You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Work’ tag.

I had this great post written out and then I lost it… so long story short – I’m doing well now.  I wrote my last post towards the end of a really bad depression spiral and had a really horrible, nasty day a few days latter and then I snapped out of it and now I’m fine.  Most days really, truly are good for me, I just tend to write more when I’m in the depths of a depression episode because it’s therapeutic.  Lucky you.

I am currently not interested in dating anyone anymore.  Not sure why but it does make life easier and I am at peace, lol.  I was all twitterpated for about three weeks over my 26 year old former co-worker but that disappeared overnight and although I have no clue why my romantic feelings towards him are gone I am completely OK with it.  He doesn’t communicate enough to make a relationship with me work and I see that now – after I finally looked away from the bright light of Possibly Not Being Alone Anymore…

My nephew’s graduation turned out great, the ex didn’t show, although his parents did, and I wound up having a really nice chat with them.  Tina and I stayed at my best friend’s house and had a good time.

I’m going to try and specialize in facials, body waxing and eyelash extensions since there are tons of hair stylists in this tiny town I live in but very few people offering any of those three services.  Besides, hair isn’t my favorite anyway and I just don’t feel like I’m that great at it either, ha, ha…

Waitressing is still going well, tips are getting better and I’ve even lost some more weight, yay!  I’ve lost 13 pounds since I started this job last September but I’m hoping to lose another 30 in the next year.  I just set up my Wii and have the Zumba disc, hopefully that will help 😀

I’ve started reading books again, partly because our internet here at the house absolutely sucks but also because I’ve tired of always having something on the television.  It’s been probably 5 years since I’ve really sat down to read a book, I forgot how much I enjoy it!

A co-worker invited me to lunch a week or so ago and it was a lot of fun, I think it’s a good start to an away-from-work friendship and the beginning of a social life so woo hoo!

Overall, everything is back to normal and going well.  I’ve had almost all good days in the last couple of weeks.  I’m not panicking about giving up my life for my daughter and/or her baby anymore.  Life isn’t scary and I’m not feeling stuck here any more.

I can breathe again.  It was just the depression, kicking my butt for a short time.

I’m going to be OK.

Advertisements

Well, I survived Thanksgiving where my oldest daughter, my two brothers, their families and my dad and step-mom all met in a hotel conference room and celebrated Thanksgiving pot-luck style.  My step-sister and her boyfriend showed up for an hour or so as well and it was actually a really nice time.

My younger daughter, Tina, and I went up together and on the hour-long drive up she worried that she was unwanted because of being still married and having gotten a second tattoo recently.  Tina really struggles with feeling unwanted from both sides of her family but especially her father’s side since they care much more about “proper”.   Thankfully, this get-together was with my side of the family.  Anyway, on the drive home I asked her if it was better than she thought it would be and was happy to hear that she had a good time and didn’t feel like the black sheep she thinks everyone considers her.  She had a good time with her cousins, everyone oohed and aahhed over her new tattoo and she felt like she was able to connect with everyone a little more than previously in her life.  My two girls appeared to get along just fine, although I could tell they were both wary of the other and my older girl wasn’t interested in having any real conversations with me.  She also left the party early.

Sadly, Sean wasn’t able to come because his dad had just passed away a week before Thanksgiving.  That would have been a great time to introduce him to everyone.

Of course, everyone commented on my hair, being blue and all, and my step-mom (who had un-invited me to her home the weekend before and I still don’t know why) tried to be funny and say that it was “disgusting” how many compliments I get when were out and about together and I had a light bulb moment and realized that truly is how she feels.  She is jealous of me.  Possibly even jealous that my dad loves me.  I doubt he loves me more than he loves her, mostly because he’s so quiet and reserved that it’s hard to tell how he’s feeling about anyone or anything – except the dogs and cats.  He loves them best, they have his heart.  Possibly because they’re safe to love.  My heart breaks for him but I don’t know how to help him.

So Thanksgiving turned out better than I thought it would be overall but I’m also left feeling very alone, family-wise, and wondering if I did the right thing moving to Montana.  After I was un-invited to my stepmom’s house I wrote my folks a card, explaining that due to the financial aid problem I wouldn’t be able to keep coming up every week to go to church with them and spend time with them because I had to get a third job (again).  They should have received it just before Thanksgiving but only said “I’m sorry things are tight”.  I’m guessing my step-mom interpreted that as a request for a financial hand-out, which it wasn’t at all, but that seems to be the only thing she thinks of me, is that I’m constantly asking for things from her… ugh.

The weekend after Thanksgiving Tina and I went to Washington on Saturday to meet my brothers, their wives and my sister who came up for the weekend.  My sister was the only one not able to come up for Thanksgiving so it was nice to see her for a bit.  Sean’s dad’s funeral service was Sunday, the next day and they asked me to sing Amazing Grace and the song I sang at my own mother’s funeral.

Earlier that week my step-mom did reach out to me and ask me to come up on Sunday and do her nails, even offering to pay me, and asked if I wanted a little Christmas tree she was going to get rid of.  Fortunately I was able to say that Tina had a Christmas tree she brought with her when she moved to Montana with me and so we didn’t need her tree (I’m trying not to take things from her anymore because maybe that’s one of her hang-ups, I don’t ask her for stuff but she gives me a lot of things so maybe it’s in response to a perceived request that I didn’t actually make???) and I also apologized that I wouldn’t be able to come up and do her nails on Sunday (the only day that would work for her) because I was singing at Sean’s dad’s funeral.

Her response left me feeling like she was angry but that could just be me, texts are hard to read emotion into so I’m not totally sure. Oh, and she sent me another message saying they weren’t doing Christmas presents anymore, as in she’s not getting me or my daughter anything so we don’t have to give them anything either.  She tried to phrase it like it was a kindness to me, reducing my stress by not having to buy two more gifts but it felt like a punishment.  I’ve always thought gifts were her love language.  Possibly I was wrong given the way she’s angry with me for “asking for everything” but since she married my dad in ’91 she has always given me and my siblings and then our spouses and children wonderful gifts so yeah, it feels like a punishment.

Later my dad sent me a message saying he was “praying for (stepmom’s) heart to soften towards you and Tina”  What the hell?  Why on earth is she upset with my daughter?  And why won’t she ever say stuff like this to my/our face?  She acts like she loves us and everything is wonderful, I only hear about these things from my dad, who begs me not to tell her he told me, I’m guessing because she would make his life even more miserable than it already is.  Ugh.  At this point I’m over it.  I’m so happy to be living an hour away from her.  I wish I could be there for my dad more but I feel like my trying to be close to him is making his life more difficult with her so I’m just staying away from them both.

Work at the restaurant has been slow because it’s winter time and so on top of not getting all of my financial aid I haven’t been getting very big paychecks either.  I took another position, still in the same building but technically for a separate business, at the liquor store.  Now me, who is basically a non-drinker and completely clueless regarding types of alcohol and what they’re used for, is suddenly responsible for directing people to find all different types of liquor, vodka, whiskey, tequila, wines, olives, bloody mary mixes and the like.  I’m not sure this plan was very well thought out… but it’s a job and it’s not all that difficult so I’m going to do my best there just like I do everywhere else.  So far I’ve worked three shifts and all the customers have been really nice so hopefully that continues.  I think between now and Christmas, between the two jobs, I have two days off.  Go me…  but as long as it pays the bills, eh?

Speaking of bills, I’m trying desperately to stay on top of things.  The phone company is taking their automatic payment out on Wednesday, and I don’t get paid until Friday.  I called them and they won’t move it back two days.  Also, the landlords haven’t cashed their rent check for this month yet so that means there is money enough to cover the phone bill in the bank but then the rent check will bounce – and I’m terrified of what they will do if it does bounce.  I’m not confident that they wouldn’t evict me immediately, given the “trouble” they think I’ve already caused them with the firewood incident.  Talk about stress.  I’m trying to borrow money from my sister for two days but if she can’t do it then I’m going to have to swallow my pride and ask the school owner for a loan, something I think I blogged that I would rather die than do…  but this is life and you do what you have to do to survive I guess.  If neither can/will loan me the money I’ll to go the bank and ask if they can deny the phone charges and hold the money for the rent check and we’ll just go without phones for a few days until I get paid.  Adulting sucks, just sayin’.

