Going Going, Back Back…

 

To Cali Cali. Original. I know. This month my husband and I are making the Haul back to California after five adventure (I loosely use the word “adventure”) filled years away from it. We originally moved to to Charleston, South Carolina and then from there to Chicago, Illinois. We wanted to take advantage of being young, in love, and without kids. I had also finished college with a degree in psychology and no official plans to use it, while he had graduated from culinary school and had every intention of putting that to good use.

His intention was to cook and learn cuisine and culture in other parts of the country to bring back home (California) with us in hopes of having expanded knowledge for one day opening our own restaurant. My plan was to find a job a that paid the bills and enjoy living in different parts of the country. It was exciting for us and for our families, because we were the first in a couple of generations to get out of our hometowns. Sounds so small-town, doesn’t it? We are not from a small-town, but a nice suburb of the East Bay Area, when we share that with people in other states they can’t comprehend why we would ever leave it. The answer is simple, it has been such a growing opportunity for us that I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t take a year or two off from where they grew up. If you’re thinking “Money, maybe?” you’re wrong. We moved across the country with barely $1000 together and we’ve made it work for 5 years without ever once asking our parents for help.

So, now that we have had this amazing cross country adventure together, we have decided that it is time to settle down sightly and move back home. I have been at the same job for almost 8 years transferring from location to location and has fulfilled his desire to learn new cuisine. The only downside about spending the past few years traveling is that we haven’t had an opportunity to lay roots anywhere or save money to build towards our future and our potential business. Not to mention my sister has a new baby girl that turned 2 months old yesterday that I have yet to meet, which is tearing away at my heart.

It is with the most bittersweet of feelings that my husband and I began packing our 375 square foot apartment this month to begin our haul back home. I’m grateful for all that I learned along the way and I can’t wait to see what moving home to be with our families again can teach us. Honestly, I CAN wait a little bit to have outside influence and added family pressure thrown into our marriage that hasn’t been there the whole time we have been married, but it’s all part of the adventure, I suppose.

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/haul/

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I’m Going Through Changes

Update: I am not pregnant. I started my period on the 47th day of my cycle which is honestly bonkers. I have never had a very consistent cycle off of birth control, but it has never been THAT off before.  My last post expressed fear for the potential of bringing a life into this world, a lot has changed since then. It has been less than two weeks since I officially announced that I thought I might be pregnant and since then my opinion on being a mother has drastically changed.

The night that I had posted about it I had a long talk with my husband about how this might actually be it, we may be pregnant. I was expecting regret, sadness, and a break down from him. He is so worried about money, moving back to California and getting a second car that I had convinced myself he would freak out more than I did. The response that I got, instead, overwhelmed me with positive emotion. He was sure of himself as he held me and told me it would be alright. He smiled, he was calm, he was ready to find out and begin planning.

I bawled. I wasn’t expecting him to be so calm, at all. We had talked all the time about how we never wanted children and joked about how we could barely afford ourselves. Once he showed me how strong he was in that moment, my mentality shifted. I was ready to go buy a test the next day after work and get our results. We had read that false negatives were a thing, so after the first test was negative I waited a few days and took another, which was also negative. So I told myself I wasn’t pregnant and began to research why I would be so late and why I had been cramping for a week. To shorten a story that I could continue to tell I will just say this, a few ups and downs and another pregnancy test later I found myself officially negative. I cried.

I had pictured myself pregnant, I had planned how we’d tell our parents, I knew the timing was right for moving home and being around our family. My best friend is getting married out of state at the end of the year and the timeline would have fit perfectly postpartum to travel still. It seemed like a breath of fresh air for a moment, like it was all perfectly fitting into place even if we hadn’t planned for it. I continued you to cry for a couple of minutes, while also laughing at myself for crying, while Chase held me and let me go through it.

Picturing myself as a mother and accepting the reality of it for a brief a week, oddly has helped me grow up. I’ve been dreading moving home to be closer to family, I haven’t been able to picture us settling down and buying a home, I couldn’t figure out what it all meant to have more responsibility other than renting a studio in a busy city with no one to worry about but myself. I know that having a pregnancy scare doesn’t make me someone who has all of that figured out yet, but it opened up my heart to the possibilities of it. I feel emotional even typing this out now.

Chase later informed me that he might be a little more sad than he had let on about not being pregnant after all. He wasn’t sure what that meant and I am also not sure what it means. We were ready to be parents on accident, but I am not sure that it is responsible to do it on purpose at this point. Just knowing that we were ready has brought us closer in a way that I didn’t know we were apart, it is exciting. It seems silly to admit that about someone I chose to marry, but we were on the same page about no kids, so this has changed us a little.

