Survival Mode

Let me scream into the smallest void imaginable.

As if that were even possible.

I have not been myself lately. Let me explain what’s been going on in my life for the last 9 months in the most round about, tangential way.

Survival is such an interesting concept.

So many people around the world struggle with it on a daily basis. When our survival is in question, our brains react in very primitive ways. We become a baby beige – unable to think or plan for a seemingly non-existent future due to the high levels of cortisol coursing through our system. It’s fight or flight. It’s dangerous. It’s toxic.

Yet it keeps us alive. It keeps us breathing.

But is breath equivalent to life?

Are we but a collection of delicately and deliberately organized organs working together with the ability to express thoughts and emotions in ways others of our own species are able to understand?

But then, do we really understand each other? Or are we just trying to make sense of our own perspectives of the world and sometimes they happen to coincide with others?

Humans are able to accomplish great things when thinking as a collaborative unit.

I miss you already. Even though you’re not really gone.

Yet I love my freedom to explore my own world. I have been neglecting that for the better part of these last 9 months. As I have been in survival mode, I’ve clung to the one thing keeping me above a primitive beige. Clinging never works when it’s one sided, though. Eventually, you fall.

I have a habit of doing this. I have a habit of assimilating myself into the life of another person. Why?

My own life is too stressful?

I hope they’ll take pity upon me and try to fix me?

Why did I stop trying to help myself?

Why did I let myself go this much?

I now work in mental health. This is really hard.

How do I stop the cycle? How do I keep myself from spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning and spinning out of control?

I was so good. I mourn for myself a year ago. I had such confidence. I should have gotten out when I could I think. I would have kept myself from hurting so many others.

Why do I keep pushing the envelope open when it means to be closed? Why am I forcing something that is visibly unhealthy?

Life is fucking hard, guys. As if you really needed to hear me say that.

Why do I write when I’m in crisis? Why not write when things are good? Maybe because being upset gives me purpose? Or an excuse to write like I’m smearing dog shit with the English language because my train of thought is incohesive?

I integrate too much. I need to be independent. Ugh. I’m so frustrated with myself.

I can mourn, and I can grow.

I will grow, be damned.

Grace, please, as I attempt to crawl forward.

Do I have to do this on my own?

Am I forced to locate and sponsor a support system?

I’m sorry for this… whatever it is.

To be less “poetic”, I have recently acquired a full-time job in mental health as a manager/activities therapist in southern California after a long period of searching. Even so, during this time I have been in a more-serious-than-need-be-but-be-damned-if-I’m-not-serious-about-this-person relationship. It’s been hard on the both of this, all this waiting. I have been in survival mode for so long and I don’t know how to shut it off. I’m still not able to shut it off as I’ve been looking for a new place to live in the last week.

It’s been hard. Words have been said. Many more words have gone unsaid. Resentment built. And built. And built. And built. And built. And we should have torn it down.

We’re crazy, stupid in love. Love really makes you do really, stupid, things.

But man, it’s great. And hard. And amazing. And difficult.

My communication skills have been slow as I’ve had a much harder time processing things without a good therapist. I can no longer sit idly by and hope it passes.

I need to be “action oriented”.

It’s time to move from survival mode and into myself again.


The Return

It’s almost been a year, my friends.

I’ve thought about writing over the past year. I really have. But it never happened. I can’t say why because I don’t really have an answer. To that I apologize.

I’m also guilty of having started a bullet journal. That’s where most of my writing has gone.

The question now is where to begin?

California has been nothing like I ever expected. It’s been amazing.

I’m sad to say that my time here is probably growing short, though.  At least, my time in Southern California.

The internship was nothing like I expected. It was challenging, it was rewarding, and it ended too quickly. In some ways, I don’t feel that I grew as a music therapist. Very rarely did I receive constructive critique from my supervisors and observing therapists. I questioned it then and still question it to this day – nearly 6 months post-completion. I did so well, though, that word spread up the chain to the clinical director at the facility and I was encouraged to apply for an open position.

Now, the facility I work at is slated to close in 2019. It was a temporary position – a year long. Great pay, great benefits, and it would allow me to stay and gain some experience at a place that I was already quite familiar with. It also would give me preferential treatment for other state jobs. At the beginning of my internship, I brushed this off as I believed I wanted something permanent post-graduation. Other circumstances led me to change my mind.

