Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

This is the weekly post for those of us who are traversing together this hellscape called Personal Growth. Brag about this week’s accomplishments, ask for support, talk about what worked, what didn’t. Tell us how things are going for you.

95 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. CleverManka says:

    I went bra shopping over the weekend b/c I was miserable in my current bras and I thought maybe they were just stretching out or something but NO it turns out my hormonal weirdness has gifted me with another cup size, so I'm up to a 34DD now. I'm a person who's always felt more comfortable in bras (I prefer wearing one most of the time–hanging free is not pleasant for me) so that was a relief. I didn't want to be one of those poor souls always digging at their bras in discomfort. SMALL VICTORIES.

    In other news, you know those foil stars that elementary school teachers stick on papers? I'm using them to mark passing days on my work calendar instead of x-ing through them. It feels nice to stick a little star on my day as I walk out the door. Surprisingly nice. I've been doing it for a week and a half. I recommend it.

  2. Onymous says:

    I realized I've been working at Target for 4 years now. Friday was the anniversary. At least 2 more years to go. probably a 3rd. possibly a lifetime… Though at this point I can say I've definitely won the battle of the pants.
    Back To School is dying down, which on one hand it ensured I didn't have to fight for hours. On the other hand Back To School is worse than Black Friday and Christmas combined.

    Mostly this last week has been me wallowing in the negative-pressure of loneliness. because I am a dumbass and a bit of a creep even though I deleted the contents of my okcupid profile I still occasionally log in and smack quickmatch a few times. There was a very cool sounding lady that popped up once and it just triggered the brain weasels that remind me of all the dozens of reasons friendship is out of my reach, let alone dating.

    Which combined with my counselor last Wednesday trying to convince me that I'm clearly capable of making friends and me not knowing how to put into words the way I feel like people resent me talking to them and I resent people talking to me in a way that allowed a productive discussion.

    So that added to the loneliness.

    I bought my text books yesterday¡ Yay less money¡ Which is of course causing me to confront the (not new) fact that I'm mostly doing geology out of a fit of pique more than a real pre existing interest.
    Que sera sera on that one though because I don't really have an interest in anything (Lauren's existential crisis is very familiar).

    I wish these drugs would kick in.

    • Frumiosa says:

      What's it like to work at Target? Is it really as bad as Walmart?

      • Onymous says:

        I don't know I suspect Walmart expects less emotional buy in from it's employees (we get talked to if we don't call out customers "guests" etc) on the other hand I've never seen the sort of scheduling bullshit that articles accuse walmart of or any pressure to work off the clock.

        That said I was being scheduled for 30-40 hours consistently but this year Target decided it knew better and they've been cutting hours across the board so there have been a lot of weeks this year where I was scheduled for like 15-25 (I've still managed to average 37 a week but it's been annoying, mildly stressful and requires an irregular schedule)

        From what I gather our process is a bit more human-intensive than walmarts. Our merch arrives stevedored into the trucks instead of wrapped on pallets. We're expected to completely fill any location (I've been told walmart basically says fuck it unless like the entire box will go out). I'm currently at a very new Target in a prime retail location so they make the floor work a lot cleaner than my old store.

        Generally it's entry level retail so: constant low level panic to get things done faster, often pointless micromanaging, repetitive, every week we get told we're doing something a new way which is either contradicted by the next week or forgotten about.

        I'm on the too-early shift though so I do have the advantage of a relatively consistent schedule and because I'm part of the backroom team now I don't have to deal with customers much anymore.

        I'm currently making 11.04 + .50 for hours worked before 8am. It was 10.04 +.50 last year but they bumped up the starting wage (I think to 9.75 or 10 for "logistics team members") and some of us got particularly large raises as a result. Usually usually .25 a year is considered a pretty good raise.

