blog

Out of Gems

Occasionally, I play those cheeky games on Facebook. I limit myself to one at a time because they tend to be time-consuming and you always reach a point in the game where it is nearly impossible to be successful without purchasing on all those special, sparkly gems that you need for all those extra game goodies. All those lovely unicorn trees and dancing water flower sprites inevitably end up being a requirement to complete a mission or adventure. These games are designed so that eventually you will need a sparkling pink marshmallow boat load of gems in order to be successful. In a cruel twist of fate, the world you were building suddenly comes to a screeching halt unless you dig into your wallet and surrender those debit card digits. There is always that small amount of money that you easily rationalize spending. “Pft! It is only a $1.99”, however, once you give into “it is only” then everything becomes a slippery slope and soon, you need more gems so you spend more money on precious glittery little gems to fill your cartoon kingdom with yummy flying magic dragon tarts.

Meanwhile, here in the real world, I live on a tight budget that does not allow for too many gem purchases. My household tends to allocated our money for more tangible items such as food or a place to live. I know that there our other households where twenty dollars a month isn’t a deal breaker but at my house, there are weeks where twenty dollars is the difference between eating or not. That is just my less than sparkly reality. I do, however, still enjoy playing a game every now and then.

More often than not, I have to stop playing in all those magic kingdoms because I arrive at that tipping point where I can not continue dwelling in my fantasy world without purchasing gems. I lose out on missions or special buildings due to lack of gems. The worse ones are the special missions for extra wonderful prizes in which I start the mission but find that I am unable to successfully complete it because I lack a sparkly boat load of gems. Eventually, I quit playing.

A few weeks ago I quit another one of these games. I spent weeks building a shiny, thriving city. I attempted special mission after mission, only to fail, repeatedly. My wonderful, carefully planned city became a futile exercise in wasted time. I invested hours planning, decorating, harvesting and selling all kinds of weird items only to run out of time. Every mission designed to only be successful if you purchase gems and use them to grow 300 boots on a tree in less than 24 hours. Sigh. Discouraged, I quit showing up every day.

A week after I abandoned my city. I was grocery shopping when it occurred to me that all these failed missions are ireily similar to how I feel some times. I feel like, years ago, I started out to build a life. I had huge sparkly, magical dreams. In hindsight, all those unicorn, marshmallow, glitter filled, sugar plum visions were fruitless missions that I was unable to complete due to lack of gems. All those elusive gems necessary to a construct a successful life, whatever they were, I was missing them.

Instead, I attempted to succeed despite where you are or what you have. I am not sure that has gone well. My kingdom looks more like a nuclear bomb went off rather than a joyful world of success. The moving to Prescott endeavor is a perfect example. I’ve wanted to move to Prescott for close to a decade, no lie. Finally decide to go for it only to discover that affordable housing for a family with pets is near impossible to find, let alone secure. I need a gem to finish this quest. I have no money to click and make one appear.

I am at the point where I have to ask, do I abandon this effort or do we pursue further?
Where are all the gems?

Be Brave.
Jamie Christine

Advertisements
blog

Morning After Doubts

watercolor-backgroundwm

I can not speak for everyone but whenever I make a huge life changing decision the morning after is always filled with doubt. I think it is pretty normal, pretty human thing to do so I do my best not to beat myself up when I find my mind swirling in doubt and confusion. I wake up in a panic, often mumbling out loud, “Did I do the right thing? Is this the right choice? Is this a mistake?”

Here’s the thing…
Personally, I think doubt can be useful when used in the right way. I think it is healthy to examine our choices, sometimes we have to do it multiple times. I think doubt causes us to do that provided we stop, control are racing thoughts and re-evaluate our decisions. Every time we have normal doubts then we are being presented with an opportunity to adjust our course or continue forward in our choice. It is important to recognize it as an opportunity to pause and search with in our hearts, minds and desires. Are we headed in the direction we want to travel? Is the life we wish to build?

I know that people say not to doubt, however, I think, that there is no harm in asking the important questions of our choices because we are responsible and accountable for our choices. Every decision we make defines the road we traverse on and manifests our lives. Our choices create our lives so why not take a few minutes, a day even, to re-examine our decisions because they are changing your life.