But none of that is the worst part.  The worst part is that I am out of firewood.  It’s 8 degrees outside and I only have a few pieces left.  Since I’m hardly ever home between work and school it’s not such a big deal for me but I can’t keep my daughter warm.  It was surprisingly hard to ask her to go live with her boyfriend for a while so that she will be safe and warm until I can get on top of things again.  I cried after they left tonight.  It almost felt like I was putting her up for adoption because I can’t provide for her.

Sean was over the moon, of course, and watching him look at her is like watching a flower worship the sun.  He’s an amazing man and exactly what she needs, I’m so glad they found each other.  His mom really likes Tina too (and he lives with his mom) so it’s no problem for her to stay with them. They have just started to invite me on family outings, which has been super cool.  Tonight we went to hear his nephews sing in the Christmas concert at school and then we went out to eat.  It’s nice to get to know his mom, she’s a neat lady.

I know that I was supposed to come here to Montana but maybe it was just so that Tina and Sean would meet.  Maybe I don’t have to be here anymore.  I love this part of Montana, it’s so beautiful, but life has been nothing but hard since I came here.  I’m beginning to daydream about going back to where I came from, there are multiple people who have said I could stay with them for a bit, and I could always live with my Vietnamese family long term if I needed to.  I would have an instant job with customers who remember me and love me and I could make good money again… be that person again who goes to restaurants and orders food instead of the one serving it and praying for a good tip.  It’s very tempting to go back as I sit here in my living room, huddled underneath a blanket with my heavy winter coat on, typing with frozen fingers…  but to give up now when I’m so close to graduating would be a complete waste of the last year plus I’d have to start paying off my student loans right away without any extra license to do more than just nails.  Nope, not a good idea.  I’ll have to tough it out like I always do.  Dammit.

So just to be clear, I’m not asking anyone for money.  I made my bed and now I’m laying in it.  I’m just documenting all of this for later and getting it out of my head, this is my journal/blog, after all.

And whining a bit too, I’ll admit to that.

But in the end, I chose this life when I left my ex husband.  I decided to go it alone and even though everything pretty much sucks right now I’d still take this over staying married to him.  I can do this.  I’ve lost everything before, even if I lose it all again I will be successful in the long run and look back on these days, realizing they weren’t all that bad.  I’m going to be OK.

 

Alas, this is not the story of someone falling in love with me at first sight. Oh no, no, no, this is the story of the beautiful, long-haired, Jesus-looking man who works at the restaurant with me – falling in love with my daughter at first sight…

His name is Sean and he’s 32 years old.  Exactly 12 years younger than me and 12 years older than my daughter.  I really enjoy working with him, he is helpful, a hard worker, efficient and thorough, very clean and tidy at work.  He has a great sense of humor and cares about others.  I was trying to convince myself that maybe he liked me and trying to convince myself that I could like him back but I never succeeded in falling in love with him, which turned out to be a very good thing indeed…

The day I brought my daughter into the kitchen to introduce her to my co-workers was at least a month before she started working there with me.  Sean took her hand, bowed over it and kissed it with a grand flourish that I’d never seen him do for anyone else and she and I both looked at each other and went “Hmmm…”.  She came in a few times after that, to eat, to say hi, to hang out while I worked so that she wasn’t alone and Sean would always stop in at her table and chat with her a bit.  Then one day she got the job as a busser and her first night was a busy Friday night.  Since I was working that night too she walked in with me and we entered the kitchen to hear Sean say “There’s supposed to be a new busser tonight but I don’t know who it is”.  I said “It’s my daughter and here she is” and his response was a hearty “Hell yeah!”

She and I worked together for probably two weeks, sometimes he worked with us too, and I asked her a few times if she thought Sean liked me because of how nicely he treated me (I’m not used to that from guys who don’t want more than friends) and she kept telling me “No Mom, he treats everyone that way.”  I was still mildly hopeful though, mostly because Kyle is pretty much not in my life anymore and I need to focus on somebody or my head gets weird…  but that should probably be another post.

Sean is very generous to the bussers, us servers tip the bussers and the bartender out of our own tips, but he was especially generous to my daughter and one night we were all in the kitchen and she said “Mom!  I just need a Sugar Daddy!” and Sean said “I’m trying!” and I knew right then and there that he liked her.  I responded with a brief pause before I said “He’d be a good one.” to indicate I approved and Sean’s face brightened. then I added “A rich waiter.” to make her think about whether or not he actually fit the Sugar Daddy definition and he bust up laughing.  That was a fun night.

A short time later on a Saturday night the dishwasher hurt himself – off the job but came to work all bloody – and got sent home.  The powers that be called the other dishwasher in to finish the shift.  The replacement dishwasher informed them that he was drunk, it was his night off after all, but that he would come in and finish the shift.  So he comes in just roaring drunk but ready to work and the employee that called him in realized they had made A Big Mistake and berates him for coming in drunk.  What the?  This was entirely their fault, not his, he told them he was drunk… but I digress.  The replacement dishwasher winds up going home and my daughter, Sean and one of the cooks stay to do his job and which took until 2:30 am, after which they went to Sean’s house and proceeded to get drunk.

Yes, my daughter drinks and smokes pot too.  I don’t encourage it but I am glad she trusts me enough to tell me what she’s doing.

She didn’t come home that night.  I didn’t receive a text or a phone call from her either. I began to panic.  I was supposed to go to church with my folks that morning so I tried to call her.  The phones were shut off!  What?  I spent 20 minutes talking to the phone company, the problem was on their end but what terrible timing!  I didn’t know if she had tried to send me a message and I just didn’t get it because the phones were disconnected or if she was laying in a ditch somewhere dying. (She had sent a message, I got it 12 hours later, ugh!)

Yah, I overreacted somewhat…  Couldn’t help it.

I finally got the phones turned on and she didn’t answer my phone call, didn’t return my texts.  I checked the restaurant parking lot and her truck wasn’t there.

More panicking.

I remembered I had a phone list from work and texted Sean and the cook, asking if they knew when she left work the night before.  Sean texted me back fairly promptly – thank God – and said she was safe and sound, sleeping it off on the couch at his house.

I was so relieved I cried, like actually wept, for most of the 1-hour drive to see my folks at church.  She was alive, she was safe, she was ok.  And she had just spent the night at the house of the guy I kind of sort of liked.  The emotions were so mixed and intense, I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I went to church, spent some time with my folks but didn’t breathe a word to them about  the night before, went and saw a movie, asked Kyle if I could come over for a hug and he said no, he was busy.

That was kind of the last straw for Kyle with me.  He has absolutely never been there for me when I need him outside of school and wasn’t always excited to be there for me in school, even for a quick 30-second hug, so I feel like I can no longer trust him with my emotional well-being.  I will always love him and care about him and any time I spend with him always puts me right back into those feelings of euphoric love for him but when it comes down to it he doesn’t, can’t, love me the way I love him.

I cried all the way back on the hour ride home from Kyle’s rejection, stopped and hugged my daughter at the restaurant where she was working and then went home and took 2 Xanex.  I was done with the day, absolutely could not stand being conscious for another minute of it, every little bit seemed horrible.

Those darn Xanex didn’t wear off for 18 hours – it’s a good thing I had planned to spend the next day at school sitting in a chair getting my  hair done…

Sean and my daughter have been together ever since.  Sean is clearly head-over-heels for her and his maturity about it makes me happy to see them together.  He told her he loved her quickly in their relationship and she was more hesitant, having been broken too many times before to trust quickly.  I gave him my blessing right away – after telling him not to lie to me again.  She told  me that she did not sleep on the couch that first night but in his (twin) bed with him, and they just cuddled.  He hemmed and hawed a bit, trying to justify his wording because they were on a futon or something… I said “Don’t lie to me again” and he agreed.

