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I guess it’s been a busy week or so. On Tuesday ( the 12th), I packed the car, did some errands, and then drove to Cincinnati to visit my aunt Jo and uncle Dave. The drive was not bad. I listened to Yelle and Madonna, and I tried to not get killed by stupid people on the roadways. One person tried to merge while I was right beside him, and he honked his horn. I checked my other side, moved over, and sped up. Then, he followed me closely, tail-gating me. I was super uncomfortable and wished I could punch this person in the face because whatever rush he was in, no matter what it was for, it did not matter compared to my LIFE.

I arrived there a little bit before dinner, which was a black bean /avocado/poblano wrap and I helped Aunt Jo prepare it. When Uncle Dave came home, she left to go to a meeting, and Uncle Dave and I had dinner together. It was tasty. Then, I went downstairs to get some work done, trying to take the flowers off these purple velvet drapes Aunt Jo had made. I listened to Soma.fm while doing it, and got almost two hours of work done. When Aunt Jo came home, I stopped and we had ice cream.

I went up to bed around 10:00 and talked to Alex. Then, I read some of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was my aunt’s and I had never read it before. I only got through one story and fell asleep. I was very tired from the drive and the work.

Wednesday, I did some more flower removal and business card sorting. I did that for a total of eight hours or so. Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave also got Stella on that day. She is a retired racing greyhound, and she is very shy since she does not know how to be a pet yet, but she is adorable. I think she is a big sweetheart, and Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave finally have a “child” of their own to take care of, since I have been the baby of the family for the past twenty-two years.

I also finished reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard that evening. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I miss so much about Harry Potter. I wish I could have gone to the midnight showing of the last film Thursday evening, but I could not. Plus, I would not want to be in a packed theater like the time I went to see Goblet of Fire during opening weekend.

Thursday, I woke up around 7:00 and had a breakfast of turkey sausage and chocolate chunk scones that I had helped Aunt Jo make. Iwas busy all day doing business card stuff. I scanned them and sorted them in Aunt Jo’s database, I took all the bookmarks and labels out of her books, and together, we finally got the last of the flowers removed from the purple velvet drapes.

We also spent a lot of time trying to get Stella acclimated to her new home. She seemed to have taken a shine to me, and liked it when I pet her. She wouldn’t eat that much, which was worrisome. Stella’s funny, though. I went upstairs to talk to Aunt Jo, and when I turned around, Stella was at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at me. She also stood on the newspaper while Aunt Jo was trying to read it.

I worked a total of nineteen hours while I was visiting, and I also helped Aunt Jo with one of her projects for school before I left on Friday morning. I drove out of Cincinnati to Fairborn, and let me just say, I hate, hate, HATE driving in Cincinnati. Coming in was not so bad, but when I was going north out of the city, it felt like I was having an ulcer and a heart attack. My hands were shaking. I felt sick. I was so glad to be out of it.

I drove up through Dayton, about forty miles all the way. I thought of my childhood while listening to the Juno soundtrack and David Bowie. I was born in Dayton, and so even though I have not lived there in over seventeen years, it still has a special place in my heart. I remember the Air Force Museum, which Alex and I visited on a camping trip once. There were just so many familiar things to me as I was driving, and I missed it a little bit. My life is good now, and I do not think the life I have now would be anything like the life that I would have lived had my parents actually stayed together. So in a way, everything works out.

Anyway, I made it to my grandparents’ house. Grandpa was at the festival already, so Grandma and I had lunch. She was baking bread, and then she took a nap later. I tried to take a nap. It didn’t work. I sat out on the back patio, mooching their neighbor’s wireless and surfed the Internet until she woke up. We did have coffee, though. I had so much coffee.

We left around 5:30 and dropped some books and movies off at the library, then we went to the festival run by their church, which started at 6:00. Grandma and Grandpa have worked at every festival for the last thirty-five years, and Grandpa used to be one of the head workers there. He stepped down a few years ago, but he is still very active in it. I have been to the festival since I was very young. Mom used to take me and put me on the kiddie rides, or get my face painted. My attendance, however, had been sporadic. I can’t remember the last time I went to one of them – probably when I was a sullen teenager, since I know it wasn’t in the last four years.

