ICYMI I proposed, we’re eloping, also life is great.

So Thomthulhu and I have been discussing marrying this coming winter for the better part of the last five or six months.  Shortly after moving to Philadelphia, we planned our elopement in seven minutes in the freezing cold, waiting for the 42 bus.

A proposal was something of an afterthought, especially given how T and I feel about betrothal in general.  Once you decide you’d both like to get married, that’s it.  You’re affianced.  I did want to do something to give us a reason to celebrate our choice, so I bought myself a ring I like, and asked him to be the extraordinary human who would replace the Self-Marriage (a story for another day, perhaps?) bands I’ve worn consistently on my right hand for the better part of three or four years.  He was pleasantly surprised, and this happened: Engaged!

We called a few friends and family members first, then announced it on social media, to the resounding support, pleasure, and happiness of the folks who love us.  My ring was hand made in Scotland by Sarah Brown and is significant to Thomthulhu and I for a wide variety of reasons.  So.  He is my extraordinary human.  There are also other relationships in my life that are central, important, and irreplaceable that are likely to continue to grow, but Thomthulhu brings out my best self, and I cannot help but to orbit him.  Nor do I want anything different.  He also encourages me to seek out the human contact I desire with whomever I choose, and values my ability to establish deep and lasting relationships with people, without reservation.  I have learned more recently to listen more closely and more heavily weight his instincts about people in my life.  He is rarely incorrect, I’ve found.

As friends of ours slog through the difficult initial stages of a likely closed triad, he and I have had occasion to revisit aspects and events in our own relationship as we try to generate helpful insight for our loved ones.  It’s been daunting, but ultimately good for everyone involved.  One of those friends will be joining our household a week from now, and we are thrilled to make our home her home as well.  Good thing she likes cats and doesn’t object to nudity.  Though Thom did say, “I love her so much I’d wear pants in the house.”  A glowing bit of praise, that.  Those three beautiful friends plus Our Dearest Sam will be the entirety of the guest list for our impending Philadelphian faux-lopement this Winter.  Our photographs will be taken with Instagram and Instax Minis by ourselves and our four guests. The rest of those plans are a complete secret, and won’t be public knowledge until after the thing is done and I do a re-cap.

New Job is completely excellent.  One-tenth the stress for a third more take-home pay is… that’s some good math. I’m also using my brain on hard problems every day.  I make my own schedule, and I’m preparing to negotiate down to three days in the office during the Autumn, and down to two days on site starting this Winter.  The commute is honestly the worst part of the job, and that’s saying a lot considering how some folks feel about what they do five days a week for money and to whom they report for the same.  I keep screwing up our finances, because I need a digital babysitter, so I’m taking a page from Ginny’s book and signing up for Mvelopes.

I’m due to watch their budgeting boot camp videos this week to feel more adulty, and to feel better about my upcoming tattoo as a responsible but fun choice.  It’s a full sleeve and then some (likely extending from my left breast  or shoulder blade to eventually the back of my left hand probably omitting my underarm because no part of me is into that), so it’s going to be at least 4 or 5 sessions with Jasmine at Spirited Tattooing Coalition.  I also have like, a wee wedding to take care of by mid-December?  What.

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ICYMI I proposed, we’re eloping, also life is great.

Boy, You Bubble Wrap My Heart

I have a date tonight and it’s with Thomthulhu and we’re going to Twisted Tail and it’s going to be pretty much the best.  My new hair is straight up ridiculmazing smokey lavender dreamboat city, and I’m wearing my favorite dress.  We’re going to Twisted Tail and I am a pleased and happy girl who looks like this today:

Flawless!
Flawless!

I feel tired this morning, but slept better last night than I have in a few days with a little help from Molly Hooper.  Chamomile and snow drop are pretty effective sedatives, let me tell you.  I’ve been drinking (and sampling) more tea lately and I find it makes me happy. Plus, come on — Homestuck blends?  Sold.  Good job, Adagio.  KANAYA AND FEFERI!  I love them.

