Today

“Crazy”

There are a lot of songs on the radio right now about loving crazy women or being a crazy woman and finding love in spite of it. And by “a lot” I mean like three come to mind. Haha! While I am not a huge fan of the “she’s crazy but I love it” rhetoric, I think there’s a common experience of feeling like you or your loved one are a little bit intense or frustrating or difficult.

There are definitely times that I let my personal insecurities interpret my interactions with Boyfriend; times when, no matter how loving he is, I read into his body language, or his little asides, or things he forgets to tell me. What I read into completely normal forgetfulness, relaxation, or stress is generally self deprecating: I’m not good enough, I’m a nag, I’m a control freak, how does he put up with me?

Momentary lapses in what I know is true: he loves me.

We’re in the middle of a move and there was a risk of another deployment, we’re still in a learning curve with our new dog and my new job. It’s been a high stress time in our household. With high stress comes my more high maintenance/ high strung behaviours, and I’ve been crying a lot. Because I’m overwhelmed, because I feel out of control, because I’m afraid I’m not being a good enough dog mom, because I’m not learning fast enough at work, because I feel guilty for taking these things out on Boyfriend.

That guilt sometimes makes me worry he’ll come to his senses, realize I’m a handful and send me on my way. But, we’re about to get our first place together, we have a dog together, he’s been so helpful and supportive with my new job, he holds me when I panic and kisses my forehead when I cry.

Amid all the feelings and tears, I don’t always recognise these actions for what they are: love. The man loves me and is patient with me and wants to help me.

We aren’t perfect. We squabble and get pissy, we push each other’s buttons, we don’t always listen or remember, we make demands… And on and on.

But I’ve never been okay with that in a relationship before. I never imagined the life I have with Boyfriend and that is the biggest blessing of falling in love with him, I have no daydream to live up to and every chapter in our story is a full-on surprise.

❤️

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Today

I quit my job!

The beginning of the end for me was being called replaceable in a morning meeting.

I had been off for a few days and apparently major drama went down between a couple of team members. When I came back, we all had to have a meeting with the store manager and our team lead to “nip it in the bud.”
This meeting was essentially a chance for everyone to get everything out in the open. The opener was our store manager letting us know that she didn’t want this kind of drama in her store, looking at each of us and accusing us all of knowing what was going on and not handling it like adults. Then those with grievances, had them aired.
At the end of a very awkward ten minutes, our store manager let us know that this would be the last time we would hear about these problems. She also informed us that we were all replaceable, that we could be “promoted to customer” any time and she would find someone else. Though she offered the caveat, “I want you all here, but you’re replaceable.”

Not a great feeling.

Fast forward two months and I’m working at 10 PM to prepare for a corporate visit the next morning. I’m texting Boyfriend about how miserable I am, how I can’t get any work done, how I’m being held responsible for things that I’ve never been trained to do and spoken down to whenever I ask questions. I tell him I want to quit; he encourages me to just walk out. I tell my coworkers I’m done, that I’m not coming back, that this night of absolute chaos is my last night.
This was my version of a rage quit. No notice, no specific reason; I’d just had enough. I asked my team manager to walk me out so she could lock the door behind me and I told her it was my last night. She asked why, and instead of telling her that she was a cruel and lazy person with no ability to manager others, I just said I was unhappy and wanted to focus on finding a career. She wished me the best of luck and I left.
At first, oh my, it was such a relief, but about 5 minutes into my drive home I was devasted. I was a quitter. I was hopeless. I hadn’t found anything better while I was still employed so what made me think I would while I wasn’t working?
I laid in bed miserable and beating myself up until Boyfriend got home. He was more excited that me! So pleased to no longer have me stressed and angry about things out of my control, no longer coming home needing to vent about the people I worked for, no longer not knowing my schedule or an idea of what I would be making the next month.
But all I could think about was no long having income, no longer having anything to make feel like a productive member of society, no longer having something outside of our relationship to occupy my brain, no longer feeling like I could contribute to dates or our home or anything.
I felt useless. I felt ignorant. I felt so many negative things that despite having tons of free time… I just wanted to lay in bed and feel sorry for myself. It took a few days to get motivated to do anything, but I eventually applied for some jobs, tried to be productive in the house. Mostly I distracted myself with our upcoming trip to see his family in Florida, and using it as an excuse to not look too hard for a job, since I’d be needing two weeks off anyway.

