14/52 – Drained

Weekends are meant – by and large – to be for recreation, recharging, and relaxation.

Yesterday morning, my SO and I woke up, went for a drive, tried breakfast somewhere new, and then went to browse a flea market. Later, I stayed home and finished a stack of assignments for school that needed to be done during break, and he went to work on his car at a friend’s house. I had three small anxiety attacks.

Today, we went to Wal-Mart first thing this morning, came home and watched TV for a few. I started working on more school assignments and he went back over to work on his car. I started laundry while he was gone. He came home, five hours later, in a bad mood after not making much progress and having lost track of the time. Went out to eat – well, he ate and I sipped a water. Got home, finished laundry – even folded it and put it away. Did the dishes. Figured out how I’m going to juggle money for the next week.

Both of us, rather than feeling recharged and relaxed, are heading into the work week feeling even more drained. I’m so tired right now that I’m basically just rambling and he’s sitting out at the computer, trying to figure out why the wires in his car didn’t do what he needed them to. Tomorrow, the alarm will go off at 6:00 AM and it’ll be work for the next several days.

Sometimes, being a grown-up sucks.

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13/52 – Partnership

On a whim, as I was trying to decide what title would encompass this post, I looked up, “What’s the difference between a relationship and a partnership?”

A consensus emerged, without my actually clicking on any of the links. Blurbs are wonderful things, when one is in a hurry, aren’t they? In general, the distinction was that anyone/everyone has a relationship – with their parents, with the cashier who scans their groceries, even with strangers and/or deceased individuals. Relationship are, well, relative. True, the word relationship often adopts a romantic, or at least familial, connotation, but it isn’t inherently or strictly limited by those boundaries. So, relationships, technically, just are a byproduct of existence.

On the other hand, there are partnerships. Again, in general (based just on my quick skimming of the blurbs), partnerships seem to be characterized by two distinctions that relationships aren’t. 1) They are more active. Individuals in partnerships are involved in an active give/take/compromise process. Technically you have a relationship with 7 billion other people on the planet, but  it’s mostly passive – you share a connection, not a conversation.  2) Partnerships are more structured. Now, that’s not to imply that partnerships are never random or short-lived, because they can be, but unlike relationships, partnerships are not necessarily byproducts of existence (though I expect it could be argued that they’re byproducts of civilizations or communities).

I’m thinking about this subject, now, because of the events of my last post and the events that have happened since. To recap: my SO and I got into an argument that basically boiled down to a lack of communication . . . or, more properly, a lack of active listening. I was depressed by the situation, because I felt misunderstood and believed that my point of view was being overlooked by my SO. It was made worse, in retrospect, because he thought he was taking actions that were actually helping my situation, whereas I felt that he was just trying to prove a point.

In the end, we were both probably in the wrong. I should have been more understanding that he was only trying to help me in the way he knows how to, and he should have listened to my concerns. We were both making the age old mistake of thinking that the other didn’t have anything important to contribute to the situation.

We went to bed – if not angry, then at least not happy. The following morning, we went out separate ways – me, to work and school; him, just to work. That afternoon, he picked me up from the campus and said he needed to run two quick errands before taking me back to work. I said that was fine, because he seemed to be in a better mood and I wasn’t willing to let the argument continue to be a barrier in our normally very relaxed/open dynamic. He went to a parts store in an effort to locate an obscure bolt, stopped to get gas, and then stopped at an office supply store that neither of us usually go to.

Now, for the unaware, our argument had been over the existence and the availability of index cards with ruled lines on both sides. We’d looked for them in three places, I was ready to admit defeat, but he was refusing to accept that we couldn’t find them in any of our usual stores and wanted to extend our search radius. I was already at the point where I wanted to move on to studying another way, because my exam was only two days away.

Him, being him, spent his lunch break searching for the index cards. He found them.

I won’t say that I wasn’t happy. I was. I appreciated his effort and proceeded to very happily use the index cards to make flashcards for my pharmacology exam. I will continue to use them as I enter next quarter. That said, I kinda wish he hadn’t felt the need to be “right” regarding the existence of said index cards. Even so, that night, I washed dishes and made dinner, as thanks.

