Drama heavy, but I promise some good things in here, too.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of emotions and a few amazing things and other terrible things too. Such is life.
I'll break this down b/c it'll be long.
My friend Camille
My friend Camille's funeral was beautiful. I met her family for the first time and her family are full of beautiful people. Me and my friends saw photos of Camille in the past that she would have never shown any of us, no matter how close we were. With us, her hair was always tied up, and she wore glasses. Those pics had her hair down, no glasses, sassy poses. "Shame she didn't show that off more," said one friend. It didn't really matter to me; however she presented herself was plenty okay for me.
I didn't cry until the services started and the reverend and choir started singing for her 'celebration of life' and 'journey home'. I cried because I missed her and I still do. But when everyone started to sing a hymn together, there was a four-beat pause before the next lyric but someone sang too early — that made me stop crying and I laughed so hard. I'm sure Camille would have been laughing with me. I also had a nice image in my head where Camille walks through the doorway in Heaven and she's greeted by my grandparents and my uncles who have left this world. She's in good hands up there.
My parents and cousin came into town that same weekend, but because my cousin wanted to visit me before she went to her new job in a different city out of state. It was in good time. I had my sister here, but my parents being here was so comforting, too.
Work is no help at all
I go back to work the week after the funeral. It's still hard to be there but I try to do my best.
I just changed managers so now I have a manager I've worked with before, but she's definitely more by the book than my previous manager. Last manager did not care about my absences at all and cared about me being at work and doing my best. I've worked in this department for almost 4 years now and have been asking for a promotion and he did not see any reason why I wouldn't get one. That's what he told me before I changed teams.
On our first meeting, my current manager told me I was denied of my promotion because of my absences, and I've had enough that her manager wanted me to give me a drop file. This is when you get something on your record that takes away your privileges of applying to other departments, doing other extracurricular activities. But my boss smoothed it out and reduced it to a 'warning' and recommended to make sure I try to get my absences from this year 'protected' so I don't get penalized even more.
Let me tell you about my absences. Last year, I missed a ton of work because of gallbladder issues — I no longer have one. But for the first two months, the doctors played it off as 'acid reflux' and kept giving me stronger doses of the same medication. Meanwhile I made the attempt to 'protect' those absences, meaning getting paperwork signed by the doctor and sending it in. One doctor refused to send anything other than 'oh it's just acid reflux', and another doctor, whom I just visited the week before, left to work for another company by then. The paperwork I ended up getting (bless the nurse who was willing to help in my predicament) was not enough for the medical company to even 'protect' my absences. So I ended up being unpaid for months. My bosses have been sympathetic about it but what they don't understand (or what they won't admit up front) is that the lack of paperwork and the way I look on paper is ultimately how much I'm going to matter.
That was last year. This year, my absences have been odd. I've felt unwell but I don't want to get it checked by a doctor. I've felt hopeless and I don't want to talk about it. Either way my thought was basically: "I don't want to go to the doctor if they're going to give me the runaround about what I actually have. I don't want medication that's not going to help me or make it worse."
I didn't realize until recently that the hopelessness and other mentally jarring thoughts might have been a side effect from the medication from last year. I mean sure, my body changes, I'm getting older, last year was traumatizing, but you know. I haven't been as optimistic as I used to be.
I get it, though... who is going to give a promotion to someone who misses work a lot? And it really got me thinking, too: I've worked for this company for 7 years and I've been one of the best in all departments I've been in. I've been a role model and achieved so much. But in all those years I've suffered odd but serious illnesses, and I've gotten better, but now I'm seeing that my body has been trying to tell me something. The work environment is terrible. The morale is low.
Camille always ranted about work. I'm not going to blame the company for what happened, but with that environment we're all in, I am certain that it did not help her one bit. And then, me, a happy, optimistic person, became cynical and resentful to everything. I want to become an actuary but with these setbacks it's hard to see if I still want to be. If I do, it's not going to be for this company, that's for sure.
