Open Up My Eyes

(Wake Up Wake Up–Everyday Sunday)

Some days are hard.

Let me amend that.

Some nights and mornings are hard.

So, on Sunday I went exploring, because God created this huge world for me and I pretty much only venture as far as the kitchen and back to my room. This was not a very well thought out plan and it was HOT outside and very bug-y…and I wasn’t wearing sunscreen or bugspray. Luckily I stayed in the shade, so I didn’t really turn bright red, but the bugs LOVED me.

Last night I was so itchy that I couldn’t fall asleep…and this morning I noticed I had scratched one of the bites so much that the area was a bit scabby…oops.

Maybe I’m the only one that does this, but if I’m exhausted and I haven’t gotten out of bed yet in the morning, I might dream even though I am definitely awake. So that happened this morning.

So there is this one person whom I had not seen since May…actually a lot of people, but one particular person who was in this dream. For lack of a better moniker, I’ll call this person Shoe. Don’t ask me where I came up with that…it was pretty much just the first word that came into my head as I looked down to come up with an object as a name…Lol…

So anyway, in the dream, I was sitting in front of my laptop at my desk at the hospital at which I am on rotation. I glanced up to check if there was anyone around who might need something from me. I saw Shoe. I was terrified and angry and scared and upset. Not much more happened in the dream because that was so upsetting that it shocked me the rest of the way alert and out of bed. Even though I knew it was a dream, it left me feeling really scared and uneasy. I guess distance made me forget how painful the memory of that person is. Also, that situation is pretty much if you’d asked me the worst thing that could possibly happen on rotation, the situation that I would have come up with. It is pretty typical of Shoe to find a way to completely violate me even if it means being somewhere I am that it would be a challenge or at least an inconvenience for Shoe to get to.

By the time I recovered enough to work on homework it was time to shove food I my lunch box and shove feet in my shoes (note the lack of capital letters to denote literal shoes versus the person…I definitely did not think this through when I picked a random name. So much for going through things in the morning.

Anyway, all day a thin blanket of anxiety about it has been clinging to my shoulders. I feel frustrated because I don’t want this person to have so much power over me. If I could just stop reacting it wouldn’t matter what this person did (or in the case of dreams didn’t do…).

But I am not a baby. I saw this person in real life today and it wasn’t all sunflowers and ponies or anything, but it actually wasn’t that bad. Plus this person totally left me alone today in real life(!!!!!), so maybe this person FINALLY has moved on from trying to make my life harder. Yay!! That is one of the most exciting things that could happen!

I got something the devil don’t want

(run devil run–David Crowder)

First off, I heard this song for the first time on the radio like yesterday…but it might have been the day before yesterday, which is very different from the day after tomorrow when the world freezes in a really cool way…but anyway, I loved it and y’all should look it up on youtube even though the video isn’t nearly as awesomesauce as the description of the video made it sound like it would be…

This section written yesterday:

Lol, I suppose from last night’s post, you can see A) how (not) well I do with staying up late and B) what it is like to occasionally have remnants of OCD come back…

Yep, I’m totally fine…I was exhausted because…you guessed it, I hadn’t slept in a while…funny how that works…

But I woke up in the morning still in need of more sleep, but otherwise just fine and no longer freaking out…and not sick…lol…

So: things I have the devil don’t want: OCD, and resilience. Oh, and God. The devil doesn’t want that either…

I love life…well, at least the times when I am not going off the deep end over something really stupid like that…

This section written today and totally unrelated aside from the fact that it is also written by me…

It is a lot of fun to be me sometimes…and embarrassing, but mostly fun. Last night after FCA when I was walking to my car, this guy with long black curly (or maybe dreddy I didn’t get  close look?) hair kinda laughed at me…which was embarrassing but also kind of a good thing, because I was so entertained by pressing the button for crossing the street that I had totally missed the fact that the light had turned green…if I hadn’t gotten laughed at I would probably still be standing there hanging out pressing the button…(mild exaggeration…but I was having enough fun I would have been there for a while).

Also there are some things I don’t like about school, which is probably true about anyone who is being honest…but one of the things I actually do like is that especially if I go South of school, I can walk wherever I want whenever I want and not worry about it being dark because I would guess that although I have never been awake at midnight to test this assumption that even at midnight it isn’t dark outside. I do know for sure that around 8-10pm it definitely is not dark. It is awesome first so that I don’t need to bring flashlights or anything like I used to bring to work with me a long time ago when I had to walk home in pitch black on Sunday nights, and also because people tell me it is dangerous to be outside in the dark…there might have been something about being alone in there, but the other thing about being in a big city is that you pretty much can’t be outside alone…there is ALWAYS someone else sharing the sidewalk with you.

