so much life going on

this month i went to my 30th high school reunion. it was more awesome than i expected. more people than i expected remembered me. or at least that acted like they did.  there were a few people who didn’t remember me but we made friends. it’s weird. we TOTALLY made friends. had lunch wth my boyfriend from high school, and his wife. high school was HORRIBLE. i would LOVE to have skipped high school. but catching up was really cool. i have already said my life is awesome but it was nice to see where i have come from.

i then went to LA CatCon. which was AMAZING. made new cat buddies. saw so many people JUST LIKE ME! next year, i want to go both days so i can attend the seminars. i want to take the ATX cat punks as well. a pilgrimage! i got lots of cat t-shirts.

my spending is sort of stupid out of control. but i just have to deal with it. like i do. i try different things to reign it in. i’ll get there.

next month i go to death salon in seattle and then riotfest in chicago. i’ll be staying at the W in chicago. being away from work has been really nice. my job makes me sad. the people that work there are so unhappy, angry at things. it is oppressive going to work. there are some people i love working with. but i often don’t have a choice. i LOVE talking care of hospice pts, but the place is so oppressive. st david’s is a great place from a people standpoint. good processes. good mgmt. i just don’t like the pt base. they are there because they don’t take care of themselves. and working days is hellacious, so i would have to go back to nights. to get SO close to the greatest job ever and then have egos destroy it. very annoying.

i am not sure. my life feels ok but i am suspicious somehow. is this what ok feels like? is this what stability feels like? it is calm and comfortable and odd. anyhow, i think it is ok. it is just weird. is it suppose to be like this? is this what looking back at life and being ok with it feels like? or is this the beginning of a rude awakening? perhaps my spending issue is my attempts and making things a little stressful? something else to work for?

damn it, missed June

i have been feeling sad lately about my job. things are so chaotic and so screwed up. doctors talk about being a team and then aren’t. we take care of very important people, people who are dying. we should be more of a team. when i told my mom i was going to nursing school she said, “Doctors, Heather?” and i replied i could handle them since i grew up with their fallibility. these doctors, not so much. because these pts are so special. grrr. sad. grrr. work makes me so sad.

my new vivienne westwood dress arrived today.  it is amazing. now i just need to find somewhere to go. oh sure, i used to dress up no matter where i went, but i don’t go anywhere but work now. and i  have to wear scrubs/shirts.

i like my new body. i am pretty sure i am menopausal. my body feels adult for the first time. i want to lose weight so i can wear all my clothing, but the size doesn’t really bother me.

spent an evening with an old friend (well, i have known them for 10 years, which was a long time when i was 20, perhaps not so much when i am 47…hm) and we talked about their life outlook. they are torn between security and happiness. i learned a lot about them. i was forced into my life change, and it was scary, but i am still standing and i think i would have kept going, because you have to. they think the world is out to get them, because the world is out to get everyone. explains their behavior. it is sad that they are too afraid to take a risk. but i understand them better now. it is nice to feel more connected through understanding. and i even got a thank-you reference a couple days later. it was a very unexpected event. it is a feeling i haven’t felt in a while. is that because of my age? is it because of my buffer zone? is it because of the people i hang out with? (which is not to disparage my friends, they just may not be the intimate type).

there have been two events in my life that scared me about me. the first was when i worked at mcdonalds in santa barbara. i helped a short, pretty, petite woman. she reminded me of me. when she stepped away from the counter she was quite obese in the lower half of her body. for whatever reason i thought to myself, “oh no, that is going to happen to me”. i still sort of fear it. though i have done better than i thought. the second time was an episode of 6-feet under. i woman living in a rented house, dies while eating her microwave dinner and no one finds her for a number of days.  it upset one of the bothers because she was so alone.  she was even a temp worker, changing jobs regularly. she didn’t really have any friends and there was no one to come to her funeral. the brothers went. even though i was married when i saw this, i feared it is what i would become. i still do, sort of. i have a roommate so the cats wouldn’t get a chance to eat me, but, would i still be a “oh, man, heather, yeah, she was cool,” death? i had this fear WAY before becoming a hospice nurse. and even our patients who have little family or friends, we care about them and want to be with them at end-of-life. our volunteers very much want to sit and listen to them. the fear is more after (which is completely irrelevant as do not believe in a consciousness after death). with the yucky feelings i am having at work, these feelings of being separated, fringe, are stronger than normal. not really sure what to do other than just keep getting up and going every day.