I think fear is a far worse culprit than doubt. Fear can seize our minds to the point that we never even make a decision. We just stop or even worse, we fear our choices which results in never taking a step. It is okay to use doubt to re-evaluate our life path. It is not okay to live in fear of our life path.

For myself, I asked the necessary questions this morning. I looked within again and said, yes, again. If I don’t seize this window of opportunity, I may regret it. I don’t want to look back on my life and say, “I had a chance to know you, to value you, to love you but I let fear of change stop me.”

Twenty years from now, I won’t regret the decision to move.
Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Time to move it, move it.

Good Monday Morning!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend. My weekend went by far too fast. Monday kind of crept up on me but I find that happens really easy when you are unemployed. The days all kind of slip into a time warp. At least for me. Adding to my calendar confusion is the fact that my sleep schedule is all upside down. I’ve been falling into the pattern of sleeping days and staying up all night. Attempting to correct that a little bit today.

I have to get myself turned around because tomorrow I have a job interview. Yay!! I have to get all dressed up and actually be prepared to shine in the middle of my sleep schedule tomorrow. Oi-vey!

I am however, super excited about this new potential job. It is in customer service at a bridal salon. Whoo-hoo! I do confess that I prefer hiking boots to heels so this position may seem a little odd for me, however, I do possess a diploma in bridal consulting. So, while it may seem far out in left field, it really is not. For the past decade I have kept up with wedding trends, planning and most of all, dresses. It is not uncommon for me to virtually plan a wedding and store it away in a file folder simply due to the fact that I found the perfect wedding dress.

It is an exciting development in my life. A new plot twist that is sure to bring challenges, learning curves and adventure. Who doesn’t love adventure?

Be brave,
Jamie Christine

 

blog

Winds of Change

October 5, 2017 – Day 5

Cliche title. I know, but if the cliche fits…

I am really late making it to the keyboard today. There is a reason.

Yesterday, I alluded to the fact that I did not want to show up and do nothing but complain about my life and my anxiety. That is not me. That is not who I want to be in this life. I understand that life can be, at times, formidable which makes it extremely easy to take a ride on the Complain Train. There are times when life moves in and all around us with such pressure that before we know it, we are coasting in a first class seat on our way to an all out b!t#h fest. After yesterday’s post, I could feel myself settling down in that first class seat. I decided that today, I was getting off the Complain Train and canceling my reservations at the festival.

When I woke up, I was still pacing and agitated. I’m having an issue with my car right now, however, I had a few errands today which meant I had to drive the car. I woke up worried and panicking about it. I could not change what I had to do. I could not put it off for another day. I took deep breaths, broke my day up into small sections and only focused one section at a time. Completed my first errand. Had lunch. More deep breaths then headed out for my second errand.

My second errand was that I had to drive my son to a job interview. On the way out the door, I grabbed my crochet bag to give me something to do while I waited for him. We arrived safely. My son went into the building for his interview. I parked in a shady spot, it is the Valley of the Sun after all and settled down with my crochet.

I am not a super crocheter but I can make a few things and my skills are improving all the time. I rolled the windows down and continued working on my chevron scarf. Yes, I sat in my car, in 90 degree weather, crocheting a scarf, in the Valley of the Sun.

It was so nice. I probably should come up with a better descriptive word here but nice suited my situation perfectly. It was calm, quite and blowing through the front windows of my Kia Soul was the gentlest of winds.  Winds of change indeed because they blew right through me. I even said out loud, to myself, maybe I just needed to be outside. To clear my head so I could think straight. To breathe deeply of the calm that being outside brings. It was peaceful as I let the wind just blow all that junk out of my mind and spirit. While I sat there, crocheting, I thought about the past few months, the job searching, the stress and the worry. Focusing on one step at a time, breathing and being outside renewed a peace in me. By the time my son was done, I had completely a huge section on my scarf and I could think clearly again. I just let the wind blow it all away.

When I arrived at home there was a surprise waiting for me in e-mail box but that is for tomorrow.

Be brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Kaboom?

October 4, 2017 – Day 4

I actually did not think that I was going to make it here today. It has been one of those days where I find myself running in circles, panicked and going no where. I feel like things are about to explode. I am doing all that I can to keep that from happening.

