Monday, December 21, 2020

Holidailies Day 21: Survey 2.0

I am again tired and totally out of ideas for things to write. So we get another survey, though for kicks and giggles this is one that I filled out in 2009 on Facebook so I'm going to be putting my new answers in like, bold text or something like that. We'll see.

A - Available: yes (No, very married.)

A - Age: 19 (31)

A - Annoyance: people who dislike others immediately without even getting to know them (Currently, people who seem to want to torpedo other people's lives for fun, like the government and selfish-ass anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers.)

B - Bestest Friend[s]: Jenn, Robyn, Megan, Rissa, Becca, and Tavis (Chris, Kimmy, Chava, Amanda)

B - Birthday: June 18th, 1989 (This has not changed)

C - Crush: Long story (I am now married, but how can you not have a crush on Antoni from Queer Eye, I ask you? He is too adorable for words. Chris agrees with me, so you know.)

C - Car: '91 Toyota Corolla that has seen better days, but still moves (2001 Subaru Legacy that has about 50 lives and still runs fine despite the haunted electrical system, and a 2004 Toyota Matrix that drives better than it looks...)

C - Candy: Reeses. (Reese's are the greatest good. Second up, sour gummy worms.)

D - Day or night: Night. Day tends to come too early. (I fully agree with this still)

D - Dream Car: MUSTANG!!!! (I really want a newer Subaru that I don't have to fix every 6-9 months or so, because Subaru's are just... amazing cars)

E- Easiest person to talk to?: Any of the aforementioned friends (Chris, which is helpful to our marriage.)

E- Eggs: none at all please (I have made my peace with scrambled eggs provided they have much cheese on them. Preferably also ham.)

F - Favorite Month: June (It's hard to top the birthday month, tbh)

F - Favorite color(s): Purple, Green, Blue and Brown. (I would stick to Green and Purple these days)

F - Favorite Memory: First time I held my nephews (& Getting married)

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Worms. Preferably sour (I said sour gummy worms above, yes? Yes.)

G - Giver or taker: Depends. I try to be a giver, but I don't always succeed (I still lean towards giver because I am very bad at graciously accepting things.)

H - Hair Color: Normally Brown, currently Red (Brown, with more gray in it after a couple of years of teaching full-time)

H - Height: 5' 1/2" (As far as I'm aware, I haven't grown or shrunk at all.)

H - Happy: right now, pretty. (Mostly? It's been a very long year and I'm having trouble feeling anything outside of exhausted)

I - Ice Cream: Cherry Garcia or Cookie Dough (Actually, I have moved away from Cookie Dough, but I do love Extreme Moose Tracks and anything that involves cherry.)

I - Instrument: Voice and piano (a little) (Less piano, still voice sorta, mostly ukulele these days)

J - Jewelry: Cross necklace, wristband (if that counts), and currently penguin earrings (Celtic trinity necklace, tungsten wedding ring, a pewter Claddagh ring with a green plastic "gem," silver Celtic knot ring). 

J - Job: Not currently. (Independent tutor and teacher, working on picking up some substitute gigs too.)

J - Jail: never, and don't plan to go (Have never even been to one, I don't think)

K - Kids: eventually. Preferably husband first. (Well, spouse, but yes. Eventually. When we have enough money to pay for our own lives AND someone else's.)

K - Kickboxing or Karate: Neither? (Neither, but I would love to learn kickboxing.)

K - Kindergarten: was at home, just like every other grade (Is a very cute age group to work with?)

L - Longest Car Ride: 2 1/2 week road trip (In one day? 17 hours. Overall, I think 2.5 weeks is still the record for a road trip.)

M - Milk Flavor: Chocolate (also, does Irish Cream creamer count?)

M - Most missed person: Jenn and Robyn!!! (Currently? Kimmy cause pandemics are The Worst)

M - Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean 1 and all 3 Lord of the Rings (Yeah, still pretty much. Maybe also Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

N - Number of Siblings: 4 (3 living, now)

N - Number of Tattoos: 0 (but I wish I had one) (2, one on my right ankle and one on the inside of my right arm)

N - Name: Alanna Kathryn Fairbairn (this also has not changed, since Chris took my last name)

O - ONE WiSH: Things to be less complicated (Lack of debt and/or functional health insurance)

O - One Phobia: Dark and stage fright (Still very much not a fan of the dark)

O - One regret: A great deal of what happened a year ago (Not following up when the resources person at my college asked if I'd ever been tested for ADHD in 2010)

P- Pet Peeves: People who are ignorant and choose to remain so (People who believe "freedom" gives you the right to be an asshole without repercussions.)

P- Part of your appearance you like best?: Hair (I enjoy my eyes and my smile)

P- Part of your personality?: Absolutely bloody insane. :D (Creativity)

Q- Quote: "Don't tell the elf." "Not a word" ("In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams)

Q- Quick or Slow: Quick, when it comes to computers (Most of the time I enjoy that my brain moves quickly, but sometimes I wish it would slow down so I could catch up)

R - Reason to smile: Seeing school people again (The year is almost over?)

R - Reality TV Show: American Idol!!!!!!!!!!! (JANUARY 13!!!!) (Great British Bake Off. So good. So pure.)

R - Reason to cry: Life (My bank account)

S - Song Last Heard: Um... something on the radio (Currently listening to a song called "The Dye Sky" by JolÄ— on a Spotify playlist)

S - Season: Summer, def (Spring, as it tends to be less skin-melting than summers where I live now.)

S - Shoe: sneakers (Salomons or Sanuks)

T - Time you woke up: Sometime around 8:30. About the earliest I've woken up all break (Sometime before 10 but after 8ish? I don't know. My phone was plugged in on the other side of the room and I kept trying to go back to sleep.)

T - Time Now: 7:17 pm (10:36 PM)

T - Time for bed: sometime before midnight, cause I have stuff to do tomorrow (Um, as soon as I finish this because it's been a long day and I have had to people a lot.)

U - U love someone: Yes, many someones. As friends. (I definitely love Chris. And also many friends.)

U - Unpredictable?: I can be. Other people most certainly are (Ha. Hahaha. Hahahahaha. Yeah. Pretty much.)

U - Underwear: is generally a good thing. No matter what some girls think (Oof, some internalized misogyny Past Me? I would only wear boxers from TomboyX if I had the money to fully replace my current stash.)