One of the other defining characteristics of a partnership is an element of symbiosis. An “I’ll scratch your back, if you’ll scratch mine,” type of mentality. Or, more kindly, maybe, “Let’s pool our resources to have more together than we could have separately. Let’s take turns standing guard, so we’re both are safe and rested. Let’s alternate carrying the weight, so neither of us stumbles.” It’s teamwork, and loyalty, and mutual appreciation.

That’s the specific kind of relationship I wanted as a kid. I didn’t care about romance, per se. What I want is the intimacy and security of a solid partnership. If there’s romance, that’s great, I guess, but the lack thereof has never been a deal breaker, for me.

Of course, love is another matter. I crave being loved, partly because I fear that I am un-lovable. I know this is probably an unfounded fear, because I know that there are people – my family – who love me . . . but there are also times when I fear that their love is more biologically engineered and happenstance than anything else. If they just randomly met me, would they still love me? I don’t know, but I hope so.

I’ve noted before, in another post, that my SO doesn’t love me in the traditional sense, but that I do love him in the traditional sense. It’s something that’s complicated and sometimes painful and sometimes a blessing. I’m sure that it will continue to be all of those things, but I’m okay with that, because we’re still in this . . . this dynamic? partnership? . . . . together. We’re still supporting each other, making sure both of us are okay, and helping each other to do the things we want to do.

It’s not a typical fairy-tale, but I think it’s better than anything Cinderella ever dreamed of while she was scrubbing floors and talking to the birds. In my humble opinion, Prince Charming ain’t got nothin’ on my SO.

12/52 –

All I wanted was a set of index cards with lines on both sides. That’s it. I’d even have been happy with wide-ruled ones. I just wanted to make pretty flashcards with witch to study for my upcoming pharmacology final exam.

But, alas, such things as index cards with lines on both sides don’t seem to exit. Not at Wal-Mart, or the Dollar Tree, or even Staples – that shining beacon of office supplies.

Unfortunately, while I’d accept defeat after going to Wal-Mart, my SO had not. It was starting to rain and we were in the Mustang with the leaks, but he wanted to make the effort to stop at Staples. I tried to bite my tongue. I’d already wasted more than an hour hunting for index cards that don’t exit. I wanted to give up and go home and study some other way, but my SO was convinced somewhere would have them.

Well, somewhere might, but not Staples. He had to ask an associate, to make sure. The associate nodded, somewhat sagely, and said, “Yeah. I haven’t seen those double-sided cards in like ten years. Must not have been too popular.”

Of course not. Why would I have the sense to want something that was popular?

The associate also; however, directed my SO to the computer system where he could search the 1.3 million products on the Staples website . . . something that I’d already done on my phone while they were talking.

I bit my tongue harder and followed my SO to the computer. I lost it, a little, when he started typing at what felt like snail’s pace. “Do you want me to do that?”

He said, “No. I want you to calm down.”

I lost it, a little more, “I just want to go home. They don’t have them. I already pulled it up. Even if they did, they wouldn’t ship here by tomorrow and they’d want ten dollars.”

He threw up his hands, started stalking towards the entrance . . . which you can’t use as an exit. I didn’t follow, waiting for him to realize the mistake. He did and came stalking back, toward the actual exit. He was angry and I was suddenly depressed, on top of being miserable from not being able to find the cards and from being so congested that I couldn’t breath through my nose.

Outside, I trailed after him. “I’m not trying to piss you off. If you’d just listen for a minute, you’d get what I’m trying to tell you. I -”

“Well, you’re doing a great job of it.” He cut me off, having only listened to the first part of what I said.

Instantly, the depression turned from something nebulous to something heavy in my chest. Two minutes later, at home, he started to pull up front and I pointed out, “Don’t you want to park in the garage?”

He said nothing, put it in park, handed me the house keys. I took them automatically, but must have looked as confused as I felt, because he said, “I told you! I have to park in the garage!” He rolled his eyes and I just sat there and blinked.

“You didn’t listen to what I just said, did you? I said, ‘Don’t we need to park in the garage?’ You didn’t say anything back. I was going to walk up with you.” I tried to keep the hurt from getting into my voice, but I didn’t totally manage it.

“No,” he said, sounding even more exasperated. “Walk up with me, if you want. I don’t care.” He waited, staring ahead.

No point in walking with him. No point in trying to communicate, right then.

The second I stepped foot inside, the tears started. I didn’t try to stop them, like I usually do. I’m just too tired. I let them come and folded over the bed and bawled for about two minutes. Dried my eyes, splashed water on my face. Came into the living room as he did.

“What?” He demanded, as soon as he saw me.

“What, ‘what?'” I muttered.

“You’ve got that sad look on your face,” he grumbled, passing me and heading to the bedroom. Annoyed by the display of feelings that I hadn’t quite concealed.

No more words. Just sitting on the couch. A run through my notes. The ones I’d wanted to turn into pretty flashcards. Oh, well. Now I just want to get rid of this ache.

Fifteen minutes pass. My phone rings. Someone or other wanting money that I don’t have.

“Who is it?” He asks.

“No one. A fundraiser thing.”

“Oh. Why do you still look sad?”

“Because I am still sad. I didn’t mean to make you angry.” There’s no point in saying anything else, right now. It doesn’t matter. People have arguments. We’re both stressed out and taking it out on each other when we shouldn’t be. It happens. Life moves on.

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Last night, laying in bed, I asked, “Yours?”

“Of course, mine,” he said. “Why do you always worry?”

I didn’t say anything else. I could have. I could’ve explained that I worry, because I don’t really feel that I’m lovable.  I could’ve recounted that, when I was eleven, my dad and I had an argument that culminated in him saying that he guessed I didn’t have a soul. I could’ve said that I don’t tell him that I love him, but that asking, “Yours,” has become a stand-in for those other words that I don’t ever let myself say to him. I could’ve reminded him that he’s told me that he doesn’t love me, except as a “pet.” I could’ve told him that all of those things add up to create this fear that he’ll one day decide he doesn’t want me anymore and then I’ll have to relearn how to live, without him.

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It’s been about six hours since breakfast and he’s in the kitchen, getting ready to make something for lunch, but I’ve go no appetite. I remember him saying, the other day, that heartbreak is one of the fastest ways to loose weight.

We’d been talking about low carb diets and I steered the conversation back that way.

He was talking about before me, when he was with someone else, and she left him. He’d lost twenty pounds in two weeks. I didn’t want to talk about the “Heartbreak Diet” though, because I didn’t want him to realize that part of the reason I haven’t been eating much lately is due to that very issue. He’d just get angry again, and tell me to grow up.

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I think my mantra, since I was a kid, has been to “be better.”

Still feels like I’m best at fucking up though.

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Of course, I’ll feel better. This happens. I get over it. LIfe moves on.

Time to review my notes again. Respiratory, GI, and Cardiac, oh my. . .

 

 

11/52 – Final (Fantasy & Exam)

There’s something about Saturday morning that lends itself to relaxing and goofing off.

Woke up this morning to a call from my sister, asking if she could come spend a few hours at the apartment, before she goes in to work. Of course, I told her yes. While I know that there are some sisters who don’t get along very well, we are not in that category. Even though she’s two and a half years younger than me, she’s somewhat taken on the role of the older sibling, ever since my anxiety manifested a few years ago.

Hands down, if asked whether I’d be more upset losing my parents or my sister, I’d say my sister, though I love my parents too. Anyway. I digress.

She came over and I let her know that I’ve got to study for my second final exam (the first, I passed yesterday with an 89%), but that she’s free to do whatever – use the computer, rummage the fridge, watch TV. She eyed the PS4 that was a Christmas present from my SO. “Can I play Final Fantasy X?”