        I will say this about Target: they barely care if you show up for work. You have to call and tell them, but in general as long as you call in (no later than 2 hours after your shift was supposed to start) you can miss as much work as you want whenever you want with out suffering any consequences, they don't like start scheduling you for half a shift a week or anything like that. If you need to take off halfway through a shift there's no retaliation. It's extremely flexible like that which, for about half the lifers, is the probably the main reason people continue working there.

    • Heathered says:

      Loneliness is so hard, and solidarity from a remote internet stranger can exacerbate it as I know to a painful degree, so, um, yeah. I hope things turn around for you.

    • LaxMom says:

      I'm sorry your jerkbrain is acting up. What sort of geology are you doing?

      • Onymous says:

        Well this is essentially freshman year for geology so as yet it's just "geology" but as long as the scheduling works out I'm planning on geophysics (which is the undergrad path to volcanology).

        My motivation is A) I once saw a video of pillow lava and thought that looks cool. B) at my old college half my friends were geologists and they had the best parties C) geology is one of the few sciences where 'field work' is actually out in the field. D) I was jealous of my geologist friend's ability to look at a landscape and tell me it's history

        I'm also trying to minor in CS because while i refuse to spend umpteen thousand dollars going to school and not do more science I also want a job eventually.

        • LaxMom says:

          Cool! I'm pretty deficient on the geology side of things, I actually have a meeting with a professor to ask to do a self study to catch up on what I don't know about hydrology. I hear you on the job issue!

          • Onymous says:

            Are you doing hydrology? I just realized you've been mentioning research and your masters for a while now and I have no idea what it's in, I think I assumed you were another librarian.

          • LaxMom says:

            I'm working on a PhD in geography, nominally, but I do remote sensing of archaeological sites, and it's turned out that I am focusing on relict irrigation systems. Knowing what dams do to watersheds when they wash out would be really helpful when modeling past landscapes.

          • Onymous says:

            Oooh, that sounds super cool.

          • LaxMom says:

            if you are interested in the computer side of things, look into 3d modeling geological software and agent based modeling like NetLogo (great library for examples). I know there are geology-specific ones, for modeling the underground landscape.

  3. Frumiosa says:

    Hey everyone! I wrote the letter to my prison pen pal, hopefully she'll write back. I didn't know what to write and hope I didn't sound stupid. She might not even want to talk to me, as I'm younger and probably come off as very naive (because I probably am). Maybe she just entered the pen pal program to meet a guy, I don't know.

    Anyway, in book news, still waiting to hear back from the agent who's coming back from vacation.

    In not-being-creatively-stifled news, had to postpone the playreading group because someone was sick. So still looking forward to that, next week. Also I got a job offer to help direct a play at the high school my husband teaches at, but I had to turn it down because the timing didn't work for me. So that's sad.

    In up-to-the-minute news, turns out a little bit of medical marijuana taken for anxiety interacts with Wellbutrin for same in very weird ways. Is this real life?

  4. mkmorrow says:

    Whining ahead! I am having a challenging week. I have a UTI, and my period is also starting, so at the moment it feels like my lower abdomen is an enemy encampment full of spears and hatred. My stomach and intestines are getting in on the action since the antibiotics for the UTI are not being kind. Ugh.

    I also had to do the yearly employee self-evaluation (followed by manager eval) which is largely pointless (I work for a government org, so raises have nothing to do with performance) but it still threw me into a flurry of self-doubt, with a side of of "what the fuck am I doing in this stupid job anyway?"

    The knitting project I was doing to use up some old yarn is going to…run out of yarn. So I might have to buy more yarn, which isn't something I typically mind but that wasn't the point here.

    On the bright side, I am down to 13 months to total debt freedom (barring catastrophes).

  5. Lynn says:

    In the interest of "living my best life" I need to share the amazing salad I made for lunch today:
    – Maiche greens
    -Button mushrooms
    -cubes of monterey jack
    -red onions, marinated in a little bit of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper
    -avocado salsa verde yogurt dressing (bought at the store — it's a Bolthouse Farms dressing)

    This salad is making me so happy I'm dancing in my chair. I'm usually terrible at picking ingredients for salads that go together so I thought I'd mention it in case anyone else is the same.