V - Vegetable you hate: Cauliflower... yeck (I still agree with Cauliflower)

V - Vacation spot: That I've been to? Disneyland. That I want to go to? The British Isles (Anywhere that has beaches, tbh)

W- Worst Habits: I mess with my nails, picking, biting etc. (I just read this and was like, *cough*ADHDsymptoms*cough* but anyways... currently, anything that involves making impulse purchases.)

W- Where are you going to travel next?: School. But past that I dunno. (Travel? That's still a thing? I honestly have no idea.)

W- Weather right now: freezing, especially since my father left the door open when he went out to the car to get stuff (Cold, and was kinda foggy, but not as bad as it was in the Valley)

X - X-Rays: when I hurt my foot... that was FUN! (And at the dentist and chiropractor now)

Y - Year you were born: 1989 (This also is a fixed data point)

Y - Year it is now: 2009 (2020)

Why is there no Z? Zebras! Zoos! Tigers! Something like that... 

Until tomorrow,


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Holidailies Day 20: I Love My Fidget Cube

I love my fidget cube. That's it. That's the post.

Oh, more reasons? Well currently I'm off my meds because of the aforementioned government system fuckery, so I am sliding between relatively normal functionality and being All Over The Place (also realizing just how much the meds usually suppress my appetite). So when I was working with my students today over Zoom, the fidget cube that I just re-found in the moving process was a lifesaver because it helped me be slightly more focused. 

As for the rest of the day, I've just been keeping it close and occasionally pausing to sit and just mess with it until my brain feels like it can focus on just like, 5 things, not 15 at any given time.

It's not much, but it's enough that I managed to do laundry and cook (and do dishes, miracle of miracles) today as well as some more unpacking. But it's not enough to extend to writing anything more than this right now, so hopefully, tomorrow will have a little more writing focus in the cards.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, December 19, 2020

Holidailies Day 19: Duck Appreciation


It occurred to me that one of the stated purposes of this blog is Duck Appreciation, and that has been painfully absent up to this point. So the following will be some beautiful pictures of ducks that I have just now Googled.

Before that, a quick moving update! I got the absolute last of our stuff out of the house today and we are officially finally fully out. And the fact that I literally showed up to make the final dump run/pick-up of the big items that wouldn't fit in the other loads about 10 minutes before the owners showed up to fix some stuff was only slightly awkward since we were supposed to be out Wednesday... But it's done! Now we just get to... sort... and unpack... *cries*

Anyways, ducks!

Duck with hair!


"NED! Stop trying to pick a fight with the geese!"

Blow up duck!

"Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope!"

And of course, the ultimate Duck Themed Prank.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Holidailies Day 18: I Swear, This Stuff Multiplies

... Is what I've been saying every time I go to the Davis house and there's still SOMEHOW STILL STUFF THAT WON'T FIT IN THE CARS!

Like. I could have sworn we would get it all moved Wednesday. Nope. Then Chris was there yesterday to paint and took a full car-load up. So theoretically there was about another load left there for me to pick up today. One trip and one and a half cars loaded (Aunt Cindy got back into town and drove her car, which has minimal cargo space but took a bunch of light, little stuff) and there was still big stuff that wouldn't fit in my Subaru. At this point, I'm realizing it might have been cheaper to rent a truck for a day and just do a couple of loads worth to get everything, but you know, hindsight and all. 

Anyways, tomorrow will *hopefully* be the last of it, but I have to get up early to do it because the owner is coming to make sure we actually got everything out at like, 11, and I have a student to teach at 12. And I have to make (hopefully only one) dump run and then load up the last of the big stuff. That's the plan. 

Note to self, next time, don't move when you can't borrow a truck from people for longer than a couple of days, because my Subaru has a ton of cargo space for a car, but still can only take so much.

Until tomorrow,


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Holidailies Day 17: Paperwork

[Fair warning, this post may get a little ranty, which will probably mean it will also get sweary, so if that's not your deal... Tomorrow is another day!]

I hate paperwork so fucking much. I didn't even have to do that much of it today, but I now know that much is in my future because of course, why wouldn't it be?

We have had MediCal benefits for the last couple of months, as well as EBT food benefits which have been great. Buying food is my favorite. We were not doing all that much of it for almost a month while the paperwork processed.

But with MediCal, I was having way more issues. Last time I was on it - when we lived in Roseville - I found out I could get Kaiser because I'd previously had Kaiser. And Kaiser is not great, but I could still get appointments in a few weeks if needed, as opposed to waiting months for just the initial intake appointment let alone anything specialized.

When we got back on MediCal this year, I was like, great, I know I can get Kaiser in this area because I had it for work, I just need to get back on it... no. Apparently, it wasn't that easy, but it was right at the 6 months of Pandemic Mark, everything was terrible, and I did not have the mental or emotional energy to engage with any level of automated phone systems and bureaucratic nonsense at the time, so I let it slide. I lived in hope that whenever I did manage to get my brain around to dealing with it, I'd be able to find my way through.

BUT THEN! We needed to move. And right before we moved, I had a very intense November of writing which I was not fully anticipating, and so ended up doing the bare minimum in terms of dealing with paperwork things. And then at the end of last week, right as we're about to jump into weeks of moving madness, I realize... I'm about to run out of my depression meds, which are also meds that help me sorta kinda manage my ADHD. At like the barest level, which is why I want to get better ones eventually, but like, it's better than nothing?

I look at my prescription. No refills left. "Fuck," I think, and then because I had 50 million other things on my brain, I forgot to call during business hours every day until today. Three calls and an hour of waiting for a call-back later, I finally talk to a real person and she tells me that, 1) I should probably just go to an urgent care doctor of some sort and beg them for a new prescription, which means more calling around and more paperwork for a new doctor, but like, I can do it because I need to, because otherwise I go off my meds for an indeterminate amount of time right in the middle of the holidays and moving and ramping up teaching stuff and none of that is easier to do when I'm not on medication. The only reason I had any left for most of this week is because I started stretching them out to half a dose a day just to try and get through. And now I have found that I will have to do all of the calling and paperworking and explaining without them because fuck everything.

Then she tells me the second piece of news, which is that apparently we're going to be out of the coverage area in our new place, which I wasn't anticipating because it's not that far away from the closest hub for Kaiser, but whatever. It means that I'll have to find a new health network again, and get another new doctor, and potentially wait months for an intake appointment, and generally have to jump through a ton of hoops to get any sort of mental health care. And good luck finding a doctor who isn't going to tell me that maybe my mental fatigue and inability to focus when I'm tired is because of a thyroid issue that has never been supported by the blood tests, but what else could it be because I'm fat? It couldn't be ADHD or anything like that. That's totally not in the realm of possibility. My weight must be the only answer.

