When My World Ended

Its been more than a year since I did anything with this blog.

In that year, three of my babies have died, including the one that meant the most to me, Sasha.

In that year, my favorite people have moved away, leaving me mostly alone.

In that year, I’ve struggled to be positive, and I’ve mostly failed.

So, here’s what my life has been like, and what it’s like now.

I am not the same person I was. I was already changing this year, as I’ve been changing each year while I learn more about myself as an adult.

In November of 2015, my life took a turn when I had what I guess was an epiphany. I decided that now was the time. Now was the time to travel, to embrace what life has to offer, to go to places I’d always wanted to visit, and to come up with new places I wanted to visit. So, Mom and I took a long weekend to San Francisco and had a blast blowing all sorts of money, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and all the other wonderful things SF had to offer.

Since then, I’ve been to Canada, Alaska, Cincinnati, Seattle, Detroit (Oregon), Boise (Yearly), and am planning trips to Minnesota, New York, Philly, D.C., Scotland, Ireland, and more. Traveling is amazing, builds happiness and confidence, and helps me learn more about the world and spend time with friends.

That stuff is good.

The bad is sometimes my career, which brings me money and steadiness, but also large amounts of stress and hate. Since I posted on this blog, I took management from Kelly, who basically imploded because she was a shitty manager, and that has been an amazing financial blessing, but a huge source of stress and negativity. Petco is mostly concerned about their bottom line, which is there prerogative as a company, but it makes it hard on the peons (though I’m now a management peon). That, and I’m unsure that I’m capable of being in one place for longer than five years. Every part of my life has always had an expiration date – school being the main breaking points. You switch schools periodically, and as you get older you hit certain life points when things change. You start driving, move out (though I skipped that), etc., and life changes. I’ve been with Petco for 6 years, the same store and customers for five of that. Maybe it’s me, but the negativity of the bad customers is getting to me. I think it partially is me, because I have negative personal things combined with stress at work. I just want to run away from the bad, though it’s wrenching for me to consider leaving my good customers, the ones that I love so, so much.

The bad is also my personal life.

You see, around September of last year I gained a deep yearning for a cat. Snow White has been gone for years, and at the time I was down to Maia (my guinea pig), Sasha, and Ozzy (My ferret). I ran into some trouble with this yearning, as my father hates cats. Since I live with him, it seemed reasonable to discuss my desire with my family to add to my furry family.

So, in December, after being stonewalled about my desire to get a cat (a firm no, constantly), I instigated a conversation about why the answer was no. Now, this was seven months ago, so I can’t say verbatim how this argument went. I can tell you what I got from it, however.

What I got from it is that my father didn’t want me to get a cat because he thought I’d be cruel to his dog if he (Dante’) didn’t take to the cat. He doesn’t like animals other than dogs (though he doesn’t mind them existing, he doesn’t want them in him house), and he didn’t want to have to take care of my animals. What I also got from it is that through a degeneration in topic, my father blames me for all of his perceived failures for the two years prior to our discussion – specifically, he told me that he has made no progress in his businesses because he doesn’t feel like he belongs in his own house because I’m so mean to him.

Now, this conversation broke my heart. I am not a person that sets out to hurt others. I am a person who tries almost pathologically to not rock the boat and be invisible so as not to inconvenience others. To have one of the people I loved most in the world lay all of that on my shoulders… I had been cooking dinner at the time I instigated this conversation. After we ate, I left the house, went to see two movies (Trolls and Moana, in case anyone cares), cried all the way through them, and never wanted to go home. If I could have, I would have left and gone so far away as to never come back.

I love my parents. I love their animals. It never occurred to me to ask if I needed to find someone else to take care of my animals because I assumed (you know what they say about assuming) that I didn’t need to. They’ve never really asked me if I minded feeding their dogs, and they (my dad) never said he didn’t want to feed my family while I was gone. I live with my parents as roommates. I’m on the lease, and I essentially rent a room from them. I clean, I do their laundry, I groom their dogs, run errands, and help out as much as I can, with the exception of the dishes and the yard because I hate doing those things. The “conversation” we had about cats and everything that was wrong with my presence had the consequence (among others) of making me feel like I lived with my PARENTS. I put that in caps because I’m 26 years old. At the time, 25. I don’t need a mommy or a daddy to tell me how to run my life. I wanted an adult discussion, and instead I got flattened and told no, because I was a mean person and he didn’t want a cat in his house.

Animals are my heart. Any animal. They are why I breathe, how I make it through my life. At the time, I felt pressure because all of my babies were up in age, and I wanted someone knew to love that I knew would stay for a while, and see me through my beloved dog’s final years. At the time, I had no idea I would lose her in less than 8 months. So, because I made a decision not bring another animal into my life while I lived with my parents, I started planning to move out.

Here’s the problem with that: Portland sucks for living situations. I don’t want to rent a room because I essentially already do that, and well… the devil you know. So, I started plotting to move to somewhere I could afford to live on my own.

As a side note, while all this was happening and percolating, Casey moved from Portland to Cincinnati, and Haley moved back to Minnesota.

I don’t know that I’ll ever feel the close connection with my dad I used to feel, but it got a little better I suppose, after some months and time had passed. I feel a spurt here and there of that old feeling, but it’s hard to be free and feel the love with someone who you wonder if they’re secretly hating you and waiting to tell you about it until it happens to come up during a conversation about a cat.
** I want to note here that while I have some bitterness about trying to have a conversation about wanting a cat because it was important to me and it turning into a conversation about how terrible I am and have been for years, I try not to let that part get to me. I try to just feel the sad, and then acceptance that it’s way past time for me to get the hell out of my parents’ house and out of a negative situation. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bitter at all, but I hate to feel it, and I hate for it to come out in my interactions, though it does sometimes when I just can’t help feeling the bitter.

In the end, making a long story slightly shorter, I decided to move to Minnesota in April 2018. This would give me plenty of time to save and plenty of time to plan, say goodbye, and conclude my life in Portland. I didn’t know what the future would hold in the next year, but I wanted to put my end game in place. I was (and am) unhappy in Portland, with the negativity at work building up and over-powering the good, and my personal life feeling empty and like I was between a rock and a hard place when it came to moving forward and self-correcting myself into happiness. Two of my closest friends moved away, and my anchors here became so shaky I wanted out.

Then May 1, 2017, I had to put my Guinea Pig, Maia, to sleep because she was terminally ill and old enough not to recover. I also landed in the ER that same day through my own clumsiness, spraining the ligaments in my ankle by falling off my porch step.

May 12, 2017, I took a vacation with Sasha, just me and her, as she was getting older and I wanted time with her.

June 23, 2017 Sasha had a stroke. I have no medically defining proof that’s what happened, but that’s what I believe. I got another day and a half with her, and then she crashed. We put her down around 11:30pm, June 24.

So now, she’s gone. In the week since she passed, I’ve run the gamut from being completely devastated, to accepting, to knowing she had as good a life as I could give her, and I always knew time with her was finite.

That doesn’t change the hole she left. That doesn’t heal the absence she left behind. That doesn’t change the disbelief I’m still struggling with, the numbness I feel when I think about her lack of presence by my side. I’ve always been a loner, but I’ve never been lonelier in my life, with my best friend dead, my closest friends scattered across the country. I am sometimes surrounded by people and I still feel so, so alone. I grew up with Sasha. We grew up together. Then she left me here alone to live on without her, and while I know how to do it, I don’t really want to.

So I’m killing two birds with one stone and planning on going overseas for a month (to Scotland, specifically) in January. Then, I’m moving to Minnesota.

I found a website (nomadicmatt.com) that I’m scouring, a book he wrote that I’m doing the same with for my travels to Scotland. The internet is currently my best friend for my research and planning for moving.