I made some quick friends, my best friend being a girl named Lauren about my age who also recently graduated. She’s from the area and lives at home like many new grads in California. It was an awkward beginning, but she has become someone very dear to me. She also happened to date Ben, my ex, for a period of time.

There was tension at first. I was very confused about my feelings about Ben when I initially arrived. We did have a history, but we are both very different people from then. We became friends again mostly through my constant invitations for him to hang out. Now, he’s currently looking after my cat as I am in a tough housing situation.

I have made other good friends with Ben and Lauren being at the top of the list. There has been tension there though as Ben has been coping with his break-up with Lauren and I have been closer with her during this time.

There’s also someone else.

His name is Joel. He’s a part-time engineer, part-time graduate student. He’s someone that I’ve gotten very excited about very quickly. We met towards the last half of my internship via a dating app. After going on a few dates, we decided to end our romantic relationship as he did not believe his conservative family would approve of me. Also didn’t help that I would be his first girlfriend. After being friends for a month though, we found that our reasons to not be together were silly and we were quick to pass judgement.

Sound familiar?

We’ve quickly gotten somewhat serious. We communicate quite effectively due to similar styles. We have similar but not too similar of interests. He’s incredibly intelligent. He’s funny. He has a kind heart. He’s nerdy as fuck. He’s someone that’s been easy for me to love.

My plan was to work at the facility where I completed my internship. I was told that so long as I passed my first interview which was an oral examination, I would be a shoe-in for the job at Fairview.

I did everything I was supposed to do as quickly as I could have. I made several calls, pushed lots of buttons, sent countless faxes and emails. My hope was to start working at the facility at the latest by May. I did everything I was supposed to as quickly as I could have. By mid-February, the ball was in their court. It was risky in the first place – I decided to risk my livelihood on a promise made by a program director that they couldn’t guarantee.

Mid-March, I received a call I didn’t want. It was that program director informing me that they hadn’t moved quickly enough. The funding for the position was gone.

At the time, I was living in a small room but very nice room attached to the garage of my former supervisor from my internship. I was waiting tables 25 miles away from where I was living. I was staying the night in Joel’s tiny room in his house in Irvine where his lease prohibits overnight guests most of the time. I was meeting all these people in Joel’s life – his friends, family. All on the promise that I had a big state job waiting for me and I could be my own person. It all fell apart in a 2-and-a-half minute phone call.

Since then, I have found one other part-time job. I am an independent contractor for a preschool music entertainment and education company. It pays extremely well, but I have very few hours. I still rely upon my restaurant job.

I have been searching for a job in music therapy in Southern California now for 2 full months with limited success. I was offered an on-call position at a psychiatric facility located in Long Beach. I was offered a full-time, benefited position at Coalinga State Hospital working mostly with violent sex offenders. I declined both offers.

Most of my motivation to remain in Southern California, particularly Orange County, is because of Joel. Early in our relationship, he made it quite clear that he does not wish to have a long distance relationship of any kind. This has deterred me from looking elsewhere for the most part. Most of the places I’m interested in moving to though are places he also is interested in. It’s been confusing. He’s not particularly happy at his current job, but also doesn’t feel any urgency to leave it. He’s expressed that he’d be potentially interested in following me where I go, but has also stated that he doesn’t want to move just for me. It’s all perfectly reasonable and completely baffling.

Really, it gives me a false sense of hope when he tells me that he might look where I go next. It gives me a false sense of hope when he jokes about us getting engaged. He even hesitantly brought up fixing my housing crisis by us moving in together.

We have reached a crossroads, though.

My current situation is not sustainable. As I briefly mentioned, I moved in with my former supervisor once my housing through my internship was over. I lived there up until a week ago where I moved into an extra bedroom at a friend’s home. I haven’t had ownership of my cat since late January. While I am not paying rent, I had to save up to take my boards which I am only about to take in a week. I am unable to financially support myself out here for much longer without either getting more hours or finding a full-time position.

