Autumn Changes

This morning I have a beautiful woman sleeping soundly in my bed. Her long red hair spread out across the pillow; her bright blue eyes closed and dreaming. 

 

I’ve been seeing Lexie for over a month. It’s not very long, but we’ve gotten to know each other quite well. I met her online. When we first started talking, I was drawn to her sense of humor and ability to discuss philosophy. On our first date, she brought me tiramisu because she knows it’s my favorite dessert. We slept together on our second date. A month later, she is moving in. 

Clearly, we are moving very fast. We both know and understand the risks of moving so quickly. She wouldn’t actually be moving in right now, but she had to move out of her old place and had nowhere else to go. She has been living with her grandmother since she was a teenager. I don’t want to speak poorly of her family on here, but I will say that it is mentally and emotionally unhealthy for her to continue living with her grandmother at this time and that is why she must move out. 

I ended things with Shanna as soon as I met Lexie because it was obvious that Shanna and I just weren’t clicking, and Lexie and I were great together. Shanna and I are still friends. Mel and I are having trouble with the time difference and each of us dating other people. She is seeing a girl named Chloe. 

I don’t know what will happen between me and Mel. We still love each other; we always will. We can’t be together, so we’re seeing other people whom we both really like. It’s still very hard on us. I have done well saving money, so I am confident that I will have enough money saved to visit her in Australia next year in July. I want to go for her birthday (July 16).  I don’t know if Lexie and I will still be together in a year, or if Mel and Chloe will. I don’t think that either of us should be in a relationship when I visit. 

 

I have been working two jobs for a little while now. My second job is elderly care. I take care of a sweet 92-year-old woman named Jean. That job has become my main source of income, and I love it. I love Jean and I love the work I do there. Some days I work up to 14 hours a day between the two jobs. I was afraid this would happen if I got a second job. I am a workaholic and I have a hard time prioritizing my health and well-being over financial gain. I am admittedly money-obsessed. I would say money is the only thing I hoard. I’m great at saving money; I always have been. I think it’s because I grew up in poverty. I’m not making millions, but I’m making enough to feel secure and not worry about emergencies. 

Speaking of emergencies, my cat got sick recently and I had to take him to the vet. It was the most wonderful feeling to be able to make an appointment and have the funds to treat him immediately. If I had still been living in my old place under my mother, I would have had to just wait out his illness. My mother wouldn’t have thought he was sick enough to even go to the vet. The way I feel about my independence here, especially financial independence, is simply indescribable. Hence my obsession with money and being a workaholic. 

 

I also have another roommate. His name is Brett and he’s a 19-year-old gay boy. I say “boy” because he’s still very much a child. He is not my ideal roommate, but he’s not too bad. 

 

All in all, I am very happy. Life is wonderful right now. Lexie makes me happy. Every other girl I’ve dated since moving here has not officially made it to the “girlfriend” status. I called them my girlfriends sometimes just because it was easier than trying to explain the causal dating thing every time, but Lexie and I are actually official. I asked her to be my girlfriend on June 23rd. 

 

That is all for now. Thank you for reading. 

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Beautiful Day

I had a beautiful day yesterday!

I got called out of work, which is bad for the paycheck, but I was thrilled. I’d had so many things that I’d wanted to do around the house, and I got to do them because I didn’t have to work.

Our neighbor moved out a couple weeks ago and she left us some pieces of furniture and paintings. April and I haven’t had enough time when we’re both home to move the furniture inside together. We finally found some time to move one piece in, but not set it up. I decided I could slide it on my own once it was inside.

Our kitchen isn’t tiny, but it’s not huge either. We don’t have a lot of counter space. Our neighbor left us a sort of bookcase thing that when turned on its side serves as a portable counter and storage device. I moved it into the kitchen yesterday and filled all the compartments with our packaged foods and kitchen gadgets. I also hung a small shelf on the wall that works nicely as a spice rack. And I hung a picture of New York on the wall.

I secured a beautiful beach scene painting in the bathroom and an abstract tree painting in the foyer. The bathroom painting lights up when the sun shines in because I hung it over the top half of the window. It’s lovely.

I decided to see if I could drag the love seat in by myself, and I discovered that I could! I rearranged the living room.

April and I had been discussing Christmas and our desire to decorate. We’re too tight on money right now to really do anything for the holiday, sadly. I irresponsibly decided to go ahead and take a few bucks over to the thrift store and see if I could find some Christmas decorations anyway. I thought it was also a good time to return the two DVD players that we had purchased that didn’t work with our TV.

When I got there, the owner said he could give me store credit for the DVD players. We had paid $15 for them. I eagerly agreed.

I scoured the store for Christmas decorations and found quite a selection. Most of the things I found were not priced, but the man told me to gather whatever I thought was $15 worth, and then get some more. He said the extra would be to compensate my trouble of having to return three times over a DVD player.

I was elated!

In addition to some wonderful Christmas decor, I also got some decorative pillows for our couches and a gorgeous pair of stilettos. I admittedly love shoes! This pair was priced $30 at Charlotte Russe.
The store clerk also gave me a crate for my bike and some bungee cords to secure it with.