I don’t know if I’ll post to this site regularly again. What I do know is that I’m feeling alone and isolated, and I just can’t reach out right now. Everyone has problems, and without them reaching out to me first, I have a hard time doing so because I feel like a burden.

So, I might post again, because I remembered this was here and that not many used to read it. I doubt anyone checks it now because I haven’t posted in so long. If you find it and read it, well, welcome to my personal diary and my pain. Thanks for reading.


Eight Months

You know, I know this blog is here, and every once in a while it occurs to me to write to it, but somehow it’s been eight months since I was on it.

Life is up and down and topsy turvy and all over the place. We changed salon managers at my store in January, a position I didn’t get due to them never offering it to me and my previous manager being under the impression I didn’t want it anyway. So, I have a new manager that I’m not too fond of (she’s fine personally, but professionally leaves a lot to be desired), and two new co-workers plus Haley, who’s been with us for a year and whom I love. She’s my favorite person, most of the time, and always my favorite person in the salon.

Currently on the personal goals front, I’m trying to whittle my physical movie/book collection down to as much electronic content as possible, because I want to travel and I want to not have as much clutter and whatnot in my life when I decide to do it. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of stuff recently, as I tend to collect it.

Financially I’m trying to save as much as possible, but I’m currently fighting a losing battle. Too many expenses, not enough income lately. Add that to my new traveling obsession and you’ve got some badness. I want to go places and experience this thing called life, which I’ve been doing more of.

This summer I’m going to Canada! I’m going with my bestie Jamie thru Canada and into Alaska, and I’m very excited about it. After that I’m taking mom to Yellowstone National Park for her birthday, which will be exciting, and expensive. Sigh.

I think that’s my update. Life, work, goals.


What Introversion Means to Me

It’s ironic that two posts ago, this was the topic of my post. However, it’s different this time, because I’m writing about the fact that sometimes I just don’t want to talk to anyone.

What people don’t seem to understand is that introversion is different for everyone. One of the best definitions I’ve heard about the difference between introverts and extroverts is that introverts give energy to the people they interact with, and so interacting with people is tiring and introverts prefer their own company. For extroverts, they get energy from their social interactions. It perks them up.

My type of introversion is something that I guess people would compare to depression or moodiness, in that I just don’t want to interact with people and if I do, it’s usually snappish. It’s nothing personal, there’s nothing wrong with me, you don’t need to help snap me out of it. Just leave me alone and I’ll be happy. On another day, or maybe even later in that day, maybe I’ll want to interact. Just. Not. Today.

Seriously, for my parents and friends, it apparently comes off as ‘what’s wrong with you, do you need something, why are you so cranky, you don’t love me anymore because you didn’t talk to me today’, etc, etc, etc.

I’ve had people swear they’re introverts but somehow they talk to cashiers like they’re best friends and talk up customers and know someone on every block – I seriously don’t get that. I don’t talk to people I do business with, whether I’m the customer or the service provider. I don’t ask questions because it’s none of my business, and I don’t want to know anyway. I just don’t have the energy to care about everyone else’s problems. I have a small circle of family and friends that I care about, that I love, and that I want to know everything about them. With them, I try to be open and honest, and I try to spend time with them, on the phone or interacting or whatever (though I’m absolutely terrible about it with people I don’t live in the same city with), but anyone else? Forget it.

I’m not exaggerating, I’m not embellishing, I’m not whining, I’m just stating. It’s absolutely exhausting for me to talk to people day in and out everyday, with the people I see in person. It’s even harder when it’s people I don’t see regularly, even if I love them with my whole heart.

Today was an introvert day. I wanted my own company and no one else’s. Unfortunately, today was also the Greek Festival, which means that was impossible. I tried my best, but today just wasn’t my day.



Wow. So I realized the other day that it’s been six months since I posted on this blog. Crazy. So, here’s what’s been going on in my life.