Also, I learned this week that reading a church’s statement of faith is kind of important…so I decided I wanted to be in the car less than 10 minutes to get to whatever church I picked in the state I am moving to next. That meant that despite the promise of awesome treats, the church I picked out was on the ixnay. I was going back through my list of 2nd choices that hadn’t originally made the cut to be the one I was going to the first week. The one that was originally number two seemed super awesome…until I actually read the statement of faith…umm, yeah, all was well at first with statements that went way over my head and sounded nice and church-y…but then there was a statement that I read and went “um, pretty sure I actually understand that AND am 99.999% sure that it is NOT in the Bible.” So yeah…I guess having a really awesome logo which is how that one made the cut isn’t a good reason to pick a church.

So the one that is now number one doesn’t have a cool logo, but also doesn’t have weird stuff in the statement of faith. It also doesn’t promise me awesome treats, and doesn’t have a sample of their music to let me know if it is good okay or lousy, and doesn’t have much in the way of pictures or details at all, but it does meet the criteria of not being very far from the hospital (and therefore will be close to where I am living though I don’t have an address for that). Plus, the lead pastor’s cell phone number is on the “I’m new here” page and that made it seem like somewhere welcoming. So unless I come up with some new criteria or uncover something else I don’t like, I now (again) have picked a church for my next rotation.

Lol, I suppose if anyone has any ways to choose a church that don’t involve evaluating logos and treats which I realize are pretty superficial ways to pick, I am all ears…actually, that is not true. Regardless of whether or not anyone knows anything, I still have only two ears and also have a head, eyes, feet, arms, etc…I am definitely not ALL ears…LOL…

I wish I could just be in charge of the nursery at a church somewhere…’cause then it wouldn’t be a huge deal if the church was very good as long as they gave me enough latitude that I could love on infants…but something tells me people probably would prefer to have someone as a volunteer before putting them into a position of leadership whether formal or informal…particularly if said person moved into town that week…but seriously, I go through child withdrawal constantly and crave an infant in my arms…

Another option, I suppose, is if anyone wants a FREE babysitter so they can go on a date night or something and I can have some kid time…my age preference is the 5 and under crowd, particularly the birth to 6 months crowd, but I totally can (and have) been in charge of older kids…I just find it less rewarding as they get older…my happiest place is a room of infants where I am outnumbered (but not by so many as to make it stressful) and if anyone else is in the room then they are a good person to be around (AKA not someone who is super stressed out by there being one more kid than adult, and not a my-way-or-the-highway person).

Also, I poured my milk two hours ago and it is still sitting on my dresser, so it is time to stop writing and actually remember to hit post this time and then drink my milk, because it is not the shelf stable kind…

Goodness you have in store

(Thy Will Hillary Scott)

I don’t really like how much time I spend driving, but there are some positives. By leaving my room, I have seen some really incredible skies that I would never have seen otherwise.

I also have a lot of opportunities to pray for people that I wouldn’t have ever encountered to pray for. Like yesterday I saw one of those trucks that holds lots of cars and someone was laying under it like trying to fix something or something and I could pray for him that everything would work out, because that has got to be stressful. I saw a car with a flat tire and could pray for the driver of that vehicle. Also I have lots of chances to be very thankful that those situations are not me. Also I see some hilarious things like a guy holding a cell phone to his ear while listening and to his mouth while talking…like dude, it’ll pick up both things from one location…

And being directionally challenged gives me a lot more chances than most people to see awesome signs. Like one that said “Jesus changes things at 10:00 Sunday morning” to which I thought yes, and any other time he feels like it. It also gives me lots of chances to be proud of myself. Yesterday I might have gone west when I needed to go east, but I was able to piece together how to get where I was trying to go. And today, I didn’t need no stinkin’ directions to get to the hospital. I did it all by myself…with what I thought were the directions in the passenger seat next to me, but were actually not the directions…

I want this to be a positive post, so I’m going to end it soon, but please pray. I am very afraid that I am getting sick. I didn’t wash my hands at all between all the things I was doing at the hospital and then all the things I was doing at school and then eating. I even used a paper towel from the bathroom as a napkin because it was closer. I used the same spoon for everything I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And on top of that, I stayed up way later than I intended to stay up because there were some awesome people at Cru AND someone brought a baby! So lack of sleep both contributes to my ability to think logically and to a weakened immune system. And someone called out sick today at the pharmacy. And I feel like I am getting sick…and I know there are so many other possibilities for why I feel like I do, but with my past, I am terrified of getting sick. I am not currently moving from the fear to compulsions or to researching…mostly because it is bedtime…but I am super scared, which just makes everything worse.