I can’t wait to continue growing and changing with and learning from him. Tonight, writing out my thoughts, I feel grateful for the man that I married, I feel hopeful, and I feel so content.

 

Panic Mode

Hey guys. This is an overshare, but I am freaking the fuck out. I am on day 42 of my cycle..it has been 42 days exactly since the start of my last period. I can not be pregnant. Everything I have read tells me that 42 days is the acceptable length of an IRREGULAR cycle…but that I should probably buy a pregnancy test soon. My husband and I aren’t irresponsible when it comes to birth control, we are fully aware that we are not financially in a place to bring another life into the world, but somehow a mistake was made.

I’m not confirmed pregnant yet, but today it has hit hard that it may become a reality all to soon for us. We’ve talk about the possibility the past couple of weeks that we’ve been waiting on my period to start, but we haven’t SERIOUSLY talked about what it means if it happens. The timing is not the worst, financially the worst, but we are in the process of planning to move back to our hometown and we have been married a few years and are age appropriate to begin this journey. We are both employed, we have health insurance, we are hard workers, if it comes down to it, financially obviously it will work.

I have never wanted to be a mom, it was not something I saw for myself. We want to open a restaurant. We will never have a ton of money pursuing that passion and it doesn’t create a lot of free time at home.

I’ve been crying for an hour and just needed an outlet to vent. I haven’t talked to anyone about this, I don’t want to put the potential in the universe until I know that it’s real. Stay tuned, I believe my life is about to change.

This is not a hot sex story.

They sat silently in their apartment, both half watching TV and half engrossed in their phones. He went into the kitchen to check on dinner, then made his way to the window where he proceeded to close it and draw the blinds. She knew what was coming next. “We’ve got a little time before dinner is ready, you wanna…” He motioned towards the bed without coming near her or actually using the word “sex.” He never did. He always asked as if it were a bad word.

 

She quickly thought about how long it had been since the last time they had sex and muttered “sure,” unenthusiastically in return. He threw his clothes off and sat eagerly on the bed waiting for her. She stood slowly and took her clothes off of herself uncomfortably while he just watched and waited. He pulled her into him and began to kiss her, moving back slowly as he did so, prompting her to move with him and on top of him. They began to kiss, passionately; this was her favorite part of foreplay, the initial connection. It usually started with her wishing that he had taken charge, initiated more romantically, seemed interested in getting her going first, but that being said, she wasn’t initiating it either so she didn’t want to ask for too much.

 

“Rub your hands down my body.” He whispered into her ear, leaving a trail of kisses back to her lips. He reached his arms over his head and laid out, enjoying each touch and eagerly waiting the next movement. A sigh would escape his lips occasionally, encouragement for her to keep going. Watching him take pleasure in the way she touched his body brought her more confidence, she kissed and stroked with growing authority. She reached down between their bodies to touch him more intimately to which he barked “no!” without explanation. His tense body relaxed quickly as he laid his head back down waiting for her to continue.

 

She felt embarrassed and confused though. She struggled to kiss his chest and lowered herself further to mask what she thought might be tears coming. She tried to breathe deeply to fight them off. Why would he bark at me? She kept asking herself obsessively, unable to focus on anything else. He gently pushed her head down to where he wanted it be, it was the first time he had touched her in minutes. Reluctantly and unexcitedly she took him into her mouth. “Look at me,” he demanded.

 

She shook her head ‘no’. It was a little too porn star for the mood she was in. he said it again, “Please baby, look at me while you’re doing that.” Her frustration grew. She ignored the request and continued. But couldn’t help but wonder if he even enjoyed it since she wasn’t listening. “Babe, please.” He repeated for a third time.

 

She stopped and looked right into his eyes, “No.” For lack of wanting to kiss him on the lips again, she took her time making her way back to his mouth. When their lips found each other again, he flipped her over and went right down to between her legs. “No, it’s okay, I am not in the mood for that.” She ran her fingers through his hair and rubbed his back, trying to pull him back up to her. He resisted and instead decided to kiss her thighs and around her sex to convince her that she wanted more.

She sighed out of frustration. She couldn’t even think about what he was doing, because she wished they were touching and kissing and not forcing this to happen. He dipped between her legs again, she tensed; he mistook this action for pleasure. “See, I thought you said you weren’t in the mood.” He smiled and it upset her.

