Mimosas, Bacon, and Liberal Porn

I didn’t intend to go so long between posts.  In fact I practically had a post about Floyd Festcomposed in my head before we were even back in Michigan.  But then we got back to Michigan and it seemed to fall apart.  I had a difficult time in the weeks after our trip to Virginia.  I sort of slipped into a depression and just stayed there.

It’s no secret that moving back to Michigan wasn’t something I wanted to do.  I did it because it seemed to be the best decision for Annelise and I really didn’t see a way for us to change our situation in Virginia without doing something drastic (like moving back to Michigan).  But moving in with my parents was suppose to be like hitting a pause button.  A chance for me to regroup and decide what was next.  It wasn’t a long term solution or our end goal.

When we moved to Michigan in June we were already planning to go back for Floyd Fest.  That made leaving a little easier.  It was only good-bye for a little while. We’d be back in a little over a month.  We had a wonderful time at Floyd Fest.  And that made coming back to Michigan all the more difficult.  But in addition to the post vacation let down there were some additional struggles.  Going back to the place I use to live wasn’t easy.  Things change.  Seeing those changes made me realize I wasn’t there anymore.  And life has just gone on without me.  Someone else is living in our house.  There’s a ton of new gossip, people are hooking up and breaking up.  Business are opening and closing. And there’s even a new girl at my favorite coffee place that doesn’t know how I like my coffee.  I didn’t live there anymore, but I also didn’t feel like I “lived” in Michigan either.  It felt like I didn’t have a place to belong.  I also didn’t have a plan for another visit to Roanoke.  I had hoped to make it down in September.  But without knowing what was going to happen in the next several months I couldn’t make a solid plan.  So when we left this time I really didn’t know when we would be back.

Once we were back in Michigan I felt I also had to address the “what’s next” question.  We couldn’t just stay at my parents’ indefinitely without some sort of plan.  But making a plan felt overwhelming.  I became extremely anxious and had several panic attacks over what I should do.  I began to wonder if moving was a mistake and I was convinced that whatever I decided now would be the wrong thing and I’d take things from bad to worse.  But we couldn’t remain in a permanent pause.  I had to do something.

Returning to work after vacation didn’t go well either.  I’m working two jobs.  One is going really well.  The transition has gone smoothly.  I enjoy working there and it has been a good fit.  The other one hasn’t gone so well.  There are a lot of little things that just make me very uncomfortable there and my first shift back to work after vacation I got into it with a coworker over some local politics.  I typically avoid that sort of thing at work, but somehow I got roped into this conversation which quickly turned antagonistic and I began to feel harassed.  I cried all the way home and then had to explain to my poor mother that I was crying because the Christians were harassing me.  It was a painful reminder that around here it is not okay to be different and pretty much everyone I talk to is going to hold a different view point than I do and to them my views are evil.

And then my dog got sick.  Izzy has not handled the move well.  It might have been too much for her.  I can’t explain to her what’s happening.  I think she was just starting to settle down from the move and then I left her for a week, which completely freaked her out.  She wasn’t eating, she lost weight, and she didn’t seem to be in control of all her body functions (if you know what I mean).  A couple of nights I had to sleep next to her on the floor so that I’d know when she needed me.  I began to seriously question if it “was time.”  And experienced tremendous amounts of guilt, because I was pretty sure if we had stayed in Roanoke I wouldn’t be asking that question for a couple of years yet.

So for awhile I was experiencing some very sad days.  My first impulse was to call them “dark” days but they really weren’t.  Just sad, lonely, depressing days.  Everyday I’d take a personal inventory to make sure I wasn’t getting too depressed.  And then just kept going.  I knew that while I wasn’t exactly happy with where my life was at if I got up everyday and did the things I had to do eventually after enough days there would be a day when I could get up and do the things I wanted to do.  I withdrew from social media for awhile.  My Facebook feed is still filled with “Roanoke.”  It’s hard to watch life going on with out us and to see all the events and things we would be doing if we were still there.  When I woke up several weeks ago to see that Roanoke was experiencing tragedy, I felt very far away and cut off from the place that I loved.

I found some survival techniques.  I signed up for Netflix (I’m possible the last person to do so) and the first thing I decided to watch was The West Wing.  I didn’t watch it when it was on TV (I think I actually had a life back then).  But for some reason it popped into my head as something I might like.  So every night I’d crawl into bed with my tablet and headphones and watch liberal porn.  I found it oddly comforting.  I tried to focus on the little things that made me happy like riding bikes with Annelise to get brunch on Sunday mornings, and… well I think that was it… Mimosas, bacon, and liberal porn, that’s how I survived the sad days.   That and daily reminding myself to do what I have to do, so that someday I can do what I want to do.

I’m coming out of my funk.  Things are getting better.  Izzy’s health improved.  She will probably never be 100% again.  I worry about her a lot and watch her like a hawk so that I don’t miss the signs of her taking a turn for the worse.  I’ve made some tentative steps toward coming up with a plan for “what’s next.”  I still have a lot of anxiety about that.  My initial goal was to get out of my parents house as soon as possible, but last night I found myself saying, “I’m not sure when we’ll be able to move out.”  I’ve started taking classes and have a goal in mind (with a couple of back up goals also).  And while I’m trying to be open to different possibilities for our future right now I’m focusing on the “do what I need to do here and get back to Roanoke” plan.

School has given me a whole new sense of busy.  I knew I was long overdue for a blog post so two weeks ago I penciled in time to write tonight. My time is about up as I need to move on to other things I need to get done.  I’ll try not to go so long between posts again I’ll try to pencil in writing time this weekend because we have to cover “Back to School” because that was kind of a big deal for me and Annelise.

I’ll leave you with some of our end of summer fun (it wasn’t all depressing).

Floyd Fest…

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A donut breakfast…

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The three amigos after a busy Floyd Fest afternoon…

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Playing in Children’s Universe…

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John has his arms full with this group…

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A little Ukulele in the morning…

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Annelise practicing her stilt walking…

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What she aspires to…

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A mini biker gang…

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He really didn’t always have kids hanging off him…

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Getting ready for the parade…

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On the last day Annelise and John Henry decided to build a house so they could live at Floyd Fest…

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Annelise checking on a sick Izzy…

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Pentwater Homecoming

Watching the parade and collecting candy…

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The clown band…

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Fireworks on the beach…

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Probably the best display I’ve witnessed.  It felt like we were right in them…

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Celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday at Jellystone…

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Of course there was the Dirt Dawgs…

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And the County Fair.

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She still liked the Helicopters…

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But what she really wanted to ride was the roller coaster…

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And the ferris wheel.  Thankfully cousin Abigail was willing to take her because I wasn’t going to get on that thing…

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But her favorite was the REAL horses…

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