About a week before we left, I got a response for one of the clerical jobs I had applied for; turns out it was actually an employment/ temp agency that had posted the job. When I thought I was going in to interview for a secretary position I was actually onboarding for this agency. I was frustrated, but figured, what the hell, maybe they’ll be able to place me somewhere.

I assumed it would take a few weeks, but after three days they had gotten me an interview at a local law firm. Boyfriend was ecstatic, hyping me up, talking about how lucky they’d be to have me. I, on the other hand, was terrified out of my mind. I’ve talked about how difficult it is for me to feel qualified- a law firm?? I could not handle the pressure from myself.

 

Then the interview came. I thought it went well, but I guess if I don’t actively shit my pants in a situation like that I feel it went well. The employment agency called me the next day and told me I was hired.
WHAT.
Yeah. I was blown away.
So here I am, my first week as a legal assistant behind me; I’m confused as to how I made it here, but I’m incredibly grateful.

 

Next time on EJ Today: We got a dog!

Today

A Pre-Interview Crisis

Not much has changed since my last post, but Boyfriend is officially home and it’s fantastic to have him back. The past month with him has been so full, I can hardly believe I made it so long without him.

As far as figuring out what I really want… I’ve made zero headway. The counselor path seems so noble and really ticks all the boxes I have in the back of my head,  but I have so much doubt about what it will take to get there. Not just doubts about my ability like I talked about, but doubts about my motivation to go back to school, to work through another degree. I could barely make it through my Master’s; towards the end I was so tired and over it.

Do I really want to put myself through all that again? I’m out of funding so there’s the added stress of paying for it out-of-pocket or with loans – a headache I’d love to avoid.

I haven’t been doing nothing though! The way I see it the more I experience, the more I learn, the more people I meet, the better my chances of stumbling upon something I absolutely love.

In that vein, I consistently send out applications and look for part or full-time work, really anything that piques my interest. Today I had an interview at a local event venue that was looking to have less than part-time staff for weekend events. It’s located in a historic building downtown and I thought it was a great way to get to know the area better and to maybe rub elbows with members of my community that might be hiring. Haha!

I was excited! Until last night when I tried on my go-to interview outfit and the slacks were way too big. I put my pajamas back on, laid in bed and cried. Had a full on crisis about wasting my life, feeling useless, turning 25 having accomplished nothing, being aimless, etc. etc.

Was interviewing to be a glorified waitress really the direction I wanted to take? What if I never amount to anything? As he tried to comfort me, I reflected on where I was when I met Boyfriend: a semester and a half away from finishing my Master’s, working my retail job part-time, as well as working as a Graduate Assistant which led to proctoring exams for the State Police for the research institute at my university, volunteering ten hours a week. I felt like a badass.

And look at me now? Still working retail, barely volunteering ten hours a month. I work out a lot though. That’s about it.

People tell me it’s only been a year since I graduated, it’s normal to struggle to find work. I guess that makes sense, but it sure doesn’t feel normal. Most of the people I graduated with are working in their career fields or have found something they love.

Honestly, that hurts the most, not having work that I love. If I loved retail, I wouldn’t be moaning on this little baby-blog about my inability to feel motivated and my aimless life.

There’s not really a point to this post. I just wanted to feel productive, maybe vent a little about my waning self-confidence.

I did get the glorified waitress job, by the way. I start next week.

♥EJ

Today

Panic and Sweet Distractions

Boiled down to basics, I feel like the only two things I have going on in my life right now are lovesickness and panic.