I figured it would be best to start off on the right foot with him so I was kind but very firm.  I practiced my little spiel with her ahead of time and she said I was a wee bit scary, heh, heh, heh…

Somehow my daughter has been able to convince boys to be her snuggle buddies without any sex being involved and I am a little more than mildly jealous of that…

So for three weeks they were together constantly – unless she was working at the dog groomers – and they took turns between sleeping at my house or his (he lives with his parents).  He and I have had several little chats, he assured me he was willing to take it slowly with her, he knew that she had some deep wounds from past relationships and he just wants her to be whole and healthy.  He’s very into natural everything, organic, spiritual stuff.  It was clear that he cares deeply for her and was in this for the long haul.  She was afraid to do it so after a week or so I told him she was still legally married and the details of that debacle, along with a few things from our home life when we lived with her father.  His response?  “That just makes me love her more and want to help her more.”  I like this guy, does he have an unmarried uncle somewhere?

I feel like he’s imprinted on her, like he’s already decided that She’s The One.  Just from the time I’ve known him I think he’s a great guy, he’ll be very good to and for her and I hope she can fall in love with him too.  It’s also very easy for me to be around him and them, I thought it would be harder since I was trying to like him for myself, but having him as part of our little family feels as natural as breathing.  I feel like he and I have been related for 50 years already and he’s the only one of her boyfriends that I’ve ever been comfortable enough with to wear my jammies around him – without a big, bulky bathrobe to hide under…

After three weeks of this he introduced her to someone as his girlfriend.  She then informed him that he hasn’t actually, officially asked her to be his girlfriend!  I just about died laughing when he told me.  He looked genuinely perplexed and a bit confused.  It’s only in a few areas that their age difference is really obvious…  He dresses and acts like he’s in his mid-to late 20’s and so does she but those sorts of things are still important to her, lol.

Bear in mind that they’ve spent nearly every night together, he spent $100 to replace her radiator and then her truck broke down completely and he just gave her his vehicle to use.  No hesitation whatsoever.  Even after finding out her license is suspended he still lets her drive his Durango.  I’m so impressed – this man is taking care of her like they’re already married.  He’s done nice things for me too, he’s cleaned the kitchen, emptied the garbage, chopped kindling, starts a fire in the wood stove before either her or I get out of bed, takes the dog out early in the morning, brought me home dinner when he brings food home for them, he hugs me and tells me he loves me too.  His hugs aren’t quite as good as Kyle’s but they surely help.

The next day he “officially” asked her to be his girlfriend with a potted flower/plant and licorice and she said yes.  I think she was hoping for something a little more grant but  she and I worked at the restaurant that night she started the shift by running around to everyone saying excitedly “I have a boyfriend now!’  Everyone was happy for her but a wee bit confused because we already knew this, ha, ha.  I believe that was Monday.

At that point they hadn’t even kissed or seen each other naked, although Sean does love to take his shirt off in the house and let me tell  you, when I get a wax pot we are going to take some of the body hair off that boy’s back… ahem… moving on… Anyway, he was true to his word about going as slow as she needed/wanted.  He would say that he loved her but not pressure her to say it back.  He would ask permission to kiss her but not push it when she said no and not be irritated about it in any way that either of us could tell.  I saw some hand-holding and snuggling on the couch but nothing remotely like groping or making out.  I’m more and more happy that he loves my daughter.  This is so good for her – HE is so good for her.

Wednesday was my bad day at school, when I thought I had to make a choice between financial peace and sanity.  The two of them were going to spend the night at his house but came over to keep me company when they realized that I had such a rough day.  I was so thankful for them.  They cheered me up, gave me giant hugs, brought me candy and watched movies with me until we went to bed about 1 am.

As of Wednesday night my daughter (finally?) told Sean that she loved him and their relationship became physical.  I’m grateful my daughter trusts me enough to tell me these things, I wish she would wait longer to have sex but in the end she is an adult, I can’t stop her and she has never done well alone.  Since I left her father I’ve always known that a relationship with her will include a boyfriend most of the time and Sean has offered her the first healthy, romantic relationship she’s ever been in and seems committed to forever with her already so I can’t ask for much more.

Thursday I woke up earlier than I expected to and made buttermilk pancakes with homemade buttermilk syrup.  I’ve really missed baking and cooking… He said they were better than his mom’s but I promised I’d never tell her, lol.  It was nice to hear though! Thursday is also the day that his dad went into an Urgent Care, they rushed him to the local hospital and the local hospital rushed him to the bigger hospital an hour away.  He had emergency surgery that night, followed by cardiac arrest, stabilization and then he passed away today, Friday at some point in the afternoon.  I am so sorry for Sean’s loss, and I’m sorry for my loss in never being able to meet his father.  I truly believe that our families will be joined and I wish I could have been able to meet his dad and I wish his dad could have lived long enough to see my daughter and Sean get married.

On a tangent, I have realized that I don’t like living alone anymore.  And my daughter is being a terrible roommate, always off with Sean.  It’s great for her but bad for me, lol.  So I’m seriously considering getting back on a dating site and trying to at least find a guy I can spend time with and not be home all by myself when I’m not working.  I know that’s probably not the best solution but I’m the kind of person who spends their life on others rather than themselves and now my daughter has Sean to watch over her so I don’t have to/can’t anymore.  Kyle is not a viable option and that leaves me with no one to focus on except myself – and that only sinks me deeper into my depression, all that thinking about my own life and what not…  I just need to divert my attention elsewhere.  Maybe a kitten would be sufficient?  Huh.  I’m still thinking about it.  But hopefully my love story is still on it’s way…

There’s so many things I think “I need to put this in the blog” and then the minute I have time to write I can’t think of anything to talk about.  I know, right?

It’s my first entire day off from everything – no school, no nails, no waitressing – and I’m sick with a head cold.  I tried to sleep in but I couldn’t breathe so I got up and started watching the Firefly series.  Took a Mucinex, ate chicken noodle soup, had a nap, made some eggs and toast and am back to watching Firefly with only a slight fever…  Oh the exciting life of me.  I have tomorrow off from school but I have to go to a doctor appointment in the morning and waitressing in the evening and then back to school on Wednesday.

I’m finding I dread going to school and have for a while now but the more days I take off the longer it takes me to get out of there so hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school I go.  I knew it would be hard, to go back to school for a year but I didn’t expect it to be this hard…

Dammit.

I feel like I live in three different worlds – one world is at school, another world is the restaurant and the third world is with my folks.  School I endure, I have mostly acquaintance friends there, with a couple of closer friends.  The new girls, called “Back Class” because they have to stay back in the classroom until they’ve hit 300 hours, all seem to look up to me.  They all know my name and seem to treat me with great deference, which is both sweet and intriguing because I wonder who said what to them about me to make them act that way.  But I am bone-weary at school, all day every day now.  My favorite teacher left in mid August and the teacher that was left is trying her best to be king of the hill – she seems to have a personal grudge against me, scrutinizes my work more than most of the other students and nit-picks even the tiniest details of what I do on the mannequin head to fulfill my requirement sheet items.  The teacher that replaced my favorite teacher is the owner’s daughter and she’s a nice lady, seems to like me just fine but she’s only there a few days a week.  The owner has her favorites and while I’m not one of them I’m also not on her black list so I just kind of float along as much under her radar as I can.  I just try to keep my head down, get my work done and put my hours in but it’s become a miserable existence for 38 hours a week.  My dream of being cosmetology teacher is waning away into nothingness…

At the restaurant it’s a completely different world.  I show up 15 – 20 minutes early, work hard, am appreciated by my co-workers, we laugh and joke together, I help them, they help me and I get energy from working with all my customers, walk so much I’m losing weight, make money and go home happy, smiling and excited.  One of the servers is a fascinating man with the most beautiful long hair – when he lets it down he seriously looks just like all those paintings of Jesus and I’ve always been a sucker for long haired men, lol.  I think he might like me and I think it would be easy to like him, really easy.  But my daughter just started working at the restaurant with me as a busser and she says he treats everyone the way he treats me – as in, I’m not special to him, lol.  But he’s a joy to work with, kind, funny, a hard worker, helps everyone and has overcome a crazy past.  I like him very much but I’m not sure we would be right for each other, maybe that’s why I’m looking for signs he might like me too.  Although I’m pretty sure one of the cooks actually does like me and he while he seems like a nice guy I’m pretty positive that he isn’t for me.

