5/26/2015

A Place with Potential

Knocking on wood, but I may have found a place to move with potential!  It is actually in a co-housing development, which I have explored and desired for the last 12 or more years.  I will be meeting with her again on Thursday to introduce her to Zoey, so please send good thoughts and prayers at 11am pst.  It could be a wonderful situation in which to move forward with adoption: two bedrooms, one bath, small but modern-ish, conscious community members including other families with kids, meals together twice a week, a swimming pool (!) and garden.

The woman unfortunately has to have oral surgery in a few months, so she has been staying at the place here and there when she gets her orthodontic procedures - she has to have surgery again to move her jaw forward for sleep apnea that didn't work the first time because apparently the jaw broke in the wrong place. Ack  Also, her son, who has been living there, will be attending UC Davis in the Fall and is spending the summer in Canada with her spouse.

So, basically the first month would be a "trial" housesitting type situation, leaving my stuff in storage, then, if we decide to go forward, we could share the house, but she would be there maybe a week out of the month.  Finally, after she has surgery in a few months, hopefully my income will have risen, either through jobs I'm applying for or through this business beginning to bring in revenue, and I will be adopting a little one and would rent the house on my own.  As we both said, it could be very synergistic.  But I can tell it's a little overwhelming for her at the moment, thinking of leaving next weekend and turning the house over to someone she just met.  So, I'm trying to take it a step at a time and not get my hopes up quite yet... can't help but be excited about the potential though. :)

5/23/2015

Taking Care of Business

Noticing I am little down today.  The dating situation took another turn, which I am not yet up to going into, plus who knows it might turn again by tomorrow!  So I'll wait on that story.  I will say one thing, which is that I. am. so. tired. of being the one who wants more communication or intimacy.  Comes with being a woman maybe?  I don't know, but I'm not feeling it.

Today needs to be a productive day.  I have Finals to finish grading, then grades to enter.  Also, I want to follow up with the three women who signed up that they were interested in the career transition group.

My meetup went okay.  I did well presenting the content and the attendees seemed to like it and really enjoy connecting with each other, which was part of the goal.  But the numbers were less than I had hoped and everyone seemed to be having money problems.  This is a concern they teach us to "dance" with in my business program, but I've got two left feet in this arena. ha

It's like a chicken-egg thing - you need to invest to get the support and tools you need to successfully transition and make more money, but you need money to invest in the support and tools.  I definitely don't want to come across as pushy or sales-y, but I need to ask the powerful questions that help people who are ready commit to themselves and their success.  People come up with the money when their commitment outweighs their fear, so that's what the dance is about I guess.

I have a workshop June 6th and might also do another hour-long coffee gathering through the meetup.  Hopefully, those strategies and some continued social media promotion will help fill the group.  I will say here - I'm committed to doing the group!  If I have a few participants, I am going forward.

Now the spring semester is over, I have three weeks off.  I am going to use the time to focus on my business and finding a new home.  I have an open house Monday for a two-bedroom place quite near my college that is just barely in my price range.  It's super tiny!  But I don't care, as long as it's fairly modern, which it looks to be, and has two bedrooms as required to adopt.  Wish me luck!

There is also still the possibility of a house in Albany, two stories, sharing with an interesting lady I met through my community activism/localization groups.  Albany is a sweet place to live and has excellent schools, not that I would need to worry about that for a while.  I have other friends who live there, and it's closer to the college, too, by about 50 percent or more. 

The other big news is that I discovered several fraudulent entries on my credit report!  They were all from late 2012 through 2013, which is shortly after I had my purse stolen.  Let my story be a lesson to you to check your credit reports yearly!  I called the three credit bureaus yesterday and disputed the entries.  Now, they have a month to investigate and hopefully remove them.  There were two credit cards, a department store charge card, a cell phone account, and a cable company.  Also, there was one address on the report that did not belong to me.

I knew that my credit score was low but thought that was because of a couple mistakes I made a while back.  Turns out, my score should be significantly higher, which is the good news.  During the investigation period, my credit report will show that these items are disputed, so I plan to be up front with potential landlords and point these out.  I hope they will believe me.  I will have good landlord references and proof of income on the positive side, as well.

5/18/2015

As the Dating World Turns

OMG, dating can be such a soap opera, or is it just me?  So, we went out again last night and, after having SO much fun dancing again, we went out for drinks/dinner and had more good conversation. 

I was able to talk to him about my feelings without blaming him.  I basically said that, though we hadn't been dating long and were still getting to know each other, we also had shared some intimate moments and that, while the current situation of texting during the week seemed to be working for him, it wasn't really working for me.  That I felt some anxiety that not everyone would feel, but it would be really helpful to have a couple phone calls during the week or a longer email to connect with each other. 

He was open and amenable and heard me and also explained how the last couple weeks are not typical in that this campaign he has been working on has huge repercussions for labor rights and that the other candidate is funded with big money from the Koch brothers (if you are familiar with these scoundrels).  Also, I did not know he is actually the President of the rapid transit union.  Lastly, he said he, in fact, texted a couple of times wanting to spontaneously meet up but I had my adoption class - this is typical guy thing of not letting me know what he was thinking, but I was glad to find out! 

Thus, we came to understand each others' perspectives, and I feel confident we will be moving forward into more commitment and time together.  We continue to have very good and growing chemistry, which feels exciting and fun - and a relief to not be talking myself into a less-than-adequate level of attraction.

As a side note, I have my first meetup group Wednesday for women in career transition.  Please send good thoughts!  I am nervous!  I hope to present some helpful information and activities and sign a few women up for my 8-week paid group.

5/12/2015

I don't think he's that into me

I'm going a little crazy over here.  I've never been very good at game playing or, more accurately, "playing it cool."  When C and I went out the other night (and the couple of other nights as well) it seemed like he liked me.  He was affectionate and initiated kissing.  We had all that fairly deep conversation at the bar.  But then we separate and I get very very little positive reassurance.  We texted a little last night at my initiation.  Then tonight he texts at like 9:30 and says this week will be long days for him.  Fine, thanks for letting me know.  I ask if it's because of this campaign he's working on and he said yes, that and other things like a meeting tomorrow, etc., and he asked how I was doing.  I said okay, but a little sad and I had just gotten back from my adoption class.  He asked about the sadness - whether it was a mix of thoughts and feelings, so (and this may be the part where I didn't "play the game" right) I said it might be hormonal ha, and because of the ongoing transition, and because of the feeling of intimacy between us and then separation.  I was being real.  That's the truth... I kind of miss him and think of him and when you are close with someone as far as making out, I don't think it's strange to feel some connection/attachment.  But apparently I'm not supposed to admit that or something.  I don't know because his next text *completely* ignored that part of what I had said.  He basically said sorry, and he hopes I feel better or some stupid-a$$ thing like that.  Clearly, I'm a little vulnerable and sad feeling and it's converting to anger.  Anyway, fine, so he's not that into me - maybe a little into me but seemingly not a lot.  So what do I do?  Just try and forget about him?  Ugh.  Stupid dating.

5/11/2015

Good Stuff, Bad Stuff

I'll start with the good... I had another fun date with C last night.  I actually was a little wound up and frustrated with him for not communicating with me the day before.  Which really wasn't fair because we had communication, mainly texting, every day this week except for that day, and he apologized the next morning saying he had started a message to me but got distracted by friends dropping by. 

Part of my reaction was because I had messaged him and tried calling so I felt vulnerable, and also, because we had been communicating every day, I expected a response.  Plus, when we went out a couple times a few months ago, he had just dropped off the radar sometimes and I think not hearing from him triggered that memory.  So yeah, I was kind of irritable on the phone.  But when we got together before our dancing date, it was nice to see him, and we worked out our tension pretty quickly.  He is so. fun. to. dance. with.  He's playful and has good natural ability and cute and expressive moves, he goes along with what I initiate, and we just have a really fun time. 

