Feeling a Little Low

The 2019 Fall semester is finally over. I ended the year with 2 As, 2 Bs, and 1 C. I realized too late- with the help of people who care about me- that I started the school year with too much on my plate. I was able to drop one of my classes, but, in reality, I should have never taken 6 to begin with; I think 3 or 4 would have been more reasonable considering I’d been away from college for almost 2 years.

2 of my friends recently graduated. I suppose that 1 of them should be considered more of an acquaintance now because we haven’t hung out regularly since 2016. There were others that I went to high school with that graduated this May, too. While I’ve come slowly come to the decision to let myself run only on my timeline, I still find it difficult to look at photos of people who started college at the same time as I did, but only one of us is done. I don’t doubt my capabilities of finishing school and I don’t regret my choice to take a break from it, but my desire to be done with my degree is still very strong.

This was the first semester that I finally got a professor I felt was worth my time and money. She made class interactive, educational, and overall enjoyable. The topics were applicable to both school and work. She gave real-life examples and encouraged questions and discussions. I’m glad I had her because, in short, I hate school and that hasn’t changed. She made the first semester back a better experience and she made the decision to sign up for more classes just a tad easier, too.

I’ve had a lot of family stuff go on this year- more than usual, it seems. As always, I am never really in the conflict/situation, but I am the neutral party, the middleman, you get it. The most pressing “thing” is currently my youngest sister and my family expects me to “talk some sense into her” when I see her on Monday. We’ll see how that goes. I’ve given my two cents, but I try not to be too overbearing.

Work has been fine. I felt that they hinted at a promotion a few months back, but I feel that I misunderstood. I also gave a co-worker (on behalf of my boss’) a $1400 bonus. The co-worker is moving to California, and I’m sure they just wanted to thank her for her time and wish her the best. I feel the same, of course, but I’d be lying if I said I wan’t expecting the rest of us to get something. The last payroll was already run (by yours truly) last Wednesday, so there is little chance of the situation changing.

On to my teeth. Braces, braces, braces. The usual pain of braces came and went in a matter of days. However, the pain inside of my jaw and into my head has not left. I believe it is because the braces are trying to straighten teeth when there is no room to straighten them to. I am getting 4 teeth pulled on January 6th, but until then, they’re just pushing on each other and causing me daily and nightly pain. It’s great.

I am currently dog-sitting. I’ve dog-sat for this family for several years and they’ve been in 3 different houses. Normally, there is a note with an envelope of cash. This time, there was just a note. I won’t say anything until they return because there has been a previous occasion where I was paid after the fact.

The other family I am dog-sitting for on the 26th just texted me asking if $25/night was good. In the past, I charged $40. I said $25 was fine because the too-nice-person-that-lives-inside-of-me was saying, “it’s the holidays, what if they can’t afford more?” Obviously, this was the wrong answer, but here we are.

This post is just a big complaining session and I am aware of that. I am usually quite vocal about my appreciation of my friends, family, and other joys in my life, but this semester has been hard. It’s also not been fun being apart from my girlfriend; she’s visiting her family in California until the 27th, so I’m flying solo down here.

I’m sure it’s just going to be one of those days for me. It’ll get better once I’m with my family, I’m sure.

My Holiday Thus Far

The Holiday Season began, for me, the moment October kissed us goodbye. My girlfriend and I were given a 3 foot Christmas Tree by my grandparents and we set that sucker up immediately. That same day, my Meemaw also invited Chelsea to Thanksgiving. I’ve never had a partner at Thanksgiving, so this was an exciting first.

So, Thanksgiving comes around. My entire immediate family was actually not in town. My mother and stepdad were in Florida. My dad and stepmom were hosting their own Thanksgiving elsewhere (we did end up visiting them later). My sister was also in Florida and got to spend some time with mom.

Ever since my therapist told me to go into the holiday season with a more open mind, I wasn’t as nervous as I might have been otherwise about introducing my girlfriend to the family. This half of my family is quite conservative and religious; however, we actually had a wonderful time. The only person who I felt gave us a little bit of a hard time was my aunt, but I don’t think it was meant maliciously.