At my folks I am quiet.  I mostly listen.  I do a lot of turtling.  Sometimes we go to lunch after church with their friends and I try to mainly smile and nodd.  I feel like my step-mom gets jealous of any attention I get from her friends – and from the strangers who approach me frequently to complement me on my hair – so I try to be quiet.  Every other week I give my step-mom an acrylic fill for which she thanks me but neither pays nor tips me.  At first it didn’t bother me because she let me live with them rent-free for 5 months but I must admit it is becoming annoying because she doesn’t seem to recognize that not only am I saving her a bunch of money by doing her fills for free but it actually costs me product and gas.

I moved to Montana to be closer to my dad specifically but I wanted to get to know both of them.  She and I have had very few conflicts over the last 26 years that she’s been married to my dad but since I moved here I’ve seen much more of her true character.  She is probably the most insecure person I’ve ever met and takes pretty much everything personally.  Case in point, I was at church with them one day and asked one of their friends (who knew me when I was a little girl so he’s been friends with my dad a long time) to pray for something that was going on.  I was thinking that he would just pray throughout the week but he said “Let’s pray right now” and put his arm around me and started praying.  That was cool, I wasn’t asking for or expecting prayer right that instant but it was really nice of him to do that.  I get a phone call from my dad the next week saying his wife was offended that she (and my dad) weren’t invited to pray with us that Sunday.  He stressed that he didn’t think I did anything wrong but that it made her feel left out and to please be aware of it for the future…  Dad has also told me that she gets upset when I post something on Facebook before telling them first – to the point that I suspect she made my dad give up his Facebook page completely as she didn’t even have her own page but kept checking his…  Since I see them once a week I preferred to just tell them my news in person so we could chat face to face instead of me texting them things throughout the week, in all my spare time, ugh.  She is kind and gracious to my face but I can only imagine how she must carry on to my dad before he finally calls me and tells me what I did that upset her and he always begs me not to tell her that he talked to me.  And once when I was still living with her my dad tried to fix something and made it worse instead – it really wasn’t a big deal – but she berated him and called him pathetic and made fun of him for even attempting to fix it.  She did this to him in front of me and in front of his friend that came to help him fix it.  Then she continued to rant and rave about him to me when he left to go to the hardware store for the part.  I was so shocked that I could only try to redirect the conversation.  She did stop and we talked about something else and then apologized for what she said but when my dad got back with the part she started up on him again.  They left to go see my brothers the next day for a long weekend and I wept for most of Saturday and Sunday to the point that I couldn’t even sing on the worship team and could barely continue playing the piano.  That was Mother’s Day weekend and I decided to move out from their house because of how she talked to my dad.

I am so glad I moved an hour away from them, it’s much easier to be less involved with her now and I won’t ever hear her say things like that to or about my dad again.  Now that I don’t live there I can try to stand up to her and then just leave.  Since I quit my movie theater job I don’t have to go in to see them every Sunday for the last month so I’ve missed a few Sundays lately and will probably not go every week anymore.  Honestly, I wish I was rich and could afford a big house with enough space to let him live with me and away from her…  I’m not sure he would actually take me up on such an offer but I wish I could at least offer him a space away from her.

I miss my movie theater job, or at least the people there.  That was a fourth world… I went back and saw a movie yesterday, got to say hi to some of my favorites and one nice young man, Jared, invited me and my daughter to dinner this Thursday here in the town where we live.  Does that qualify as a date?  And with which one of us?  I feel like he and I have connected on a deeper level than just friends and you don’t drive an hour to have dinner with someone and then turn around and drive an hour home just for fun normally…  He is an amazing man, tall and handsome (he’s Native American, of course. I have thought Natives were the most beautiful people in the world since I was a child), a hard worker and going to school for psychology.  I really, really enjoy working with him.  The problem is that he’s only 26.  He’s met my daughter a couple of times and I did mention that she was single now so I’m hoping that he’s wanting to date her and then maybe they’ll get married and have super cute babies and I’ll have him as a son forever…  <dreaming>

So, I live in three different worlds and I’m only really happy in one of them, when I’m working hard and interacting with the public.  School will be over in early March as long as I don’t take any extra days off and that, hopefully, will change the largest part of my day.  In the meantime, I’m in survival mode.  Again.  But this time it won’t last 21 years, lol.

So if I’m looking at this correctly my last post was about six weeks ago, just before my birthday… time sure flies but not necessarily because I was having fun, lol.  Oh Lordy, I am so tired of adulting!

I got a third job in September, waitressing at a local sports bar and grill here in my little Montana town.  That made my schedule pretty tight.  School 8:30 – 4:30 pm M – F, work on nail customers Thursday nights and Saturday mornings, waitressing from 5 pm to close (anywhere from 10:30 to 11:30 pm) most nights except Thursdays and Sundays and then working at the movie theater Sunday nights from 5 pm to midnight then an hour drive home, go to sleep and get up at 7:30 Monday morning to start it all over again.

No more adulting please…

I finally gave my notice to the movie theater after three weeks of that, waitressing pays much better and I just wasn’t functioning well at school on Mondays.  That was sad and my last day there was bittersweet.  I was so happy not to be driving an hour home at midnight anymore but it is one of my favorite jobs ever – I think if I ever burn out on the beauty business I’ll go back to working at the movie theater and work my way up to being a GM because it’s a fun job and the perfect hours for me.

We had a misunderstanding with the landlords, another tenant had moved out right after we moved in and left a bit a firewood behind.  After the smoke and fires in our area went out the weather suddenly turned cold quickly so my daughter went and gathered the firewood that had been left behind and we started to use it.  The landlords went looking for it one day and it wasn’t there so they searched their video camera footage and saw her moving it into the back of her pickup truck (it was closer to the house and kept it out of the rain, there really wasn’t that much of it in the first place) and so they peeked through the windows of her canopy and saw the firewood and a coffee table that had been left behind in our trailer from the previous tenant.  My folks had given us a smaller coffee table that fit the space better so we had put the other one in the back of her truck to keep it out of the rain until we could give it back and since the landlords are hardly ever at the park where we live we forgot about it.  Next thing I know, I get an angry phone call from one of the landlords because we “stole” the wood and their furniture and he seemed especially upset that I had left some mattresses outside, leaning against my trailer (they were seriously garbage, they were so gross) “to get rained on and ruined”.  He said wanted to give me three days eviction notice.  Whaaa?

These are seriously some of the weirdest people I have ever met.  If I could find another place to live for the same price I would totally move but I like my home and the cute little park it’s in and they’re really not here very often.  I think as long as we pay on time and don’t touch anything else that’s not on our little bit of land we’ll be fine.

But back to the phone call – I apologized profusely, tried to explain about the wood and the furniture and asked repeatedly what I could do to make it right.  All of a sudden he stopped talking, said he was on a job site and didn’t have time to talk to me (although he talked plenty when it was his turn and he was angry) but he would come to the park the next day, Sunday, and talk to me then or that we would at least talk on the phone.  I had plans to go see my folks that day but I decided this was more important so I said I would be available until 3:30 when I had to leave for work.  He said he would contact me the next day.

I set my alarm for 9 am, woke up and texted him, asking if he knew when he would be at the park and reminded him that I had to leave at 3:30.  No response.  I texted my folks and apologized that I wouldn’t be able to be there that day like I was supposed to be and I sat and waited all day, stuck in the one area of the house that gets any kind of wifi and cell service, until I had to leave for work with no response.  I wrote a note – apologizing again and enclosed the next month’s rent plus $50 cash to cover the wood and the mattresses, and asked if there was anything else I could do to make it right and put it in the drop box.  I texted him again that I had to leave for work and that I had left a note in the drop box for him.