After we got all hot and sweaty dancing, we headed out to get a drink at this interesting place he knew about not far away.  I guess it started as an art gallery and had all these funky costume type pieces and sculptures, animal heads on the wall (fake I hoped!) and somewhat odd paintings.  They are known for the fresh fruit and juices they put in their drinks so we had Greyhounds with delicious grapefruit juice and big slices of grapefruit on the side.  We had a lot of good conversation about everything, including what's going on in our lives now, as well as our pasts. 

Also, we somehow ended up talking about fertility and how there is a slight chance I could become pregnant with IVF but there are other options like donor egg.  He actually tried to help a lesbian friend become pregnant but it didn't work, so he's pretty open-minded.  I'm definitely continuing my adoption path, which I've shared about with him, but it strange how natural it felt to just chat for a while about all that stuff last night.  I also told him about my 12-step stuff in Seattle related to relationships, and we talked about what makes a good relationship and how to keep it healthy, including using ideas from Gottman, a famous relationship expert.  After all that, he drove me back to my car and dropped me off before first making out with me again.  ha  Pretty full night!

Okay, on to the bad news... well, I guess it's good and bad.  Good because I discovered it and it may be able to be repaired.  Bad because it happened in the first place and has dramatically affected my credit report.  Basically, several accounts were fraudulently opened in my name, including a C@pital One card, a department store card, a cell phone account, and another credit card.  Then these accounts were basically defaulted on.  So, of course this freaked me out this morning! 

I have another appointment with the credit counseling agency next Thursday, and she will advise me how to best file disputes with the credit reporting companies.  Then, they have to respond within 10 days and I'm not sure where things go from there.  If any of you have had this happen or know friends who have, I would love to hear your story.  This issue is a big one for me right now, as I will be trying to rent a home in the near future and landlords usually run credit reports.  So, hopefully I can make progress on resolving this asap!

That's it for now... just continuing to take it a day at a time!

5/04/2015

Pushing Through

I wish I could say I was "flowing gently through," but I feel I am pushing through this transition and staying afloat as best I can.  Which includes taking mild anti-anxiety medication for the first time in my life to get through this transition.  When I saw my doctor a couple weeks ago, I said truthfully that it felt like if one more thing happened or landed on my plate, I would topple over.  I'm not meaning to whine or act like a victim - I know that many people have gone through times of loss and change equal to and way bigger than the one I'm in, but my threshold of stress management was and has been reached.  I'm not depressed, just a lot of emotion and stress flooding my life and my body.

The main events of course are being told I had to move, then my mom passing away, then being told the move date would not be adjusted due to time lost grieving and traveling to Oregon, then the actual packing and moving into my friend's house.  Which has been a great and much-appreciated place to land but it's clear that her house is a bit over-capacity with me and Zoey and her nephew and herself all living here...I always thought she was an extrovert - and that's what she tested on the MBTI - but living with her, I now feel like she might be on the line or somewhat of an introvert.  Maybe losing her husband a year ago has taken a lot out of her so that she needs more time alone, which is understandable.

In any case, I talked with her about timing and it's clear I need to move within a month, maybe a month and a half.  And I was so clear and feeling so positive about finding a place that would allow me to adopt in the next few months to a year, but one of my avenues towards that just fell apart.  Basically, the guy I had been talking to, who had a psychology background and had expressed openness and even interest in living with a little one, admitted last night on the phone that he probably wasn't ready to partner on a lease for a house with me.  He recently moved back from Canada and is rebuilding, and renting a room is more his speed at this point.  Great, guy, glad you got clear, but now I'm sort of back at square one.  I had been finding a few 3-bedroom places that were in our rent range, but there are ZERO two-bedroom places in my rent range.

There is still this one option in Albany, living with a woman I met through my Transition Town work... the people currently in the house are suddenly packing up and moving to Europe but are not sure exactly when... maybe next month, but then often the landlord takes a month to turn the place over. :( It's out of my control.  I know if there were a specific move date in late June or possibly even July 1, I could hold out that long at my friend's house but not any longer.  The other avenue is continuing to look for a two-bedroom "suite" within a shared house, which I will go back to doing.  And re-post what I'm looking for on a couple of housing boards.  Late last night, I also found myself looking at jobs at the University of Oregon and the community college in Eugene.  Maybe feeling so "out there" and untethered makes me want to run home.

