It's definitely been quite a while...
So I'll go into life updates, I guess. Within about the last the last year I turned 19, I moved out of my parent's house... and into my boyfriends parent's house, didn't have a job for a while and did some soul searching (and some mooching (which I still feel horrible for)), got my car back, got an apartment, struggled with the previously mentioned apartment (which is still falling down around us) got a job, fought like hell with someone I love and almost lost him a couple times, then lost said job (only a seasonal position, so I was prepared for that), then really buckled down and jumped head first into a new job full time, fixed big things in my relationship, embraced my newish freedoms of being an independent adult by going to all the childish places I could think of, went on a trip, and celebrated my 20th birthday.
To elaborate, this last year has been a roller coast. I had made the decision to move out based on a lot of things and quickly got cut off from the family and told I didn't have a place to go back to. I had expected this but I wouldn't have done it if I weren't prepared for the consequences. I moved in with my boyfriend and his parents and quickly realized I was, in fact, not prepared for the consequences, I was emotional and trying to figure out how to stand independently of a family and home life, which is rougher than you'd think. I mean my family is a harsh bunch and not terribly supportive but knowing you have no support system at all is scary and stressful. I was under someone else's roof with other people paying my way and I was terrified that if something happened, all that could be taken away. I had scared myself into thinking I had made some horrible mistake on multiple occasions and I ended up pouring that stress into my relationship; I was just messing things up for myself at that point. I knew something needed to change.
We ended up moving out eventually into a shabby apartment. I loved it. It was on the third floor of a buggy, gross, shifty neighbored apartment complex and it was mine. I finally felt like I could breathe. I also got my car back from my parents because my dad was trying to claim it since his name was on the title. It took some effort but I got it officially signed over so I wouldn't have to argue this again. And with some help from a friend I got a job at a warehouse store we'll call Schmostco for the sake of not mentioning names. The people there were cold and they spent so much time patting themselves on the back for how well the take care of their employees, sadly this "care" did not carry over to the seasonal employees. Most of the positive treatment that they're known for giving their employees only applied if you had been there for more than six months. I was there to work short term for the hours no one else wanted for less pay and zero benefits, while also being watched under a close eye and being critiqued and reminded that we were replaceable constantly because we were the new crew, but it meant I was paying my own way so I was happy to be there. The only part that was really hurting me was what it was doing to my relationship. The hours I was working were the hours my boyfriend was off and vice versa. We hardly saw each other for a couple months and when we did get time together we spent it arguing. At the end of the holiday season I was happy to be leaving The Schmostco wholesale warehouse.
I took a month off and worked on myself and my relationship. I spent time showing my boyfriend that he was worth the world to me while trying to convince myself that I had some worth too. It was a solid healing time but eventually I had to get back to finding a job.
I ended getting far luckier than I could have expected. I interviewed on a Wednesday and got called with a job offer on the same Wednesday and then started on Friday. It was all very quick and simple. They're an older partner owned company that actually cares about the people they work with. I felt immediately welcomed and there was the added bonus that they paid incredibly well. I was finally getting to spend time on my relationship and keep a steady job and make enough money that I wasn't depending on anyone else. It felt great. I started getting spare time and in the spirit of embracing adulthood, I spent time with my boyfriend doing all the childish things I missed doing. We were going to arcades and bowling and playing lazer tag and swimming and going to concerts and to the circus. We were filling every minute of spare time with activity. Once we were a couple months into this, I was feeling exhausted and started to question why I had pushed so hard to be constantly entertained. It was almost like I was doing all these things in excess out of spite, like I was trying to balance things out for all the shit I had been going through since I had moved out. It was frustrating to me that I was putting all this time and money into making things better and I was still I was running from something. I needed to slow down and reevaluate.
So we went on a trip to see friends for my birthday, we went out some days and then some days we just stayed in and enjoyed each others company. we laughed and joked for hours, it was almost therapeutic. It helped me realize that what I needed to do was take a breathe and reassess. So I stopped and took all things into account and realized that, I. am. happy. I have what I need, I have a solid job, I'm not living with my family anymore, I've got a steady relationship, I'm surrounded by good people that care about me and I'm taking care of myself without anyone's help.
I feel like that was my eye opening, neon flashing sign, turning point. I mean, I've made it through a rough year, some problems were situational and some were self inflicted, but I made it and I need to get my head out of the fog and just enjoy myself sometimes. I am starting my 20th year and figuring this shit out with a distinct lack of grace but I'm stronger and more independent than ever. And I'm not sure if I'm really typing this as an update for a social media site that I haven't used in years or more of a reflection for my own sake but either way I feel like it's helped memorialize an important year for me. And now I'm starting the next one that I'm dedicating to me and to looking forward rather than back. I'm going to enjoy it and embrace the things I love and the people I'm with.
so if you've read this far, thanks for sticking around for this middleschooldiary-like dump of my thoughts and feelings and here's to being 20 with a year's worth of time and open possibilities.
-Julie Jones (JulesQJones)