Things that are hard…

My wedding. June 20th 2015. We got married. Just not in the way I had ever imagined it. You hear about wedding days never going as expected, that there is always something that will go wrong, how the best planned events always have the biggest problems, and so on… Well let me tell you, you’ve probably never heard of a tornado ruining a wedding.

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Two

As you are all well aware of I’ve been rather down over the past few weeks. The winter has been taking a toll on me mentally and physically. Thus I’ve decided I need to move somewhere warmer where I can always see the Sun, like the Caribbean. Or Florida. They have libraries everywhere, I could make it work.

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To be continued…

At times I regret our move. Don’t get me wrong, I love our house and I love being on my own with my own space and my own refrigerator away from my little brother. But having been working at the Library about 4 months now, I’ve started talking more and more with the people I work with and not that we’ve become really close or anything but we’ve mentioned hanging out together from time to time, a “library girls night” if you will. We’re all about the same age and at least have somewhat the same interests working/living in a library. But the drive is so far for me. An hour if not an hour & a half just to hang out for a bit. Not that I wouldn’t do it, but it isn’t convenient for spontaneous meetups. There is no “hey I’m bored why don’t you come hang for a bit.” Which is actually true with most of my friends. I’m not a spontaneous being. I don’t just decide to cut my hair at a moments notice or ask a friend over on a whim. Maybe I should. But again, I feel like with where I live now, it’s so hard for anyone to come visit me.

About all of my close family members live in KG and now me living 45-60mins away from them makes visiting them awkward. My cousin who was my best friend throughout our childhood, though we aren’t close anymore, I wish I could see more of. She I considered a sister, and perhaps social media is tainting us all, since I realize I’m only writing this because I saw her post something about her “two best friends/sisters” which didn’t include me. I’m envious of that. Why can’t I have friends I talk to all the time and consider to be as close as blood. Thinking on it now, there is not a one person I would consider to be that.

Or maybe it’s just who I am. That (going back to last week’s post) makes it so much harder for me to have friends or just “hangout” with anyone. I chalk it up to being “wise beyond my years” and not really being about to relate to anyone my age anyway, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still wish I had it.

In a way I have now isolated myself more by moving out on my own, by making it harder to see anyone. Hell, I doubt even my one “best friend” would come visit me because she lives in KG and it would be “too far.” I bet I would have a better chance getting Miss Missouri out here before her.

As I have said before, I’m a terrible friend anyway. I’m not one to plan anything, I never answer text messages right away, responding to an email will probably take me a week, and a letter? Forget about it. I’m not one to ask anyone out, I figure if they want to see me, they’ll ask; which then just leads me to more disappointment I suppose, and then I won’t ask anyone to go out of their way to see me either. You will say, well then you need to make the effort, take the initiative, but I just don’t like to. I sometimes feel like I’ve got enough going on in me life I don’t have the time or room or space for me, but then I end the day feeling lackluster and wanting for more.

I almost wish I had never moved. As the ash cloud begins again, to cover my eyes…to be continued…

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A Word.

On friends. There are all different types of friends in this life and I’ve been pondering on my particular situation in the past few days. In college but beginning in high school, I have always battled with depression. I say this to mean it as a constant battle, there are no bouts and instances of depression, there are only choices and consequences about how to every day deal with it’s ever looming presence. They say you choose how you feel and I can see that but there is also a limit as to what we can handle at any given moment in time. It’s as if there is a constant curtain hanging around the corner waiting to envelop you and block out the sun entirely when you are at your most vulnerable. It is in those times when you need someone to talk to that it lunges and strikes. This is how I see my depression, not as a single rain cloud but as a plum of ash waiting to be released after a dormant 500 years, ready and waiting to take back what is theirs. How might this relate to how I began this article on friends? Well in my ponders, most times it goes hand in hand when I’m feeling lonely inside that curtain of ash waiting for someone to show me the light again.

Friends are an interesting necessity. For those of us who are introverts, we loathe being in the presence of others and almost shun them away from time to time. But then we find it incredibly lonely when we have no one to talk to, even though we have all but done this to ourselves. I like to call myself an introvert playing the extrovert. I like my friends and going out but, sometimes, if not most of the time, I find it a task instead of an enjoyment. Perhaps that says something about me or about my friends. But there are all sorts of people that come and go, and I dare say that I’ve probably made a friend in every type…

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InstaFamous?

The real reason for this post which is two-fold, and both having to deal with Instagram. First I promised my #museumselfie (left) and #libraryshelfie (right) pictures laster week, so we have them:

Selfie Library

The first is from a weekend spent at Stratford Hall this past January 19th which also so happens to be Robert E. lee’s Birthday and I got to celebrate at his Birthplace (my other job), this was in a moment of down time. The second is of my library, the one I catalog for, which has that brand new library smell!! Gorgeous place to work if I do say so myself. And now if you ever want to follow me on Instagram you can since I’ve left my name there too, but not on purpose.

