Complicated Decisions

I’m in a predicament… a situation… that I’ve never been in before.

It’s my own fault that I got here.  I have spent so much time over the last year beefing up my resume, making sure I was properly qualified for everything I applied for… and I succeeded.

I didn’t expect things to move this fast.

I’ve been applying (very early) for things back in Tampa, thinking it would take months even to get one callback.  Boy was I wrong.  Very wrong.

I don’t have a job offer yet… but I’ve been getting a lot of interest.  And… this is what’s happened:

On Monday I applied for a job with a company that really fits what I’m looking for in my next position.  They are friendly, laid back, easygoing, and the position is something that I’m really familiar with and I already know I’m good at.  During the first interview, the interviewer asked if I was interviewing with anyone else.  I said I wasn’t (which was truthful at the time, as I didn’t have any others scheduled).  He said he’d get back with me next week.  I felt like it went well… I felt like he was interested.  But I continued to wait.

The very next day I got a call about another position.  One that I’m equally qualified for and would be really good at also.  I sailed through that one, had a second one with them today, and have a third one scheduled for next week.  They are obviously moving very fast (and I was told as – such on the phone with the supervisor today).

Now the dilemma –

I told the first guy that I didn’t have any other interviews scheduled.  This was true at the time, but that status has now changed.  And I’m torn between whether I should send the original interviewer a followup letter just to let him know that the status has changed, or if I should just let the cards fall where they will.

Suddenly I feel like I’m being courted by two very eligible, very attractive men and I can’t decide which I should go with… the pretty dark one who has everything I’m looking for, that seems interested, but that is taking a little longer to make up his mind?  Or the blond… equally attractive, is moving a little faster, but just doesn’t “click” the way the first one did…

That’s a question I never really seemed to be able to figure out properly when I was dating either… no wonder this is so hard to do.

Both positions would take me to the location that I want to be.  Both are going to give me the salary requirements I need.  And, remember, I’m a good fit for both… I just fit a little more snugly with the first one.

I’m happy about having decisions to make… I’m overjoyed that the response that I’ve been getting for a move that would have, otherwise, been a big gamble is working out so well.  For the first time in my professional life I’m being given options.  I LOVE having the options…

I guess I just need to figure out what the protocol is.  I may never need it again in my dating life, but who knew that my professional life would become as complicated as my dating life used to be?

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The Crooked Kiss

Something has happened to my face.

On Saturday, I went to the grocery store.  I got groceries.  It started to rain.  I didn’t want to wait for it to stop, so I ran to my car, threw the groceries in, put the cart away, got back inside and was soaked… It’s rained a lot here lately.  This was the second time I’d been soaked in my car in two days in a row.  Pulled out my phone to take a selfie to send to Ormsby and noticed that my mouth was off.

Like… crooked.  I checked to make sure I wasn’t accidentally holding it that way.  I wasn’t.  Tried moving it.  It moved back in place (yes, I realize I sound like Potato Head here) but then went crooked again.

It wasn’t that bad… not that noticeable… but I noticed it and I didn’t send the selfie.

By the time Ormsby got home that night, it was even worse.  My right eye was droopy.  My mouth was curved into this involuntary half-smile.  I looked like a stroke patient.

I attributed it to stress.  Because this is what happens when I get stressed out.  Well, not this specifically, but weird shit like this.  In 2006, before my wedding, I lost my ability to walk.  My legs started just… burning… from the inside out.  Like if you imagine a log that’s thrown onto a bonfire and it’s hot and red underneath the bark that’s not really burning yet… that’s what it felt like.  The doctors thought I had MS or a brain tumor.  I definitely did not have a brain tumor.  A second opinion ruled out MS too.

But as the wedding got closer, it got worse and worse until I could barely walk.  My father had to practically support me as I got down the aisle and if it hadn’t been for the prednisone and the valium I don’t know if I’d have made it at all.

It dissipated after several months.  I’d have flare ups now and again, but never like that one time and I joked (after the divorce) that my body just as an adverse reaction to marriage.

