Poetic thought

I have a short, poetic thought that occurred to me as Facebook notified me about my birthday tomorrow.

Today is the last day of my 20s. Tomorrow is the first day of my 30s.

Now excuse me while I have an existential crisis.

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Reality

These past two months have been both the best and the worst in my adult life. They are the best because the major source of stress in my life has been lifted. However, they are the worst because another source of anxiety has taken its place. Now, I have to worry about healthcare.

First, I did qualify for subsidies on the health care exchanges, which is great! Now, though, I need to provide documentation of my current income and of my loss of previous coverage. In theory, I should be able to use my last Walmart check stub, but I don’t know where to go about getting it without my social anxiety kicking in. My brain knows the process I should follow – call to have the printout ready, make a time to pick it up, scan, send.

However, I still have mixed feelings about Walmart. I feel shame because I let them break me and drive me away – their goal for some time, I’m sure. I’m ashamed because I let them win. It took several weeks before I could even stand to go in there, even, and I’m back to shopping. But, that’s all as a customer. This would be interaction as a former employee. I’m balking because I’m afraid, both on an anxiety and on a personal level.

I’m also wondering how I should go about getting proof of my loss of coverage. Perhaps I was already sent the notice? If so, there’s a real possibility that I misplaced it or threw it away as spam. In that case, I would have to contact the insurance company in order to get a copy of the end of my health coverage. How long will that take?

In the meantime, I have prescriptions that I can’t fill. Not because I don’t have them, but because I simply can’t afford them. I’m rationing my remaining medication until I can, hopefully, scrounge up the money to fill the most important, but whether I will be able to is up in the air.

In short – reality is far from ideal, and our health care system sucks.

Played by the Banjo

I’ve adopted a dog – unless the owners show up, but with the way this dog’s fur was matted, she’s been neglected and so the previous owners don’t deserve her. Mom decided to call her Banjo.

When I first got Banjo to her temporary home, she acted like the classic traumatized animal. She’s a tiny terrier breed and so she’s easy enough to pick up and hold like a toddler. She demanded comforting while I was around.

After going inside the house and returning, she acted happy until she saw me. Then the scared demeanor returned and it was back to comforting and petting. I held her like a toddler while Chris was cutting grass until she wanted down. And, when we left with promises to return the next day, her whimpering made my heart break.

Yet, Chris’s grandfather reported that, when we were gone and when no one else is around, Banjo doesn’t make any noise. As Chris put it, she found her sucker.

I’ve been played by Banjo, darnit.

The function of music while writing

I have four articles to write today for the Banner, and likely will have to to write tomorrow. Last week, when faced with a similar workload, I discovered that listening to music, in and of itself, won’t necessarily help. When Spotify popped up with a cover of Anna ni Issho Datta no ni, a song I knew from ages ago when Gundam Seed first premiered in Japan, I decided a short writing break was in order. I headed to YouTube and found the original version.

I spent the next blissful hours typing happily away as nostalgia filled my core. Even when I finished my articles, I sat for another half an hour doing nothing but listening to the songs that YouTube pulled up from my childhood. No, not Backstreet Boys or N’sync. I’m talking about anime OSTs.

My first Japanese song ever was Just Communication by TWO-MIX, a song I hunted out because of Gundam Wing. This was back before YouTube even became a thing, so I searched fancies until I found the songs I sought. I was blown away and haven’t looked back since. Where others would be listening to MTV or the radio, I was burning CDs full of Digimon soundtracks.

Today, I’m trying the same thing. I pulled up the Digimon Adventure Tri version of Butter-fly (RIP Wada Kouji, you will be missed) and letting the auto-play take care of itself. I’ve heard Brave Heart and Biggest Dreamer, with Fire! from Digimon Frontier now playing.

I may have to make a Wada Kouji playlist, since he apparently was the voice of my childhood.

The Apathy of Laziness

Huh, that sounds like a book title.

Anyway, I’m trying to think of something to write for these things (like really, I’m not interesting, why) and I got to thinking about my life. Which is entirely uninteresting. But, it does contain one fact: I’m lazy.

Sometimes, it’s due to me forgetting to take my Adderall. I don’t get that kick-start of motivation, or I don’t take the second dose and kind of wither away into nonfocused tiredness. I just sit and do mindless things – playing games on my phone, mostly – for hours. I know that I need to get up and go do something, but I look at the clock, mentally shrug, and think, “I’ve got time.”