Anyways, so that's something I get to deal with tomorrow because I got distracted by the next thing on my list. It's another fun thing I get to deal with, figuring out how to get benefits switched from county to county because I could have sworn last time they told us to call the county we were moving to first, but when I called Placer County they told me to call Yolo first. At which point I had about 20 minutes until my next student of the day and had lost all of my fucks to give, so I just gave up and spent the next 20 minutes trying to bring myself down from the screaming and crying level of emotion into something that could reasonably deal with a 13-year-old student without reverting to my 13-year-old self in response. 

Me right now

I just... There are so many pieces of this whole process that are beyond shitty and frustrating, and I am very glad that I don't have to pay for health insurance when I'm this poor, or like, roll into an ER just to get my damn depression meds, but also there has got to be a better way to handle this. Whoever decided to make this system as clunky as possible to discourage people from using it did an fucking admirable job.

Until tomorrow,


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Holidailies Day 16: Cleaning

Short post, because today is the final day that Chris and I have to work on the house together, and we have to do All The Cleaning. So I'm trying to do all my daily stuff before I leave, cause I suspect that we will be there until very late and will not have the energy when I get back to Roseville, even if I get back before midnight.

On the plus side, if we reach the goal, we will be well and truly done and then can finally move on to... focusing on unpacking and organizing in our new place, and sorting through and repacking all of the storage stuff in Roseville that we just tossed in boxes so they could be moved over the last couple of days. *cries*

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Holidailies Day 15: Muscles

 I have them, it turns out. They were a little bit taken aback by being pressed into service after a fairly sedentary pandemic to date. I have been properly hungry multiple times over the last few days, like the hunger of one who has actually worked hard and whose muscles need some proteins and electrolytes to survive. It's a weird feeling after months of just being like, "oh, it's been [some amount of time] since I ate, I should probably like, do that or something."

Another thing about muscles is that they tend to yell a lot after the first days of using them, and even more so when you use them consistently. Which is to say that my leg muscles especially are doing the thing where every time I sit for longer than like, 5 minutes, getting up is no small task because of the soreness. 

The other benefit of hitting my steps goal consistently for the first time in months is that I can sleep relatively well, even though I'm currently not sleeping on my preferred bed. The problem is waking up, and mustering up enough energy to process any information at a speed other people deem reasonable. This is proving difficult, and means that keeping my executive functions, well... functioning, is a monumental task because holy crap it takes a lot of mental energy to process multiple tasks all in a row. 

The other good news is hopefully after tomorrow we will be done. I will be taking care of the backyard, we only have one more room and a couple of closets to finish clearing out (we ran out of car space despite having two cars with good capacity), and then we just have to Clean Everything. That's all. Though, at least it's not nearly as much of Carrying All The Things which has been what most of the last 5 days have been. 

Until tomorrow,


Monday, December 14, 2020

Holidailies Day 14: The Moving Saga Continues

Well, we are sort of closer to getting stuff fully out of the place we are *technically* supposed to be out of by tomorrow and getting it cleaned. Thank God the owners told us that the new tenant isn't going to start moving stuff in until next week, so it gave us a bit of leeway. But tomorrow will be the last big push because after that both Chris and I have work things that will interrupt the days and reduce our amount of time to work on it.

In reality, we probably have about 7/8s of the stuff out. The stuff that's left is a lot of stuff that falls into the trash category and stuff that just hasn't been sorted enough to say "this is definitely going to this location." We did get most of our pantry food moved and put away tonight, plus I unpacked ONE WHOLE SUITCASE of clothes. Considering that almost all of my other possessions are scattered around in various bags, suitcases, boxes, and locations, having just a few things fully put away feels like a very big win. I will take whatever I can get at this point.

We did go a little bit slower overall today. It ended up being more of a recovery day, where we got some more things sorted and did important things like return our internet router to the Xfinity store so we don't keep getting charged for it. We got another load of stuff up to the house we're storing extra stuff in and organized some of the boxes in their final resting place and took another load of stuff up to the place we're actually living. The hope is that tomorrow will be almost all the stuff that's going to storage, and we've almost got all the stuff we're taking with us (except for fridge and freezer stuff because we have not had an opportunity to deal with it). 

Meanwhile, I'm staying in the house we're storing things in because the cats are here but my aunt is not, and we're trying to minimize their trauma after being bounced between houses twice this year (once from February-mid March, and then from mid-April until now). Lorelai just yells at both me and Chris every time we come in and move stuff around, just making her unhappiness well known. Izzy has so far hidden anytime anyone except me is here, even Chris, cause, you know, every time Chris has been here we're moving stuff and generally being loud. 

Chris is staying in our new home so they can organize some of their stuff and leave more room for me to maneuver my stuff around when I get up there. Eventually, at the end of the week, I will get to spend a long weekend up at the new place and hopefully fully unpack because that will make me feel much better about life, overall. But part of the reason we're getting (blessedly) free storage at my aunt's is that I am cat sitting whenever she needs it, so I will be splitting time between houses and staying in my old room in my old bed, which makes me really glad that we didn't give away the first real adult mattress I ever purchased because now I have a really nice mattress I know I like in both places. 

Anyways, it's late, and I have other writing things to do still, plus Duolingo will yell at me if I put it off much longer. Plus this is a bit rambly. But hey, at least I had the brain power to be rambly. The last couple of days I couldn't even muster up that much.

Until tomorrow,


Sunday, December 13, 2020

Holidailies Day 13: Exhaustion

What do you get when you spend multiple days packing up stuff, then a full day and a half rush packing and moving All The Furniture, followed by a day of moving the "smaller" stuff which is actually harder cause it requires more walking? 
A very tired Hobbit who cannot write short sentences, clearly.
Also a hobbit whose blogging site is doing weird formatting things that she cannot figure out. There has been too much figuring out and thinking tonight.
Until tomorrow,

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Holidailies Day 12: Moving Day

So much stuff. Takes way longer when you're trying to keep the number of people involved at the minimum. Very tired.

Until tomorrow,


Friday, December 11, 2020

Holidailies Day 11: Prompted

Welcome to Holidailies Day 11, the day in which I am so strapped for ideas that I decide to answer a writing prompt that I gave one of my tutoring students today!

List 10 places in the world that you would most like to visit, 10 places you’ve been, and 10 places you would never want to go.