  6. vladazhael says:

    I guess I've just been sort of… juggling things? Managing things? Learning things? The Breakup That Lacks Conviction is my main emotional occupation right now – or at least the main one I feel a pull to vent about on the internet – and while it continues in a more or less positive way, I sort of tripped over myself this weekend when I had to deal with my now-roommate doing (respectful, low-key, agreed upon) dating things and my own (continuing) confusion over what I think of the coworker who seems to like me, all piled on top of the crippling emotional crash of a wicked hangover. I was, as they say, not at my best. But I also recognized this and did my best to manage it, and while the management did involve a probably greedy amount of leaning on said now-roommate for emotional support and greasy fast food, I got through it in the end, and did so without doing anything woefully stupid in my vulnerable state.

    Aaaand now my cute, young, polyamorous, emotionally intelligent friend from up north is coming to stay in my house for a few days (now, instead of the mid-September window I thought was happening)… so that's cool. Not that I'm planning to do anything drastic, if at all, with him, because it's Too Soon, among (a whole bunch of) other things. But it's prompted me to, instead of shying away from last Friday night's shenanigans, plan MORE Friday night shenanigans with more people, which may, depending on weather and timing, mean young friend, interested coworker, and now-roommate in my pool at the same time, because apparently what I do when faced with a tangle of confusing and difficult romantic possibilities I don't know what to do with is just stir up a big pot of Sexual Tension Soup.

    Which *should* probably seem stupid, but… it only kind of does? Or rather it seems stupid in the fun way, where instead of shying away from complication I actually let life be weird and interesting and still manage to balance things and not be unkind to others and myself. And by writing it here now, I am maybe jumping the gun, but also holding myself accountable to said standards of kindness and sanity. So… yeah. Planned growth, I guess. Plus I'm going to not combine a whole bunch of stout with a whole bunch of wine this time.

    • CleverManka says:

      Fuck yeah Friday night shenanigans!

      Sexual tension can be so much fun to play with when you're in the right space for it. I used to hang out with a group of people who basically had make-out parties (not really orgies, but not really not orgies just nobody was actually having intercourse right there in the open anyway) and I remember them being so much fun.


  7. Merripat says:

    I am not really okay, but feel (or hope) that it's slowly getting better. I had to decide where to move for my master's and I chose the city with the least interesting sounding programme but where I know people and (presumably) have a lot of options for internships. I turned down the offer of a scholarship for a prestigious uni abroad because the first year of the programme would have been in a town in my own country I couldn't see myself in.
    I had hoped I'd feel better once I decided, but instead I'm sad and feel stupid for wasting this once in a lifetime chance. Couldn't I have made it through this one year? Wasn't studying in this foreign country always my dream, didn't the programme sound interesting and academically challenging? I can't focus on the good things I chose, I only see the negative stuff – what if the people I know there don't want me to be there? What if I never find a good internship? Was I maybe just too scared to take the other route? What if have now forever denied myself the chance to live in this other country? Why did I decide to move closer to my family when I have manager perfectly fine without them for the last seven years?
    And I have talked so much about this already that I feel people can't hear or take it anymore :(.

    One of my best friends assured me that I can talk to her, and in fact I'll be living a lot closer to her. And I get to meet a Toastie IRL there! So there's that. I think it's ultimately going to be fine, it'll be better once I actually move there, but it's still two months until then and I need a place to live at first…

    (Edited because a large part was cut off for some reason)

    • vladazhael says:

      A lot of that sounds like the shock of cutting off other possibilities that comes with making any (quite possibly great) decision. There are always going to be roads you never took, because you can't take them all at once. And while it's certainly worth examining your motivations for choosing one thing over another, it's also worth remembering that you did have reasons for your choice that probably still deserve to be honored as important.

