Thursday, December 31, 2015

An Aspiring Artist Working at Old Navy-- And All The Positive It Brings

Today, I left work angry and upset. Which is particularly disheartening on a day where I came in feeling powerful, positive, excited for work, and proud of my sunshine attitude. Unfortunately, I left feeling picked on, negative, and downtrodden-- in addition to feeling anxious over the idea of the extra shift I picked up for tomorrow. 

Moreover, I come home to see so many of my hooper friends talking about #OldNavy, and how #ON has lost business from them due to a toddler's T-shirt (you can read about that here).

In the face of so much negativity, I want to take the time to go over the positive I have experienced working there the last several years. Since my original hire date, in November 2011, I have had my up and down days, like with any job, but overall I have had so much overwhelming gratitude for my job at Old Navy.

I have been supported as a #hulahooper, and aspiring artist. I have been coached, trained, and strengthen to be an above average valued asset. I've worked and continue to work with some of the most amazing people I have ever met.

I feel poorly that so many of my #flowartist #friends have decided to discontinue shopping there. I understand, however, I also feel compelled to mention I have seen several different retail shops make poor decisions when it comes to their designs on T-shirts and/or overall marketing. I've never worked at some of those places I have in mind (Target, WalMart, Children's Place, Claire's, etc), I do currently work for #GAP, Inc and more specifically Old Navy, and I love it.

I live in a place where the current #minimumwage is $7.25 an hour. I am paid above that, even though I am technically only an associate. It is my #experience that Old Navy takes care of their employees-- especially the #employees planning on making ON a #career. The #Utah Market in particular are #wonderful at being #supportive of their workers' outside endeavors. I've worked Active Sales Events #HoopDancing. I've maintained a #consistent, yet #flexible schedule allowing me to attend paying gigs, go to #hoop #classes, and attend #HoopCamp

A video I made over the course of 30 days, including scenes of me hooping at ON

Not only has Old Navy been ideal for me as a hula hooper-- valuing my off time, and being alright with me hooping on my breaks at #work, but it has been a #tremendous source of in my pursuits of #healthy #choices.

It's in that #spirit I've been inspired to try and write out #goals, #affirmations, #inspiring #quotes, and I even put up 2016's Friends Calendar, because I do have the current ideal work situation, and I feel genuiely #blessed to be able to work for a company for so long that continues to show me support as I pursue all my goals; in the hoop, in my career, in my personal life, health-wise and as an artist.  

I've been reading these daily. 
These are my resolutions, of sorts. I also want to learn to do a headstand. Like every year.
This year's Friends calendar. I love it! 
This month's personal goals. I need to go over to Jess' and pick out a book to read. 
Some oldies, but some #goodies
I guess, the point of this entry is to say, as I go into this New Year, I am so grateful for a job I love. It provides me #independence, #autonomy, #worth, #support, and a #bombdotcom discount.

Anywhoo, outside of work, and gearing up for a new #January, I am #celebrating the fact that the days are getting longer. We are still loving being in the new apartment. Whoot for day 8. And, slowly but surely, I have #faith that 2016 will be a great #NewYear.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Turning the Mundane into Something Extraordinary

Before leaving Oregon in mid-October we had got our names on the low-income housing lists in Eugene and Corvallis. When we arrived in Salt Lake City we did the same. We were told there was a 14-month waiting list for Eugene, a two-year waiting list in Corvallis, and Salt Lake told us 8 months.

So, great, fantastic, joyful news!

It looks like we found ourselves a new home (apartment) in Bountiful. It is an income restricted location, that is pet-friendly, clean, the same distance to my Old Navy from our current distance, a five-minute drive from Jess' house (a 2.1 mile walk is what google tells me), and a few minutes away from Mum-mum too.

I've spent the last two weeks up to my eyeballs doing paperwork, feeling grumpy and resentful at work, feeling overly tired while at Noni's, and the only time I've felt normal has been while at The Compound partaking in normal family routine. But, yesterday, I got a call confirming a time to pickup my keys to a recently available place, and setting up a time for me to come in to finishing signing my short-term lease.

I am giving myself permission to be happy and excited.

I am so excited for a million reasons. I think above all, because it'll be a better, healthier fit for Bradford, the cats, and I. I keep thinking about the last time I had a year as rough as 2015 has been, and how the proximity to The Compound really helped play a role in dynamic, healthy changes-- at the very least adding a different level of family support to our lives won't hurt in the least.