10 Places I Would Most Like To Visit:

  1. Scotland. Just. All of Scotland. A whisky distillery tour perhaps?
  2. Stonehenge.
  3. Washington D.C. when there isn't a pandemic on and a madman in the White House.
  4. Germany, specifically the area where Chris grew up so I can see all the places they tell me stories about.
  5. Cyrpus, for the same reasons (and because visiting Chris's family would be fun)
  6. Florence, Italy. I've been to Rome and Venice, but we didn't have time to stop in Florence on that trip. 
  7. New Zealand (cause... Hobbiton, and also a really cool history)
  8. Dublin, Ireland.
  9. This is *technically* multiple places, but an American Ballpark Trip, going to games at all the MLB parks.
  10. The Philipines, to visit the family we still have there.
10 Places I've Been:
  1. Rome and Venice, Italy
  2. Ancient Ephesus and Izmir, Turkey
  3. Athens, Greece
  4. Dubrovnik, Croatia (all of these four on the same trip, mind)
  5. Many of the roadside attractions along Route 66
  6. NYC, specifically Manhatten.
  7. Yosemite, CA
  8. Carlsbad Caverns, NM
  9. San Francisco, CA (many times)
  10. Twain Harte, CA (also many, many times)
10 Places I Would Never Want to Go:
  1. To any desert in the world for longer than a week, lest I shrivel from the lack of water for my soul.
  2. To Trump Tower (again, I was there once when I was NYC, in like... 2003).
  3. Golfing. Because why.
  4. To Chavez Latrine... I mean, Ravine, when the Giants aren't playing there (if I could skip it on the ballpark tour, I would, but I'm too much of a completionist)
  5. Anywhere that I would be expected to skydive or bungee jump.
  6. A mythical hellish world where country music plays 24/7
  7. Same as above but substitute the same 25 pop Christmas songs that play every year, on a loop.
  8. A nightclub (dark and hard to see, people all up in my personal space, music so loud I can't hear myself think... *shudder*).
  9. An NFL football game.
  10. Backwards. 
Until Tomorrow,

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Holidailies Day 10: Moving On, Or Something

As I mentioned in (I think) the first post of the month, we are in the process of moving which has been a super fun task to undertake in the middle of a pandemic. 0/10, do not recommend.

The problem is, we don't really have a choice. When we moved out of my aunt's place just over a year ago we had the financials all worked out and for like, the first time in my adult life, I knew I could pay all the bills consistently every month and still have money for food. It was (and is) an incredibly good deal for rent compared to the rest of the area, for a nice place, and eventually we were even able to move the cats here - one of the main reasons I haven't hated every second of being stuck at home, TBH. 

But when I lost my job and then consistently was not finding work, it kinda became a question of not "can we pay rent" but like, "which bills do we pay while begging forgiveness from the landlords and promise to try to figure something out." Which is incredibly demoralizing, let me tell you, especially in a life where I've felt like I've only occasionally been able to overcome my own personal mental health hurdles and find stability.

Plus, I really like the Davis area and I feel like I got zero time to explore it because I was already two weeks into my full-time, all-encompassing job when we moved, and then when I didn't have to work All Of The Times it was because we weren't supposed to be going out and doing things. It's really frustrating that I never got the opportunity to find that balance where I could enjoy the community and also be making enough money to live here. 

Now, I am 100% super grateful for the solution we found. It works well for all involved, it's an actual Godsend for us budget-wise, and there is a part of my heart that lives in the CA foothills where we'll be living so I'm excited to be surrounded by Trees and Not Flat Ground after living in Delta. It may even be better for us in some ways, honestly. Plus, we managed to find someone to take over the lease from us starting literally the day after we are officially out, so we will owe zero extra rent for the time that we're not living here which is such a relief.

I'm just also sad. I'm sad that most of my books will be living 45 minutes away, and that we have to make lists of everything we own so we know if we have something in storage and don't end up with duplicates of things (and also so my ADHD self can remember that items stashed away in closets do actually still exist). 

[rant] Okay, and I'm just a little bit pissed off at everyone who has made really spectacularly dumb decisions about the pandemic. I'm flat out furious at the people who are blocking aide that could have not only made it possible for us to like, pay rent for a couple more months while we figured some stuff out, or for more people to stay home so we could beat this thing further. I'm so fucking frustrated that I apparently just never get to job search when we're NOT in the middle of a recession of historical proportions, and even more so because so much of this could have been avoided had people cared enough to do shit instead of trying to weasel away more power for themselves. [/rant]

Tomorrow we send the first round of stuff up to storage, and Saturday we start moving all the stuff we're keeping with us, and I'm going to miss this place. Hell, I've barely left this house since March since Chris has been the one working outside of the house for the most part. Particularly during the wildfires, which was extra horrible this year, and kept me inside for about a month straight because even just going out to put out the trash made me nauseous and gave me a headache for hours afterward. It's incredibly surreal to suddenly just... not be in the place that has been my haven in the midst of chaos. 

I don't really know how to end this, other than to say I'll probably be posting short stuff the next few days because we have to move everything and then clean everything to make sure we get the most out of our security deposit. Or maybe I'll just write longer posts to give myself an excuse to sit down for a break. Who knows. 

Until Tomorrow,


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Holidailies Day 9: Survey Says

Last night's post was A Lot, so tonight I'm reverting to my 12-year-old self and filling out one of these old surveys. I pulled it off of this Tumblr page if anyone is interested in reliving a key piece of pre-teen and teen Millennial life.

