New Year Update

Last month I took stock and wrote a list, which ended up more like a journal entry, of all the things I did or accomplished in 2019. There was a lot of doing, not as much accomplishing. But I think I can say that even with all the doing, there was still some accomplishing in there, i.e., I was learning.

Here’s my list.

2019: A Year In Review

  • This time last year (December 2018) I was finishing my first quarter of teaching English 101 at Cascadia College. From January to March I taught English 102 for the first time. That was a trip!
  • I bought a car! This was a huge deal after primarily biking in Seattle for over 15 years with minimal public transportation. I’ve identified so strongly as a biker in Seattle, it’s become part of who I am. Whenever I move houses, I still look up the bike routes to work and friends houses on Google Maps before committing to anything.
  • I drove for Lyft at the beginning of the year because I only had one class to teach, and a very part time nanny gig. So I made up the difference by driving rich(er than me) people to their fancy tech jobs in the morning and then I taught high school kids in running start how to do college research in the afternoons. I think it’s safe to say, both groups hated my work, as did I.
  • I had moved in with an older woman and a younger woman and their five dogs in Ravenna. Then I got sick of stepping in dog piss and shit so I moved to Heartthrob in October 2018. All of 2019 was spent with Qoqo and Marielle, Sarah and Marissa, and then in summer, Ben and Ian swapped out for Marielle, totaling our cohabitation to six.
  • In April, I went to the Philippines with Rae to see the very unique and intense Easter Celebrations there. In summary, I got hella triggered and because of this, Rae and I got into a very intense philosophical argument that lasted over a month. Perhaps one day I’ll go into the details. At the airport on the way home, I experienced the rumblings of my first earthquake.

  • Because teaching wasn’t working out, I decided to switch gears (in life, not on my bike) and go into social work as a way to move towards mental health counseling. When I got back from the Philippines, I took a job at an agency down in Tacoma under the umbrella of Rebuilding Hope! The Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County called the Sex Trafficking Response and Awareness Program of Washington. I was a case manager, which basically entailed anything and everything our clients wanted us to help them with. Getting a job, getting their birth certificate, helping them get toiletries, chilling out at the drop-in center, dying their hair in the bathroom, teaching them how to cook fried chicken, whatever. Sometimes I would just drive them around and treat them to McDonald’s and listen as they talked out their feelings. I worked there for three months until I couldn’t stand the drive anymore or the low pay.
  • I broke up with my partner of two years. I mourned the loss for 9 months before I wooed him back again. Then three months later, I broke up with him again! I know. Don’t worry, it won’t happen again. I guess I had more to learn.
  • In August, (before I got back together with my partner) I went to Mexico City with my dear friend Chad. He had hot gay sex on Mexico City rooftops and I got laid in the hostel room with a horny Colombian man while an unknown Japanese guest slept above us in the middle of the day and all without a lock on the door!
  • A day after my return from CDMX, I started a new job at YouthCare. But then less than a month later, just as I got used to my new job, I finally got cleared for the job I was hired for, in under-18 housing. OMG. I hated it so much! Mostly this one kid in particular. The energy-suck of some of those kids, but also the shock of working in this environment with no previous experience. Wowza. And so here I am, still working there, except now I love it because I love the kids. Yay!

Which leads to this year’s goals:

  • I’m moving! I’ve decided that living with five people is not nourishing my soul in the ways that I’d like. I need more quiet, less negotiating other people’s needs, and I really really really need and want a dog.
  • I’m going to get a dog!
  • Save $5000 for emergencies. This is a big one. I’ve been meeting with a friend semi-regularly to talk about our money issues. Just recently, they reflected back to me what I had said about wanting to break my cycle of saving aggressively and then spending even more aggressively. Well, moving is not exactly in alignment with breaking that cycle, but it’s also not not in alignment.
  • I’ve decided to become a therapist. That’s the job/career that I want to have in the future to sustain me financially and provide a rewarding and fulfilling work life. I think I’ve always wanted to be a therapist, ever since I walked through my third therapist Amanda’s door over twelve years ago. Attaining this goal means I have to go back to grad school. There are many routes to this end and this year I aim to figure that out and begin applying to grad programs in and out of state, most likely for the following year. Any and all suggestions are welcome.
  • Explore new (to me) therapy modalities. EMDR has been on my radar for a while. Also, CBT and DBT. I always have more healing to do, and this will also allow me to explore therapies that I might want to use later in my practice as a therapist.
  • I’m having Sinus Surgery on February 27th! I am excited and hopeful for this because I will also be starting a new drug therapy called Dupixent–a biologic drug–to help keep the polyps from growing back. I’ve also started allergy shots for dust mites (which I’m severely allergic to) and am hopeful that this will also turn things around for me. I’m crossing my fingers that all of this will get my sense of smell back! It’s only taken me 15 years to get to the bottom of this weird disease called AERD. I still stump many practitioners when I mention this disease to them.
  • I want to work on my issues with food. I am overweight by about 30 pounds or more now (depending on whose scale or BMI chart I’m using, it could be more). I’ve never been a thin person, but I’ve never been really heavy either. This might be the “largest” I’ve been to date. I’m not freaking out, but I’m also not loving it either. I noticed my weight starting to creep up after my dad died. Like immediately after, that same week. I got back on the plane and when my partner picked me up from the airport we laughed at how my chin had kind of popped out a layer! It must have been the mayo in the “Dad’s Jello Salad”. Then I had chest surgery and I stopped exercising as much and bought a car and got a job in another city. The weight kept creeping up. Now I’m here. But sometimes it feels like food obsession and I don’t know how to stop it. Plus, I’m constantly trying to quit eating gluten and dairy because of my AERD and food sensitivities and stomach sensitivities, which feels like an eating disorder in itself. I know they wreak havoc on my body but I want to eat both of them all the time. I go through eating periods where I stay away from them for several months, and then I swing back the other way, trying not to eat them and failing. Every. Single. Day. Then I’ll try a new diet on the market like Paleo or Whole30 or Keto or low-carb or whatever stupid new fangled thing, even vegan Paleo! Or a cleanse. And then I stick to it for a while and then I fail, fail, fail! I hate it! And the horrible thing is, I never really feel that amazing. Ok, if I’m honest, I did feel better after not eating sugar for over a month. That might be the only thing I noticed, a lack of inflammation in my joints. It was awesome!
  • I’d like to write new songs and record them.
  • I am going to write the second installment of my Hairzine! Volume 2.
  • I’m going to Scotland for my friend Erin’s wedding, without breaking the bank or breaking into my emergency fund (break that cycle!).
  • I’d like to take a dance class, like hip hop or break dance or maybe even ballroom dancing.
  • I’d also like to take a bike trip, even for a weekend or a week. A dream would be to bike the coast of Croatia! But that might be breaking the bank, which I’m vowing not to do!
  • I want to establish a regular exercise habit of at least 3 times a week. I’m not a gym person, but if that’s what it takes, I’m down. Yoga, cycling, running, lifting weights, whatever. Working with a personal trainer. Anything like that.
  • I am considering chest surgery again. I plan to consult Dr. Stiller in Spokane to see what he can do to #savethenipple but if that doesn’t work, I’ll probably just go back to Dr. Schmidek and lop them off. 🙂
  • In keeping with my financial goals, I’d like to sell my car and get a cheaper one. Like maybe even a Leaf because it’s better for the environment!
  • I’d like to work with a life coach and see if that can help me to get started on these goals.
  • I’m considering legally changing my name. I’m not sure if I need to, but it might be nice. I’m thinking about it this year.

There are other things on my list, things I feel too vulnerable about to share on here. But anyway, lots of things stewing. Lots of change. Like, I can’t even bring myself to write “look for a life partner” because I’m not really there yet. I’m just looking forward to moving into a new space and getting a dog of my own! And then enjoying long walks with my dog…alone.

Ok, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading my update! What’s your year in review? Any exciting things on the horizon?

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