The first one is bearable. Sort of. Long distance is no joke and before falling for Boyfriend I was vehemently against it, always stoically saying I’d have to end a relationship if circumstances led to long distance.

Look at me now, with a stock of Hallmark’s “Just Because” line in my underwear drawer and my phone ringer always turned all the way up, just incase he calls.

I never really understood it when people, especially my parents, would say that relationships were distracting. I managed to have angst-y crushes and make straight A’s as an adolescent and I graduated college with a respectable GPA while still having an equally respectable amount of sex-capade stories I can pull out at Bachelorette parties for a good laugh.

Now though, when I reflect about my past year (as writing a resume will force you to do), it feels like the most significant thing to happen to me was meeting Boyfriend. And that’s crazy because I FINISHED GRADUATE SCHOOL. And spent New Year’s Day in Costa Rica. And proctored exams for the State Police. And hand fed a giraffe. Among other incredible experiences that I never want to diminish, but they pale in comparison to falling in love.

After graduation I didn’t really have a plan, which we’ve all read about, so it was easy to let myself become even more distracted by my relationship. Rationalizing that distraction was even easier because it was his birthday, then his first vacation with my wild and challenging family, then our last month together before half a year apart, then it was our first week apart, and I wasn’t accomplishing anything (which again, we’ve all read about).

And that is where some of the panic comes in. I had this plan, right? Get into another Master’s program, totally kill it, and in a few years become this bad ass counselor and totally save the world.

Here’s the problem with having a plan: you can be let down when things don’t go according to that plan.

And while that sentence is probably speaking volumes to my future therapist about how I let my life become whatever it is in that future, for me, right now, it’s the simple lack of chemistry between my anxiety and having a plan.

If I finish my application that means I just have to wait for results. Waiting is the worst part of anything. Unless that anything happens to be rejection to the program that is the cornerstone of your big life plan. So every time I open my laptop to work on my personal statement I freeze and I start thinking about all the reasons I shouldn’t be doing this.

And the prize fighter in that self-beat-down is the thought that I am not good enough, together enough, or compassionate enough to be someone’s counselor. Closely followed by the feeling that even if I got into the program, I’m definitely not smart enough to get through it. I start doubting how I got my Bachelor’s, thinking back to all the times I got help or bombed an assignment. Did I even deserve that?

And the worst question yet: is this what I really want?

I had this plan, I had this fire lit under my ass, I got excited and felt like I had a direction. Now though, I just have doubts. And I can’t tell if they’re anxiety doubts or legitimate, rational-thinking doubts.

All of which is clouded by the sweetest distraction, my relationship. About which I have the same dilemma: anxiety doubts or legit doubts? Long distance stress or normal relationship ups and downs?

I don’t exactly feel equipped to deal with either source, though I can certainly say I have much more practice dealing with the irrational, anxiety derived breed of thought.

But, now what?

Today

Now what? Getting REAL honest.

Hello again! Not gonna waste time explaining where the hell I’ve been, because let’s be honest: on-again, off-again is just the type of blogger I am. Today I’m gonna stretch my writing muscles and give you a big ole ‘Life Update’ post in the form of stream of consciousness gibberish.

Enjoy. ♥

Y’all know that I recently graduated from my Masters program, an achievement that made me feel hopeful and powerful for about two weeks. After that I started getting really bogged down by the ‘now whats’ I kept getting from everyone, mostly because I really had no idea.

I got a Masters because I’m blessed to have access to free education until I’m 26, so I went in with a “why not” attitude. I chose the program I did because I love helping people, I’m passionate about the nonprofit sector, and honestly, because it was online and wouldn’t require me to take out a loan to move somewhere else for a similar program.

Most people assume that my next step is to use my super awesome degree to get a super awesome job and start living like an adult with her life together, but what the fuck do I know about any of those things?