 

“I’m not, you can stop now.” She pulled him back. He pecked her lips a few more times before reaching for a condom. He struggled to put it on and by the time he had it, he had lost his erection. He tried to enter her a few times before giving up, then angrily got off the bed and left the room, leaving her there naked by herself without explanation.

 

She didn’t move. She waited for him to comeback before she began to redress. He pulled her back onto the bed and laid his head on her chest. “I want sex to be better. I want to feel like you’re into it.” He expressed. “I don’t know what to do, because I am the only one who ever initiates.”

 

In her head she was getting angrier with each word. She wouldn’t consider pointing to the bed while closing the blinds initiating. She wouldn’t consider watching her undress herself while he sits and waits initiating. She wouldn’t think that yelling “no” at her without explanation leads to good sex. She didn’t believe that needing to tell your partner “no” multiple times to the same sex act during foreplay would lead to good sex. “Well you barked at me and embarrassed the hell out of me and then asked me multiple times to do something I had already said ‘no’ to. I don’t know what you want you want from me.”

 

“I knew the second I asked you to look at me it was over.” He griped.

 

“Why did you ask two more times after that then?”

 

“I don’t know. I just want this to be more fun. I want our sex life to be better. Don’t you? I want to talk about what we like and want more.”

 

Communication and understanding is what he wanted? This confused her. She had been yelled at and she had told him no more times than she should have to different things. What wasn’t she communicating? She had listened to his “no,” maybe if he had listened to hers she would have been a little more free and comfortable to enjoy sex. However, instead of saying that to him, she mumbled, “Yeah, I want it to be better.” And stared at the ceiling as he rolled off the bed and out of the room. Her chest grew tight and she felt tears coming.

 

Sex shouldn’t feel this way.

Cold Hearted

Sometimes I wonder if people can tell that I am not listening to them. This has always been a downfall of mine, but lately, I have noticed that I am not even aware that I am doing it until they’re done speaking. I usually nod in and out of the conversation, fully aware that I am daydreaming about other things, but I found myself zoning out just to think about nothing. The typical setting for a zone out would be a work meeting or a conversation involving multiple people, there is no harm really if I am not listening or participating, because its highly likely that there is someone else paying attention. Last week, I found myself staring blankly at a wall while my friend talked to me about coffee. I knew he was speaking directly to me, we were the only two people there, but all I was concentrating on was an empty spot on the wall behind him hoping he’d stop talking soon. I couldn’t keep my brain focused on what he wanted to say. I do it while people are venting to me, sometimes the things that people let ruin their day are so insignificant to me that I can’t actually hear what they’re saying. They can vent and complain and want me to empathize and I can’t do it, mostly because I don’t always agree, but also because I probably missed a few key points in their rant. My husband often comes home from work and dump a days worth or work complain on me daily, but the problem with this is often he complains about the same thing, there is only so much I can add every night to comfort him so I occasionally just stare at him until his lips stop moving.

 

I get it, this is fucked up. Everyone read those last few sentences and thought to themselves Wow, what a bitch. For the most part I am comfortable with that, because there will be a handful of people who will read that and understand completely what I am talking about, and those are my people. I would like to clarify that I understand that venting, complaining, decompressing at the end of the night, etc., is not about me. I know that my coworkers, friends and even my husband who are upset are not venting specifically to me because they need my wisdom and knowledge to fix their problems. They are venting, because that is how people cope. They need to let it all out so that they can feel better and move on. I suppose that is what the phrase “taking a load off” refers to. Sometimes all they need is for someone to say, “Yeah, I understand,” back to them, even if maybe they don’t understand. This allows people to build up, let out, move on and be happy/content or whatever. Human connection is crucial, I guess being a good listener or having someone to go to is a part of that. Personally, I don’t think I have ever craved that. There is something off in my wiring.

 

Despite what I am actually saying, I don’t mind that people see me as someone they can open up to. A majority of the time, I do empathize well and I am good at listening. I struggle when it’s repetitive. I don’t care that you had the same issue performing a task a work, I don’t care that you are having the same fight with one of your friends that I personally feel like you caused, and I don’t care that you are miserable at your second job, nobody has forced you to be there. The problem with listening and empathizing is that you become the person who has a lot of friends that you have to say shit like “I am sorry, I know you are going through a lot right now,” to, and I hate that so much. I feel like my life and the circle of people I’ve surrounded myself with are just a lot of people who have one thing after the other happening to them.

