April showers (and March showers, and February showers, etc.)

May 02, 2017

(Originally posted on my old personal blog, Adventures with KHill!)

Get it? Because it rains in Seattle?

I’ve been living here since December and in that time, we’ve apparently had record-breaking amounts of rainfall. Nevertheless, I stand by the statement that it really doesn’t rain here as much as people think it does. Seriously. I barely even notice, and I thought I hated rain and that it would make me lose my mind. But as Stephen said earlier this evening, “You dun lost that a long time ago.” He is both supportive and eloquent.

Literally in Forks, Washington. Much like the Cullens, my pale skin thrives with the lack of sunlight in the PNW.
Literally in Forks, Washington. Much like the Cullens, my pale skin thrives with the lack of sunlight in the PNW.

Anyway, we’re not here to talk about the weather! We’re here to talk about…well, I’m not actually sure yet. It’s been a while, right? Or, if my suspicions that my dad is still my only reader are correct, it’s been like two days since I texted you.

The last time I wrote anything here, I had just left my job at Disney with a bad case of mono, but I was looking forward to my big move to the Pacific Northwest at the end of the year. Fast forward ~7 months and that move has turned out to be the coolest, scariest thing I’ve ever done (including the one time I rode the Tower of Terror in 9th grade. That was just scary, not cool.). It feels like so much has happened, but time has also completely flown by. I’ll try to condense it into a few, easily digestible categories (wouldn’t it be nice if someone did this for my life as it was happening? I get #lifeindigestion).

New roomie: People tried to scare me about living with Stephen. Like, “everything is good now, but you’ll see a side of him you ~never saw before~~~”… Yes, and this side is one that watches more YouTube videos in his downtime than I ever realized. But largely, not much has changed. We each already knew that the other was weird as hail, most of each other’s gross or weird habits, or little things that annoy us about the other. For me, the last one has always been hygiene, like when Stephen walks on the nearby beach barefoot and his feet get all dirty and he won’t wash them and says, “Really, they’re cleaner than ever right now. The sand just exfoliated them! See, feel!” For Stephen, literally nothing I do is annoying because I am perfect. But if there was going to be anything that annoyed him, it may be my aversion to opening the blinds in our apartment because I like to feel like I’m in a dark cave apart from any outside world. Point being, we make great roommates. We have a ton of fun, and he’s been the best part of being here.

Adult-ish behavior: Living at Disney was my first real experience in having to be entirely self-sufficient - going to work and making my own money, buying my own groceries, preparing my own meals, etc. I guess money and food were the main differences between that and my previous life, where I had a really nice college scholarship and a dining hall to feed me. Out here, it feels like a different ballgame with everything I know and love so far away (except u Steph u da realest). Learning a new city while also learning things such as how one gets one’s own car insurance and subsequently submits one’s first claim when one’s precious car has been hit – it’s a lot to take in. I get really proud of myself for some of the smallest achievements. For example, I found a therapist out here to help manage my depression/anxiety and related medications rather than letting myself crawl into a hole with all my worries. I also scheduled my own dentist appointment and it was bloody miserable but now my teeth are clean. They also told me I need a filling, so I need to schedule that sometime, but baby steps. In the meantime, I’ve started flossing for the first time ever, which feels more grown-up and responsible than any of the above. I’ve been grocery shopping by myself twice and have not had a nervous breakdown in the frozen vegetables section nor anywhere else. I still can’t cook anything more than macaroni to save my life, but that’s what men are here for, right? Make me a sandwich, Stephen! In addition to these things, it’s been my first time ever really working 9-5 and it’s given me a new respect for Dolly Parton, for one thing. Also for regular people who work these hours and much longer every day for 40+ years. I was stupidly lucky to get a good, well-paying job lined up before I moved here, and I’m thankful to have had that. Ultimately, it wasn’t the right position for me at the moment. The stress I felt about the job I was doing and the interactions with clients, etc., when combined with all the other stressors I’ve been feeling as I adjust to everything new, became too much, and I knew I needed to start moving on. My boss and coworkers were incredibly sweet and understanding, and I was able to stick around until they found my replacement. So now, once more, I’m unemployed (though Stephen and I are calling it ‘funemployed.’ For now. It’ll be a lot less fun if we’re in the same boat in six months). I’m trying to take some time to let myself breathe, decompress, and figure out what’s next. I’m really, really fortunate to be in a position to have some time to do this, and I’m SO thankful for all the support I have from friends and family. Without you all, I don’t even want to think of where I’d be. But with each poorly fitting job (of which there have been more than I’d like), I’ve gotten a better idea of what I would rather be doing. Which, right now, will not involve high-stress interaction with other people. But maybe (hopefully, eventually) will involve…

