What’s going on? I have descended into a very comfortable empty life of laziness. I’ve had numerous rotations in my internship that are easy to say the least. No homework means lots of YouTube and a constant internal nagging about responsibilities like laundry or this blog that do not get fulfilled. It really is upsetting, since I could have used this time to do so much more with my life, but instead I watched the entire Psych series (don’t regret that, by the way).
Let’s super speed recap. Last time I wrote was Easter break. Since then I had a public policy rotation. That was boring and just busy work. The next week was an out of town trip to a supermarket rotation that was nice-ish. It was a nice change of environment. Preceptor was nice and the assignments were interesting since I was able to be creative with them. Gia snapped at me and I reminded her with a very abrupt stop of the car that upsetting the driver is not a good idea. We got through it and made it back in one piece for our next rotation in another town as well.
That one was about school food which is something I am interested in, but apparently more so than the preceptor. We were released ridiculously early every day (before noon!). Didn’t learn much. Finally the last three weeks Gia and I have been at a community garden. Yep. That’s what happened.
One date. Missed Joseph’s play that he helped produce because I got confused on the time. But still organized another movie date a week or so afterwards at his apartment. It was great. 🙂 We watched A Quiet Place and then read each other some of our writing. Short stories, poems, etc. It was really wholesome and unexpected.
Chance graduated university with a Bachelor’s in criminal justice. I dropped off some food for him while he was at work on Saturday since the Agronomer we work with at the garden had made some. Other than that I haven’t met up with him. …maybe since Easter. Now, I miss hanging out with him, but don’t want to beg him for his time. I leave in a month though… Oh well.
5K to Triathlon?!
I’m so done with this internship. Just want it to be over. I guess that’s not new. The latest thing has been scrambling to complete the volunteer hours mandated. No events have been offered in over a month, so Gia and I have been going to the community garden every Saturday for the past three weeks. The one event that was offered recently was a 5k. Two of them. On the same day. We were told at a group meeting last Friday that they would take place on Sunday. Two days notice! One had the registration close Friday night, so I wasn’t able to register, but the other one… Yeah, Amanda really encouraged me to do it, so I did.
Mind you, I used to run, but haven’t done so in about two years. With two days to prep, yeahhhhh…. It wasn’t impressive, but I completed it. First 5k I’ve ever done. 😀 When I used to run I was training to complete a 5k and got to the point that I could run the whole thing. I was just working on improving my time then. I wanted to get faster before doing a 5K (Time was like 35 minutes, so not fast at all). So I never signed up. Now, out of the blue without any training in years, I did one. 47 minutes. Awful time, but I did it!
Remember when I said I obsess about things? I find a hobby and get so wrapped up in it? I focus for hours on it, planning and perfecting whatever it is that caught my attention. Eventually, I fall out of love. That’s inevitable. Welp, after the 5k, I met up with Amanda and since the finish line was across the street from a beach we went for a dip. I joked we should swim out and touch the buoy. Surprisingly, she said yes. No one else I’ve swam with in the ocean has been brave enough to go out deep enough to touch the buoys that mark the safe swimming area.
I was so excited I just took off in a mad dash! Halfway there I looked back and saw her way behind. She shouted “Wow! You’re fast!” I raced her a second time a while later and got two massive cramps in both my calves. Haha, that could have ended badly, but this was a race now! I had to keep going! Slowly I crawled to the buoy yelling encouragement to Amanda. Things like, “I’m injured, this is your moment!” Haha, it was so much fun! Afterwards Amanda asked me to swim with her next weekend saying she’d like train with someone fast like me. I joked that at this point I should train for a triathlon.
Yep. That was the spark. Now I am obsessed with triathlons. I’ve done a ton of research this week and have swim classes set up for when I get back to Texas. I even have decided on a triathlon to train for in late October. Hopefully I’ll be ready by then. I’m hoping this obsession lasts long enough until I start training, because if it does, I do enjoy running and swimming. I’ll keep doing those things. I just have to start. Biking is going to be new, but I think I can do it. 🙂
So, yep. That’s been my life the last six weeks. Only 5 weeks left in Puerto Rico! Hopefully I post again before I’m back in Texas. XD
I have something special for you guys today. It’s a story I wrote for a creative writing class back in in 2015 or 2016. I’d never attempted a short story before. In fact, this was before I began blogging, so it’s the first narrative I’m proud of. Not so much for the writing skills, but more so for the twisted message. Enjoy?
“Jump!” he screamed, hurling himself from the precipice.
I, unprepared, stumbled a few steps before tripping after him. I jumped, kind of. “Why did I jump?” I wondered as I flew down the mountain close enough to it that had I not been hugging my arms to my chest I would have sanded myself on the way down. “You meet a nice guy and next thing you know you’ve jumped off a mountain.”
On one of my morning runs, I met Jimmy. His father owned the grocery store in town that I typically passed. For several days I had seen a figure lurking in the shadows of the brilliant pink and orange sky of dawn. The figure was the size of a young man. Short and wispy, but with a sort of strength to it I could see from the path. There he stood, leaning against the door of the shed his father used to store inventory. I saw him there every day for a month.
In June, after six weeks of living in town, I passed the solitary dirt path and glanced over to the shed about twenty feet into the property. No one was there. I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. Since I had moved in, I had met several kind people, but it seemed as if everyone had already found their niche. The farmers’ wives chattered away when they found the time, the mothers regularly met up to exchange gossip, and the men, I had heard from a little girl who had wandered to my house one evening, sometimes met up for a night of card playing in someone’s basement. The women of the house would be ushered upstairs and only be allowed down if they brought food or refreshments. What a strange place. It was like traveling back in time.
Lost in my thoughts, I had not heard him running beside me. A light tap on the shoulder brought me back into the present moment. Startled, I jumped, then took off in a sprint. He looked ahead, a few steps behind now, and began to laugh. Curious, I looked back.
“Didn’t mean to scare you” he said, still laughing, “You’re Alice, right?”
“If you didn’t mean to scare me you shouldn’t have snuck up on me!” I said, irritated that I had jumped like a jackrabbit at the first sign of danger. “Yeah, I’m Alice. Who are you?” I replied with a scowl.
As if he didn’t hear the annoyance in my voice, he replied, “Jimmy.” He had caught up to me with those sluggish steps of his.
I looked him over, wondering if he would say more. When he didn’t, I invited him to walk with me. We walked until lunch time, him talking about the past and me talking about the future. At the time to depart, he walked to his house for lunch with his family and I walked home for lunch alone. After that day, I wasn’t alone much anymore. Jimmy and I would walk in the mornings, then go to his place for lunch. His family all seemed to enjoy my company and I loved theirs.
This morning we took a new path, to the mountains at a distance.
“You still haven’t told me why you moved here you know,” he began.
He’d asked me several times, but I would always make up some excuse to avoid the question. One time, the fish we caught in the river just happened to get knocked out of the bucket we’d put them in. Another time, I tripped out of nowhere, scraping my knee. Now, I regarded him. It’d been two months since he’d last asked me.
“You haven’t figured it out yet?”
“No, for all I know you moved out here to escape from a flesh eating disease killing off city dwellers.”
