reflecting

hmm. i've been silent here for a while. life has been hard for the last 16 months. my depression has ramped up the last several weeks... but hey, my anxiety hasn't been constant soooo... win?

i didn't come here to complain though. i feel like all i do is complain. but the truth is, my life is pretty great. it's shit but it's great. it's exactly like our house. ha! while yes, it does feel like i've been swallowed by a black hole. & yes, i might cry when you ask me what i want to do because that question is so overwhelming that even when the options are, "do you want to go into old navy or keep driving around?"; it's just too much. true story. & yes, we did just have to shell out another mortgage payment worth of money to repair our HVAC (again).  & yes, my depression has completely taken every ounce of motivation out of my body so my house is just sitting with no progress.

BUT. i'm alive. & i love my husband so much more than i ever have. he's the best support that truly knows how to love & care for me. & dammit! we're in this shithole together! the last year has been so rough but something i've learned in this time is just how much better life can be when you quit trying to do it all yourself. ryan & i have always had a really good marriage. a surprisingly, shockingly good marriage. & somehow, in these last 16 months, where it's felt like so many things in our lives have completely gone to shit, we're closer now than we ever have been. some of that i think is because i finally understand what it means to share your life with someone. i have always been wildly independent. it's always been known that i require good periods of alone time & am pretty satisfied with just doing most things by myself (as long it doesn't require socializing). something shifted this year. when i was hospitalized last year, i learned something about myself. i am not as strong as i think i am. when ryan had to leave to tend to the dogs or our house, i would panic. i would put my head in a pillow & cry because i was terrified. as long as he was there, i was okay. & that feeling has remained with me. i keep harassing him that he's ruined me because i was never dependent on anyone before. but the truth is, i am so much happier when we're together. ryan showed a love & tenderness to me in my darkest time & for that, i learned to share my life better. so cheesy & dumb, but so true. 

anyway. enough of that sappy shit. my point is that i'm stuck right now. i'm stuck in my depression. i'm stuck with zero motivation. i'm stuck with 3 areas of my house in the middle stages of projects. it is what it is.

i have found such a deep deep passion for old homes & everything that goes along with it over the last couple of years but the problem is that my mental space gets in the way of using that passion for good. my day job takes all my mental energy & by the time i'm off work, it's hard for me to get up. i will get out of it. i will get unstuck. i will focus on the house again. it's just a matter of time.

there are so many things that i want to update on... like the fact that i singlehandedly built a double fence gate from scratch & it actually turned out... or the very first window that i reglazed... but for now; i'm around. i'm not dead. i'm just learning to live in a black hole.

 

spiders from hell

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the month of may was a waste yall. a. fucking. waste.

i celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month & then was hospitalized 3 days later from a spider bite. a brown recluse spider. in my bed. at 11pm at night. the events that have unfolded since are worse than the actual terror of being bit by a spider in your sleep & then knowingly going back to bed in that same bed that very night. i spent a couple of days in the hospital with what felt like 24/7 IV antibiotics, a rash covering every inch of my body, a bacterial skin infection on my leg & a wound on the back of my thigh. i was sent home, barely able to walk & in quite a bit of pain. it's been 3 weeks & i've just been released from yet another hospital stay, this time a direct admit from my PCP after she determined the wound had taken a turn for the worst. from what i can tell from the last 12 hours, putting a cream on an already painful wound that eats away bad tissue, sounds just as bad as it is.

moral of the story: don't ever lapse on spraying your house. ever. ever.

or you might lose your leg.

2017

i have the luxury of working somewhere that gives me a paid vacation from before christmas to after the new year. every year i make grand plans of knocking out projects around the house. the first year we lived here my grand plan was to refinish the hardwoods. seven years later, those floors haven’t been touched & i’ve realized since that i don’t want to diy that task anyway. this year i thought i’d at least finish the projects that i’d already started (bedroom doors, closet & hallway) but then ryan was able to take off the entire break with me & working on the house was the furthest thing from my mind. instead, we decided to throw caution to the wind & leave town for a few days. we put kansas city in our gps, left our dogs in the care of my sister & spent 3 days exploring somewhere new & dreaming of our future.

we really enjoyed kc. it’s definitely somewhere that i’d enjoy going back to but the 4-5 hour drive almost killed us. it was the slowest drive of our lives. kansas, you suck. anyway, between the holidays, family, some needed one-on-one with ryan, mini-vacations & sickness, the house was left abandoned. the break was good though & even now, i’m not too worried about working on it. i’ll get to it eventually but right now our schedules have been so busy (busy = overwhelmed which to me is having 2 or more things taking up my evenings each week) that i just can’t spend my free time on the house. with that said, i made myself a house related new years resolution, something that i never do because who likes to set themselves up for failure? when we were in kansas city, we stumbled upon a coffee shop, blip, in an old warehouse. upon entering, we were welcomed by a family-owned business with the cutest little pit bull pup running around. we lovingly referred to it as “if weldon jack sold coffee”. it was coffee, family, friends, motorcycles & pit bulls. i mean really, does it get better? the barista was very friendly & immediately reminded us of our old friend dave, who lived with us briefly way back when. he asked us where we were from & then responded to our answer with “how is it there?”. ryan & i both looked at each other & got a little awkward with how to answer. it was such a simple question but the answer is difficult for us. we fumbled around with some answers about how the city is trying but it still has a long way to go to be & feel like kc did. in other words, he wanted to know why we loved it (assuming we do since we live there) & we gave him a general answer that had nothing to do with us. what he said next has stuck with me & bothered me since. he asked, “so what keeps you there?”. it took me aback. i couldn’t believe that this stranger had seen my unhappiness in such a short conversation & i felt insecure immediately. i also felt dumb because some stranger in a coffee shop just called out our bullshit.