And now, I’m sitting here, getting ready to start studying some more and watching her play the opening scenes of FFX. Now, this one is not my favorite FF video game – FFXII has that honor – but it’s not a bad one. Okay, sure, it’s a little hokey, but it was made more than ten years ago, so I have to give it some slack. Plus, the voice acting adds something that was to be desired in FFXII.

God, I can’t wait for the remake!

10/52 – Aspirations & Fears

Aspiration: A hope or ambition of achieving something.

Fear: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that something is likely a threat.

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The other day one of my classmates, Twinlee, said, “Oh my god. You should just type mine up, too. You’ve got the words!” This was in reference to a small group project we were working on making a PowerPoint for during some down time in lab.

I was startled into admitting something that hasn’t come up yet. “I like to write.”

That’s something of an understatement. I’ve been writing short stories since the first grade. Have, actually, written three novels of more than 150 pages – two of which were part of a truly awful series that I did when I was about fourteen. The third was, I think, pretty okay. It was my NaNoWriMo novel four years ago. At present, I have two novel ideas that are tumbling around in the back of my mind.

I’ve always thought of it as both a good and a bad thing that I don’t ever have to search for an idea. Truth be told, sitting here, I’ve actually got closer to a dozen potential story/novel ideas, but only two are developed enough to be considered, practically speaking.

At Twinlee’s probing, I admitted as much as the above, and confessed something else. “Part of the reason I decided to go into nursing,” I let her know, “is due to the fact that I could work three twelve hour shifts, and then go home and write for four solid days, if I want.” She was, I think, both impressed and bemused.

It’s true though. When I was a kid, I expected to grow up to be a photo journalist, because I like to write, take pictures, and travel. As I got older, that somehow turned into something that I felt was impractical. It’s not that anyone ever told me, “You can’t do that.” It just . . . became a non-option, along the way.

My aspiration, I suppose you could say, is still to become a novelist. I don’t even let myself dream of real success, most of the time, but it’s fun to imagine seeing one of my novels on a bookshelf. Maybe even to daydream about seeing someone wander over to it and pick up while I stand there, pretending not to notice.

Of course, I don’t really think a person can have an aspiration without experiencing some parallel fear. Not only of failure, necessarily, but of the sheer possibility of success.

People fail all the time. It’s not unexpected. There are protocols, procedures, and policies in place to help people deal with failing. We have so many expressions and saying relating to failure that it’s not really something scary, in and of itself, at least not at a core level, for me.

“Why do we fall? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.”

The prospect of accomplishing something successfully is, realistically, more scary to me than failing is, because I’m not sure what would come next. Fear of the unknown is the biggest fear I have, and failing isn’t something that’s unknown . . . success is.

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I haven’t written much since starting school, aside from homework and this blog, because I’ve been trying to narrow my focus to becoming a nurse . . . which is, honestly, an aspiration in itself. I’ll have two weeks off though, starting on the sixteenth and I keep thinking about trying to pound out a rough draft, at least, in that time.

A rough draft in two weeks would seem like a tall order, except the one I mean to write is one that I’ve had in my mind for years and it’s so ready to be written that it’ll feel just like typing out the outline of a movie I’ve watched a million and one times.

Of course, I don’t really know what I’d do with the draft once I finished it. I’ve never actually gone through the process of revising one. Now that I’m thinking about it, working to revise the school assignments I’ve done isn’t that dissimilar. Well, aside from the fact that the school assignments aren’t more than ten pages long . . .

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Also, as an end to this post, which was sort of off on a tangent, and as a follow-up to the post earlier today, I didn’t end up getting naked. He came home from work early, we had lunch . . . and then there was sex, but I got to keep most of my clothes on. Compromise exists, even in dynamics with heavy M/s connotations.

9/52 -Naked? No, thanks.

I know there are people on this planet who are comfortable with being naked.

My SO is one of them. The first time I met him, he was wearing only a towel and that’s because it was the middle of December and he felt a bit chilly. While not a nudist in the modern sense of living in a special community, he’s certainly got a proclivity towards being nude. He’s not self-conscious about it and it actually strikes me as odd when he happens to be wearing shorts while in the house – even weirder is when he’s fully dressed.