Again, no response.

The wife landlord called me and left a message a few days later saying that my daughter had been angry at her son and if we had any issues we needed to take it up with them and not “put that on their kids”.  I asked my daughter what had happened and she said that when she went to check our mail at the park office there was a box that had my last name on it that had been crossed out and she freaked out a bit, thinking it meant they were going to kick us out because of the wood issue.  She asked the 14 year old son “Why is my mom’s name crossed out?”, probably in a harsh/angry tone of voice because she was panicking and then she saw that a large piece of mail was actually covering up my name in the box right next to the one that was crossed out.  She said she apologized, took the mail and walked out again.  Boy calls mom, mom calls me and leaves a message…  before I was even able to talk to my daughter I send the wife landlord a text, apologizing for my daughter causing her son distress, explain what I suspected happened (exactly what did happen) and ask if she had received my note, check and cash and were we good now?

Still no response.

I have also not received a receipt for this months rent payment or anything to indicate that they did receive it except for the absence of the monthly rent reminder that we received the month prior.  This couple owns multiple businesses, has 6 kids and I feel like they just have too much on their plate and have very poor communication skills.  They don’t talk to me at all unless they’re angry about something, don’t acknowledge even the most basic texts and they won’t even answer a request for a response.  I’ll stay here as long as I can because I like the place itself and it’s very affordable but these people are crazy!

Another thing that happened in these last six weeks is that Kyle graduated from beauty school last week, it was both hard and a relief.  Hard because he really is/was my closest friend there.  A relief because I made it weird and it hasn’t been the same since.  Well, actually, he made it weird first…

He started out by saying there was a rumor going around school that we were sleeping together.  I kind of doubt that there was actually such a rumor, I think he was just saying it to see my reaction but I played along because it was fun.  They he started mopeing around and saying things like “you’ve changed a homo” and other things that made me think that he actually did want to sleep with me.

Now I still don’t really want to sleep with anyone, I’m just not there yet, but I trust him and I do love him every other way and so I thought about it and decided that if I did sleep with him it would be a safe experience and probably even something beautiful.  I’ve never had beautiful sex in my whole life so I answered the question he did everything but ask.  I sent Kyle a message that said “If you want the rumors to be true all you have to do is ask”.  His response?  “Lol”.

Apparently all men are asses to one degree or another.  Ugh.

And that changed everything – and made it my fault, even though he started it.  He stopped hugging me every day, stopped touching my shoulder as we passed in the hallway.  He still let me touch him, give him back-rubs, scalp treatments, facials, all the usual stuff I did for him at school.  But for the most part he stopped reaching out to touch me.  Even now, just typing this out has me crying.  Kyle was my only source of affection and now he’s gone both physically and emotionally.  And he never seems to have much time for me outside of school, I’ve tried to hang out away from school and he’s always busy.  So even though we usually have a great messaging relationship when we don’t see each other face to face I’ve pretty much lost him forever now…

Speaking of men leaving, my daughter’s boyfriend who was living with us, that I wrote the blog “The Man Who Makes Me Want To Date Again” about, moved back to the town we came from and got another girlfriend there, only telling my daughter the day before she was going to go back and visit him for the weekend.  So we are both alone at the moment.  The only good thing to come out of that is now my daughter has no reason whatsoever to move back to our old town and will stay here with me.  She’s doing well, has a good job, has made a few friends, all of my friends love her.  It’s a good fresh start for her.

I stayed home from school today.  I’ve been so exhausted all of the time that it’s started to affect my balance, my memory, my speech, my dexterity, pretty much everything.  And I can’t afford to miss work so I’m missing school.  If I can just hold on and to go school the rest of the month I will hit 1,000 hours on October 26th and then I will get my next batch of financial aid, which means I won’t have to work as much, I can take more time off and rest.  Please God, I need rest…

 

I have one day left at my job and then my adventure begins!  I’m excited and terrified, eager and reluctant, broke and… broke lol.

This is all, absolutely happening according to God’s plan. My plan was to move last April with $5,0oo in my pocket from the sale of my little trailer house and have lots of time to start beauty school, find a job and a place to live.  But if I had moved last April I would have gone to the beauty school that closed its doors forever at the end of October so I would have had to stop my schooling in the middle and move to the school that I will now be attending – which is an hour away from where my dad lives.  Now, I’ll be living in the town where the school is and driving the hour to see my dad once a week instead of every day.  Also, my younger daughter was not interested in moving to Montana with me until just last month.  Now, she wants to move up with me in July when her lease is up.  And there’s more, smaller things that have turned out to be a blessing because I didn’t move when I originally planned on moving.  And the money from my trailer has gone to pay all of my bills off, with the exception of my car, so now I have the bare minimum expenditures possible, which will be a big help AND I used the trailer money to set aside everything I need to cover all of December and January’s bills, giving me the month of December’s earnings to pay for last-minute expenditures (like Christmas and replacing the wheel bearings in my car, ugh!) and all of January to get a job capable of paying my bills come February and going forward.

My taxes from 2015 are finished, paid and mailed in, making my FAFSA legit and therefore qualifying me for grants and student loans.  I’m going to make my first trip to Montana next week/the week after Christmas and go talk to the beauty school about finances, ask if any students need a roommate, check with local salons about getting a part-time job  while I’m in school and visit my folks.  Once I’ve got my lodging and school finances settled I’ll make another trip or two up there with my belongings and be completely moved into my new life!  The goal is to have everything done by January 23rd when  school starts…

In the meantime, the shop is closed on Christmas day so Monday will be my first, official day out of work and I plan on spending it in my pajamas, watching movies and eating finger foods allllll daaaayyyyyyy lllooooonnnnggg.

I know that God’s hand is in this major life change for me and He will not leave me hanging.  All the details have worked out for the best so far and I chose to trust him for the ones I don’t have answers for right now.  Like the song says – every little thing is going to be all right.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Most of August was lovely…

Life at work was good, my Vietnamese family were all fairly happy with me, work was not busy but steady, making the paychecks good enough that I managed to save up all the money I needed to pay for putting new carpet in my trailer bringing me one major step closer to moving to Montana.  My Vietnamese family took me to the fair for my birthday this year like they did last year and then I went again with my sister a few days later.  Overall it really was a nice month.

On my birthday I arrived at work to find balloons, an orchid, cheesecake and a card with money on my desk!  I was on cloud nine…  A short time later there was a scheduling glitch that the older brother boss was sure was my fault and the day went from wonderful to tense and ruined.

I realized that these episodes are happening more and more frequently.  The oldest brother and youngest sister are the ones in charge of the salon I work at.  She actually has the majority invested and is the real boss but her English isn’t very good so he runs the shop.

For a long time I was “in love” with him because he was kind and sweet and funny and to some small degree, presumably as much as he can, he does love me, he has even told me so.  To his credit he never took advantage of my healing heart, he consistently said that I was Very Good Friend and treated me very nearly as another one of his sisters.

After he became the big boss at work, however, he changed and all of the nice went away. I suspect it’s a cultural thing and he’s only emulating other Asian bosses that he’s had, believing that there is only one way to Be The Boss and that is to be large and in charge while being suspicious of everything you don’t understand.  And since English is hard there is quite a bit he doesn’t understand.  When he’s in a good mood he will recognize his own mistakes and apologize for them quickly and sincerely but when he is in a bad mood nothing is ever his fault and even just trying to explain what happened is viewed as disrespecting him because you’re arguing.

I still adore him but I don’t love him anymore and I’m tired of the whiplash from his mood swings as he struggles to decide how he’s feeling and how a boss should be acting at any given moment…  I’m done with all of it and he makes me want to move to Montana tomorrow.

