March 10, 2013

Hi.

It’s now 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 10, 2013, and don’t tell Jamie, but I’m sitting on her bed. Also, if you’re reading this, Jamie, insert Jedi mind-meld here.

It’s been a fairly quiet and uneventful weekend for me, which normally, I wouldn’t complain about, but I’m finding myself to be particularly lonely these past few days. The aforementioned Jamie is working at SXSW here in Austin and has a really bonkers schedule because of it, so I haven’t seen her or our mutual friends, who are also doing the SXSW thing. It’s just been me and Jay the Cat, and I think he’s getting irritated with me trying to talk to him all the time, and when he wants to talk, I’m not in the mood to do so, or it’s like, 3 a.m. in the morning.

Are you awake, Erin? No, Jay, I’m trying to sleep. But I have something to tell you. Can it wait, Jay? I need more sleep. But it’s really important, Erin. Sigh…okay, Jay. What is it? Can I sit on your chest and put my paws in your face? What? No! But I really like doing that, Erin. Leave me alone, Jay. And keep your paws out of my face. I’ve seen what you do in the litter box…

Lonely, a bit bored, and a bit of depression is kicking in. Real talk time: I haven’t been taking my medication. Now, before you give me a stern lecture on the importance of maintaining my mental health, which believe you me, I know all about it, I just want to clarify that I haven’t been taking my medication because I can’t take it. Well, that’s half-true, I guess. I obviously lost my health insurance when I quit my job, so that also means losing my prescription drug benefits. I’ve been anti-psychotic-free (oh, how crazy that makes me seem when I say I take “anti-psychotics”…) for over two months. I should have had more foresight before moving and made an appointment with my psychiatrist to request a three month supply, but I’ll be the first to admit I kind of left Nebraska in a toot and wasn’t thinking about piddly stuff like that. I regret this error on my part and am finding myself in a bit of a depression crater at the moment. Nothing serious or worrisome, mind you, but I can definitely tell the ol’ synapses are misbehaving. I suppose I can see if I can request a refill of my prescription and see how much it would cost out-of-pocket, but I’m not too hopeful for that option since I’d probably have to make an appointment to do so and being here in Texas might be a touch tricky. Plus, I’d have to wait until I got my first 80 hour paycheck from work to be able to potentially afford this and that’s not for another week, so I guess I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing. Besides, my new job’s health insurance is only about 5 weeks from starting, and I’ve gone this long without any brain pills, so I think I can go a bit longer. And I’m also fairly certain the medication has slowly leached itself from my body at this point, so it’s all me now anyway.

*Side note: Out of curiosity, I just googled how long anti-psychotics stay in your body and was directed to a question forum. One of the responders to this person’s query stated, and I shit you not, “…I’ve been taking fish oil tablets 3 times a day and they seem to help with my symptoms especially voices, so you may want to try it out.” HOLY HELL. That’s a new one to me. Fish oil tablets: good for your heart and for quieting the voices in your head.

Where was I? Oh yes, loneliness and depression. I realize my depression is increased due to loneliness. I’m no dummy. I know how my brain works–er, doesn’t work. My loneliness is also effecting (affecting? I never get these two words right…) my current living situation. Allow me to explain, because you know I will.

While alone, I tend to occupy myself by thinking. Some of it is deep, some of it is goofy stuff that I think about. I’ve been toying with going back to school lately. When I moved here to Austin, at first, I wasn’t too concerned about finding a job because healthcare, but after spending a few days on job search sites, it was becoming painfully clear that if I wanted a decent, good-paying job, I’d have to have a higher degree than an associates. There were a zillion and three jobs for nurses, and obviously, you need a bachelor’s degree. Even jobs in the cardiac device industry need some sort of bachelor’s degree, so naturally, I want to better myself both mentally and financially, so it’s really a no-brainer here. However, this is where it gets muddled. Do I want to stay here in Texas and acquire this degree, or go elsewhere? My sister-in-law and brother have been trying for nearly ten years to get me to move to Idaho, and they lure me there by saying there’s a brand new hospital in their town and the local community college has an excellent nursing program. I admit, this is becoming more appealing the more I think about it, mainly because they’ve offered to house me while I go to school. Here in Texas, I won’t have that luxury. I realize that no matter where I attend an institution of higher learning, I’ll have to pay the outrageous out-of-state tuition fee inflicted upon those unfortunate souls who go outside of their home state for education. But if I moved to Idaho, stay with family there, that’s going to ease some of the financial burden of being in school and working part-time, and I imagine I’d be able to get my degree faster in that situation than staying here in Texas and trying to keep my full-time job to pay for bills, as well as taking classes when I can manage them. Point for Idaho. Sorry, Texas.