Work has been going well, though I’m giving more than I’m getting from it these days. Outside of work I am trying to commit some formula structures to memory and develop more facility with them.  I have a budget to work out for my upcoming Rails Girls event in June, and need to come up with a plan to populate that event with awesome and varied and adventuresome women* and girls*.  Some of that may involve buying a plane ticket for a certain beloved twelve-year-old I know to come stay with us for some of the summer.  I have my first Girl Develop It event in a little over six weeks, and I’m excited to get a good foundation in Java.  The internet’s not going anywhere, after all.

We have a few shows coming up in February, and I’m excited to perform (and make a few extra bucks, honestly).  Beatrix and Bria have offered to help me with costumes (not my strong suit), and making room in our Library for a small sewing machine is probably a thing I should investigate.

Overall, things are grand.  I’m hoping today just flies by.  I’m quite looking forward to my date tonight.  ❤ #fhtagn

 

Boy, You Bubble Wrap My Heart

Il Neige!

It snows!  Harsh ye naught my shine, haters.  L’hiver for lyfe.

My commute in on the train was lovely this morning, though chilly.  I should have thrown some of those pop-the-seal-warm-the-toes things in my Sorels before I left the still-unnamed Apartment.  I love how darkness glows just a bit in the early morning when it is snowing.  I also love excuses to wear my fuzzy snow boots with the red laces to work.

Yesterday was Thomthulhu’s final day of work, and I’ve struck a hard bargain with our former landlord regarding the eight days of rent he’s ‘requesting’ for February.  You know, after we had vacated his now pretty dilapidated and poorly maintained building with a roof that leaked into our living room and a basement corner propped up by two by fours on the second of January.  Writing the required communication for that bargain to be struck was challenging, but I did it.

A lot of my people are talking about Resolutions for the New Year, and I think it is pretty great.  There’s not really enough long-term change required in my life for me to muck about with one, though I do have a pretty lengthy to-do and to-master list most of the time.  I’m happy with my body, my food choices, my capacities, and my choices.  The things I am working on are in pretty full swing, and have been for months; and “keep on with it, girl” isn’t much of a resolution.  It’s more Just How I Roll, these days.  I have a pretty substantial project to complete Wednesday after work so that I may submit it Friday, but I feel pretty confident I can make that happen.  My project and learning experience with Hanif will start the following week, and will likely transition into a larger project (and a corresponding list of mastered skills).

I’d like to keep the orchid that T gave me alive?  It would be nice if it would re-bloom.  We’re going to try to grow herbs in the kitchen?

Career change will take the shape and timing that it takes, probably within the next three to six months, factually speaking.

Our new home is amazing.  We have a bunch of projects to build and art to frame. We took some measurements for where shelves might fit in places like the kitchen, dining room, and bathroom yesterday evening when I got home from running a few errands.  We have a bed to build.  I have art to make.  Managing our money seems to be going as well as it can go under our current constraints.  I seem to be doing a good job of maintaining love, friendships, intellectual interests, and time for myself even though my commute is lengthy and begins early in the morning.

So, what would I be resolving to do, then?  I’d like to maintain my ridiculous hair.  My birthday month (March, for those of you following along at home) will likely involve a donation jar/paypal link dedicated to a pretty ambitious tattoo and I’d like to start the first session this spring, when my thirty-third birthday passes.   So maybe I’ll do like, quarterly resolutions.

My resolution for this quarter is that I’ll have a really amazing birthday this year.   My birthday is a Friday this year, so I might take off from work.  Maybe I’ll go to the Barnes by myself (or bring Thomthulhu, if he is done classes early enough in the day!) Thirty-three belongs just to me, and I’m going to celebrate it with accomplishments, progress towards my goals, appreciating myself, and investing myself in projects that are just mine.  I will also probably research, plan, execute, and eat a really beautiful meal for a very small group of friends.  Catalyst Con is the following week, and I’m going to be attending for at least a portion of the weekend with a few of my dear friends. Depending on how the first quarter shakes out, I can set new goals for April-July!

Il Neige!

Achievement Unlocked: New Home

Well, we did it.

This past weekend, two days after Christmas, we upended our material possessions, and (with a lot of help from friends quite dear) we moved to West Philadelphia.  A lot has happened, though, so let me catch you up.