    • fiddlergirl says:

      So this is just anecdata but when I was choosing grad schools, I turned down a plum research assistant position that was personally offered to me, unsolicited, from a professor working on Very Cool Things Relevant To My Interests, at University1, in favor of going to University2, where I would have to TA my first year and hustle for an RA position after that, mostly because I knew people in University2 Town and I just had a better feeling about the town itself. 9 years and a PhD later, I'm happy with my choice. So yes, it's worth examining your choices if you're feeling off about something, but it's also okay for personal stuff/gut feelings to factor in to a choice like this. I hope things work out and you enjoy your program once it starts!

      • Merripat says:

        Thank you! It is comforting to hear that it worked out for you.

        • aqueousmedium says:

          I had a similar experience to fiddlergirl's – passed up potentially stellar A for less stellar but more of a support network B – and I really like the both person I became as a direct result of B and the career pathway I ended up taking is also a much better fit than what would have been the likely outcome of A.

          There will always be what-ifs, but you're going to do great!

        • LaxMom says:

          Adding my two cents: I didn't have a choice, legal issues forced me to pick my fallback school and go …a lot…into debt for a while until I earned a stipend. 4 years later, I'm working on my PhD, love my advisor, am being challenged everyday. I got a lot of opportunities in my dept. because it is so small and few others do the things I do. In the more prestigious school I would have been barely noticed and definitely wouldn't have gotten to to the Maya stuff. It worked out well!

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Support matters a lot… that's one of the things I took away from my time in grad school.

  8. meat lord says:

    Big hugs for anyone who would care for one from an internet stranger 😀 I know almost everyone is going through Some Sh*t and I am full of sympathies.

    The ol' creative-brainparts are whirring away like mad, as they often do when I have no time to actually work on any of the things I'm mulling over. You'd think I'd get writing done at my incredibly, incredibly slow job, but I end up feeling guilty for having nothing to do, and out of guilt I don't even work on my personal work. Sigh.

    Mostly, things have gone pretty well for me in the past week. (Gonna tackle some deep & scary stuff in therapy this Saturday, though. Hope it helps.)

  9. fiddlergirl says:

    + Went to the gym to lift on Monday, for the first time in 4 months! Also ran 1 mile on Sunday and also this morning! I'm recovering from a hip injury followed by a back injury so this is big news.
    + voiced my opinions in a work meeting!
    + goin' to therapy tonight! current topic: depression, do I have it??
    + STARTED READING CLEVERMANKA.NET AGAIN! still getting my internet footing back post-Toast

    – this week I need to work on my interpersonal skills at home, as I'm just back from a longish work trip and find myself being irritable and short with my husband. We talked a little about what might be going on last night, and it's probably all stress-related (or possibly see above re: depression?), but I'd like to get a handle on it and stop slipping into unfounded snippiness.

  10. Pantechnicon says:

    I created an IntenseDebate account so I could stop lurking and thank everyone who encouraged me last week wrt the "maiden name" thing. The alumni office (the VP himself!) responded promptly and positively, and the change has already been made on the university's website. Does this mean I have to sign up attend the reunion?

  11. Doc_Paradise says:

    Meaningful work project has been continuing. I have been asked to do a "translate from academic to readable text" for a training manual in mediation/communication. I have two reviews for two excellent negotiation/communications books in the works. I've managed to get outside and walk reasonably regularly. I'm being productive. I'm back at work and that is mostly working (ie boring not difficult).

    I think I have my next tattoo worked out.

    Therapy is resulting in nightmares as all the stuff in my unconscious tries to say "talk about MEEEEE". Therapy is being very helpful. It's opening boxes I nailed shut, but that is leaving me staring blankly at the stars (not noticing that I'm being eaten alive by bugs) as I try to process some really awful shit.

  12. kayjayoh_ says:

    On Friday, I went to my new therapist. I have another appointment for this Friday. I think she will be helpful in sorting out the "ALL THE THINGS! TOO MANY THINGS" in my head.

