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Lubbock and Leave it

28 Aug

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Dear Lubbock,

I came to you battered and bruised.  I came to you without hope or vision of my future.  I came to you for comfort and clarity, but I’m leaving with so much more.

Almost two years ago, I knew I had to come to you.  I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to.  Eventhough you were my home until I was 17, you felt foreign at first.  I showed up in the winter and my icy heart felt right at home.  

But then you surprised me with a great job and a cozy place to live that I could actually afford.  And spring arrived as I was settling in.  I started to wonder if maybe I could trust myself after all.

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It was a bumpy ride for a while.  I made so many mistakes, but you were so forgiving and understanding.  You kept me steady when I wanted to fall apart.  Your people, your sunsets, your familiarity made me feel safe and welcome and home.

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I really fell in love with you this year.  Once I got involved with the Caprock ward and decided to focus solely on my spiritual health, my whole life changed.  My heart changed.

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Then my career changed.  And it meant that I had to leave you behind.  This pains my heart more than I can accurately express.  But I’ve prayed about it and I know it’s what I must do.

Please don’t think for a moment that it means I don’t love you.  I certainly do.  I’ve shed so many tears at the thought of leaving you, but I have to admit that I’m excited too.

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You healed me.  You gave me the opportunity to move past the horror I’d been living with for too long.  Now it’s time for a truly fresh start.  And that’s exactly what this is.

So, thank you.  I love you.  And I’ll be back.

Brandi

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Just say it

5 Apr

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For about as long as I can remember, I’ve been a writer.  It started in diaries as a young girl and turned into poetry as a teenager.  It eventually turned into blogging as an adult.  It’s my outlet, my way of processing emotions and ideas.  I sometimes don’t quite understand life until I write about it.

I’ve been trying to write for the past few months without success.  I’ve got so many drafts, it’s kind of comical.  I get going and then bam- a wall goes up and I just can’t continue.  It’s been frustrating- being so close to the release I need and yet just not able to get it out.

I don’t know for sure what’s holding me back, but part of it is just not really wanting to say what I am honestly feeling because then I have to admit it.

So, I’m just gonna get it out.

Mostly, life is great.  I have a great job that I genuinely like and I’m getting paid well which never hurts.  I have my own apartment in town now.  It’s cute and cozy and cheap.  (Seriously, I’m making more money and the cost of living is so low!)  My boys and I live next to a little park with a lake which is fun for all of us.  I get to see family and friends all the time.  These people have known me most of my life and their support has been amazing.  I’m healthier and more peaceful than I’ve been in so long.

BUT I’m struggling internally.  Two things happened at the same time:

1.  I started dating.

2.  Xavier cut off all communication with me.

It’s not that he and I were really communicating other than the occasional email dealing with the divorce or our taxes, but a few weeks ago he let me know that he was changing his email and phone number and I was to never contact him again.  Not before he sent me one more scathing message about everything I did to deserve what happened to our marriage.  It was very upsetting.

A few days later, I had a little panic attack as the reality that I would probably never speak to him or see him again set in.  It feels surreal that this man I spent so many years with is just gone from my life.  The man I built my life around.  The man I created all of my dreams around.  That I fought so hard to keep.  He’s really gone.

I still feel married to him, as crazy as that may seem.  I don’t even understand why.  We were miserable most of the time that we were together, but I loved him and I believed in our marriage.  I still think that we could have worked things out.  I still feel like he got to make all of the choices.  I still don’t understand how I could have been so wrong.

I met a man named Billy about two weeks after the divorce was finalized and I blew him off.  I wasn’t ready.  It didn’t seem right to date yet.  But he was persistent and I finally gave him a chance about a month later.  I agreed to be his girlfriend about two weeks later.  I just broke it off a week ago.

It was painful.  It wasn’t right and I knew it, but I was letting him push me- which is exactly how my last relationship started.  I started gaining weight and not sleeping well.  I had no energy and was turning to old habits for relief.  I just couldn’t let it continue on.

I wanted to be ready for another man to love me, but I’m not.  I wanted to just be happy and move on, but I’m not and I can’t yet.  I’m getting there little by little.  I have to be okay with slow progress and trust myself to know what’s best.

What I know most of all is that I have to love myself more than anyone else.  I have to keep working on that.  Everything else will fall into place.

Lubbock it is

17 Oct
Last week my mother and step-father were in town visiting.  I had just pretty much made my mind up that I was going to move forward with going to Lubbock.  The fact is that I really don’t have anywhere to live here in Corpus Christi- at least not until I can afford it.  I couldn’t find anyone to live with that wasn’t a stranger (too many bad experiences down that road).  So, it was like there really wasn’t a decision at all.
Then my parents dropped a bomb on me- they are moving back to Corpus Christi after my step-brother graduates in May.  Since he’s headed off to the Navy, already enlisted!, they finally made the decision to come back.  Then it wasn’t so clear cut.  At that point, I felt like I HAD to stay put.
The same night, I spoke with my Uncle and his wife (I have a hard time calling her my aunt because we are so close in age and good friends).  They said that I could stay with them in Post, TX until I got on my feet.  That takes away a big portion of the gas issue because it’s much closer to Lubbock than Spur.  And it re-energized my desire to be in Lubbock.
Fast forward a few days and the next bomb dropped- my aunt, who finished her last round of chemo in mid-September got the results of her latest scan.  Her lung cancer had spread to her liver and more within her lungs.  They basically told her that her bone marrow has already taken a beating.  They don’t think they will be able to cure her cancer.  They are just going to prolong her life by treatment until her body can’t take it anymore.
Then I really felt like I had to stay.
I’ve been praying this entire time for guidance and courage.  I hadn’t felt like I knew what to do yet.  I could tell that at least subconciously, a part of me really wanted to be in Lubbock.  When I thought about staying here, it just didn’t feel like the right thing to do.  I realized I felt more excited when I thought about my future in Lubbock than I did when I thought about my future in Corpus Christi.  But I didn’t know what the RIGHT things to do was yet.
Until I had breakfast with my mom Saturday morning.  I was expressing to her my feelings about it all and she stopped me short by saying that I needed to do what was best for ME for once.  And I could feel that this was my answer.
I’m letting alot of people down by leaving Corpus Christi- my sister, my aunt, my parents, my friends.  It feels like a selfish decision to leave them behind, but sometimes in life we just have to put ourselves first.  I know I need this to put myself back together and hopefully come out of this with grace and confidence.
Today I start packing and looking for a job.  I have no idea what the future holds, but I feel hopeful and excited and a little bit scared- but I’m focusing on the hope.

What next?

8 Oct

I’m writing this post mainly as a way for me to get it all out there and hopefully help make a decision, but if you happen to have an opinion or some advice, I’d love to hear it.

Lubbock or Corpus Christi?  That is the question.

Let’s start with Corpus Christi since I’m already here:
Pros-

  • My sister and aunt live here
  • I have some great friends here
  • I have a job
  • It would make continuing my business (Twisted Sisters Crochet) with my sister easier
  • My mom and step-dad would probably visit more frequently since they have other friends and family here.

Cons-

  • I would be near him which makes me feel uneasy.
  • The cost of living is higher so I don’t think I could live on my own.
  • Which means I’d probably have to look for another job anyway and the new job probably won’t let me crochet all day.
  • I don’t have anyone to take me in while I get on my feet.
  • I don’t really like it here- haven’t really wanted to live here for a while now.

And now for Lubbock…
Pros-

  • I have a sister and lots of family there.  It’s where I grew up.
  • My closest friends live there.
  • Cost of living is lower, would be more manageable on my own.
  • I can stay with my grandparents while I get on my feet.
  • I can help my grandparents.
  • I love it there.  I’ve wanted to move home for a long time.
  • I wouldn’t be anywhere near him.

Cons-

  • I have to find a job
  • Brit and I will have to do all of our Twisted Sisters stuff long distance.
  • I probably won’t have a job where I can crochet all day which is going to impact the business.
  • I’m less likely to have my Mom and Step-dad visit.
  • My grandparents live an hour outside of Lubbock so I will be driving two hours a day which will easily be $100 in gas a week/$400 a month which is basically rent.  Meaning I won’t be able to do it for long.

I guess the question really is whether I should be cautious and stay where I am (eventhough I’m not sure I will have anywhere to live by the beginning of November) or take the risk and go where I really want to go but don’t have a job yet and will have the additional costs of moving and storing my things until I can get out on my own.

For now, I am going to ACT on both.  I’m going to look for jobs in both cities and start packing.  I’m going to keep praying about it and hopefully the right path will reveal itself to me!

Updates all around

18 Aug

I have a job now!  Which is a huge relief to me.  I am a Special Education Paraprofessional at one of the local elementary schools.  It is a great campus, a great staff, and I’m really excited to meet the students next week when school starts.

 
Now, I know what you’re thinking.  Didn’t I just turn down a similar job?  Yes, I did.  I accepted this position because it is way more likely to lead to a teaching position, it’s here in Lubbock where I’m far more likely to find a part-time job to supplement my income, and because I felt like I needed to get back in before too much time passed.  I’ve had friends take a few years off from teaching to have children and have never been able to get back into a teaching job.  The education field is constantly growing and changing and I guess they see you as out of touch if too much time has passed.
 
In any case, I’m loving it so far!
 
 
 
I was visited by my husband a few weekends ago.  It was a great weekend even though I was plagued by a mysterious back injury and we ended up laying low most of the time.  We did drive to Spur so he could see our pups.  Thumper was beside himself.  They really missed each other!  That’s about the time that I said, maybe I should head on back to Corpus Christi.  I hadn’t found a job and I was feeling like maybe I had made a big mistake.  But Havie so no.  He said that we’ve made so much progress so far and that he wants to come here when we’re ready, so he didn’t think me moving back was a good idea.
 
And I knew he was right.  We both still have work to do, but I’m grateful that things really are getting better for the first time in our relationship.
 
So, what’s the hold up on his moving here?  Well, it’s a looooooong story but basically he has a suspended license stemming back to a very old ticket for having no insurance.  We thought it was taken care of (even have documents from the state saying his license was restored) last summer.  On his way back from Wyoming this past fall, he was pulled over for speeding and given a ticket which he paid.  Then right about the time I left, he got a letter saying that his license was re-suspended for a year.  I left him with all of our receipts from our original surcharge payments, the letters from the state saying it was taken care of, etc.  I left it for him to figure out for once.
 
Turns out, they say we never made our last surcharge payment or reinstatement fee (both of which there are receipts for).  To top it off, if we hadn’t, why on earth would they send us a letter stating his license had been restored and send him a new one?  But the year suspension is because he got a ticket on a suspended license!  They said they made the determination sometime between the time they sent his new I.D.  in August and when he got his ticket at the beginning of November, but we were never notified until this May!
 
Anyway, he hired an attorney, but we found out today that there’s nothing that can be done.  I just don’t get it.  Even with all of our documentation and all of their screw ups, that suspension stands until next summer.  Since my husband works in corrections, he can’t get hired here unless he has his license back.  And we can’t afford for him to leave his current job in corrections just to be here with me.
 
Unless a teaching position opens up for me, it looks like it will be a year from now before we are living together again.  I’m just trying to have faith that it will all work out the way it’s supposed to.
 
As strange as it may seem, I’m really happy right now.  I’m grateful and hopeful.  Life isn’t always perfect, sometimes it’s downright messy, but it’s always good.

No, Thanks

6 Aug

I learned a new vocabulary word today boys and girls!  Oh how I struggled to use it, but you know it felt pretty darn good afterwards.  I may just have to use it more often!

But wait!  Before I dive into that, let me please apologize for my last post.  I was pretty down in the dumps if you couldn’t tell.  Sometimes I just have to get that stuff out and then I feel so much better.  I did and I do.

So, back to the subject at hand.

You see, not much has really gone the way I would like it to since I got here.  Well, at first it did.  But lately it’s been one thing after another.  The job that I thought was “the one” didn’t work out.  I didn’t even get an interview.  There are no teaching jobs in this area right now because of a budget issue.  I haven’t had even a nibble!

Last weekend while my husband was here visiting, we drove to Spur so he could see our dogs.  While we were there, I asked my grandparents if the local school district might be hiring.  Two phone calls and about 10 minutes later, I had an interview scheduled for the next day.  Only, this wasn’t for a teaching position.

It was for a One-on-One Special Education Paraprofessional position.  I would be working with one student all day long.  He was a 4th grade boy with Cerebral Palsy.  One of my duties would be to assist him in using the restroom and cleaning him afterward.  I would be primarily responsible for his education because the entire district only has ONE Special Education teacher.  I would essentially be acting as his teacher, but would not be paid as one.  I knew I couldn’t expect much, but I had no idea that they could only offer me $12,000 a year.

I had already done the math for subbing all year and stood to potentially make at least $14,000 if I worked daily for the entire school year.  So, I told him I couldn’t take less than $14,000 to even consider the job.

He was able to offer me the $14,000 and then I had a big decision to make.  On the one hand, this was guaranteed money with benefits and a foot in the door, but in a terribly small town an hour away from the city I’m currently living in.  I wouldn’t be able to afford to drive back and forth daily and there’s no way I can live on my own for $14K, so I would have to move in with my grandparents.  Which wasn’t a completely horrible idea.

On the other hand, if I stayed in Lubbock and waited to see if I got hired on to sub, I could also potentially find a second job.  I’d have a better chance of getting my foot into the door with the districts I really want to work for and live where I really want to live, but as of now I’m not hired to sub and there’s no guarantee that anyone else will ever want to hire me.

And then there’s a million other things that I considered, but it all boiled down to the fact that when I thought about what the job would entail all I could do was feel dread.  So I went to bed last night thinking that I would just have to take my chances and maybe start looking for jobs in other areas altogether.

When I woke up this morning, I was having second thoughts.  I know that no one loves job hunting, but for me it is a particularly heinous form of torture.  I thought it would just be easier to take it and be done with it.  Not to mention that I really didn’t want to call the Principal and tell him thanks but no thanks.  I actually started feeling guilty that I was going to turn the job down.

That’s when it happened.

All of a sudden I knew that this opportunity came along because I HAD to turn it down.  I had to not settle.  I had to not do the easy thing.  I had to choose the hard thing, the right thing.  As horrible and scary as it is to turn down the ONLY offer I’ve had, that’s exactly what I did because there has to be something better out there for me.

This is me letting it go.  I know it will come and I’m going to stop trying to control WHEN it comes.

Too Much

3 Aug
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There’s so much going on right now.  So much I want to write about.  So much to be said…
Like this mysterious back injury I woke up with Friday morning.
Or the weekend I just spent with my husband.
Or my job offer that I have until Monday to decide about, that I really don’t want but might have to take if nothing else comes up this week.
It’s just too much for me to process right now.  I have faith that it is all going to get worked out, someday.  Right now I’m in the thick of it and I’m overwhelmed, so I’m officially shutting it down for at least the day.  I’m pretty much stuck in bed with this back strain anyway.