“How’d you know?” I said with false surprise. “The disease doesn’t eat your skin though. It eats your soul.”
“It’s greed, desire, selfishness. I wanted to get away from it.”
“You can’t get away from that Allie! That stuff is in the air!” He shook his head, as if to rid himself of my foolishness.
The mountain air became louder, more forceful as we reached the base of the dry, rocky mountain.
“No, I guess not, but hey I tried.”
I was glad we had reached the mountain. Now we’d be even more alone. Only nature balances out human folly. The rest of the climb we spoke about lighter subjects. His sister had recently had her first child, so I gushed about her for most of the hike. When we reached the top no one spoke. The silence coated us like frosting on a cake, beautifying the moment.
As far as I could see were blue skies. Not a single cloud lingered. Even the dull gray rocks below us seemed to shimmer. The peak was flat and wide, so we sat and looked at the eagles soaring past. What seemed like hours later, Jimmy took my hand and led me to the edge. Afraid of heights, I hung back. He let go and stood with the tip of his boots over the edge.
“Do you trust me?” he asked.
“Of course.” I replied solemnly, unsure of where this conversation was headed.
“Will you do me a favor?”
“Jump!” he screamed, hurling himself from the precipice.
So I jumped. Not knowing where it would lead, only trusting him, I jumped. It was terrifying. First you feel nothing, then your stomach lurches into your throat and your heart flutters as if trying to take flight and save you. Several endless minutes of abdominal clenching later (as if that could stabilize the air whooshing around you), the body begins to recognize this new speed and direction as normal. Your body releases its tension and it feels like flowing through a lazy river. It feels safe and natural.
I know this isn’t natural or safe, so while my body has calmed down and accepted its fate, my mind goes into overdrive and begins scrambling for ideas. I open my eyes. When had I closed them? Rocks and only rocks surround me. Jimmy! Where is he? If two objects fall at the same time, they will reach the ground at the same time regardless of weight. I jumped a few seconds after him, so he shouldn’t be too far below me. I never would have guessed physics would be one of the last things I thought about before I died. Then again, I didn’t think I’d die by jumping off a mountain at the request of my best friend.
There, about three seconds below me, is Jimmy. His eyes are closed. He looks completely peaceful. My brain begins to slow.
Suddenly, he opens his eyes and yells, “No more human strife!”
“What?” I think, my mind going wild once again. I see him splat on the grassy valley. His limbs are bent every which way, but his eyes are open and he smiles at me as I join him.
Another straightforward poem. This time about how I’m falling asleep while attempting to do homework. Haha, I can be quite melodramatic, huh? More poems and blog posts are on the way, so make sure to come back for those! 🙂 Also, Frankie, my turtle in the picture, is the poster child for how I look trying to stay awake and keep working on this (or any) assignment.
Hey guys, my apologies for the spotty publishing schedule. Better late than never, right? I just got through a week of hanging out with my dad. Every. Single. Day. It was both good and not so good, haa. I tried to take him to all of my favorite places in Puerto Rico. So, if you ever come around the island, here’s where I recommend. 🙂 Get ready, ’cause this is a long post!
I usually take a ton of random photos every time I see something pretty, but for some reason I didn’t while my dad was here, so instead of a photo from every day most will be photos from Thursday in Old San Juan, haha. Also, I put links for the places and foods in Puerto Rico that we visited/ate to maps or websites that could give you more information, in case any of you busy bees want to skim through and find those quickly. 🙂 Enjoy!
Monday, April 15th- Dad’s First Day in Town and Enjoying my Old Neighborhood (more like avoiding my new neighborhood…)
Remember that my dad missed his connecting flight the previous day? Yep, that’s why he arrived bright and early at 3am today. I had promised Axyl I’d accompany him to the dentist to see if he would be able to have some dental surgery done. At 6:30am he wanted me to meet him at the dentist’s office. -___- I texted him around 6am when I awoke and mentioned how exhausted I was after only sleeping two or three hours, so he told me to sleep and that he’d let me know if he needed me. Yay sleep!
Now, the first place I wanted to take my dad to during his short vacation in Puerto Rico was around my neighborhood where I live. However… there’s a catch. I live with Axyl. My parents both expressed disagreement when I proposed moving out of my prior apartment and finding a place with him. Why? Because “eghhh a man and a woman shouldn’t live together eghhhh”. I expected that from my dad but my mom echoed his thoughts… surprisingly (as it is practically unheard of for my parents to agree on things). So, I dropped it and decided not to look for a place with Axyl. That was in December last year. Then in January all the accusations and things happened and Axyl was leaving. No arguments there. I struggled with what to do as I didn’t want to keep living with Karen and Robert after what happened and going with Axyl was uncertain and completely against my parent’s wishes. Ultimately, you guys know what happened. I took the leap of faith and went to live with him, without telling my parents. They think I found an apartment for myself and only myself….
For this reason, I couldn’t very well take my dad to my apartment and risk him finding Axyl casually lounging around in sweats! Which is why today I took him to my old neighborhood instead. Hato Rey is a nice area close to the banking district. The streets are wide and clean and close to my old apartment is Plaza las Americas, the largest mall in the Caribbean, let alone Puerto Rico. Before going to the mall, I took him to this little café called La Taza de Iche. It’s a small little shop across the street from the hospital where I did my food service rotation for five weeks. Good memories there. 🙂 At the mall I took him into a cutesy accessory shop that often has sales going on called Pozzazz, an ice cream shop popular in Puerto Rico called Soft and Creamy, and some other lamer places like Walgreeen’s and K-mart.
From here we went back by the cafe we’d gone to in the morning in order to go to this Puerto Rican restaurant called La Kosina that my dad had tried going to when he and I had come to Puerto Rico the last time and stayed in that area. It was closed that time, and closed this time. They close pretty early, around 3pm and it was probably around 4pm by the time we arrived. Since it was closed, we opted for my favorite chinese restaurant called First House China that’s close by there. Delicious as always! From there we went back to the Airbnb we’d rented until Wednesday and chatted about youth and technology before I gave up on getting any homework done and going to sleep.
Tuesday, April 16th- Taking my Dad to “my” Apartment and Showing him around my Neighborhood (my favorite ice cream shop and a local farmer’s market)
Now was the moment of truth! In order to show him the best places and foods I’d found while living here, I recommended staying in two different places: one in the metro area (anywhere as long as it was close to a train stop so I could show him places from my daily life) and the other close to a beach (any beach, so that I could show him the few scarce vacation-y/ fun places I’d been to in my almost non-existent free time). We would be moving to the second Airbnb on Wednesday where we’d stay until he left on Saturday. I had another day and a half to show my dad as many special places that I’d discovered in the last 9 or so months I’d lived here. It was quite a busy day today!
I took him to my neighborhood called Rio Piedras. It’s a quaint place close to the University of Puerto Rico. Maybe walking down a little further it’s not such a nice area, but if you know what direction to go it’s a friendly small neighborhood. Before getting here though, I took my dad to a fancy sandwich shop called Sobao. I don’t go there much on account of it being in an area of town I don’t often go to, but it brings back memories of quick lunches between meetings with the other interns and Saturday morning study sessions with Amanda at the beginning of the internship. From there, I introduced him to the closest thing to a dollar store I’ve ever seen on this island called Always 99and a popular supermarket chain called SuperMaxwhere we bought seafood to make sushi.