I made a contact at a company for future consulting work, and potentially, a future opportunity for a full time position.  My contact is very sweet, super honest, and quite helpful.  We talked a lot about my desire to land in either a Managed Services Lead position, or to end up as an accomplished Analyst in the field of business intelligence.

Hanif and I talked a lot about my training and tracking for [redacted], and we have a plan to get me up to speed sooner than I hoped, given my wont to eat a whale in one bite then chew for a year hoping to swallow it.

[Redacted] (!!!) emailed me on Christmas Day morning, responding to my application for a Junior Analyst position to which I’m terribly excited to respond.  It’s essentially a pre-interview technical screening to show [redacted] my strengths and ability to leverage queries to yield meaningful data.  I was elated upon reading the email, not only because [redacted] has a bit of a reputation for not responding to applicants, but also because I feel very capable of giving them full, meaningful responses to each use-case.

We visited families of blood and the heart this holiday.  Thomthulhu replaced a tea pot our cats shattered, and also gave me an HP Lovecraft tee-shirt I like very much.  We go to Lancaster for New Years, and I’m excited to see a small group of friends we don’t get to see too often during the winter months.
I received a very generous year end bonus from the law firm, and an equally generous and heartfelt gift from the attorney for whom I work.

The move went relatively smoothly, and the Sky Warren of R’yleh should be cleaned out and ready for new occupants by this time next week.  I’m desperately hoping that our landlord will find an occupant in time for February 1, so that I don’t end up having to pay another full month of rent at the old place AND a full month at our new home, but HEY IT IS ONLY MONEY WHATEVER WE SHALL DEAL.

Thomthulhu gave his notice Monday last, and today is his third-to-final day of work.  He begins classes at Temple University on the twelfth, and has a full load of courses in History (and Latin, naturally).

I’ve drafted solicitation letters for sponsorship for my Rails Girls event in June of the coming year.  I’m picking up Ruby in my spare time, and have a proof of concept project to work on (and a domain name that will be its home).  I really love the language, and hope to move on to Java and HTML/CSS when I’ve got a good handle on Ruby.  Code Academy has been a great resource for me so far, and I’m hoping to make some Girl Develop It meet-ups in the near future.

It just goes to show how much can change in a year, I suppose.  Inviting people who encourage, support, and advocate for me and my abilities and wonder and desire in a truly meaningful way has opened so many doors and cleared so many paths in my life. It makes such a significant difference to move from people who expend their energy talking about support to people who expend their energy actually just providing and reinforcing support.  I’m surrounded by people who know that I’m a force of nature and that I make good decisions.  My participation in these relationships is not contingent on getting things right all the time, or doing things the One True Right Way (read: their way).  I don’t spend my time mired in Emotionally Intense Constant Exchange.  My relationships are more fluid, reciprocal, cooperative, and trusting.  They’re more mindful.  I’m not expected to conform or assimilate.  It’s like going from a cult to a culture.  We spend time relating, rather than talking about relationships.  We spend more time building and doing than we do processing and discussing.  I went from deeply questioning my value and enoughness seven or eight months ago to rarely bothering to give it a second thought because of course I am valuable and enough!  I ask for reassurance when I need it, invariably receive it, and believe its veracity because it is supported by consistent actions over time.  The cognitive dissonance has almost completely evaporated.  I have not been confronted with a moment of “You’re saying X, but your actions say Y,” since Galactic Collision 2014.

It’s… honestly pretty glorious.  I feel like a pretty darn great version of myself and it’s a great way to begin 2015.

Achievement Unlocked: New Home

Drowning

I’ve been drowning at work.  It’s been going on for weeks.  Most days, I’m at the office from six in the morning until at least five at night.  I don’t take a lunch break much anymore.  I’m deeply unhappy, here.

I want to skip the firm holiday party and our usual luncheon, but I know I should go.

It feels like nothing on my to-do list can ever wait long enough for me to finish whatever it is I’m working on.  I’m trying really hard not to check out on the job emotionally, but it’s really difficult when you feel like basically all you’re doing is failing for eleven to twelve hours a day, five days a week.