Other times, it’s caused by procrastination. Even medicated, I look at a clock and think the same thing. I fully intend to do the thing, but time goes by and suddenly it’s too late to do the thing. That’s how laundry piles up, dishes sit, and cats go unfed. Though I make sure to take care of my cats! And, if I don’t, I have a wonderful other half to watch out for them. It does make me question how good of a human baby parent I’d be, though. Ack.

The rest of the time, it’s just because I simply do not want to do the thing. I don’t want to wash the dishes that have piled up and wouldn’t have been so bad if only I’d done it before. The cat litter boxes are so bad that I really don’t want to dig out the chunks – if I owned the property I lived in, I’d just dump them out back and start fresh. Logically, I know that I NEED to do the thing. I try to work up the motivation to do the thing. Most of the time, I fail because of the other part of the title of this article: apathy.

When I’m in the depths of my laziness, I’m simply too lazy to care. It could be exhaustion, or it could be childhood defenses come to rise (you can’t be hurt if you don’t allow yourself to feel!). Whatever the case, at my worse, I simply don’t care enough to do anything, even eat or drink. Did that cause my dehydration that made me go to the hospital? Or was is overwork that caused me to forget to eat and drink? Whatever the case, I’ll have to remind myself, “Hey, you haven’t eaten since nine this morning and it’s four in the afternoon. You might wanna get a nibble.”

I don’t know what the end goal here is. Maybe I’m just trying to sum up my own feelings so they make sense to me. I’m certainly not going to use this as an excuse – as my favorite fanfic author says, “There are reasons, but no excuses.” I don’t want this to excuse my laziness and let it continue. I want this to serve as a reminder so that maybe I can get a kick up the ass and actually do stuff.

Maybe I’ll go play tennis – well, hit the ball at said other half and watch it go out of bounds, or get the swing-and-a-miss treatment, and then wait for it to come back. Then I miss it, and the cycle continues. Lack of exercise can cause lethargy, right? Right?

Ah, who am I kidding.

Welp

Looks like my previous blog was a bit too soon. It turns out that there’s only so long a person can be yelled at for doing their job before they snap. My breaking point was last Friday, June 9, when I got called back to my department and yelled at for leaving it unattended to do a pick up order. Keep in mind this is common practice, as there’s not really anyone I can call to watch if there’s no one scheduled for the surrounding departments.

I got fed up and, when asked if I worked Saturday, informed them I wouldn’t be. I left my vest and turned in the keys, cleaned out my locker, and walked out. Yes, I was upset and incredulous with myself, and yes, it will be more difficult to pay our bills.

However. The peace of mind I have now – no more working seven days each week! No more stress from a company that doesn’t care about me! – has more than made up for the lack of finances. I know that, with careful budgeting and spending, we’ll be able to manage. It will take self-control and discipline, but we will succeed. I won’t let Walmart have the last laugh.

And… well, how satisfying does it feel to know that I can get my revenge from beyond the grave, so to speak? 11 years with a company gives people a certain… shall we say, repertoire of knowledge concerning practices that are against company policy or downright illegal. To answer the first question, it feels quite satisfying to know that I can get people fired.

Yes, I know it’s petty, but I’m angry. Livid. Infuriated that I felt like I had to quit to get some respite. Before, I feared retaliation. I have no such concerns now.

On the plus side, I have a lot more time on my hands now! I can work on Corinne and Robbie’s story. I can work on Trust’s sequel. Maybe I can do more around the house, even. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Belated updates, whoo

It’s been ages, I know, but I have a good excuse this time.

In addition to being an overworked and underpaid Walmart Associate, I am now a reporter! The Pointe Coupee Banner thinks my writing is good enough to write articles for them, and I’ve been doing it for the past nine or ten months.

Let me tell you, though, writing nonfiction articles is a much different beast from writing fiction. With fiction, if I don’t know the exact circumstances behind something, I can fudge the details under the guise of creative license.

With a newspaper, and especially the official journal of the parish, the details matter. If you’re not sure of the truth, it can’t be printed, it’s that simple. The attention to detail – who, what, where – can mean the difference between an article and an opinion piece. I can’t speculate to make the story more interesting. I can only work with the facts, no matter how bare or uninteresting they are.

All I can do to make my articles interesting is to have a good writing style. Hopefully, the positive responses I’ve received from the articles I’ve written are an indication that my style is good enough to keep people reading. I now have people requesting me, specifically, to write their articles. How strange is that?

Decades from now, people may look into the archives and see what I’ve written. People may clip my articles for keepsakes. It’s… daunting and terrifying. Every author wants to have their writing read in the years to come. Before, it was an abstract concept. Now I have that reality in front of me and I wonder if I’m good enough to deserve that.

There’s no point in wondering, or having doubts. All I can do is keep writing.