    Today I had a (second) job interview for a step-up position in another department. Then I got one scheduled (2nd, but first in person) for a similar position in another department.

    I have an appointment next week to see an othropedist about the problems I have been having with my left knee.

    Still homesick, but feeling okay.

  13. Heathered says:

    It's interesting to see a general tendency toward hitting various walls here today. I had such a hard-charging July, and since the beginning of August I've noticed that food all tastes like cardboard (which is okay but weird) and I am so goddamn tired I can't function (which is a little harder to work around). It seems like depression, only I'm not emotionally down or disconnected. Gonna make some Sleepytime tea and sleep the hell out of tonight to try and reset myself, because it's very hard to do all the self improvings when I could honestly sleep for 72 hours. Also, 5.1 earthquake nearby last night! That woke me up for a minute.

    • Onymous says:

      I miss earthquakes in a weird way. I grew up with them being a regular occurrence but since about ~10-11 when I moved out of Alaska I think I've been in 2? 3?

      Though when I lived in Socorro the university has the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center. Which is a euphemism for Bomb Range. So it was kind of like having little earthquakes every day.

      • Heathered says:

        I'm terrified of them, except when one is actually happening. Then it's just confusing. Our very old downtown is full of "Warning: Unreinforced Masonry" signs, which do not inspire confidence should anything rowdier than a 5.0 pop up nearby. We'll all just be buried in bricks. Alaska is hardcore quake country, which I guess goes along with being generally hardcore.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Yup. I've been headachey and lethargic and brain-fogged (but happy!) all week. Let's all take a rainy weekend to sleep in and bake muffins and read.

  14. mkmorrow says:

    You are brave and amazing. Hugs.

  15. CheddarBiscuit says:

    I needed this message, since surviving today was a struggle! For some reason, my body has decided that I should have a migraine about once a week this summer. Really not appreciating this. :-/

    • Heathered says:

      Migraines can go directly to hell without passing "go." Also, I like your username and wish I was eating a tiny piece of it right now.

  16. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    So apparently today is Thursday, not Wednesday, and that discovery improves my morning significantly! I was wondering how there were already so many comments here…

    In actual personal growth goals, I finally figured out a key piece of the plot in the book I'm working on, and now I think I may actually have a complete plot for this thing. Now I just have to, y'know, write it.

    My main accomplishment this week has been playing a ridiculous amount of No Man's Sky. I'm okay with this.

  17. Xolandra says:

    Late, but that is because I was at a cottage. It had no wifi, but it did have loons. It was a general trade up, I think.

    While I was driving home from said cottage in the sweltering heat (cars with no AC, man, so. hot), I was thinking about the Most Excellent compliment I got from a receptionist at my yoga centre, which basically amounted to "how are you so cool?", and it occurred to me that like 99% of my personality was formed in _direct_ retaliation to my least favourite uncle. ***tw for gross adults, more in comments**

    • Xolandra says:

      I'm not sure, because shit is fuzzy and it was 20 years ago, but I'm fairly certain that I recall him being gross at me on a few occassions as a pubescent teen. And I'm pretty sure that making this asshole go away is responsible for me rejecting femininity as a teen (I loved pink and frills as a kid, why did I hate them so as a teen, why does reclaiming them at 30-mumble feel so revolutionary?), for me having the prikly-ass sour disposition that served me so well for most of my life, for my not-so-latent-misandry, for my absolute hatred of capitalism and get-rich-quick-schemes… He also gave me Cindy Lauper, and I feel Conflicted about that

      This was the uncle married my mom's youngest sister and moved into my grandparent's house and to whom we (me n bro and also some other cousins) got shipped every summer, who never let me bbq because it wasn't a woman's place, and who cut and styled my hair for the first 15 years of my life, which may _also_ explain the aversion to hairdressers that governed my style for the first 30. And his gross casual racism may also be why I am so fiercely vocal about that kind of gross when I encounter it. This is also (one of) the uncle that I moved halfway across the country to escape.