Gia loves sushi, so when I mentioned my dad knows how to make sushi I tried to get something going. I messaged Gia to see if we could go by her place (which is close to the only Asian store I know Oriental Food and Market). However, Gia had a study date with Karen, so no dice. With this change of plans we bought seafood that could be adapted into other things.
Finally in my neighborhood, but with Axyl still in our apartment, I distracted my dad with ice cream. There’s this local ice cream shop I love. It’s a calm place to go after a difficult day called Georgetti Heladeria where they make all natural ice cream and juices with real, fresh fruit. While Axyl was busy hiding all signs of his existence by shoving anything obviously not mine into out tiny closet, my dad and I enjoyed an ice cream cone (I tried their pineapple flavor for the first time and it was amazing!) and some freshly made fruit juice. We tried tamarind (nice and sour!) and acerola (a cousin of the cherry that grows in the Caribbean). Both were good, but not better than a recent favorite tropical fruit of mine, passion fruit (or parcha in Puerto Rican spanish).
Once Axyl sent me the all clear, I took my dad to visit “my” apartment. We found a reusable bag on my second desk (not suspicious at all) which was filled with tea. I don’t like tea, but as I pulled it out in order to use the bag (which had to be mine in my dad’s unknowing eyes) I made something up about them being freebies from some place or another. Otherwise, what would I be doing with tea?… With bag in hand, I led my dad to Plaza del Mercadowhich is a farmer’s market inside a large building. There’s a ton of produce stands, some butchers, dry goods sellers, and a small cafeteria area. I don’t remember what we bought there, but on the way to the market there are a lot of clothing shops. There my dad bought a t-shirt with Puerto Rico stated proudly on the front at a guy’s clothing store called La Nueva Era and I bought a black shirt with pineapples dotted on it at a woman’s clothing store called Rainbow. 🙂
Back at “my” apartment we made shrimp cocktail and crab salad with the things we’d bought at the grocery store in the morning. However, since my dad considers these things as more of a side dish or appetizer he insisted on going somewhere to eat before heading back to our Airbnb. Burger King was close by, so that’s where we went. I guess that was appropriate as it’s probably the most popular fast food restaurant in Puerto Rico. (Yes, more than McDonald’s.)
Wednesday, April 17th- Moving into the New Airbnb, Stopping by the Department of Health, and Enjoying the First Beach I Ever Went to in Puerto Rico
Moving day!! We had to be out by 11am and couldn’t check into our other Airbnb until 3pm. That was just as well though since I had some business to take care of at the Department of Health that day. Remember the witch of a dietitian I was with during the previous week? Yeah, well I took a book she had let me borrow for the rotation. I technically was still working on stuff for the rotation (corrections that were due on or before Monday of next week). However, I didn’t think it pertinent to mention that I was taking the book home with me. I will give her props. The email she sent asking if I had the book was well written and didn’t have an accusatory tone. Ha! It’s funny it took her until Tuesday to notice it was missing! I responded that I had thought of returning it when I dropped off my completed binder, but that if she needed it sooner I could probably bring it by on Tuesday or Wednesday. She said, “yeah better it be this week”. Woman didn’t even know it was gone! What does she need it for? Whatever. I agreed to drop by to return it.
So, at 11am, we took all our stuff out of the Airbnb and onto our backs. My dad suggested dropping off our things at “my” apartment then going to the health department or where ever else we wanted to go before heading to the new Airbnb. I quickly refused that suggestion on account that I didn’t want to force Axyl to scramble to hide or risk my dad finding out I do not in fact live alone. So, I made some excuse about it being more roundabout to go all the way to my apartment, then back to the health department, then to the restaurant I wanted to take him to, then back for the stuff. He couldn’t force me to agree, so off we went to the Health Department where we ran into my internship director as she was leaving for the day. Ha! I was all awkward like “heyy, yeahh, I’m showing my dad around haaaaaa”. X) What’s wrong with me? Another one of the office ladies greeted my dad before I left him in the little office space for the interns and went to face my dietitian from last week.
I returned the book, but my witchy dietitian (my preceptor) wasn’t there. Her co-worker was, so I asked her if the Health Department would be open on Friday so that I could turn in my work. I also asked if she knew anything about the corrections I was supposed to be sent since I hadn’t received a single correction to work on. She informed me that the Health Department would be closed both Thursday and Friday and that she would let my preceptor know I’d come by, but that she’d be back soon either way. I had planned to just drop off the book and go, but upon hearing this I told her I was going to be around the office down the hall in case my preceptor wanted to tell me anything. She assured me she’d be back soon, but an hour and a half of waiting later there was still no sign of her. So I took my dad and left.
Before moving into our new Airbnb, I took my dad to that Puerto Rican restaurant again. This is the third time we go and it’s closed. Technically this time it was closing, not closed, so my dad walked in. Seeing all the chairs put up and the room dimly lit (as the lights were off), he still went in and asked why they closed so early. He was told since it was easter week they hadn’t made much food and it’d run out after the lunch rush, so they were closing early. -___- We ate at the chinese place again instead. Well, I took him to another Puerto Rican restaurant, but that place was close to closing too. It was 1:15pm!! Also, the food from that other place isn’t good, in my opinion. It’s the second time I come in, look at the food on the line, excuse myself, and walk out. XD
After the chinese restaurant, we took a train then an Uber to our new Airbnb. It was five minutes away from the first beach I ever went to in Puerto Rico and in my adult life: Ocean Park! We went for a while, but it was getting dark and Ocean Park is infamous for its crazy big waves, so we didn’t stay too long.
Thursday, April 18th- Beautiful, Historic Old San Juan, the Prettiest Beach in the Area (in my humble opinion), and Letting an Uber Driver Pick our Dinner
Finally, the place my dad had been waiting to go to: Old San Juan! It’s a beautiful place with cobblestone roads and well constructed little buildings smushed together in all colors. To one end there’s a castle and to the other there’s a beach. It’s a super tourist-y area, but I came here for the first time with Chance on our first date, so it has a special place in my heart. ❤ We walked around. Didn’t really go in any shops, but did goof around a little outdoor exercise area, took pictures of the sea, and bought some local delights like traditional Puerto Rican lollipops (pilones) and snow cones (piraguas). We also went to my favorite spot here… Parque de las Palomas!!! (the Pigeon Park)
I love going to this little area. At the entrance of this dedicated park space is a lady that sells corn and other things to feed the pigeons. With a dollar’s worth of corn, my dad and I had a blast feeding the pigeons. At one point, I had about five on me! (Follow me on Instagram to see those pictures! @MyDragonflyLife.blog) One on my hand munching away at the corn, then one on my shoulder and a couple more on my arm. I was so happy! C: Haha, at one point when I had only one on my arm my dad randomly scoops it up and the little chubby pigeon is confused until he sets her back down on my arm. You and me both, little pigeon. X)
Then I made the mistake of standing under a tree filled with pigeons. Yep. At least the poop landed on my hair and not my face! Time to go to the beach and wash off. While Ocean Park was my first beach and I will forever hold it dear in my heart, the beach by Old San Juan (El Escambron) is special for other reasons. To me, it’s the most beautiful beach relatively close to where I live. It’s not tourist-y, but is very popular with the locals, so it’s a good environment. There are restrooms and showers which is a great plus. My only complaint is that there are practically no waves. I like waves. It makes the ocean fun and a smidge dangerous! :3 I guess it does make it easier to swim though, so that’s nice. I’ve made some amazing memories there with Chance and also with Gia. Aughh, I wish I were there right now!