He takes off his clothes upon coming inside like other people kick off their shoes.

I, on the other hand, avoid being without clothes as much as I possibly can. I change quickly, I transition from dressed to a towel to the shower and then back again in fifteen minutes or less. I sleep in a minimum of a tank-top and pajama bottoms. I even swim in shorts and a sports-bra style top. Even during sex, I’m reluctant to remove my shirt and if it’s long enough to cover my hips, then I consider it a bonus.

It’s not that I’m hideous or particularly overweight – I’m 5′ 4″ and weight roughly 160lbs, but the weight is all the “right” kind of curves. He says often enough that he doesn’t consider me fat and likes the way I look. That’s great and all, I suppose, but it doesn’t alter the fact that I’m not at ease with my clothes off.

This is coming up, today, because he left the house this morning and instructed me to be naked when he comes back. “Naked?” I asked, hoping I’d misheard him somehow.

“Yes. Naked.”

“. . . like, with a towel on?”

“No. Naked.”

“. . . can I be in bed under the blanket?”

“No. You can be on the bed, on top of the blanket. Naked.” My silence made him raise an eyebrow at me. He eyed the paddle to the side of the bed. “Problem?”

It was 6:30 A.M. and I was too sleepy to fight, but . . . “. . . I don’t wanna be naked . . .”

“I know, but you will be.” And he left.

This is when being his becomes problematic. Submissives – such as I – are supposed to . . . well . . . submit. That’s not an issue for me, usually. I am naturally inclined to be submissive and to “go with the flow,” as it were. Getting his drinks, washing his clothes, going where he wants, even leaving him in control of the finances and major purchases is all fine with me. The second sex gets involved though . . .

I mentioned during the last post, I think, that I’m just not that interested in sex. I like to masturbate, sure, but the mechanics of actual sex just make me feel awkward and uncomfortable. Partly because of the need to be naked during most of it, but also just because I continually worry about doing something wrong.

*sigh*

There are always choices. In this case, I can choose to be good and be naked in 45 minutes, when he’s due home. Or I can choose to be bad and not be naked . . . and end up naked anyway, of course, because if he wants me to be naked then he’ll get me to be naked.

He’s got my permission to force me to be naked, of course. I’m his and it’s consensual even when it’s not – which is always so much fun to try to explain to people. *sarcasm*

Even among those in the lifestyle, I’ve realized that my relationship with him is an extreme that very few can actually fathom. In BDSM, it’s not unusual to find people who identify as being in a M/s dynamic. However, if you start talking to the majority of them, it becomes clear that we have very different ideas of what that actually means. For most of them, it’s a fantasy that they choose to live. One of the first things I ask when someone says that they’re a slave in the BDSM sense of things is whether or not they have hard limits. If they say yes, my next question is whether or not their “Master” is allowed to break those hard limits – for instance, “golden showers” is a popular one.

In every case, but one the person in question said, “Well, of course not. That’s why it’s a hard limit.” And in every case, but three, they didn’t then understand why I started giggling. In my opinion, you’re not a slave if you’ve got limits (which is, incidentally, why I don’t think of myself as a slave, even though He thinks of me as one). I tell myself that I have limits, but in reality, I wouldn’t be angry with him for breaking those limits, because I’ve given him permission to do so by calling myself His.

I’m one of only two people I know who doesn’t have limits – short of dismemberment/extreme mutilation and/or death. He doesn’t usually push me, because I’m lucky and he respects that this part of our lives is only one part of it, but if he wanted to, he could push it.

To me, the question of limits is not a question. I’ve been rereading 50 Shades in light of the new movie coming out and I keep giggling at the concept of a contract and limits and negotiating. It’s outside of my reality and playing like that would actually be more of a “fantasy” to me than the M/s dynamic I’m already in.