I excitedly went home and decorated the house with the Christmas things I got before April returned from work. It was a wonderful surprise for her. She loved it all.

I was glad that I didn’t have to spend any of my money since I really didn’t have any to spare. Plus, all of the things that I got were worth way more than $15. Those thrift store guys have been so great to me and April since the very first day we moved here.

Our place feels a little bit more like “home” now, and that is a wonderful feeling.

I’m sure all of this was pretty boring to read, haha, but thank you for reading anyway!

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.

Work

Yesterday, the head of housekeeping told me that she’s quitting.

I really like her, and I hate to see her go, but I admittedly saw this first and foremost as an opportunity. Is that wrong? I would love to have her position!

For the next couple weeks, I’m going to really buckle down and try to prove myself to the bosses. If I could be head of housekeeping, it would mean more work, more hours and better pay. It would also mean more control. I could actually put into place some of the changes I’d like to see at the hotel. I could eliminate some of the things I see wrong there, and improve the quality of cleanliness in the rooms.

It’s been driving me a bit crazy that I’m the only one who cleans thoroughly. I mean, they clean well enough, but not as thoroughly as I think they should. Certain housekeepers miss specific things that I do every time. Since I’ve had medical issues they’ve been placing me with other people to clean rooms. That’s great, except that I have to go behind whoever I’m working with and clean what they miss.

I had accepted that. What really gets to me is that I catch things that the head of housekeeping misses. She shouldn’t be missing anything. I know I’m a bit OCD, but still.

If I actually manage to get the position, I know the housekeepers are not going to like me. If they think the current head if housekeeping is tough, they definitely won’t like me. Good thing I’m not in it to make friends. The only thing that makes me sad is that Michelle wouldn’t like be anymore. She’s the assistant head of housekeeping and we were sort of becoming friends.

Honestly, I think Michelle would be the first one up for the position. So, it probably depends if she wants the position. I wouldn’t like her as head of housekeeping, but only because she has certain things going on in her life that would make it too hard for her to give that position the time and attention required.

I’m off to work now. I’m going to talk to the owner today if I get the chance, just to see if he’d be willing to consider me for the position.

Bad Luck Monday

So many things went wrong yesterday that April and I decided to call it Bad Luck Monday. Haha. 

First thing in the morning as she and I were trying to do our laundry, the washing machine broke. Neither of us have any money at the moment, so we headed to her job to pick up her tips for the week. We had all her laundry piled in the backseat of her car so we could go to the laundromat, then we were going to get groceries afterwards. We were also going to apply for food stamps and go to the hospital to get my heart monitor results. 

With a full day ahead of us we set out for her job. When we got there, I realized I forgot my cigarettes. I knew I wouldn’t be okay without them, so we turned around and went home to get them. Once again on the road back to her job, her car suddenly stopped running. It just slowed down until it finally stopped moving at all. We got it out of the road at least. We both thought it ran out of gas because her gas gauge doesn’t work. We stood out on the side of the road calling and texting everyone we knew, but no one could help us out. A Sheriff spotted us and pulled over to see what was going on. 

Now, I don’t know about other places in America (or even Florida), but where I’m from law enforcement officers do not help people. They will call an ambulance or make a report if there’s an accident, but they won’t actually help people with anything. This Sheriff took April in his car to get a gas can and some gas, brought her back and even put the gas in the car for us. If that wasn’t enough, he stayed to make sure the car started. Sadly, it didn’t. It didn’t budge at all. He looked under the hood for us and checked the fluids. He determined that it was likely the fuel pump. He only had one seat in his car, so he drove me to April’s job and then went back for her. 

It completely blows my mind that this officer helped us so much. Never in my life have I seen a law enforcement officer putting gas in someone’s car or checking the fluids under the hood. That is seriously foreign to me. I thanked him and told him how much I appreciated it and that the law enforcement where I’m from just don’t do that. 

The Sheriff was the best part of the day and the only good luck we had. 

So, since April had to spend the last little bit of money she had on the car that’s no longer in service, we didn’t have anything left for groceries. We thought we could get her tips from work, but her boss said they wouldn’t be ready until the next day. We found a ride home and April found someone to help get her car off of the side of the road. Our neighbor fixed our washing machine and I managed to throw together a pretty good dinner. Things were starting to look up. 

Then April realized she’d lost her keys and her ride to help with her car lost his wallet. Luckily both were found, but it took hours to find them. Meanwhile, the washer broke again with April’s king sized comforter inside. April, Jessica and I had to wring out and hang up a soapy, sopping, 100 lb blanket. Then I realized we were out of drinking water (our tap water isn’t safe to drink), so I had to borrow some from Jessica and then find some change and a ride to the store to buy more. 

I never made it to the hospital and we never got groceries. April and I are both fairly positive people, so we sat for a while laughing at our Bad Luck Monday, then decided that all was fine because at least our rent is paid for the month! Next month and the car repairs can be tackled then! Haha. 

 

All in all, I think we were more amused at our bad luck than stressed by it. This is what I love about April. We can be in a crisis and just laugh about it while facing it and figuring out a plan. We still didn’t get groceries, but we’re getting the car towed by a friend and I got a ride to the hospital for my results. Everything is going to be alright.