And now I really have to end it because I am starting to think even with the logical side of my brain that I might be getting sick, and either I really am and should go to bed, or the writing about it is giving it to much credence and I should stop and go to bed…so either way, I need to go to bed…’cause either way it is definitely bed time…

LOL…I suppose if I am actually sick and can’t make it to the hospital in the morning there is a very good chance you’ll hear from me again…I have learned enough communication now that it probably wouldn’t happen, but in the past I definitely have had mornings where I threw up and went to school anyway, and that is basically what the hospital is for me is school…

…although most of those times I am pretty sure in retrospect that the issue was stress so even though my stomach hurt and I was scared of getting sick and therefore babied my stomach, in all reality I was fine and just needed to suck it up buttercup…lol…I suppose that is another sign pointing to testing anxiety since it was always big test days…

I’m livin’ in it and that’s how I say it

(Say it–Britt Nicole)

So as I was walking out of the hospital this afternoon, I saw an obviously angry person. I don’t know what was going on, but someone who appeared to be his friend said something like “you could try talking to them about it.”

That was all of the interaction that I overheard, but I was thinking “yes, talking about it, whatever it is, probably is a good solution.” It is hard sometimes, but talking about issues usually is better than ignoring them…and generally a lot more likely to lead to a solution. For example, I was super frustrated about a partial power outage a few days ago. On Saturday I expressed what had happened and Sunday I got an electrician and then the electric company to fix it. Now I have warm water and don’t have to constantly reset the clocks in the house.

But when I got an email that really frustrated me this afternoon, I wanted to ignore it and hope it went away. My first thought when I heard I needed to be fingerprinted was frustration that I didn’t know where to get it done (which was a valid concern given the difficulty with which I found somewhere and got fingerprinted). My next concern was that I would send in the cards and they wouldn’t think they were good enough. That one was valid as well. I got an email that my fingerprints aren’t very good and they probably need me to re-do them. I was SO frustrated. If my hands hadn’t been full with a snack, I might have thrown my laptop at my bed to express how frustrated I was (but keep me and my surroundings relatively safe).

Instead, remembering the conversation I had overheard, I sent a polite email letting them know that the last time I was fingerprinted the prints were done a zillion times and eventually the conclusion was made that my fingerprints are not that great. Something tells me that isn’t going to be a valid excuse, but it felt good for a few minutes anyway to know that I at least was not ignoring the problem.

If you are a praying kind of person, pray that they don’t make me re-do my fingerprints. It was hard enough the first time, and I feel like I already paid my dues by paying for it and taking the time to do it once. It’s not like I am going to magically have different fingerprints next time so it is really a waste of everyone’s time to have me re-do it, but other people don’t seem to understand that–they want to see it for themselves…I am not everyone else. I just want people to give me a chance and to believe that I know myself. To me, being asked to re-do it is on the same level as the people who tried to take me off of the greeting team in high school because they thought I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have signed myself up if I thought I couldn’t do it…and I wouldn’t have sent in crappy fingerprints if I could do them better, but I wanted to and I couldn’t and so I did. (Wow, that was a really awkward sentence…but you get the idea).

There’s no stopping us, we’re fearless inside

(Walking like giants–stars go dim

Sometimes when I’m not fighting big battles it seems that a series of small battles are fought instead. I am exhausted and would very much like a break.

On the positive side, I really love my rotation, it is just a TON of work. I am a bit overwhelmed and not totally sure how I am going to get this all done in the next now less than three weeks…YIKES…I have a lot of difficulty concentrating. That is my biggest issue right now. I know I can read more than one page in a couple hours…and yet that is the rate I’ve been going at. See, I start a sentence, start daydreaming about what I will eat for lunch tomorrow, get distracted, start the same sentence again, start daydreaming about when I will do laundry, get distracted…and the cycle frustratingly continues…and now I am writing a blog post…

Also on the positive side, I was talking to the girl who lived here before me and found that it is not just me. It really is a LOT more work than either of us realized to take care of cats…and also a lot more disgusting…she joked that probably some of the vomit stains were from her taking care of the litter box or cat vomit…I am so glad to hear it is not just me struggling with those things. I kind of thought maybe it was okay for those things to be challenging, but I wasn’t sure, because the owner of the cats made it sound like it was no problem whatsoever.

Less positive…well, with just a few of the things that have gone wrong in the past 24 hours, so it was dark outside last night and it was hard to see either the street signs or my directions. I successfully got going the right direction despite starting on a street that was not on the directions sheet, and soon I was on the freeway I needed to get home…and right about the time I felt assured I was on the correct freeway going the correct direction, I realized that the exit I needed was about a mile ago…oops…luckily I remembered I had directions from somewhere else that I could piece together with an exit a couple miles further down to get where I needed to be…crisis averted…temporarily.