I am being critical, however, very critical. I know that having friends means you have someone there to lean on and confide in and turn to when things are going wrong. But I have never been one to open up like that, my whole life. I am not hard, but I was never a crier growing up, I never needed to lean on my parents for strong emotional support or guidance, I had a few close friends with whom I had a great time with and shared everything with, I never had boyfriends in high school, because what was the point? I didn’t have drama in my life. End of story. My cool girl mind set has left me stubborn and closed off, which is probably why I think everyone’s problems don’t matter. I don’t like to bother people with my problems. If I am struggling I silently suffer for a while until I explode or break down and then I move on. I don’t let people in or let my guard down (perhaps the same thing?), I don’t try to connect with anyone or make plans. I overthink it, what if the plans I make are boring? What if they will think my problems are stupid? What if my ideas get shot down? What if my husband doesn’t want to do the things I find interesting? I just sit around and wait for things to happen for me so I never have to feel embarrassed or shot down, and if they don’t happen, then, whatever.

 

The hurry up and wait isn’t working anymore. Let’s circle back to tuning the people I care about out. I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to be stubborn, or cold, or semi-present. I want to be fully present. That being said I would like to learn how to thoughtfully let people know that it is draining for me to listen to their habitual complaints, is that possible? I want to be there, but not all of the time for the same thing, is that a thing? That might sound like I want to filter what my friends talk to me about, but all I mean is that if I am listening to the same thing for a week straight I should learn to let them know that what they’re harping on isn’t healthy. I want to learn how to take my guard down and let other people in and share how I feel. I’d like the learn how to vent and communicate in a healthy way, so that I am not bottled up and closed off. Ultimately, I want to have good intentions with my relationships, I want to be more emotionally open and available and honest with the people I consider my close friends. I am not doing myself any favors by tuning out and not being present.

 

Where do I even start? How?

No Fun January

This month my body is craving a reset. I am not a resolution type of person, as you know from my last post when I posted once a year just to do it, but I have a January goal of letting myself rest and while doing so I am learning that I don’t have to accept every social invitation to go out. From the week before Thanksgiving until a couple of day after New Years I was a wild woman. By wild woman I simply mean BUSY. My in-laws came into town for Thanksgiving, spent the whole week, and from then on I continued to go out and celebrate the holidays. I went to bars, I went to parties, I went out to eat, I had my best friend come visit, I flew home to California for one night to watch my sister’s surprise wedding (more on that another time), I worked a lot of four AM shifts let I didn’t let myself get enough sleep for the night before, and I drank more than body could handle. I HAD A GREAT TIME. But I am little too old for that, I think.

By the time that Christmas came around I got sick. I had that weird flu/cold thing that everyone seems to be suffering from and it took me until yesterday (TWO WEEKS!!!) to finally feel somewhat normal. I wish I could say that I took it easy for those two weeks, but it was Christmas and New Years, I still ate and drank and would rest up just to go out during that time. So physically, I feel like absolute shit. I hadn’t seen a proper vegetable on my plate in a month, probably had had a banana here or there, but my diet had been heavy meats, snacks, and bread for the last portion of 2017. I had barely slept five hours a night consistently for that month, let alone eight hours, which is problematic for someone who works four to five times a week well before the sun comes up.

In addition to the neglect my body has been feeling, it’s been so fucking cold in Chicago. I spent last winter here and never felt this cold, everyone told me it was a mild winter last year and I thought they were being dramatic, I was so wrong. I have never been more wrong. We went two weeks straight just living in the negative temperatures with wind chill. The exposed parts of my skin for short walks would burn and feel like they’d crack off of my body. I get it now, I am so very sorry to anyone I doubted about the cold in Chicago. But, never being this cold IN MY LIFE didn’t increase my chances of feeling better. And for those of you rolling their eyes, even native Chicagoans are complaining, most of them are doing so more than I am.

 

So let’s do some math….

 

Carbs+Fat+Alcohol+Sugar+Red Meat+Sleep Deprivation+Early Mornings+Late Nights+Severe Cold Weather+Flu Like Symptoms X Five long holiday weeks=FUCKING MISERABLE. Like, fucking miserable.

