Monday, February 07, 2005

News From the Inside


Yes, yes, I live. It's been a really rough month or so for me, and I've found it somewhat daunting to deal with it and blog about it at the same time. Besides, I've done my fair share of bitching and whining here, and I really didn't want to keep posting like that. Sure, this is my journal, and generally I'm pretty free with my innerworkings.. I just would like to expand my readership and feel like complaining all the time isn't going to do it. I can't help it; I'm an attention whore and lately it's really dawned on me that my concept here isn't exactly bringing in and keeping new people. Though it's kind of sad, because I think I'm pretty funny and entertaining in person, it just somehow doesn't translate here.

Anyhoo.. things are definitely getting better. Driving back into town last night after a weekend at Angie's, it dawned on me that Morgantown feels more like home than it ever has. No more feeling like an outsider lost in a strange town, in fact, I was quite happy to see all the lights and know that this is where I live now. It's so much better than Parkersburg in many ways! Even though I do get lost still and, after taking a different, 'I have no idea where the hell I am right now' route to my apartment, I realized there is still a huge portion of the city that I haven't even seen yet.

After living at the end of a dead end street for so long, when I first moved here, it was a little shocking that if I opened my front door, there might be people walking around right outside. I grew up in San Francisco, so it's not like I've never been surrounded by people everywhere, but I think I get so adapted to my surroundings that changing to something new takes a while. I'm definitely much more used to seeing lots of random strangers strolling outside than a month ago. This is good, as it means I'm beginning to settle in.

I spent the past 30 days or so in a constant state of heightened, freaked out stress over school and my job. The latter turned out to be one major suckfest; the owner I guess decided he didn't like me, so he picked on me a lot and it felt like he made my life at work very difficult. I'm a total people-pleaser, and I take it very hard and very personally when I give my all to get some sort of recognition and it doesn't work. I won't go into all the details here, as I'm sort of mentally past hashing it all out, but I will say I drew the line on my last night of work when he began yelling at me in front of everyone, apparently loud enough to hear in the front of the restaurant, and then his verbal barrage turned into swearing at me. We were busy and I'd been working really hard that night trying to balance his demands on top of those of the stressed-out server I was supposed to be backing. I was so livid and frustrated that I ended up in a teary rage and had to go upstairs to calm down. After much debate (maybe too much.. the decision probably should have been easier) and discussion with a counselor at Student Services, I realized that it had to end. I couldn't handle that stress along with school, and I was on the very edge of cracking completely.

When I called in for the next week's schedule and found I had only one shift in the entire week, I think that was it for me. I'd had a feeling he was going to fire me, but then he hired two new people, and, because the place is so small staff-wise, I immediately got that he was trying to make me quit. To me, it wasn't worth it, even though the temptation of making a lot of money was quite strong. But at what point do you stop selling your soul for money? I really did feel this job was sucking my soul right out. So I quit. I feel a little guilty for how I did it, in a snail mail letter, but as I told him, I felt totally uncomfortable stepping foot back in the restaurant. I didn't want to talk to him, I just wanted to quit. I also made it clear that I found his behavior unacceptable, and that I refused to work under those conditions.

It's amazing to me how much better I feel now that that isn't in my life anymore. I feel so much more on top of things; even the Plant and Soil Sciences class that brought me to tears the Friday before my last work shift feels doable to me now. Yeah, it's hard, but it's okay now. I can focus on school for the moment, try to get into the groove of university (much harder than community college, OMG), and try to get settled. I also took advantage of the free therapy offered by WVU, and talking to the counselor helped me immensely. I don't know what it is about talking to a professional, but it's really what I needed. I think I cried almost the whole time, but it felt so good to admit to someone that I was drowning in the overwhelming pressure and stress. I have weekly appointments, which should be good, as I've recently felt the desire to get back into therapy, at least for a while. I may not have to take advantage of all twelve sessions, but at least the option is there.

I just feel so much lighter and more capable of dealing with shit now. I had my first exam of the semester last week on Thursday, and two more this week. The first was my Plant and Soil Sciences class, something that has been stressing me out to no end. My lab partner, Robin, and I decided to get together Wednesday night at the library to check out the study questions and example test, and to study together. He has like a hundred in-depth questions there that were freaking us out because it totally fed into our fears that this test would be out-of-control. This teacher is insane, what he expects, and secondly, with his little English lessons in class (!) -- "Saying a root grows into the soil is incorrect. It grows in the soil." -- I think he is a major hard-ass as far as grading. But studying with Robin totally did the trick and I know I felt that I DID NOT BOMB THE TEST!!! Yay! I may not get an A, but a B would make me pee my pants with glee. After all, a B is not an F. I would cry if I got an F. So that was a tremendous relief, and after that, everything seems to have gotten so much better.

I finally got my first loan check, and was able to pay my overdue bills, as well as buy some necessities and not-so-necessities. I finally got a printer, I am so stoked to say. I found a Brother 6-in-one dealie for less than $100 at Office Depot. The nickle-and-diming of school grates on my nerves a bit. Things like having paid a $365 lab fee for my computer science class, and yet still having to pay 10 cents a sheet for lab assignment printouts. But whatever, I'm hoping I can print my own stuff and save a little cash that way.

I found a vibrator on Amazon for $2.99 (plus shipping and fees, came to about $8). I am pretty excited to finally have a B.O.G. (Battery Operated Girlfriend) again.. it's been exactly ten years since my last one. No, I didn't break it or wear it out, but one of the batteries leaked and ruined the thing. I don't know what's taken me so long to get another, I guess the price and my not really being in love with any particular kind or style. But $2.99, how the hell can you beat that?

I also got a reeeeallly super comfy foam mattress pad at Wal-Mart that is like a little slice of heaven to sleep on. My mattress is about ten years old and I was recently lamenting that it definitely is not as soft or comfortable as it used to be. Angie has a pad just like mine, and her bed is beyond comfortable. I used it last night and I swear I got a significantly better night's sleep. I have been down to one pair of jeans, and I found a pair of cool Gap jeans for $10 at T.J. Maxx. I also splurged and bought a bottle of Fendi perfume for $18; it smells just like a scent that was popular when I was younger. I never could figure out what it was so I could get my own, but I always loved it. Someone would walk by wearing it and I'd go, "Oooooooooo, it's that scent.. what is it!" I sprayed on the Fendi, and though I liked it, decided not to get it because of the cost, and since I'm an unemployed bum, I was trying to not go overboard with my purchases. But then, after smelling it all day and loving it, I had to go back and get it. It's really spicy and yummy.

Anyway, things are looking up and I'm hoping they'll get more positive around here, too. I'm going to try to take at least one picture a day, so I can get a daily photo thing going in my photojournal. I'm trying out the Flickr badge at the top of the page.. not sure if I like it or not. I played with the code for an hour and couldn't get the borders to go away, nor could I fix the semi-annoying varying of picture sizes. Let me know what you think, though, if it should stay or I should get rid of it.



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