Due to last night’s unintentional detour, there was no way I was getting all the way to Saturday before I put gas in the car. I stopped at a random exit marked to have a gas station and eventually did find said gas station. Not somewhere I intend to ever return. Aside from the sketchiness of the area, it was super frustrating that after three receipts I still had only like half a tank of gas, because the pump was not working correctly and kept stopping.

I also needed to get fingerprinted ASAP and my directions said to take the cards to any police station. So I did. The lady at the place I went seemed really put out to have to do her job. After plenty of eye rolls, she told me she needed proof I was a resident of (inselocation) before I could do the fingerprints…I explained that was going to be a problem because I am staying somewhere nearby, but am a resident of (completely different state). She clearly wanted the conversation to be totally over at that point, but not in a mood to be trampled on when I couldn’t just not do the fingerprints and really needed them done ASAP, I asked where I could get them done. She seemed to be choosing a location randomly, but a phone call later, and as it turns out the people at the place she said were actually very polite, professional, and helpful. Three things she was not. The place she mentioned cost $10 but the gas in the car (and time) to go all the way back home would be way more than that so I looked up directions and went there. What should have been a 10 to 15 minutes inconvenience in my day took over 3 hours, but I now successfully completed getting fingerprinted…and  got home just in time to receive an email asking me how much longer until I’d have the fingerprints in…

Now I just have to get them in the mail…that whole getting them was a lot more stress and effort than it should have been. I should have never gotten so frustrated that driving over 1000 miles over the weekend sounded like a possible solution. But it is done!! And I am proud of myself for staying polite but not giving up. Guess who isn’t a passive pansy anymore?! I was going to insert a state reference, but considering I try not to reveal my location, I am going to leave that out…

And I asked a clarifying question to school a few days ago on my rotation presentation, and it became two projects…and the overwhelm went higher…I should stop writing and get back to attempting to work on that project. Lol. Let’s see if I can read a whole page before I crash and go to bed. Hey, a girl can dream!

So yeah, all these battles are tiny, but I saw somewhere that you can’t compare battles very well, because your current battle is hard because it is the one you currently have to live through and everyone else’s battles and your previous battles are easier because you don’t currently have to live through them.

Whatever Comes Our Way

(Walking Like Giants–Stars Go Dim)

Pre-tip: if you actually hit post, the whole blogging thing works better…not that I wrote this around lunch time and never hit post or anything…

Also, September 7th was my best day for likes. Yay! It’s the little things.

Here are some tips for life…taken and/or modified from a video on how to use a journal that I just watched. I have no intention of actually using those directions on how to use a journal, because that would probably last all of about 3 days before I quit…cross that out…make that about 18 hours at the most. I tried really hard to use a planner for a long time. It worked really well for a few years. It pretty much stopped working somewhere in the past year and a half-ish when putting things in the calendar kept getting put off too many times to the point I was putting the event or assignment in the calendar right about the time I was supposed to be turning it in and/or getting myself to the event…and because things weren’t necessarily in the planner I stopped really looking at the planner…which meant I was even less likely to put things in it…which led to not getting things into the calendar until they were over…maybe even over for weeks…at which point I eventually gave up and am now 99% calendar free. Calendar free seemed really awesome until I realize I have very little concept of time and something four days away can feel like forever away so I forget about it and suddenly forever away is “I need to be ready in 42.3 seconds!” Or maybe I should have been ready last week. On the other hand, next month feels like 10 minutes from now and I might have next month planned right now…although by the time the time comes the plans will likely either no longer be practical or be completely forgotten. So yeah…giving me ideas on how to use a journal that requires I actually know where it is every day AND open it up to write stuff is probably not that practical…but I do really love the pretend friendship of the person who made the video so I watch it. (See, I am able to differentiate people I don’t know in real life from people who are real life friends…I just choose to think about online people as just as much my friends as the ones I do know in real life. I love having friends, and the more there are the merrier!)

So anyway…

  1. If you force yourself to use a single page for every to-do list for a month you won’t have much space. STOP. You don’t need a bigger page or to write smaller. Your space is limited, because you know what else is limited? Your time! (I thought this was super profound…because on the rare occasions on which I actually make a to do list like I should, I definitely am a culprit of the million-ty item long to do list that there is no way I could possibly complete).
  2. Something that works super awesome when you are hyperfocusing on it (which isn’t really focusing, it is really an inability to effectively switch one’s focus) is not something that is likely to work in every day life. So I have deleted a lot of pictures of my car…that were pretty much a waste of time. See, I had this great idea to take a picture of my car when I got out so I could look at it when I’m ready to leave to find my car again. On the surface this sounds like a rocking awesome idea…in reality, it was an epic fail. See, this relies on a lot of remembering. First, one must remember to take a picture of the car. For this step to work, one must also remember to leave enough time to take said picture, know where one’s phone is, and have remembered an umbrella to protect the phone if it is raining. Next, one must remember that the goal of this picture is not to remember what color the car is or that the car has wheels. That is, the picture must actually identify where the car is. Third, one must remember upon wanting to leave that the picture exists. This tends to be more useful when one remembers prior to getting off the parking garage elevator on four different floors and wandering around for a while on each or before walking three blocks one direction only to remember that the car is parked in the complete opposite direction. Side note that it is actually a time saver sometimes to park where no one else wants to, because you can park in the exact same spot every time and not have to wonder where you may have misplaced your car. On the other hand, if you are already running late, parking in the first available spot that everyone else wants is usually faster in the short term…soo…you might have to pick your battles.
  3. And then something silly that was also in the video: then put your contact information and a promise of a reward on it in case you lose it…but not your address unless you really want it returned. In person. At 3am. Lol…that wouldn’t bother me, but I also do not tend to have the best “safety skills.” Online safety, check, offline safety, umm nahh.