On the way back from El Escambron we took an Uber. The driver was a very social lady who recommended a ton of different places for me to take my dad. I don’t have a car here. If I did I would have taken him to El Yunque (a national forest) and to one or both of Puerto Rico’s islands (Vieques and Culebra, specifically Flamenco Beach in Culebra). Instead of taking us back to our Airbnb like originally planned, we allowed the nice Uber driver to take us to a seafood restaurant in Piñones she highly recommended called Mi Casita Seafood. The area outside the restaurant was full (but I mean the streets were lined!) with stands of fried foods called frituras. Augh! We ate so well at the restaurant that we were too full to roam around and try those fried goodies though.
At the restaurant I did get my dad to try one fried thing called alcapurrias (it was filled with crab). I want to like it, but there are just so many better fried foods (I prefer empanadas). There he also tried mofongo (a savory plantain dish) and amarillos (a sweet plantain dish). The best thing though? Chillo (Red Snapper). My dad ordered a whole fish! And it was delicious!! I’d never tried it. (I live in the capitol city of San Juan where there’s not as much seafood available.) I highly, highly recommend the chillo at Mi Casita Seafood if you’re ever in Puerto Rico! One other thing I wish I’d gotten my dad to try and that I love in Puerto Rico is Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan). Yum!
Friday, April 19th- Hanging out with Gia at our Final Beach of the Week and Going out with my Dad to a Bar to Meet up with Amanda and Axyl
Only one place left I wanted to make sure to take my dad. His flight was set for Saturday at 4pm, so I planned an easy itinerary for his last full day with me. Isla Verde Beach! This is the most tourist-y of the beaches I’ve mentioned. It’s by a bunch of hotels, so that’s to be expected. What I like about this beach is that it has waves, but not super crazy ones like Ocean Park and…. the beach food! They sell empanadas and pinchos (meat skewers) right on the beach! So good! It was a bit lonely after spending four days in the exclusive company of my dad and Gia had expressed interest in coming to the beach with me one of the days this week, so she met us here. I hadn’t seen her in over a week, so it was great to catch up.
We chatted and ate chicken pinchos before moving out conversation into the ocean and drifting with the waves as we talked. It was nice to have company from someone other than my dad for the first time this week. X) That’s why after the beach I suggested we go to a restaurant me and some of the other interns had gone to early on before the internship began (when Gia, Karen, Robin, Axyl, and I actually got along). It’s a medium priced “Mexican” restaurant close to Ocean Park called La B de Burro. I think last time we’d just stopped for drinks (which are good, but not amazing) but the food isn’t bad either (but also not amazing). I guess the memory with my fellow interns was better than actuality.
From here I walked Gia to a nearby bus stop and told my dad I’d meet him back at the Airbnb which was walking distance. But there didn’t seem to be a bus stop where there was supposed to be one, so I took Gia back to the Airbnb where she showered and then waited for my dad and me to shower and change before we’d walk her to another bus stop. My dad and I were going to walk to the bar Axyl works in (he’d invited us to visit him at work) where we’d meet up with Amanda. But… remember that Axyl and Gia have bad blood? Yeahhh… she wasn’t invited. It got late and we ended up taking an Uber. It was dark by now, so Gia got herself an Uber home. My sweet dad asked if she was going with us when she saw she wasn’t following us into our Uber. Aw, my poor unknowing dad!
It’s a swanky, pricey, fancy restaurant and bar! o.o I’d never been in a place like that. I mean, it wasn’t a country club or anything like that where they don’t let commoners like me in, but it was a bit intimidating. Luckily, the bar was in plain sight and I spotted Axyl quickly. He got us started with some drinks while we waited on Amanda who still had not arrived. Axyl asked my dad if he remembered him from the orientation back in May, and it was clear that he did not. They made some small talk where it came up that Axyl and I used to live together (we shared a room when we lived in the apartment with Karen and Robin). My dad asked if he lived alone now. Axyl, not being a dummy, said he did, in fact, live alone and that it was better. That he was done living with roommates. XD Way to sell it Axyl! HA!
Eventually Amanda arrived as did a second drink, compliments of Axyl. He’s a good mixologist, I have to give him that! The drinks were tasty and strong! My dad definitely remembered Amanda (when I mentioned her name he exclaimed, “oh yeah, the lady that talks a lot!” haha!). With all of us together, Amanda, Axyl, and I complained about the internship and talked about upcoming assignments as my dad just sat by with his beer and listened. I think I was a bit tipsy by then because I began gushing about how great Amanda and Axyl are. XD How they are complete opposites (Amanda is all positive and hopeful while Axyl is a cynic and is just waiting until the day he can leave Puerto Rico). How they are entertaining to hang out with because they bicker playfully all the time. XD That was fun.
Saturday, April 20th- SURPRISE! Travel Turmoil and Sneaking Around (into “my” Apartment and to Spend Time with Chance)
Final day with my dad. …Or that was the plan! I woke up to the news that there had been a big storm in Florida that’d destroyed a lot of property and killed about 5 people. Understandably, my dad’s trip back to Texas, with a connecting flight in Florida, got canceled. Shoot! I was instantly grumpy. This was the last day at this Airbnb. We had to be out by 11am. There was no place for my dad to stay. He’d probably insist on staying at “my” apartment which really isn’t just my apartment! I needed to get him off my island! I tried to switch his flight. Tried on his phone and on my laptop, but just got error messages. I called the airline and, after being on hold for an hour, got the customer service representative to tell me what I’d seen online: that the next available flight wasn’t until Monday morning at 3am. Shit!!! What could I do but agree?
I was so upset. I feel bad for being upset since it just made my dad sad. It must of been awful seeing his daughter take the news that her dad would be spending two extra days with her so terribly. Ahhh, I’m sorry, dad. I do think it’s for his own good that he doesn’t know I live with Axyl. Or maybe for my own good…. Too late to start telling the truth now! I couldn’t have him stay at my apartment. Not unless I paid an Airbnb for Axyl and he agreed to be kicked out of our apartment for two days. I couldn’t ask that of him, so I quickly convinced my dad to rent another Airbnb.
