Friday, September 9, 2016

August 2016
I hate writing super negative posts but things have been pretty crummy for me lately and I'm hoping that writing about it might help a bit. I'm not sure why but the Universe has been kicking my butt this summer. My anxiety and depression have been pretty bad the past couple weeks (months) due to all the stress. The main stressor is that I've been having a lot of family drama. About a month ago my mom decided she was going to make my life a living hell and has been horrible to me everyday since. Her mood has been so hostile and she's constantly fighting with me or my dad. It's gotten to the point where I dread going home after work because there's so much tension in my house. I feel like I'm imprisoned in my own home. My dad said I should start looking for new place to live (I had been my mom's caregiver until last year when my dad retired and have been saving up money for the past year) but now I'm not sure which direction I want to go in. My original plan was to move to Scottsdale and buy a small condo but now I don't think I even want to stay in Arizona. I've regretted moving back here for the past 4 years. I don't really feel like anything good has happened since I came back. The only significant thing that's happened is that I've been able to travel and get some stamps in my passport but other than that I've been pretty bored.

I just feel like everyone around me has had their lives change so much in the past 4-5 years while mine has kind of been frozen in time. My friends have gotten married, had babies, bought houses, gotten real grown up jobs, etc but my life hasn't really changed at all. I really haven't had any significant life events and that bothers me. So I think I might've overstayed my welcome here in AZ. I just don't feel like I belong here. But the hard part is figuring out where I do belong and where I could thrive. 

To be honest, I've always wanted to live in California. Yes, I know it's expensive and the traffic is crazy. But I've wanted to live there since I was a little girl. I think just being near Disneyland and the ocean would really improve my quality of life. So after I get back from Japan I'm going to start looking for jobs in California and see if maybe I can get something going over there. I don't want to move without a job lined up again. I've done that twice and both times it was a bad experience. Having to pay rent every month when you have no income coming in is the worst. I usually get so stressed out that I end up taking whatever job I can get and then once you're in that job it's hard to get out and go to interviews without them knowing something is up. Plus, I'll need a job established before anyone will rent an apartment to me. My brother tried moving to LA last year with a couple of his friends and since they didn't have jobs there no one would sign a lease with them. So yeah, I've learned from my past mistakes and hopefully, things will work out better this time.

Another contributor to my lousy disposition lately has been my day job. My job duties have turned out to be completely different than the job I was hired for. I've become one of the million of Americans who hate their jobs and I totally get the whole "I hate Mondays" thing now. But I also think that everything happens for a reason so I guess this is another sign from the Universe that I'm supposed to move on to something else. If everything was perfect here, if I liked my job, had found a partner, and was generally content with my life in AZ I wouldn't be motivated to move. But none of those things have happened so that's a good indicator that I might be better off somewhere else. One thing I do know is that if I move out of state, I'm not going to return to Arizona again and I'm certainly not going to move back in with my family again. Like, ever. 

So yeah, I have a lot of things to think about and important life changes to ponder over the next few months. But maybe that means that 2017 will be better. Maybe that's the year that things will start to turn around. 

To end this post on a more positive note, only 4 more weeks until my trip to Japan. To be honest, that's the only thing I've been looking forward to this summer. I can't wait to see my precious Twinkie-Chan's face again. 

It's going to be pretty pretty pretty good. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hot Child in the City

July 2016
Dang, I really suck at this whole blogging thing. As you can imagine, lots of things have happened since my last post. First, I am officially a girl of 32 summers. It's surreal being two years into my 30s...especially since I don't feel 32 and I certainly don't look 32 #blessed. I don't know, I always imagined being a full-blown "adult" by this age but in my heart I still feel 16 if you want to know the truth. I still play video games regularly (but not as often as I'd like),  I have plushies scattered all over my bed, I am madly in love with cartoons and anime, I wear peter pan collars and maryjanes and I still have to cover my eyes when watching scary movies. I guess I'm young at heart or whatever the old people say.

Second, I have managed to not quit/get fired from my "new" job. Two days ago I had my 90 day review (about 30 days late, haha). My boss said that I'm doing a stellar job and that he didn't even have any suggestions for areas I could improve in. I personally would like to get more comfortable setting up AV equipment and helping out at the assisted living building since I have to cover over there pretty often but that's really about it. I don't know how long I'll stay here but I expect to stay at least until the end of the year. I still find it so strange to be so appreciated and well-liked in this job. The residents all know me by name and compliment me daily, even for the smallest tasks. 