The Wind is on Your Side

(Little Arrow–Stephanie Pauline)

Since yesterday’s post which I posted this morning was kind of negative, I thought I should probably make sure to post something a little more positive today.

I am doing so much better. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were not wonderful days, but I made it, and am on the other side. In reality, compared to how bad things got a few years ago, that was hardly bad at all—reflection is a good reminder of how far I’ve come. Yeah, they definitely weren’t good days, but they were a lot better than they could have been.

Today I did just fine. Did I use bottled water to wash my hands despite that supposedly being safe? Umm yeah, but it makes no sense to me if I am going to eat with my hands why it is okay to eat with hands that were washed with tap water if it wasn’t okay to eat with a spoon that was washed with tap water…not sayin’, just sayin’. Is it a waste of bottled water? Umm probably, but I needed to hurry up and get my bottom out the door, and over-analyzing the situation wasn’t going to benefit anyone much. It is one of those situations where you just have to realize that your sanity and/or time is worth more than the couple bucks that you supposedly wasted, so it isn’t really wasted.

I woke up plenty early…’cause that’s what I’m good at, but my problem is the actually getting up part. In today’s case, I was very much aware of what time it was but had no desire to get up, because I was tired. My body seems to think that sleep only counts if it is had prior to 5am…so I am exhausted and plan to go to bed early tonight if I can get enough done to feel comfortable with where things stand despite not getting up until 6:30. This is why I avoid staying up late if it is practical. Getting up at 6:30 meant that the entire morning was a race to get everything ready to go for the day, especially since last night I pretty much just got home and collapsed in bed so my stuff was in so semblance of ready for the day or anything.

I won the race and made it to my rotation just in time. Well, actually, I arrived in the parking lot 15 minutes early, but by the time I started walking towards the building, realized I hadn’t locked my car, turned around to go back and lock it, then returned to walking to the building, I arrived in the pharmacy just barely right on time. Luckily my suggested arrival time appeared to assume I would be late, so I still had like 15 minutes to put up yesterday’s post, find a pencil, and spin in my chair a few times waiting for something to do.

So far this rotation, I am learning about patience and trying really hard to sit still for extended periods of time. Good lessons I suppose. I think if I can focus long enough I will be able to enjoy this rotation. I am a little nervous because I have no idea what kind of projects I am going to be working on, and, it seems, neither does my preceptor. I felt like today when I wasn’t in meetings, it was pretty much like being a volunteer again, but luckily I loved being a volunteer, so even though it was activity that even a monkey could be trained to do, I had a reasonably good time doing it.

I try really hard, but I think I am still coming off as a dumb blonde because my lack of communication skills and lack of ability to sit still combined with the fact that I understand most of what is going on around me and therefore don’t have really profound questions to ask means that while I don’t have much assigned to me yet that I end up pretty much in my own little world.

Aside from my current rotation stuff, I am kind of stressed out because I spent many hours filling out forms for my next rotation, and I don’t even know if I did them right because they were so complicated and confusing. Also my next rotation wants me fingerprinted twice. I am a little stressed out about it because I have no idea when or where to go to get it done—and I don’t have a lot of flexibility to do it, nor do I have the luxury of time since they want it ASAP or else…Also, a few years ago when I was fingerprinted the person doing it noted that I didn’t have very good fingerprints…I am afraid that even though visibly I do have better fingerprints now than I did then that my fingerprints still will look a lot older than I am and have to be explained again. I hate the extra attention from having to explain that. I don’t like being different. Lol, for that matter, you don’t want to know the number of times in the past day or so I have screamed at myself that I just want to be like everyone else.

In reality, I think in some ways I am pretty awesome. There are just a few things I don’t like about me—mostly my communication and navigation abilities or lack thereof. And the fact that sitting still and quietly is my arch-nemesis.

Is it bedtime yet? Pretty please?

