virginia

Dealing with Anxiety and Depression

I don’t know what changed, but something did.

Well first, I got sick. It was something that was going around the office. Nasty virus that eventually turned into a sinus infection. Super fun. But then the ear infection started, and after three rounds of different antibiotics, nothing’s changed. I can hardly hear out of my right ear and although I was doing better with the virus, I’ve started getting worse again. My cough has come back, my nose will still be stuffy from time to time. It’s a nightmare. I’m headed to the ENT doctor tomorrow to see what can be done about my ear.

But that leads to my next big issue. Work. I work in a call center, which means I need to be able to hear and speak. Typing has never been a problem, but I need to hear and sometimes these people have us on speakerphone or are just very quiet. I haven’t been able to work. But it gave me time to realize that I just can’t stand working in the public sector anymore. I’ve hit a big bout of depression, akin to my very first time back during my sophomore year of college. No appetite, I sleep most of the day and when I’m awake, I’m still tired and lethargic. I have no interest in anything, don’t want to leave the house, and I’ve had at least one bad anxiety attack over the whole issue.

It’s not that I don’t want to work. Sure, I can be damned lazy when I want to be, but it’s not just that. Working in the public sector, especially retail and ESPECIALLY sales, makes me anxious and I’m so unhappy. There’s a level of unhappiness I can deal with in my job, but I dread going into work every day. Sure, I have friends there, but when you work in a call center, you hardly see them. I’m in  my own little world for 10+ hours with no access to fun websites (all I ask is for Pinterest, really) and a book. That’s it. And trust me, I love reading, but not when I can hardly finish a page without another call coming in. Quite frustrating.

I want to write and do something that actually makes me happy. I need creativity, I need a freeflow environment. And without it, it’s stifling. So although Disney wasn’t super creative and I was dealing with people (sometimes very NASTY people), it did give me a bit of creativity and being surrounded by such magic helped keep me going every day. Sure, there were plenty of days that I didn’t want to work, but my crew was amazing and we all supported each other and had so much fun on our little boat ride. Star Tours I don’t miss as much (too hot, too crowded) but Living with the Land… I’d go back in a heartbeat. Though trust me, I don’t miss Florida ONE BIT.

Feeling like this for the past week is not only inherintly exhausting, but has drained me even further. I guess I didn’t even wake up to my alarm or Sean waking me up this morning. I got plenty of sleep, but mentally I’m so drained that my body is too.

I know people have it worse than me. Of course. And they’d love to have my job. Sure. But in my unique situation, I don’t know how much longer I can do this. Every time I’ve changed jobs, I’ve told myself I would never do retail, and I definitely never thought I’d do sales. But here I am, at the bottom of my personal barrel, trying to find a way out.

So in short, depression and anxiety suck. I’m depressed because I can’t stand my job and I’m anxious because money is a constant worry for us. So I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. And I’m trying to find the best solution for me and for Sean, but it’s tough. The idea of moving back to Virginia near/with my parents has crossed both our minds, as has moving back to Florida so at least I can be close to Disney. I don’t think either are a proper solution, though I’ve entertained both ideas.

Right now it’s time to just get my mental health in order and then work from there. It might not happen tomorrow or next week or next month, but I’ll find something I love to do that can keep us afloat. And hopefully he’ll find a job that works better for him as well. Call center life doesn’t suit us.

katiesig

We Ride Together

I’ve been back for a little over a week now. So much has happened this summer. So much.

The summer went relatively well. I ran the canteen which was amazingly fun and I loved it. It gave me a chance to have moments of peace and time to grade reports and just be calm, which was very much appreciated. I loved staff this year and grew really close with my teaching partner, Meggie. For the first time in quite a while, I actually made a close friend in real life and not on the internet.

I’ve gone through some tough times, too. Nothing I care to share with the public, but I’ve lost a close friend and have been hitting hard times personally. Luckily, music (folk metal, namely Turisas) have been getting me through it as well as a newfound belief.

I have turned heathen. Thanks to my friend David, I am now an Asatruar, a follower of the Norse religion. It’s new and sometimes scary and weird, but I’ve never felt more at ease and sure of my path. Every day I learn more and more and I’m slowly meeting people around the area who share the same beliefs and can help me in my journey. I love it.

School starts up in just a few days. It will be my last semester and I’m utterly nervous and excited at the same time. Here’s to hoping it goes well and I graduate in December.

Hailsa!

katiesig

Leaving for Camp

In less than four days, Jon and I will make the two and a half hour trek to the Appalachians, outside a small town called Vesuvius, VA where we will spend the next two and a half months working at the most wonderful place.

Nature Camp was a second home to me for six years before I started college and could no longer go back. Last summer I was lucky enough to land a job working as a counselor there and had a blast, learning so much about nature, myself, and how to work with kids. I’m really glad that Jon will have the same opportunity.

I won’t put here what I’ll be teaching this summer, but I will say that I’m very excited for my role. And for once, I’m packed early and have severly limited my clothes. So there’s also that.

