people. Online dating is ruthless with men because we outnumber women by a ratio of 2-3 to 1… So you need to stand out to get noticed. Finally, I can have fun and get pictures by living life for the sake of it.

I have a day left on Tinder premium and it feels like all the women are blending into the same person… Highly active who lives outdoors outside of work, drinks, doesn’t want a hookup while having multiple pictures with cleavage or lingerie , has a blank profile, lists their instagram, their dog is their baby (To be clear, I like dogs. but the obsession and pictures they choose with their dogs is unsettling.). The worst is when they match after I like them then never respond.

Technically I’m in the middle of my dating journey, and that’s enough. I assumed I would have this stuff figured out by now at 35…

Everyone starts somewhere. I’m in the process of figuring it out.


Middles

I feel I’ve entered a transition period in my life. As of last week, I’m fully vaccinated, have been at my job for a month, and thriving, and things are starting to open up again. While the CDC lifted the mask mandate for vaccinated people, I will continue to wear a mask until 80% of the US population is vaccinated. This year has taught me that you can’t trust people to do the right thing in America. The pandemic isn’t over, folks. Be safe for the children waiting to be vaccinated and those who are medically vulnerable. Please, Get the covid 19 vaccine, folks.

It feels strange emerging into the post-pandemic world as a privileged vaccinated person. I do want to see friends again, but still paranoid about getting covid-19 from other people. Even if we’re both vaccinated. While I’m treated for the virus, I haven’t recovered from the side effects of PTSD from the pandemic. I can thank my past recovery from PTSD for this. Without that, I’m not in the dark and can work through each stage of grief.

I’ve had trouble writing posts for the blog as I’ve adjusted to my job. Thankfully, it has a consistent schedule, I am good at the work, I know what to expect every day, and I like my coworkers, but it takes time to adjust to new routines. Sorry for the missed posts and random post times. Things should get back on track soon. It’s been a big adjustment from being unemployed and having time to write to working full-time again.

I’ve been thinking of trying something different with the blog. On the about me page, I said that I wanted to write fiction, publish a novel and a screenplay, and recipes. So far, posts have been heavy on my life, and I need to write about something different. Those things were put aside in 2020 because I needed to work through the difficult things in my life. In this new stable period of life, it feels like the right time to work on those again, which seems to be a theme in life right now.

Picture of plants in the sprouting stage of growth in dirt soil like a garden.

Endings

I had my final therapy appointment this week, meeting my therapist for the first time, for the last time, in person. All therapy appointments for the past year plus have been over zoom. On my desktop screen for a good part of the pandemic 2020, then on zoom through my cellphone screen. Fourteen months have been working together during the pandemic over the internet.

Mirror with gold edges on a dark pinkish wall. Fern Plant in a vase, mahogany stool.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, connect me to zoom. I have therapy in 5 minutes…
Photo by Max Vakhtbovych on Pexels.com

We met at a park after work. It was warm and sunny, and many people were on the lake side Green Lake path. It was the first time I’d walked along that park, and it was lovely. Most people were still wearing masks, and it felt like I was baring cleavage by not wearing a mask, despite being vaccinated. Having an outside therapy appointment was a little weird, but okay for a final meeting. It reviewed our time together, how far I’ve come, and where we are going. It was nice to hug her as we met and left to go our ways. I said “Thank You” one last time. I’ll forever be grateful to her. Thanks to her, I was able to trust therapists. I was able to experience for myself that therapy does work. I was not terrified that she would leave out of the blue. Unlike doctors or any other specialists, you can’t change them often. You need to trust that your therapist will be with you working on your issues for an extended period—usually, several months for each thing after you’ve built trust.

I slowly realize that our time working together is over. All this happened at a good time. It felt like a natural transition. We were in a spot where I was figuring out what to work on next in therapy.

I am in a great place in life because I chose to continue. And I gave therapy one more try… Despite being let down or heartbroken in my quest to get it. I’m not used to feeling proud of myself. I still feel weird expressing myself and who I am. I have things to work on and will work on for the rest of my life, as everyone does.

I may have been unemployed and looking for employment, but my actual job last year was as a person in therapy, showing up and doing the work. I didn’t waste the precious time I had last year.

