Monthly Archives: July 2010

Drumroll Please….

We have arrived at the moment you’ve all been waiting for….

PART THREE!!

At the end of part 2 I had come to the realization I could not support myself and live any kind of life with a part time retail job, it just wasn’t happening. So I started searching for jobs again.

You may recall during the winter months I posted about The Man and myself spending time in a city close to Nowhere, but far enough away to be counted as civilization.

You see, my favorite city in the world is Duluth, Minnesota. Its a nice size town close to where my grandparents live but far enough away to have things like shopping and restaurants, and buildings that weren’t constructed by Paul Bunyan. I would be happy to pick up and move to Duluth except for a couple of things that stand in my way.

IT IS COLDER THAN A WELL DIGGER’S BUTT.

And that’s in May. Whew is it ever cold there in the winter! Two feet of snow, the entire city is on a hill, the harbor sometimes freezes and people can walk out on frozen lake superior. Ugh! Awful.

Anyway, with that charming little aside I meant to make the point that I decided to relocate. Its not a secret, the man and I had been planning to relocate for a while and I had tried to relocate in February but it just didn’t work out. So when I began my job search anew I focused on a different city…

Lexington, KY.

I applied for several jobs and was granted several interviews. Some of them paid too little for me to consider (in these times we really have to think about things like that) but there was one that seemed like it would work out very well.

Basically, long story short I got an interview at a medical company here in Lexington that hires a lot of people (not a lot of them stay…which I really haven’t figured out because its a nice place…) and trains a lot of people, and pays well and has benefits and the opportunity for a lot of hours, and I can wear jeans and flip flops to work, and we have a water cooler with cold water and ice and most days I don’t go in until 11:00 so I can watch Hoda and Kathy Lee on TV and eat my breakfast that I cook.

Oh by the way…

I PACKED UP AND MOVED MY LIFE DOWN TO LEXINGTON!

That’s right…

I got a job in Lexington and I packed my sh*t up and moved!

In less than six months I have gone from not being able to leave the house I was so anxious around people to having the independence to pack up and move nearly a hundred miles away from my family and friends and everything I know.

I’ve had some bumps along the way, my poor car broke down on one of my trips down here and it cost a buttload of money to fix it… (but that’s what credit cards are for…WRONG! NO CREDIT CARDS. THEY ARE EVIL.) And it cost so much money to move down here that I lived on rotisserie chicken (one rotisserie chicken actually) cheese, bread, and ramen for the first two weeks I lived here, and it was hard to adjust to a new job, a new place to live, a new city, and a newfound level of poverty all at once. I had some rough times where I doubted my decision but I didn’t really doubt it that much.

So this past weekend I went home for my bridal shower (the man and I are getting married ONE MONTH from today) and I thought it would be ridiculously hard to leave and come back here alone but it wasn’t. This week has been a little hard because I’ve been staying late at work and haven’t gotten as much accomplished on the home front as I would have liked but everything is great.

Basically the moral of part 3 is sickness can only defeat you if you let it.

Its never too late to decide what you want to do in life.

and its never too late to pick yourself up and move on.

I still have a weight problem (but its slowly disappearing thanks to my starvation diet of moving with no money…), I still have symptoms of my illness, I still have sleepless nights, and I’m still slow to get to know and trust people. I’m not yet completely fixed but I’m getting there.

and I’ll continue to work on it until I get there.

This blog is about my life, my real life, and my life is about to get a lot more interesting. Follow me as I navigate marriage, a commitment to living the best life possible, and the further adventures of me living in a new city with new people and new experiences.

I guarantee you will not be bored.

So until next time, remember, real life is so much more interesting.

Liz

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Liz’s Big Adventure, Part 2

At the end of part 1 I was freaking out because I had been called to do a show (my first in a year) and I was freaking out because I was depressed, fat, and hadn’t done any real movement since, oh more than a year prior. I just realized as I was writing it that I hadn’t run seriously since April of 2008.