Third, Stephanie and I have made progress in our vacation planning. Last month we booked our plane tickets to Japan and last week I booked our Airbnb apartment in Kyoto. This week we're going to book our Tokyo apartment and our Studio Ghibli Museum tour. After that all we really have left to do is buy our Japan Rail Passes and we'll be golden. As of today it's only 87 more days until we depart. I'm verrrrry excited but I will admit that I'm also super nervous. Although I love travelling and seeing the world, I always have a bit of anxiety going somewhere new. My main anxiety symptom is tummy issues and they're never fun to have on vacation. I'm hoping that once I get there that I'll be so excited that I won't focus too much on worrying and things that could possibly go wrong. Also, I'll be travelling with one of my favorite people and someone who loves me. The last international trip I went on turned out to be a disaster and that person turned out not to care about me as much as they claimed to. But I don't think that will happen with Stephanie (if it does I will cry for 1,000 years). 

To be honest, I still can't really believe this is happening. I've been dreaming about visiting Japan since I was 12 years old and now I'm actually going. Annnnnd I'm going with someone who I've admired and looked up to for so so long. It's proof that dreams can come true. And even though I still struggle with anxiety and most likely will for the rest of my life, I'm so proud of myself for having the courage to do the things I want to do despite my anxiety. I've found that the only way to conquer your fears is to face them, feel the fear and then know that you can get through it. 

And speaking of facing your fears...I recently went on a date with someone new AND I'm seeing him again this weekend. For someone with social anxiety disorder, dating is one of, if not THE hardest things to do. Just putting yourself out there and making yourself vulnerable is so scary! After the first date I got so worked up and had so much adrenaline in my body that by the time I got home I was a HOT MESS. My stomach hurt like crazy, my mind was racing and I could not sleep to save my life. The next day I had pretty much talked myself out of dating for the next 50 years but then I sought counsel from my girlfriends and they were so helpful and supportive. They reminded me how I need to just practice dating and that over time it'll get easier and easier just like anything else. I need to remind myself that it's just hanging out and I don't have to marry the person. I'm just getting to know someone and it's not a huge deal. *takes a deep breath*

So yeah, things have been crazy and busy in the past few months but generally have been pretty good. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your day! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Birthday Approaches

denim dame 
So this is my last week of being 31 years old. Usually I'm super stoked whenever my birthday comes around but this year I'm kind of feeling just ambivalent about it. I've been pretty bummertown on and off for the past couple weeks so maybe that has something to do with it. A lot of stuff has been going on since my last post so I should probably get you caught up on everything. 

