And I’m Back.

Maybe for this one post.  Maybe forever.  Who knows?

I’ve been AFK for a lot longer than I realized.  I mean, I know it’s been awhile, but re-reading my last life-related post, it was last year, when I was still fairly new at my job and had just signed my building contract.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  Could it really only have been nine months ago?

So much has changed, and yet, nothing really has.  I’m still at the same job, but in a much different place mentally.  I’m still single, although there is definitely someone new in my life.  I’m living back at home, but only temporarily – my house is well and truely on it’s way to being done now.  More than that though, I feel like I’m a different person to back then.  Can nine months really change you that much?  I’m not sure.  I think it has though.

In my last post, I had only been at my job three months.  I was feeling new and awkward and vulnerable.  I was shy, I didn’t feel like I knew anyone.  I was just another face in the big crowd of staff.  Flashforward to today, where I feel like I have found my place in the store (front and centre!) and have some wonderful friends there.  I feel like I can pretty much talk to anyone there now, which for an extremely introverted person, and given there’s 80+ people working there, is a big thing.  A very big thing.  It took a long time to find a job after I lost my previous one, but I feel like I was meant to work here.  The job definitely has its downsides (I mean, it is retail) but I still love it.

I’m also currently learning the ropes for management.  This has always been on the cards due to my previous job experience, but I’m super excited it’s finally happening.  At my previous job, it just kind of happened out of necessity – I mean, it’s not that I didn’t want to do it, but there wasn’t any formal invitation to it, and I never got the official title for it, or the pay to match it.  I was just kind of assumed to be doing the role because nobody else could, and because I was already doing it, why should they increase my pay?  It was an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and I’m sure not an entirely uncommon one in the working world.

Anyway, while this is similar in terms of they won’t be increasing my pay anytime soon, the title is given and the whole store knows what’s going on.  Ideally, obviously, I’d love to be paid for it, but I completely understand that they want to train people first and make sure they’ll do well before anything is set in stone.  Either way, I feel much more comfortable with this scenario.  I also feel like, in general, I get a lot of recognition in store.  I touched on this back in my last post, but that was only a small taste of what I get on a regular basis.  It is safe to say that while I knew recognition was a nice thing, I never fully understood how far it goes with job satisfaction.  I feel like this is one of the major reasons why I love working where I do.  All the store leaders go out of their way to highlight when staff are doing well, and are full of encouragement to get everyone doing better.  When I say encouragement, I don’t mean nagging, or shaming, or being negative – all things I’ve received in my last job, and in turn, I’m ashamed to say, have probably been guilty of dishing out too – I mean celebrating wins and talking about success stories, and sharing tips and tricks on how to do well.  It’s a very refreshing change from where I was previously, and I wholeheartedly want to take this on board with my management skills too.

Tying in with all this, as I touched on earlier, there is someone new in my life.  I don’t really know how to describe our relationship (I feel weird even using that word) but I know there’s something there.  It came completely out of left-field and I think we are both a little shellshocked by it, which is why it’s hard to describe.  I’ve worked with him since I started my new job, but didn’t really notice him – well, no more than I notice any of the other 80+ team members.  He was always friendly, but still, just another face in the crowd.  Until suddenly he wasn’t.  It was literally just like that.  One day, absolutely nothing.  The next, absolutely everything.

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That’s the thing with me.  It’s always been a bit that way.  I fall extremely hard and extremely fast.  Some of my friends are a bit jealous.  I don’t know why.  It’s not a good thing and has lead to me getting hurt 100% of the time.  The other (or maybe the same) issue is, I’m super clingy.  Like…if you knew me as just an acquaintance, you’d probably never pick it because I’m seriously introverted.  I am happy to not speak to people for a week at a time kind of introverted.  Until my heart latches onto someone, and then suddenly, the second we aren’t communicating, it’s all “noooo, come back, I already miss you soooo much!”.  I can step back and see myself and know it is 100% crazy and not at all attractive but I can’t help it.  I have to literally tell myself dozens of times a day that I need to back off, he’s not going anywhere, you don’t need to be acting like this.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Which is why we are currently sitting in this limbo status.  It is 100% my fault for being way too overbearing, and I’m working on it.  I really am.  He’s basically told me he’s not interested right now, which hurt like hell, however since then we’ve gone right back to how we were, so it’s just a weird place to be in.  That being said, I’m not complaining too much – it could easily have gone the opposite way and he refused to talk to me at all, making for a very awkward workplace.  Plus, I feel like this is just a learning experience on how to take things slow.  So, learn I shall.  Maybe things will eventually fall into place, or maybe we’ll both drift back to being just colleagues.  I know what I’m rooting for, but I’m not going to push it either.

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The other big update is my living arrangements.  Since my last update, I was forced to move back to my parents place – the landlord of my rental property sold the house and the new owners wanted to move in.  So back to my childhood home I went.  After living out of home for four years (and wanting to get out of home for many years prior to that), it hasn’t been easy readjusting.  I’m very grateful I had somewhere to go, don’t get me wrong, and my dog is loving the fact she has company almost all the time now, but it is still a very hard place to be back in.  I’m fiercely independent, and on top of that, my relationship with my family has always been tense.  It improved considerably after I moved out and got my own space, and now, day by day, I can feel it slipping back to how it was.  I feel very suffocated being back and having to answer to people again, and being told what to do and when to do it, instead of in my own time and at my own pace.

My mum especially doesn’t seem to understand why I get home and lock myself away, but then, she’s never really understood me much anyway.  She’s outgoing and very much a people-person.  My dad is quieter, but also enjoys being outdoors and getting things done.  I’m like my nan, who prefers to be left alone and doesn’t like her routine messed up.  They see me as lazy, and while I’m not denying that, it stems from my need to unwind from a day spent talking to strangers.  As an introvert, I need to mentally recover from that, and if I can’t, I have a tendency to lash out or become very upset.  If that means sleeping all day on my day off, or going for a drive by myself, or watching 10-year-old Simpsons episodes, then that’s what I do.  When I was living by myself, nobody was there to judge me on it, and it felt completely normal.  Now, all I’m getting is snide comments and rolled eyes.  I’ve literally been spending hours and hours at work just hanging out to avoid home – this is something I haven’t done at all since I started working there, and something I swore I wouldn’t do for my own mental health, but now, I’m finding that my mental health is being affected if I’m at home too long.  I’d rather be around my friends at work than being told what to do at home, even if that means sacrificing my unwinding time.

Thankfully, my house is well on the way to being finished.  After so many delays I’ve well and truely lost count, the framework went up a couple of weeks ago, and since then the roof has gone up and they’ve put in the windows and wiring, and the fencing.  The bricks will be getting laid tomorrow and the plastering should be completed by next week.  I’m hoping like hell it will be done before Christmas, so I can go back to living alone again.  My dog isn’t going to like it, but on the flip side, she’ll actually see me more as I won’t be avoiding home like I am now.

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I can’t believe how much has changed in what feels like a short amount of time, but there you have it.  It’s also hard to believe exactly a year ago, I was going through some of the darkest moments of my adult life, and today, I’m feeling pretty positive about everything.  2016 has definitely proven itself to be a great year so far!

How has everyone else’s 2016 been?

J x

#loveme challenge – Day Fifteen


Day 15 – Something I Have Done Right

Another broad topic.  Why are the broad ones always the hardest?  Shouldn’t they be the easiest because you have so many options? Oh right. I’m indecisive.  That’s why.

I think the best thing I’ve done in a long while was move out of home.  This happened over three years ago now.  Ever since I was a pre-teen I was convinced I’d move out of my parents place the second I turned 18.  Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad place by any means.  I had food in the fridge when I wanted it, two little doggies, my own room and a Foxtel box all to myself.

Why would you ever move out? I hear you ask.

My sister has the right idea.  She’s staying there as long as possible, from what I can gather.  Once again showing just how opposite we are.

I’ve always been fiercely independent.  I don’t like being told what to do, or that I’m doing things wrong, or basically to even be spoken to when I’m in an introverted mood.  My mum is opinionated, talkative and somewhat bossy – I say that in the nicest possible way.  Everyone loves her.  She has heaps of friends and even my own friends adore her.  I’m only telling it like it is – we were just incompatible with living together.  The older I got, the worse our relationship became.  Almost every weekend, we’d have screaming matches over stupid things and one – or usually both – of us would end up in tears.  My dad was always stuck in the middle, seeing both sides and not really sure what to do to help.  He really tried, but truth is, he couldn’t fix it.  You can’t fix incompatibility.

While house sitting while the next door neighbours were away, I got a taste of freedom I couldn’t go back from.  I decided right then and there I wasn’t going back to my parents place.  I couldn’t.  I’d had a much better headspace away from them and I couldn’t put myself – or the rest of the family – through our volatile relationship any more.

I found out that my colleague was looking to move out too, and we quickly decided to find somewhere together.  At this stage I didn’t involve my parents at all.  I don’t know why.  I mean, I had this fear they’d tell me I can’t move out.  I was 21, it’s not like they could stop me, plus I’m sure they were enjoying not having to walk on eggshells while I wasn’t there.  Regardless, they didn’t know we were going to inspections every weekend.  We found a couple of places near our work and applied for them, not having any real clue of how it all worked.  We thought it was like job hunting, and you got knocked back more than accepted, which might be true in some areas and for some properties, but apparently not for the ones we applied for. Or maybe we were just ideal  candidates? Either way, we got accepted for both and had a difficult choice.  A flashy new apartment with a higher cost, or a not-so-new flat with slightly more space and less cost?  We went back and forth and eventually decided the extra money was worth it.  The apartment was walking distance from work, had a beautiful walking track, overlooked a lake and had a bus stop right outside (which was lucky because my house mate didn’t drive).

After we signed the paperwork I had to tell my parents.  I knew it would be awkward, just springing it on them, but I guess they saw it coming or didn’t mind, because they took it pretty well.

Neither of us had lived out of home before and for some reason, I decided I was buying absolutely everything new.  I had the savings for it so it wasn’t a big deal, but I guess it shows how naïve I was going into it.  Who buys everything brand new when they move into a rental?  Anyway, we hit up a long row of shops and I bought everything in one go.  Some stuff – like my dining table – I now hate and wish I’d taken more time on.  Most things though I haven’t had second thoughts about (luckily).  I love my squishy comfy couch and my smart TV and my hand chair and my washing machine.  Plus buying everything at once meant a got a good deal on a lot of it, so it wasn’t all bad.  I’d driven my dad’s van that day (thankfully) and came back with it filled to the brim with new goodies.

Then came moving day.  I’d never experienced one before, though I’d heard the horror stories. It went okay, though it was long and exhausting.  Some of the stuff (like the dining table, TV unit and couch) weren’t being delivered til later, so we made do with what we had until then.

It was a lot of fun, once we got settled.  It was amazing to sleep in until 8.30 and still be early for work at 9.  Prior, I’d be leaving at 7.30 to get there on time.  We saw beautiful sunsets almost every night, and we’d often sit on the porch overlooking the lake and talk.

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The best part is, my relationship with my mum improved ten-fold almost overnight.  Now that we weren’t constantly suffocating each other and pushing each other’s buttons, things became easier.  I got my independence, she got her daughter back.  Definitely the thing I’ve done most right in recent years, and I’ve never looked back!

-JD