Here’s a really good example. I don’t call him Sir or Master. I never have. Not once in six years. He doesn’t require it of me, and I think of him by his first name. I only tend to capitalize “Him” in this blog, because I want to avoid using his name here. He calls me by my name, or pet, or slave – depending on the situation. When we used to go to play parties and munches, everyone was always somewhat put off by this arrangement. They either doubted my “submission” or questions his “authority.” Eventually, the core group got used to it, but it still raised some eyebrows here and there.

Now, if I were to call him Sir or Master, I would consider that part of a fantasy role-play.

I’ve killed half an hour, writing this, but I’m still not sure if I’m going to be naked when he gets home, or not. Decisions, decisions . . .

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Normally, I don’t do direct questions to you, the reader, but in this case, I’m curious about two things and I’m going to go ahead and ask . . .

  1. Are you comfortable being naked? If yes, was that always the case? If no, why not?
  2. If you are in a BDSM style relationship, what do you think about the differences between being a slave and a submissive? Is it a matter of limits, time, semantics, or something else?

I’m genuinely curious and welcome any/all input!

 

 

8/52 – Anxiety v. Panic

I’m sure that a lot people – particularly people who write, it would seem – feel anxiety or panic on a fairly routine basis. Something about those “emotions” seems to drive people to write . . . either to reflect or as a distraction or whatever. I use the quotes there, around emotions, because I’ve never really considered my anxiety an emotion.

I tend to see it more as a conglomeration of things – feelings, thoughts, ambiguous fears.

Panic, on the other hand, I do think of as an emotion – the specific feeling of being both frantic and worried. It’s unpleasant, sure, but I have attacks of anxiety and not of panic, so I don’t take panic to be something complex or harmful, in itself.

This morning, for instance, I’m panicking a little. I realized as I wrote down my assignments for the next two weeks that I’ve made an error. We had to do two community education group projects this quarter – one for Pharmacology and one for Fundamentals. In my brain’s usual way, it blurred those two projects together and I thought they were one in the same. They’re not. I did the one for Pharmacology, but the one for Fundamentals isn’t actually due to be presented until this upcoming Wednesday.

Okay. Not awful. There’s time . . . but . . .

Now I’m at the mercy of my classmates, who apparently formed groups and picked out topics without my realizing they’d done it. I understand how this happened. One of my group members from the Pharmacology project was absent on the day the groups were formed. She was the leader of the group and the only one I know personally, so I just assumed that she knew what was going on. I didn’t worry about, because I thought we’d done. I’m an idiot, sometimes, but that’s part of being human.

I’m not anxious about this. But I’m slightly panicked, because if some group doesn’t take pity on me, this could fail me for this class. Not because my grade can’t take the hit of 30 points – it actually could do that comfortably, based on how it’s weighted – but because the actual presentation is part of our required clinical hours. *gulp*

I’ve sent out an S.O.S. on my class’s FaceBook page. And now I’m waiting and passing the time by blogging and obsessively checking my notifications.

To contrast this panic that I’m currently feeling, I did actually have an anxiety attack both yesterday and two days before. They both started at about 1:00 P.M. and they both lasted about an hour. Sometimes the anxiety is like clockwork, sometimes it’s not. It’s always a surprise. On Wednesday, it was during my afternoon lecture; on Friday, it was at work.

Both of the attacks were quiet, because I’ve learned how to utterly fall apart without making a single sound. Twinlee (not her real name, obviously) noticed that something was wrong, because I wasn’t taking notes and was starring off into space. She uses aroma therapy oils and insisted I use one she calls “Chillaxin’.” I did and was amazed, because five minutes later I felt better. Way better. I’ll have to find out what’s in it.

Unfortunately, at work, I did not have the benefit of aroma therapy. Instead, I just forced myself to work through it. It let up gradually, realizing, maybe, that I wasn’t going to feed into it. I was fine the rest of the day.

Anxiety and I have a strange relationship. I used to medicate with Xanax, but I haven’t had a Xanax in almost six years – not since I was twenty. I’m proud of that, because at one point I was taking triple my prescribed dose, just to try to take the edge off enough for me to go grocery shopping. Now, I still have attacks, but I’ve gotten to the point that they only truly get the better of me once in a blue moon.