Now, since I am an adult, I don’t go for the kiddie rides or the games or the face painting. There’s crafts and a flea market to look at, and a book booth that has always been a hit for my family. I browsed the selection and didn’t see anything I really wanted, but I did keep tabs on a few books, though in the end, I didn’t buy anything.

On Friday evening, we ate with Ed and Mary and I had a pulled pork sandwich with French fries. It was a good choice. I spent the most of the night chatting and counting money in the air-conditioned office. It was my second time doing it, and it was a lot of fun. It was even more fun to come across people who have known me since I was small, and gasping at the young woman I am now. It makes me laugh. I also like seeing the different generations. For instance, if my mom could have made it, we would have three generations at the festival this year. As it stands, another family had the grandmother, the mother, and her son in his first year as a counter. It’s very interesting, but it does go to show how big this festival is for some people.

Grandma sent me down for a funnel cake, and we shared that. It was good, though rather pricey. I also got to talk to Alex, though that wasn’t until midnight, and we were still at the festival. I went out into the hall, and I noticed they were filing out with the money and they started turning the lights out in the hallway. I thought they were going to leave me! They were just going to the bank, though, and I stayed in the office until Grandma and Grandpa came back.

We got home around 1:00, and then we had ice cream. Yeah, I kid you not. My grandparents are awesome. They also gave me a belated graduation present.

I finally had the chance to sleep in on Saturday morning. I needed it, for sure. I got up and sat out on the back patio again, and I ended up talking to Teddy. He got a job near Lafayette, so he cut his trip out West short.

I helped my grandma bake lemon coconut bars and two batches of brownies for the festival. She took a nap afterward, but I have trouble taking naps, so I just stayed awake and knitted and watched television. Grandpa was already at the festival, he was there all day. We went around 5:30 and looked through the vendors’ tent, the book booth, and Bars & Bells. Grandma and I played some Bars & Bells – it was my first time, and I won twenty-five dollars! I was super excited about that.

I had a meatball sandwich for dinner – my favorite festival fare. I hung out in the office for a while, knitting, talking, counting money, whatever. It was hot and muggy outside, so the air conditioned office was a haven. I met Joe and Ben, who’s grandparents are part of the festival like mine. They’re nice guys.

Later, Grandma and I grabbed some pie and coffee. I spilled hot coffee on my hand and part of my shirt, so that was embarrassing, but the sugar cream pie I got was good. We did some more time in the office, and I was just going to hang in there and knit, but Joe, Ben, and Courtney invited me to join them. They were meeting a friend and going on a ride. I decided to join them. We all pitched in four dollars and bought a sheet of tickets, though between the five of us (including the friend, Mary), we could only ride one ride, the Sizzler (“The Scrambler” everywhere else). I crammed into a car with Joe and Courtney, and I felt embarrassed about my big hips. We could barely squeeze in together. I was so much bigger than Courtney and Mary, and about as tall as the boys. Then, I thought about my age. Joe would be eighteen, Courtney, seventeen. Ben is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, and so that would probably make him nineteen. I’m twenty-two, old enough to drink and at least three years older than all of them. I felt awkward. They didn’t treat me as so, but I felt self-conscious, like I needed my own kind. I invited Alex to come to the festival next year so maybe I won’t feel that way again. Hopefully, that’s a possibility.

After the ride and splitting off from the others, I joined Grandpa on a run. I picked up money from the booths and ran it over, escorted by a deputy. It was my first time and I felt very important! I also passed out bags before the last hour of the festival, also a first. I spent the rest of the evening counting, though I took a break to call Alex. After midnight, I went with Grandpa, Kim, and a deputy to the bank to deposit money. I felt even more important! I was super giddy because I had never done anything like that before.

 

We got home a little earlier than the previous night, and then we had ice cream. I had a hard time falling asleep and had “The Name Game” going on in my head. Crazy. I did sleep, though it was hard to get up at 7:00 in the morning after a late night. I went with Grandma and Grandpa to church, and then helped get some things together for the festival. I said goodbye to Grandpa, and Grandma and I went back home. I had some coffee and read some of the newspaper. Then, I packed up my car and drove to Richmond, where I met up with my paternal grandparents.