As Thanksgiving came to an end and the Christmas music crept through our radios, I started baking and planning and, as of yesterday, making eggnog. In fact, I’ve decided to conduct an experiment and make many types of eggnog in order to find the one that reigns over them all. There will be a few non-alcoholic versions due to the fact that my girlfriend doesn’t like to consume what she thinks tastes like medicine. I mean, she’s not wrong- many medicines contain alcohol.

Anyway, Chelsea leaves for California next week and I will begin dog-sitting, spending time with mom, and then dog-sitting some more. My work has demanded that no one work the week of Christmas, so I had to come up with another form of income. School has also come to an end and I am actually really looking forward to next semester even though this one just about killed me. I have one final exam tomorrow (on a Saturday!!??) at 4:15pm. I’m not thrilled about it, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Happy holidays, everyone!

So I Have Braces: Documenting My Experience With Georgia School of Orthodontics and Having Braces the Second Time Around [as an Adult]

Timeline of events:

  • 2009- Megan had full braces, top and bottom
  • 2010- Megan accidentally throws away her retainer with her lunch at school and her mother refuses to buy her another one
  • 2014-2018 Megan’s teeth begin to visibly shift, especially the top front two
  • 2019- Megan decides to get braces again because it has now become a minor insecurity and it can only go more downhill from here

Why Georgia School of Orthodontics?

So, I actually went to my dentist at the time, Dental One, to see their Orthodontist, but I didn’t like the doctor himself or the words that came out of his mouth. Dental One, in general, has given me some grief.

My mother forwarded me GSO’s info shortly thereafter and I made an appointment to get a free consultation. It was easy, straightforward, and $1000-$2000 less than what Dental One quoted me. Unfortunately, similarly to what Dental One said, GSO claimed that I would most likely need to get some teeth extracted to make room for the newly straightened ones.

I have insurance; however, there’s a certain amount available for Orthodontic treatment and younger Megan already used all of that up, so adult Megan would be paying for this out of pocket. Sad face.

The cost breakdown, for me, is down below. Please note that this can be different for everyone because of the type of braces (traditional, ceramic, invisiline), lack of insurance or not, how many teeth you’re getting pulled, if any, and will you require any other surgeries or procedures?

  • Braces: ceramic on the top and traditional on the bottom: $3,336
    • I made a downpayment of about $550 before starting treatment
    • I am choosing to make monthly payments of $99/month for about 2 years to cover the remaining balance
  • 4 extractions (not covered by overall cost from GSO): $442
    • I have dental insurance and while it won’t help with orthodontic treatment (the braces), it does still cover part of these extractions because I have a referral from the orthodontist and it’s not the orthodontist doing it (I hope that makes sense)
    • The cost of getting simple extractions done (with insurance!!) is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper if you have it done by a dentist instead of an oral surgeon (averaging about $12-$20/tooth)
    • I wanted to have an oral surgeon do it because it’s a little more invasive than your regular cavity or teeth cleaning

Does my mouth hurt? Yes. The first week is probably the worst and you should stick to a liquid diet.

  • applesauce
  • pudding
  • soup
  • smoothies
  • yogurt
  • oatmeal

How do I relieve the pain?

  • over the counter pain killers can be effective
  • ice pack to the affected area
  • warm salt water rinse
  • Dental wax (you normally get this for free from your Ortho)
  • Orthodots
  • Gishy Goo
  • Bumpers

Why I Hate Drinking Water

Water is good for us and we need water to survive- I know this. With that being said, I hate drinking water.

I hate drinking water because in its purest form it has no taste. I don’t like to add flavor to it because that’s extra sugar that I don’t need.

I hate drinking water because I hate carrying around a water bottle. A water bottle is the only way that I will regularly drink water throughout the day.

I hate drinking water because I hate peeing. Going to the bathroom, in general, has always felt like such a hassle to me. I’ve always been a “go-go-go person” and when I focus on a task, I am IN IT. When I feel that urge to use the bathroom, it breaks all concentration and forces me to completely disengage from the task at hand.

The worst part about drinking water is when you drink it past a certain time in the evening and then you are awakened by your bladder at the most ungodly of hours only to be forced to crawl out of your warm burrito and sit on the icy porcelain throne.