Three weeks ago I started my new job at work. I've been a concierge at a retirement home for 2 1/2 years and during that time frame I grew kind of complacent in that position. I learned everything I possibly could and felt ready for a change so when a job opportunity became available in the activities department I applied for a transfer. I'm not gonna lie, the past few weeks were pretty rough and I was really regretting leaving a job that I was good at and comfortable in. My anxiety the first couple days was off the charts (people with anxiety tend to avoid change like the plague) but it's almost been a month and I'm slowly becoming more confident in my new role. All of the seniors have been really supportive and keep telling me that I'm doing a great job and that I'm such a fast learner but since I have a perfectionist personality I've been beating myself up a bit and feeling incompetent. My new boss even told me that I'm doing great but I still have a low level of anxiety every time someone comes in the office or my phone rings. My official title is activities coordinator but we do a bit of everything in this department. I make flyers, schedule meetings and presentations, plan outings/events, set up rooms for lectures and concerts, pick out movies for our movie theaters and help with any technology issues the residents might have. The IT questions are the hardest part of this job tbh and I have small panic attack every time someone calls me with a computer question. I always thought of myself as being pretty proficient with computers but most people have a Mac and I don't really know diddly about Apple Products, minus my Ipad. But I heard that there's an opening for a part time IT position so that'll be a huge relief once that person starts.
work style Courtney 
The same week that I started my new job I went on my first date in many moons. I don't really date anymore since dating is pretty much my biggest phobia but this guy seemed really nice and I figured I needed some dating practice. I first started talking to this guy back in December right after I had my wisdom teeth taken out but he was super eager to hang out even though I told him I was recovering from surgery so I kind of just stopped talking to him since I wasn't really in any state to being going on dates. However, after my SF trip I was feeling pretty good and thought maybe I had been too quick to write this guy off so I texted him and asked him if he was still interested in hanging out (he was). We wound up meeting the day before I started my new job, which turned out to be the worst idea ever since I can't really handle two huge stressors at once. I met him at a coffee shop and the moment I saw him I already knew I wasn't feeling it, on top of that the dude didn't even offer to pay for my $3 coffee when I'd driven a half an hour to meet him (gimme a break). A weird thing about my social anxiety is that sometimes it causes me to talk excessively since I can't stand awkward silences so this date lasted longer than I had intended it to. He enjoyed my stories a lot and was a nice dude but again, I just didn't really feel any romantic chemistry with him. He looked so much like my former roommate too who was kind of a dickhead to me so that didn't help him at all, haha. After the date I started getting bombarded with text messages and that was the final nail in the coffin. I tried telling him that I had social anxiety and was introverted but that didn't really sink in. Most girls would probably love to get texted everyday but unfortunately I'm not one of those women and within a couple days with the combination of this new job and a my phone buzzing all the time, I just couldn't take it and had to tell him I didn't want to hang out again. Luckily, he didn't make a huge deal about it like some of the men I've gone out with so that's a good thing. Some guys get really offended and send nasty replies but this one didn't say anything at all. 

Idk, I feel like when I meet someone who's right for me that I'll just know and I won't have to force anything. I'll feel a thrill when they text me and I'll be excited to see them again. My mother loves telling me that I don't give these guys enough of a chance but I can't fake my emotions and life is too short to spend hanging out with someone you're not really interested in. Sigh...I guess all I can do is keep living my life and hope that eventually the right person will come along. For the most part, I don't really get lonely. I have lots of friends and also lots of hobbies so I don't find myself with tons of free time these days to reflect on the fact that I haven't found my partner. But I'm confident that when and if I do find my mate that they'll be totally worth the wait.

Welp, that's it for now. The next time you hear from me I'll be frikkin' 32 years old! Aye carumba!

Friday, March 11, 2016

San Francisco 2016

This past weekend I got to visit some of my favorite people in the universe in San Francisco and had a marvelous time. It rained pretty much all weekend but we still managed to have tons of fun. Let me tell you about it.

I arrived late Thursday night so Friday Stephanie and I went to Pier 39 so we could see the sea lions. As soon as we got out of the car it started to rain but we had umbrellas (I bought a cute new pink Totoro umbrella for the trip) so it wasn't that bad. The sea lions were super cute and one even swam right up to us to check us out. They were all so lazy and sleepy, it was adorable. They looked like giant melted Milk Duds. Next we walked all around the pier and got soft pretzels to eat while we looked at all the funny little shops. We were okay until it got windy and the rain started blowing right into our faces. At that point we decided to call it a day and got Chipotle back in Stephanie's neighborhood. After lunch I was pretty sleepy so I took a little cat nap in "baby jail". They had put a baby gate in the downstairs room that I was staying in to keep the dogs from jumping on me and all of my stuff so it got christened Baby Jail, haha. For dinner we got thai food from a place around the corner and it was really good.

Kelly Anne, Kiki, Stephanie, and I

The next day we met up with my dear friend, Kelly Anne and her sister in law, Kiki, at Japantown. Kelly Anne is a fellow crafter and we met through Instagram a few years ago. We wanted to meet up at Disneyland back in December but she wound up being there just a few days before our trip was scheduled. So I was super excited to finally get to meet her. Kelly and Kiki are oh-so-cute and were so much fun. I had the best time hanging out in Japantown even though the weather was atrocious. First we went to Daiso (my fave) and loaded up on goodies. I wish they had a store in Phoenix because everything there is the cutest. After we shopped we took a bunch of buddy pics since we knew the rain was coming soon. Kelly had the most amazing camera and it made all of us look tops blooby :)

Next we got crepes at Sophie's Crepes and got a chance to sit down and chat. We all got along like peanut butter and jelly (or jelly and jelly). There were lots of cute doggies around and I was in love with all of them. After lunch we went to a purikura (a Japanese photo booth) called PikaPika and took pictures. PikaPika is my FAVORITE part of Japantown and it was such a blast. You only have about 3 seconds between photos to decide on a pose so it's kind of stressful but the photos always turn out hilarious. After you take your pictures you get to decorate them and I gotta say, ours turned out SO GOOD!