I see you dressed in white every wrong made right

(Oh So Priceless—band name here?)

 

Don’t read this if the V-word is a trigger for you. Don’t do it. I promise you will regret it, and I promise you aren’t missing anything too exciting.

 

So we’re playing a game right now called can Wiggle Worm type this post fast enough to get it published before the computer runs out of battery, because *someone* didn’t think she’d use her computer much today and therefore didn’t pack a charger…okay fine, that someone was me.

 

I feel frustrated weeks like this because I feel like it is my fault how things went the bad year. I know that it is never the abuse victim’s fault…I at least should know that with how many times I’ve listened to the book “The Healing Path” by Dan Allender (and I’ve listened to a lot of his other books which are on similar topics), but getting it from the head to the heart is challenging at times.

 

But in retrospect, that added so much stress to my life that it almost definitely impacted the OCD…and the OCD decided to remind me this weekend that the marble rolled through the sand a few too many times and the ridge is still there for more marbles to fall into, and fall they have.

 

When it takes a day and a half to open up your wallet to look for your intern licenses because you keep getting almost there and then have to wash your hands or have to look up how to kill germs in such and such location or whether this thing can go in the washing machine and then it is suddenly time for a meal which comes with more challenges…you know that you have an uninvited visitor…to be fair, the sink was LITERALLY covered in someone else’s toothpaste smears, and there was cat vomit covered in blankets and also just on the floor, but I also know I overreacted to that.

 

I was far from COMPLETELY over it, but I was doing really well—definitely at a level I would be able to live with long term if I had to—until I started walking to school. Part of the sidewalk was covered in like five puddles of something which may have been vomit…I know it very well could have been something else, but because of my past with OCD, every wet spot anywhere is assumed to be likely vomit. Wet kitchen floor? Probably someone vomited and cleaned it up poorly and the germs are everywhere. Wet carpet? Likely from cleaning up vomit. Wet puddle on sidewalk? Probably from hosing off vomit which means the entire city is contaminated from runoff into water systems, and this particular street is definitely dangerous. In my defense, these puddles were definitely not just water, and there were no visible food wrappers to indicate a simple case of spilled food. I was not doing awesome after that, but I was managing…and then I got to school, and even though I was pretty sure that nothing bad was going to happen to me (on the non-germ front anyway), the anxiety came on and tried to take over. It is a Very Good Thing that I have friends who insist on me eating, because eating dinner was an accomplishment today. I didn’t know if it was going to happen. Even once the food was in front of me, getting the food into my mouth and swallowed seemed like too much. I was overwhelmed. Lol, yesterday I was watching a few face your fear videos on youtube (youtube is great for some human interaction when you feel lonely…), and today I was thinking how ridiculous my face your fear video would be if someone did one of me. Here is Wiggle Worm. Here is her food. Will she eat it? That would be a lame video. I did it though, and that made me feel proud. Anxiety might creep in, but it will not have the final say on my life. I have a God who is more powerful that anything that is thrown my way.

 

I love how really facing a fear can be so powerful. Now that the food is in my stomach, it seems so silly to not eat dinner—especially since I now know that I do sometimes experience low blood sugar (but it isn’t dangerous, because I am not diabetic so my body knows how to compensate), and anecdotally I can definitely tell that eating something to more rapidly correct the low can help me to avoid a lot of anxiety. It is insane how a single jolly rancher is enough sometimes to take me from like a seven and rising to a two and falling. So clearly, not eating when I feel anxious makes absolutely no sense, but try telling that to anxious Wiggle Worm. Not only that, but even though I still feel too anxious now to eat something just because it is in front of me, eating something did bring me to the point where I do not feel imminently in danger. While that might not seem significant, I can guarantee that there is a huge difference between imminently in danger and “just” in danger. Neither feels good, but the latter is a lot better than the former. Right after I conquer a fear, I feel like I am strong—a feeling that is missing when I am deeper into the fear cycle. I know in my head that I am very strong, but being not strong is something I was told enough times the bad year that I internalized it, and sometimes knowing I am strong doesn’t get back into my heart.

 

