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On Monday I began training with my new mentor, Rob. He's a really nice guy, and although his style is different from AJ's I'm still learning a lot quickly. AJ's job was to teach me the basics of financial aid as a whole...the math, the terminology, the basics of the federal and academic systems I'll be using. Rob's job is to teach me how to do my actual job...financial aid packaging, verification, and more that I haven't discovered yet! So far it's going well.

I had planned to practice on Monday night but felt very tired, so went home and worked on other projects instead (like continuing to replace my entire contact list on my phone...sigh).

On Tuesday I learned how to read and verify an ISIR report. Most of the day was spent on this. I've noticed that many Full Sail people wear decorative pins on their lanyards, so thought I'd give it a try.

The "butt mug" is from an episode of Rick and Morty. The circus pin was sent to me by a wonderful and thoughtful person whose name I'm ashamed to say I can't remember at the moment...but she sent it to me because I couldn't make it to the Baraboo Ringling reunion event this summer. And now it has a place in my post-circus life.

After work I drove over to Valencia to practice, and was surprised to find the campus quiet and empty. Oh, wait. Christmas break. Crap! Everything was locked up tight. So I drove home (with a texted warning to Jameson, who had planned to wrap my Christmas presents). I got home and greeted Jameson and had just started to practice when the power went out. Really?? We waited for a bit, but Jameson had to do his online teaching. He decided to drive back to work and get into his office to do it there. I stayed home and finished practicing, because you don't need lights to play scales :P

Right outside our apartment door, this random dude built a fire. It's 70 F out here by the way...whatever.

Within the next hour the power was back on. I packed a lunch and laid out clothes for tomorrow and worked on various computer things that have been building up. Everyone tries to cram everything in before the holidays, huh.

Wednesday and Thursday were...rough. We're getting into the meat of my job in training, and there are some things that I struggle with. Because this is one-on-one training, it's a little intense. I feel a lot of pressure sometimes to do a good job, and get easily frustrated or angry when I make a mistake. In the end I learned the material and the trainer said I was doing fine. But the feelings of not being good enough persist until I get home, and that's a problem. Jameson got some great news about his job: it's going to become a "real" work from home job! He'll only have to go to the office once every two weeks. And instead of being happy for him, I threw a tantrum.

I don't know how relevant it is to share my actual feelings at a time when anything you say needs to be accompanied by a disclaimer, and every word out of your mouth is open to criticism. I'd like it if I could just share my thoughts with no expectation of a response? Like, can you guys just listen, and not comment or critique?

I know it was wrong of me to get upset when Jameson shared his good news with me. I don't need anyone to tell me...I know. I had a frustrating day at training...every day I am in a room for eight hours with the same person, whose entire attention is focused on me the entire time as I struggle with a type of work I'm clumsy at, and it is frankly very stressful. Carrying those feelings of inadequacy home, I then find out that I'm essentially not going to be working near Jameson any more. Which is ok, we'll still see each other at night and on weekends. But there's a part of me that just grabs hold and points to Jameson's good fortune and says, "and meanwhile what are YOU doing with your life, you worthless trash?". It's jealousy. And that's the emotion that roars out first, and overwhelms all the excitement and happiness that I would normally feel for Jameson.

Again, I know it's wrong, you don't need to tell me. Got it.

Anyway, suffice to say Jameson has had to put up with my bipolar behavior this week on top of having very stressful and busy things going on himself. This is not the first time that my mess of a life has landed a blow to our relationship. But I'd like it to be the last. In the New Year, I'll be looking into therapy to help me deal with why I feel the way I do and how to keep it away from the person I love. Jameson has been more than patient, and he does not deserve the way I've been acting.

On Friday my training went a little shorter than usual. I suspect my trainer saw how stressed I was feeling, plus with the holiday weekend looming no one in the office was really focused all that much. After completing our necessary training tasks we watched a bit of a Christmas movie, and took a photo together. Here I am with my two trainers, AJ and Rob.

After work I went home...I had planned to practice some more but was so tired I ended up dozing on the couch. Luckily I woke up in time to eat something and drive out to Old Town, where Jameson was having his last gig before Christmas. All of my own stupid self-centered emotions seem to be washed away when I get to see him doing what he loves.

It was pretty crowded so I couldn't get that close to the band this time. But I wandered around and saw other things. The big Christmas tree in the main square, and the cars all lined up for the nightly car show.

As I stood watching the band, my phone started blowing up with texts. My brother Jonah tagged me in a photo of his new tattoo:

That's my birthdate, between his shoulder blades. And Raven's is on his lower spine, and Kate's is around the ouroboros. I was speechless. My brother got our birthdates tattooed on his body. I felt at once proud, flattered, and ashamed. I'm not ever around enough for him, and I haven't done enough for him. He lost his mother at the age of eight, and his father dissolved into a drug addict after that, abandoning him when he was eighteen. He has been through so much, and had so much taken away. Yet he's put a tribute to his sisters on his own body. I was in public surrounded by strangers, trying not to cry as I looked at this photo. Too many emotions to name.

After the gig we got back home and went straight to bed. Jameson was flying to Chicago to visit his parents the next morning, so we hoped to get a good night's rest. Unfortunately someone in our neighborhood was either having nightmares or suffering a PTSD attack, because for about an hour we heard uninteligible screaming and moaning outside (or from an apartment with the door/window open?). I don't know what was happening, but it sounded like dream-talk, a nightmare of some kind. Anyway I think we both spent that time wide awake, and then slept fitfully afterward. In the morning we loaded into the car, and I drove Jameson to the airport. He's gone for almost the whole week. I'm going to miss him very much. But I also hope he's able to have a great time with his parents, and maybe get away from some of the stress I've been causing him lately.

Once he was on his way I drove to the grocery for a few things, then went home. I will be alone this Christmas. I had planned to make cookies or gingerbread for the holiday, but somehow it feels a little sad to just make those things for myself. Instead I got a few small treats to enjoy, and some Stella Dora cookies because they remind me of my obaa-chan.

Later that night after a short practice session, I went to see the new Star Wars movie. It was very good (don't worry I won't spoil it for ya).

On Sunday I woke up "late" (9am is late now I guess), had a nice breakfast, and cooked some food for the coming work week. After a quick run to the grocery for some things I'd forgotten, I basically wasted the day. I needed a wasted day.

Tonight I'm playing at St. James Cathedral with several other brass musicians. I hope it will go well, and everyone will enjoy the music that we make together.

Another update on car 38 for you this week. Here is a picture taken from what used to be my room. It's coming along nicely.

"Taken from just outside the old door to bedroom 7, showing the new bar and the rounded roofline and new lights. A custom decal of a Cincinnati Railroad scene is going on the grey wall next to the bar." - Brian Collins

Point of interest, it seems the BBC is doing a documentary on "Who Killed the Circus?". It's kind of heart-wrenching but good.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 26th, 2017 01:08 pm (UTC)
Merry Christmas to you. Hope the New Year brings you good things. Good Luck with the new job.
Dec. 28th, 2017 01:00 am (UTC)
Thank you :)

I hope the same for you. May 2018 be a better year!!!
Gregory Giroux
Jan. 2nd, 2018 09:57 pm (UTC)
I finally got to reading this, and I appreciate your honesty as always. It's your greatest gift and most universal. I wish you a wonderful 2018, Megan.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )