Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, depression, dreams, eviction, grad school, homeless, job hunting, life, Personal, storage, student life

6/17: Falling Apart

I’m not totally sure what to do anymore. I have no back up, no resources. Remember: I’m homeless, jobless, and disabled. Trying to finish grad school has become an impossible feat. I owe nearly 5K to my school because I had to withdraw from my classes last term. I got a letter recently (I check my PO Box about once a week) saying if I don’t send something (and where is this money coming from?) before the 26th, it’ll go to collections.

So I’m at a loss. I’ve worked at this degree for nearly three years and the last two terms, due to depression and the eviction stress, I’ve tanked. Hard. I talked with my advisor and decided on just doing the one credit wrap-up capstone… but it’s one credit and financial aid only covers 5+ credits. I don’t have the funds to pay for one credit. I’m about ready to say, “sign me up for 5-6 credits for the fall term… fuck this, I’m going for the certificate.” Summer term has already started.

Maybe I’d get enough funds to pay off the school and a new term. Not sure.

So, here’s why I’m pissed off… they know I’m trying to finish the degree. There’s a damn good reason I’ve needed financial aid. I’ll try calling them next week and try to deal with this. Explain that with the debt, I can’t finish my degree… but I’m unemployed and fucking homeless so how the fuck am I going to come up with 5K??

I’ll call them next week and see what I can do. I don’t have the money. I’m trying to sell stuff out of storage so I can pay next month’s storage rent of a mere $280 (mere compared to 5K).

The letter from them states that enrollment will be frozen while I still have outstanding debts… I need a miracle of some sort. At the very least a small one to keep me from losing it while on the phone with them next week.

I’m frustrated. Partly with school, but mostly with myself and my life. I can’t fully put my finger on the WHY of the mess my life has become. I can’t blame it fully on either myself or “society.” Believe me, I wish I could figure it out. I wish I had that answer.

But it eludes me.

~Amanda

Posted in dreams, faith, job hunting, life, Personal, poetry

6/16: Perched

I’ve been working on different things, all while trying to let my body recover from over-exertion on Wednesday. Today, I did a few small things to help boost my visibility for social media work. But I also became a bit frustrated with the job hunt because I keep trying to break into that field and I get nowhere. And now my sites are down because I don’t have the funds at the moment to pay my hosting.
So I feel like I’m looking in the wrong direction, even though I’m good at social media. Anyway… the poem below is kinda how things feel right now. I feel up in the air, which is how I am in the poem. Enjoy!

******

Precarious perch
Where do I
Land?
The fence below is
Full.
So here
I
Perch.
On a wire just above.

I see land on
Both sides.
One is safe
But
Plain.
Grassy flat land
As far as
My eyes can see.

Others there mill around.
I cannot tell if
They bother
Looking up
Anymore.
Do they wonder
What may be
Beyond the fence?
Do they see the fence?

The other side is
Rocky.
Uneven.
I would be unsure
Where to safely
Land.
Less of my kind
There.
The unknowns
Outweigh
The knowns.

The clouds have
Yet to lift.
I hear they may.
Soon.
I cannot
Stay
On this wire
Forever.

~Amanda

Posted in animal advocacy, cats, community, dreams, homeless, life, Personal, silliness

5/22: Baby Gates, Cats, and Chickens

As you can possibly tell, this post is not about crowdfunding.

Baby Gates: I have two wood frame baby gates. I stack them one over the other in the doorway so that Portia, my fluffy escape artist, stays in the room. I have to take the top one down to get in and out. Earlier, I was coming back in, took the top one down, and climbed over the both of them. Portia, of course, was in the way. BTW, that brat can clear one gate without touching it.

I moved my bare foot forward, but didn’t know that the latch piece was sticking out… my bare toes hit gate latch. Now, I’m notorious for breaking bones doing the most mundane of things. Like walking on the sidewalk. So far, nothing but some scraped skin… but they do still sting a bit. I would love a better system, but it just ain’t gonna happen.

Speaking of cats… eventually, I will get my shit together, get a decent job, and get my own place again with Portia in tow. Then… I’ll get a second feline to keep her company while I’m off doing whatever job I end up getting. I’ve sworn for years that I’ll only adopt adults. But Portia is taking up JoJo’s DIVA CARD since she passed away in February. She’s showing intolerance for other adult cats.

At the same time, I have zero interest in getting young kittens. I believe, in her life before me, that Portia had at least one litter of kittens. She’s shown an interest in certain things. Indicators to me that she’s been a mommy cat. Coming to the computer when I watch a video with kittens mewing… alert and looking for the kittens in distress…. moving “kittens” (my balled up socks) from one place to another…. all momma cat signs. Again, no interest in little ones.

So, despite my swearing up and down to only adopt adults, I’m thinking someone at the 6 month to one year range may be best. Young enough for her to see as someone to “take under her mommy wing” but not a little one. So, we’ll see. I’m definitely not ready yet. Still between “homes” of my own.

Chickens: A few years back, I worked for a guy who had a couple of chickens in the back yard. When I started working there, his family was out of town (we worked in a home office). He had more eggs than he could handle, so I got to take some super-fresh eggs home one day.

I have never had eggs that fresh before. Holy Frijoles, Batman!! MASSIVE difference from even the “fresh” eggs at the store. No comparison. Seriously.

There’s a neighbor near where I’m staying who has four chickens (and a Corgi who guards them). Whenever I walk past them, I think of how cool it would be to have fresh eggs like that again. So, while I prefer a more urban life in a building with things called elevators, there may come a day when I find myself with a house, or at least a place with a backyard. In that yard, I’d have two things: a Catio attached to the back of the house so my felines at the time can have an outdoor space if they wish, and a coop with a couple of chickens. Maybe do some veggie gardening. Although I have a terrible habit of killing plants… I don’t mean to, it just… happens.

For now, I live the life I have. It isn’t always easy. There are many frustrating and exasperating things. But I’m here.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, life, Personal, poetry, storage, urgent

5/16: The Break (poetry)

Standing still.
Rain hits my face
Runs down my nose.
Cars pass me by
Hitting the
Puddled potholes
On purpose.
The spray
Hits my legs and
Soaked half-dead shoes.
Socks no longer
Protect my bare feet.
The rain is not heavy
But just enough to soak
Every layer
Down to my skin.
Waiting.
Hoping my turn is next.
The break in the rain.
A chance.
Bask in the light.
As the clouds break
Apart.
Just for me.

~Amanda 

Posted in activism, anxiety, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, empath life, faith, life, patreon, Personal, PTSD

5/12: It’s Alive!!

Another short musing.

For years now, I have heard “poetry is dead…” 

I’m no Poet Laureate or anything, but the fact that I have friends who regularly get their horror/suspense poetry accepted to genre mags, and that -this week alone- the pages/posts that consistently get the most hits are the poetry posts… 

Those who say poetry is dead can go suck it! Between poetry and my fiction, writing in general has been very therapeutic for me. It helped me process my mother’s Alzheimer’s and eventual death. Dealing with my PTSD (and the assholes who did enough damage for me to develop it). With my dad passing away suddenly. With my own brushes with death, my suicidal ideations…etc… writing has helped me process a LOT of shit. As well as general observational pieces. 
Poetry is powerful. And in the right “hands,” it can rock worlds. Just look to Maya Angelou. She made words soar.

Poetry is alive and can be used for great things in times of upheaval.

~Amanda (still in pain, but not as bad as 2 hours ago)

Posted in anxiety, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, homeless, life, Personal, poetry, society

5/10: midnight poet

Fading.

Still awake. 

Wish.

I wish.

This is a dream to

Wake from.

Heart beats.

Still frozen.

I cannot move.

Even though I must.

Identity slips away. 

Who am I? 

In this vast world.

One of many.

I do not 

Belong here.

Foreign yet

Borne of this place.

A place I am

Lost in.

Wandering. 

Meandering. 

Absorbing all.

Refuse to lose

Myself 

In the cacophony 

Of existence. 

2017 APA

Posted in cats, crowdfunding, dreams, grad school, life, Personal, storage

5/9: Making a difference ( & #crowdfunding)

(Still crowdfunding… keep on spreading the word.)

If you were to look back at the list of jobs and companies I’ve worked for, your head would likely spin. Yes, lots of retail, but other types of jobs interspersed between. One job I held in two locations was teaching reading and writing in an after school program. I was also the test administrator for potential students to see where they were reading or doing math at.

I had a reason for doing this job. I was one of those kids. The one in remedial classes because I didn’t bother with homework and my grades were horrible. They never bothered trying to see what my deal was, not even my HS counselor. In everyone’s eyes, even my own for a long time, I was a failure. An eventual drop-out or suicide. A statistic.

But I’m not.

When I was about 18, after high school, I was determined to make a difference in at least one kids life.

Even with only my BA in English, I impressed one thing upon the kids I could reach: you can make it. You can beat the odds. Keep going. I made it, you can as well.

I had some amazing teachers and professors along the way. Mr. Williams, Ms. Wooten, Jerry Smith (LMC), Dr. Gilbert, and others.

Now I’m finishing up my Master’s degree. The kid who wasn’t expected to finish high school.

During my time teaching in the after-school program, I reached kids in my own way… I used humor and nudged them in the right directions, getting them to think about the answers and how to find them, instead of me telling them.

It’s a lot like the philosophy behind animal rescue. You may not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference for that one cat or dog or kid. You never know until you do it.

~Amanda

Posted in community, crowdfunding, dreams, faith, grad school, homeless, peace, society, transitions

4/18: Morning Edition 

I’m not always a nice person. I own my mistakes and learn from them the best I can. I refuse to apologize for last night’s post. I will say this: I was in an excruciating amount of pain by that point of the evening. A few other things got to me as well. 

In my job hunting all these months, I’ve revamped my resume and base cover letter more times than I’d care to recall. And still few bites. I tried for temp work with a few agencies with no luck. I’ve tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Some of it was my resume and cover letter, but we’ve also had a massive influx of people moving here. That certainly hasn’t helped. I’m not trying for executive jobs. Just something that pays better than minimum wage. I don’t have much family to turn to. I also don’t do well in a communal household. I’ve had too many hellish roommate experiences. 

I’m also not giving up on a degree I’m almost done with. I would have nothing to show for the loans I’ve accrued. 

Life has thrown quite a few curveballs at me over the years. This one is the toughest so far. But I’ll get through it. Hopefully with a bit of help from friends who won’t judge me. I need to just get my stuff out from under the auction umbrella. 

Community is supposed to band together and help where needed. I don’t see as much of that anymore. Too much fear and greed and hate. It is not our place to judge one another. We’re here to listen and learn from each other. To build community, not tear it down. 

~Amanda 

Posted in bugaboos, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, grad school, homeless, life, Personal, society

4/17: Response

Earlier this evening someone wrote a comment to a previous post. I could approve the comment (I won’t) or go rip into this person who shall remain nameless. Here’s the thing: this person does not know me. I have their email, which I searched for and found their name. I don’t know this person. From here on out, I’ll speak to them… the rest of you can just read along.


You don’t know me as well as you think you do. Do we have some things in common? Yeah. But you don’t know me. Despite the fact that you’ve been supposedly following my blog for the better part of a year, you clearly haven’t read everything. First, I started grad school in 2014. Since I started, I have done my damnedest to kick ass on my classwork while also working and job hunting. I am now almost done with school. I have two papers to finish off an Incomplete, and then the single credit Capstone this summer, which is really putting my best work from school up on a preformatted website. Not massively time consuming. I am almost done. I am not… I will not… hell, I refuse to listen to people who tell me to give up on school. If you knew me… really knew me… you would know how far I’ve come and how close I am to completion. And no, unless you’re paying my tuition, you don’t have a say in whether I should continue school.

Now, the other bone to pick with your comment: work/job hunting. I actually have applied for some retail jobs. The problem is that I physically cannot do them anymore. I cannot stand for more than half an hour without pain. I have more injuries than you would likely comprehend. If you actually knew me, you would know that. You would also know that I’ve been using my cane more and more lately due to my knee having problems… again. And please, spare me the crap about them accommodating those with disabilities. Been there, done that…. made things worse. Also, just an FYI: those jobs that you deem so plentiful? They don’t pay worth shit. Can you live on $10/hour? Didn’t think so.

I have pushed myself harder than you could begin to imagine. Yes, I’ve had to ask for help at times. I hate asking. I would prefer being completely independent. I’ve applied for jobs across the spectrum, even a few I knew I likely couldn’t do due to my physical issues. But I applied anyway. No calls, no emails, no interviews. I’m not looking for a “perfect job” because I’m not delusional and I know damn well a ‘perfect job’ doesn’t exist. But something where I can use my training and background, as well as a decent LIVING WAGE, and not be in pain…. that’s all I want.

My Master’s Degree I’m almost done with? That’s a career degree. Nothing “pie in the sky” about it.

You don’t know jack shit about me. If you did, you’d have known better than to belittle me and my goals and the work I’ve done to get to where I am. No, my life isn’t where I’d like it to be at this exact moment. This challenge, like every other instance in my life, is one I take on and will learn from. Your comment insulted my intelligence. It insulted my tenacity. But it’s people just like you -those who tell me to ‘just get any job’ or give up on something I’ve worked for- that I’ll leave in the dust.

Stop pretending that you know me. You can’t begin to fathom who I am. And you will never come close to knowing the real me. Go back under your rock. Stop bringing others down.

A community is supposed to come together and help each other in times of need. But I guess you don’t care much about anyone but yourself.

Don’t bother crafting a reply. It, like your original comment, will go into the s*am folder.

~Amanda