I was going to try and do a video, but I just do not have the setup or the spoons for that. Besides, I know people will want itemized lists of what I have to talk about so they can pick and choose. I know, because that’s what I would want. So welcome!
Christmas, or Yule (which is what I celebrate and intend to celebrate harder next year), was a simple day this year. Much of this month has been full of me trying to get started on a newer, better fitting job. More on that later. For Christmas, my family got my wife and I each a gift in the form of office chairs (I have stolen mine back from my cat and am sitting in it now), a brand new TV for our room, all of the IT movies including the miniseries from the 90s, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Diana is hooked on that game, and I’m happy to see her playing on the Switch again. My soul sister, whom I left in Virginia, also got me a very special gift: my very own Tarot set. I have always been leary of anything divination, especially since Diana and I messed with runes in college and boy howdy, that was a tale of its own. However, as soon as I began shuffling these cards, I started feeling like they were meant for me. I got that pins and needles feeling friends of mine who do dabble in divination describe after being given their first set of cards. It stunned me, especially when my dog Scruffy started barking at the deck after I placed it on the windowsill to cleanse until the full moon. I don’t know just how far I’ll go with the deck, if I’ll want the responsibility that comes with having such a tool. If you don’t believe in that stuff, I understand. It’s a part of my druidry though, and I do intend on practicing to see if the Tarot is right for me. I’m currently knitting a blanket to keep the deck wrapped in, and will wrap it in that blanket with bits of sage before I end its cleansing. I know it’s not entirely necessary to cleanse it, it is a brand new deck, but I feel it’s right. The timing just feels correct.
I’m officially no longer working at and never will work at Petco again. Some severe events occurred on my last days on the job that caused me to miss my final two shifts. I am not the kind of person who gets their mom to call out for them, but I needed to at this time. When she was on the phone with the leader on duty, he informed her (and made her quite irate) that I was now deemed unhirable despite there being a family emergency. It’s just as well, I’ve grown ever more disenchanted with the company. No, I do not consider PETA a reliable resource and many of their stories are fabricated and even deemed slanderous. However, I do not approve of chain pet stores selling live animals unless the staff on hand is 100% committed to the care of the animals. That is not always the case with Petco and other companies, and while I was really happy with this particular team there were still moments where I found the corporation absolutely brutal where it wasn’t necessary and negligent where it should have been attentive. I will miss the people I worked with. Some of them. But I have a new job with a cleaning company already lined up. I’m due to start Friday. I have a customer service representative position I’m waiting to hear back from, and a receptionist job I’ll be able to try out while assuring my family is alright on Thursday. So things are progressing. As of right now, I’m not sure what I want my career to be. Every time I think I know, I learn something new about that career or myself that changes everything. I joked with my mom that this is what happens when people try to tell eighteen-year-olds to define their lives by choosing a career as early as possible. She laughed and agreed. At my age, she was in secretary school. Now she is an esteemed Licensed Veterinary Technician with thirty years of experience who has trained doctors. She’s proof that we really don’t know where we’ll be in a decade. In 2010, I certainly didn’t think I’d be living in Florida.
The Witcher vs. The Mandalorian
Nope, this is not a competition. This is, however, me appreciating the TV dads just trying to keep their hooligans out of trouble. I ADORED both of these shows. They are filled with complex and lovable characters. The Witcher in particular was so filled with strong women and POC characters that it was the most refreshing take on fantasy I’ve seen in years. Ever, maybe. Yennefer won my heart, as did Cirilla. Calanthe was flawed, but consistently flawed. I loved her character, and I loved how well they diversified this cast. I was stunned to see them basically ride the ‘men are trash’ train like it was going off a cliff. The points where they blatantly declare the rights of women are virtually nonexistent was NICE. And the chemistry between Yennefer and Geralt left me shook, I was not expecting them to go so hard so fast. Chef’s kiss, 9/10. Why 9 and not 10? Well, because I’d love to have seen Geralt’s ass as much as Yennefer’s tits, but we can’t have it all, can we? The true bisexual dilemma. I haven’t been this tortured by hot characters since Wynonna Earp, may she return to us soon. Even Jaskier grew on me, he was some epically timed comedic relief. And Mando, agh! How he and the child won my heart. Cara too, the award for the absolute most valid representation of me on TV goes to Cara for sitting on her mount with her leg through over the wither of the animal. I sit like that on my horse to this very day and have never seen it on TV. My heart goes out to that found family, they were everything I needed. I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I am with the writing of The Mandalorian.