It was a bittersweet end. Once again, I’m without a therapist. I’m so grateful that I had her help during this time. I hit rock bottom last year, and the pandemic worsened my recovery. I’m here today, better than I’ve been in years because of therapy. That said, I have quite a bit to work on myself.

This sucks because I feel isolated again. As an introvert, I am comfortable being by myself and doing things. But I do need a connection with others. I don’t feel like there is anyone I can talk to staff about emotionally. Because of the pandemic, it feels like all my friends are online. I’m limited in what I can share with my family. Not everyone is safe to share emotional or personal things with. Or it’s a spectrum, and maybe the things that bother them are things they don’t have the professional training to help with. I kind of trust myself and working on this. It takes me a long time to trust people. By default, I don’t trust people.

It comes to me that writing this is ironic because I’m being vulnerable as I write this.

I’m in insurance limbo again. While I’ll have health insurance with my job, I don’t know what the plan covers. I’ll likely have to pay for meds and appointments with the plan, because it’s a private plan. Worse than WA Applecare. Then I have to find a therapist who offers appointments after or before work, then, a therapist I click with. 🙄 Man I hate American healthcare.

Maybe not the final therapy appointment with my (previous 🙁) therapist, but this is an ending.


Betty

Betty the chicken died in the night on May 9th. She was 6 years old.

I wrote on Facebook:

Looks like Betty the chicken doesn’t have much longer. I had to pick her up from the run outside the coop, and place her inside for the night. The younger chickens were perched inside ready to sleep. Poor old girl couldn’t make it. I think she knows, too, from the look in her eyes.

I said goodbye that night. I told her she was a good chicken and I liked living with her.

Betty would hang out with us outside whenever my mother or I sat outside on the deck. Or the chickens would follow me inside as I took out the trash and recycling. Chickens are excellent companions. Rest in peace, Betty.

Mom buried her in the dirt in the coop area. She asked if I wanted to be there, but I declined. I had my time with her the previous night.


Epilogue:

I’m looking forward to getting a haircut and makeover. My hair and beard are out of control 😅. It’ll feel good to get a professional cut.

I wonder if I over share with these posts… Or the right amount to find people to connect with?

My healing journey from now moves from the mental space to the physical space.

Into The Unknown: Year 2

Today is the one year anniversary of the blog!

I had a small mix up this week about the day I started this blog. I thought I started it on Thursday (Maybe I did create it, on the 25th… Then published the first post two days later). A quick check showed my error. Guess I am getting older 🤷. Lol.

Anyway…

It’s been one year since the first post! WooHoo! 🎉 🌟

Song of the post:

Boy, I really am in a slump. Even writing this short post was like pulling teeth…


Taking a break from Blogging, Taking a Break from Dating

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Break from blogging

This has been a long term problem I’ve had with blogging and writing. I don’t know why I’m doing it and not passionate anymore. I think it’s simply burnout. Or pandemic fatigue. Writing hasn’t felt fulfilling for a while. The blog’s anniversary is coming up on the 25th, and other than that, I have nothing to write about. Nothing is burning inside to motivate me. My life has been pretty repetitive due to the pandemic and not much inspires me. This isn’t due to the depression I deal with or any other health problem. Maybe this need to write will come back later after I get vaccinated and as things open again, and I can have a full life with experiences to draw from.

I simply don’t know why I do this. So I’m going to take a break from blogging. I plan on one more post for March on the Blog anniversary on the 25th, and a post on my birthday on April 3rd. After that, nothing is planned. I’ll see how I feel then.


Break from dating.

I am also taking a break from dating. This has already been going on recently as I’ve paused my profile on the dating apps I use. I haven’t had success or many matches on Bumble, Tinder, or Hinge. Then again, I haven’t really used them much, or been interested. Even women I was attracted to in the past I don’t feel attracted to. I’ve never liked dating, I don’t like meeting new people, and I feel the rejection has made me bitter. Even thinking about opening the apps is nauseating. Even if I won the dating lotto and met someone today (Not likely), I’d feel like “whatever”.

I’m not ready to date. Dating feels like a gigantic waste of time for little reward.