Grandma and Grandpa treated me to lunch at Applebee’s, which I requested because I knew I could get a nice salad there. We came back home, did some visiting, and had some ice cream. I was going to head to Muncie, but I realized how tired I was. I took a nap because I thought I would be at Muncie late. It was interrupted because Alex texted me. His car overheated in Fortville, so he couldn’t make it to Muncie. Another one of our meetings thwarted.

I spent some more time with Grandma and Grandpa, and around 4:00 I headed off towards Muncie. It took me about an hour to get to Krista’s apartment, and we talked and watched the first episode of the new season of True Blood, since she hadn’t seen it. Robin came up to visit, too, and we went to Wal-Mart and got pizzas. It was tasty, and nice because I really didn’t feel like doing any tough cooking tonight. We watched The Birdcage, and after that, I decided it was time to come home.

Overall, I’d say it was a great trip. I saw and experienced a lot of different things, and came home with brownies, scones, zucchini, green peppers, rhubarb, yellow squash, storage containers, three knitting books, and a small sum of cash. Most of all, though, I got to spend some time with my family. And a deputy. And I got to sing in my car at the top of my lungs.

More car problems plagued us, though. Mom’s clutch went out, and so I had to drive her to work on Monday and Tuesday and pick her up, which I wasn’t too pleased about. At least not on Monday, since I was exhausted from my trip.

The good news is that got fixed, and hopefully, in a few weeks, Alex’s car will be fixed, too. I got to see him on Wednesday, and we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and had dinner with his parents. I also got to see him this weekend. That was pretty much the only notable thing this past week, besides seeing my girls for So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday as well. Anyway, though we didn’t do anything too interesting, it was just nice to be with him. I took him home this morning, and I miss him already.

 

So yeah, lots of stuff going on, that’s why I haven’t been here that much (that, and utter laziness). That’s all.

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Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted here, so I figured it was about time. It’s been an interesting time between then and now – okay, not all of it, but some of it. The weekend following the post I wrote was really good. My grandparents showed up on the 23rd and spent the weekend with us. There was a Half-Price Books Clearance Sale at the State Fairgrounds, so we went. I shouldn’t have bought any books, but not a single item was over $3, so I took that opportunity. I bought fifteen books – about $180 at new retail price – for $19. So it was a great deal… and now I have about thirty books I own that I have never read. I’m working on it. After the book sale, we went to Monical’s Pizza for lunch and then took a tour of my mom’s work. She’s been there a year and they had an open house. It was nice to finally see the inside.

On that Sunday, my grandparents left and Alex, Scott, and I went up to Muncie for Thom’s birthday. Alex made falafel and I made jalapeno poppers and sangria. Of course, the sangria was solely for me. It was really good for a first-time recipe. It was a real good time, and I was glad to see everyone.

I’m trying to think about everything else that’s gone on, but it’s hard. I spend a lot of time around the house – reading, knitting, writing, watching television, avoiding things that I actually want and need to do, like clean my room, because I’m not motivated. I’ve read quite a few books lately, like I said before. I most recently finished The Awakening, and today I hope to finish Mrs. Dalloway. I’ve started knitting my final charity blanket, I finished a second pair of socks and have been working on two stuffed elephants for two babies.

The Fourth of July was good. Mom and I watched movies all weekend, and Alex came up and we played Frisbee and ate dinner with my mom. We drove to Anderson and sat in an empty parking lot watching the fireworks from my car and eating Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. I’ve had some pretty good days. On Wednesday nights, I go over to Jennifer’s and we watch So You Think You Can Dance. This past Wednesday, we swam at her grandparents’ house, ate pizza for dinner, and had Good’s ice cream for dessert.

Not too much more happening, I’m afraid, unless you were to ask my brain. My brain would tell you that it is tired of this shit. It’s hard to sleep anymore because even though I’m tired, my mind still won’t stop working.