It happened again in 2012 when my company was being transferred to Allstate and I was I was in a relationship with 3.0 (who never seemed to be satisfied with who I was or what I was doing).  I didn’t think it was that stressful, really… but then I woke up one morning with double vision.  And a droopy eye.  I think it might have been my right eye then, but I don’t remember.  Again, I got diagnosed with a potential brain tumor or with MS and I went through the whole MRI thing again.  No brain tumor.  Four Xanax and a Contrast MRI later, no MS.  No one could figure out what it was.  We attributed it to stress.

It disappeared by November.

Then Saturday happened.  I spent all day Sunday on the couch… sleeping mostly… waking up once in a while to look at my face.  It was severely depressing to look at – swollen, pulsating (twitching), I did, in fact, look like a stroke patient.  Ormsby begged me to go to a doctor; I didn’t want to at first – I knew what they’d say.  More MRIs, only to find that there’s nothing visibly wrong with me except that I have an anxiety disorder (which we all know).

But by Monday, when this wasn’t any better, and actually got worse the second I walked into work, I told HR that I needed to leave to go to a doctor immediately (she agreed… I looked like shit).  And so I spent the afternoon in the doctor’s office.

Long story short, she thinks I have neuropathy.  Caused by stress and anxiety.  I’ve been referred to a neurologist so they can do some electro-test thing on my brain.  But it’s hard to get into a neurologist here so by the time I get seen, the symptoms will probably have dissipated again (like they do) and I can only hope this partial paralysis doesn’t last.

I think the worst thing is what it’s done to my self esteem.  I don’t even like to look in the mirror anymore.  I hid away in my office all day and internally cringed when my coworkers called me “Droopy.”  Even though I know they didn’t mean anything by it, it brought up too many memories of getting made fun of at school as a child.

Ormsby still seems to be attracted to me, and things are fine here.  Better than fine, actually.  Unlike 3.0, he’s told me he’s not leaving me just because I have some stupid neurological disorder.  And I believe him.  Still, I can’t help but wonder if, when we kiss, it feels as crooked to him as it does to me… Though I know that, even if it did, he’d still kiss me anyway.  Because that’s what love is.  And he’s pretty fantastic that way.

Two Weeks’ Notice

I did something, today, that was either very brave or very stupid.

I put in two weeks’ notice at my job.  I do not have another one lined up (though I do have an interview tomorrow).

I have tried to stick with it while looking for something else, but the truth is, there just isn’t much in my field in this area.  Two years ago, I moved to Louisville, thinking it would be easy to find something that was similar to what I was doing in Tampa.  I was naïve to do that without doing some solid investigation (just because there were listings on a couple of job sites didn’t mean those positions were plentiful – in fact, they’re quite rare here).  I searched for eight months and finally found something, and I was glad to find it… but in doing that I took a $10k pay cut.  I’ve been doing twice the work that I was doing in Tampa.  And the living expenses (believe it or not) are higher here than they were there.  So I haven’t been living comfortably… I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck – something that I swore I would never do again.

And while I was doing that, I was putting up with a LOT of bullshit at work… the environment was toxic.  I mean, really and truly toxic.  I came home defeated, tired, stressed, and cranky every day.  Weekends were far too short.  I never felt like I had a break.  I tried to stick it out… I really did.  I kept thinking that if I just finished putting everything online, if I could just get past this new hire training, if I could just finish filing all the documents away, everything would settle down.  But it didn’t.  And then, to top it all off, they took my salary away.  Made me hourly.  A slave to the clock.  A misclassification (according to the Department of Labor website), but they did it all the same – to save them from having to give me a raise that I absolutely deserve to comply with the new labor law that goes into effect in December.

That was the last straw.  I mean if I was going to struggle, I might as well take something that didn’t require as much work and hate my life a little less, right?