sorry i missed april

i post to FB a lot. i wish i could easily cross post stuff to here.

i have 4 trips planned for this summer:

  • 30th High School Reunion in Chico in August
  • LA CatCon again!
  • Death Salon on Seattle
  • Riotfest in Chicago

i don’t think i have traveled this much since i lived in europe. the reunion is sort of something on my own because i think few people will remember me. but i remember THEM and want to know what they are doing. the CatCon will be AWESOME! i plan to have drinks/dinner with the guys that lived across the hall from me, my freshman year in college. there will be a bunch of friends at death salon. no one i am REALLY close to, but i am not really close to anyone, really. but there will be a number of austin deathlings and that will be awesome. lastly i am going to riotfest because NIN and Saul Williams are both playing. already have plane tickets and rooms for all events. i am staying at the W in chicago. going to that sort of alone. some casual friends will be there. trying to get Lucy to go. but for festivals, i don’t really like to be married to anyone, because of the difference in musical interests. i would like to be able to have breakfast with someone(s) though.

the older i get the more i enjoy “life” things. the behavior of being. folding laundry. rearranging things. reading books. i have always enjoyed new experiences. experiencing things and people. but i find just being more pleasing and less stressful. i am guessing it has to do with being old(er).  but maybe i am just exhausted being a nurse and so low key things are better?  it will be awesome to enjoy so many different parts of my life and interests this summer. perhaps that is a change in my life.

i took the cupcake to urban moto today to sell it. it was sad. it is sad. but i have lost my courage to ride in this town.  it’s the middle turn lanes. cars whip in and out of them without looking. i thought about getting a big modern vespa. it would give me more power to move with the flow of traffic. be seen better. and to get out of the way faster. i would REALLY love to ride to work.

i won the bed battle with amex.  that was nice.

things from my youth that keep coming back. twin peaks. x-files. unfortunately, my youthful body is taking a little longer.  i have 2 1/2 months until my 30th high school reunion.

maybe back at it?

i work full time at my dream job. i get to take care of people who are dying. but my company is SO dysfunctional. our NP left and they brought in a rotation of 3 doctors. they didn’t consult our director. they didn’t ask the nurses anything. i had an argument with the jerk doctor about why/how people aspirate. he said “people only aspirate on their own secretions”. i have a pt WHO ASPIRATED ON A PORK CHOP! he said “our pt isn’t going to eat a pork chop.” THAT ISN’T THE POINT YOU ASS! the director is avoidant (with good reason). we were short staffed today. and then when night shift came in, one of the nurses, one that I ADVOCATED FOR WITH OUR BOSS JUST LAST NIGHT, was SO rude! wtf? i had my first shift back at St David’s this week. i really don’t have any feelings for the pt group, but i love the organization. they make me feel good.  they are nice to me. today was SO disheartening. we were short staffed. census was low. our NP left. we are short staffed again. it just feels like it is always something and it always will be. this is the work i LOVE but the environment is abusive. i am afraid to go to work because i don’t know what horrible, disappointing, sad thing will happen. and i don’t even mean the people dying.  why can’t it just be good? why can’t i find a functional place that inspires me? well, late. should sleep.  night.

no more school

i did it. i finished my BSN without exploding. you can call me:

Heather Black, BA, MBA, ADN, BSN, RN

for my next trick, i will get my CHPN. which is my hospice certification. it is a test, but i should study for it. after that i will study spanish. but i feel an amazing sense of relief being done with school. i had no idea hoe good this would feel. i didn’t realize what a weight it was in the back of my brain. i have been in school since 2009. i have friends who have never known me not to be in school. it is a relief.