That’s ridiculous. My personal motto through my second year of college was “if you can stand, you can run” and when I was depressed, angry, anxious, bored, tired, drained, or on my day off from a show I went running. The treadmill was my best friend (other than Miranda W. , Shaina N. , Sarah D. , Katee N. , and Sean P.) and I spent hours running with no destination in mind. Why I got out of this I don’t know (I think it was Weight Watchers and their promise that you can lose weight without exercising, and I convinced myself I didn’t like running. Whatever it was it was powerful and I still haven’t fully embraced running again, but I plan to go for a quick run when I get off work tonight so we’ll see how that works out).

Anyway…show.

I guess I should go in to some detail about why I quit doing the one thing I loved most in my life. Anyone who remembers my early blogs knows that I was completely one hundred percent devoted to being a stagehand, it was my number one dream to be involved in production at some level and I thought being a stagehand would be the best job ever. I still do, and I’ve decided to grow up and pursue it as my career but that comes later in the story.

In December of 2007 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Anyone who reads this blog knows that and knows that it was a hard time for my family. She was unable to work shows as a result and the stagehand’s union was having trouble finding people to work shows. I volunteered and started working a lot of shows. From December to June of that year I worked probably fifty shows (that counts load ins load outs and shows). I made quite a bit of money and was happy to get to be doing the work I liked (I also lost a lot of weight…geez, physical work is great for that, if you don’t load back up with calories.)

Anyway, I worked and worked and worked and eventually was asked if I would ever be interested in joining the union. I saw this as a great opportunity and waited for the conversation that would lead to me being asked to join. That conversation never happened but I kept going because it was good money, and I was sure that I was going to be asked any day. My parents were both members, I had proved myself to be a good worker, I had indicated I was interested in joining and I felt like for the first time in my life I was certain about my career path.

Also anyone who remembers my previous blogs knows that I was also completely in love with and dedicated to a summer program that I started working for when I was 18. The time for that rolled around so I withdrew from shows to work at the summer program. Toward the middle of the summer program I was offered a job at another summer program for the following year so I was faced with a tough decision. Did I want to continue down the path I was going or did I want to abandon production in favor of a real job?

I’m sure you can guess the answer.

So I basically told everyone I was leaving at the end of the summer program. Who works their job they had in college after they graduate? Yeah….

During this time I found out that me joining the union was no longer a possibility. To this day I don’t really understand why that happened, whether it was my fault or whether it was beyond my control. I don’t dwell on it too much because its depressing and I don’t want to revisit the thoughts I was feeling at the time. I kept working some shows throughout the school year but not as many as I was and certainly not at the levels I was working.

I started my last year of college, started dating the man, and decided that production was not for me. I was tired of getting hurt, both physically and emotionally and I was tired of the silly drama that accompanied my tenure in production, specifically with the union. I bowed out of both the union and shows in general and studied hard to pass and graduate college.

I loaded myself up with work to fill the void in my life but it was hard to get excited about school and I had trouble focusing on anything but stuff I wanted to do. It was at this time that I started gaining weight and spending money out of control. I wish I could say I got my life under control but to this day my life still isn’t under control. I’m not in the business of blaming other people for my problems but I really believe that losing the element of being loved, appreciated, and needed really didn’t help.

Sigh…

Anyway, flash forward to the present day (March 1, 2010). I’m unemployed, pretty miserable and walking in to one of the houses to work a show. I was in wardrobe so my day would be spent upstairs, hardly on stage, the day would mostly be quick and painless. It would be a good day.

It was a GREAT day. I knew what I was doing, I worked quickly and efficiently and basically kicked ass. It was what I needed, a good kick in the rear to get me moving again. The next day I woke up deliriously happy and headed over to The Man’s apartment when he woke up to tell him I was going to do it, I was going to be a stagehand now and forever. It was my career.

As I put my hand on the door to walk out I got a phone call.

A job that I applied for when I first quit the paper wanted to hire me. The lady calling me said they had an employee that was about to quit and they wanted to hire me to replace her. It was a management position and it paid well, had benefits, all the stuff my job at the paper was supposed to have but didn’t. It would be about a month before this lady quit so she said she’d call me back in a month.

I got all excited about it, told the man who told his parents, told my parents, and was all geared up about working for them.

The call never came.

I was upset about it, who wouldn’t be? I was tired of being promised things that would never happen and I was tired of being disappointed again and again. I decided I needed to start being more proactive in my job search. I basically didn’t apply for anything because I was waiting on this call so I decided I would apply for more jobs and someone would hire me. I was a college graduate, I had skills, and I would surely get hired by SOMEONE.