California has been magnificent in so many ways. When I made the choice to move out here, I took ownership for my life and my decisions. I was making choices for myself – big ones, too. I made a life for myself out here. I left everything I knew. I was able to find myself again, though. I joined a community band, a quartet, and a saxophone ensemble and rekindled my love for performing without anxiety. Over the span of my internship, I had a total of 5 anxiety attacks. 5. I used to have 5 of those in a 48-hour period on the regular. It was amazing. I was doing things I never thought I would do. I had the time of my life. California called and I answered with open arms. It is still the best decision I have ever made.

Lately, I’ve been making choices out of self-interest, but also to preserve the relationships I have made. I have started to lose myself in trying to maintain the life I’ve made for myself. It’s not sustainable and my health has started deteriorating.

I see patterns repeating. Increasing heart palpitations. Constant worry. Restlessness. Fatigue. Sleeping too much. Hopelessness. Lack of feelings of self-worth. Overeating. Agitation.

It’s been a rollercoaster since I found out the job I had planned post-graduation ceased to exist. I’ve had days of great triumph, remembering the confidence I had when I moved out here and everything I’ve accomplished over the last year. Mostly, I’ve had days of uncertainty. I’ve been holding out on the hope that Joel would be ready and wanting to go with me once he graduates in June. I’ve only now realized how foolish that was despite his disclaimers.

Today, I decided it was time to take things in my own hands again. I’ve made the mistake twice now of resting my fate on another person. This time, I’m doing what I need to before I get in too deep. I’m already in deeper than I should be. It’s not going to be easy. Already distancing myself from Joel is hard. Part of me knows I should cherish what remaining time we will have together and just enjoy the moment, but that’s hard to do when you think you can see the end in plain sight.

I met with Calvin for the first time since we broke up almost a week ago.

It was nice. Odd, but nice. He has completely immersed himself into his career. He was out here to give a masterclass and small performance through a friend of ours who is a professor at Fullerton. He’s been booked up over the last year performing, traveling, competing in music competitions, and school. He has taken on some students and has a very nice little studio for himself. He is trying to pay for most of his own way. He hasn’t had much time for anything not school or music related.

I asked if he had met anyone or even dated at all since we split. He told me that he hasn’t been able to meet anyone that compares to me. There isn’t anyone out there that understands him like I do. I encouraged him to move on. He will find someone. I know he will. I hope he does. He deserves happiness with someone else.

He taught me a lot. I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last year.

I’m ready for the next chapter.


Nothing Substantial

Whose words have you been listening to?

What portrayal is more accurate?

Whose portrayal was more accurate?

To whom do those words belong to?

I read an interesting article. Then I read another interesting article. One was of a student of Biola University in California and the other was of a liberal-leaning publisher. At least, the student shared one side and another article I read on the topic showed another side.

Both made me feel something akin to anger. Both made me frustrated.

Both showed one side as discriminating against the other. One side showed SB1146 as a bill that will infringe upon the 1st amendment. Another on how these universities were discriminating against the LGBT community.

Honestly, all of this just makes me hate religion.

I don’t feel that having a moral compass is that difficult. It’s just that every person has an individual compass. I think we can all believe that some acts are wrong and against nature, but even that line is debatable. Killing isn’t a foreign thing. Killing ones’ own species is not that hard to believe. It’s not like other species don’t do it.

What makes us think we’re better than someone else to make that kind of decision? Is it all just a part of this cycle of life or is it something beyond our comprehension? I feel as though I’m grasping at thin threads. Nothing substantial.

Nothing substantial.

On a side note: Calvin messaged me. He was in town this weekend. He let me know. I said okay. There was nothing malicious intended by it, no anger, sadness – just nothing. I shrugged my shoulders. Did I want to see him? No and yes. Would seeing him benefit me? No. Would seeing him cause emotional distress and pain? Yes. So… Not sure what he was going for there. Did he want to see me? Maybe. Was that selfish of him? Yes, but when has that ever stopped him?

Was he upset with my response? He wasn’t satisfied with it at least. Was it maybe more of a “heads-up-in-case-if-you-see-me-randomly” thing? Maybe. I don’t know why he told me, but he did. I don’t care too much why he did either.

This has been all over the place.

Tonight was my going-away shindig.

It was really sad to think that this was the last time I’ll be seeing lots of these people for a long time.

California is going to be amazing and difficult.