He tried to argue for us to go buy an air mattress, so he could just stay at my apartment, but I rented the Airbnb then told him there was no refund (that part was true!). I rented it for two nights. He’d be leaving on Monday morning so technically didn’t need a place to stay Sunday night. He mentioned this and asked me to cancel the second night. Told me he could just wait in my apartment until 1am. The excuse I told him to rent an Airbnb was so he’d have a bed, after all. But I told him it was a minimum rental of two days, plus no refunds. D: Aughhh, I’m going to hell. X)
When he called my mom before we went out to breakfast I overheard him tell her he’s not sure why, but that I didn’t want him to stay at my apartment and that it was like I was avoiding the place. Ughhhh. We had breakfast at a place called Pinky’s. They mostly had egg sandwiches for breakfast and I don’t really like eggs, but, well, “when in Rome” right? I’m glad I gave them a chance. It was a fantastic breakfast sandwich! Best one I’ve probably ever had (on account of my not liking eggs, haha). Highly recommend the Mallorca sandwich at Pinky’s. Mallorca is a sweet bread usually topped with powdered sugar that I absolutely love!
Then it was time to move out of our beautiful beachside Airbnb. 11am. But we couldn’t check into the new one until 3pm! And to make things worse I was homesick! I wanted to be back in my apartment. The apartment I share with Axyl. The apartment I’m supposed to steer my dad away from. Maybe it’s that I missed our home. Maybe it’s also that I wanted a challenge. Or maybe it’s just that I’m stupid. Either way, the Airbnb I rented for my dad those last two days were right across the street from my apartment. -___-
We arrived a few minutes before noon. Axyl was still in the apartment. I begged him to leave at noon and he’d begrudgingly agreed since he had work at 4pm. But it wasn’t noon yet. My excuse this time? Ughhh, let’s come sit on these benches outside my apartment while I look for my keys that I threw somewhere in my backpack! Yeahh, that makes sense! Hey while we are at it, let me confirm the flight for you or get distracted on looking something up on my phone to give Axyl enough time to get out! My goodness! That was awful. Like a bad scene from a soap opera! I remember hearing Axyl open the door and me quickly showing my dad something on his phone to divert his attention so he wouldn’t turn and see him exiting the apartment. Gosh, this whole thing was a mess!
Once inside “my” apartment, we set our backpacks down and grabbed a shopping bag. We went to Plaza del Mercado to buy some meat, beans, and produce. I guess my dad was tired of eating out, finally. After stopping at a nearby pharmacy/mini market for tortillas, we headed back to “my” apartment where my dad made beef in red salsa and refried beans. It was so good! And with the chili peppers I keep stocked in my freezer it was nice and spicy too! 😀
Last event of the day? A study session with Chance. I’d already confirmed these plans and did still have those corrections to do due on Monday. I’d also told my dad that I had plans and that it was unfortunate that I wouldn’t be able to spend as much time with him as before during the week because I had to get back to my usual life. He told me to do what I had to do and that he understood. Soooooo, I didn’t cancel my plans with Chance. My dad and I had crossed the street and were back at the Airbnb now. I grabbed my backpack and told my dad I was going to study with a friend. (He’d freak if he knew there was anything going on between us romantically.)
We did study. Until the pizza came and we got distracted. I fake protested. I was stressed about my homework and wanted to get more done, but….by the areas Chance was fondling I could tell he had something else in mind. I got back to our shared Airbnb at almost 1am. -_____- My dad reacted much better than I expected though. He just mumbled, “What’d you do? Walk back?”. Ha! I simply replied “No” and went to sleep.
Sunday, April 21st- Final Moments with my Dad in Puerto Rico (Doing Laundry, Dashing Off for some Alone Time, and Going to the Movies)
Axyl told me he was going to leave for work at 2pm. My plan was to sleep until late, maybe until 10am or so, then go do laundry with my dad and grab lunch or something to try to make it to 2pm without him trying to go into my apartment. Nope. My dad couldn’t find the shampoo when he wanted to take a shower at 7 am and before 8 am he was asking me for the keys to my apartment to get himself some coffee. -____- Wait… I don’t even have a coffee maker! What was he going to go get?! X) Maybe he’d left some instant coffee at my apartment…. I guess. Welp, I was tired and paranoid and just told him it was too early for coffee (whatever that means, ha!), refused to give him the keys (thank goodness I hadn’t left them out somewhere), and kept sleeping.
My dad grumbled something about why wouldn’t I give him the keys and then left the apartment. I figured it’d be fine since he couldn’t get into my apartment without the keys… until I heard him speaking English to someone outside. O.O !!! The only person I know that prefers English over Spanish in my neighborhood is Axyl!! Oh shoot!! I was paranoid… My dad forgets sometimes that he’s not in Texas and can talk to strangers in Spanish. -___- He was talking to a cleaning lady at the Airbnb about the washing machine. X) My heart must have stopped before figuring that out.
The lady said she’d be using the washing machine until 3pm though, so at a bright and early 10am we headed to the laundromat. I snuck back into my apartment to grab my buggy, texting Axyl so he wouldn’t freak when I opened the door. X) After doing laundry I’d planned on taking my dad to a bakery nearby but he said he wasn’t in the mood for any more local places. XD That was fast! So, we went to the nearby Burger King. It was around noon when we made it back. I should have been taking my clothes to my apartment to hang up and put away…. but I couldn’t risk my dad following me in with Axyl still there!
I took the buggy to his Airbnb saying we should keep his things in the Airbnb so as to not mix them up with my clothes… Ugh… Then I told him I would go put up my clothes, but that I was going to go study with Gia on an assignment that was due the next day (the assignment part was true! …the studying with her was not). What I really did was go to “my” apartment and complain to Axyl about wanting to take some time off from my dad. It was the 7th day in a row that I was with him practically 24/7! I love him, but that’s just too close! Especially with the whole apartment fiasco and the very real issue of those assignments due the next day!
I ranted to Axyl and was so glad to be back in his company! I live with him and so I’m used to him always being around, but I hadn’t so much as been in the same room as him during the past week (minus the brief time at the bar on Friday!). It was just what I needed to de-stress. I put up my clothes, Axyl left for work at 2pm, and I stayed another hour in blissful solitude before returning to the Airbnb and actually working on homework. X)
I felt bad for ignoring my dad (for his own good!…. but still…). So, when he got hungry I took him to KFC. (My dad likes fried chicken and had ordered it the last two times at the chinese restaurant, so I figured it was a good choice seeing as he was sick of local places.) After that, I took him to see a movie. It was some lame comedy, but it was in Spanish, so I’m glad we went. My family isn’t a going out to the movies type of family. I think a big reason is because my parents don’t understand English that well. It’s not much fun to go watch something and not understand anything that is said… I wanted to give my dad the whole movie experience. (At my favorite movie theatre Caribbean Cinemas-Fine Arts, of course!)
We got back to “my” apartment around 9pm. Axyl would get off of work at 10pm. My dad would leave for the airport at 1am. I kept cool and grabbed my stuff for the next morning. I had to go to my rotation, so I got my uniform and backpack and took it to the Airbnb. Luckily, my dad was okay with us waiting in the Airbnb. For two reasons: One, because it was already paid for, haaaa, and two, because my apartment doesn’t have air conditioning. The Airbnb did, so it just made sense.
I was still working on homework, but was so tired. I fell asleep at midnight and barely drifted into consciousness to hug my dad from the bed as his Uber arrived that would take him to the airport. I fell asleep until 6:30 am when I woke up to get ready for the day and got a message from my dad that he was safely in Florida. As bad as it sounds… Yes!! It was over! No more hiding! No more lies! It was over!! He was gone! I was free again to live my life without my father watching my every move. Again, I love my dad, but goodness! It’s tough to live that close to a parent! Even living at a parent’s house you have your own room!