Sometimes, I go weeks between attacks and that’s lovely.

Other times, I have them every couple of days . . . not so lovely.

(Also, side note, why is “sometimes” one word, but “other times” is two?)

My SO has awoken. Coffee is poured. The game plan for today is laundry and – hopefully – working on this group project that I went brain-missing for. Also, sex, if my SO has his way. It’s not that I’m not interested in having sex – I like sex, honestly – but there are other things that I would rather be doing, usually. Like watching Let’s Play videos on YouTube, or eating mac n’ cheese, or going for a walk.

Is that odd of me? Maybe.

But really good mac n’ cheese is practically sex on a fork anyway.

7/52 – Friday Morning Blurbs

  • The alarm went off at 5:15, because I forgot to reset it.
  • Not fifteen minutes later, the upstairs neighbors began having a screaming match that included such gems as, “Get out of my apartment you fuckwad,” and, “Bitch, I’m taking the VCR back!” He rumbled off on his Harley about ten minutes after that exchange and not five minutes after that, the woop-woop of a cop car made me get out of bed while my SO snored on.
  • Made some coffee before the sun came up, which always makes me feel like an adult.
  • Started watching Game of Throne reruns and finished some remedial work for a school exam that will take place on next Thursday.
  • Had to tell my SO to put on some clothes five times in twenty minutes, because he kept getting sucked into FaceBook and stopping midway through putting on pants.

Hopefully the rest of the day isn’t quite so discombobulated.

6/52 – Clear Credit Cards

I waited longer than some people I know to get a credit card. In fact, I didn’t get my first until the beginning of last year, when I was twenty-four. I didn’t exactly do it through a conventional route, either. I opened a second bank account in order to get a secured card through that bank (which is a national chain, versus my usual state credit union that I use as my primary account and that I’ve banked with since I was seventeen).

That card has a limit of $300. Since it’s secured, I can raise it pretty much at will – up to $1,000 – but I haven’t felt the need to do so. My other card, I got just four months ago and it also has a $300 limit. This past Christmas, I nearly maxed both of those cards out, for the first time. It made me nervous, having them both full, so the first thing I did with my tax return was pay both of them off again.

The other money went straight to my SO, to make up for my portion of the bills, since I’ve been so slammed with school that I’m down to working just 20 hours a week.

I expected to feel relieved once the cards were paid off, and I do. I also feel somewhat accomplished, even though one of the cards has a regular bill paid with it every month and will get hit another $50 within the next couple of weeks.

I did not expect to feel so much temptation.

For instance, I badly want to purchase a new desk. A “big girl desk” that will replace the one that I’ve had for six years. The age of my current desk isn’t really my problem (even though it’s showing in some chipped and peeling paint). My problem is that the desk is simply too small to accommodate all of the stuff that has come with nursing school. At present, the binders I use on a daily basis live on the ottoman, along with my two clipboards, drug guide, backpack, and various office supplies.

My desk is at capacity with just my computer monitor, a lamp, and two letter trays on it.

It’s more of a writing desk that I have forced to be a computer desk, really.

The desk I have my eye on is currently on sale for $289 at Staples. It’s an L-shaped desk which is an instant upgrade, but it also has a hutch built in with ample storage for all of my office supplies, my school books, and even my SO’s desk clutter – bills, keys, ect.

I didn’t expect to want to put something on the credit card that would max it out right away and I’m struggling with the urge to get the desk now. The dilemma of it being on sale versus the fact that I just paid off the card is making me go in circles, trying to decide the smart course of action. Really, I know what that is . . . keep what I’ve got and don’t use what’s meant to be an emergency card on what is clearly not an emergency situation.

Adulting is hard, sometimes. Trying to balance wants and needs.

The desk is a want, clearly. Having the card available for emergencies is a need, clearly.

In eight more months, I will graduate and I will hopefully get a job that will pay me almost double what I make now. And then I will be able to afford to get a new desk, if I still want/need a new desk. Patience. It’s a virtue, apparently.