Lately, I’ve been conflicted with things. Things I want, things I don’t want, things that I should do, things that are rational. A job that will pay me a lot, or a job that will satisfy me in every way but paying me a lot, to stay local or to abandon my sane, rational inclinations and go out west to meet a friend. I attribute my confusion to my long-term bad habit of not being able to decide. It started as a child because I never wanted to rock the boat, to be demanding, and now it’s developed into, “Well, I’m really comfortable with really any outcome, so I don’t know what to decide.” It happens with food to eat, places to go, movies to watch. I want to experience everything, and I don’t care in what order I do it. It will all happen eventually. Or at least, most of the time, that’s how it seems. But with these huge decisions, I just get freaked out. I look at the pros and the cons, and I know in my heart what I really want (I refer to it as my “McCoy”), but my brain always seems to chip in with its ideas of what would be better in the long-run (my “Spock.”). It sucks. Sometimes I try to stick out a bad situation, thinking that once I get through it, everything will be fine. That’s why I tried to stay in student teaching and work it out. I thought that if I just got through it, I’d graduate and be a better person and have more options for career choices and I wouldn’t have to do teaching if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have a choice in the end. After working in a harsh environment with an abusive supervising teacher, angry teenagers who hated on me every day, and a university supervisor who ignored the warning signs, I caved. I couldn’t do it.

I didn’t really want to do student teaching, and in a roundabout way, I didn’t have to do it anymore, though it wasn’t necessarily my choice to go how I did. I was kicked out (though they won’t use that term, it’s basically what happened). I wasted time, a lot of money, and I withstood psychological abuse to get where I am now, which isn’t even that glamorous.

And it’s only getting worse.

I mentioned before that I was having a hard time deciding between a job that would pay me money and a job that would make me happy. I consulted friends and family members for advice, and everyone had good points – and points that I had made in my own deductions. I know that no one else can make a decision for me, and that I am solely responsible for my own decisions. Well, anyway, I was worrying about this decision so much that it was making me sick. It was harder to sleep, I was worried. I went to go meet Alex in Greenfield on Thursday, and I would normally be excited, but I just felt so dead inside. He had brought Scott along as a surprise, which was nice, but I only got to spend an hour with them, when I had expected more. I don’t even know how I drove home, to be honest. I was so upset. I spent the rest of the evening in a funk. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t even want to talk to Alex. I felt so miserable and full of self-loathing. I thought of how worthless I was, how I had to go to this job because no one else would hire me and I was a total loser. I think it is the worst I’ve felt in a long time.

I did call Alex, though. It was 11:00 at night, and he had just woken up after an unexpected nap and had missed dinner. We ended up spontaneously meeting up at the same place we had met earlier, but at midnight. We had dinner together, a chance to redo our date. We talked and I felt a lot better, lighter. I drove home happy in the pouring rain, blasting LCD Soundsystem while going through sleepy little towns.

On Friday, I went to orientation for the high-paying job that I waited three months for. Yeah, that’s right. The testing and interview process was swift. They said they wanted me. But then they made me wait three months. It was so they could get a “class” of what seemed to be about fifteen people for orientation. I went up to the place last Friday for orientation, and within the first twenty minutes, while we were listening to the guy talk while we followed along on our own handout, I realized that this job would be horrible for me. Yeah, I know, you have to start somewhere, but I could see no way how I would actually be able to get out of this place if I wanted to. I don’t even know how long my assignment would last. They could have brought me in for training, and then let me go after the first week. I would hate to wait three months only to work a week.

I sat through over an hour of this orientation when I finally saw a break and was able to get the supervisor aside and tell him I didn’t want the job. He wanted to know why, and I said, “Well, I thought I wanted it, but I really didn’t.” I actually felt quite at peace with my decision.

I may be too prideful, or delusional, or I don’t know. I know, it’s crazy. But I believe that I will find something better, one day. Someday, I will earn the exact same amount of money – or more – in a job that I enjoy, rather than one would make me hate myself every day.

In the meantime while I find a job, I’m trying to keep myself busy – again. Today, Alex and I went to Petsmart and looked at the kitties (SO CUTE!), went bowling, and had ice cream cones at Good’s before he left about two hours ago. I’m leaving tomorrow for Cincinnati. My aunt Jo was bugging me to come visit her. She’ll pay me if I clean and organize her sewing studio (and there’s a bonus if I find her stereo remote!). Stella, the dog that she and Uncle Dave adopted, will be coming home on Wednesday, so I’ll be the first to meet her. I’ll be in Cincy until Friday, and then I’m going to visit my (maternal) grandparents and see if I can keep myself busy at their church festival until Sunday morning. I’ll stop at my (paternal) grandparents’ house on Sunday for a short visit and lunch on my way to Muncie, where I’ll be hanging out with friends, a full loop.

So that’s how things go…