You know that scene at the end of Disney’s Toy Story when Woody ignites the firecracker on Buzz Lightyear’s back sending them spiraling into the sky. They are going up and up and up. Forces are shaking all their little toy parts as they zoom past the moving truck and soar into the wild blue yonder. Woody screams, “This is the part where we blow up?!” I feel like that. I feel like I’ve got a lit a rocket on my back. I feel like I am scrambling to prevent an explosion.

Yesterday was a productive day for me which included paying October’s rent and applying for jobs. When I climbed into bed at just past midnight, I had successfully applied for 16 different positions. I keep checking my emails repeatedly and so far nothing. I know, give it time. But that is what is freaking me out. I do not have a lot of time. I absolutely have to start making money asap or November’s rent will not be paid. I’ve got 30 days to come up with the money to cover the rent or what? I do not know what.

Of course there are other bills and other issues that all need money. Money is so tight or not even available. That is when I am tempted to kick myself in the ass because I can’t pull my shit together. The pressure to berate and attack myself because of my anxiety and my failures is so overwhelming that it shakes me like I am riding a rocket rattling around like Woody’s eyeballs under his little cowboy hat. Yee-haw!

This just the beginning. I have 30 days for it all to build, shake, rattle and roll. Thirty days of praying for miracles, scrambling for solutions and doing everything that I can to stay one step ahead of the big kaboom. I know, I get it. Everyone goes through rough times. I am not special. No one gets a free pass from trials. It’s just that after 40 years, you’d think that life would let up a bit but fat chance of that happening.

I did not want to write this post. I do not want to whine or complain. I hate complaining. I hate always being in some kind of predicament. I can not talk to much to my sons. Even though they are in their 20’s, I stress them out and I do my best not to do that to them. I try to talk to friends but no one knows to do. They listen, say sorry but what else is there. Everyone is trying to do the best that they can in the situation but so far we just keep going up and up and up.

I hate to keep bringing up my anxiety. I do not even know why I do it. I am used to functioning and hiding it. Lately, I just can not hide anymore. I think that I wish or want people to know that I am not as much of screw up as they have typically perceived I am. I wish people understood that I do not mess up my life on purpose. It is just that tough. But in my past experiences, the world doesn’t want to hear any of your problems. It only wants to you carry on. What else can you do. At the end of the day, everyone has problems and you are no exception.

No doors are opening. I’m going to need more money than I have, eventually. I feel like screaming, “This is the part where we blow up!”

My uncertainty is this, will there be anyone who says “Not today!” Buzz Lightyear to the rescue? All I know to do is too keep trying, keep applying for jobs, keep searching for answers and keep typing because right now, this is it.

Be Brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Connections

October 3, 2017 – Day 3

I am moving in slow motion this morning. I woke up with one of the worse migraines ever. Nausea, eyeballs hurt, dizzy, blurry vision and my head felt like someone was pounding on it with a sledge-hammer.  Iced my head for an hour, took some medicine and drank some coffee which is my magic combo for chasing away migraines. Currently, it is down to a soft roar of a headache. I am doing my best to function as much as possible.

I am also moving slow because of something I did yesterday morning. Typically, I keep my blog and Twitter separate from my Facebook page. Sounds silly, I know, but I do it. I do not let A know what B is doing or more precisely, what B is saying. There it is. I may honestly share my thoughts with a few but there a few folks that I just do not tell things too.

I have a problem speaking up. Sounds absurd because if we are close or I really click with someone, I never shut up. I could talk for hours. However, if the situation or person causes me anxiety, I clam up. Sharing my blog with my Facebook has my hands shaking and heart pounding. Tremendous anxiety at the thought of connecting the two worlds.

What am I afraid of? Rejection? Abandonment? Judgement? Maybe all of these or none of these.

When I five years old, I entered kindergarten like most kids. After two weeks, my mother receives a phone call from Mrs. Flood, my teacher. Mrs. Flood inquires if I am deaf and can I speak. My mother laughs and tells her, at home, I never stop talking. My mother thought that perhaps all the recent changes in our life had something to do with it. In the world of anxiety, it is known as selective  mutism.

Selectivemutismcenter.org describes the conditions as follows:
“Selective Mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s inability to speak and communicate effectively in select social settings, such as school. These children are able to speak and communicate in settings where they are comfortable, secure, and relaxed.”