With everything I’ve learned about dating and relationships the past year, instead of motivating me to improve, it’s turned me off dating and women because of how they act in that area of life. It’s like they are employers, and you are going into a job interview with no/little idea of what they want or who they are, and they want you to conduct the interview too. I don’t see how this adds to my life in anyway that friends or family don’t already do. It’s not worth it. The older I get the stronger I feel about this. Maybe this is permanent. For now, I’m not putting any effort into changing this. (It would take a lot… I have overwhelmingly negative experiences with dating.)

Meh.


Well, that was real positive…

Nindō, a Naruto blog post.

Credit: wikipedia

Warning: Naruto spoilers.

Nindō/Naruto

Nindō is a philosophy from the Japanese tv show Naruto, an epic fantasy about ninjas with powers. The main character is Naruto, a teenage boy who has an evil demon fox sealed inside him. He starts the series as an outcast. He starts the show as a failure, not being good at anything or having anyone as a support. His parents died before the show began due to the demon fox inside him.

Nindō (忍道, literally meaning: Ninja Way) is a personal rule that each shinobi lives by. It is their way of ninja life, their motto, belief, or “dream”. A ninja’s nindō can be anything, no matter how immoral their personal point of view is. Most often Naruto Uzumaki proclaims his ninja way, to be: “I’m not gonna run away and I never go back on my word, that is my nindō! My ninja way!”

Naruto

Like the show, I’ve changed quite a bit since I was introduced to it back in 2002/2003. I was in my sophomore year in highschool, and I watched it week to week as it was aired in Japan. My friends and I would watch it not long after it aired live in Japan thanks to the awesome power of the internet. Anonymous fans would translate it, add subtitles in english, them upload it online for free. All anyone had to do to get it was to know where to get it. Which wasn’t that difficult, most message boards, or a simple google search would tell you how and where to find it. Thanks to the internet, and pirates, you could watch anything ever made from anywhere in the world… Legality be damned. Which I didn’t care as a first generation internet user. I’m old enough to remember being introduced to AOL by my aunt only a couple years earlier. It didn’t take long for me, my brother, or my friends to master using the internet.

Anyway… I was talking about Naruto, and nindō, and how it relates to now. Since Naruto started, it’s been one of my worlds. It’s Epic fantasy, and of the shonen genre, so these types of fiction last a long time. Naruto took 15 years for the original comic, and about the same amount of time for the tv show to finish. A new chapter would be made each week, with some random breaks for the author, Masahi Kishimoto, every so often. Last year in 2020, I finally got around to finishing watching the anime (animated tv show) from the beginning part two. Watching it through now as an adult, and rewatching some episodes, hit differently. It made me remember good times in the past talking about the show with friends from high school, and later in college with them.

Naruto at it’s core is the heroes journey.

Naruto starts as a child, with nothing, not good at anything, and completely alone. He is shunned because of the demon fox inside him, that he is born with. Watching again now, during the pandemic, as I struggle in my own life, is necessary medicine. It sure would be nice to have my mental health problems be hidden strengths or demons I could master instead of weaknesses. But, this is reality instead of fiction.

Nindō part 2: (minor spoilers)

Naruto succeeds because he doesn’t give up. He makes his worst skill a strength. He wins over people and eventually his inner demon due to his super human persistence. He is successful because he wins over the support of others 1 at a time. We learn in the first episode that the first person he wins over, Iruka sensei, had his parents murdered by the same demon fox inside Naruto. Iruka forgives Naruto despite this because he went through the same struggles as Naruto. Through empathy, and forgiveness, and Iruka sacrificing himself to protect Naruto does Naruto begin to believe in himself and stand up for himself. He is successful because he has dreams (Massive goals). He is successful because he has supporters in his life that he wins over. Naruto is constantly telling everyone about his goal to become Hokage. To be recognized by everyone in his ninja village. He is successful because he has a way of life. A Nindō.

Once again, a Nindō is:

Nindō (忍道, literally meaning: Ninja Way) is a personal rule that each shinobi lives by. It is their way of ninja life, their motto, belief, or “dream”. A ninja’s nindō can be anything, no matter how immoral their personal point of view is. Most often Naruto Uzumaki proclaims his ninja way, to be: “I’m not gonna run away and I never go back on my word, that is my nindō! My ninja way!”


So, what’s my way of life? What are my goals?