A Letter Never Read: To Ben

A letter that will probably never be sent:

Dear Ben,

I don’t think you’ve thought about me as much as I’ve thought about you over the years. Before, I always wondered. I never knew if you thought about me that much. I didn’t think so, but now I know so.

I don’t know if I was really your first real heart break. I like to think I was. Then it would all make sense.

Calvin was my first real heart break. I have only felt more pain on a couple other occasions. It destroyed me for a time. Of course, I’m able to move on and pick up the pieces, but it wasn’t easy. It still isn’t.

I’m not one of those people who can act all buddy-buddy with someone I have conflicting feelings with. I usually move on quickly from anger, but hurt and betrayal are much deeper emotions. I don’t understand how our relationship all those years ago impacted you or if you really even take it seriously now. It’s hard to believe that we started dating almost 9 years ago. We’re still so young now, doesn’t it seem almost silly to be that young and in love? I know I was though and I’ll always remember you as my first love.

It hardly seems fair sometimes. I can say with certainty that I was not fair to you. We were young and irrational and inexperienced and immature. But not a day goes by that I wish I had treated you better. I can say that I feel I became a better person because of our relationship. I’m better able to control my anger and like to think myself as a more rational person. I can still be petty, but I try to keep it in good taste. If in good taste is even a thing. Probably not.

I want to say I’m sorry. I wanted to say that when we went out for breakfast about a month ago, but I didn’t. I was so nervous. I was so incredibly nervous. I took 3mg of Ativan and I was still shaking from anxiety. At least I felt like I was. I was a coward. I wasn’t thinking.

I want to say I’m sorry for how I treated you. I want you to know that I still hope for you and want the best for you. If you’d have me, I would like to be a part of your life again. This seems so incredibly formal and impersonal. But if you’d have me, I’d like to maybe be your friend. I know that can be a big step. Or maybe it’s not a big deal. I don’t know the protocol on this. Can we be friends again? Is that too weird to ask?

I’ve known you for most of my life yet I have no idea who you are anymore. We’ve always seemed to get along so well. I felt that after the first jitters were really gone we were able to have a decent conversation. I’d like to get to know you again. It doesn’t have to be right away and we don’t have to become best friends, but it would be nice.

Who knows? Maybe it’ll be beyond awkward and it won’t work. Maybe that’s how you felt about our last get together. God, I hope not because I didn’t think so and that would be pretty humiliating. Judging from your current responses and such, I think that’s the direction you’re currently leading towards. Is that something I deserve? Possibly. You certainly don’t owe me anything.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently. My life took a complete turn around in the span of 3 months. This opportunity I’ve been given in California was beyond a surprise. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was short enough after my break-up with long-term ex-boyfriend that I hadn’t had time to set down any deeper roots and long enough that the shock factor had passed. Everything sort of fell into place. My plane tickets were well within my budget, the facility is lovely, I was the first music therapy intern to receive housing from the facility in many years, and it’s a lovely area for a new start. I’ve never done something like this before. Well, that’s not entirely true. But I’ve never thrown myself so completely into something all by myself. I’ve never been this alone. It almost feels empowering. Or maybe that’s fear.

I have only felt the entire universe telling me to go out to California these last few weeks. It’s been an amazing whirlwind. Stressful and amazing.

It would be nice to know you again. I can understand if you’d rather keep that door shut, though. I just feel an invitation is more appropriate.

This is a letter you’ll never read. Many people have told me how I should approach this situation. It just seems too impersonal, though. But it’s more adult-like. It’s more mature. It doesn’t ensure that I can say everything I feel I need to say to you. All the unspoken apologies. It’s not that I don’t want to live with this guilt. I will take that guilt with me to the grave until forgiven. I can understand if you don’t want to forgive me.

It would be nice to know you again. This is a letter you’ll never read.



My Last Night

It’s my last night in this apartment.

I always get so sentimental at these parts.

I came into this place with a stable relationship, a budding future, and a lot of baggage.

I am now shedding myself of much of my material belongings and moving myself to California, single and happy.

I have 12 more days in Iowa City. 12.

This is so strange.

Lisa was wondering when my “Oh shit, I’m leaving” phase would kick in. It’s now.