Me in a nutshell. I’ve battled this all my life. My most recent scrimmage was the job I just walked away from in a flurry of tears. It was a customer service job processing insurance claims on the phone. The closer it came to me getting on the phones, the greater my anxiety, the more tears and panic attacks until I simply could not move. Paralyzed by fear, unable to articulate my situation and fears so I had to walk away, crying.

Connecting Facebook, Twitter and my blog is something I have never been able to do because I either can not speak or the fear of people hearing what I think or feel or say is just too great. Seems so stupid doesn’t it?

In so many ways, I am still that mute five-year old girl and no body even knows it. I make excuses for a get-together or clubs or jobs or lunch dates. I never know when it is going to strike. I’ve spent the majority of my alone because of anxiety. Sometimes, it is so great that even simple things like paying the rent or getting a tire fixed is just too much for me. I must have help but help in a way that nobody knows they are helping.

It sucks. Anxiety so severe you can not buy a tire sucks. In one way, I do not want people to know. I just want to be normal. In another way, I wish I could explain it everyone so that they would not think that I was just lazy or using them or whatever ill thought they think of me when I don’t behave like they think I should. My own family doesn’t know severe it is. That’s terrible.

And so, now I realize how disconnected I am and have always been.
Connection. Yeah.

Be Brave.
Jamie Christine

blog

Humble Beginnings

October 1, 2017

At 47 years old, I am suppose to have it all together. Well, I don’t. I guess that is why I have not a clue as to why I am bothering with a blog. I’ve had many blogs in the past. Don’t search for them. They’ve all been deleted. In my own world, I consider them practice blogs. Practice, practice, practice for the day I create the perfect blog. Yeah, right. Truthfully, they are just failed attempts at an idea that won’t go away.

A blog. A story. A change.

I keep wondering why I can not shake this idea. I never stick with it. I do not know why I do it. People never read it. Maybe, I have nothing interesting or funny or thought provoking to say. Maybe, I suck at writing blogs. Maybe, I am just a boring nobody. Maybe, my voice is faint among all the internet noise. Maybe, I am tired or scared or alone. Maybe, I am sitting around waiting for someone else to do it so I can then sit back and say, “See! That was my idea!”. Maybe, I have a ton of excuses and no reasons. Maybe, I am too afraid to be completely honest. Ouch.

So, what am I doing here?

This past week, I walked out on my new customer service representative job where I was in training to process insurance claims. Boring. Anxiety attacks ruled my week. In a snot filled, blubbering, red eyed frenzy, I fled the building mumbling to myself, “I can’t do this anymore”. I jumped in my Kia Soul and left the parking lot. Quitting my job in a flurry of tears, snot and ragged breaths.

In the five days, since my less than graceful exit from part time employment, I have applied to multiple jobs and received no response, thus far. I have paced the floor, eaten way too many Klondike ice cream sandwiches and shed many tears in fear and worry. Every night before I climb into bed, I throw this thought out to God, the Universe and any guardian angel who might be listening, “I need an idea. I need to know what to do. Wake me up tomorrow with a idea or a plan.” Upon waking, my thoughts always turn to Bent Blossom, the blog that I set up over a year ago and have never taken the plunge.

Eighteen months ago, I had that blog idea surface again. After many days of tossing about names and ideas, I secured Bent Blossom with the intention of writing and selling my photography, jewelry and make some other stuff. Then, I never came back. I never worked on it, just paid for it and let it sit in cyber space gathering dust.

So, I wake up everyday thinking of Bent Blossom. All day I get little nudges and reminders to write on Bent Blossom. Start working on Bent Blossom. What about Bent Blossom? I usually reply with, “I have work to do” which really equates to Facebook.

Until 5 days ago. Now, I have more time than any one person should spend on Facebook. Yesterday I woke up thinking, “Tomorrow is October 1. Make a commitment to Bent Blossom for 30 days.” And that is why I am here. I have nothing else to do and for over 30 years, I have carried this idea to write, to share, to tell a story. Right now, this is all I have going for me.

I am at fall or fly moment. Only time will tell what my tattered wings can do.
Be brave,
Jamie Christine.