My way of life? For a long time, it’s been survival. I’ve been in the mental health treatment struggle since 2008. I struggled with establishing a career, or being employed at one place for a long time. I sacrificed a social life due to the work cultures around the restaurant (and to a lesser degree) trucking industries, finding time for therapy, and avoiding interaction with new people because I didn’t feel healthy. Nothing’s been stable.

My previous long term job as a cannabis processor at Willie’s Reserve (which closed their only state branch last January) gave me a taste of stability and socializing I’ve missed for years. The kind you can only fulfill with coworkers and friends. This past year has shown me that I need to take the initiative with friendship. It isn’t the same interacting over social media.

I have to figure this out, and put in the effort because nobody else will. Or as Mel Robbins said: “Nobody will stop you.”


What are my goals?

To start, I need to continue to recognize and celebrate the progress I make. I’m not at rock bottom anymore. I’m in the process of changing, though it’s slow.

I’m not sure what I want to do for a career, or if I really want one. For now, I’ll find something to pay the bills.

My primary goal is to move out of Seattle, and out of the house I’ve always lived. So I need a place that will be affordable, hopefully not a long commute, and accepts cats. I’d rather not live with roommates if possible.

I’m still new at this new chapter of life. So continue on practicing values. My future feels hazy, yet I feel it’s becoming less so.


I’ve felt unsure about posting this for a while since it didn’t feel like the right time. I technically “finished” watching Naruto last year, and started this in January. I need to figure out new goals for blogging. A different creative approach that fits my life now compared to last year. I look forward to the pandemic being over!

Thanks for reading!

Tinder saga part 2: Success?

Maybe it's not the fear of the unknown, but a fear of the known coming to an end -Dr Jaime Zuckerman.
Saw this on Instagram today, from #anxietyproblems page. It really captured how I feel lately. Maybe this is why I subconsciously started this blog… Because I was afraid I didn’t know myself enough. I guess knowing yourself is a lifelong process.

How this journey into the Unknown began: https://theunknownreillyblog.wordpress.com/2020/03/

Tinder saga part 2:

I’m worried this new relationship is too good to be true. I’ve been texting a lady I matched with on Tinder. It’s been going well for a couple weeks! It’s so new that it feels fragile. I’m hopeful that it will continue to go well. There isn’t any guarantee of course, but I feel that I’m showing up and being comfortable expressing my needs, being myself, and communicating with her.

Bolero performed by The London Symphony Orchestra.

I’m a romantic relationship noob. The reason I chose Bolero for this post, is because this piece of music is how I feel about the romantic relationship dance. Be patient, but brave. It’s healthy to go slow, and grow. You want a partner with you, not anyone to complete you. The best analogy I’ve heard to describe a healthy relationship is from Russell Brand’s youtube channel. I couldn’t find which video this quote is from, so I’ll paraphrase it… Something like: A healthy relationship is like two buildings next to each other. Each one needs to have a healthy sense of self. Two separate beings next to each other.

I haven’t been as mindful and in the moment for a romantic relationship as I am in this one. It’s been easy to be myself and be vulnerable. I am worthy, I am strong, I am enough. I can handle myself and any problems that come up!


So am I ready to love?:

https://ousoescrever.com/2020/11/28/are-you-ready-to-love-article-requested-by-reilly/

So, as I promised Alexandra Marie Santos in the blog post above, I will answer her response to my question on her blog. Below are questions she posed in her post:

  • Being single doesn’t mean waiting for love entrance, which is the wrong move. When you wait, you slow down your movement towards what is waiting for you. 

Thankfully, I learned this lesson the hard way earlier this year. I’m not waiting for someone again.

  • When you are single, it doesn’t mean that you are emotionally broken, unlovable, incomplete, or missing out on life. In reality, this is your opportunity to glow and master your tools as a future partner by educating yourself. 

It’s not that I feel I’m missing out on dating because I’m single, it’s more like I’m curious what that aspect of life feels like. I haven’t dated much before because I had to focus on my mental health. I’ve been on this journey for 12 years, and finally got the help I’ve sought for for long. To be mentally healthy has been my biggest goal in life for a long time. I’ve been constantly educating myself in whatever way I could over the years.

  • Confidence. When you embrace your singlehood and stop think when and how love will materialize in your life. You build your confidence but also peace of mind. 

