My Alternator Has Bit the Dust

Tuesday started out as a pretty average day for me. My girlfriend and I worked out, she went to work to train a new person (we are still working 90% from home), and I started my work day from our dining table.

Sometime in the late morning I realized that we had completely forgotten to pick up the Filipino food that we ordered over the weekend from a local small business. I emailed them to ask if it was still available and also if I could pick it up later that day. They said 5:30pm would be a good time to come over.

5pm rolls around and I make my way to my vehicle. It’s about a 20 minute drive and my GPS has decided to take me through parts of town I didn’t know existed. I notice that my battery light is on. My battery is brand new and the light doesn’t mean that my battery is dying- it just means that the voltage isn’t where is should be and that it is not being charged correctly.

I make it to my destination and just in case the battery is completely drained, I decide to leave my car on while I run inside. I grab the food and I come back to my car, which is thankfully still running. However, then my radio shuts off. Now, my radio hasn’t been working 100% in years, so I thought this was just the natural next step for it. It was not. My gauges and lights also would not turn on. Finally, my car did not want to move forward.

Must be the alternator.

So, I called AAA and requested a tow truck. I was told it could take up to 50 minutes and I said, “Yes, that’s fine.” (It’s not like I really had a choice) I also called my girlfriend and asked her to pick me up. I thought the tow truck would arrive before her, but she beat it. We moved all of my stuff into her car and waited for the truck.

While we were waiting, the people we ordered food from came outside and asked us if we wanted to come in and eat. I said thanks, but no thanks, and my girlfriend said the same. They insisted. So, we went inside and were welcomed to a true feast. It turns out that they were hosting a dinner for all the small Filipino bakers and businesses in the area, so there was a TON of amazing food.

Well, 60 minutes passed and I called AAA again. They said they’re really backed up and that I was next on someone’s list.

Long story short, 4 hours pass before I see AAA. It is 10pm at this point. I am exhausted and I feel bad for staying at a stranger’s house for this long, although I must say that they were very hospitable and kind and did not make me feel bad.

I had plans to walk at the park and maybe cook and spend some time with my lady, but by the time we got home I was drained. I was also stressing out about the high possibility that I would need a new car sooner than I thought.

My car is a 2007 Mercury Mariner. It has 216,000 miles on it. I’ve had it for 7 years and my mother had it before me. It has been through A LOT. It has some engine damage, the paint job is whack, and it burns oil like a mofo. The radio hasn’t worked properly since I was in high school and all the seats in the car are stained (the backseat actually has a huge oil spill). I just think I’m coming to the end of the road with this one.

I’m excited to get a new-to-me car, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the biggest financial step I will have taken thus far in my life. I thought I had more time and that I would have had a higher paying job by this time. I’m trying not to freak out too much; I am working from home and all but one of my classes is online this semester, so that helps.

I’m going to make a spreadsheet with my car options and we’ll go from there.

A COVID-19 Update

Atlanta, GA is in the middle of 14-day lockdown and my girlfriend and I are both working from home since a few weeks ago. My university has also moved to teach 100% online for the remainder of the semester. I’m not sure how the upcoming summer semester will go, but I’ve registered for a Corporate Finance class that I know will be a bitch. I’m due to register for fall classes in the next few days as well. Woohoo.

My girlfriend has exposed me to a variety of mobile games (Mario Cart and Words with Friends) and enlightened me to the fact that you can play Sims through your television and now we’re 2 minutes away from calling GameStop to see if they have any pre-owned PS4s.

The songs I am playing on repeat are Demi Lovato’s new song I Love Me and Ava Max’s Kings & Queens.

I have baked cookies cinnamon rolls and more cookies as well as quiche, pizza, and too-much-ginger-broccoli stir fry.

Lastly, my cohabitant and I were engaged in a 3 day monopoly game. I think I’m done with monopoly.

Honestly, I don’t go out much anyway, so this lockdown’s not that different from how I live my normal life; however, I did just recently discover the Atlanta Beltline and it is killing me not to drive there because the weather has been AMAZING (aside from the pollen that is suffocating my partner).

I need to complete my Marketing homework and maybe attempt baking a loaf of bread. I am also going to pick up my sewing hobby again and try creating a kaftan dress from a bedsheet. Pictures to come if it’s not a complete fail.

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!

My Anxiety

My anxiety always feels like I can’t take in a full breath. It always feels like yawning and then not hitting the “top” of your yawn. It’s a heavy weight on the top of my chest. It’s shallow breaths. It’s a fear of not being able to breathe and not having anyone there to help.

Once on the brink of a panic attack, my legs and arms get tingly/partially numb. Everything around me begins to sound like white noise.

From there, it goes one of two ways: either I sit down somewhere and ride it out or I start trying to implement my coping skills and hope it goes away.

I have a few coping skills/tools and some of them are silly, but when you feel like you can’t breathe, there’s not much you won’t do to relieve it.

  • sitting down/squatting in an almost fetal position seemed to calm me
  • applying makeup, specifically eye liner or mascara that would require more concentration
  • eating food
  • brushing my teeth
  • shaking my hands and arms to get feeling back into them
  • podcasts for distraction
  • calling someone on the phone
  • writing in my journal

I also have collected prevention tools over the years and I don’t use them all, but I’m sure it would help.

  • When I first went into therapy I was told to use something called the Alpha Stim SCS.
  • Since the end of May of this year, I’ve also been trying CBD oil. Honestly, I haven’t felt much of a difference, but I also haven’t been taking it regularly for the past 3 weeks.
  • I’ve been drinking more water and eating more healthy foods.
  • Sometimes I take lavender pills.
  • I try my very best to get good sleep and enough of it, but that has been a lifelong challenge that I can expand on in another post.
  • I do not consume a lot of alcohol, and when I do, I limit myself to a single glass of wine or beer.
  • I stay away from caffeine.
  • I’ve been trying to move more through stretching, just getting up more at work, and actual exercise, but I’m lazy and sometimes I can’t be bothered even though I know it would probably help immensely.
  • I continue to push myself to do things that make me a little uncomfortable because you have to conquer the things you fear to overcome that emotion.

My anxiety has never kept me from going on adventures or living my life, but it has limited how far I would travel for those adventures and it gets annoying when all you want to do is enjoy yourself, but these “what if” questions won’t stop buzzing.

It’s a struggle, yes, but yesterday’s therapy session felt promising. Read more about it here.