This post really has no huge point, I just wanted to share my hatred of drinking water with you all.

Thanks for stopping by!

But What is a “Date”?

My girlfriend’s sister brought up an interesting question the other day: Why don’t Chelsea and I go out on dates? I suppose that’s what it seems like- that we don’t “date”. I would say the opposite, though.

After thinking about it and talking with Chelsea about it, I’ve concluded that we do date. We may not go out, but we make time for each other.

Both of our love languages are Quality Time, so it doesn’t require us leaving the house or spending money to have that fulfilled.

I do enjoy going out occasionally, but I don’t need to go out in order to feel like we’re being “productive” as a couple in the world of dating.

Here are some favorite ways that I like to spend time with my partner:

  • Watching movies and TV shows together
  • Cooking/baking together
  • Eating my cereal on the toilet while she brushes her teeth
  • Walking together to the mailbox [almost] every evening
  • Carpooling to the grocery store, events, my parent’s house, friend’s houses, etc.
  • Eating meals together

It doesn’t take much for me to feel happy in my relationship. Neither of us care for elaborate plans and as long as we’re together, anything can feel like quality time.

What’s your love language and how do you make sure your needs are met? How do you make sure your partner’s needs are met?

Story-time: I hate the dentist.

This blog post is to unite all those who wander the earth who also despise going to the dentist’s office over all other doctor’s appointments.

I went to the dentist in on May 8, 2019. I was told that I didn’t have any cavities, so I went on my merry way.

I visited the orthodontist on August 23, 2019 and decided that I would go on with orthodontic treatment. They gave me a form to fill out by my regular dentist to clear me for said treatment.

There was so much back and forth between my old dentist, my new dentist, and my orthodontist and long story short, I did not get that paper signed. I postponed my ortho appointment.

I cut ties with my old dentist because they were very unprofessional and I started seeing a new one.

Seeing as I have to get the wire from the braces removed before getting a regular cleaning, I figured that it’d be best to do the cleaning a few weeks early so I could start the ortho treatment and not have to get the wire removed the next week already.

So I visited my new dentist on November 22, 2019. They were lovely people, but they told me that I had 7 cavities. I have NEVER had that many in my life combined.

My dentist asked me if I floss and when did I last go to the dentist? I said I was there literally 6 months prior and was told that they were fine. He said they lied or they just don’t know what they’re doing.

I had the left side of my mouth worked on last week (during my Thanksgiving Break *sad face*) and I got the right side of my mouth done today.

In the middle of filling the cavities, my dentist informed me that I had ANOTHER cavity!!!???

So, my message to everyone is to just brush your teeth as you’re supposed to and don’t forget to floss. ALL of my cavities were between my teeth because flossing bores me and I’d really rather not, but that has changed now.

Floss!!

Turkey Day is Rapidly Approaching

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. This means that most of us will be returning home to see family that we only see specifically during this time of the year. For me, this year is different because I am bringing someone with me.

I actually introduced my girlfriend, Chelsea, to various family members over the past 2 months and it all went surprisingly well.

In my last session, I spoke with my therapist about the holiday season and my own expectations regarding family and my obviously gay relationship. He told me to have minimal to no expectations and to be open-minded. At first, I reacted with, “WhAt?! You want ME to be open-minded??”

Buuuuut, then I realized that he was right. I was already anticipating the homophobic comments, questions, and uncomfortable stares months before actually being around family. I was making assumptions. I was judging. If I were to enter their homes with this attitude, it was going to be obvious and rub off on them.

In order for this to be natural and comfortable, I needed to let go of anything I thought before. I needed to act natural and comfortable myself. There is nothing weird or abnormal about my relationship and the more normal I act, the more normal it will be to family.

I’ve worked so hard to be 100% myself. I feel like I’ve only fully achieved that in 2019. I am ready to just have fun and enjoy this holiday season.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Putting My Dreams On Hold?

I was talking with a friend yesterday about the feeling of being caught between travel dreams and a good job (or meeting someone and settling down).