Love and relationships don’t just happen. I didn’t learn this until this year. You have to work at it. I simply don’t want to be single for the rest of my life, and would not want to be. I feel like I have to accept this weird contradiction to finally find the right person. Like I have to give up wanting to be with anyone to find someone? Huh? I get that you need to be healthy on your own, and have your own life. How am I supposed to practice relationship or dating skills? You have to practice with people.

  • Singlehood offers the opportunity to explore what you want to explore without being a doormat of somebody else whimsical demands because we tend to choose bad partners or reject good ones when we don’t feel great about ourselves.  

Agreed.

  • Being single isn’t a synonym for death, but a great period to evolve and understand that love and partnership is the merging of two souls, not as a Hollywood portrait, but as how real-life demands. 

Agreed.

  • How do you feel about your single life and being single?

Though the pandemic life right now sucks because I can’t go out and see friends or family in person, or not be able to go try activities with people, I’m comfortable being single. I’m already introverted so I am careful with people I bring into my life.

  • Are you using this time to fulfill your emotional needs and also discovering new parts of yourself? Or are you ruminating about how in the future it will be having another person by your side?

Yep. Basically why I started blogging earlier this year. To fulfill my needs, and discovering parts of myself. I’m not ruminating about anyone anymore because I already made that mistake and waited 7 years for someone to be available. It ended in an embarrassing, ugly, bitter breakup. I feel I’ve learned from it and moved on.

  • Not all relationships will survive, but I see, and research has shown that around 90% of intimate relationships fail because people don’t have mental clarity about what they want, don’t know themselves. And don’t explain how they want to be loved by their partner or think there is someone always better waiting for them. And this takes us to another important point: the necessity to acknowledge their’s and our’s romantic dynamics history. How many serious relationships they had? They were the ones who ended it? At what stage, the relationship ended? What about us? Do we need to chase people? Do we need to prove ourselves and our worth, and so we tend to chose unavailable partners?
  • I know what I want, and have explained to my new person what I want. We haven’t talked much about our histories, yet. I’m not chasing anymore, and I don’t think I’ve been trying to prove myself to my new person. I am enough as I am right now.

If you would like to read the whole blog post, here is the link again:

https://ousoescrever.com/2020/11/28/are-you-ready-to-love-article-requested-by-reilly/


New all time record!

This is a picture of my old dream board. In 2017, my goal was to finish a novel I started. I made it 47,458 words on a draft. I want to finish it. Man, I need to clean this… 🙃

This is significant because, the total word count for this blog before this post is:

Total word count on this picture of a dry erase board is 47,284
Word count for this post is 1108 currently.

Considering some of that is quotes from other people, I’m going ahead and say that I made it! This is officially the most writing I have ever done in a single year! Woohoo!


Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19!

2/31 posts done for the December writing marathon!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Six months blogging!

From the hike at my Rainier in August.

6 months blogging!

It’s been 6 months since I started this blog in March! The anniversary was last Sunday, but my dear Grandfather passed last week. It felt wrong not to honor him in a post. It’s still hard to believe that he’s gone…

Grief is a difficult thing to deal with, and it comes in waves. I’m sad. I’m grateful and happy to have known such a wonderful human. That I had an example of what a good man, a great human. I strive to be as good a man as he was. The hardest part about this loss is that its dangerous to visit family due to the threat of covid-19. Visiting online through Facebook and zoom helps… But it’s not the same. I really wish I could visit family, and give hugs. 2020 has been a long year.

It’s important to celebrate the little things… To acknowledge the steps forward I’ve worked hard for. Despite this unusual year, there have been good things that have happened. More after the pictures.

Posts to date and stats:

I feel like I have grown alongside this blog. This next section is about life this past month, and goals for the future. Healthy self esteem is giving credit to your growth.