I have lived in Iowa City for most of my life. My mother’s eternal resting place is here in this city. I feel it is so random, but it now has me forever tied to it. A lot happened here. I go places and I see memories. What kind of memories am I about to make? Will any of it be familiar? Am I walking into something so beautifully invisible that I’m paralyzed with fear?

In my future, I see myself with my car packed and ready to go. I see myself driving the hardest drive I have ever done. But once I get to California, what do I see?

I see the facility, the people I will be working with, I see a few familiar faces, but nothing else. The rest is dark. I see Thanksgiving with the family who hosted me for my short visit. I see Christmas at home, internship completed and first post-grad job ready. It’s all hypothetical of course. Will I be seeing anybody? Will I hear from Calvin again? Where am I going to work besides the facility? Will it be a good place? How will I work out at the facility? How will my internship go? Will I cry a lot when I’m there? Will I long for hot, humid days of the same old things? Will I embrace everything that California has to offer me? Will I offer myself to it?

I’m determined to experience California. I have to always remind myself that misery doesn’t last forever. Good things don’t either. Balance is key.

My last night, folks.

Simultaneous All-and-Nothing (Also, a GoFundMe link)

A coworker gave me the idea of starting a GoFundMe.

I’m sorry, I have no beautiful or eloquent way of stating this.

But I did it.

Even if you don’t donate – thoughts, prayers, anything is appreciated.
It’s been a crazy past 2 months.
My entire life changed. My entire future changed.
I learned what kind of control I had in my life. It is a simultaneous all-and-nothing.
I have enough control to make choices. I can choose where I want to go and what I want to do. I have no control over how those choices go. I can make informed choices. But everything will happen, it will be an experience, and I have to make do with what I have or create something bigger and better.
I think I can do that.

Hurting Too Much

The date was awkward.

Pretty painfully awkward.

I’ve been in a lot of pain since.

But not because of it specifically.

Finals suck.

Worrying if you passed a class or not sucks.

I’ve never been this terrified about this in my life.

I also haven’t heard back from the facility as to if I get their housing or not.

It’s Thursday.

I’ll be calling them sometime today.

I’m supposed to get lunch with a friend then see a movie. Then I should go donate plasma. Then, tonight, I have a recital to go to.

It’s Dennis’s recital.

I really don’t want to go. That sounds horrible of me. I want to go to support him and to be a good friend to him and listen to the wonderful musician he is.

It’ll just be hard.

The last time he performed in studio, it was like getting punched in the gut repeatedly. So many little things he did reminded me of Calvin and how he performs.

I’m actually seriously debating not going to anything today.

My digestive system isn’t happy. I’m not happy. I just finished with my finals and I have so much shit I have to do.

I might ask my friend if we can forgo the movie. It’s only $5, but we’re not even going to go see Captain America, so I don’t really want to spend the money. Nor the time. As much as I love this friend and would love to spend time with her, lunch will be good. At a movie, you don’t even talk. I’d rather talk and actually hang out with her.


I’m just so anxious and I don’t want to be.

There’s so much work to be done. I need to clean my apartment to get it show ready for tomorrow. A friend’s boyfriend is really interested in subleasing my place which is awesome. While it wouldn’t cover all the expenses, it would at least help a major chunk. Then, I need to see if he’s interested in buying my furniture. If not, I need to start posting on places to sell it. I have so much to sell. The rest will be donated.

Then, I need to clean. And deep clean. And clean again.

I should start collecting boxes from work. Start packing what I can.

I also need to do laundry.

And the list goes on and on…

I have to keep reminding myself that I’m about to embark on an incredible adventure. It’s going to suck for the next few weeks as I plan out the logistics, but it will work out. While there is a lot to do, worrying about it all isn’t going to change the outcome. That’s the hardest part for me to accept.

And I can’t help wanting to talk to Ben in California. He’s the only person I know out there at a comfortable level and I hardly know him any more. I’m excited by that, but also saddened. At the same time, would I be as interested if I was with Calvin? I mean, it’s not like he’s been absent from my life completely. I’ve kept the old him here in various ways. A password about our 2 favorite cats on his farm is one I use frequently – and it’s a newer password. Less than a year old. I always analyze the songs I’m currently listening to and guess what the old him would think of it. The old him wouldn’t like a lot of it because of the singers. I wonder what books he reads. Has he finished that TV show he and his brother watched together? Every time I watch it I think of him even if only for a second.