But I still tried to stick it out.  Until I started to get sick.  See, stress has some weird effects on me.  I’ve lost my ability to walk before because I was stressed out.  Not so long ago (about four years ago), I got double vision.  I’ve had MRIs, blood tests, everything… they can’t find the cause of it and it disappears as mysteriously as it came.  The only explanation anyone has for it is stress.  Those symptoms are starting to come back.  Not as bad as they have been, but the fact that I’m having them at all is a warning sign that it’s coming.

So I decided to put in two weeks – to save my dignity, to save my sanity, and probably most importantly, to save my emotional and physical health.

It’s a leap of faith.  It really is.  Because I don’t have anything else waiting for me.  As I sent the message to my boss today, I could envision myself taking a running leap, jumping off a cliff, and hoping and praying that there was something down there to catch me – no matter how far I had to fall.  It hasn’t materialized yet, but, then, it’s only been about 4.5 hours since I told my boss (via email, mind you, because she couldn’t be bothered to answer the email that I sent her earlier this morning to ask her if I could meet with her at some point).

I am looking forward to the break.  Regardless of whether I find a job immediately or not, I’m absolutely taking a week or more off between them.  Because I need to heal… desperately.  I need some kitty time. I need some painting time.  Some writing time. Just time to recover.  To get my thoughts together.  To figure out what comes next.

And, you know, maybe this is what had to happen… maybe I needed to cut ties so that I could very seriously focus my energy on getting back to where I need to be anyway.

I guess we’ll see.

The Engagement

Before I proceed any further, there’s something you have to know that’s integral to the rest of this post: I’m really, truly, very intuitive.  And “it” worked best when I lived in Florida – not, I think, because Florida is like Sedona where intuitives thrive (though it certainly seemed to work that way for me), but because things were clearer for me there (anxiety-wise, family-wise, etc.) for me to understand it properly.  It’s not always specific, but it’s pretty good about giving me a head’s up when there’s something that I need to know about – even if it doesn’t give me the details.

So given that information –

Two years ago my sister got married and I didn’t want to go.  There were a lot of reasons for that, but the biggest one is that that intuition that have was adamantly telling me that if I went, “everything would change.”  It was adamant about that detail.  The rational side of me said this was silly.  I mean, how could things really change – I lived in Florida… whoever she married, I’d see him twice a year… and this wedding would have absolutely no bearing on what I was doing.  I had the vacation time to use, I wasn’t going to lose my job, Botboy (who I was still waiting for at that point) wasn’t due back for two more months, Satine was still healthy then, and I could go up there and come back home with relative ease.  But the intuition wouldn’t shut up.  It kept insisting that if I went, things would change.  And as change has never historically been a boon for me, I shuddered to think what it would mean and decided, adamantly, that I simply wasn’t going to go.

That didn’t fly well, obviously.

So, on May 30, 2014, I boarded a plane, flying into Louisville to stay in a hotel room that I rented for the weekend.  To make things less painful, I’d made plans to meet my friend, and to reconnect with this guy I’d known a long time ago.  See, I thought that the “change” would occur because of something or other that would happen in my hometown.  Making plans in another city, I thought, would be a good “distraction” to what would likely be an uncomfortable situation and, presumably, would keep me away from whatever it was that was going to shatter everything I’d grown accustomed to and had come to love.

But remember how I told you that my intuition, while annoyingly loud sometimes, is not always the most specific?  Yeah.  It wasn’t talking about the wedding at all.  It wasn’t talking about my hometown, either.

Not. At. All.

It was the guy.  Reconnecting with him put all SORTS of things in motion that I could never have foreseen.  I won’t go over what happened in Louisville that weekend (there’s record of it in these blog pages if you don’t already know the story).

From then on, my world changed dramatically.  I spent more time in Louisville over the next six months than I had over the course of four years.  To the point that I decided to pack up all my shit, and my cat (who hated to travel), and move us both back to this place just to be closer to him.

True to form, true to the intuition, true to everything… that weekend did, in fact, change everything.

And things are still changing.

