Family

True family doesn’t have to be blood-related. 

 

John and Doris were my neighbors before I moved. They have been more family to me than my own. They were there for me anytime I needed them, and for anything at all. I very rarely asked them for anything, though. Just knowing they were there if I needed them gave me so much. 

When things got really bad with my mother and stepfather, John and Doris were there to listen and understand. They let me cry and vent, they encouraged me and they supported me. They acknowledged that my parents weren’t the wonderful, perfect people everyone else thought they were, and that I wasn’t the terrible daughter that so many thought I was. 

If I ran out of cat food and had no way to get to a store, John and Doris gave me cans of cat food. I never asked them for anything else, but they would sometimes stop by randomly to give me a carton of cigarettes. I would never ask someone for cigarettes, and they knew that, but they also knew addiction and stress and instead of ridiculing me for not being able to kick the habit, they understood. I know a lot of people will think it’s bad and say they contributed to my demise, but please try to understand with an open mind. They didn’t do it to hurt me; they did it because they knew how bad I would be going through withdrawal and they knew being forced to quit simply by running out wouldn’t actually be beneficial to me. I have that one vice, and sadly it is how I cope with my anxiety right now, as bad as that is. I have more options here, but I didn’t before I moved. 

John and Doris would periodically hire me to pet-sit (even if they were only going to be out for the day), and they would overpay me so that I could save my money to move. They never missed a holiday or birthday. They gave me loving cards with cash inside. They would take me out to eat and invite me over to visit. They made me feel like family. They loved me. And they still do. 

John and Doris had the choice to visit their son or me. They had just visited their son a couple weeks ago, so they chose to come see me instead. That made me feel so special.

They arrived yesterday and we spent the day together. They took me out to eat and we “played tourist” around the town. We rode the trolley and explored a couple museums. I got them a great deal on their hotel room because I work there and we get the “friends and family discount.” They gave me money, claiming that I did so much for them that I deserve it. That’s not true. All I did was talk to my manager. Another perk with the hotel is that I could free passes to the trolley and museums. Again, not my doing. They are just too sweet. 

We spent today together, too. They took me out to eat and we went sightseeing. We picked up my roommate from work, too. They paid for both of our lunches. 

John is in his seventies and his health isn’t the best. He walks a bit slower and breathes a bit harder. It breaks my heart to think that he may not be around much longer. I spent this time cherishing every moment with them both. Life is far too short and precious. I love John and Doris so much. They are my family, as far as I’m concerned. 

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New Artwork Coming Soon

I started a new painting yesterday. I would like to finish it by next week, but I have a very busy week ahead. It’s going to be an interesting piece if it turns out as planned.

Deven was here yesterday. I was very anxious and didn’t know why. She encouraged me to paint. It helped relax me quite a bit. When I paint, I forget most everything else around me, within me.

I love expressing myself through art. I love how I can put myself on a page or canvas. It does make it hard to sell, though, because my work is a piece of myself. I feel like I’m trying to sell a small piece of me, of my being, my essence. How does one put a price on that?

I’m going to try to set up my online art shop today after work. Deven might be able to help me that, if I need help.

Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be able to upload a photo of my new painting.

Independence and Work

I know I’ve blogged a little about the joys of my new-found independence, but I feel the need to blog a bit more about it. 

 

It took so long for me to finally find some independence in my life. My mother, the hoarder, just basically set me up for failure in life. I don’t believe that she meant to. I really don’t think it was intentional. She just was, and still is somewhat, a very selfish person and she didn’t think about how all of her actions and the way she raised me would affect me throughout my life. 

I was never taught money management because my mother wanted to control everything. She used to take some of my money to save for me, but then she would spend it. She would tell me that that she was trying to help me save money, like a bank, but instead of actually helping me set up a bank account, she would just hold onto my money for me. Then it would be gone because she would need or want something and since she had my money, she would spend it. 

Being away from my mother and having control over my own finances has really been beneficial. I have stresses over money and affording everything, but I find that I am so much less stressed without her in my life. Now I know how much money I have and choose where it all goes and what it’s spent on. 

Just after I blogged about getting my bike fixed and not having to ask for rides, my bike broke again. If I believed in jinxes, I would say I jinxed myself, haha. On my way to work, my bike chain fell off and wrapped around my pedal rendering my bike completely immobile. I had to call my neighbor and ask her to pick me up. I called a coworker and asked him to let my boss know what was going on and why I would be late to work. My neighbor helped me get my bike back to the repair shop and they didn’t charge me to fix it. It’s not 100% fixed now, but it will last a little while if I’m careful with it. I get paid this week, so I can take it back to really get it fixed. The men at the repair shop are great about working with people financially, so they said that they will fix it as cheaply as possible for me. The sprocket is bad, so they’re going to get me a used sprocket that’s in good condition. My bike will be just fine soon, and it’s not too bad right now. 

I have the job at the hotel and the job helping take care of the elderly woman, who I would like to call Grandma. She is 92 years old and she just amazes me. I love her so much. The truth is, she may not be around much longer. I know my heart will break when she passes, so I’m grateful every day that I get to spend with her. I’m so very glad that I have this time to get to know her and have her in my life. I was called in to work there yesterday evening just for a little while. Her daughter, Ruthann, is the one who hired me. The person who was supposed to go there yesterday couldn’t go, so she called me. She was a little bit desperate and offered to pay me for a full hour just to come for a little while and help her with a couple things. When I got there, I told her that I don’t care how much she pays me because it’s not about the money. I live right down the street from her, which I love because she call me anytime if she needs something. She paid me for a full hour anyway. 