Personal growth this year:

  • Restarted therapy despite years of struggling to find the help I’ve wanted, and finally got it! I’m growing every day.
  • Finally found an antidepressant that works!
  • Made a bunch of new friends from coworkers from my last job. I haven’t been able to visit much in person with them this year. I want to in the future. All of us were laid off when the company closed on Jan 31st out of the blue.
  • Reconnected with family.
  • Learned about self love, and self care. How to take care of myself. How to assert myself, continue practising communicating my needs. Continue practicing boundaries.
  • Started a meditation practice.
  • Started exercising on a regular basis again.
  • Started a blog.
  • Practicing gratitude and appreciation for the good things in life.
  • Restarted therapy, and being fully committed and engaged in the process.
  • Practicing Forgiving myself when I feel depressed or anxious.
  • Continued practicing being assertive and speaking up for myself.
  • Committing to being the best possible version of myself.
  • Fighting with depression when it lies to me.
  • Being independent for myself.
  • Learning mindfulness and practicing it.
  • Learning to listen to others, and not interrupt when they are talking.
  • Sorting through old unhealthy thoughts and patterns and deciding whether they serve me now, and the future.
  • Saying thank you.
  • Learning how to apologize.
  • Hanging out with friends before the pandemic happened.
  • Respecting other peoples needs and boundaries.
  • Admitting when I have made a mistake.
  • Being accountable for myself.
  • Quit drinking for good! I don’t miss consuming it. 7 months since I stopped!
  • Reduced my cannabis consumption from 4 bowls/2 dabs to one bowl maybe once or twice a week!
  • Started reading books again.
  • Being comfortable expressing my feelings.
  • Rebuilding validation from within instead of from others.
Pciture of Seward Park in Seattle.
How it the blog started!

Goals for the next 6 months:

Note: all of these things will depend on how the Covid-19 pandemic lasts.

  • Get a car. Hopefully something from the past 10 years. The last two cars I’ve owned/shared have been over 15 years old and were constantly in the auto shop for repairs. The cars were a 2000 Volvo s40, and a 2005 Dodge avenger. I spent several times more than what I paid for them in repair costs, and both had awful MPG. I have some savings, so once I get a job I can buy a car. I’ll do what I have to, to get to work… Be it Uber or public transportation for a little while more.
  • Get a job. I had an interview this week, so that is a good sign!
  • Move out. I’ve lived in the same house my entire life, and I’ve wanted to move out for years. I haven’t been able to until now because my mental health. I finally have it managed after 12 long years.
  • Keep blogging. I don’t know my long term goal for the blog. For now I want to keep growing and have each post get more traffic and comments than the last. Right now, I love talking to other bloggers in the comments, and reading their blogs.
  • Keep writing.
  • I want to go back to college and pursue a new career and degree.
  • I do not want to continue working minimum wage jobs the rest of my life. What worked for the past doesn’t line up with my future.
  • Hang out with friends, and make new friends. Hang out in person.
  • I didn’t think it was possible, but I am over my friends-breakup from earlier this year! I am ready to date again! I learned so much from this failure that I am a better person today.
  • I want to date, and have a girlfriend.
  • I want to visit with family.
  • I want to love, and be loved.
  • I want a healthy relationship where I can be support my partner and take care of myself. To have healthy boundaries and clear communication.
  • Continue working through my issues in therapy.
  • Once the pandemic is over, parties for friends and family.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything. But I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do, interfere with what I can do.” -Edward Everett Hale.

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/edward_everett_hale_393297

Music of the post:

Read more

Into the unknown

Photo of Seward Park in Seattle

The first post… The journey into the Unknown Self.

I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never had a blog before. Sure I have 97k post karma on Reddit, but that doesn’t mean I have any skill at professional writing. Everyone posts online these days. How am I to stand out against the millions of blog writers? Many who have been writing in some form for years. Who went to college for it. My Culinary Arts degree doesn’t compare. I haven’t really ever known what I’ve been doing in life. But, nobody really does. We are all born with the ability to breathe. Little by little we learn. We are guided by our parents until we become adults and have to live on our own. I’m a new writer. Everyone has to start somewhere. Here is my beginning to see if I can be good at writing. I’m 33, unemployed, unsure of what I want to do in the future for my career, and live with my mother. I didn’t want my life to be this way at 33. This is reality. To change you have to meet yourself where you are at the present moment. So, I’ll write badly until I can run with the pros. You have to crawl before your first step. Step without falling before you walk. Walk before you run. My goal is to write a minimum of 370 words once a week. I don’t have a clear idea of the focus on my content yet. Anyway, welcome! 


“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”

― G.K. Chesterton (https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/414151-anything-worth-doing-is-worth-doing-badly)

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.