Take What You Need

There's a little part of me that feels like I shouldn't be writing about this. It's not fair to the other party, the people who don't write about everything in their lives. But there's a bigger part of me that thinks, f*ck that. I am a writer, a big deal happened to me, and I need to f*cking write about it on here. So forgive me. I’m done caring about what other people think. 

I feel like I've had a lot taken from me these past few weeks. My time, my energy, and some days even my will to live. The week before last was a disaster, so this past week I decided to take each day as it came. On Monday, I embraced the fact that I was at work all alone, and cleaned my desk among other solitary productive activities. On Tuesday, I finally talked to my boss about the adjustment I’ve been wanting to make to my work schedule. And…she said yes? I’m still dumbfounded at the fact that all I had to do was tell her what was going on and ask for what I needed, and it happened. Starting May 1st, I’ll be working M-F with Wednesdays from home with weekends off.  

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So the start of the week was pretty victorious. But by Wednesday, things started to feel unsteady again. There’s no easy way to say this, it’s awkward and whatever, but I’m going to tell the truth here. I started to feel anxious in my apartment. I don’t do well with things left unsaid. I have to speak my mind, or I literally get sick. Some might say I don’t have a filter. I don’t think that’s true. I just don’t have a filter for the important things, the things that need to be said. I don’t like to stew in unspoken feelings. But we had been, and the energy of that just got to be too much for me. On Thursday, I dreaded going back to the apartment after work. When I arrived, I just stood there, alone in the middle of the living room, physically shaking with anxiety. I cried, and hastily packed a bag, just in case I really was unable to sleep there that night. Then I went to Eli’s house. Everything sort of blew up after that. I felt attacked, scared, terrified and sad for the future. I didn’t want to move home. But that appeared to be the only option. I sat on Eli’s floor and cried my eyes out. Because I honestly can’t bear to go back to having our entire relationship take place in a car. I work too hard, too many hours while also still in school, for that. But it was evident that that was the right thing to do. I slept at Eli’s house on Thursday night. Friday morning, I started piling my things into my car. The more time passed on Friday, the less sad and angry I felt, and the more I felt like I was doing the right thing.

That night, I went to therapy, and he told me that it was definitely the right move. (Pun intended.) After therapy Eli and I came back to my apartment and started packing my belongings. The room was nearly empty in no time. Saturday morning, (by some miracle this was the weekend I was working 1:30-9 on Saturday instead of my usual 9:30 to 5) my dad and brother came out and started moving everything. We were out by 12. As I drove away, I felt nothing other than that I had made the right decision. I need space at this moment. Now, I’m sitting here in my bed, in the room I lived in for the first ten years of my life, and things don’t look so bad. 

 I will miss this cat more than anything else.

I will miss this cat more than anything else.

I took what I needed this week. In the span of one week I asked for (and got) what I needed at work, and I completely changed my living situation. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like everything is totally peachy right now. It is hard to go back to my parents house, both in terms of pride and logistically for me and Eli. But it was right, because I already feel like this incredible weight has been lifted off my shoulders. That’s where it was all piling up this week. This heavy, unshakeable tension in my shoulders and back. It’s starting to unknot now. I go to work, and I feel like I have more energy, because I know I have more space coming my way very soon. It’s easier to make it through these next few weeks of my normal schedule now that I know a change is on the horizon. Additionally, when I go home I feel so much lighter. Sure, there are a few un-fun things about living with your family at 21. But quite honestly, the pressure and worry here is so much less than it has been at the apartment these last few weeks.

Yesterday, I spent some time at home in the morning. I talked to my parents about a lot of things. I took a bath (!!!), and I cleaned my room a little bit. Then I went to Eli’s for some Easter celebrations with them, and I didn’t really think about the week ahead. I didn’t dread going into work today, and I didn’t have to think about what other people were going to think when I walked through the door of my own space. I didn’t worry. For the first time in months, I moved through my day lighthearted and carefree. (That’s a quote from my favorite Deepak Chopra meditation, btw.) These next few weeks don’t look so bad either, and I’m excited to see what I’ll be capable of when I’m not spending every second of every day worrying about what other people are thinking. These past few weeks and months, I feel like I’ve spent all my time running around putting out fires. They’re not necessarily extinguished now, but it’s like… I’ve called the fire department, and now I don’t have to concern myself with it. 

Saturday night, Eli and I finally booked a vacation. We’ve been talking about it for months now, but we finally settled on something and committed to making it happen. We hemmed and hawed over the money for a second, but after sleeping on it we both realized that we need it. My therapist recently said that he worries we spend all of our time problem solving, and not enough time actually having fun. And he’s right. Looking back on these last few weeks, that is pretty much all we’ve done, aside from the few moments of binge-watching The Office and the occasional yoga practice together. But in truth, it’s been a while since we’ve felt completely at ease and able to relax. I think this change has already taken so much pressure off the both of us, and I only see it getting better from here. I am excited and looking forward to the future. To finding a new apartment alone, getting myself a cat and being at peace there with Eli. But to be honest, and I’m not guaranteeing this won’t change, I’m feeling okay about where I am at this very moment. Sure, it’s not ideal to be home. But I’m saving, and I’m safe, and I’m closer to work and Eli and I are so much stronger now both in ourselves and our relationship, that I believe we’ll be able to make it work. I am finally at peace, and ready to rest up after this volcanic period of change.

-Fran