But, again, I’m smarter than I like to let you all think I am and realize that my current job offers tuition assistance, but in instances like that, if your job is willing to help pay for your schooling, you’re going to have to sign a contract with the HR devil and commit to working for that company for x amount of years after you’ve gotten your degree. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I’m not sure I want to stay in Texas for another 4 months, let alone potentially four years. Here me out on this one because I mentioned this earlier and got my hand slapped for this thinking. As you know, I moved to Austin to be with a man. Things did not work out with this man, so I’m really in no way obligated to stay here. I like Austin, it’s cool, it’s hip, the people here are ridiculously friendly so far, and the fact it’s the music hub of the world is pretty dang awesome, but I didn’t choose Austin. Austin chose me. What I mean by that is, circumstances led me to being here and those circumstances are no more. It’s not like I wanted to move here…that sounds rude and wrong and not what I’m trying to convey, but get what I mean? If I hadn’t moved for the ex-boyfriend, I wouldn’t have picked Austin as a place to move on my own. I don’t think, anyway…regardless, I’m not sure I want to stay in Austin for long. I don’t regret this move at all. It came at a time when I didn’t realize I needed it most, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to do so. It’s that old saying of “you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.” And that’s how I feel. I’m glad I’m here and contemplating my future from this point than still in Nebraska, hating myself for not taking a chance. I’m not one to think very highly of myself at times, but good on me for making such a big leap.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t hate it here, but it doesn’t feel right to me, either. You ever have that feeling of “this is where I’m supposed to be”? Where everything feels right and perfect and you think you’ve found your happiness? I realize it’s a somewhat rare feeling, but it happens. I also know I’ve been here two months. I’m adjusting. Hell, I just started going to work without my GPS on my phone to guide me and I’ve almost been there a damn month. These things take time. Nothing is instantaneous, unless you’re mixing chemicals together. So again, I realize I’m being somewhat unfair to Austin, and not giving it enough chance to woo me. Having said that, I must praise my intuition and while I wanted to live life through rose-colored glasses, I knew the potential for life always being unpredictable. I’m not a pessimist and doomed myself for relationship failure from the start by saying “this’ll never work out.” I’m a realist and while I wanted to spend many years with Ed, I had to keep my track record in mind and understand this may not be the case. I didn’t expect it to happen so goddamn quickly after I moved here, but again, life is silly like that. Anyway, pedantic rambling aside, I kept the possibility of things not working out between us in the back of my mind and devised A Plan. This plan is such: give Austin six months. Feel it out, test the Texan waters. If it really isn’t your thing, hey, at least you tried and can say you did and can do something else. No harm, no foul, and chalk it up to experience. So that’s what I’m going to do…or at least this is what I’m telling myself to do.

Here’s more silliness to add to this mix, though. I brought this up on Twitter earlier and a new friend shares the same hesitance of being here. She’s also from Nebraska and moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area about a year ago. We lamented about thinking Texas really wasn’t for us simple Nebraska girls, how much we missed our family, etc. I mentioned that I don’t want to be thought of as a failure/disappointment for not staying in Texas. Maybe this is part of my extremely infuriating and annoying habit of genuinely caring what people think of me. I know I shouldn’t care, I know my life isn’t theirs and I have to do what is best for me, but in the back of my mind, I can hear people saying “that Erin is a goddamn quitter,” and that upsets me. Stupid, I know, but this is me we’re talking about here. I don’t like to give up on things that by all means should have been laid to rest fair sooner than I let them go, e.g. my marriage. Allow me to remind you it took Mr. Zulkoski and I two years to get divorced. So there’s that plaguing me, which is nice. I just don’t want to give up, but part of growing as a person is realizing when you should move on.

Blah. Blah, blah, blah.

This is me, this is where I’m at right now. I obviously have a tremendous amount of thinking to do still. But for now, I’m going to tough it out, give myself more time to adjust, try not to be so hard on myself, which I know at least 80% of you are screaming at your computer screens right now, and see where this silly life takes me. I know from nearly 32 years of personal experience that it can change without warning, so I guess the only thing I can do is buckle up and enjoy the ride.

As always, thanks for reading.

E

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