My degree didn’t make me feel prepared to become an administrator, despite the program title. I don’t feel ready to start giving advice to a nonprofit organization about what to do with their money or how to engage with donors. I have more insight than most people, yes, but I have no experience. I’ve volunteered my whole life, but I’m not ready to be in charge of an organization.

Some of that is probably related to my self-worth, or lack there of. I’ve struggled with that my whole life, but I don’t know how to separate out the feelings of not valuing myself or my knowledge and the legitimacy of not having a clue what I’m doing. I’m a student, that’s how I’ve identified my entire life. Never as a leader, never as a mentor, never as a professional. I’m a learner, and it feels like that’s my only strength.

My family jokes about me collecting degrees and putting off being in the “real world” by continuing to study. And of fucking course I am! One, it’s free to be doing so right now and two, my God has it been fun (save my little mishap, aka my big fat F, which we won’t talk about). I love being in school. I love the structure, the atmosphere, the clear objectives: I know what I need to do and what I’m supposed to be getting out of everything I’m told to do, there’s always a very clear goal and a timeline, in the way of small assignments and of larger things like final exams and graduation.

It’s terrifying for me to picture myself in a job with no movement like that. I started my undergrad knowing that in four years I was going to move on to a different degree. I started my graduate study knowing I’d move on after a year, eventually two, but to what? If I start a job, even if I love it, what’s the next step? To stay there? For how long? Forever? I can’t imagine doing anything forever.

And there it is: I can’t imagine doing anything forever.

I guess the way I exist in this world can really be boiled down to that statement and all the repercussions of it can explain a lot about my past: Like choosing a college so far away from home so I got to move every year. Or struggling to commit to relationships because the idea of being tied down to one place, one person, forever was something I just couldn’t fathom- even with friendships.

And what in the world made me this way?

I could write a multitude of posts about that, but really two worlds clear it up for most: Army Brat.

Let’s get back to trauma at hand:

I am massively ashamed of the fact that I have a master’s degree and no direction. I am massively ashamed that I want to get another degree to put off having to make big career decisions. I am massively ashamed of the fact that I wasted time getting a degree when I had no real idea what the hell I was going to do with it. I am massively ashamed that everyone I graduated with has moved onto starting their careers and is doing something productive. I am massively ashamed of the fact that a small piece of my motivation to get another degree was the money- not like future salary boosts, but the stipend the VA gives me for being a student. No tuition and a monthly check for doing something I love that normally puts people in debt? Fuck yeah.

So, I started looking for another Master’s program to deal with all that pesky shame, to have something to say to people when they asked about my next step, to pocket some of my stipend, to put off finding a career, to just be doing something that felt even remotely productive. I was open to anything. I looked for online or local programs because I need to keep my crappy retail job and I need to finish my internship hours. And I don’t want to leave Boyfriend. And I can’t afford to move, honestly.

Nothing I found spoke to me, so I put it on the back burner. I concentrated instead on spending a ton of time with Boyfriend before his deployment and travelling to Ohio and New York for a wedding ( SO FUN). But then Boyfriend left and I got back from my trip and I had to start looking again. Either for some kind of “big girl” job or a new educational avenue.

Nothing was coming to me, I felt like I was just wasting time and again, I felt so much shame. That shame mixed with the lonely feelings and the sadness of leaving my friends after my trip and I just wasn’t productive. I’d go to work, I’d go to my internship, and then I’d hole up at Boyfriend’s house and just feel sorry for myself that I was directionless and lonely and probably stupid and irresponsible for letting it go on this long.  I’d talk to my counselor, but my shame kept me from bringing any of this up, instead we’d work through auxiliary problems like my panic attacks.

Then one weekend I went home to spend some time with my parents, because I just couldn’t be alone in Boyfriend’s house anymore and stay sane. While I was home, my dad put on a documentary about PTSD in the United States. It was difficult to watch. Graphic and raw and just personally hard to stomach.