InstaFred

Lastly, I’m what you would call InstaFamous? Not a real thing, but I can dream. I recently took a picture of my favorite steeple in Fredericksburg and posted it, only to have FindingFxbg repost and tag me this morning (which someone then had to degrade with a nasty comment about the Purina Building being the most iconic building in Fred aka Darbytown which isn’t true at all because THE CHURCHES WHERE THERE FIRST, WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO BE SUCH ASSHOLES, but haters are just going to hate, right? -end rant). So if you have an Instagram and don’t follow them, ya absolutely should, especially if you live around here.

So short and sweet since that’s it for now, more on how/if we’ll ever get our library put back together soon – side note: I’m now resorting to AudioBooks to get some “reading” in during my hour commute, isn’t that pitiful? Confessions of a Cataloger continue.

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The Sunsets

First off, let me say how envious and proud I am of my dear friend Amber who’s been Facebook-less for a week. DAMN DO I WISH I COULD DO THAT. But alas I am too attached, at least to my family who are near and far. Since moving I’ve found that I post more for them to see since we aren’t around each other every day and perhaps that is something I’m going to have to let go of someday, but for now I digress.

IMG_4245Speaking of, I went to a Book Repair Workshop in Yorktown today which involved passing the Mechanicsville exit I used to take to see my friend and couldn’t help but reminisce a bit. All the fun had and how I miss having such large gatherings of good people and good conversations about life. It was always interesting to get such a diverse crazy group, but it was always to much fun getting together for drinks and surprise parties and so many good laughs.

So updates from this past week: more of the same really except for the book repair workshop. Unfortunately my predecessor left long before I moved in and so left without any sort of training on how/why she cataloged a certain way, leaving me to start from scratch. Today was mostly about prevention of further damage on our most well loved books and I won’t bore you with the details but I can officially say that I’m an expert book cover-er/enforcer now, paperback and hardbound.

In addition to it being COLD, SO COLD, SO DAMN COLD, as in the coldest it’s ever been my entire life, we had a bit of snow here over the week (and more tonight!), leaving me with the ever burning question of: What are HOA’s good for if they don’t do the job I pay them for? We’re in a suburb where I pay $1k a year for maintenance of the roads, access to the lake, gym, and whatever “amenities” they provide us with. Well, I live in the far off back of the place, so far back it takes about 10mins to get it and it took the Maintenance 5 DAYS to plow/salt/sand our roads. Which I still don’t think they did because it warmed up a bit and all the snow and ice just melted away anyway. So I was only out of work 1 day last week, and you can figure my problem: you haven’t experience cold or pain from the cold till you try having Rheumatoid Arthritis in negative temperatures. Also, why does no one know how to drive in the snow? I know I’m not an expert but I know that when your going down a hill and then need to go right back up another you don’t slow down!

But ya know I can’t hate on the winter, it drys out my skin, makes my hair frizzy, and ruins my lips but you just cannot beat breathing in the fine crisp cool after a long day stuck in your office. It’s quiet, the cold, and so peaceful with the snow begins to fall. If I just didn’t have to drive in it, or worry about having the right shoes for the tundra, I would always live in the cold. How badly I dream of not having RA, living in Boston, and working at the gorgeous! public library. Which reminds me, tomorrow is #libraryshelfie day! Will post pictures for that and #museumselfie that was last week tomorrow, ~ promise.

In good news we bought two lovely wingback chairs for our library/den Sunday. And my parents, being the awesome people they are, came down to visit and helped us deliver and assemble them. We don’t have a truck. So with the completion of removing an exterior door that lead from our Master to the den (thank God and the men in my life that’s gone) and a little paint plus bookshelves, we should have a pretty good setup here soon. And I can’t wait to get my standing easel and a little storage cabinet for my paints. And I’ve got great plans for a new wall desk unit too. Of which I promise to post pictures of once it’s all presentable. As in we still need to paint the room a different color (I hate the terracotta brown that was haphazardly splashed everywhere) and we need

In other weird news: My cats are obsessed with pens. Which lead to my hospitalization over the weekend because one of them went falling off the bed after one and in doing so decided to reach for my hand, essentially splitting apart a good 3/4’s of my ring finger. The most important finger of all! So hospital and skin glue plus pain meds: my kind of a Saturday night. And I thought they liked me. Hyde (the short-haired one) likes E more anyway.

As for the title, it’s been a year today since my Grandma passed away. Many thanks to my best friend for taking the picture you see above, the sunset on this day last year. Tonight I am especially thankful to be writing this post sitting at her dinner table.