Another gift my family got me was a new rat cage. We took a ferret nation and converted it into a palace for my thirteen rats. I came to Florida with nine, lost one, then gained six girls when a female rat arrived at Petco and proceeded to birth eleven jelly beans. Now I have mom and her five daughters. I haven’t posted many pictures of the rats on Instagram because of the horrendous tumors three of my older girls have. The tumors are in inoperable spots, and the ones that are operable are on a rat who’s already undergone surgery one too many times. Tumors are an all too common part of owning rats, but that doesn’t mean I want to showcase my animals when they just want to be fed, comfortable, and happy. So I will continue to love them until they tell me they are in too much pain. This rat cage was the best gift for my babies.
We spent a lot of time working in the barn this past week. Diana and I helped shift the mats and level out the stalls, and we got a new horse bathed and settled in as a present for a little girl who is absolutely in LOVE with her new horse. I love every horse at that barn, including my own. Willow, my mare, arrived in Florida before I did and fell into a herd of grumpy geldings and eventually an initially shy but ultimately puppy dog mare. The other mare is VERY jealous of the new horse because she doesn’t want her momma baby-talking another horse. My horse is a brat no matter the circumstances, but she’s my brat. This barn is a refuge for my mom and I, my mom having adopted one of said grumpy geldings. His name is Ganache and Willow and he are the leaders of the herd thus far. Sometimes Willow lets the other mare take over, but mostly she likes to be on top.
Mental Health: Depression
An abrupt change of topic, but the family crisis we had to deal with involved clinical depression. I won’t go into detail, but I do want to talk about my experience here in case anyone needs to hear about it. I personally have severe general anxiety which can be set off at the drop of a hat even with medication. It was set off when people began questioning the validity of this family member’s depression. They wanted to know why this person could go from joking and laughing and having a good time to absolutely inconsolable in seconds. And the honest truth is, I can’t explain it in any other way than it’s a serious chemical imbalance. The brain is sick. I have a chronic illness, diverticulosis, and it can be set off just from me eating something remotely spicy. If my intestines can snap into sick mode at the drop of a chicken wing, I’m sure that a brain with depression can do something similar. But I’m not a therapist, and right now my role in helping this family member get better is helping them find someone safe they can confide in.
Supporting someone with clinical depression is often a divisive subject. There are people who say that the person will never be happy, so why bother. I cannot listen to those people. I’ll never not be anxious. My anxiety is a thing I have to monitor and measure for the rest of my life, but this family member wouldn’t throw me away just because I need constant assurance that I’m not screwing everything up. So I will never do that to them. They are so dear to me and have been with me through all the hell over these years. You could say I started this decade out with them, and we made it to the tenth year stronger than ever. I am nothing if not loyal, and this family member has earned every bit of my trust, love, and loyalty. When my anxiety tries to tell me that people not understanding them, their circumstances, their behavior and quirks, I just have to remind myself that that’s not my responsibility. What IS my responsibility, one I accept and fully commit to, is ensuring that I do everything I can to help this family member. Anxiety and depression are a dangerous couple, but we’ve gotten each other this far when at some points we didn’t think we’d make it.
I’m very fortunate to be where I am now. I have a loving family. I finally have a home again. I have the best animals who provide the absolute best therapy. I’m working on getting a job which can leave me satisfied while also supporting this family. Not everything is perfect, I’m financially unstable right now, but we’re actively on the verge of resolving that. I look forward to this new year full of new beginnings.