I was messaging Boyfriend while it was on and sharing how disturbing it was, how sad I felt about the treatment of Veterans. Then the narrator started talking about the shortage of mental health counselors not only in the VA system, but in our country. And something stirred inside me. He went on about suicide, about how in 2012, more military members died by suicide than in combat. I was devastated by that, but also suddenly felt driven. I told Boyfriend. He suggested looking into what it takes to become a mental health counselor.

It felt like Divine Intervention, like a huge arrow pointing me in a direction that made sense to me instead of the aimlessness that plagued me with my other degrees.  I enjoyed them, sure, but did they ever make sense?

So, that’s the answer. Now I’m going to get another degree, but this time with a plan, with a direction, with a passion that isn’t general to just ‘helping people’ but crystal clear.

And I know I’m going to stumble along the way, probably in the form of self-doubt and fear that I don’t have what it takes to help people- those things already plague me. But I know that this is what I’m being called to do.

Here’s to figuring it out as you go.

Adventures

Raw Coffee and the Rainforest

Costa Rican journal entry

31 December 2017

Notes on the bus.

Coffee plantation this morning! I want to write down all I learned, but we’re on a bus and I’m pretty nauseated.

We picked coffee berries, the one I picked was called a ‘peaberry,’ it’s a genetic mistake! One of the beans in the berry absorbs the sugar of the other – it’s sterile, but much sweeter. I ended up buying the roasted ground peaberry coffee.

Peaberry- genetic mutant
The peaberry, the red is the covering, the larger bean is the one that takes all the sugar from the other bean!

We tried raw coffee too, unroasted, called a golden bean. There’s no coffee taste, but lots of caffeine!

I learned there’s a parchment like covering of the bean that is used to make coffee paper, but the plantation we visited uses it as fuel when they are roasting. Our plantation guide told us they try not to waste any part of the plant.

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The coffee bean and the paper like covering

We also learned a lot about the workers, how many of them are from Nicaragua and work during the harvest season. They’re given housing and food and transportation, and are paid based on their harvest- a per basket type of system. Unfortunately, many of the workers are separated from their families during the harvest season.

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Coffee berries!

Our guide told us about the process of making decaf coffee. Apparently they send the beans they want to be decaf to a company in Germany who removes the caffeine and sells it to Pepsi and Coke for them to make caffeinated soda! It blew my mind. Our plantation guide told us it’s great for the plantation because of the international relationship, and obviously the money they earn selling the caffeine.


Doka Estate

Doka Estate
Cafe Tres Generaciones (Three Generations Coffee)

The plantation we went to, Doka Estate, owned by the Vargas family is also home to the country’s oldest wet mill. Basically the wet mill separates the high and low quality coffee berries- the high quality float while the low quality berries sink. After that the berries are shucked and the beans exposed, then dried. The beans are still covered in that papyrus/ parchment material that the estate uses to fuel their roasting.

oldest wet mill in the country

The beans are dried outdoors on large cement flats and raked every 45 minutes. We got to rake them! None of us were very good and our lines were pretty wavy compared to the workers impeccable straight line; and we went less than half way across the flat!

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Our plantation guide showing us how to rake the drying beans

The grounds of the plantation were absolutely beautiful. There were so many different plants and trees, natural to the area, but placed by the estate. We met a little dog when we first arrived, he was a big hit, obviously.

sun drying coffe

Our plantation guide let us try a chocolate coffee drink with cinnamon, I can’t remember the name of it, but they made it there and oh man, it was fantastic. We also sampled coffee blends and chocolate covered coffee beans. Like I said, I bought the peaberry blend. It was so sweet, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to make it as well as they did. Haha.

Wet mill
The wet mill, once more berries are added it will be filled with water

After our coffee tour we bought some souvenirs and then walked through their butterfly garden, it wasn’t overstuffed with an unnatural amount like some American butterfly gardens I’ve been to, but the size and variety of butterflies and moths was incredible. The flowers alone would have been worth the visit! Our trip guide, Rhyan, told us Costa Rica is home to over a thousand species of butterfly and moth.