i don’t know if the anti-depressants are working. i haven’t been eating as much, have lost some weight. but my body has been rejecting a lot of food lately too.  not fun.

the lipo worked nicely. i am happy with it. i still need to lose some weight because my boobs are too big to fit in stuff.  i do fit into about 30% more of my clothing. which is awesome.

i was to attend a christmas party last friday. it was at some friends who are a wonderful couple, and they invite wonderful couples. and i always feel sad when i go to these parties. i don’t feel like i fit in. i took Lucy there and dropped her off.  she came back the next day at noon.  she aid the last of the guests left at 4am and one of the hosts was found sleeping in his closet. this party makes me feel two things. one, alone, i just don’t connect with people like i used to. i am not sure if this is part of my job or not. i am SO drained when i get home. i have time for few things but work and life things.  maybe my job means i don’t have the emotional capacity for friends and loved ones. but i really love what i do. really, really. it means something to me. but i cried a bunch that night. i feel like the rest of the world is slipping away.

two has to do with the fact i don’t drink. on NPR this week they had Sarah Hepola, author of the bool, Blackout: Remembering the things I drank to forget. she talks about what it is like to be a non-drinker and it really hit home, i definitely feel this way:

“What nobody mentions about all the holiday spirit is how much booze it requires. Stepping out of that social script can leave you feeling exiled and lonely, like you haven’t just lost your crutch but you’ve also lost your cool card. Even people who pride themselves on their tolerance can be dismissive of people who don’t drink, like they’re no fun to have around — as if they’re the ones peeing in the potted plants at 2 a.m.

I’ve been surprised over the years by how little consideration is given to the nondrinking guests. They’re often a total afterthought. It’s like: Here we have an artisanal cocktail with muddled mint and cinnamon-infused bourbon. Oh, wait, you don’t drink? Umm, I think there’s some Diet Coke in the fridge, and you can just grab a red Solo cup.

To be a good host means to consider the needs of your guests: It’s normal these days to offer dinner options that are gluten-free, dairy-free or meat-free. I don’t see why drinks should be any different. A simple Google search will take you to about a hundred different recipes for mocktails. And if that’s too much effort, some sparkling water will go a long way. And, it’s nice to offer those drinks in the same glasses you use for other guests. Downgrading the sober folk to plasticware while everyone else gets crystal goblets is such a weird punishment: As if not drinking weren’t difficult enough, now I have to use a cup that announces my difference.”

it is how i feel, i feel like a weirdo just because i don’t drink. and at that party, i would have been the sober one. really drunk people are not amusing to the sober person. do i need to find a sober group? place an ad that says “hey, any non-drinkers, wanna have normal non-alcohol-driven evenings together?” recovering alcoholics aren’t always so fun, lots of issues, i have a history with that behavior. i dunno. where do i fit?

there is more relationship stuff. but later about that.

fucking tires

my best friend once explained her experience with depression as a wave.  she said one minute she was fine and then next a wave of sadness overcame her. that isn’t how it feels to me.  everything is just so hard. everything i have to do, all my responsibilities just feel like so much weight. i am so tired of having to keep all the balls up in the air. and on top of it, i have gained 20 lbs and my body feels like the enemy and i can’t stop eating. and i have this american express bill that is just completely out of control. i want to pay everything but it leaves me with nothing. i have a new cat. her name is snape.  she and gandalf aren’t getting along quite yet. i think snape is sick. i can’t afford a sick cat. what do i do? i don’t want to default on my responsibilities, but i am so at the end of my ability to cope. tonight i did finally cry. i cried because when i got out of work, after 15 1/2 hours, my tire was flat. and then the air machine didn’t work. and someone i hoped would help me, that just isn’t his instinct.