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A Few Changes

It’s been almost a year since I last posted and with a new year on hand I think it’s time for an update and a return to the blog. I also saw a best friend update her blog and thought, I should probably do that too. I’ll try to be a little better at it this time around. So, A few things:

1. I am shamefully addicted to Downton Abby. To the degree that I almost bought myself a silver tea leaf strainer the other day. Why would I possibly need one of those things? Because it’s fancy! But, tea comes in these convenient bags nowadays and can I have a little Matthew Crawley in my life?

2. I bought a house. That’s a lie. WE bought a house. Technically I’m not on the loan but I am on the deed. As E says all of the benefit, none of the responsibility. When, where, why, how, what? Yes, a house. We did it. We moved out. All on our own now: 1400 square ft of (somewhat) heaven. Of course there have been tough parts: I miss my parents terribly. It’s the small things I miss the most: someone always there to talk to, Spud (the dog), daily activities of having breakfast or dinner together, the small things in life I feel like I’m missing out on. And this is also why we have decided to look into moving closer next time (~5 years). So, we moved in on Black Friday and have slowly been making things cozy, homey. We finally got a couch and chair to laze on about a month ago. The library is coming along with a fireplace heater (my awesome parents gave us + a ladder + a washer/dryer) and some chairs we’re picking up this weekend. Bookshelves coming next month; and can I just say how much I am DYING without having my books out and about? I feel like I’ve forgotten how to read, even though I work in a library. Yeah, it’s that bad.

And this is the best part of our house so far. IMG_1209I bought E this painting for Christmas – aka General Dave Grohl’s face. And if you haven’t yet discovered Society6 – if I can, I plan on making my house an art gallery thanks to them.

3. We got cats. Underneath all this greatness I am a crazy cat lady. I couldn’t wait to move just for them. So much so that I organized to move our little bundle of fluff in the day after we moved in. Which then turned out to be two bundle’s of fluff we call Jekyll and Hyde, brothers of course; we wanted a dynamic duo name. They are 6 months old and quite the handful, It’s a love/hate relationship. I bought them bow ties.

4. I got a real job. I say that like I didn’t have a real job at Stratford Hall as an interpreter (tour guide), but let’s be honest: I needed something permanent and with more potential for upward mobility. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE Stratford. The ladies make it feel so much like home and I really love giving tours to friendly visitors. Thankfully I can still work an occasional Saturday just to catch up with everyone and spend some time at (one of) my favorite places in the world. Anyway, my newly official job title is Technical Services Librarian, but mostly I’m known as the Cataloger. I enter the new books into the system, maintain the current collection, and mend those books that have been loved to pieces. It’s a good job. And it appeals to my OCD organizational side. Some might call it tedious but hey, I’m naturally an introvert who likes to play the extrovert; it’s right up my alley. I’m head of my own department and answer only to the Library Director. I have my own office and a window. HEYO! The co-workers are nice enough and I love being around the books. It comes with a retirement plan and I’m being paid double of what I was before. I can finally feel secure in being able to afford this home, pay my bills, and still have a little fun money. I like to shop.

Sometimes I think I’ve sold out. I’ve given up on being an academic. I’ve turned my back to being a Professor of History one day. But I digress; let us face facts: the chances are slim to none and I just don’t have the patience in all honesty to wait and hope getting my Ph.D. would be worth it. And I’m not really giving up (see next bulletin), I’d still like to end up in an academic library. In this way I’m actively in the field gaining precious experience and still working towards to future. That counts right?

5. New Year’s Resolutions – Start Grad School for my MLS in Cataloging, Write More, and Visit a New Country. All of which are totally reasonable. However, I did just buy $600 FireFly Music Festival tickets for June, is Delaware a country?  Hyde, Jekyll

Look out for more posts on our home, the boys, my resolutions, and how my To-Do List (that is a mile long) is coming along.

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Overwhelmed.

I arrived in the office at 8am this morning. Since then I’ve done little to no real work. All day I have been job hunting. And I have found a total of 3 jobs that I could apply for: Part-Time Admin Assistant, Data Entry Specialist, and Tech Writer/ Editor with an engineering company. Nothing I actually want to do. And all of which are listed as “Temporary, Contingent, or Contract,” better known as you won’t have this job for long if at all. What the fuck. Are you kidding me? I’m so depressed over all of this. Trying to find something that will turn into a career or ya know something that isn’t part-time AND minimum-wage. Excuse me, but I’m worth more than $7.25/hour with a 4 year degree. I see these jobs with the Government that pay $30,000+ a year and think if I could get that I’d be able to go to school, move out of my parents house, and pay off my loans with ease. It’d be like living the dream! My degree, my experience, neither is helping me get anywhere at the moment.