We have decided that, at the end of the year, we are going to move to Tampa again.  Financially that is the better decision for me since the pay is better, there is no state tax, and there is more of a market for what I do.  From a psychological perspective that place is a win as well – the constant sunshine does wonders for my mood and my anxiety issues, and of course I can practice my “religion” more openly without fear of being told that I’m going to hell all the time.  It’s a boon for him, too, in all of the same ways (plus he just LOVES the beach).  We see it as a place where we can give the “best” of ourselves to each other.

Even though the move means I’ll be going home, it won’t be a complete reset.

Because even though it’s a familiar place (for me), things will look very different – I won’t be single, Satine will, unfortunately, not be coming with me this trip (though I may bring her ashes – the jury is still out on what I want to do with them), I’ll be bringing Ormsby in tow with our two new kitties (who will LOVE the sunshine).

But even the Ormsby/Victoria dynamic is going to look drastically different – and it’s going to continue to change – even after we get there.

Because, you see, a little over two years after we kissed for the first time, after we slept together for the first time, we went to Puerto Rico – Lord Ormsby had a three-day job down there, and I got invited to come along (seriously, sometimes my life is like a “Friends” episode).

On our last day there, we went for a walk on the beach.

knees

While on that walk, he got down on one knee and he pulled out a ring.  His proposal was characteristic of him – and of us.  I knew it was coming.  I’d picked out the ring myself.  I’d known he’d purchased it, I even knew what day and time he was going to ask.  Because I REALLY don’t like surprises.  So, in true form for us, we laughed our way through the proposal.

And then, I said yes.  Like three times because he kept pretending he hadn’t heard me.

He’s still in a state of shock.  At almost 43, he had thought this would never happen to him.  I’m in a state of shock, too.  Not because I didn’t think it would or could happen, but because I’m now engaged to the man I first met in a coffee shop ten years ago for a job interview.  I got the job then… And I guess, if you want to look at it practically, you could say I’ve been “hired” for the job now.

There is so much to do, so many plans to make, but we’re excited.

We’re happy.

And that’s what matters.

ring

 

Internet Dating Escapades XXXVI

This showed up in my personal email inbox the other day…  I have no idea who this guy is, or how he got my email address… because even in my single days, I NEVER had a profile on ChristianMingle.  I even checked… just to make sure I didn’t inadvertently sign up for one one night when I was shitfaced or something (but even when shitfaced I have more sense than that), and I didn’t.

So this was totally weird.  Oh well..

01

 

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BotCon 2016

Flashback to about three years ago – The Botboy Era.  He was away.  I was taking his newly-purchased toys into my bedroom closet for safekeeping.  He kept talking about this convention called “BotCon” (a convention for all-things TransFormers (and their collectors)) and, when he got his Golden Ticket (an exclusive pass to the convention), he was over the moon.  The only concern was whether he was going to get back in time to go.

Things happened – we didn’t talk for awhile.  I assume he went – he certainly spent enough money on that ticket so that it would have been a shame if he hadn’t.  After we got back in touch, I may have even asked if he went; I don’t remember.  I wouldn’t say I quite forgot about the convention, but it was held in San Diego… far away from me and, while I became interested in the toys, the comics, and even the original TV show (until Netflix took it down – Fuck you, Netflix), I wasn’t interested enough to get on a plane and fly all that way for something like that.  (BlizzCon?  That’s a totally different story.)

Flash-forward again.  I’ve since left Tampa.  I don’t talk to Botboy anymore… haven’t heard a word out of him since August 2014, before I moved and when I told him about Ormsby.  True to his word, back in early 2014, as soon as he found out that I was seeing someone else, he’s never spoken to me again.  As tempted as I was to reach out to him when I was there for a visit a few weeks back, just to see how he was doing, I resisted it.  Sometimes, maybe, the past is best left in the past, I thought.