I might be able to make an update after I get to camp, but it probably won’t be for a while. Besides, this summer will be spent not only working, but working on my story/novel, preparing for my final semester in college, and generally enjoying my summer. Social media will take a back seat for me.

If anyone wants to really get a hold of me, emails will be the best.

katiesig

I’m Going Home

I fly home in three days. That’s amazing to me. I’m really excited yet I’m also apprehensive and I have this weird, mixed feeling about leaving the island for good. I don’t think it’s officially sunk in that I’m not coming back, not for a long time, maybe not ever. I have no idea.

Jon will be coming with me since he also got a job at Nature Camp, so at least I’ll have company for those flights. Our first stop is in Atlanta before we grab a connecting flight to Dulles in D.C. But luckily there are no massive layovers this time. About an hour and half at most.

On another note, I hate moving. So much to pack, we have to close the electric account and internet one (both of which are a pain to do), and move whatever Jon’s going to keep to his apartment tomorrow. It’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. Hopefully I won’t be doing this much overseas moving again for a very long time.

I’ll update again once we’re back in Virginia.

katiesig

It’s Official

I’ll be back at the University of Mary Washington next semester! I was officially accepted back around the middle of March and as of today all of my classes are secured. My schedule is as follows:

  • Every day at 11am until 12pm, I’ll have Intensive Intermediate Spanish.
  • Mondays at 5pm until 5:50pm will be Practicum Journalism.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3:30pm until 4:45pm will be Fantasy Writing.
  • Tuesdays at 6pm until 8:45pm will be Rise of Vernacular Culture.

And that’s it. Four classes with lots of time in between. I’m excited because I get to take a class with a professor who I absolutely loved and who had been my advisor before I left. She’s a hoot. And I’m really thrilled to be taking Fantasy Writing, something that I adore. And I realize that if I were an underclassman, I would’ve never gotten that class. Only because I’m a 5th (going on 6th) year senior with tons of credits did I get one of the earliest sign-up dates. So I get everything I want! Oh, to be an upperclassman.

But now the problem will be finding a job once I’m back. I rehashed my Care.com account and once I’m back in the states, I’ll renew the background check and see about getting a regular babysitting job that will pay well and can work around my school schedule and still let me have weekends to visit dad.

But I’m really pleased to be finally going back home. I’ve missed seasons and my bed and my family and my cat. The list is extensive, honestly. Puerto Rico has been lovely, but so many problems really put a damper on the experience. I’m tired of the corruption and the sheer laziness of most of the people here. It’s ridiculous.

Also, seriously, Wegman’s. I’ve missed it.

P.S. Ooh! And to add, I’ve been eating right and exercising daily and so far, lost 5lbs in one week! 😀

katiesig

The Road Goes Ever On and On

Looks like together Jon and I are going on a daring adventure. One filled with danger and trepidation, excitement and… ah, who am I kidding?

We’re going to start Youtubing!

Surprisingly Youtube has it’s own series of videos and a playbook to help newcomers start a channel and all that. So we’re going to start reading up and watching those videos and hopefully get into it soon enough.

Thinking about it, we might even pull a vlogbrothers type deal if I do end up moving back to Virginia for a semester, using YouTube as a way to keep in touch.

So while he plays Call of Duty, I’m reading over the playbook trying to figure out how best we’re going to do this. Whether we’re going to have a joint channel or two separate channels or both (most likely both since I already have a standalone channel). It’ll be an interesting journey for sure.

Stay tuned for more updates later on.

katiesig

Sorry for the Loss of Time

It’s been a very hectic month, to say the least.

Jon and I spent three weeks in my hometown of Fredericksburg, VA for winter break. We barely spent any time at home since I was taking him out and about to see the sights and enjoying the cold weather. He was absolutely thrilled with it. It was his first Christmas, which was exciting, and, at the start of January, his first snow. Too bad we didn’t take pictures, because a picture (or video) of him rolling around in the snow would’ve been the cutest thing to show off to future children to embarrass him.

Now that we’re both back in Puerto Rico, we had maybe a week to relax and not do a damn thing before we jumped in feet-first to this semester. It’s only been two weeks and I’m already exhausted. I’m pulling 21 credits (aka seven classes) this semester and it kinda sucks. Luckily they aren’t too early in the morning, but I get out around 6pm every day except Fridays. So basically, I have very little time to myself before I have to start the whole process over again.

While on break, more specifically during the lazy week here in PR, Jon and I were discussing our future prospects once we graduate. He has one more semester after this one while I have two. We do plan on applying to the JET Programme and we recently learned that starting next year, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program is coming to UPRM to look for candidates. So we’ve decided that, since we know one of the recruiters, we’re hoping he’ll put in a good word for us to 1) stay together, but also 2) go to Norway together. I’ve slowly grown to love Norway and the Norwegian language and would love to go there either for a little while or move there for a few years. Either way, those are two of our options, among many. I just asked my mom to put me in touch with a teacher from my old school who travels the world with his wife to teach so I can pick their brain about the organization they work for, etc.

All in all, I want the next year and a half of my life to fly by so I have that diploma in one hand and a passport in the other, ready to move on to the next country.

katiesig