Well, enough venting and kvetching... I want to share a couple positive things that are also happening:

  • My Career Transition Success Group is moving forward and will be posted on meetup on Friday.  I'm charging $247 for eight two-hour guided support sessions.  I hope to get at least 6-8 women signed up at our free workshop May 20th.  Please send good thoughts!
  • Adoption classes are great!  On the one hand, one might think these would add to my load, but actually they are buoying me up and energizing me, because I'm moving toward a deeply-desired goal.
  • I went on a third date with C, the guy I went dancing with a while back and was attracted to but then chose to focus on the other guy, S, who I ended up dating for a couple months.  Anyway, it was his birthday Saturday night, and we went to dinner and drinks and talked a lot and ended up making out in my car.  ha!  How old am I?  Anyway, it was fun.  He texted the next day, and I imagine I'll see him next weekend.  I wish he were a little more expressive - he can be hard to read - but he holds space well for sharing and for me expressing my feelings, which feels good.  And he's cute. :) He has long-ish (medium long) hair, which is unusual for me but it's nice hair - kind of blondish, thick, and wavy - and he mostly wears it pulled back, so I like it.  Now the facial hair could go or at least use some shaping/trimming but that's a minor thing that could likely be influenced later.  lol  He's very progressive and a labor leader for the local transportation system.  I have always said I need an intellectual lumberjack type, and he seems to fit that bill pretty well.  But it's early, so we will see.

That's it for now.  Today, I'm going to grade papers (two more weeks of the semester - yay), read books to prepare for my career workshop/class, and focus on finding housing.  And try to keep pushing through...

4/18/2015

Oregon and Mom's Memorial Service

I don't have it in me right now to write a full post on Oregon and my mom's service, but wanted to share a few highlights:

  • Cried freely and profusely when I first arrived at my Mom and Dad's house.  My dad was sleeping and I brought stuff in from the car wandered around the house looking at her stuff and weeping like a waterfall.  It surprised me how it just rose up and flowed out of me like that.  Happened again when I was alone in the house, packed up and readying to leave.
  • Lots of family and friends came to my Mom's service.  She was a quilter and they were all there, plus her family from Nebraska, including a cousin and his wife who I hadn't seen in a decade or so.  People from my Dad's side of the family came, too, including his brother and wife, and two of my cousins who were like siblings to me growing up, since we were around the same age.  Lots of crying, and even my Dad cried.  I cried several times when my family was speaking - my Dad's talk was especially heart-aching and beautiful as he talked, through tears a couple times, about their life and his feelings about her - almost when I was speaking but I was able to carry on, and then during the moving slide show of her life.  Sweet and sad videos at the beginning of her grandkids singing to her and at the end of everyone singing to her at her last birthday in January.
  • My sister's friends were there, and I have to say they were really helpful and stepped up to support my sister.  Very good friends.  We all went to my brother's that night and it was a bit odd to have drinks and social time but I had some good conversation with her friends and my cousin.
  • After the eight-hour drive up there, my back gave out in a weird way it never had before - for several days, a few times a day, something in my lower back (but not the lowest, up a ways from tailbone) would slip or give and I would experience a lot of pain, a couple times falling to my knees.  I took a lot of Advil.  Just went to the doctor today and of course today and yesterday it was better and I didn't experience that slip/shift feeling.  She said she thought it was a severe back spasm; that if the disk had slipped, it wouldn't just be pain in the moment, it would continue on.  It's so strange though, because it really felt like something wasn't aligned and was slipping.  I'm sure stress and the long hours driving contributed to the situation.
  • I got to hold my new baby niece, D, and oh my goodness, she is the sweetest little bug ever!  Really tiny of course, at only one month, and a really mellow baby.  When you hold her, she snuggles into you, and when she falls asleep, she gets heavier.  I'm sure many of you know what I mean.  It's just the loveliest feeling.  I got to see my niece and nephew, J and E play in soccer and baseball games, too, that was pretty fun.  Thank God J is kicking the ball this year; last year, bless her heart, she simply refused to have anything to do with putting her foot on the ball.  She's not super competitive trying to take the ball or anything, but when it's right in front of her or it comes to her, she will kick it.  Yay J!  And E, oh man is he a little athlete, much to his parents delight.  I'm not biased (well not much) in saying that he had considerably better ball-handling skills than anyone else on the field.  He had to hold back sometimes so as not to dominate the whole thing.  I'm sure his parents have been playing with him a lot at home (I may have mentioned my sister and her husband played sports all their lives and were college athletes).  J and I had a nice coloring and giggling session one night, too.
  • Since I was staying at my parent's house, I had the opportunity to hang out with Dad a few times, which was nice - mainly just watching tv together and eating a couple take out meals, talking about family or the service.  It was funny how much Zoey loved him and would go crazy trying to jump on this lap and lick him.  Stuff I'm trying to train her not to do, of course, but she just got so excited to get attention from him, it was pretty cute.  Dad is not emotionally expressive and shut down once or twice when I asked him direct feeling-related questions.  He's smoking some and not eating well.  He said that the week following the service maybe he would start getting and cooking some simple, healthier groceries.  I hope so.
  • Okay, one kind of disturbing aspect to the trip that I almost hesitate to bring up because it's embarrassing and confusing, is that my Dad and my aunt (my mom's sister) were flirting.  Now, maybe this is some crazy rebound coping mechanism, especially since my Dad doesn't process emotions well.  Maybe it's a way to connect with Mom, since her sister and her were close and look and act alike in many ways.  Regardless, it seemed WAY TOO SOON and was unsettling to say the least.  But Dad has been so devastated that in a way you just want him to be happy.  My brother's wife, who is known for saying inappropriate things for shock value, said something about it at their house the night after the service.  She basically brought it up to my aunt's kids (and I was at the table too) like it was a good idea.  I just shook my head and said her name in a kind of warning tone and "too soon."  I told my sister and brother-in-law later, and they thought it was really out of line.  But then after that, I noticed that my Dad was flirting with her.  And I think I heard him say something about coming out to visit her in Nebraska.  Not sure what else to say about that other than - yuck.  And it's his life.  And time will tell if it's just a bizarre coping mechanism or what.

Now, I'm back, and finishing out the last weeks of the semester at my college as I prepare to pack up my stuff in storage containers the end of next week.  I actually haven't started packing at all, but I have packing help arranged for next weekend and have scheduled those storage "pods" to be delivered and picked up.  I need to get some boxes this weekend, as I continue to research and look at possible places.  One potentially exciting possibility is living with a woman I met on a F@cebook "conscious housing" page, with whom I share a common friend.  She and her boyfriend are expecting, and I told her about my hopes for adoption.  She's amenable to finding a place together and possibly sharing some meals and childcare, etc.  Looking around, the most we would likely get is three-bedroom, so the kids would have to share eventually or something if it were long-term.  Not sure how that would work out.  Anyway, I'm excited about the idea and of possibly not needing to move again in a few months to a year.  We are seeing a place tomorrow morning, so wish us luck. 

If I can't find a place, I have confirmed with my friend, E, that I can stay with her, even though I think I might be sleeping on a couch - yikes.  Her house is very nice, though, and we are good friends which would make things easier.  It would be a better situation if her nephew weren't also living there.  In any case, it's good to have a safety net to leave my stuff in storage for a few weeks/month if I needed a little more time to find a place.

Building my business has unfortunately but necessarily gone on the back burner.  I hope to be able to spend a few hours this weekend but also need to grade a bunch of papers and do some planning.  With everything going on with my mom passing and her service, and difficult finances, and moving, and my landlord being rude and unkind, I have that feeling of overwhelm, like I can't handle it all and if one more little thing happens, I'll collapse.  I did have a good cry today to my friend and former housemate, K, which was very helpful.