Gus is a crazy great boy who I’ve been watching for Casey when she goes out of town – two weeks in December and now again in  May. The boys (Dante’ and Merrick) have done great with him and all the people that come and go from my house lately. They still bark and freak out, but they have done so well with everything. We’re all really proud and impressed.

I’ve got more friends/acquaintances than I know what to do with, it seems. Some I just keep track of on Facebook, some I see occasionally when a whole group of us get together, and some I actively seek out to see on a regular basis. I go visit people (Jamie, Sean, family, etc.) or we go out to dinner or a bar or some event. It’s been great.

Christmas/birthday season was pretty great. I’ve reached the age and the point where I can buy myself a lot of what I want/need, so my gift requests are more like, hey, I’d love to have this, or we could hang out for a while instead. I just remember some cool gifts, and some cool hanging moments.

I took a week off in January and went to the Rose City Classic Dog Show for two days – the rest of the days I just did all the miscellaneous stuff I never do.

Anna and I went to Phoenix in February/March, and it was great. Anna and I understand each other pretty well, and so we didn’t get on each other’s nerves too much. I got to show her Phoenix and see it myself for the first time in over two years, and see Flagstaff and Jamie. It was expensive, but awesome.

Work is still work, and has smoothed out a lot since I last posted. Some of the annoying people are gone (and some of the ones I liked), but things are running pretty smooth. I’ve got a good amount of dogs at the moment, regulars that I love, and I’m making good enough money that I’m paying off my debt in a good amount of speed, even with the uphill battle.

In February, right before Anna and I went to Phoenix, Sasha had some trouble. Nothing major, really, just a flair-up in her arthritis that scared me a lot. I realized that I didn’t have a plan for after her death. I’ve never needed one, because my world has always revolved around her. I got to the point where spending time with her – walking her, grooming her, was pretty much impossible without me completely freaking out.

Something had to change.

So, I made a loose plan for after she dies that I can look forward to happening, even if I hate the thought of losing Sasha at all. That plan is spending some time – a month or more – overseas. the UK, New Zealand, Australia, maybe Europe. I’m even considering working over there for a while somewhere as a groomer, if I can swing it.

To put that plan in motion, I’m saving and paying off the debt that has been kept pretty manageable but still too high since I started having credit cards. I’ve been doing pretty well at it, actually, even with the Phoenix debt and the $1000 car bill that came up in the last four months. An engine oil leak that cost a mint.

Luckily, thanks to Christopher, I have a second job now doing Closed Captioning in my spare time (re: every moment I can) to make money to pay off my debt faster, and once that is done, put towards saving for my overseas adventure. The more I save, the longer I can be overseas. The captioning is interesting, though sometimes tedious, and it’s pretty good money.

My parents are doing good. Since his birthday, my dad has been really into Archery. He got lessons from us for Christmas, and now has his own bow and equipment. He goes shooting nearly every day, says it’s his zen. It seems to be working, because he seems pretty happy lately.

Mom’s got her gardening, which is started up again for the year. She’s been down planting and spreading and pulling and whatever else you do with a garden.

Mom and I cleaned out the garage a couple weeks ago and got rid of a bunch of stuff again. It felt so great to spend a day together, listening to music and purging our garage so that it could be organized and look and feel great whenever we walk into it.

I’m working more, what with two jobs, hanging out with friends, maintaining the house, including running all the errands of the house, reading, watching TV, cooking, etc, etc. This particular weekend (my weekends are still Tue-Wed) has been the most relaxing weekend I’ve had of late. It’s been nice to get things done, watch some Buffy, spend some time with friends and Sasha, and just chill.

On the personal life front – I went on a semi date and made out in a car  – a first for me. I say semi-date because Matt is a nice guy, but not my kind of guy. I’m more of the kind of person that even if you only think you have intentions toward someone, you pick them up, take them out to a nice dinner, pay for that dinner, maybe make out in the car afterwards, talk, then walk the girl to the door, say goodnight, and text them the next day just to say hi. Matt isn’t that sort of dater. He’s the sort that asks a girl to the river, you hang out and talk, stop at a restaurant because we’re hungry, pay for dinner because he didn’t realize I had money on me (which he told me was why he paid), make out in the car, hug the girl goodnight, and tell her you’re too lazy to walk her to her door. He texted me the next day about the weather.