i exchanged mails with patrick around the election. we always do. but it made me so sad this time. because i am so alone. he isn’t alone. i have no idea what his life is like, but he isn’t alone. sure, my friends would help.  but with what? no one can take over my life for a month or two and keep me moving. the person who is suppose to help me only accused me of trying to treat my depression without medical help.  which was not the case. if i fall apart completely. if i end up having to hide, or not go to work, it all gets worse. more things go wrong. i have dealt with many stresses in life. but now i just don’t have the…something. i am not even sure what it is.  it doesn’t feel like strength or will.  i do still get up and go to work. i haven’t just stopped and given up. but something feels different inside.

my roommate lied to me yesterday. i came home and said i was worried about the polls, we were losing.  she insisted that it was too early (i got home at 9ish). i then asked if she had voted. she said “yeah, yesterday.” i went to bed and then i remembered. the polls in texas weren’t open monday.  early voting closed friday. so i walked to her room and said “you didn’t vote yesterday, the polls were closed. early voting ended friday.”  she looked away and said “oh”. and that hurt SO much. why did she lie? sure, i am disappointed, if texas had gone blue we would have won. but the lie, the lie hurt the most. in the morning she apologized, said she regretted it as soon as she said it. i told her the lie really hurt. she said she was sorry. but everything is just so hard.

at work, i see these families that are so supportive. so close. wanting what is best for their lived one who is dying. it is one of the top things i love about my job. meeting all these wonderful families. i tell them, my family isn’t close, it is wonderful to see such love.i really love my job. the organization is seriously fucked up, but i love my job. but is it too much? the work that truly brings me a sense of accomplishment, can i not take it because the organization is so fucked up? i want this to be my place.

there is more but i am tired. i have an appointment next week with a new GP to see about going on anti-depressants. i hope i don’t gain more weight.

bad reaction

i woke up at 0415 this morning to go pee. which is quite an ordeal in my waist cincher and spanx.  then i went back to sleep and had a horrible nightmare. it tainted my entire day.  it has tainted my psyche. i dreamt i was in trouble, i was hurt and i was sick and i was dying and i had nowhere to turn.  i woke up SO alone. and i can’t shake it. i connect with people at work.  i have a charmed life in SO many ways.  i have people who care for me so much. but i feel SO alone. (then i weighed myself. why on earth did i do that? i weighed 152 lbs. that is the most i have ever weighed ever. why did i do that?) and i can NOT shake this. i am doubting everything. (and my cat is mad at me because she is attention deficit cat) is the joy i feel really joy? how distorted is my reality? what is happening to my body? i wrote an essay in high school titled “midlife crisis at 14” because of my father’s alcoholism and my mother’s codependency. but maybe what i am feeling now is really a midlife crisis? perhaps this is how people find good? or join holy orders? or burn out? or disappear? i get to help people everyday.  i save live’s with my blood which i can totally give away no problem. i have a great cat (even if she is attention deficit). i am healthy if not getting larger.  so why do i feel so isolated? so wrong? i am doing the right things. the good things. but, something just doesn’t seem ok.

blog, i appreciate you letting me complain. i realize that is almost all i do with your these days, but it helps.

maybe that sorta love ain’t for me

tonight i spent the evening on the couch. today was my “friday”, i am off for the next two days (and donating platelets!). roommate was out with her man.  gandalf and i chilled. binge watched “criminal minds”, as we do. paid some bills. went through some documents. filed. it was lovely. it might have been nice to have someone here with me. but after dealing with dying people all week, alone is pretty nice.

i miss kyle, i like him a lot. but i think it is a little like reminiscing about my marriage. i miss the awesome times patrick and i were totally being awesome together. but that isn’t all of it and you can’t just expect it to be all feel good. cause there are issues and i know it. anyhow…

i am thinking that, at this age, with my life the way it is, maybe lover and boy toys are the best thing for me. sure, i would like a really partner. but i am just not convinced it would work. i need a lot of me time. sean and i talked at dinner this week and he said he wanted someone that didn’t need to be together all the time. i LOVE coming home and hiding in my bed with a book. i don’t want to have to worry about someones feelings in that regard. yeah, yeah, yeah, my last two long-term playmates have ended up pseudo boyfriends. but, it a way, i think even that was easier. and i am hoping i can stick to my guns better (might put a sticky on my bathroom mirror to remind me). it WOULD be nice to have a date to events. but, besides weddings, i do things well on my own. it is like morrissey says..i need to be loved…only maybe it isn’t JUST like everybody else does. or maybe i have the secret that eluded morrissey. i shall, in the most cliche manner, speak with my therapist before starting to look for a new playmate. i must say, i feel more hope about this than finding a boyfriend.