don’t get me wrong, i’m not saying that oklahoma city is a bad place to live. it’s not. it’s our home, it’s where we were raised, it’s where our families live & i’m sure that that will always mean something special to us but oklahoma city is not where we fit anymore. we outgrew this place & we knew it a long time ago.

for the last several years we’ve had the same conversation about what we want for our future. when we can, we want to sell our house, move to an apartment while we save money & decide where we want to move. this is still what we want. we both dream of a new life, a simpler one, out of our comfort zone & in a new landscape. this year, i want to work towards that dream. we always say we are. we always tell each other that this is the year we buckle down, get out of debt & save the money we need to fix the house. we speak, we listen, we go on about our lives. i don’t want to do that anymore. this year i decided that i want to do my part & work towards getting our house in order to sell it, as much as i can. there are a lot of issues, some of which will require greater amounts of money that we don’t have right now but in the meantime, i want to put the right work in to the house that will get us closer to our goal.

nobody should live life doing things that don’t bring them joy & fulfillment so thank you to the barista that called out my shit & got me on the right track.

westport flea, kansas city, mo, december 29, 2016
westport flea, kansas city, mo, december 29, 2016

holiday feelings

christmas, 1990. little jana, already grumpy.

i've come to terms with the fact that i am missing a lot of "emotions" in my brain that most other people seem to have. i am not sentimental. i'd rather risk hurting someone's feelings than bullshitting with them. the only person that gives me "warm & fuzzies" is my husband & it comes in the weirdest ways. i don't understand the feeling of a holiday feeling special. it's just a day, isn't' it? thanksgiving doesn't make me feel any more thankful than i did the day before. christmas doesn't make me want to spend time with people any more than it does the day after. easter definitely doesn't make me want to go to church. valentine's day doesn't make me feel  more in love. paid holidays make me thankful for a day off work & time with ryan & that's about it. i'm not sure i understand why a big deal is made of all them. i don't particularly remember ever being really into holidays but i'm sure as a kid i probably enjoyed them more than i do now. i know this is nothing new; there are a lot of scrooges in this world but when you're the only one in your family & friends group, it can get uncomfortable.

i stopped decorating for christmas 3 years ago because i've never enjoyed it & finally realized that i was definitely not doing it for myself. every year growing up, we had the same tradition as everyone else that celebrates christmas. you decorate for christmas the day after thanksgiving. a lot of people look back fondly on that tradition & that's why they continue to do it their entire lives. me? i look back & remember the yearly dread of having to go up in the attic, pull everything down (the joys of being the smallest, youngest & most helpful) & then putting that damn 8-foot tree up, limb by limb. i hated it. the only thing i ever wanted to do was put up this one little nativity scene we had. no idea why. after the decorating was done, i then had weeks to let my anxiety boil about all of the christmas gatherings to be had in my future. that has never changed. as i've gotten older, i've stopped going to most things that aren't for someone who i cherish extra. i'm not going to go to a work party just because there is one. free food is not worth it. i'm not going to go to a funeral because i knew someone who died. funerals don't bring me closure. all they do is trigger my anxiety & i feel like that's definitely something that is a personal choice that nobody should have any say in. i'm not going to go to an extended family wedding or celebration just because my mother asks me to. listening to snide comments & jokes from family members that i have nothing in common with, while trying to play nice & smile for my mother's sake is not how i want to spend my time. it makes a lot of people mad. they don't get it. my mom thinks it's my dad's fault & my dad thinks i'm just a dick but truth be told, when it comes down to it, i just cherish myself & my time too much to put myself in situations that make me miserable. hanging out with a bunch of trump supporters equals my idea of miserable. joking, not joking?

the second worst thing about christmas (& birthdays) in particular is gifts. please don't buy me gifts & please don't expect me to buy you gifts. i am not a gift giver & never have been. it doesn't make me feel good to give them & most of the time unless it's something i really need, i don't feel good about getting them either. (there's a 99% chance that if you buy me an object, it will end up in my donation pile anyway so you're just wasting your money in most cases.) on that note, why the hell do we expect people to open gifts in front of us? it can be so traumatizing to a person & here we are, making kids do this from the time they're born. i remember being in elementary school & always feeling like i'm dying inside every time i had to open gifts at a party. my 16th birthday? my mom threw me a huge party & gave me a car in front of all of my friends & family. i remember the feelings from that day like it was yesterday. that panic i had when i realized what was happening & that i was going to have to quickly come up with some sort of vocal/physical reaction to getting a car. i was crazy excited about the car but it didn't matter because i "didn't show it". saying thank you & giving a hug isn't the expected reaction. people want some yelling & jumping. i don't yell & i definitely don't jump. people: meet jana, a guaranteed lifetime of disappointing reactions & interactions. jana: meet holidays. your time to really shine.

i say all this to say, if there's someone in your family or friends group that doesn't participate in things that you think they should, they probably have a reason for it. you might not like their answer but it doesn't matter what you think. we all just need to do what feels right for us & sometimes, that's going to piss people off but in the end, your life is yours & nobody else's so fuck it.

soooo.... happy holidays!

psst. i'm finishing my bathroom tonight so once i have some natural light to take pictures of it (i.e. saturday), i'll be back for the reveal!