As far as jobs go, I need the money, but I don’t believe in doing anything for the money. I work at places that make me happy. I do things that I love. Housekeepers at the hotel will work extra hard to make a room look nice because they hope to get a tip. I don’t care about the tips and I don’t count on them. It’s very, very nice when someone does leave a tip, but that is never the reason I work hard to make my rooms look nice. When someone stays at a hotel, they are on vacation. They’re relaxing and having fun. It’s my job to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Hotel rooms are kind of a home away from home for people on vacation. They’re spending extra money to be comfortable and maybe even a little pampered. I enjoy pampering people a bit. When someone comes back from their day at the beach or wherever, I love knowing that they’re coming back to their beds nicely made, towels and coffees restocked, etc. When a guest approaches me and requests something extra, I love being able to give it to them. I love knowing that I’m making their vacation just a little bit nicer. I never, ever do it in hopes that they will tip me. 

Now, when I do get tips, I put that extra money aside or I spend it on something I need. I’m very content with the combination of my paychecks, the money from working for Ruthann, and the occasional tips. I’m hoping to sell some artwork soon and have that money coming in, too. I finally feel like I can make things work on my own. I’m proud of my ability to make and save money; to have that extra for things like my bike breaking down. 

I don’t have it all together yet. I don’t have all of bills (mainly the hospital ones) paid off yet. But I’m getting it all together and I’m doing fairly well for myself. I love this independence. 

This Brisk Morning

The morning is cool, brisk even. I shivered enough to put on long pants for work and a cardigan for the bike ride to work. I can feel the chill bumps all the way down my legs. I like it. I love the cold weather. Brisk mornings make me very happy.

My bike broke down the other day. It feels like owning a car. I had to take it to a repair shop. Twenty-two dollars and one day later, my bike is up and running again. I love my bike, very much. The fact that I can ride it to most places I need to go makes me feel independent.

Independence is such a wonderful thing. I’ve struggled with money, yet kept myself just ahead of the bills. I’ve been working two jobs, which is not as impressive as it sounds, even on the minimally impressive scale that it does, but I feel good about it none-the-less. Not having to ask someone for money (especially my mother) makes me very happy. I love being self-sufficient. I love having everything I need within reach. I love that I can ride my bike to both jobs. I love that I can ride to the grocery store, the ATM, the liquor store, and the cafe where I can access wifi.

I need to find rides to the doctors and a couple other places to get things in order, but then I’ll be good. I’m currently trying to save enough money to buy a moped. If I can do that, I will be set.

I made a couple new friends recently. I’ve been getting to know a guy from work named Rodney. He’s a really cool guy. He’s been through so much in life and he’s accomplished so much. I find myself quite impressed by him the more we talk. He’s not perfect, but no one is. He and I have been enjoying some psychology and philosophy discussions.
The other friend I made is Ali. I met her on the dating site. I really like Ali. She’s awesome, and admittedly quite cute. She has a good sense of humour and a great personality. I kind of like the way she says just little more than she meant to at times. Ali and I are hanging out today after work.

I have plans with Deven on Monday. I’m very excited. It’s our “Art Night.” She’s coming over to work on art with me in the evening. She’s going to spend the night. We haven’t seen each other in too long, so I’m happy to finally get some time with her again.

I’m looking forward to completing some new art pieces to put online. I can’t wait to start my online store and see if I can actually sell anything. Deven and I will probably do that on Tuesday. I’ll put the link on here if we do.

Off to work now.

Love and Life

Right now, that’s all that’s on my mind- love.

Damn Australia. Why must it be so far away? And so impossible to get in to?

I told Michelle at work about her. She asked me what I’m doing here; why I’m not in Australia with my girl. Good question. I’m here because it’s too damn expensive and complicated to move to another country. Believe me, I would be there if I could.

I asked my girl if things would be different if I were there. Of course they would have been different. Obviously my national limitations aren’t the only reason I’m not with her, but if I could have been there when she needed me, everything would have played out differently.

I guess things work out the way they’re supposed to, but this can’t be all that’s supposed to be. This can’t be the end.

I look forward to the moment where things fall into place and stop hurting, no matter what place that is.

Alright, enough crying about lost love.

Life is still good. I’ve been working for Ruthann, taking care of her mother. They’re such good people.

Yesterday, Ruthann told me that her mother said I was her nicest friend. Haha. So sweet. I think her mother is just wonderful.

Plus, with this second job, I think I might be okay financially. It’ll still be a bit tight, but I’m getting there. I got extra hours at work, and I’m getting paid pretty well working for Ruthann. Not to mention my art. I’m going to set up a shop soon and try to sell my work.

I’m not as stressed or worried lately. Things are going well and I am going strong. My heart hasn’t been as bad lately. I actually think part of my heart problem was literally a broken heart. Heartache is stressful. I’m learning to manage it while at work, though, so things are improving.

As soon as I have an evening off, I’m going to start a new painting. I look forward to uploading it here and sharing it with everyone.

Off to work now.

Gratitude- 10/17/2012

Another gratitude blog, this time inspired by http://candycoatedreality.com/

She has a great blog, so check it out! 🙂

 

  • Coffee! It’s finally starting to get cool enough that I’ll be able to have hot coffee again soon.
  • My cats. Sweet little creatures.
  • My magnificent friends!!!
  • This wonderfully cathartic and inspiring blog/site.
  • My jobs. I love working in housekeeping at the hotel, and the elderly woman I help once in a while is just awesome!
  • Autumn. Blessed cool mornings. I can’t even express the peace and joy I feel.
  • The beach. It’s fantastic, day or night, hot or cold.
  • My girl, even if she’s not mine anymore. She’s still one of my best friends and she still adds so much to my life.

 

This one has to be a short one today. My battery is dying, haha.