It was just such a fun day and I wish we could have hung out longer but by 4:30pm a huge storm came in and it started raining like CRAZY which made it difficult for us to decide where to go next so we wound up just going home :( In retrospect we realized we should've gone to Kiki's place and hung out or gone back to Stephanie's house since it wasn't super far away but the rain made it hard to think clearly. D'oh! At least the time we all spent together was quality time. I already can't wait to see everyone again. We're talking about a future Disneyland meet up (that would be EPIC).

On the last day of my visit Stephanie, Manda, and I went on our first cable car ride and it was super fun. We got roundtrip tickets and rode the train up Powell to Fisherman's Wharf. This day we were blessed with nice weather and didn't get rained on the whole time we were walking around downtown. By the time we got to Fisherman's Wharf we were ready for some lunch so we stopped at a place called Boudin that's world famous for their sourdough bread. It was totally packed in this place but we got our food relatively quickly. I got a margarita pizza and they both got grilled cheeses and tomato soup. After lunch we walked down to Ghirardelli Square and loaded up on chocolate. It was just a relaxing and chill day and I had a great time. The line to get back on the cable car was kind of a nightmare but at least I was in good company (there was also a guy playing guitar outside so that helped the time go by). The ride down the hill was really cool and I was surprised how hard the guys had to work to just to get the thing to stop at traffic lights. By the end of our ride it had finally started to rain but we still wanted to take some pictures in the photo booth at Forever21 (it's become a tradition) so we dashed through the rain anyway.

 I'm so thankful for the internet for brining all of these wonderful people into my life. I feel so lucky to have so many amazing friends all over the world who I can visit and go on fun adventures with. I wish I could see them more often but it's cool to be able to communicate with each other anytime online. Not too long ago I could count all of my friends on one hand but in the past few years I've met so many incredible people and I'm so lucky to have such supportive and loving people in my life. They're all so special to me and I love them dearly. Thank you, Stephanie and Manda for taking such good care of me this past weekend. I can't wait to see you both again!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Renaissance Festival

 This past Sunday I went to the Renaissance Festival for the first time in about 10 years. In about 15 minutes I quickly remembered why I hadn't been to the Renaissance Festival in 10 years, haha. Nonetheless, let me tell you about our day.
The day started out kind of on the wrong foot when I woke up with a sour stomach. On top of that, I decided to not wear a wig at the last minute so that meant I had to wash and curl my hair which caused me to be late to Jackie's house. We carpooled to Michelle's house and then she drove us from there. We arrived around 11am and it was already pretty warm as we entered the fair. Almost immediately people were shouting things and harassing me (this would continue for the rest of the day). I guess I'd get harassed less in these types of situations if I didn't wear a costume and blended more into the crowd but I really only wanted to go so I could dress up as an elf for the day. All day I had to endure, "HEY YOU, WITH THE EARS!" If you have social anxiety like me, you know how much we hate loud noises and how much we reallllly hate loud noises that are directed at us. So all day I was uncomfortable and wished I could hide from all these obnoxious people. :(

We watched two shows that day and the first one was an acrobatics show. There were three performers and they balanced on each other and on buckets and stuff. This show made me verrrry nervous. When people aren't nervous for their own safety, I get anxiety on their behalf. This show lasted about 20-30 minutes and the whole time I'm just waiting for one of them to fall on their face. It was not good times.
The next show we went to was a comedy show called "Hey Nunny Nunny" which is mostly puns about nuns and Catholicism. I'm not really into "jokes" per se so I was probably the only person there not laughing my buns off. People were seriously howling with laughter while I'm like, "Errrmmm..." Idk, maybe I've become a comedy snob. I have a pretty specific taste in comedy (ie: Larry David, Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, The Flight of the Conchords, Louis CK) so most comedy is wasted on me.