Long story short, my friend Blaire had plans to go on a month long trip to Europe with her sister this summer. Afterwards, she planned on joining another lengthy volunteer program or homesteading or just jumping in her car and driving across the US.

But she met someone in the first program she was in in 2018 and they now live together in Indiana. They both work and they’re both highly considering attending college after having not been in school for almost 2 years.

However, Blaire still has major travel dreams and doesn’t want to tuck everything under the rug just because she fell in love.

Additionally, she also fears finding an amazing job that won’t let her hit pause to travel every now and again. She hates feeling tied down and is concerned that a “normal” job will do that. In a sense, the relationship has tied her down as well, but she confessed that she is 100% okay with that at this point- she and her partner fit really well together and she loves coming home to her.

I told Blaire that my current job might be more of a long-term situation than I initially thought; however, I wasn’t concerned about not being able to travel because there are opportunities to travel through my company. They’re also just super flexible about all of their employees’ schedules and encourage travel and “you-time”.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have any concerns about not being able to travel as extensively as I’d planned prior to getting into my current relationship. There were moments of concern, yes, but after falling utterly and completely in love with Chelsea, I no longer wanted to travel with anyone but her.

One day, I hope we can take an extended trip (6 months-1 year), but, for now, I’m okay with mini trips scattered throughout the year. In fact, we’re taking our first trip together to North Georgia in about 3 weeks!

Are any of you experiencing worry about putting dreams on hold because of a really good job or because of a relationship? Share them with me!

Correcting Pronouns

So, my girlfriend gets mistaken as a guy sometimes, especially if she’s wearing a jacket or if she’s in a low-light restaurant. I hadn’t experienced her being misgendered until a few weeks ago at a German event in my hometown.

When the waitress asked, “What can I get for you, sir” I was quick to lean over and say, “SHE will have the Schweinebraten.”

Now, there will be different reactions from you all to me doing that, I’m sure. Some people might applaud me for “having her back”. Others might tell me I’m out of line and need to let her speak for herself. However, my reason for correcting her pronouns is actually for a very selfish reason.

I corrected her pronouns because I wanted the waitress to know that I was a lesbian. That sounds so silly, but let me explain.

I spent years becoming completely comfortable with myself and my sexuality. I pushed through internalized homophobia, as well as homophic behaviors and comments from “friends”, family, and people who I thought were on my side.

I came to realize that I was going to be the only person who’s opinion mattered when it came to who I was. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be gay because it is only because of my being gay that I am as confident as I am. I wouldn’t have been this strong without having gone through what I went through.

And, sometimes, it felt like I was going through Hell. And I’m not giving all that up just to be perceived as straight at a restaurant.

On a last note, I don’t always “look gay”. I can pass as straight, no problem. I think femme lesbian visibility is so important and I miss chances to be seen as such when I don’t correct my girlfriend’s pronouns when we’re in public.

I want other young lesbians to not be assumed as being straight and I want them to see that you can be gay and still wear dresses. I rely on my same sex relationship [and my “gay looking” girlfriend] to make my gayness known.

Some people are still not going to understand, and that’s fine. I should also note that I’ve spoken with my girlfriend about this and she will let me know if she ever doesn’t want her pronouns corrected or if she’d rather do it herself.

With that, I leave you all. Have a lovely night!

An Update on an Experiment I’ve Been Doing With Myself:

I stopped taking birth control about 2 months ago because I wanted to see if my body and mind would react differently to stressors and triggers of my anxiety.

I wish I could say that I’ve noticed a significant difference, but I haven’t. The only difference I’ve noticed are the mad cramps and back pain that accompany my period.

Funny enough, sometimes the cramps are so bad that my mind can think about nothing else- panic attacks included- so maybe that’s a plus, but overall, I don’t think it’s worth it to stop taking birth control.

I can only speak for myself; my cramps are quite bad and I often call out of work because of them, so I started taking birth control and my problems were solved. Of course, it took about 3 different types of birth control and a LOT of bleeding to find the one that works best with my body, but it was also well worth it.

So, here I am on my second period since stopping birth control and I think my time off of birth control is coming to an end. For me, I don’t think birth control has a significant hand in my anxiety.