The Last of the Year of Firsts

This week the year of firsts came to an end; first Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc. without my mom. It was a bittersweet day on Wednesday, relief knowing the first year, which I had always thought would be the most difficult, and sadness knowing I had gone a whole year without being able to talk to my mom the way I used to. There was also a sense of pride in knowing I had come through it pretty much intact as well. Yes, I’ve had my moments of being puddled on the floor, but I’ve discovered that those moments pass and that I’m strong enough to go on with my life. I’ve learned a lot about myself this year, and it’s been the most important education of my life. I think the main lesson has been the need to not give into the fear of the unknown. There were so many times during my transcription course when I didn’t think I could go on, it was too hard, and I just doubted myself so much it nearly paralyzed me. But I also knew that my mom would want me to continue and fight through it, so I did, and now I’m working again. That’s been immensely important for my psyche and self-esteem.

When my mom died, I had largely shut myself off from the world because of my stuttering. Part of the reason was that I had been so burnt out taking care of my mom, that I just didn’t have the energy to deal with my speech issues anymore. The other part was my neighbor who had brainwashed me into thinking I was disabled and unable to speak for myself. It was only after he assaulted me, which I now feel was an attempt to convince me that I was helpless to do anything about his advances because I needed his help in order to function, that I realized I had to stand on my own. Stuttering or not, I had to face the world head on and not hide anymore. I’ve had some missteps since then, but now I feel solidly on my own path to where I was meant to be. And even though I know my mom isn’t physically with me anymore, I know that no matter where I go, she is always with me in spirit. I know that even though she is far away, she is still closer than I think.

Life’s Rubber Band

Major life events become

Rubber bands wrapped

Around our life time.

As time passes

It can stretch

To make it

Seem like forever

And when it relaxes

The event

No matter how long ago

Seems like mere days

Have gone by.

Years may pass

Before the band

Loses its elasticity

And the event eases

Itself into real time.

Until that happens,

Humanity is stuck

In a limbo of

Push and pull

On our conscious memory.

Time seems to move fast

And slow all at once.

And we just drift with it.

 

One year ago today, my mom went into the hospital, for what would turn out to be, the last time. It’s another one of those firsts that I’ve had to face since my mom passed. I’m running out of time to have those first moments though. In five weeks it will be a year since she died. That in and of itself seems impossible. That day, her last in this house seems so long ago, yet it seems like it happened last week — such a strange sensation, to bounce from one distance of time to another. Somehow, I’ve found the strength to get through my first summer without her, the first fall, her birthday, holidays, all without her here. There have been moments of unbelievable pain and moments of peace where I’ve found some kind of acceptance. Even though pure acceptance has yet to materialize in my heart, I still can’t believe she’s gone and in some ways, now that so much time has passed, I can. And back and forth I go.

Caregiving’s Downside

The first week of my internship and I don’t think I’ve been this mentally exhausted in years. Not that I’m complaining. I’m not. I’m also feeling a sense of fulfillment I haven’t experienced in a very long time. I feel like I’m working for my future, which I didn’t feel when I was caregiving. But underlying all these emotions is a deeper sense of needing to catch up to all the time I lost while taking care of my mom. I try not to focus on it. I try to appreciate all the time I got to spend with my mom, but it’s hard when I look at my dwindling bank account and realize all the time I lost working and all the money I missed out on making. That’s definitely the biggest downside of caregiving, the financial impact. When your caregivee isn’t here anymore, and you are left alone with thoughts of imminent financial ruin. But, that’s why I’ve worked so hard to get my transcription certificate, so I can start earning money. I just hope I’m not too late to pull myself from the brink of the abyss.

Appeasing the Technical Gods

Today’s post is a little bit of ranting and a little bit of praying. As I’ve mentioned recently, I’ve been working on my final exam for my transcription course. It’s going reasonably well, I have two transcriptions left to complete and have around a B+ average overall. What has been driving me crazy, however, is all the technical difficulties and hiccups I’ve been facing. In transcription work, you are supposed to use a foot pedal to play, rewind and fast forward audio files. The first one I bought, stopped working every five minutes and I would have to uninstall it, reinstall it, restart my computer, and several other steps. It didn’t take too long to do, but it just got old really fast. So, I thought, “I’ll just get a new one.” The second one I bought kept fast forwarding the audio every time I stopped the audio. Exasperated, I decided to forgo the foot pedal and just work the recording by hand. Problem solved. Not ideal for when I start working because working the audio playback manually slows down my time, but for now it works. I thought everything would be smooth sailing. But the technical gods had been offended by something I had done because now I’ve been having keyboard troubles. The one I’m using now is solar powered. The area where my desk is in a dark corner, so I have a tippy little light that shines down on the keyboard to keep it powered. The lamp is so tippy; I have a book resting on it as a counterbalance. I ordered a wireless keyboard to replace the solar one. When I started to use it the spacebar didn’t work half the time. So, I ordered another keyboard. I got it yesterday, and it won’t work at all. Needless to say, the frustration level in my house is at an all-time high right now.  I find myself bouncing between laughing at the ridiculous of it all and crying due to the pressure I’m putting myself under to finish these exams so I can start working and earning money. I wonder what I have done to piss the technical gods of to such a degree. I also wonder what I can do to appease them again. Maybe sacrifice one of the keyboards under the light of the next full moon? I don’t know. What I do know is that I need my technical luck to change and fast. So, if you guys could send some positive vibes my way, it would be immensely appreciated.