The best part of the day was sitting in these cool Sky Chairs. They were so comfy and relaxing; if I had a porch to attach one to, I'd totally get one. We just sat and chilled in these chairs for about half an hour and it was sooooo nice to be in the shade with a light breeze on your face. I didn't end up eating anything til after we left the park since I still didn't feel so great and all they had to eat was greasy fried foods (not my jam--I'm kind of a health nut). It didn't help that I'm vegetarian either so I just fasted until about 5pm and was near death. But that was a better option for me than hurling at the Renaissance Festival. The last attraction we saw was the "Living Mermaid" which had the longest line. We had to wait for about 30 mostly unshaded minutes and tbh, it was kind of a let down once we finally got inside (this is the bummerest post ever). On the way home we stopped at one of my favorite restaurants, Chopsticks Express, and I got a giant order of honey tofu (which I scarfed down in the car) just before I dropped dead.
So yeah, I think I'm good for another 10 years as far as the Renaissance Festival is concerned. Next week is going to be amazing, though. Next Thursday I'm flying to San Francisco to see my bunny Stephanie (Twinkie-Chan) and also to meet my other bunny, Kelly Anne (TinyTangerines) for a girls weekend. It's going to be the BEST. WEEKEND. EVER.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sage of Wisdom (teeth)

One month ago today I had three of my wisdom teeth removed and boy, has it been rough. I got the procedure done on a Friday and by Monday the left side of my lip and chin were still completely numb so I panicked and called the oral surgeon. He explained how my lower wisdom teeth were so impacted that on a scale of one to ten, they were tens and that made their removal very difficult, however, he said the nerves were intact and "perfect" and that the surgery was a great success. He said numbness was to be expected in a case like mine but it would only be temporary and not to worry.

I thought I'd be back to normal in a week or two...NOPE! The pain was so intense and I would wake up 4-5 times a night in horrible pain. There were days when I'd come home from an 8 hour shift of having to talk on the phone and smile all day and just cry for an hour because I was in so much pain. I don't like to take medication but I had no choice but to take the pain pills they prescribed me. However, those didn't even alleviate all of the pain. I'm pretty sure they had to remove some of the bone tissue in order to extract the teeth because my recovery has been a very slow one and my jaw bone still aches. Besides the pain, though, the loss of feeling in my face has been distressing me the most.

On the 5th of this month I went back in for my follow up appointment and a different surgeon assessed me. He said that the extraction sites were healing "wonderfully" and then he did a test on me to see how bad the paresthesia (numbness) was. He pretty much poked my chin with a small needle and asked me if I could feel it then he dragged it up/down or left/right and asked me which direction it was moving in. I passed all the tests and he confirmed that the paresthesia was only slight at this point and that that was a good sign. He said if my face was still completely numb it would be cause for alarm but since I have regained a lot of feeling that it should only be temporary. Then he said I could feel back to normal in a week or in six more weeks (yikes). So today I hit the 4th week and am just ready for this to be over. I had pizza last night at a friend's house and my jaw still hurt a lot afterwards. I was also really self-conscious that I might have food on my face that I couldn't feel.

I hope that the doctor was right and that my nerves will heal themselves because this honestly has been such a nightmare. I've never experienced so much pain before and it's been so scary not knowing if I'll ever get all of the feeling back in my face again. If I had it to do over again, I don't even know if I would've had the procedure. Before they did the surgery they told me that there was a 15% chance that I would have nerve damage since my wisdom teeth sat right on top of the nerve and were fully developed since I'm in my 30s but I never thought that I'd actually fall into that 15%.

Before the surgery I was pretty hopeful that 2016 was going to be the year I started dating again and possibly started a new relationship but now that my face is all jacked up...I don't know when I'll feel up to it. A guy online messaged me just a week after the procedure and wanted to take me on a date but I told him about my situation and said I'd need some time to recover. At first he said he didn't mind waiting but then he started messaging me everyday asking me if I was well yet. It put too much pressure on me to heal quickly that I just stopped talking to him. It would've been nice to have someone to go out with on Valentine's Day but I don't really want to go on any dates until I've healed.