BOOKS! Since I’ve been living here, I have totally rediscovered my love of reading. I started a Goodreads reading challenge in January to read 50 books this year, and I’ve already gotten through 33! A large contributor to this accomplishment is probably my lack of friends and tendency to keep the blinds shut and forget that the outdoors is there. But I’m not even upset about the lack of friends at this point (again, may become concerned in six months) because this is my ideal lifestyle – curled up on my couch or in my bed, under a blanket, reading a really good story. I’m thinking about looking into local independent bookstores for my next job, because books make me happy and so do places that are filled with them. Libraries are on my radar, too. My Seattle Public Library card is literally the best thing that’s happened to me this year. I’m obsessed with checking out e-books for my Kindle. So many books just sitting there for me to read! For FREE! Anyway, in addition to reading, I’ve been working a lot on my writing. For the past couple of years, writing has increasingly seemed like my ~end-game~ career goal, for whatever that’s worth coming from my indecisive, 23 year-old brain. Even if it doesn’t evolve into a career, I’ve found that I just love to write. I guess I’ve always known this, but never considered it as that “worthy” of a way to spend my precious time. I partially blame public education for doing what I consider as beating the creativity out of me over thirteen years, but also society in general for downplaying the importance of creative expression (#savetheNEA #savePBS #saveNPR). Of course, I can also blame myself for ignoring things that make me happier in favor of what I view as traditional success, but what fun is that? (Side note: I did choose the very high-powered, job-oriented majors of Sociology/Anthropology and German Studies. Traditional success fail.)

All that is to say, I suppose, that I’m trying. Trying and failing at being my mental image of Successful Kaitlyn. Trying again to pick up those pieces and parse out what’s worth keeping and what can go on the “no thanks” list. Trying to work through the constant battle that is mental illness and how it tricks me into thinking it’s gone, then pops out of the corner of my brain at the most inconvenient moments to say, “Sup girl, let’s DANCE.” Trying, as always, to be a good girlfriend, sister, daughter, friend, even over a couple thousand miles.

I hope to start writing on this blog more, and while I hope that at least someone can enjoy it or even find it relatable, I’m totally transparent about the fact that it’s mainly for myself. Which leads me to the last and newest segment of the-blog-that-never-ends… a book recommendation!

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. In this book, the hilarious Jenny Lawson describes her lifelong struggle with mental illness. She has depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other mental ailments in addition to some physical ailments like rheumatoid arthritis. This is her second book (so now I need to go read her first!) and while some of the essays are just pure comedy, some get dark. Nearly all made me think, “Wow, someone else feels this way, too.” I personally related a LOT to her stories of social anxiety and how crippling it can be, keeping you from wanting to do anything or see anyone for long stretches of time and making the most ordinary, everyday interactions feel exhausting. Even if you don’t have a mental illness yourself, this book is a) downright hysterical and b) can probably help you gain a lot of insight into how friends and family members live because everyone knows someone with a mental illness. Jenny talks a lot about her husband, Victor, and daughter, Hailey, neither of whom have diagnosed mental illnesses, which offered a sort of ‘neurotypical’ perspective on what Jenny goes through that I thought was pretty valuable. Also, the cover of the book has a cute and funny picture of Jenny’s taxidermied raccoon named Rory, who looks permanently thrilled about something. Furiously happy, one could say.

That’s all I have for today and WOW was it a doozy. If you stuck around to the end, I now owe you a million bucks.

Not really though. I owe you nothing because you chose this life.

It’s after midnight now, so I’m off to bed to gear up for another day of FUNemployment ;)

Night night world!

Kaitlyn