Happy Blogoversary to Me

Today is exactly one year since I posted my first blog entry. When I first started, I had a vague idea of what I wanted to share with the world. Some of it survived the first year, while other ideas died a rapid death (earworm interpretation, ring any bells?). It’s funny how this year can feel like it lasted a lifetime and also as though it passed in the blink of an eye. So much happened in my life. The biggest thing, of course, being the passing of my mother in May. I lived with her for 13 years and was her full-time caregiver.
Losing her was a profound loss for me and adjusting to living alone for the first time in my life has been extremely hard and will continue to be a challenge moving forward into 2019. I’ve been so thankful to have my blog. It has been a place where I can go and be creative or write about what is going on in my life. I feel safe here, and that’s a beautiful sense to have. This blog has made me stop and take time to look at the world in ways I probably wouldn’t have if I weren’t in a more creative frame of mind. The poems I’ve written this year, I feel, have been some of my best work and I’ve been proud to post them here for you to read.  That’s one of the biggest things I learned in my first year as a blogger. When I first started, my goal was to post something every day. I quickly realized that when I tried to post something I wasn’t proud of I felt like I am giving my audience the respect you deserved. Posting something every day isn’t what’s important. What is essential is being patient with myself and creating something I can be proud of.

This year will hold even more changes for me. I’m actively looking for transcription jobs to help support myself while turning my attention more towards writing stories, poems, and books for publication. I want to share my creativity on a broader stage and hopefully gain more followers here as well. I’m so excited to see where this journey takes me this next year, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

Checking In

I’m just checking in.

To tell you all how I’ve been

I keep surfacing for air

And looking here and there

To see if the grief is gone

To see if life can go on.

But grief’s a cheeky bugger

And not much of a hugger

He tends to sneak up on me

From behind where I cannot see

So I quickly dive back down

Trying to find smiles in all the frowns

And try to be patient with me

Because that’s what mom would want to see.

Detached from Time

As some of you know, last Wednesday I underwent carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist. My recovery has gone quite smoothly, and my pain is pretty minimal unless I’m not thinking and do something stupid like turn a doorknob. The surgery itself went very well, I’m still not used to anesthesia though and closing my eyes and waking up an hour later still unnerves me. This time though it totally discombobulated me from the passage of time. I was able to listen to music during my procedure and when I went under I was listening to a specific song. When I woke up afterward, you guessed it, the same song was playing again; given the fact that my brain was still loopy from the drugs I had a hard time realizing the procedure was over. Not even the reality that I was no longer in the operating room and back in recovery could make me believe my surgery, was in fact, done. The very patient post-op nurse finally had me look at my hand and upon seeing my mummified Oompa Loompa hand (thanks Betadine) did my brain de-fog enough for me to realize that it was in fact over. Lying there in recovery, I found myself thinking about how being unconscious whether during normal sleep or during surgery, we become detached from time itself. Minutes and hours become meaningless, we just exist in a stream of time where nameless moments pass without our knowing. These deep thoughts were soon replaced with the gnawing in my stomach reminding me that I hadn’t eaten in 12 hours. I ate something, they monitored me for a while longer and then sent me home to recuperate.

Prepping for Surgery

Greetings Morning Glories,

You may have noticed I haven’t been posting on a regular basis during the past week or so. I’m getting ready to have carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist, so I’ve been busy getting last minute projects done in anticipation of only having one good hand for several weeks. I had my right wrist operated on in 2016, it was an instant success, but taking care of my mother with one hand proved to be very difficult, so I’ve been putting off having the left one done. As a result, now my left hand is always numb and tingling, and even though my anxiety over having surgery (even minor such as this) is through the roof, I am looking forward to finding relief from these symptoms. I’ll try to post a few more times before the big day next week and then take some time off to recover.