So that's what's been going on with me for the past few weeks. If you can send any positive energy my way, I'd really appreciate it. I just want to feel like myself again :( You don't really appreciate your health until something happens to compromise it.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Disneyland Part 2

A wild Twinkie-chan has appeared!
Sorry it's taken me forever and a day to continue my Disneyland story but I had my wisdom teeth taken out the week after I got back and have been feeling pretty shitty ever since (which I will write about in my next post). The second day we went to the park we got a pretty late start. We didn't leave the hotel until about 11:30 and got to Downtown Disney around noon. Stephanie needed caffeine in a bad way so we stopped and she got a latte but then we remembered that they won't let you back into the park with a beverage so we hung out in Downtown Disney while she had some breakfast. We entered the park around 1 o'clock and it was pretty much pandemonium. I had never seen so many people at Disneyland in my LIFE (and I've been going every year since I was a bebe). A huge parade was starting on Main Street so they had to herd all of us through this secret door I'd never been through before and we all migrated towards Tomorrowland. As a person with social anxiety, this was a pretty uncomfortable situation. We were completely walled in a sea of people and everyone was pushing and shoving in every direction.

Gramma Courtney needs a sammich
Somehow, we managed to get to Space Mountain where we'd hoped to get Fast Passes but of course we were waaaaaaay too late for that. The standby line had an estimated 80 minute wait so we decided to bite the bullet and just get in it. Well, 140 minutes later we finally got to ride it and I was about to drop dead from not having eaten yet. Stephanie's friend Danielle (ahoymiss) also happened to be at the park that day so we met her at the Jolly Holiday and I got another caprese and tomato sandwich. I was really excited to meet Danielle since I'd been following her on Instagram for a few years (she has one of the dreamiest IG accounts ever). She was there with her bf and his family so they could only meet us for a late lunch/early dinner but it was a very nice visit.

By the time we finished eating it was already dusk so we took barely any pictures that day (to my great disappointment). We made our way over to Adventureland and got in line for Indiana Jones and then things got wacky for a while. First of all, the line was out of control. They had us wait in this labyrinth of a line over by the Jungle Cruise before moving us back to the regular line. When we got in the normal line, though, they turned all the lights on super bright and said that the ride was temporarily closed due to a "routine procedure" so either somebody barfed all over the ride or there was a celebrity on it because they turned the lights on like that and repeated that same message 4 times. Most people left the line but we decided to tough it out since weren't in a big hurry to go on anything else.

I look a little cray cray in this photo
I think all day we only managed to go on a grand total of eight rides. If we hadn't gone the day before too I think we would've been majorly bummed by this but since we'd already gone on everything Friday it wasn't that big of a deal. One thing of note that happened on Saturday was that Stephanie had her first Dole Whip. I wish we'd been able to get one during the day when it wasn't freezing but the line is always a nightmare during the day so when we passed by it again around eight o'clock  there was NO LINE AT ALL. We hoped we could find somewhere inside to sit and eat them but there really isn't any indoor seating in Adventureland so we had to just freeze our buts and guts off outside.

The rest of the night is kind of a blur but what I do remember is that we went to Denny's afterwards for a late supper. I was dying again from lack of protein so I decided to order the loaded veggie omelet since it said it has 20 grams of protein (daaaaammmn!). My whole life I've hated eggs but after being forced to eat so many both in Thailand and in England (both places weren't very vegetarian friendly so my protein options were pretty limited) I've kind of developed a taste for them. Stephanie wound up ordering one too and we both inhaled them! I rarely eat all of my food but that day I was a member of the Clean Plate Club.

Accidental Matching
The next day our flights were scheduled in the late afternoon but check out was at 11am so we killed some time at a Coffee Bean and Tealeaf across the street from our hotel. Luckily, it was really slow on a Sunday because we hung out in there for like, 2 hours. Before we knew it, we were saying goodbye at the airport and going to our separate terminals. I honestly missed Stephanie the moment she left and when I got to my gate and checked my Instagram she had left me a comment saying she missed me already too, haha! I'm so glad that I've found someone who I get along with so well and who is so much fun to be around. We're talking about going to Japan this fall for her birthday so that's my next adventure I'll be dreaming about. I've wanted to go to Japan my whole life so that would be an amazing trip to get to take together.

I hope 2016 treats you all well and that it's filled with lots of good times and lots of adventures!