I need to get out of this.

Drowning

A Moment to Collect Myself

The last three weeks have been insane and stressful with a real tough case of mixed bag.  It’s early Monday morning, and I’m hoping to collect my thoughts and embark upon another stressful week coming from a place of gratitude and excellence.

Things for which I am grateful:

My training is coming along nicely.  A few things developed outside of my control and so my certification date is likely the end of this month, but that is okay!  It will give me more time to study, make pretty flash cards with crayola markers, and play with use-cases before I take the exam.

I’m in touch with two recruiters already, and one of them seems especially lovely.

A path exists such that once I’m a certified administrator, I can move on to be certified in implementation, then development.  I like paths, and my capacity to pursue them independently.  I also like milestones on my journey!

A weekend day at Celia’s happened this Saturday, and was a lovely reset for my brain.  Looking forward to spending time with her and her family over Thanksgiving.

Tom is a wonderful, patient, and understanding man.  He also calls me out when I’m letting things get to me without calling my stress responses unreasonable.

I have great friends.

I have a date with a hot bath, cup of tea, nice pens and some training materials tonight when I get home from work.

We go to see what will likely be our new home, tomorrow after work.  In less than 8 weeks, we’ll be moving to West Philadelphia.  This is me breathing through the “eight weeks” part.  I’m so glad we own sensible furniture.  By volume, the majority of our possessions are books, and those box up and move pretty easily.

Holiday bonus time is approaching rapidly, and will be warmly and enthusiastically welcomed.

Things inevitably trend towards being okay.

So.  There’s all that.  Hey there, Monday.  Let’s dance.

A Moment to Collect Myself

Goal-Setting

I think goal-setting and accountability are important.  I also think setting meaningful deadlines for myself is a) hard; and b) necessary.  I have perfectionist tendencies that sometimes facilitates procrastination.  I tend to put things off until the circumstances are perfectly as I envision them.  I’ll wait to do a big task until I have a giant chunk of time where I feel energized, well-rested, enthusiastic, and so on, instead of just buckling the f*ck down and completing what I can in smaller chunks, even if the circumstances are imperfect.

In an effort to expedite the changes I’ve alluded to in previous posts, I want to head myself off at the pass, by publicly stating a goal, keeping myself accountable to it, and celebrating when I complete it.

My plan is to complete two sections of the [redacted] training program, quizzes included, every day from now until 10 November, and pass the final exam by 11:11 on 11/11.  Some of the units are long and dense, and will require a lot of my brain power.  I’m going to pick up a bottle of champagne tonight to keep in the fridge.  When I complete my goal and I’m cleared to pick up my first part-time assignment, that bottle gets opened.

I admit there is a distant part of me that is giving my optimism the side-eye.  Somewhere, a tiny voice is whispering that I will fail, that this opportunity is too good to be true, that I’m too late to the game, that somehow,  that I’ll do all this training but not get assignments, I’ll end up stuck or otherwise screwed.  I’m doing my best to drown out that voice, because I know it doesn’t serve me, anyone I love, or any of the people who are helping me make this change.

Right now, I have two full uninterrupted hours between 06:15 and 08:30 Monday through Friday.  I also technically get a lunch hour (I just very rarely interrupt my day to take advantage of it).  On Mondays and Wednesdays, I have my evenings entirely to myself after work, since Tomthulhu has standing games those evenings.  That gives me an additional four hours each of those evenings before it is basically bedtime for me.  I could also squeeze in an hour on Tuesday evenings before bed.  I typically have Fridays free as well.  Saturday and Sunday, training time will be 2 hours in the morning after I get up and have some coffee.  That gives me close to forty hours between this moment and the evening of the tenth, and I’ve already completed one unit.  The training itself is allegedly forty hours, so I’m ahead by a little bit.

I wish real life had progress bars.  I’m planning to make myself a sticker chart, instead.

Picking up a ten hour weekly assignment shortly after the 11th would mean six or seven weeks of non-trivial additional income on top of my holiday bonus which usually arrives mid-December.  Plus, I’d have a bit more sanity sooner and a little less of that voice yammering in my ear.

Goal-Setting