Name Your Favorite…

  1. Place: The beach
  2. Person: My spouse :)
  3. Color: Green
  4. Food: Chicken Fried Steak
  5. Smell: Petrichor
  6. Book: How much time do you have? Um... I'm currently reading a ton of Tamora Pierce stuff again. I have too many answers to this question.
  7. Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
  8. Music artist: Also an unfair question. I don't do just one type of music or one artist at a time. Sara Bareilles is pretty high on the list. Also Sleeping at Last.
  9. Genre of music: See above. I have been gravitating towards chill alt-indie-pop-folk-rock-ish stuff, cause *gestures at everything* That and nostalgic 90s and early-2000s pop, and 70s & 80s Acoustic stuff.
  10. Genre of literature: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Contemporary YA, and Romance.
  11. Magazine: I haven't sat down and read a magazine in... months.
  12. Texture: Cotton flannel sheets.
  13. Time of day: Late night.
  14. Day of the week: What even are specific days of the week? Um... in the before-times, Saturdays.
  15. Tumblr: Back in the day, I was big into Women's Soccer Tumblr so something around there probs.
  16. Thing to do when bored: Play video games on my phone or Switch, read, or listen to a podcast/audiobook while on the pixel coloring app on my phone.
  17. Celebrity: Mara Wilson is very entertaining to follow on Twitter. 
  18. Class in school: I miss going to school... I love taking any creative writing class, cause it usually pokes me out of my comfort zone.
  19. Website other than Tumblr: This is what I get for getting this off Tumblr... um... I spend the most time on Facebook and Twitter probs. If we're adding apps, I have recently found a lot of cool people on TikTok and the short videos please my ADHD brain muchly.
  20. Drink: Lagavulin 16-year Single Malt Scotch. Non-alcoholic, Virgil's Root Beer.
  21. Precious stone: Emeralds
  22. Animal: Tigers
  23. Flower: Roses
  24. Time in history: Medieval Europe
  25. Font: Merriweather font on Google Docs
  26. Video game: Of all time? The many iterations of Pokemon. Currently, Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley.
  27. TV show: Great British Baking Show.
  28. Play: I'm going to say that musicals count and say Wicked.
  29. Sound: Cats purring
  30. Fruit: Cherries
  31. Vegetable: Carrots
  32. Store/shop: Any bookstore, but preferably a cool independent one with character.
  33. Article of clothing you own: Leather Captain Marvel Bomber jacket
  34. Fashion/style: Jeans, t-shirt, plaid button-up over it if it's cold. 
  35. Pattern: Plaid
  36. Workout: Walking
  37. Quote: “I am and always will be the optimist, the hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.” ― Matt Smith
  38. Historical figure: Eleanor of Acquitaine
  39. Boy’s name: Aiden
  40. Girl’s name: Alianne
  41. Potato chip flavor: Plain or BBQ
  42. Meal of the day: Dinner
  43. Ice cream flavor: Cherry Garcia or Extreme Moose Tracks
  44. Soda: Dr Pepper
  45. Popcorn flavor: Kettle Corn
  46. Season: Spring
  47. Month of the year: June
  48. Word: Mendacious
  49. Disney princess: Belle
  50. Insult: Son of a motherless goat
  51. Joke: "I was wondering why the frisbee was getting bigger. Then it hit me."
  52. Cussword: Fuck. It's just so versatile.
  53. Letter: "A"
  54. YouTube channel: Vlogbrothers
  55. Eye color: Green
  56. Memory: Getting married.
  57. Dessert: Apple pie.
  58. Candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  59. Restaurant: Gus's Steakhouse in Sonora, CA
  60. Lifehack: Organizing drawers with small baskets or open bins.
  61. Language: I'm partial to English, but I love singing in Italian.
  62. Thing to learn about: History
  63. Thing about yourself: My stubbornness.

Until tomorrow,


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Holidailies Day 8: No Matter What (Part 3)

It's been a couple of days, so it's probably time for me to finish my story about coming out because otherwise, I will totally lose track of where I was and forget to wrap it up...

We left off in the summer of 2018 when I had finally decided that I was going to be okay if I let myself just be bisexual openly and I wouldn't restrict myself when looking at particular relationships. At that point, I had been hanging out off and on with this girl named Marie* for a little bit under a year.

Marie posted on Facebook at some point during the summer that they were planning on moving farther away from school to get out of a really horrific living situation, but would need a car to get to and from school for the first couple of weeks while they figured out bus schedules and all that. 

I saw it and messaged her about her using my old Subaru cause I had the use of my aunt's car for a few months. But it was a stick shift which she didn't know how to drive. Since she wasn't getting any other offers for cars that I knew of, I offered to teach her how to drive it over the summer. 

[Before I get into this part, a reminder that I was, in general, absolutely terrible at figuring out my own feelings for people - especially girls - and had no idea what was brewing at this point in time.]

This wasn't the first time I'd ever offered to teach someone how to drive stick, and wasn't even the first time I'd let them use my car. However, it was the first time that I did it without thinking about how *not* freaked out I was about someone else driving my car (I may have some control issues when I'm not the one driving the car...). 

If that wasn't enough evidence that something was suddenly different, I kept coming up with reasons to extend the times we hung out when we went for lessons. "Oh, there's traffic, we can hang out at this coffee shop/go to my house and watch TV for a couple of hours to wait for it to die down, totally."

I distinctly remember first getting an inkling of what was happening when I went down to the Bay Area for the day to help my little brother move to Santa Cruz for school. That year, after realizing how much I'd let basically all of my relationships fall to the wayside while I was working, I was making it a point to go down more often and be Present when I was down there. I spent the whole day messaging Marie through Facebook when we weren't actively moving things.

Soon after that, I decided to invite my friend Marie to my camp's Family Camp weekend over Labor Day. After all, I had been going there for years and had never really invited anyone up, just been content with hanging out with my camp people.

About a week before Family Camp, Marie was at my place watching Brooklyn 99 and we got to an episode with some jump scares. She *casually* cowered against me and I put my arm around her and then we sort of... stayed like that until she left a few hours later. 

At that point, my brain finally began to put all the pieces together because I knew that was definitely not in the category of "platonic friend behavior" for me, and I have been a fairly touchy person since college with people I'm close to. I texted my best friend and listed all the things that could mean that I like, "like liked" Marie. I came to the conclusion that I had actually fallen for someone who was also bisexual and had dated women and could potentially like me back. Which was a wild thing to consider like, a month and a half after I'd finally decided that God would still love me if I went that direction

So I was pretty excited and simultaneously freaking out because I couldn't figure out, "how do I even have this conversation?" 

It turns out I didn't have to worry a ton. It didn't really end up being a conversation. A few days later, Marie was over again and it got pretty late and we fell asleep on the couch together. When we woke up in the morning, the conversation went like so:

I just kinda popped out with, "well, I never thought that out of all my siblings, I'd be the last one to get a girlfriend." 

"Wait, so I'm your girlfriend?" 

"If you want to be?" 

"Well, yeah, I do."

And the rest was history. [Spoilers: We dated for about 5 months very intensely because neither of us is particularly good at doing things halfway, got engaged the day after Christmas, and then got married in early January of 2019 and have been happily married for almost two years now.]

Then came the slightly more nerve-wracking issues. See, there was a reason it had taken me over three years to process being bi and come to be okay with it. And a huge part of that was the knowledge that the chances of me losing a huge amount of my support system and chosen family were pretty high.

It started at Family Camp a few days later. Seeing as I had already invited Marie, and my parents and my younger brothers would be there, we decided she would come up with me (we had our first official date at Gus's Steakhouse in Sonora on the way up) and get to know my family for a couple of days while I slowly came out to my family. A few of my friends knew already because I'd come out to them while I was wrestling with everything. 