      The weirdest part of all of this is that I really _really_ like the person I am becoming, and it feels kind of awful to realize that I owe a _lot_ of who I am to a dude that (still) makes me want to have a long hot shower and scrub all of the gross off.

      • CleverManka says:

        it feels kind of awful to realize that I owe a _lot_ of who I am to a dude
        IntenseDebate screwed up Crivens's response to you about "your epic coolness is intrinsic to you," by not posting it in this thread (some things never change). So in case you don't get the email notification! I concur 100%.

        We all owe things to less-than-pleasant influences, but that doesn't mean we can't take pride and happiness in the ways we survived (are surviving!) them.
        <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/346454/346454_original.gif"&gt;

      • meat lord says:

        The weirdest part of all of this is that I really really like the person I am becoming, and it feels kind of awful to realize that I owe a _lot_ of who I am to a dude that (still) makes me want to have a long hot shower and scrub all of the gross off.

        Duuuuude 🙁 That sounds awful.

        If it helps, your response to him was, well, yours. You became cool as f*ck, because it was in your nature to do so, instead of responding in some different way to his grodiness.

        • Xolandra says:

          It does, kind of, thank you. It also makes me sad for the 20 years of cool AF that I missed out on, because make yourself smaller and avoid notice, yeah?

          The weirdest part of this whole thing is that I'm not sure what to do with the revelation. Like, it is what it is, I am not posting this because I'm having a difficult time with it, more… that's what came out of my headspace this week 🙂

          I'm also a little saddened by how frequent this storyline is; I think this whole thought process was triggered by something that I read last Feb (a writer did a February long series of pieces in response to the Jian trial, would Google but at work, that should be enough to get you there if you want the articles…) that was eerily similar in that a gross adult dude was leeringly joking with a prepubescent teen and she wrote about it as an act of sexual violence and I think my brain just now suddenly was all "remember this? This is the same thing". So, thanks brain? But, like, i could probably have survived without?

  18. Crivens_the_hag says:

    I suspect that your epic coolness is intrinsic to you, not just rxn to skeevy uncle. It's pretty disheartening that you had to put up with that crap. 😡
    Solidarity in toastliness!

    • Xolandra says:

      Action/reaction, right? Which came first? So difficult to tell.

      I suspect, tho, that a good part of the reason that i am "finding" myself now is that I clamped down _hard_ on my"self" then :S

      Eh. At least I have now!

  19. MuseKray says:

    I'm considering applying for an intensive programming school for women next year (Ada Developer's Academy), but I'm not sure. I know I can do coding if I apply myself, but I've been bored by all lessons I've found so far. However, I do like the idea of the potentials knowing software developing can provide. Does anyone have any experience with coding as a career?

    • Xolandra says:

      Not a coder, cannot help.

      Are you on the toastie slack? I know there's a group of comp savvy humans there, they may be the ppl to ask?

    • Crivens_the_hag says:

      Not first hand, but at my workplace soft ware developers make $$$. That tends to make many other areas of life easier/more enjoyable. Shrug?

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      "What kind of programming?" is a useful question. I'm an engineer, not a coder but I had to learn it as part of my schooling. Quite a few people do it as *part* of their jobs. It is a very useful and versatile skill set. If you can work it in with something you like or which matters to you it might make it less boring.

    • Onymous says:

      I do not personally but I know quite few.
      the gist is:
      The customer (or well whoever most software is usually just internal business apps so 'customer' is some other department) have no idea what they actually want and no idea how easy or hard it is to write a given feature. It's the On-Steroids version of having your boss give new contradictory company policies/directives at every weekly meeting. That can be very stressful.

      Otherwise yes excellent career, many opportunities. Though here's the thing: being able to code in a programming job is a solid trades-job style career, being able to code in any other job is like having super powers.