 

Alright, so now that we have the physical aspect of my misery covered, let’s move on to the social/mental aspect of my misery. I won’t include anymore math equations, promise. I am a bit of an introvert who is dying to be an extrovert, but always remembers that she doesn’t actually want to be an extrovert when it’s all over. I am the first person to admit that if I spent a month alone on my couch passing the time alone I would thrive. I love deep cleaning my apartment, I love listening to music I want to listen to, I love watching whatever I want to watch, I love eating whatever I want to eat, etc. It’s amazing that I am married for the amount of selfish thoughts I actually have. Conversely, I am also the first one to accept an invitation to get a drink or attend some sort of social gathering. Extrovert me suffers from severe FOMO. But once extrovert me comes home at night a little drunk and a little full with a little less money in her account she feels terrible. I spent this month enjoying the hell out of the people I have formed close relationships to here and it was the perfect holiday season, but along with that came a lot of mental burden. I listened to a lot of people complain about a lot of things and gossip about a lot of things that just don’t matter, myself included. I just feel exhausted and overwhelmed at this point. I don’t want to spend anymore money, I don’t want to drink anymore, I don’t want to gossip about the people that care about me and regret it later, I don’t want to wake up the next morning and panic about whether or not I should feel embarrassed for how loud I may have been at the bar last night. I just want to feel good.

That leads me to No Fun January, which sounds negative, but I think it’ll be just what I need. In No Fun January, I politely decline social invitations, I meal prep, I don’t go out to eat, I save money, and I sleep enough. Chase and I are going to New Orleans at the end of No Fun January and I want to feel alive and alert and healthy while we are there are not tired and miserable. We haven’t been on a real vacation in over five years and I want it to be perfect.

My goal for January (since I am not a resolution person) is to complete twenty-one days of no added sugar or refined carbs, to not drink any alcohol, to learn to say “no” when asked to go out, and to let my body REST. Twenty-one days started yesterday, I am hoping this post holds me accountable.

 

It isn’t like posting has ever held me accountable before though…

Drink Responsibly?

I often worry that I may be an alcoholic. Dependency runs in my family and I was raised with the knowledge that addiction wouldn’t be out of the question, due to my families history. I never felt like I was addicted to anything, nor do I REALLY believe that I am an alcoholic, but occasionally I wake up after a night of drinking and cringe.
It’s the cringe that worries me. I have never done anything truly bad while drinking other than start the occasional fight with my husband for no reason, but it’s been a very long time since I have done that.
When we lived in Charleston, there were extended periods of time when I would go out and drink days in a row. After a lot of those nights I would go home and vent to my husband about all the little things that annoy me and a fight would begin. He never held it against me the next day, but I always felt awful about it.
Ever since moving to Chicago I haven’t had a single night like that. This led me to reflect upon reasons for more responsible drinking in Chicago, and all I can come up with is that I am way less bored in Chicago. In Charleston, Chase worked a schedule that kept him at work for over fifteen hours a day and I was alone most of the time. I felt alone most of the time and anxious about the amount of time we actually spent together. In Chicago, we both go to work early and are both home together for dinner every night. We both have groups of friends here that we spend time with and go out with on occasion, as well, which is something neither of us had in Charleston.
The amount that I drink has dramatically decreased since I have moved from Charleston, but once in a while I will still drink too much. I wake up with a miserable hungover, I can’t remember conversations that I had with the people that I went out with, I have specific memories of thoughts when I knew should stop drinking but continued to, because I like to be the life of the party. That being said, I have never missed work, lost friends, done anything illegal, or really done anything life ruining while drunk, I’m just starting to realize that it’s not so cool to be 28 and wasted in public and miserable the next day.

I love a good cocktail and really enjoy a nice cold beer. I like the social aspect of drinking on a patio on a warm summers day. I don’t want to stop drinking all together, but I really want to get myself to a place where I can recognize that I enjoyed my cocktail or my cold beer and then I can stop. I don’t always have to drink to get buzzed and that’s okay.

For the next month I would like to try to drink water only, and then reintroduce drinking as treat and not as a necessity. We have a wedding that we are going home for next month and those are usually triggers for me, I love the open bar and I love dancing with all the people I haven’t seen in a long time. In that setting I am not the only one who is very drunk, but it is okay for me to not be that drunk, too. I need to learn. I also have plans to spend time with my group of childhood friends, which also turns into an out until last call kind of night, which is fun, but that doesn’t mean I need to be stumbling home.

In conclusion, I am aware that I may have an issue with alcohol consumption and I am making it my goal to go home to this wedding and spending time with old friends without getting trashed. And having made this goal a thing that I can look back at as a reminder of how bad I feel when this happens, hopefully it’ll keep me honest. If not, it will be time to completely reevaluate my relationship with alcohol.