So yeah, all that to say I hope tomorrow is a better day, but currently I’m on a boil order, which you can imagine doesn’t bode well for someone who was struggling with germ issues when water was supposedly safe…I will not be defeated. Like the song “Dirt Don’t Hurt” says, “dirt and germs help make me stronger by building immunity.” I struggle to believe that sometimes, but I am really proud of myself. Even in the pits on Sunday and Monday when things started going downhill, the things I didn’t do are definitely noteworthy. I didn’t pour vinegar on the floor even though someone on the internet said that would kill germs (good because I hate the smell of vinegar so it would probably have increased my anxiety level and the idea of vinegar killing germs seems pretty shady to me), and I ran an empty load in the washer with just a splash of bleach, but I didn’t wash my hands with bleach or try to bleach anything else—not even the sink or my water bottle or my shoes or anything! Umm yeah, side note that I have never owned bleach before despite how attractive bleach is to me, BECAUSE of how attractive bleach is to me. I love how bleach smells, I love that bleach kills germs, I love bleach…which is why I have decided that the best plan of action is to pretend that I have absolutely no access to the bleach and am not allowed to use it. I don’t want to be wasteful and throw it out—especially since it isn’t actually mine, but just the bleach being there is such a temptation to me…I adore bleach even when germs aren’t on my radar whatsoever, and since it is not usually a necessity in life, owning my own bleach is not probably a good plan for me ever…’cause clearly if I love it without OCD, I love it even more with OCD…another good reason for me to be at cru tonight even if it does mean a super late night. Although lack of sleep is also bad…but keeping me separated from the bleach is probably a good thing…

 

Well, I didn’t make it before the death of the battery last night, and now it is tomorrow and I have to be ready for a meeting in 5 minutes so this is still going up 100% unedited…lol…I guess I’ll proofread after rotation if I get a chance…oh, and today is a much better day. I showered and ate and even took care of the trash and recycling bins (my nemesis)…up this evening: the litter boxes (which should have probs been done this morning, but that would have required getting out of bed  earlier and I was running very short on time). Also, I told myself yesterday I am probably going to get myself killed someday and then I will laugh and then I discussed with myself whether or not one could laugh at herself after she was dead…totally important when tripping over flat ground and walking in the city in the dark in darker colors are my activities du jour.

A Joyful Heart is Good

(Joyful Heart–Steve Green)

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So this picture doesn’t do justice to the sky whatsoever…but ya’know, it is a little difficult to take a good picture when you are literally holding a phone pointed towards the window and hitting the camera button while driving and watching for the correct exit to get off on. I would have probably still posted this and commented on how awesome the sunrise was even if all I had was a picture of my dashboard, so be glad that the camera was at least angled towards the window…

Oh my, the sky was so beautiful. It was super incredible. It totally made up for the fact that due to forgetting to plug the thing in before leaving for work, my computer was packed with a marginal amount of battery life left that made it about three songs before conking out…thankfully, a finger on the radio dial allowed me to have some kind of music most of the trip…just not the songs on my driving through (state) playlist…

Also, you are never too old for an apple sauce pouch…I’d say don’t judge, but you probably should, because although I do have some big kid food, I definitely also have a pumpkin and oats baby food pouch that came on the trip with me to be saved for a special day…it looked so good that I had to have it.

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I intentionally edited out most of my face…this one is blurry because the power was out and I didn’t really desire to go outside…

Also, I was super thrilled to get to hold a baby this morning. Yay!! I don’t usually get to do that when I am not at my real home! Also, speaking of babies, I saw a sign on the freeway that said “adoption is not God’s plan.” I’m not sure what those people are getting at, because I am fairly certain that adoption is exactly God’s plan…umm, he definitely adopted us into his family, and I do believe that he wants us to similarly open our arms. Anyway, the parents of the baby suggested that I go with them (they were on vacation) and I really wish I could say yes…but the whole point in coming here was to go on rotation here, and that isn’t really optional…

Also, yesterday I saw someone with tattooed on bra straps…most people try to hide their bra straps if possible, so I thought that was somewhat odd…

Also, yesterday I decided since I couldn’t remember how to actually sign up to volunteer at church that I would just show up and ask if any help was needed. I was super thrilled that they let me help even though they definitely didn’t really need more people helping…I had a great time!! And I found someone to sit by that I knew reasonably well, and I had a zillion conversations with people. It amazes me how many people that I barely know are willing to intentionally say hello to me and make conversation. It makes me feel really loved. It would be easy to ignore the awkward girl who doesn’t quite know how to fit in and is definitely still a learner in the area of communication, and it means so much to me when people are willing to take a minute to talk with me.

I have so many really wonderful friends that I am so thankful for at this church. It is easy-ish to love people when they are willing to be lemmings and accept everything you say without asking questions, but anyone who knows me knows that I am not a very good lemming. I sometimes ask questions, and I often don’t stop asking questions until I feel satisfied with the answer, so if the response sounds wishy washy or I just don’t get it I might ask again…on the other hand, the people-pleaser in me might go the other direction and do exactly as I am told because that is what I was told, and just make guesses rather than asking questions and hope that it works out. And that odd combo is why, for example, when I babysit, the house is often cleaner and more organized when I am done than when I started, but people aren’t likely to notice because the trash still needs to be taken out and the socks and utensils the toddler took into the living room are probably organized and socks folded, but still sitting in there…but anyway, I am so thankful for my friends.