Since finding out the good news, things have moved pretty quickly-- Jess and Ian are gifting us some well-loved furniture, and I already have grandiose plans of staining/painting everything given to me. Our friend, Jamie, gifted us a glider and matching gliding ottoman, along with a blow-up mattress, some towels, and a padded ottoman that lids lift up (giving us a proper shoe area). I love the idea of getting old closet doors at the Habitat For Humanity Repurpose Store to turn into room dividers with some chalk-board paint. And, Ian and I both have Wednesday the 23rd off, the day I also get my apartment keys!

It's a small one-bedroom, however it is my hopes that we are able to create a safe, good space for us to better understand and get a grasp on our future plans. I want to continue on with Old Navy, hula hoop, and live my life as we decide what our next steps will be. I want to start walking/jogging again. I want to have a closer relationship with the Littles, and my best friend. I want to know that no matter what our future plan are we are spending out time here to the best of our ability.

I am sick of hating everything constantly, and ready to refocus on the good in my life, by being closer to the good in my life.

In the meantime, Bradford and I have been studying German in our spare time, and we have plans to do a self-lead math course together once we are in our new place. We've both been working, opposite schedules, but still manage to spend time together during the days' lulls. I've been reading on budgeting, accepting help when offered (for example, our friend, Geneva, gifted us an amazing food basket that we couldn't be more grateful for), and really enjoying studying with Bradford, and really look forward to creating a work space for us to continue learning together in our spare time.

Jess has been a phenomenal source of support, and help. I honestly feel so grateful for the reprieve her household gives me, and feel like I wish I was there more often, and I am excited that soon in my apartment that will be possible! She's also helped us get the basic things we'll need to survive in an apartment sans our things still in storage in Oregon.

I am so grateful things aren't feeling stagnant anymore, and that happier things are on the horizon. Though, I am still looking forward to the day I get to go home to Oregon.

By the way, here is a list of things that may help us out (people have asked).
House Stuff We Need That Would Help Us Out Like Whoa:
A borrowed working vacuum (a $40 expense we can't do at the moment)
Paper Towels
Happy Thoughts
Food basics upon move-in

Also, these pictures have been sitting in my drafts for months. And, I want to share them. They're, if anything else, great summer memories.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I want my mommy.

There have been several times in the last five years I have grieved heavily over not having a relationship with my momma. Our relationship was never healthy.

It has hurt, and at times been impossible. Today, has been an accumulated amount of shit that keeps crashing down. One thing after another; boom, boom, boom. And, had she not have passed away this April I would have caved and called today.

As my chest heaves trying to catch my breath I keep thinking about her smell, and how regardless of my age (and my size) she would hold me at times as she soothed me with her words.

My mom knew how to stop a panic attack in me.

My momma did a lot of things wrong in her mental illness, and not many people knew her like her children did-- and, still loved her anyways.

She once told me that when she couldn't coach herself through a panic attack that she was having while at Dr. Schaeffer's office (Rod), and as she couldn't catch her breath he told her; "think about the first time you held Sarah." She said it was like really breathing for the first time as the air finally reached her lungs.

Today, I've been reminded several times why Utah is rough as shit for me (air quality, bad drivers, etc), I have been reminded of my back to back pregnancy losses, which in turn reminded me of all of my pregnancy losses, I felt guilty all day thinking of the things I missed with the Littles in my absence, I have felt guiltier wishing I was present this last year for Jess, I screamed at a complete stranger after being told that I wouldn't get paid until Monday (which my store will fix tomorrow, bless them), I have a lapse in my SNAP benefits (which is detrimental at this time), I have 77 cents to my name, and have for the last two weeks (outside of spending $20 on the babies, we continue to play catch up as we dig ourselves out of this hole), my storage unit has a lock on it by now, I haven't paid our car insurance, and outside the money Jess and Ian have given us we've had no gas money, and I keep worrying about when I finally will run into Marc (fuck you, Small Lake City) and the poor reaction I'll have after some of the scary things he said to Jess last year...not to mention the deep guilt I feel for ever having him around the kids.

I know and feel the positive things in my life. I am grateful for that. That doesn't change any of my other feelings today, and it doesn't change that I just want my mommy. I miss and want my mom. I want someone who knows me; the person who not only grew my physical body inside of her, but my soul as well, to tell me everything will be alright.

My mom and Cash shouldn't have left me at 46 and 49. And, I'd call my Dad, but it doesn't feel the same right now, because I hate feeling like a failure when I reach out to him (plus, honestly, I don't know where he's working this week)...I just don't want to be his 31 year old cry-baby. I love my dad, but I just want my mommy.