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On our drive leaving the plantation we saw some coffee pickers. We had learned that all the coffee is hand picked. The workers are given money for each basket of coffee they fill as well as housing, bills, and transportation during the 5 month harvest season.

Driving to and fro

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As we made our way to the next hotel, we pulled over at La Paz waterfall. The constant beauty of the landscape amazes me and even though it had started pouring we all got out to get a better look and take pictures.

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It was my first waterfall, and despite being relatively small, it took my breath away. Rhyan assured us it was nothing compared to the waterfall we’d be seeing later on the trip.

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La Paz

Before we made it to the hotel, we again pulled over randomly because Rhyan had spotted a couple of toucans in a tree beside the road! We stayed on the bus this time, but we all rushed to one side to make sure we could see them. My pictures were all blurry from the rainy window, but it’s an incredible memory to have.

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La Paz

I can’t remember if we went to the hotel and then lunch or the other way around, but the spot we stopped at was great! It looked like a little hole in the wall, but everything was delicious.

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My first Costa Rican casado

We had our first casados, the veg option omitting meat and replacing it with a side of steamed vegetables. We also got a fizzy pineapple and peppermint drink. It sounds disgusting and strange, but was actually magical. I wish I could post a video of it!

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Arenal Volcano

map

After our lunch was our hike on the Arenal volcano! I keep using exclamation point because I’m still in shock that I’ve done these things- hiked on a recently active volcano! Though, because of its status we weren’t allowed at the very top.

greens

path

We didn’t see much wildlife, which disappointed some people, but honestly the forest itself and the noises were amazing. It was windy so everything was kind of rustle-y, especially at the base of the volcano where things weren’t growing as close together.

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A coati that was digging for food in our path! (Had to zoom since we didn’t want to get too close, so it’s blurry)

The colors were so vivid- mostly green, all exquisite, but also rich, deep browns in the structures and the Earth- broad tree trucks and spindly tan branches; fast growing light bamboo and older, dying, nearly grey leaves.

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Occasionally there were pops of brilliant blues, almost neon oranges, and yellows that reminded me of the crayons we used as kids to draw the sun. Once or twice we spotted pale purple orchids with light yellow centers. This was towards the top and they were covered in rain drops.

tree

In a text to Boyfriend I bragged on the mud that covered my shoes, the rain that soaked my clothes and skin, and the smile I couldn’t contain. I don’t know what exactly had come over me, I don’t know what exactly had taken my soul so hard and refused to let go as I stared up at the branches, pour umbrellas that they were. I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking, I couldn’t recreate the awe, the wonder, the delight- when would I ever be here again, when would I feel this good again?

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The view from the highest point of our hike (not the top of the volcano)
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This is Lake Arenal

We came across a tree, some jokingly calling it ‘the tree of life,’ so wide and tall we couldn’t have gotten it all in a photo. It was awe inspiring. I know I keep using that word, but it’s all I’ve got that makes sense, that captures the slack-jawed, wide-eyed stares that continued to cover my face- not just on this hike, but on this trip. Nearly everything in Costa Rica has filled my heart with the awe and joy I’ve already written about and will definitely continue to mention.

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The “tree of life”
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These roots!!

Stuck in my head

After our hike we went to our hotel, The San Bosco Inn of LA Fortuna. It was a block from the center of town and across the street from a fast food place I desperately wanted to try because of their vegan option, but they were closed for the holidays.

Everyone was soaked from the hike so we showered, some of us napped. We had our first group dinner. I got pasta and tried my first Imperial. It wasn’t great- something I would drink again because of what it is and where I was, but I’m really not a beer drinker to begin with. Boyfriend would probably love it and that’s exactly what I thought when I finished it.