For example, this is what USA Jobs says are History Major graduates jobs: Archivist, Archivist Technician, Exhibit Specialist, Historian, Intelligence Specialist, Museum Curator, Admin/Program Specialis, Managment/Program Analyst. Every single one of those career’s requires extra education, besides the last two which will require 3-5 years of experience in it’s designated field. There is no such thing as an entry-level job anymore, so how am I suppose to get a job?

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Dreaming

Everything I write lately has been pissing me off. If you could see my “Dashboard” you’d see that I have 5 pending Drafts with various amounts of text and thoughts spewed upon them. None of it is cohesive and half of it is written so sporadically that one paragraph is entirely different from the next; there’s no rhyme, rhythm, or flow about any of it. For example, I’ve been trying to write a letter to one of my best friends for the past month for Christ’s Sake! I just cannot focus on any one thing anymore. And perhaps it’s because I’m trying to keep myself so busy that I don’t have time for everything I want to do. But it’s probably because I am one jumbled mess of emotions and confusion.

Since January I’ve been overly stressed and easily flustered. My fuse is so short lately, I’m never happy with anything anymore. At least once or twice a week I’m mad at E, when I have no reason to be. I’ve made my way back to the gym hoping to burn off some of that stress with aggressive work outs and it’s seeming to help but I can’t seem to do it enough either. It’s as simple as I have to get back on track. For one, this internship is burning me out. I am SO over it. The commute. The cost. The time spent, 12 hours a day, for no pay. It’s ridiculous and not worth it anymore. The stress is too much for me and I’m done. I’m done. But then there’s the other problem, unless I have something else to do (SUCH AS A REAL JOB) I’m going to go crazy. So again I am on the job market hunt!

And then the other side of the coin: Grad School. I need a Master’s to do anything now. To even apply to jobs I need to have my Master’s in hand or be working towards it. So, how does one make the time to begin their Master’s when they also need to be searching, applying, praying for that first break into the job market? Seriously, I could do both if one didn’t take up all of my time when just applying for it. And a Master’s isn’t free. Duh. I’m going to have to apply for a new student loan, one that will be all on me  and I need a job to help pay for that. So I can’t get a REAL paying job without a Masters, but I can’t pay for the Master’s without a job, and I can’t get the job without “workplace experience” while in Grad School because a gap in the Curriculum Vitae doesn’t look so hot. It’s a fucking Catch 21, vicious cycle that I can’t seem to get out off! Then there’s the thought that maybe I could go to Grad School for my Ph.D and have that all paid for if I make the effort to do well on my GRE and bring all my experience to the table. But, that’s a huge commitment and I don’t think I’m ready to take on 5-7 years of schooling again when I really want the experience of being in the museum world first. From what I can tell after working at the Smithsonian, doing both school and work is the only way to get anywhere. Granted, working an internship doesn’t look as good as getting paid to work at a museum though either.

These are the things that go through my head every hour of every day.

I just wish there was someone who could tell me what to do, what the best route is and what I need to do to get there. How the heck do I get to be the head of a historical home or a small, local town’s museum? I already get that I’m not going to be a millionaire, but I need to make enough to live comfortably. The ideal situation would be to make enough working part-time so that I could pursue LIVING on the side. I want to paint. I want to write. I want to explore. I want to live as a human should be allowed to live. To be free and able to go and see the world, gain the life experiences that we all deserve. You can’t tell me that you don’t wish you could come and go freely from and to anywhere in the world you would like to. Or to have the chance to truly find your creative niche between the necessary tolls of work. Who wouldn’t you if given the chance? We’re all slowly losing who we are to the trials and tribulations of NEEDING instead of ENJOYING. I do it. I’m guilty and I don’t want to be any more. I want some time off. And to find a job I love to go to, one I learn from, that peaks my interest. One that will nurture me and appreciate me, but still gives me the freedom to just be.

Maybe I’m just dreaming.

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1.28.13 – 6:26pm

My best friend passed away Monday night. She went peacefully and quietly; laying in bed in her own house without any agony, stress, or even winkle on her kind face.

Today was her funeral.

I’ve never watched someone die and I’d never like to again. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been through it all with her or that I promised her that I’d be there till the very end, but none of it scared me. Her last breathes were quiet and scattered, but not strained. I held her  hand and stocked her hair until her last breathe. I didn’t leave her bedside until they absolutely had to take her away from me. I hated that part, I’ve never liked leaving her or saying “goodbye”. It was always “see you in the morning”. My last words were, “Relax, it’s all going to be ok. We’re going to be ok. I think it’s time for you to take a nap now. Like always, I’ll see you later”. She’s been through so much in the past year…we stopped telling her “be quiet” when she mentioned things of heaven and there was no more laughingly “shut up” when she voiced her want of dying.

My holding her back stopped and then, it was just time to go.

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