The positives: My family, for the most part, took it well, although I'm sure they will tell you it was a bit of a shock to get "hey, I'm bi, and also this is my girlfriend not just my good friend," all at once from their 29-year-old daughter/sister. My friends also welcomed her with open arms.

The negatives: I knew better than to come out to the camp as a whole. I knew full well that a good number of the leadership had voted multiple times against my right to exist and get married as a queer person, and if the years after 2016 taught me anything it was that even people who preach unconditional love can be really supremely unloving when it comes to certain issues. 

I did come out to the managers because I wanted to make my case for still being allowed to serve as a counselor and maintain the leadership roles I'd grown into over the years of working at the camp both as paid staff and as a volunteer. This is where it gets rough because I love the camp and had spent hours pouring my heart and soul into it especially with this particular couple because we meshed well spiritually and theologically. I considered them spiritual parents. And the one question I remember them asking me from that meeting is, "how do you know you're actually attracted to her, and it's not just like, another deep friendship." To which I replied, "because I've never really felt any particular desire to kiss any of my close female friends?" [Please, join me in imagining if we asked every straight couple "how do you know you're not just good friends?" and think about how well most people would take that.] In the end, the decision was that I could not continue in leadership or as a counselor because "they wouldn't know how to tell the parents."

[rant] Tell the parents what? That a daughter of the camp who had been going there every summer for 22+ years, who had been a counselor for multiple camps for almost 10 years - including just a couple of months earlier - was still going to be a counselor? That nothing fundamentally had changed about my abilities or my desire to mentor kids? Oh, just that I was suddenly publically out and (at that point) married to someone who was not a man. And this was somehow the most loving decision and not the one that would just help them cover their asses. [/rant]

It didn't stop there. The next step was coming out to people at my church, where I had - again - poured out my heart and soul in volunteer positions over the years though I pulled back significantly when I went back to school, and even more when the 2016 election happened and I didn't have a hard time guessing who had voted for a man who actively encourages homophobia. The only reason I'd stayed was that I found a group of younger people who were enough of a community to keep me coming back, some of whom were even queer and had come after the church started preaching an "Everyone Everywhere" motto.

The pastor who had initially told me it was possible for me to be queer and a Christian still and her husband were great, very welcoming. Some of my good friends from the school of leadership were also awesome and thrilled.

But there were those few people whose faces stilled when I introduced Marie as my girlfriend, as they tried to figure out how to respond without actively showing disappointment. Again, people I'd confided in, trusted, and taken advice from for years. It was enough to make me uncomfortable about bringing her again. 

Then we went to her church, a reconciling Methodist church and the first question the pastor asked us when Marie introduced me was, "oh, are you guys living together yet?" Which honestly, sold me on the church and community immediately. They had a great choir, and Marie had already been adopted as an honorary grandchild of a lot of them, so I gained that too. 

I cannot even begin to express how different it was to walk into a church and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one would challenge my faith just because I was queer. After years of freaking out about whether or not I could be faithfully LGBT, I had a community where the answer was a resounding "yes!"

In the end, I'm thankful for a lot of things on this journey. There were always individual people who were Christians and still accepted me unconditionally, even when I was unsure that it was a possibility. Chris is amazing and has been one of the only reasons I've survived this hellscape of a year. I feel way better about my life prospects with them in it.

The pain I felt was largely contained to losing my church home of 10 years and losing my camp. I went up to camp one more time the next summer to say goodbye to the managers who were leaving to take another job, just for a half-day, and that may very well be the last time I'll ever go up there. I do not feel welcome after everything that's happened with the Evangelical church in the last couple of years. Going to Methodist churches the last couple of years and seeing them actually living out Biblical charity and love instead of preaching about revolutionary love and turning on people when they step out of line has been an eye-opener for me. 

I don't really know how to end this other than to say that I do still consider myself a Christian, enough that I am incredibly grieved over the way some of my communities have gone the last few years. It's been a rough couple of years as places that were instrumental in my personal journey to acceptance of my queerness have revealed themselves to be actively homophobic and more than a little bit infested with white supremacy to boot. 

It's hard to claim that Bethel songs (including a Sean Feu*ht album) were the things that nourished my soul while I was searching when good ol' Sean-y boy goes around holding public temper tantrums about being made to care for other people in the form of "freedom of worship rallies" because it's so disgustingly selfish but I also fully understand how that theology can be twisted to behave that way. Meanwhile, Bethel starts a "Once Gay" ministry on the DL to try and pray the gay away which is just poorly veiled abusive conversion therapy. I can't in good conscience continue to worship using their songs because I had most of them on Spotify and I don't want to continue to pay them even pennies because their actions are a direct attack on my personhood. 

It's hard to give props to my old church for being mostly un-sucky about queer people (to some degree at least) when the pastor just got kicked off Facebook for spreading blatant misinformation about the pandemic in the name of "freedom of religion" and a bunch of people are crying persecution and censorship. It's hard to look at the people who taught you some of your most treasured lessons about being loving and unselfish and not reactive because you know who has your back, and wonder how they're the same people. 

Part of me wants to hold out hope that something will happen that will pull the scales off their eyes, but another part of me knows that trying to keep one foot in that world just means I get stepped on a lot and I can only take so much before I'm permanently injured. 

I am trying to find a version of Christianity that lets me be myself, the part of me that's queer, and the part of me that loves working at camps and in Sunday School, and the part of me that still wants to go to seminary someday because I genuinely love studying the Bible. At the very least, I still know one thing: God will continue to love me, no matter what, and when all else fails, that will continue to be what I stand on.

Until tomorrow,


*Marie goes by Chris now and uses they/them pronouns. They have given me permission to refer to them by the name and pronouns they had when I met them :)

Image is mostly just for when I share this, lol

Monday, December 7, 2020

Holidailies Day 7: Incomplete Lists

[This is much less of a polished idea and honestly more of a way to process the fact that it took me until I was 31 to finally get fed up enough with my inability to like, handle life at a consistent level and finally get someone to freaking test me for ADHD.]

 Ahhh, the incomplete list. *shudder* The horror. Inevitably, moving always starts with such good intentions. There are some days when it goes great, the list works, and I think, "why do I ever try to do something without a list? It always works so much better!"

Then some days I get sucked down a combination DeviantArt/Kindle Unlimited/TikTok hole for an entire day and don't remember the list exists until approximately 9 PM at which point I try to determine what, if anything, is still possible to do before I go to sleep or what needs to be done before midnight (yes, Duolingo, I will do my lesson before midnight, it just might be at like... 11:45, 'kay?).