But, then, randomly, I found out that in 2016, for some absurd reason, BotCon was coming to Louisville.  I was sorely tempted to go – but Ormsby and I already had plans out of town.  When those plans fell through, however, it was like a green light signaled “go” and I began to seriously consider going.  Understand: I wouldn’t have if the convention had been anywhere EXCEPT where I live.  I still have an interest in Giant Robots, I need to revive the Adventures of Prowl series (and I will soon), and seriously, the only real regret I have about Botboy is that I did not ask him for the full reading list of those comics he started me on years ago so I could continue on my own, because I’d be lost if I started them now.  Further, as much as I heard about it in 2013, as integral it was to the conversations (and the websites I’d visit, and the phone numbers I’d call, trying to investigate when those Golden Tickets were going to go on sale), I felt like I NEEDED to see it for myself.  I had no interest in buying a Golden Ticket – they are very expensive, and while I like the Robots, I am not a mega-enough fan to justify spending that kind of money on something like that.  But General Admission would be Saturday and Sunday and I could swing that.  And pay for Ormsby’s ticket too.

So on Saturday, it was decided that Ormsby and I would first go to the U of L Honors Book sale on campus, and then head downtown to the Galt House for BotCon.  I didn’t have any desire to go to any of the panels.  Watching the people dressed up in TransFormers costumes was pretty awesome (and also pretty hysterical).

OP  SSOPTC

And we had fun trailing through the rows of things to buy.

Retail Area

Ormsby found instances where TransFormers met Star Wars and he was happy.  I found a woman who sews and embroiders Giant Robots and bought Starscream.  A few rows down, I found Bumblebee (in a Red, VW Beetle).  I purchased both, because they both have meaning for me – Starscream being my favorite.  Red VW Beetles being an interest that my father and I share.  Though, when I sent my father a photo of it, I think I was more amused than he was.  Dad might get more excited about it if I ever took it out of the box and let him play with it, but I simply can’t do that.  Even I don’t take it out of the box.  Those damned habits picked up well in the past (that have little to do with me) are hard to shake sometimes.  I should have purchased two.  Then I’d have one to play with.  But Christ, that shit is not cheap.  And bills.  Fucking bills.

SSPlushie  TakaraRedBB

Then, happy but a little more broke than I intended to be, we left.  Because my god, if we’d stayed longer, I’d have spent my entire paycheck that I’d gotten on Friday and I had bills to pay.

If Botboy came to Louisville for this, he didn’t contact me.  I didn’t expect him to. And when we were at the convention, I didn’t see him meandering around, either.  Preferring to avoid the awkward, I was really ok with that, but Ormsby was a little disappointed (he, apparently, would like to meet him for some odd reason). He really wanted me to tell him where to find his Facebook profile so he could send him a message and tell him that he should go to dinner with us… Because a dinner with Botboy, Lord Ormsby, and Crazypants (me) at the same table would be… loads of fun… yes.  :S

I don’t know if I was expecting to run into him or not… I guess I was prepared for the possibility that we would.  Or, at least, prepared in the same way the way that water is prepared to move through a tube – seeking the path of least resistance… meaning if he’d spoken to me, I’d have responded.  If he didn’t, I wouldn’t have pushed it.  It didn’t really matter.  Running into Botboy wasn’t the point in the first place.  I knocked something off the bucket list (more cheaply than I would have if it had been in any other city, at any other time).  I have some things to remember the experience by.  I’m good with that.

Next on the list is BlizzCon…  and for that, when I finally manage to make it happen, you better believe I WILL be buying a fucking Golden Ticket. Or whatever they hell they’re called there. And I’ll be costumed as some of my own characters.

Big Changes

A lot has happened during the last couple of weeks.  Really big changes – some bad, some good… all of them completely altering the landscape around here a little.

First, I had to have Satine put down.  I know I wrote about that previously, so I don’t need to go into the whys.. but it’s sufficient to say that having to do that was the worst thing that I have ever had to do.  Not that she didn’t go peacefully (she did), and not that I did it prematurely (I didn’t), but it doesn’t matter whether it’s the right thing to do or not… it still hurts.  And, afterward, there wasn’t a thing that I could do to make myself feel better.  The house felt so empty.  I felt so lost.  I kept thinking I would hear her talking.  Or walking.  Or that I’d see her when I walked by her window.  Thing is, I truly believe that that WAS her… maybe I sound crazy, but the connection I had with that cat was very unusual.  So I believe that she is still here to some extent.  And I doubt she will ever leave me completely.