His sister, in fact both of his sisters, on the other hand, truly love me.  The majority owner sister with the poor English keeps buying me things – expensive things.  I think that giving gifts is her love language and I wish I could reciprocate in kind but all I can do is say thank you, give her big hugs and tell her I love her.  A lot.

The carpet gets installed in 5 days and was hoping to list my trailer for sale immediately afterwards but I still have to replace the shower walls and I have no idea how to do that, much less the time to get it done – and now I have a toothache and don’t feel like doing anything, lol.  But I know it will all work out…  When it’s supposed to…  God save me…

I am almost ready to move!  I am excited, nervous, annoyed, frantic, happy and going crazy all at the same time.  Hopefully by the end of August everything will haven fallen into place and I can go. This is a game-changer…

No more working 55+ hours and 6 days a week.  I’m so tired of not being able to do anything but work, eat and sleep!

No more spending nearly every waking minute with my Vietnamese family.  I still love them all dearly and am more grateful than words can express for the love and care they have shown me over this last year, they truly scooped me up and healed me with their acceptance as I was recovering from my divorce and I’ll never forget that.  Now, by the way, my Vietnamese family consists of about 20 people as some of their friends and family members also love me and claim me as their family too!  In many ways they are just so amazing and I’m sad to leave them.

But the Asian culture is very different from what I’m used to and I’ve hit a wall in certain areas – I just can’t do it anymore and it breaks my heart.  Fair warning, I’m going to do a little venting here but please read it knowing that I would still fight to the death for any one of them…

With the four siblings who initially took me in, there is a lot of anger, raised voices and unfair/unfounded accusations whenever they are upset about something they perceive that I have done wrong.  Very rarely have I actually done anything wrong but because English is hard our communication is not always the greatest and what they see or hear is filtered through their cultural background and not usually interpreted correctly in regards to me because I have an entirely different cultural background that they don’t comprehend most of the time.

One example is that any time I speak softly to a customer (or to the other white girl nail tech we had for 6 weeks) they automatically assume I am saying bad things about them.  Soooooo not true!  It’s a salon, you overhear a lot of conversations and most the time people are just telling me things they don’t want everyone to hear and repeat.  Occasionally I’m explaining to a customer (or the new, white girl nail tech) the beliefs and superstitions of my Vietnamese family – things like why they don’t let customers put their purses on the floor, why they offer food to Buddha, why they just did something that doesn’t make sense…  The rest of the time I’m telling them something personal about my life that I don’t want everyone to hear and repeat.  I know so many people’s secrets about their boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, children, parents, finances, jobs, you name it and trust me, not everything should be spoken loudly and some things I hear shouldn’t be spoken at all.  But I NEVER speak badly of my Vietnamese family and it hurts my heart that they would even think I would do such a thing.

Another example, they have accused me of trying to get bigger tips by taking my time with my “favorite” customers and going too quickly with the “shop” customers (walk-ins and other employee’s normal customers who couldn’t get their usual nail tech that day).  Also not true.  A great many of “my” customers are elderly and have thick toenails, tons of dead skin, cuticles with a Napoleon complex that are trying to conquer the entire toenail and calluses that could remain undamaged from everything short of a nuclear bomb.  They. Just. @#!&* Take. Longer.  And because I’m really good with the aging and very kind and patient with those who have dementia I have a lot of women who bring me their mothers and a whole slew of retired ladies who send me their husbands and then give me good tips because I am so gracious to their loved one.  I have a soft spot for the elderly, what can I say?  I don’t take longer because I’m trying to get bigger tips, I do it because it needs to be done and because I take the time to do it well people come back and request me.  It’s not about the money but I’ve been yelled at four times now for it and they refuse to accept my explanation that some people’s feet take longer, they keep telling me to stop trying to get bigger tips by taking more time.

Also, their view of how to treat The Boss seems to be much closer to The Boss is The King.  Therefore trying to bring clarity to a situation, by explaining something, is usually seen as disrespectful because I’m correcting The Boss.  So how the hell do I communicate about anything if I’m not allowed to speak and if they won’t listen to what I do manage to say?

One final vent for today…  I keep – entirely on accident – running into cultural landmines.  The first one I did they thought was funny, I gave daisies to one of the girls for her birthday, only to find out that daisies are used to pray to Buddha for the dead at the temple so they’re the equivalent of funeral flowers.  Oops! My bad!  But then I hit a couple that they got upset over, told me about and quickly cooled down because they acknowledge that I didn’t know what it was I did.  This last one, however, was a doozy!  I had a problem with my service ticket not matching the book we wrote all of our charges down in.  I had written $47.50 on my ticket and they wrote $35 in the book.  I had always been told the purpose of the book and the tickets was to make sure everything was correct and if I had a question that I should just ask them.  So I did.  Except the one guy I needed to ask was sitting with most of the other guys from the shop and they all got involved.  Once they thought they understood what I was saying I wasn’t allowed to say another word and in the end I was told the book was right and to stop worrying about it.  I went and double-checked the book and it was not right so – in the only expression of frustration I’ve displayed in the entire time I’ve been there – I tossed my ticket book into the little alcove where they were kept.  Now I did not throw it, I did not slam it down on the desk, the ticket book is probably two inches by six inches and I was holding it by one end.  All I did was toss it so that it spun around a time or two before it landed and as I tossed it I said “It’s still not right” and went to sit down, accepting the fact that I was shorted $12 on that service.  The youngest girl in the shop, one of their daughters, goes outside and tells the oldest brother that I threw the ticket book and all the guys come boiling back into the shop and I get this huge lecture – in front of customers – about why did I throw the ticket book?  Why was I making such a big deal about $5?  How could I treat them this way after they had been so nice to me?  How could I be so rude after they had taken me in and treated me like family?  Why was I so disrespectful after they spent so much money on me by taking me out to dinner, buying me coffees all the time and even paying for me to go to Las Vegas with them?  O.M.G.  I was in complete and utter shock, I knew I had done a cultural no-no but couldn’t figure out why tossing my ticket book had such an effect on them.  I apologized over and over again to no avail.  Two days later we had an hour-and-a-half meeting after work where they explained that to throw down your ticket book is a huge insult and sign of disrespect in their culture.  Apparently it’s like quitting and demanding your wages all at the same time in the most angry way possible.  I apologized yet again but this time was not given any grace for not knowing what I did was wrong in their culture – it was still completely my fault and I had to be punished for it – although the guy who lectured me in front of the customers did apologize for not taking it into the back room, apparently that was the only thing he was at fault for…

That meeting, by the way, was when we lost the new white girl tech who had been hanging on by a thread for the entire six weeks she’d been with us.  She’d been wanting to quit from the get-go because their teaching style is so fierce and their expectations were far too high for someone who just came out of beauty school but I kept talking her into staying until that day.  The way they were so angry and yelling at me because of that incident was too much for her.  She started to cry and they asked her why she was crying and she said it was because they were being so mean to me and then they got angry with her, saying they weren’t being mean to me, they love me like family and were treating me as such.  Huh.  Lucky me to be loved like that…  But in the end she left work that day and never came back.

Truth be told, that day I wanted to leave too.

I think that was when I realized that as much as I love these people, it’s time to move on.  It’s time to go forward with my own life, to build a world for myself and not just live in theirs.  To begin reaching for the stars and trying to see some of my dreams become reality.  And in that moment I made the decision to go back to beauty school and get my full-on cosmetology license followed immediately by my instructors license.  That way I will have the knowledge necessary to open a learning salon where the newly licensed beauty professional can come and work for a year or two in order to gain the speed and quality of service necessary to secure a good job in a professional salon – or even open their own shop.

Just a little FYI for you – right now, when you graduate nail school you have to find a salon owner who is willing to put up with your mistakes and tolerate your learning curve knowing you might lose many of their customers in the process.  It’s not an easy thing to do, trust me – I’ve been there, and when you do finally get a job you’re not allowed to work on very many customers.  So the owner turns down customer after customer while you sit there twiddling your thumbs because you’re not good enough…

Seriously, it’s hard for the newly licensed to succeed in the nail industry!  Which is why I wanted to open a learning nail salon – but the more I think about it the more I want to make it available to every newly licensed beauty professional; those licensed in cosmetology, esthetics and nail techs.  Therefore, I need a cosmetology and teaching license of my own so that I can be a mentor to every group and I am going back to school to get those licenses and then I will pursue opening a learning salon.