Just to know

(Trust—Kristene DiMarco)

Look what this brave girl ate for breakfast yesterday!

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So in elementary school, lunchables were super cool, especially the pizza ones. As far as I can remember, my first lunchable was a few months ago, because those things tend to cost way more than the ingredients themselves. (Yes, this girl in her 20’s was still excited to jump at the chance for a lunchable the two times they went on sale this summer. Stop judging).

The first time the store only had the Ham and the Turkey varieties. I had the ham one and it was pretty good. As a kid the cheese wouldn’t have gotten eaten, and it is questionable if much of the ham would have eaten (so yeah, I totally get that $1.25 is excessive for a few crackers and a mini candy bar). I am way less picky than I used to be so I was willing to eat the cheese in the name of not just throwing it away as long as it was totally covered by either cracker or ham. It was kind of fun.

The next time I went they had the pizza ones and I was thrilled. Mistake number one was being so excited that when I saw that the cheese was just regular shredded and not finely shredded I didn’t rethink my choice. I think there is a definite taste difference between regular shredded and finely shredded cheese and I only like finely shredded…also, the cheese wasn’t orange. I get that the color of the cheese has more to do with the food coloring or bleach used, but I think the sensory experience of cheese is much more appealing when the cheese has the characteristic orange coloration.

I was still ready to give it a try at breakfast yesterday. Mistake number two was tasting a piece of cheese before putting the pizza together. Maybe all cheese tastes like that when eaten alone—I’m not a good person to evaluate that—but it tasted like foam. Yuck. I considered discarding the cheese and eating the pizza sans cheese, but I am a big girl, and big girls don’t have pizzas without cheese. Even though pizza hut will make kid coupon pizzas without cheese and as a high schooler I still peeled all the cheese off of pizza before eating, I have learned to get through the cheese to get the pizza. Another instance of that I’ve gotten significantly less picky as I’ve gotten older. So I continued and made and ate my two pizzas…and my well-deserved crunch bar! It might be more of an inch-stone than a mile-stone, but every little bit of progress counts. You don’t have to be perfect to acknowledge that you have done something noteworthy. Yes, this comment is directed at my experience with one particular person. My perspective that I tried and failed to share (due to resistance, not due to lack of repeated explanation), is that just like we congratulate a 7-month-old for competent crawling rather than shaming her for being unable to run, every other victory in life whether an end-point or an intermediary goal is similarly worth celebration. Sure, I may not have a professional job yet, but that doesn’t take away from my accomplishment of finishing the first 5.25 years of pharmacy school.

Also, completely unrelated, but I wanted ice cream and decided to make peanut butter cookies instead…but then the recipe that I know inside my head doesn’t use flour, and my dad said we should make something with flour because people are all on the gluten-free craze right now…lol…just a side note, but gluten-free actually tends to be a much less nutritious way to eat, so unless it is legitimately medically necessary (that is, you have celiac disease) it is not a good way to eat. Obviously a recipe that just happens to be gluten free isn’t inherently unhealthy, but it was more of the political statement we were going for…although I think you aren’t supposed to talk about politics…

Finding a peanut butter cookie recipe that used flour but not weird ingredients I couldn’t find led me to a recipe for buttercream frosting which sounded really good, but probably not on cookies…so then I changed my mind and decided to make peanut butter cake. Side note that it is important to change both you mind and your underwear on occasion. Changing the former keeps life from getting boring, and the latter pretty much does the same, because I think people probably wouldn’t want to be your friend if you smelled like dirty underwear. It is also hard to find a recipe for peanut butter cake that doesn’t tell you to dump the cake mix into a bowl…umm, if I was going to use a cake mix then I wouldn’t need to use the internet to find a recipe, now would I?!

So I made a peanut butter two layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting…yum!

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The streusel was supposed to be an inside layer, but that would have required a lot more visuospatial skills than I possess…and besides, once the cake was baked the streusel ended up a lot more covered since the cake part expanded and the streusel part didn’t…the part where I had a problem was where the recipe for the frosting said it made enough to generously fill and frost a nine inch round two layer cake, which is what I made. I knew that I usually have issues with the outside of the cake so used as little as possible in the middle and top…and still failed to have enough to cover the whole outside…it was a valiant effort

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…but the top more than made up for it. I probably should have stopped while I was ahead and left off the demented smiley face, but I didn’t realize in advance how difficult smiley faces are when you can’t erase to fix parts that don’t look right…but it is the thought that counts sometimes and I thought it would look awesome.

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(Yes, I should be preparing for rotation and stuff…I’m trying to forget that…and/or drown my sorrows in sugar…sugar makes everything better…except things like hamburgers. I have not tried sugaring a burger, but in my imagination it tastes disgusting, and my imagination tends to be fairly accurate on which things are going to be very good versus very not good).