He crossed my mind a lot during that dinner. I thought about how miserable he’d probably be soaked in that rain forest, but how much he’d excel at the physicality of the muddy, rocky steps. I thought about how many pictures he’d take when we got to the highest point. I missed him suddenly and difficultly, I felt lonely suddenly, realizing I was so in my head that day that I hadn’t used our long hike as an opportunity to bond more with my roommate, Nicki. I made a silent promise to enjoy the group part of my “group travel” a little more.

After dinner we picked up our tickets to the disco we were going to- they were throwing a New Year’s Eve party. It was called Volcán Look Disco and honestly was the sketchiest looking building I’d ever seen, but when we arrived later that night it was much more appealing (with security and colorful lights).

Before actually heading to the party, we all had to get ready (less post-hike clothes and more party clothes). I, of course, had not truly thought about the full itinerary when I was packing and so had no ‘disco’ clothes and had only brought some light foundation, eyebrow mascara, and a nude lip.

Among all the full faces I saw others putting on I felt angry at myself for being so thoughtless. But, also a glimmer of pride because I’d left my makeup behind under the sentiment of not caring what others thought, and not needing to impress anyone. However, that confidence had fled now that Boyfriend wasn’t standing behind my suitcase telling me how beautiful I was and triple checking I didn’t need him to buy me something or give me spare spending money.

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I complained lightly to Nicki, already completely ready while she finished her hair and makeup. She lent me mascara and another girl we met lent me an eye shadow palette and glitter glue (it was New Years after all).

I managed to play up my eyes and use the palette for a darker lip- though it didn’t last past my first drink. And even though I was in a shirt I only wear to work, my only pair of jeans, and my water shoes, because my only other shoes were soaked by mud, I was ready for my New Years Adventure at a Costa Rican Disco. ♥

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Today

Menstruation Frustration

Y’all, I have a serious love/hate relationship with my period.

I’m glad to have it, really, but damn does it fuck with my head.

I can deal with the cramps, the back pain, the nausea, the headaches, The Bloat, the tenderness, the cravings, the breakouts, the exhaustion. I’m not a fan of any of them, but I can deal because they just require pills or patches or long naps or begging Boyfriend for junk food. But the emotional roller coaster I’m taken on once a month is so frustrating!

I overthink everything I say and hear, I read into actions that are completely meaningless, I cry about things that aren’t real, and then knowing that I do all that, I question every emotion I have, asking myself, “Is this a valid reaction or am I being sensitive?”

I feel hideous, which is normally made worse by breakouts and The Bloat that makes all my clothes just a little tighter and uncomfortable. But on top of feeling like an ugly monster, I’m also a horn dog. Which is the most confusing thing ever because I don’t want Boyfriend to look at or touch my greasy, broken out, bloated body, but in the same second when he’s not being affectionate or calling me sexy I feel like an even grosser monster. How in the world am I suppose to reconcile all of those feelings? What am I supposed to tell him to do?

My period also exacerbates any dilemmas I was working through before it starts. For example, I’ve been really stressed about figuring out my next step, professionally or academically, or both. I’ve been searching for a job that could start my career, I’ve been trying to decide if I want another Master’s and if yes, then in what and where and I’ll need letters of recommendation and I’ll have to talk to the VA and can I finish it before I turn 26 and my benefits run out, etc. etc. blah blah blah.

It feels pretty heavy anyway, but when I’m on my period all that stress weighs on me differently. I feel judged by an imaginary audience in my head, frozen in the headlights of their stares, completely unable to make a decision or take any productive steps. So I’m getting nothing done and I feel extra terrible about myself for not being productive so my progress slows even more while my mental energy is spent beating myself up and my physical energy is spent shedding my uterine lining, creating zits, eating brownies and onion rings, or crying about a scenario I created in my head after hearing a sad song on the radio.

I’m exhausted and in a head space where I feel like I have wasted every second of the last 5 days, even though when I look back at them I did get things done, just not enough for my period-brain to feel accomplished or even complacent.

Thanks a lot, uterus. ✌️