I enjoyed the week and loved showing my dad my favorite places on this beautiful island. It would have been perfect without the last two days of hiding and evading, but even so I’m glad for the extra time with my dad. 🙂
Coming Up Next Week!
Rotation with the Puerto Rico Food and Nutrition Commission. I’ve heard it’s a lot of work and kind of boring.
Internship meeting on Friday. Axyl and Sue present their clinical case studies. Karen and Amanda present their food service case studies. Hopefully nothing too dramatic happens, but with Axyl and Karen in the same room that’s almost a given.
Cardi Day. It’s a sort of health fair that the director of my internship said is mandatory that I participate in. I have very few volunteer hours and she’s trying to prove a point that I’m not antisocial. It’s just supposed to be me and Gia though, so that’s nice.
That is more than enough! Thanks for making it this far! Please leave your thoughts/reactions in the comments below. It was a bustling week and I’d love to know what you guys make of my crazy life! XD
Monday, March 8th- Waiting for the Pain and Getting Bananas Instead
Woah! I’m being responsible and writing for my daily blog post on a daily basis instead of at the end of the week or worse yet, more than a week later…. Wrong! I mean, it is Monday, March 8th as I write this, but the only reason I’m here is because I don’t want to work on other responsibilities of mine. Woo hoo! Welp, this week I’m in a rotation with a name something along the lines of prevention of chronic diseases. Really, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s just a super work heavy rotation. Ah, and it’s individual. Gia is at the food bank while I’m here. (I was at the food bank when she was here about a month ago. I’d much rather be at the food bank since that was all manual labor and no homework, but eh, I had my time.
People complain that this is the worst rotation. That the preceptors are super rude and crush any and all self esteem you may have. As of yet, it’s not that bad. Hopefully they’re just drama kings. Yes, the guys have been the most complain-y. Maybe us girls are just more used to constant criticism to our character and self worth. …that was a super stereotypical joke. That I do not apologize for because from my experience (I am female) it rings some truth. It doesn’t matter anyway. Suffering is relative. There is no greater or lesser suffering. It’s all just suffering.
Not much for me in this rotation yet. The director of my internship gifted me about 15 bananas. That one isn’t a joke. She just asked if I wanted to make banana bread and gave me a bag full of bananas! Not a bad day…
Tuesday, March 9th- Wow. That was quick.
So, it’s bad. I spent the day in the Department of Health working on assignments again. At this point it wasn’t so much the word she said, which weren’t rude, so much as the tone she chose to say those words in. I’ve never been a very self motivated person. So I arrived on Monday with the minimum amount of work done and the next day I arrived with a bit less than the minimum. I got home and procrastinated then set to work late and didn’t sleep much. Not much sleep=even less energy.
At this point I was sure the preceptor thought I was a lazy slacker, which… eh, partially true. Her tone just reinforced my negative thoughts and this was the fateful beginning of a downhill snowball week. Gosh. I know if I thought better of myself and didn’t let my fragile self confidence snap at the ugly gaze of an uncaring stranger this week it wouldn’t have been bad. Maybe it is just me. Maybe it’s just in my head. Maybe there’s no such thing as depression. Or maybe there is, but that’s not my main problem. Maybe I’m just a “self indulgent little girl” and that’s the cause of my problems. That’s a quote from my favorite movie (Girl, Interrupted).
I don’t know what to think. The facts are these. I spent the day re-working and re-doing two powerpoint presentations I was responsible for presenting to high schoolers and middle schoolers the next day. I also turned in the radio skit I’d been slaving over the previous day. When I’m sad, stressed, self loathing, depressed, whatever you want to call it those feelings will manifest in different ways. I feel like they are inevitable. That I can’t fight them, so I don’t. But maybe I can… I don’t know. Two big ones now are that I’ll be extremely tired. I was falling asleep as I worked. Also, I hadn’t slept much, which didn’t help. Another is that I’ll work/move much slower than normal. I wonder if it is all in my head…
Wednesday, March 10th- Presentations at a High School and a Middle School
My dream is not to be a dietitian. I studied for that career path for my Bachelor’s degree and am currently in an internship to become a dietitian. But this isn’t my dream. My dream is to be a teacher. Specifically a high school teacher. When I tell people that’s my dream job they look at me like I’m crazy. They don’t understand that I want to teach high school because I feel like that’s a deciding time for people. That’s when a supportive teacher who believes in students could change lives. It’s when students are still kids in the sense that they are still growing up, but are close enough to adulthood that they don’t have to be babied. That’s the way I see it.
Under any other circumstances, I would have been stoked to present an educational topic to a library full of high schoolers. But not this day. This day I had to present a topic I didn’t even know anymore after so many revisions. I looked for so many sources and between working on this presentation and the other one and the radio outline plus my heavy feelings of self pity… well I couldn’t even explain the things on the slides well. Much less make them entertaining for an audience of blank faced Puerto Rican high schoolers. It was completely embarrassing and a waste of a morning assembly. But I was comforted by the fact that I’d likely never ever run into any of these island dwelling teens after I completed my internship and moved back to good ol’ Texas.
The dietitian supervising me gave a short presentation to make up the rest of the hour I was supposed to fill when my presentation ended too soon. For my presentation she chidingly told me to make it more engaging and take up the whole hour. This one had only been corrected once and honestly, I didn’t know it in much detail. It was about the different food groups. How was I supposed to talk about why you should eat your fruits and vegetables and stuff to middle schoolers for a whole hour?! I just nodded my head and jumped into it blind. It went a million times better than expected. The kids were interacting and (expect for the usual lulls in teenage attention spans) they paid attention. It was amazing! The first presentation broke my heart and began cracking at my dreams of being a teacher, but this presentation, it renewed my convictions.
Thursday, March 11th- Yesterday, I Spent the Afternoon in the Emergency Room (not the patient) and Today I was on the Radio.
Yes, so yesterday after the school presentations I was working on assignments at the Department of Health when the director got a call from Axyl. It was a medical issue and one that he should be in the emergency department for. The director dismissed me from the last hour of my day to go with him. If you guys have read my older weekly blogs, you’d know that most of us interns from abroad do not have family here in Puerto Rico. You would also know that Axyl had a falling out with a couple of other interns too, namely Robin and Karen. So…that left me. I’m the closest thing to family he has here and the director knows that. I met up with him then headed to an ER (emergency room) where we stayed until around midnight when they dismissed him, saying his abdominal pain wasn’t anything serious. Oh well. Good news, I guess.
At the rotation I was supposed to be on the radio in the morning and then do a supermarket tour in the afternoon. Well, I didn’t get to work on the supermarket outline of what I was going to say because other than being sad and unmotivated, I was in an ER the whole afternoon. I bumped into the dietitian I am with this week when I arrived at the Department of Health. She greeted me and asked how I was. I was visibly tired and replied “So-so, something happened.”, then proceeded to explained how I’d come to spend the previous day in the ER keeping my friend company. You know what this grown, insensitive woman’s reaction to that was? She asked me “but did you get to finish the assignments for today?”.