I’ve never really let him go. I never will. Your first love stays with you. I’m not sure if I meant the same way to him, but I know what he means to me. He will always be that guy. Many of my friends ask me if I want to rekindle that flame. As I believe I have stated in previous posts, I’m not interested in that right now.

Now, I just need to delete my Tinder. It’s useless. It was fun at first, but I’m not ready for that scene. Especially since most of the people on there that I’m matching with aren’t interested in what I’m interested in. They want relationships, which is weird for a dating app like that. I’m not interested in that. Not now.

The pain is still very fresh with Calvin.

Seeing him on social media is hard enough. I’m still just so angry.

He’s trying to alleviate his guilt by being nice to me and by trying to place the blame anywhere but himself. He hasn’t taken responsibility for his actions nor has he apologized. He tells me how I broke his trust in snooping on him that one time – does he realize how I won’t be able to trust another man when he tells me they want to marry me?

I’m hurting too much right now. I need to go.


I just read the worst fucking conversation of my life.

Totally being melodramatic, but still. It’s bad.

I got a Tinder.

Whoop, there it is.

And today, I started talking to Peter.

Peter is studying physics at the same university I am at. He’s cute. He’s smart. He’s forward. He’s quirky. He’s nerdy.

Oh my god, how I’ve missed the nerdy boyfriends.

Calvin was way too cool for school in that respect.

And he was vocal about that too.

But now, why it sucked.

It sucked because I sucked.

And I sucked because I only fucking talked about myself. I didn’t ask him any questions, wanting to save those for our date on Thursday.

I was selfish. I was so fucking selfish.

And he was really fucking forward.

Not something I’m used to in a guy.

I’m used to I make the first move. I do the work. Then I wait for the day for him to ask me out. And I’m forward.

I’m used to guys beating around the bush and not saying what they think.

I’m just caught in a whirlwind right now.

I went to California this last week. I accepted the internship. I visited with my first ever boyfriend from when I was in high school. He’s single now too.

It was so strange. I was meeting up with someone I’ve known most of my life yet someone who was a completely different person. I was so scared he wouldn’t like me anymore because I’m so different too. I’m so different from the person I was seven years ago. It doesn’t feel like seven years ago.

I want to get to know this new Ben. Not necessarily in a romantic way, but I’m not closing any opportunities. I have a strict policy on saying yes to things that will change me for the good. Relationships in any form teach you something about someone and something about yourself. The more you get to know them, the better you know yourself.

And that’s what I focus on.

I’m realizing how incredibly selfish I am in my thinking. The relationships that really last for me are ones that I’m more concerned for the other person and proud of them. The ones that don’t are the ones I’m selfish in. I get bored.

And that makes me really sad.

I think I get so attracted to the attention and fall in love with that more than the person. That’s why I feel weird about all of this.

Just to walk up to someone and flirt just because it makes you feel good. I don’t know. I’m confusing myself.

I’m scared. I’m scared to go on this date. I’m scared that I’m going to like him. I’m scared that I’m going to like him a lot. And then I’m going to be the girl who moves on so quickly. I still can’t look at pictures of him without wanting to cry. I’m also super emotional because I’m on my period. And I’m so, so scared that I’m not going to be ready to give this person what they deserve out of another human being which is decency and respect and I’m going to be a sack of shit and be selfish. I won’t be able to tell him how I feel because I don’t like that I feel that way.

But I don’t know.

I’m just scared that he’ll become another Sean.

And I can’t stand myself for what I did to that guy.

And I’m scared to move all the way out to California.

Unknown Alone

Most of the time, I’m completely fine. No problems, feeling good, living life as I should.

Then, it hits me like a fucking baseball bat.

I did cry today.

Mostly out of anger.

I felt more pain today on his behalf than I have in a long time, though. I’m not sure why.

Maybe I do know why.

I joined Tinder.


I know.

It’s strange, but… nice. I’ve been chatting it up with a few cuties. One in particular has my attention. Even if nothing becomes of all of this, it’s still fun. The superficiality and frivolity of it keep it interesting in the least. But talking and thinking of these dudes in a more serious context of sleeping with them makes me nervous. Honestly, the idea of sleeping with anyone freaks me out.