Life is just one bold adventure after another and all I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, who knows where I’ll end up?  But it will be a good place, of that I’m sure!

Forgive me friends, for I have been busy, it’s been 8 months since my last blog…

Since November, in mostly chronological order, all of this stuff has happened:

In early December I had a hysterectomy – it went well, I recovered quickly and my life-long anemia is gone, yay!  Sadly, my need to chew ice is also gone which means I’m not drinking enough water anymore <sigh>.  Overall it was a super good trade though, especially since there is an entire row in the grocery store I can avoid now, whoo hoo!

I went to visit my dad twice, once in December and again in April.  Both trips were good and made me realize that moving to be near him is definitely the right thing to do.

Christmas was a little disappointing, mostly because my household of kiddos left me for their parents homes so it wound up just being me and my sister for most of the day, binge watching Netflix and missing the bounty of a holiday table prepared for lots of people.  It made me realize that being able – or not being able – to give isn’t what lost the Christmas “magic” for me, it was being with people I love and who love me back and that honestly hasn’t happened for years and years… and years.

Online dating, yes, that happened too.  I tried three different sites – I started with Christian Mingle, figuring that I would be most comfortable there and found Tom.  We were chatting up a storm using their online messenger service and I was really enjoying his writing style, I felt like we were clicking and had been messaging each other for a good hour when all of a sudden he blocked me.  It was so weird, I hit send to post my latest response to our conversation and the website informed me that he had blocked me.  Rude!  Beyond that there just didn’t seem to be very many guys on Christian Mingle so I kept my membership there and started a second one with eHarmony.  They are soooo expensive!  Dang!  It was the day before my hysterectomy that I found Mike.  He was a Russian man living in Oregon (the Oregon coast is my happy place) he was nice and kind and sweet and gave all the right answers… until he started to ask me questions about sex.  Now I know that I have a hang up in this area because of my ex – I’m starting to realize that most of the sex I had in my almost 21 year marriage could probably qualify as date rape and I should probably go see a counselor – so when Mike started by asking basic questions about sex I went along with the conversation with the thought that it would help free me from some of the chains I had been carrying.  But once the conversation turned physical Mike didn’t want to talk about anything else and I became more and more uncomfortable until I finally let him know.  He admitted that his plan for our first face-to-face encounter was picking me up at the airport, dinner and then a hotel.  Nope, nope, nope.  I ended it right there, cancelled both my eHarmony and Christian Mingle subscriptions and took a break from online dating for a few months.  Then a customer told me she was engaged to someone she met on Zoosk and said that she had a great experience with that dating site so I figured I would give it a shot and I  narrowed my search to the town my father lives in, thinking that it would be nice to get to know someone online really well before meeting in person (because it worked so well with Mike, right?  I’m not quite sure what I was thinking…)  On Zoosk I met Tony.  Nice guy, gave lengthy, real answers to my questions and we seemed to have a lot in common.  On day four of our online chatting I asked if he had any pets, he said that he lost his cat recently.  I said that must have been hard for his young daughter and he said – all in one chat bubble – that it was harder on him than his daughter and he bet I was a good kisser.  Really?  He seriously went from dead cat to kissing.  It fizzled out with Tony shortly after that and I ended my search on Zoosk.  At this point I am so close to moving that I’m just going to wait until I am in Montana before I attempt to meet any more potential boyfriends, ugh!

In April I took 10 glorious days off of work and went to the Oregon Coast with my best friend from high school for 5 days and then went to visit my father for 3 days, it was a great vacation, very relaxing and reestablished my desire to live in either Newport or Lincoln City someday!

Just before Mother’s Day I ran into my ex husband at the movie theater and my, oh my, wasn’t that exciting!  My bosses took me to see the new Captain America movie that he and my older daughter just happened to attend as well.  He marched up to me and said in a very grumpy voice “I just want to say Happy Mother’s Day” and also told me that he had given a piece of paper to our younger daughter earlier to give to me.  I asked if he wanted to meet my bosses and he curled his lip as though he had just eaten something extremely distasteful, said no and then turned around and marched away.  My older daughter never once turned to look at me, say hi or even wave.  Huh.  They were with a group of people from their church and a few of them were friendly to me and said hi, which was nice but the very best part of the entire evening was when my Vietnamese bosses – who are from San Jose, CA – asked if my ex was a gang member.  They have a lot of experience with gangs (and have been victims of gang activities) and based on their experience and what they saw at the movie theater – the way he approached me, stood and spoke to me and marched away – they thought he was in a gang!  I nearly laughed my head off!  So much for the love of Christ shining through him, they saw him for what he was, a very angry man with no love or compassion in his heart towards those he doesn’t believe deserve it.  That frankly, was the highlight of my month!

My twin nieces graduated high school at the beginning of June and I took a few more days off work to attend their ceremony and party afterwards, which my ex also attended.  I knew he would be there so I was a little more prepared to see him but he did his best to avoid me at both the graduation and the party.  The graduation was busy but it was obvious that he refused to look at me and wouldn’t even come stand with the entire family once I joined then.  Then at the party my brother held at his home my ex and older daughter arrived after I did and it didn’t seem right to just jump up and greet him warmly when he got there but I tried to catch his eye here and there so that I could smile and say hi but he still refused to look at me.  I did, however, go and stand next to my older daughter as she spoke with her cousins for about two minutes and she never did turn around to say hi or acknowledge that I was there in any way.  I finally gave up and went to sit down at a table on the outer edge of the party area.  Then his parents showed up, which I thought was odd because it was my brother’s children’s graduation party… but I went over to say hi to his father knowing my ex was standing nearby and figuring I could greet him then – except that he moved away as I approached his dad.  His father was very kind and gracious, he gave me several warm hugs and we had a nice conversation for probably 15 – 20 minutes.  Which was, by the way, the only time at the entire graduation weekend that my older daughter spoke to me at all or even looked my way was when she and I were both speaking to her grandfather.  My ex’s mother was a different story entirely, I said hello and she said my name in a way that made me feel icicles stabbing my heart.  When dinner was ready my ex was serving the meat to everyone in line.  I debated whether or not I should get in line because it seemed obvious to me that he didn’t want to speak to me but then I decided to be the adult, get in the food line and say hi to him once my turn was up because then at least he couldn’t run away from me.  My sister was ahead of me and she said “Hi” and “Thank you” when it was her turn to get the meat but he did not look at her or speak to her.  I thought he was very rude to her.  I also said “Hi” and “Thank you” and he stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said with anger in his voice “I’m surprised you’re speaking to me”.  I’m sure my jaw hit the floor, from everything I could tell he was the one avoiding me and yet he was obviously angry that I was avoiding him.  The only thing I managed to stutter was “I wasn’t trying not to”.  I think I said that twice and then after opening and closing my  mouth like a guppy several times I turned and walked away from the food line because I was so shocked.  I left the party shortly after that, it was just to awkward to stay.  At my own brother’s house.  It’s actually rather irritating that he made me so uncomfortable that I left and he and his parents stayed to visit with my family.   Just one more testament to the fact that my brothers don’t really care that much about me I guess.  I made sure to tell him goodbye and that I was sorry he thought I was avoiding him.  Seriously?  I saw a meme on Facebook that said “You destroyed me and I apologized”.  Yep, I just did it again.  Crap.  His father gave me another big hug and his mother gave me a slightly less icy glare.  My father walked me to my car and said “I’m sorry to say this but I think maybe your marriage should have ended 10 years ago”.  Damn right!  But I wasn’t the person I needed to be in order to leave 10 years ago… but I am where God wants me to be right now.  My biggest hope is that since my father saw it maybe my brothers also saw how my ex treated me that weekend and that maybe their eyes opened a wee bit as to why I left him.  Although in the end that is not super important either, I know I did the right thing.