None of those things are bad, but he didn’t hit too many points on the scale that leads to me being enthusiastic about having any sort of romantic relationship with him. He’s not a long-term guy for me, so that leads to me not talking to him much – not that I did before – and leaving him in the ‘cool to hang with’ category.

I also danced with people I know, and people I don’t, at a bar in downtown Portland called Kells.

I’ve been pushing myself – to make money, pay off my debt, go out with Matt, stay connected with friends, etc. I think it’s been good for me.



So here’s the thing. I’m a major introvert. For most of my life, I haven’t had many friends, and the ones I have or had, I didn’t spend a lot of time with, other than Casey or Jamie. I used to be on my computer all the time, and posting here used to be my way of venting or stalling because I didn’t want to do something – usually homework.

I don’t post very much anymore, and that’s because I have people in my life – Anna and Casey who are here, and others that I’ve managed to keep in touch with somewhat that now live in various places. I rant to those people, and I’m not always in my head, which is awesome. I’m trying to keep this updated at least once a month though, because for years this website was my sounding board. I like it, it gives me a touchstone to look back on and it gives me a place to write out my thoughts.

Here goes.

Casey has been here for over a month now and it’s been great. I love her being here, and her dog Gus is pretty cool to hang around. He’s 2, he’s 80lbs, and he can be a handful, but overall he’s a great dog. I’ve pet sat him once already, and will be doing so again when Casey goes home for Christmas for two weeks.

Anna is still awesome. We hang, we shop, we talk. She’s turned into a great friend (though she always was), and I love that she lives so close to me. Another great thing is that her and Casey get along great, so it’s all been working out pretty well so far.

I’m still at Petco, and it’s been some rocky times lately. I have a hard time working with Alyssa and Kelsey, mostly because we don’t see eye-to-eye. I think they’re immature, and we don’t communicate well. They take what I say wrong, then they get pissed and it’s all downhill from there. Slowly, it’s gotten a bit better, so I’m hoping it stays that way.

I’ve also been doing a job on the side – closed captioning for a family friend. It’s fun and educational, because I love the videos. My typing is faster than ever, and the money on the side is great, because it’s helped fund Christmas for me – figuring out our family/friend gift to everyone and then getting stuff for my parents, Anna, Jamie, Casey, etc.

I’ve been really into this author named Kristen Ashley. She has over forty books and I’ve read a lot of them now. Her characters are real and mature, and just wonderful. Her books have taught me a lot about how I want to be. I’ve been trying to go with the flow more, and take things such as minor arguments or disagreements and acknowledge them then move on. Being attentive to the people around me, being conscious of how I look (not that I wasn’t already) and taking more pride in who I am.

Anna has helped with that too, actually, because Anna is a no BS kind of person. I am too, but she helps me be me. Keeping it real and honest is important to me more and more as time goes on.

Mom and I have decided we want to travel internationally. We’ve been putting money aside the last couple of weeks and doing pretty well with it. I have a passport but mom doesn’t, so her current goal is to get one of those so that when we have enough in the account we can take a trip – cruise maybe, but our ultimate destination is New Zealand or Ireland.

A more immediate goal is still Phoenix. I’ve taken time off in January to attend a Dog Show, and then again at the end of February/beginning of March to go to Phoenix/Flagstaff. I don’t have any plane tickets or anything yet, because with the holidays taking up all of my time and all of my funds I just haven’t gotten to it, but I still really want to go.

I’m happy. I’m me. I’m loving the holidays, and I’m so happy to have people around me that I like and enjoy spending time with.

Things are pretty great right now. I’m going to enjoy it.