Coincidentally, a large part of the TikTok part of the hole I fell down was watching stuff on how ADHD affects people's lives in different ways. Such as, you know, hyperfocusing and time blindness! Two things that have always deeply affected my entire life! Also executive dysfunction! Whoo hoo! *lolsob*

Consistency is really the big thing though, because like I said, sometimes, a list is exactly the thing that will help me cut through all the noise and just do the things. Sometimes it adds an extra hurdle for my brain to jump over before it can do the thing. I do not always know which it will be on any given day until I wake up. 

It's the lack of consistency that makes holding a job difficult, because if I can do the thing when I start that's not at all a guarantee of me being able to do it when I'm tired. I can mask for a good long time too, because I had to survive without the knowledge of what my brain was actually doing for 31 years. It just means when I do finally crash, I crash Real Hard and cannot do anything for like, days or weeks. So. Not ideal. To say the least.

Of all the things that have happened this year, learning this about myself has been simultaneously the most helpful and the most unsettling. I finally have an answer to questions like, why the idea of sorting through papers sometimes makes me want to go hide in a corner, and sometimes I decide to just Do All The Sorting! And why after those very random instances, I get more frustrated with myself because why can't I just do that every time I need to do something?

At any rate, I have no answers, because again, fuck the American healthcare "system." All of the hoops I have to jump through just to get my current prescriptions filled are overwhelming, let alone get new things prescribed that could potentially help me. 

Currently, all I can really do is learn about it and like, try to harness the random moments of energy as they come? Which is fine most days, again, but supremely unhelpful when I need to maintain energy to do tasks for an entire week so we don't end up just tossing loose clothes into the back of our cars and hoping for the best next Saturday. Fun times.

Until tomorrow,


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Holidailies Day 6: Eh...

The problem with trying to write stuff daily is that I very rarely have good things to say multiple days in a row. It's like my brain needs some time to recharge in between long-ish posts.

Actually today it's probably more related to the fact that I spent a good 3 hours yesterday doing cleaning things ahead of showing the house, one of which involved moving stuff in the backyard that is still covered in ash. So my sinuses hate everything today. That plus the overall exhaustion of having to interact with people in close quarters after months of getting used to having people *not* in my space has made today very spacey.

One of the things I'm learning about dealing with my brain after finally getting partial answers to the question, "why is it SO HARD to just do the things..." is that mental exhaustion is just as valid a reason to pace myself with tasks as physical exhaustion is. At least until I get medical providers sorted - because God forbid you need health insurance without a full-time job in America - and can start advocating to get set up with a therapist and a psychiatrist. 

So I set myself a manageable list of daily tasks, of which this is one for this month, and then I give myself a whole lot of grace in when and how I get those done. Because some are just a few seconds, like, "did you remember to take your meds this morning?" And some, like job searching, can vary. This last week I gave myself credit for doing job stuff while listing the house and fielding tour requests because getting someone to take over our lease ASAP will save us a whole lot of money which is as important to me as eventually finding more work.

Anyways, that's my very tired musing for the night. Hopefully tonight, I will remember to go to sleep before 2 AM so that when the cats inevitably wake me up early, I will be less blah throughout the day.

Until tomorrow,


Saturday, December 5, 2020

Holidailies Day 5: The Other Shoe Drops (Part 2)

A continuation of the story I posted on Day 3, picking up around 2013 when my life got turned upside down by a couple of different things and I started doing some hard-core soul searching.

To understand this period of my life, it helps to understand that I went full-in on charismatic Christianity, which at the time seemed wildly different from the church I'd grown up in. There was preaching of radical love and grace, engaging worship, and the opportunity to explore the areas of spirituality that had been downplayed in my life beforehand. I found in that space a deeper connection with God and became comfortable with distinguishing when the voice inside me was me, and when it was something deeper. 

The thing that kept me coming back to those places, again and again, was love. I was, and am, obsessed with the love of Christ. I drank up the songs about revolutionary, reckless love, and ultimate acceptance no matter what. 

As I kept pulling at the threads of purity culture in those years, that's the message I heard the most. No matter what. No matter where you land on the lesser theological minutiae. No matter how you got here, you're here, you're safe, you're loved. And since I was digging through my identity and reshaping huge swathes of what I believed about myself and my relationship to the world around me, it was very important for me to feel like I would have a soft place to land if I fell apart entirely in the process. 

Which led me to the moment in 2015, after a series of long twists and turns, and experiences with friends who "suddenly" came out as LGBTQ+, and a lot of reading of more of the progressive women in the Evangelical sphere who then were more or less excommunicated from some circles when they announced they were affirming (Rachel Held Evans was huge in this process, as were Jenn Hatmaker, and Sarah Bessey, and later Glennon Doyle). Slowly but surely I went from "God loves everyone, so I guess that means gay people too?" to "God definitely loves everyone, but He may think that gay people need to repent" to "God definitely loves everyone, regardless." 

And then finally into the moment of, "shit. I'm not straight. Can I still be a Christian?" 

That moment came when I was 26 and I finally consciously realized that I was bisexual. It was only then that I got the one clarifying moment that crystallized so much of what had confused me about my personal history. I was watching a documentary called "Give Me Sex Jesus", that more or less looks into the whole mess of Purity Culture from all angles. It has people who are still 100% on board with those teachings. It has the son of a guy prominent in Campus Crusades for Christ that came out as gay. It has a couple that is still very glad they stuck to their purity pledges.

For me, the most important set of interviews was with a F/F couple who had met as young adults and fell in love without really knowing what was happening because they had both been raised in this culture that told them it was evil. From what I remember (I still haven't watched it again, though I should) they met at a church event even. Maybe not. Whatever it was, it was the thing that hit me the hardest. Women in their mid-20s realizing something about their sexuality that had been hiding from them for years.

As I said, I wholeheartedly believe that God speaks to us, if not audibly, in an inner voice that is entirely distinct in tone from my normal thought processes. I had, at that point in my life, spent a good part of the three years prior to this moment practicing hearing God's voice and distinguishing it from other things in my life. That voice - the one I'd been learning to hear - that was the voice that spoke to me at that moment and said, "this is you."

And then my mental world erupted in a flood of existential angst.

At this point in my life, I was just finally getting on my feet as an adult, with a steady part-time job, thinking about going to grad school. I had spent the majority of the first half of the decade learning about myself and how I functioned so I could try to move forward on steadier footing. And then this.

I prayed a lot. I studied. I came out to a couple of close friends right away and agonized over it a lot. After all, up to that point my general ethic had been, "God loves gay people, but..." Enter all the excuses. Particularly the ideas that I'd been presented in college, the idea that you could pray the gay away. And then I reasoned that it should be easy for me to just... fall in love with a guy, right? I was attracted to them. I was a hot mess socially with guys. I've still never successfully flirted with one and moved that into a romantic relationship, despite keeping my eye out and continuing in the super fun dating site cycle of looking through a bunch of profiles, realizing they all sounded boring, and moving on.

I knew that I wanted a relationship. I knew that I was very, very curious about any sort of sexual relationship, and I knew that the easiest path would be to force a relationship with a guy to be my only option. Except, I was still super drawn to the idea of a relationship with a femme person. I could run from it all I wanted, and certainly tried, but in my "weak moments" I gave in to exploring how I would even start a relationship like that. I had no idea. I was a Christian homeschooler at the core, and my changing mindset could not cover the fact that I had great social skills until I was in any encounter that could potentially lead to a date, at which point, I ceased to function.

The frustration with this vicious cycle built up more and more until I wanted to scream. In the meantime, I was very effectively distracting myself by getting my credential, surviving 2016 (how my political views changed after I realized I was queer is a whole thing), and slowly working my way through editing this novel I'd started in 2013 that had originally put me on the path to examining the whole purity culture mess. The problem was, between November 2013 when I started writing it and November 2016 when I started the full-rewrite after a few years of futile attempts to edit, so much had changed that I didn't get very far, so it got dropped again as I moved forward towards my first full-time teaching job.

[Side note, November 2016 is incidentally when I first met this interesting girl named Marie*, initially just through the SacNaNo regions IRC channel...]

In summer of 2017, I finally got to the point where I needed someone to weigh in on the arguments in my head because I could not find a way through the weeds. I went, with a great degree of nervousness, to the counseling pastor at my church, who ran the Nikao School I'd been a part of with her husband.

She did two super important things in that conversation: First, she helped me shred my "True Love Waits" pledge card and released me from a promise I made when I was 12 and had NO IDEA what I was agreeing to, and told me I was free to make that decision based on who I was as a 28-year-old adult woman. 

Second, she told me that she could definitely see why, with my history and some of my traumas, I would gravitate towards women. And she essentially gave me permission to explore it in-depth as an option, as opposed to the cautious poking at it with a stick to see how it reacted I'd been trying to live with. 

I was so relieved. One of my biggest worries at the time was, "if I come out, will I be accepted by people in the church?" And to know that there was just one person who I loved and trusted who would do it was powerful. It was no longer, "well there are affirming Christians, but I don't actually know any of them."

Except then I went and took a job at a private Christian school, which made sense for me in a lot of ways. Small community, small class load, lots of opportunities to spend time with kids outside of the classroom where I could actually get to know them. Small staff so my introverted self would hopefully be a little bit less overwhelmed. Where it didn't make sense was in the contract they made me sign that specifically prohibited all forms of sexual immorality while under contract, including extramarital sex and homosexual sex. At the time, I figured, "eh, I'm not doing it right now anyway and I'm still not sure where I'm really going to do with that, so I can handle that."

Have you ever noticed that if you've given yourself permission to consider trying something new, and then you suddenly have a wall between you and that new thing, it gets 5x harder to resist that new thing? 

[Side note #2, that November during NaNo 2017, I actually met this girl, Marie, that I'd chatted with before, in person, and we bonded over - what else - old Sunday School and camp songs, and in the course of our blooming friendship discovered that we were both bisexual. However, I was not even considering it because I was not allowed to at that point.]

The problem with the job, besides my personal frustrations with being forced back into the land of purity culture, was that I had changed so drastically from who I was just a few years before that I didn't actually fit as well as I thought I would. I loved the kids, even the ones who made my life especially difficult. But I definitely got on some shit lists by not pretending to be a conservative anymore. I was solidly centrist at that point, moving left with every day of living under our 45th President, and because they had asked me to teach a Bible class. My theology was extreme both by being very charismatic and by being a strong feminist who believed that women could preach. I am also simultaneously shy and fully willing to give my entire opinion if pressed, which has always gotten me into hot water - but especially when I was honest about how I was "one of those crazy libs," which is to say, someone who disagreed with them politically. 

In March of 2018, the hammer dropped, and I was unceremoniously "asked to resign" and handed my final check on the last day of school before Spring Break. It was simultaneously super devastating and kinda freeing, but it took me a few months to get through the devastating part before I could try to deal with any of the freedom that came from being released from that morality clause.

During that period of time, I started hanging out more and more with Marie. We had stayed in touch after November this time, and I knew she didn't have a lot of friends in the area, so I made it a point to invite her to events with my church's 20s and 30s group and to outings with mutual friends. Also, she didn't drive, so I offered rides to our year-round write-ins, all nice and friendly-like. Honestly, it wasn't anything distinct from what I'd done for other friends or even just for acquaintances, so I didn't think anything of it.

As I went into another round of soul-searching in the spring and summer of 2018, as a result of getting dropped from a job where I had thought that I was doing okay. Not great, by any means, but not like, horrific. I was dealing (or so I thought). I was up at my camp a ton, basically whenever I could be since I had not found a new job. It was at camp that I finally decided I was going to figure out this whole bisexual thing once and for all. Could I accept and love myself and be sure of God's love and acceptance no matter which way I chose to go?

At Bethel (of all places), I finally got my answer. I remember cause I wasn't even supposed to be at the evening service. I'd gone up with the staff in my own car, and was planning on going home that afternoon, but it was July in the Central Valley and my old car does this fun thing where it freaks out and overheats when the temperature hits triple digets. So after being rescued from the gas station where I'd been marooned, I went back to Redding to hang out with the staff members who were still up there and went to the evening service since I'd gotten the advice to just try to drive back after the temperature dropped.

I was there, deep in worship up at the front, looking around the room and realizing that if I got up to testify that I was bisexual and okay with it, most of the people there probably would not accept me, despite their worship team pumping out all these songs about unconditional love. As I was thinking it, I once again heard God clearly when he said, "they don't matter. I love you no matter what, no matter where you go."

And so I went home after that service, thinking, huh, maybe this is a thing I can start to consider.

The story of the rest of the summer will have to be a different post because I do need to get back to sorting through All The Books eventually. 

Until tomorrow,

*Marie, who I am now married to, goes by Chris now and uses they/them pronouns. They have given me permission to refer to them by the name and pronouns they had when I met them :)