I’m not going to get into it here, but I know that dietitian and Axyl have bad blood. Regardless, that’s just cold. Okay, moving on. This is making me mad all over again. We went to another town to do the radio show with her and her (slightly nicer) dietitian co-worker. The radio bit was fun. It was probably the thing I was least nervous about this week and I’d be delighted to do another radio show someday (with different co-hosts, of course!). In the afternoon the heartless dietitian I’m with told me I was lucky she and her co-worker were free the next morning so that I could do the supermarket tour then. Of course, (“this is important!”, she said) I would get points off for it being late, so I’d have to do a great job tomorrow or the points wouldn’t add up and I would not be able to pass the rotation. It’s not the first time she “hinted” at my not passing the rotation, so eh, it didn’t faze me.
Friday, March 12th- Shopping Tour Disaster
As you may gather from the title of today. The tour didn’t go well. I didn’t dilly-dally. After the radio show it was as if all my self doubt was magically lifted. I didn’t feel the heavy pull of sadness and self loathing on my limbs. I felt light and able! I felt awake and up for the challenge! I read through material convinced that it’d be better if I knew the material than simply taking notes to read aloud. Seems I was wrong. But it doesn’t matter. Anyway I prepared for this, I know it would have been a disaster. I had notes for the first section. I supposedly had knowledge for the second.
I was her face. Both dietitians came, but it was my preceptor’s face that disturbed me. From the first fruit I discussed (a wretched pineapple [one cup of contains about 133% of the vitamin C you need in a day, by the way]) she had this concerned face. If it had been disgust or doubt maybe I could have pushed through, but it was concern. Like she was watching a train wreck and just couldn’t look away. It was awful. From then, I stumbled over my facts and promptly forgot what I’d studied and not written down convinced I’d remember. It felt like I was being dragged around the grocery store being poked and prodded for facts and knowledge nuggets I did not have. *sigh*
“Well, I failed this rotation.” Those were the first words I spoke to the director when I returned to the Department of Health after that pitiful supermarket tour. She told me not to worry about it, probably thinking it couldn’t have gone as bad as it did. I didn’t argue. I had had enough. I’ve been through so much criticism throughout this internship. From preceptors (dietitians that are supposed to take us under their wing and teach us, a new one each week), fellow interns, even the director of the program herself.
Preceptors have told me I have no initiative because I’m quiet. My internship partner has told me I’m a bad human being and a terrible partner. The director assured me three times in the course of 20 minutes that if I wanted to leave the program that she would understand and support my decision as if she were urging me to get out of her internship. Those things hurt, but I thrived. I proved them wrong. I’m still here. My partner has since told me I’m a good partner and thanked me for helping her in anything I can. The director has since had a change of heart after seeing my renewed spirit when I didn’t let her bully me out of her internship.
But this dietitian with her concerned face by the rack of pineapples broke me. I spent the afternoon holding back tears and gulping down the lump in my throat as I worked to finish the last few assignments for this nightmare rotation. I wonder if self confidence would have made as much of a difference as I suspect. Maybe. The mind is a powerful thing… but mine’s a weakling.
Saturday, March 13th- Brooding
Another Saturday that I spent laying in bed amongst my filth of granola bar wrappers, mounds of clean unfolded clothes and random papers piling up in the crevices.
Sunday, March 14th- Delayed Dad
My dad was supposed to arrive this afternoon. He’s coming to visit me for Easter. Why Easter? Well, we got the week off. No rotations! So I have time to show him around the island that has been my home for (almost!) the past year. However, the corrections for my assignments from hell week are due next Monday, so I have to work on that this coming week while he’s here.
Not sure how, but he missed his flight and instead of arriving around 3pm, he’d arrive at 3am on Monday. Surprise 12 hour change of plans. It’s fine because that gave me time to laze around in the morning, pick up the key to the Airbnb we’ll be staying at until Wednesday, and clean. Yes. I finally cleaned! It’d been at least a month of stressful living in the mess of my creation. But I know the mess bothers Axyl, so before leaving for the week I made sure to clean everything. I tidied my bed area, dresser, mini fridge, and desk. The only thing I didn’t do (it was 2am by this point) was wash the remainder of my dishes. I’d swing by the next day to do so.
At 2am I left for the Airbnb and waited for my dad’s taxi from the airport to arrive. When it did at 3am, I began to excitedly plan out the week’s events before falling asleep, satisfied and at peace for the first time this week.
Coming up Next Week!
Easter week off!! Hooray!! My dad is here to keep me company. 🙂 I’m so glad to have him here. I want to show him everything, but he’s getting old and can’t keep up like he used to. Let’s see where all I can take him. 😀
Working on assignment corrections from this week’s hellish rotation. Ugh.
Maybe getting volunteer hours at the food bank with my dad? Maybe? heeheehee…. I’m too lazy for my own good…
A friend said something. I got upset. That emotion turned its focus on me and these frustrated words of self-hatred resulted. Thought it’d be the appropriate poem for this week as the rotation I’m in is notorious for the dietitians beating down all your self worth and making you feel like you are the scum of the earth. Let’s hope not. I do a great job of that by myself.
Welp, it’s Sunday as I write this. I’m struggling to write for this blog again. Good thing I never started that YouTube channel. So, here’s the recap. This week was about nutrition for athletes. I am not an athlete. Not even close, but I learned a lot this week. This was one of the nicest dietitians I’ve had the pleasure to be with during my internship. She gave us a ride every morning though she really did not have to and the way she counseled patients was refreshing.
I’ve seen a lot of clinical (hospital) dietitians “counsel” patients and it’s a completely different environment. There it’s fast and cold. There are too many patients to see in a day to spend too long with one that probably won’t even pay attention or care about what you are trying to tell them. But here… First, athletes are one of the few types of people that really care to learn from a dietitian. They listen because they know it will help them in their sport which is important to them. (Unfortunately for the rest of us non athletes the promise of preventing chronic disease and other health issues isn’t enough.)
Anyway, seeing people who were attentively listening to the dietitian gave me hope. Maybe my line of work isn’t completely useless and unwanted by society. Too soon though, this rotation was over. It was only for four days. Two of which were in Old San Juan. So, Thursday after our rotation Gia and I decided to take advantage of the location and head to the beach. We stopped by a souvenir store first since I forgot my bathing suit. There I bought a shirt two or three sizes too large to wear as a poor man’s bathing suit cover up (only my bathing suit would be my undergarments).
At one point we ended up at one of the places Chance had taken me during our first date. Naturally, I sent him pictures. He was at work, and could not join us though. When we did make it to the beach (a 35 minute walk) Gia and I laid out on the sand and enjoyed the breeze and ocean sounds long before getting in the water. Gia didn’t want to go in since it would be getting dark soon, but I went ahead of her and plunged in, holding on to my glasses for dear life. Then, I commanded her to jump in too. She couldn’t leave me now!