Four days later, Ormsby and I flew to Tampa.  It was the first time I’ve been back since my move up here.  I stayed away, primarily, to try to make the transition a little easier on myself – it’s impossible to live when I have one foot in one place and one foot in the other.  But I finally got so homesick over this last winter that I caved and bought tickets.  We stayed at a hotel on Rocky Point and rented a pretty awesome car.  I got to see all of my friends.

But there was something else to this trip – it was an exploratory one.  Because I really, really, really want to go back.  Permanently.  I made more money there.  I had a better job (and more opportunities) there.  But most of all, well, it’s sunny there.  And I was happier there.  Was I happy all the time?  No.  I do wonder whether some of that unhappiness could have been rectified by, say, a job change.  Or an address change.  Or a phone number change (or all of them, maybe).  Something not as drastic as what I eventually decided to do, but something that would, at least, put some distance between myself and the factors that were making me unhappy.

I want to move back.  But I don’t want to leave Ormsby.  And that’s my rock and hard place.  I love Ormsby.  I do not love Louisville.  I am able to separate the two, thankfully.  And so this trip to Tampa was more for him than for me.  I wanted him to see the city, experience the city, figure out what is so damned seductive about that place.  And he was amazed.  And he fell in love.  Enough to move there?  I have no idea.  I guess we’ll see when the lease is up.

For me, though… the winter here is pretty dreadful.  I have Seasonal Affective Disorder… when it gets cold, when I can’t be out in the sunshine, it really gets me down.  And there’s just the fact that I do not like Louisville much.  I thought I’d be able to get back into the groove of things, but after Tampa, this city is, for me, a small town with big city ambitions that it will never quite reach.  When the biggest thing that happens all year is Derby (and all anyone thinks about after one race is over is when the next one is going to be), then it’s time to find something else to occupy the other weeks out of the year.  When a city must hold banquets honoring minorities just to prove that it’s not racist, then, I hate to break it to you, but the city is racist.  When pageant queens and Hooters competitions make the newspaper, it’s time to find better news coverage (maybe more than a blurb about all the black people that get shot on a daily basis, and what the police are doing to find the killers?).

Sure Tampa had its big events (Gasparilla, for example), but the point is, there is more than one.  And the entire city didn’t shut down just because of one thing… except the RNC.  But that was a special case that was pretty much out of anyone’s control. And then there’s the food.  OMG.  If you haven’t been to Tampa before, you should go… if for nothing else, than just to go to some of the restaurants there. But while you’re there, take in the rest of the city… I like to say that it’s one of the best-kept secrets in tourism.

So, anyway, the goal… at the end of the year… is to find a way to put myself back there.  And to bring Ormsby with me.  If he will go.  If he won’t, to be honest, I’ll likely go anyway – there is nothing worse than mentally suffering for six months just because the snow is on the ground.  It will be sad to leave him behind, but I can’t make myself suffer.  That’s just not fair.

When we got back, the biggest change of all happened.  After Satine passed, Ormsby and I were at Petsmart… just looking… and we found a kitty.  She was spoken for already, but the rescue society that had her had two others that needed homes.  I got first pick.  But, see, the downfall in that is that I can’t choose just one.  So I took them both.  One is female, about 10 months, orange.  I call her Cleo.  The other is a male, about 12 weeks, a gray tabby that looks like Satine a little bit.  I call him Milo.  They are a bonded pair… and it’s adorable to watch Milo follow Cleo around.

Yesterday we picked them up.  And I dropped about $400 on cat supplies.  Milo is at the vet today getting neutered.  Cleo is, at the moment, exploring the bedroom and sniffing my flip flops – which smell like Tampa, I’m sure.  They both purr a lot… and both are lap cats.  Of course I still miss Satine a lot.  But the house is definitely not empty anymore.  And I’m absolutely crazy about the new furballs that live here.