Nothing.

Not even an interview for a whole month.

Now, I could have used this month to work on myself, to confront my sickness and maybe exercise a little and eat better.

Yeah, you see the pattern.

I did a lot of volunteer work in March, I did church activities, traveled with my dad and sister, and set myself up on a little more of a routine. I did a little more exercise and woke up in the morning, went to sleep at night, and took my medicine in between. Life was easy, and despite the fact I couldn’t seem to get a job everything was happy and positive (oh, and the weather was getting warmer).

Fast forward to April, I still hadn’t found a job and noticed in the Up-From-Nowhere (my hometown) newspaper (I don’t read the newspaper I used to work for, no one really does…) that a TJ Maxx was opening up in May and they were having a hiring fair. I went to the hiring fair because I figured I needed interview practice. I didn’t think it went well so I went home.

I got called to do another show and I did it, the day before The Man and I were to leave for Michigan to visit his family. This show was more difficult but it didn’t do anything but convince me this was what I wanted to do.

We went to Michigan and were having a great time partying with my in-laws (who are awesome). We traveled to a craft outlet the first day we were there (where I got a lamp shaped like a teapot!) and headed to a HUGE wal-mart for supplies when I got a phone call from a West Virginia number.

I finally got a job, working at TJ Maxx.

Working at TJ Maxx was okay. We built the store from scratch so it was a lot of work, but it was fine. To tell the truth I liked it and I would do it again, but I didn’t make enough money to live. The truth is I needed that job. I needed to know I was still normal, that I could still get up and go to work and come home and I could still deal with people and could still control myself. I worked hard, I made friends, and I realized really quickly that there was no future for me there.

I started to look for jobs, but I focused my search on another location…

Where did I look? Did I find a job? Did I ever get tired of answering questions?

The answers to all of these questions and more will be found in Part 3!

Liz’s Big Adventure: Part 1

When we last left our hero LizDoesRealLife she had ended her employment with the Nowhere News and was freelancing to make income…

This post is long by the way…really long. Like, get comfortable and get some popcorn or maybe a bottle of liquor long. Ooh, maybe I need a bottle of liquor to finish it…hmmm….

Wow, 2010 has just been…awful so far. In words that my mother still frowns if I say it has royally sucked. Yes I am a grown adult and my mother still gets upset if I say suck.

I started off this year fat and unhappy. I was working a job that made me cry every day and made me want to hide in a dark room and never come out. (Yeah, that bad) I couldn’t fit in to any of my clothes because I vacuumed up any and all food that came within arms reach. I was a giant black hole of fatness if you will, fatness, unhappiness, and sickness.

Little did I know the three of them were connected.

You see, in November of last year (right around my birthday) I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. I’m not going to tell you what it is because I don’t like to divulge the details, suffice to say I am ill. I will be ill for the rest of my life. Don’t trouble yourselves, the man is the only one who really has to deal with it on a long-term basis (everyone pray for his poor soul) Okay…moving on.

When I was first diagnosed I liked to sit around and cry and beg Jesus to tell me why he gave me this…thing that was ruining my life. Why was I fat and lazy? Why wasn’t I successful at my job, was I prevented from filling out my applications for grad school? Why did I have to take so many pills to keep myself from getting sicker that I needed an old people pill organizer? (Its true, and I still use it)

Then like a voice in the darkness….ew, thats creepy. Then like a spotlight slowly piercing a dark stage (I like that one) I heard a voice that sounded quite a bit like my mother yelling. I’m sick…so? No one is ruining my life, no one is making me eat everything in sight, no one has broken my legs so that I can’t run, my job sucked…the end, no one was holding me back from anything.

and the pills were a separate issue that would have to be discussed with my doctor. He was never too keen on me regarding his prescriptions as optional. Oops.

Anyway I digress.

With this newfound information I decided to take my life in to my own hands and perform a risky, drastic, move.

I’m incapable of risky drastic movements. Anyone who knows me knows I worry everything to death. The meal I cooked for dinner tonight (salmon patties if anyone is interested) took thought and preparation. So I thought and prepared for my next move. I made lists, I thought, I prayed, and I waited.

…and I eventually decided I couldn’t deal with it anymore and quit my job.

The months that followed were extremely trying and no matter how much I tried to put on a happy face I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t in anguish most of the time. I responded to my need to get healthy by getting fatter, my need for support by alienating what few friends I had, my need to be loved by thinking everyone hated me, and my need to be successful by trying as hard as I could to not be successful.

for nearly a month after I resigned from the Nowhere News I sat on the couch in my robe with my cat next to me (Did you know I have a cat? His name is Butch and he’s the cutest little booger ever) and flipped channels on the tv. I also ate, a lot. At this point the man still lived with us and he would wake up every day (he works at night) to find me on the couch with my rear imprinted on the cushions. Needless to say he was frustrated to see the Liz he met turn in to this walrus of a person who basically had to be thrown in to the shower to even consider bathing because it took so much effort.

I know, awful!! Who was this person!?!

For most of the month of February my self loathing persisted. I will not lie here, on my blog. I wanted to die. Well, I didn’t want to die as much as I just wanted my life to stop. I wanted people to stop inviting me to do things with them (can’t you see I just want to exist as a blob?) I wanted the dogs to stop coming up to me and nuzzling me to get me to let them outside, to feed them, to play with them, to come out of my funk and LIVE DANGIT! LIVE!!

The funny thing is during this period I was looking for a job. I had several interviews, some of them great some of them horribly lackluster. Unfortunately none of them led to actual offers of employment.

Toward the end of the month of February I was becoming strapped for cash. I had basically stopped spending money because I stopped trying to go out and do things but I still had things like credit card payments to make. I also was subsisting on mainly food from drive thrus (the thought of which makes me want to barf) so I needed a job so I could make money.

However I was in no such state as to hold a job. I was a mess. A fat, greasy, sloppy mess prone to fits of crying followed by fits of comfort eating.

I know, you all totally want to hang out with me.

and pardon me for airing my dirty illness laundry all over the place. There is a silver lining to this story and it is coming… in two parts. Mwuhahahahahaha!!!

At this point in the story the Man had moved out across town to this Manpartment and was living the bachelor life and I was at home with Mom and Dad (and Conner, Sammy, Maggie and Butch da Cat…yes, that is my cat’s name…what of it?) My parents worried about me constantly, my mom in her ‘stop stinking up my house! get off your ass and lets do something fun!’ way and my dad in his ‘um…are you dead…should I poke you with a stick?’ way. I cooked them dinner, cleaned the bathroom when I could get the energy (one bad thing about this sickness is I go from Full to Empty as quick as the gas gauge on my SUV, its hard to keep a constant energy level so I often have the best of intentions but can’t accomplish everything…sometimes anything. My parents worried, my sister worried, the Man worried, the K worried, everyone worried…but there was nothing anyone could do. If I chose to spend the rest of my life in a ball on the couch, so it would be.

Little did I know my life was about to change, due to something I had given up a long time ago.

I was lying on the couch watching tv (surprise) when my mother walked in and asked if I’d like to do a show with her.

Normal Liz would respond “Oh boy! Would I ever! I love to do shows! You know, at one point I wanted to be a stagehand but that didn’t happen but wow!!! I’d love to do a show!”

So you can bet that’s not what happened. I looked at her like she’d just told me Lebron James had moved to the Miami Heat–wait that actually happened. Anyway, I looked at her and said “I can’t do a show…”

“Why?”

“I don’t know how….”

The flames of hell arose in my mother’s eyes as she pressed the button to call the steward back and inform her that both of us would be working the show on Wednesday and we would both be serving in the wardrobe department.

I had not, at this point worked a show in a year and a half. The last show I worked I was probably 180 pounds and had highlighted hair and was generally awesome which could not be farther from the way I felt going in to this one.

So much had happened since the last time I could call myself a stagehand. What would I do? How would I act? How would I answer questions…WHAT DID I GET MYSELF IN TO?

What indeed?

What indeed Liz?

For the answer to this question and so much more tune in tomorrow for Liz’s Big Adventure Part 2.

(I watch scifi until my eyes bleed and thats the best to be continued I could come up with.

To Be Continued)