The week after we get back from the graduation my younger daughter had coffee with her father like she does every month and I took my older daughter out to dinner like I do every month.  He doesn’t even pay for my younger daughter’s coffee when they meet, he’s such a tightwad, lol.  My dinner with the older was was actually one of the nicest visits we’ve ever had, which I thought was very strange given the fact that she tried to have as little to do with me as possible just three days before…  My younger daughter’s coffee was much more exciting because her father introduced her to his girlfriend!  The girlfriend wants to be friends with our younger daughter and she’s not sure if she wants that but I told her to at least try it out – this gal might be the best thing that ever happened to her father and hopefully this girl will make him a better person.  It was curious to me that my very first emotion after hearing he has a girlfriend was relief.  I actually felt like a large stone had rolled off of my shoulders!  Maybe now he’ll stop being so angry with me – although judging by the fact that he had been dating this girl for some time before the graduation and he was still so angry with me at the graduation… that might not be a realistic hope.  I looked her up on Facebook and my second reaction was to laugh hard – she looks so young, I’ll bet she’s going to want kids!  The thought of him getting his vasectomy reversed for her and going through the whole infant and child-rearing thing again (knowing how “helpful” he was the first time around) really struck my funny bone and I just roared with laughter.  But ultimately I truly hope he finds someone that he genuinely loves and respects.  Maybe then he will become a decent human being and stop being so angry about everything all the time.  I wish him a good life with someone who loves him, I truly do.  I wish it for myself as well.

And now we’re up to the present.  Work is going well and I’ve had some amazing paychecks now that the weather is getting so hot.  I’m almost ready to list my trailer for sale and as soon as it sells I will be moving to Montana to be near my father and his wife – oh, and I started calling her Mom at Christmas.  I’m embarrassed it’s taken me this long to do it, she’s such a nice, kind lady who has always loved us kids as her own and I’m really looking forward to getting to know both her and my father better.  My bosses are still wonderful and thank God I’m not in love with either of the boys anymore, it was on-again-off-again for a while but I’m in a good place now and their entire family had a lot to do with getting me there.  They treat me like I’m a born sister to them, in fact they’re taking me with them to Las Vegas for the Fourth of July!  It’s me and six of their family members going and they’ve paid for everything – my plane ticket, hotel room, food, everything, they’re just amazing people and it will be sooo hard to leave them and not just because they buy me so much stuff but because I truly love them as my own family.

I know that I write all of this out for me, it’s how I process my life and sort things out in my head, but thank you for following me and for taking the time to read all of this.  I’m just an ordinary girl, trying to do the right thing every day.  Most of the time I feel like I succeed but some days I don’t.  I’m healthier now than I ever have been both emotionally and physically.  The one-year anniversary of the divorce came and went and I didn’t even notice it until a few days later.  I feel healed from my marriage and from my life before.  I wish you healing from your damage as well and blessings to you.

It’s already November and I must admit that I’m getting excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time in a long time.  I’ve come to realize that it wasn’t the “Christmas Magic” I had lost, it was hope – and I have my hope back now!

Things at home are changed a little bit but it’s a good change.  I don’t know if I’ve said this or not yet but my daughter’s best friend from high school, I’ll call her Mandy, is also living with us now – partly because she needed a place to live, partly because she’s a great kid and partly because she’s going to live there to help Tina keep up on the utility payments and what not on my trailer while I’m in Montana.  Starting this month they are each paying a third of everything to get them prepared for paying fifty percent of everything when I go. Mandy is a no-nonsense kind of girl and very helpful in corralling Tina when needed because she’ll say things that need to be said bluntly and Tina will take it from her when she wouldn’t taken the same thing, kindly phrased, from me.  Kids!  All in all though, my home is a very happy place.  Both girls bring their friends over and sometimes their friends bring friends.  My home is a safe place for them all and everyone calls me Mom, which makes me very happy.  We laugh, smile, hang out together and have lots of fun together – I really love my life right now!

The trailer itself is another matter entirely, ugh.  There’s something seriously wrong with the electrical wiring throughout.  In July the outlets in the tip-out tripped and the breaker would not reset no matter how many times I flipped it so a friend’s husband took it out for me so I could get another one.  Lo and Behold, it’s so old they don’t make them anymore so I can’t simply replace it.  That’s two outlets gone and a empty space in my fuse box.  Come the end of October and I bought space heaters because my friend’s husband informed me that the duct-work of the furnace wasn’t connected properly and I didn’t have the money to have a professional look at it.  We plugged the largest space heater in, the one with a thermostat to keep the temperature steady… and it trips a breaker.  Many tripped breakers later we discover that if we leave the thermostat off and let the heater run on Low then it doesn’t trip any more breakers.  Fabulous.  I now have one space heater in the bathroom that keeps that tiny room at around 80 degrees – which is absolutely amazing in the chilly mornings we’ve been having – and I’m afraid to move it or touch it in case adjusting it in any way will trip more breakers – and another space heater for the rest of the trailer that only works on Low.  Needless to say we’re all wearing lots of sweaters and I’ve been buying blankets at the thrift stores like mad.

And the timer on the dryer broke.  I found that out when it ran allllll night one night.  God was gracious and kept the dryer from catching on fire and burning us alive while we slept.  So we can still use it – if we set a timer to go check it after 30 to 45 minutes – but can’t turn it on and leave it running while we leave the house or go to sleep because stuff like that is a leading cause of house fires.

Oh yes, one more thing, the cherry on top, so to speak.  I bought a waterbed off of Craigslist and got it home, put it all together by myself… and it leaks.  Turns out they forgot to unplug the heater while they were draining it and they melted the liner to the heater which must have also made a tiny hole or two in the water bladder because I woke up wet this morning.  I had already moved my old mattress to my daughter’s room because she didn’t have a bed so tonight I’ve kicked her to the couch and I’m sleeping in her room.

To sum it all up, I have two outlets that don’t work at all, a dryer that shouldn’t be operated without supervision, one space heater on low for the majority of the house, no stove to cook or bake with (thank God for the microwave!) and a bed I can’t sleep in tonight.  I feel like I should qualify to be on one of those extreme home makeover shows where they do nice things for people with sad stories – except that they don’t do trailers, lol.  It’s OK.  Everything will work out in the end.  I’ll go buy a new bladder for my bed tomorrow and then I will work on saving up for an electrician.  Not sure what I’m going to do about the stove though…

But it’s not all bad, on a very positive note, my older daughter consented to talk with me last month.  We met at a local bookstore and talked for about a half an hour, which was all she could handle.  She walked in very unhappy and displeased to be there but she asked me some questions which I tried to answer as factually and unemotionally as possible (because facts and logic are what she relates to the best) and I felt like she walked out a little more at peace so that’s a great start to building a new relationship with her.

I’ve told my sister that I’m moving and my older daughter already knew when we met at the bookstore so at this point everyone but my bosses know that I’m moving to Montana.  While that bothers me and I really want to tell them Right Now – I’m going to stick with my decision to not tell them until after my surgery at the very soonest and at the latest, two months before I go – because I want them to have plenty of time to replace me before the busy season starts.  Mostly I’m waiting because I’m 90% certain that Todd will be quite upset and give me guilt trips from the time I tell him until the time I go.  He’s a great deal like my ex husband in a lot of things, especially stuff like that, and I just don’t want to deal with it any longer than I have to.  I will miss them all so very, very much.  They’ve taken me in as a part of their family and while I know this is going to hurt them my father is more important right now. Fortunately family is a big deal in the Vietnamese culture so I’m hoping they’ll understand and not be too mad at me for leaving them.

My hysterectomy should be scheduled for sometime in December so I’ll probably be down and out for Christmas, boo!  I should find out the exact date next week when I meet with the doctor.

Except for the material household stuff things really are going well for me and life is good!  Smile, hug someone and show love to others today 🙂

Advertisements