picked up half a shift

which was a mistake. it was 11p-7a. my team was cliquey and i had way too much time to think.

saw Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm yesterday. it was amazing. i’d forgotten half the film. lawrence was crazy and his death TOTALLY ironic. but damn, he was great.

saw it with a friend i have considered in the past. he is a processor like me. always a pleasure to talk to. but i’ve always felt there was something off. still feel it.

haven’t been excited about a boy in years. you know, the tingly “will he call” feeling. i’ve asked this before, is that a product of age or not meeting the right person. don’t get me wrong, i REALLY like kyle. but it just takes too much. sean and i talked about whether we grow older and lose the ability to be flexible, to compromise, to put up with things. or is it statistics? smaller pool of candidates. do we get into things easier when younger and the inertia to get out is too weak? am i one of those people with incredible inertia? or does the strength to avoid things get better as we grow older? whatever it is, i am single. and lonely. i’m awesome, but i am lonely.

i am working a lot in the next 4 weeks. good way to avoid. good way to dig out. good way to fund my oct medical procedure.

went to the gym saturday. it hurts to breath deeply. i’ll go back today, hope to warm the muscles to a level of comfort. snuggle with my cat first.

scary history

i got a strange phone call last night. it was from a playmate from college. i think i have spoken to him once prior to now, since college. and i think that was texting on fb or something. he called me because he had just talked on the phone with the boy who introduced me to him. another one of my playmates in college. we had a threesome even. this was a boy sorta of dating someone else. and then he was engaged to her. when they were sort of dating, we played. when he told me they were engaged, i told him i would’t play with him anymore. but i could have had him. he had a tumultuous childhood and even ran away from home at one point. but he had this insane sense of responsibility/accountability. but he wanted to break out. he wanted to grab his youth and i was the symbol of that. i was the debaucherous and adventurous potential girlfriend. as with so many since, i asked for nothing and represented fun. but he was engaged. i couldn’t possibly interfere with that. i think i could have taken him. but that would have been wrong. at the same time, he was one that got away. one i wanted to try with. this call upset me. after splitting with kyle, this lost relationship. it was upsetting. it made me feel more disconnected and alone. i didn’t like it.

tonight i listed to one of the bands i am not seeing this weekend. skunk anansie. the song is tracey’s flaw. it is about a woman who uses a man. goes back when things are bad for her. for some reason, i have always been afraid to be that person. i think it is hypocrisy. there is NOTHING i hate more than a hypocrite. childhood, blah blah blah. anyhow. tracy’s flaw is that she goes back to this man who loves her so much, when she needs him, but abuses that love when it suites her. i cheated on my first boyfriend, my boyfriend in high school. and i never wanted to do that again. be a hypocrite. did i not give myself the chance though? do you have to fight for it sometimes? does that mean you aren’t a hypocrite but someone trying to get their needs met? i still think we have to get what we want fairly. but what haven’t i gotten as a result? or what has my flawed logic meant to my happiness?

i am getting a custom made murphy bed made. it is going to be super goth. but the creator has taken a fancy to me. how do i do this? i had a patient’s son make a comment about how unique i look at work today. i want to be me. i don’t want to follow trends, i want to set them (thank you Adam Ant). but i don’t like this level of attention. i don’t know what to do.

i want a boyfriend. i want one that cares for me deeply, but understands my work is everything. that it isn’t personal when i get home late. who is flexible, but lives up to agreements. my agreement is i will be home from work as soon as i can. things change, i understand and respect that, but don’t just drop me. i give a lot, but i need flexibility. should that be so hard? i’m awesome.