Maybe I should just wait to move to California to pursue options.

But I’m also sexually frustrated.

This is not a good cycle to be in.

I don’t know how to do this whole college dating scene. I’ve never known. I’m not the kind of girl who typically looks for hook-ups. I don’t even know how to openly pursue one. It seems so strange as well as I’m not confident enough in myself.

I’m going to the doctor tomorrow for a full exam. Another doctor to talk about my life. I’m going to California on Tuesday and I still don’t know what I’m doing. I should have one of those “Flying for Dummies” books. It would probably be of significant help.

Things are really starting to move forward here and I’m terrified. I’m terrified of making that leap into the unknown alone. I’m scared that I won’t be able to do it.

It’s going to hurt.

It’s going to be alright.

It’s not the end-all-be-all.

It’s a new start. Everything in my life is a new start.

I just need to take that next step forward.

His Name

Ed Sheeran guy has a name. His name is Ben.

Last night just didn’t go how I planned. But that was okay. I ended up going to 2 Dogs and drinking there. I was sober by the time I left at 1 AM. It was still a confusing night.

So, Ben comes in with his friend and coworker Juan. Juan’s a great guy, one of the regulars. He comes in a few nights a week. Sometimes gets really, really drunk. But he always takes a cab.

He didn’t take a cab last night. And he should have. And he didn’t take a cab after trying to hit on me first. Ugh.

We were outside smoking, but the three of us often just stayed out there talking and joking around. Ben was really cool and fun. He kept telling me to give my number to Juan so I could remind them of the concert I’m going to be in today.

That didn’t happen for a number of reasons.

I had my number written down for him and I was going to give it to him. But Juan tells me that he’s taken.

Not what I was expecting to hear.

Seeing as about a month ago, this guy bought me a drink at the bar. I mean, a lot can happen and change in a month, so I’m not trying to insinuate that it’s impossible for this guy to have gotten a girlfriend by now. As well as he was being very friendly.

I guess not overly so, though.

When Juan first told me he was taken, I was disappointed. This was going to be the first time for me to give my number to some guy I met at a bar. I was excited to do that. Then I find out he’s not available. Not like a crushing disappointment but obviously one to some extent.

At the same time, Juan hitting on me at the end of the night and being shitty by driving home when he really shouldn’t have been driving lead me to question Juan’s honesty. Was he just trying to keep me for himself?

I don’t want to think so. That’d be super weird and super shitty.

When I talked with my coworkers about it, they were skeptical too. They agreed that I shouldn’t have given Juan my number. Again, very happy I didn’t do that.

The next step is just to find out if he really does have a girlfriend. If he does, good for him. Hopefully it was just another guy who bought me that drink and we don’t remember it properly or the relationship is new or he was just trying to be friendly since I was a good server to them that night.

Okay, not that last one. I know that wasn’t the case. Pretty sure I messed something up with them.

I just hope I’m not the “other girl”. That’s not something I’m cool with nor will I ever be. At the same time, I don’t want to look into starting anything serious here in the next few weeks. I might be moving to California here and I’m not about to tie myself down to anything here that would be more permanent.

Even if he does have a girlfriend and nothing becomes of this other than a friendship, I’m still happy. I now know that I am starting to be ready again. While I know it will be difficult at first and I’ll probably have a few unsuccessful trial runs, just to try something again is thrilling.

For the first time the other night since Calvin, I was very excited that I was single. Most of the time, I’ve been sad and frustrated. Now, I see what kind of opportunities have opened. I love the freedom. I love the endless possibilities. I love the unpredictability of it all.

I’m okay with not knowing. In fact, I’m thrilled I don’t know what’s next. I’m almost 23 and have all the time in the world to figure things out. I’m just going to go where ever the world takes me. I don’t have to follow someone. I can do what I want where I want.

I think the timing with everything just barely worked out. I haven’t seen Ben at work in almost a month and now just when I’m starting to feel ready again he shows up. California comes right when I’ve accepted that the future I’d been planning for over 2 years had shattered. Things are wrapping up and I’m just getting started.