She took the plunge and we swam about until the sun nearly set when we bravely faced the wind on our soaked bodies. During the last twinkles of sunlight, Gia and I moved our things off the sand and onto this square concrete platform we used as a bench. Here we chatted until it was pitch dark and everyone else had left the beach. It was one of those intimate talks that just seem to happen. It was mostly intimate on my part, but that’s fine. Maybe I’ll write out my thoughts on that to you guys soon. It was about my worries about going back home after this internship. My life is going to be completely different.
Working with Fellow Interns at the Department of Health
The next day was Friday and we had to go to the Department of Health since our rotation was only four days. There, Gia and I were met by Robin and Kayla who also did not seem to have a rotation that day either. Karen was also there. Amanda, who should have been there, was nowhere to be seen. Karen firmly ignored me, but Robin and Kayla were cool. We worked on stuff at the same table and talked. At lunch Karen may have said two words not directed to me, but not disregarding me either. I think it’s completely nonsensical of her to be upset with me. If anything I should be upset with her, but I’m not getting into that topic right now.
“Surprising” Chance at Work
After this I decided to go to the grocery store. I have to give a supermarket tour next week, so I went and took a ton of pictures (and eventually video when I tired of pictures). Surprisingly no one asked what I was doing. It was super obvious I was taking pictures and video, but I was in my Department of Health uniform which may have helped avoid the questions. I picked up random things as I went and then headed to Chance’s workplace.
He’s complained about having to work Friday nights before and hasn’t been as chatty lately. He seems busy and stressed, so I had told him to do something fun for a bit that night. He said he’d watch a movie. I’d picked up some popcorn and pancakes at the store for him (he’d missed out on some pancakes the previous day). I wanted to surprise him, but when I got to the store he wasn’t at the register. Oops. I messaged him and he told me he was on his way to work. Ughhh, so cringey.
I waited awkwardly in the aisles pretending to look at things until he arrived then waited near his register for an hour or so. I really just wanted to drop off the things I’d gotten him, but it’d get busy and yeahh. Took a while.
Saturday I did nothing. Really. Not a thing. Didn’t leave my apartment once. Didn’t on Sunday either. If I don’t have to do things I don’t. Even if I do have to do things, I sometimes don’t. Gosh, it sucks. I suck? Who knows. I’m hungry. Been subsisting on soda crackers and cream cheese because I’ve been too lazy to cook this weekend. Oh, and yogurt. And mandarines. Those too. Goodness, I don’t care about myself enough.
I wrote this during the last nutrition conference I went to. I felt incredibly awkward and disconnected with the room of dietitians. My fellow interns were socializing and networking with dietitians they’d gone to rotations with while I avoided everyone. It was just me stuck in my head. Instead of socializing, I wrote this.
I had this monstrous zit, almost on the tip of my nose, this past week. I’m talking massive, like the size of a reasonable thumbtack. A zit that my roommate kept bugging me to pop. I have a bit of a problem with picking, so I’d been restraining myself from doing that. Plus, I know every time I’ve popped a zit in my life, it’s gotten worse and taken longer to heal than when I’ve left it alone and let it go away on its own.
He kept bugging me about it. I popped it while he was asleep. Pus oozed out. Then blood. A lot of blood. I felt there had to be more pus. Why was there so much blood? I wanted all of it out. Like when I pick at an ingrown hair with a needle until I manage to get it out. I needed all the pus out of this enormous zit. So, I told myself not to, but I got out my pack of needles. And I start stabbing holes into this blemish then squeezing out more blood.
Eventually, some clear liquid comes out, but it’s still mostly blood. I keep picking with the needle, going around this slow forming blood clot and squeezing until only the tiniest drop of clear liquid is struggling to come out. It was oddly satisfying to pick at my face with the needle. Sometimes it hurt, but at the tip of this zit I couldn’t feel anything and managed to essentially pierce from one side of the zit to the other. I pulled up, but the skin I’d pierced was too thick to rip apart. I was slightly paranoid my roommate would wake up and find me with a needle to my nose, and the two bloody tissues smeared with blots of blood. He was sleeping naught two feet away from me, but he didn’t wake.
I’d Wanted to Cut, At First, but I’m More of a Picker
I’ve always thought myself a pansy for not being brave enough to cut myself. The two times I’ve tried it, I couldn’t commit. I was too scared. But, I like seeing the blood when I’ve picked at ingrown hairs on my legs in the past. Now this with my nose. I had another instance where I got something stuck in the palm of my hand. I think I fell on the sidewalk or something which pushed some rock or metal into the palm of my hand.
Thing was, there was this diminutive, pathetic bit of something lodged in my palm and I was extremely stressed with the stuff in my life. This was last fall, by the way. So, it was my first semester of my nutrition internship. That was awful. One day, my roommate, seeing how stressed out of my mind I was, asked if he could do anything to help and what did I want? I wanted to borrow his thin, precise tweezers to get this stupid thing out of my palm. I did manage to get it out. Or I thought I did.
A few days later I went in again, with his tweezers (and then my needle when that didn’t work) to get some black stuff out of the same spot where I swore I’d already taken out the foreign object. Looking back, I’m almost certain that second thing I agonized about, and near surgically removed with my needle, was a blood clot. It just bothered me so much. I didn’t want a marred palm! Especially from something as stupid as falling! It was deep. I thought I might be giving myself a scar with how far I drove that needle into my skin. But I couldn’t stop.
I needed the stuff out of my hand! At one point it did hurt, but I needed it out. My vision was laser focused on that one point in my palm and everything else was blurry. The world didn’t seem real when I turned away from my hand after the job was done. It felt… amazing. Satisfying. I get that way when picking at my legs. I’ve never picked without a purpose. Ingrown hair, thing jammed into my hand or, now, giant zit on my face. But… it worries me that I’ve found a way to make myself bleed that doesn’t scare me.
“We all do things”
I’ve been tempted by self harm for years, but like I said, I’m too much of a scardy cat for that. Also, I don’t like the concept of scars. I don’t want to be reminded of how much I hate myself everytime I look at my skin. I don’t like marks or imperfections on my skin, as you guys can probably tell from the hand picking story. So, cutting just never added up for me.
But, as a character in my favorite book, Cut by Patricia McCormick, says, “we all do things”. Yes, we all find a way to cope with our miserable existence. Some people cut, some people drink, some people work even harder. I binge eat, sing, and recently, sleep. As calming as picking is, I don’t want it to become a thing. It doesn’t bother me, but I know it’s understandably gruesome. I don’t know what I’m saying anymore. I just wanted to vent about having a big zit on my nose. And it turned into a whole post. Gosh. I suck.
Wow. Okay. It’s a day later, but it feels like much more than that. Sorry if that upset anyone. I am not promoting self harm, just sharing my not so disapproving personal experiences on the topic. I understand self harm isn’t ideal or a good coping strategy. I’m very stressed at the moment and find it hard to make sense. I’m not taking the post down, because it’s more of my story as jumbled and nonsensical as it was written. Also, I’m having a really hard time writing for this blog and a post is a post. Yeahh, sorry again.
I wrote this as I waited to be reprimanded by the director of my nutrition internship. This whole internship/education thing seemed useless. I felt jaded and incredibly small. I felt dispensable and like a cog in the horribly flawed machine of life. Helpless. That’s how I felt.