Whoever is reading this may or may not know I've returned to writing fanfiction. I'm actually thinking of migrating my old McFly fics to Archive of Our Own, purely for nostalgic reasons. But this time around, I'm writing for Digimon Adventure (don't laugh!). I finished this one recently that I'm super proud of called 'Colors in Autumn' and it's set after the characters finished university and are living their adult lives, but the characters are nostalgic of the past. Fanfic speak, it's 'Slow Burn Adult AU' and there's romance, drama, fluff, comedy, and ever-loving smut. You don't have to have knowledge of the series — some people have enjoyed reading it 'fandom blind'. Basically, I'm telling you to please read it if ever you get the chance <3
Writing has been my escapism these past few months. It's been therapeutic and it's been fun writing about my favorite characters going through scenes that I think up. I've also met other writers who love this series as much as I do and I've made bonds I've come to cherish. I'm even on reddit talking to writers who write for different series but we all seem to be on the same level, so that's cool.
Other than fictional escapism, I literally escaped this forsaken state (Arizona) this past weekend for a cousin's wedding in Oregon. My parents and my sister couldn't make it so I was the only representative of my immediate 'clan'. The attendants on check-in mixed me up with a "Julie" so this "Julie" ended up in my seat. (I was cool about it — and the Julie ended up being a mom sitting next to her daughter who was a cancer patient so immediately she was freaking out — I was like everyone 'please calm down just assign me somewhere else if you have to'). The airplane had to get a 'jumpstart' on the way to OR and there was no air conditioning upon departure. My older cousins who are brother and sister and staying at the same hotel took turns texting me to tell me that they were going to be the one to pick me up. So much miscommunication and it was all such a mess.
But I had a great time. A great time. I was in a two queen bed suite and I had it all. to. myself. The peace and quiet was real. I walked to the Starbucks across the street every morning I was there and it was so nice to be outside and not feel burned to death the first step out the door. I loved the weather and the trees and it was cool to see the sun go down at 9pm (even though that was WEIRD). I caught up with some of my cousins whom I haven't seen in a year or two and we all got drunk together at the wedding open bar. The next day there was a barbecue at my cousin's in-laws' house which is literally out in the boonies. Their backyard leads into the woods to a river. I'm fascinated to learn how it's like growing up there. I stuck by my cousins though because.. I'm shy lol
I got to hang out with my older cousin who I never really got to hang out with but she understands me on so many levels. Another cousin was like, "Mom, Julia traveled to Europe for a year — she's fine!!!" lmao. Even with my family panicking about me being by myself, I appreciated that every one of my relatives freaked out about how I was getting to the wedding — all in all, I loved how everyone was looking out for me.
As far as the state, it was beautiful. I've never been camping and I don't know if I ever will, but I'd love to come back to Oregon, actually visit Portland, and hike or go on nature walks and all. I'd never want to live there though — guess I'm used to the city life. I can't bear not being near a shopping center or grocery store that could be like an hour or two away.
I left too soon.
So wow, it took me hours to write this. I flew back last night and I definitely wasn't ready to come back. I know, that's the norm when you come back from a lovely vacation. This morning, I woke up feeling sick and nauseous. Normally I take an extra day off of work to recover from the travel/vacation mode but due to the circumstances at work I thought it best to not take any more days off. WELP, I called in sick today, anyway. Unfortunately, it's not helping me whatsoever, because now, I'm sick but also stressed about losing my job. Back in the hell of the year's past, except this time I'm missing an organ
bad joke. Regardless, I'm going to go back to work tomorrow and I have to work extra hours to make up for the hours I don't have vacation for, and for vacation time I've lost these last two years and never been able to make up or accumulate since.
Yeeaahhh that was a lot. But I had to let it out or else I'd probably implode. Whether you read my fictional stories or my real life rambles, I will always have to say this: Thank you for reading. <3333