Adventures in….

….keeping anxiety under control! Well, for the most part. Johnny helped me to pinpoint that I have a sort of performance anxiety, as well as social anxiety and general anxiety. But in all of these stories, anxiety has played a role. So. Make of that what you will.

My first driver’s ed class was on Monday, February 16th. I didn’t have much hope for the class. Now, don’t get me wrong – I had high hopes of learning important information, which I did, plus experiencing a very poignant flashback (another story for another time). It’s just….I had to survive being the lone adult weed amongst all the teenage buds, because everyone else enrolled in the class was 17 years old or younger. I haven’t forgotten the pitfalls and perils of knowing teenagers; I was once one myself, but not so, if that makes any sense. Most of the kids in the driver’s ed class were on their best behavior and hopefully learned as much as I did. But there were two boys who were obnoxious as hell and would not shut up to save their lives. Every class they were absolute disruptions. My final classroom session was April 1st, and while I wish all the kids good luck in their driving endeavors, I also say “Good riddance” to them. But on the bright side, there was a whole week in March where we didn’t have class. Why? Because of spring break. Go figure.

Now, actually physically driving was a whole different story. Before three of my six behind-the-wheel sessions I was in tears, because I was just so afraid to do it. But once I finally explained my anxiety issues to the instructor (at Drive 5 of 6), wouldn’t you know, the anxiety abated. Again, go figure.

Aside from being the nervous wreck, I did all right in the end. I maintain excellent speed and lane position, and my turns are getting better and better. I can parallel park pretty good, and I found I prefer highway/interstate driving to city driving (there doesn’t seem to be as much traffic on the highway as there is in city driving). I got yelled at only once during the course of driving lessons, when I baulked at a particular left turn, but it was my fault – I had plenty of time to make the turn, and I just didn’t. April 12th was my final driving lesson, ergo my final exam, and I passed it! Now all that’s left for me to do is practice some more, and then I can see about getting my driver’s license, hopefully by early summer.

I had signed up for a training program at work called Couch to 5K. It’s a nine-week program designed to help beginning runners train for and complete their first 5K. The first class met March 17th, and every Tuesday thereafter. I really enjoyed it. Well, I do like to run, and I especially loved being outside during the work day. And pushing myself to do just that little bit more and not stop running before the minute or three minutes was up. It was really freeing, and I felt loads better after every run.

Now, I know you’re probably all doing the math, and saying, “But Mouse – it’s just been a little over one month; four, five weeks into the class. What gives?” Well, I enjoyed it while it lasted. I don’t know what happened, but the pain started in my left Achilles heel, and then both of my legs just seized up and felt like the muscles would snap at a moment’s notice. It hurt to walk and stretch, and it still hurts a bit as I type this. In fact, this past week, my ankles swelled as the day went on and I had to ice them at night. I think the pace of the class was just a tad too fast for me. So I dropped out of the program. Drat me! I will try it again next year when it is offered. In the meantime, I will continue to train in running once my legs heal, and after an impending surgical procedure is completed and healed (more on that later).

Oh, the life of a writer. Creative writing has stagnated, to a degree. I’ve got a couple ideas I’m working on but haven’t really written anything down for. They’re still developing in my head. But on the bright side, eventually I plan on going back to school for a degree in English and/or creative writing. That may be a couple years down the road yet, but it is still possible. No, I want it to be possible. Let me get a couple things paid off, and let me get driving on a regular basis, then I’ll see how it goes.

I should take this moment to mention This Is My Brave, which is going to be in about one month. I’ve been working on editing my piece for that, to try to get it under a five-minute read-aloud piece. I think I’ve got it down. I’ll keep you posted.

Work is the same old. Some days are busier than others, which suits me fine. I love being busy. The team I work with is a superb group of ladies. It’s been a great job, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To quote Anna and Elsa: “I like the open gates.” “We are never closing them again.” Gina and I have been talking frequently since her wedding. I am so glad for that. I missed talking with her. She’s got great wit and clarity, and it helps talking to her.

On the flip side, *SIGH*. We’re not without drama. Let me just say that my immediate family – Mom, Dad, Older Sister, Younger Brother, and Youngest Brother – are all doing fine. It’s a contingent of relatives on one particular side of the family causing all the tension. Sadly, for us, we’ve found we no longer really give a hoot anymore. I mean, we do care, because we love our relatives dearly, but it has become increasingly clear that, for whatever reason, they no longer love us back. We have one more card up our collective sleeve that we’ll play shortly, but if that is rejected, I suppose we would be considered estranged from one another. I wish it wouldn’t come to that, but we’re going to do what we’re going to do.

Johnny and I have had one spat, and one spat only, about communication, which was totally my fault. I think we have worked things out, though, because we’re still together, and we’re still going strong. I will see him tomorrow. I’ve really enjoyed every moment we’ve spent together, because it’s all been totally new to me. And I’ve been happier in a relationship than I ever was single. That’s a good thing. Sorry I don’t say more about it. I’d have to ask permission first, to see what would be proper to talk to you about. Just know that it is going well.

I had my yearly physical done and, aside from cholesterol being slightly elevated, I am in good health. Except for one teensy little thing, and this’ll probably be TMI, but I’m going to say it anyway – I’d never had a pap smear done before. Circumstances being what they are now, I thought it was high time to get one done. I knew it would probably be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but I wanted to just get it done and over with. You know?

Dr. A couldn’t do it. She tried, but it hurt me too much. So Dr. A referred me to an OBGYN, saying that an OBGYN would have more methods and, at the very least, pain-killing medicine to get the job done.

The OBGYN couldn’t do it, either!

It couldn’t be done because, well, and this’ll also be TMI, but I have a tight ring of tissue (the hymen) hindering any possible examination. Yup, the hymen of doom, as one picture put it. Well, I am still a virgin, after all. So that surgical procedure I mentioned above is actually called a hymenectomy. The hymen will be cut and recessed back, making it not only possible to get a pap smear done without any pain, but for less painful intercourse as well. I am having the procedure done this coming Friday (the 24th), and I’ve been told I should be back to work the following Monday, which is good. It will take a month for the incision and recessed tissue to heal and then I will have a follow-up appointment wherein an initial pap smear will be done, and then I should be good to go.

WHEW, huh?!?

You might have noticed I made a major change to this blog as well. I deleted my ‘Media List’ pages. Yeah, because it was difficult to keep them updated, plus I just had that ‘Mouse, nobody really cares’ thought, and it probably was pretty self-centered of me to have them.

So what’s on tap for me this week? Same old – work, sleep, eat, play guitar, practice singing. Tomorrow, I will begin the long purge of my room (because it will take me a while to clean my room), and I will also see Johnny.

Overall, life is good.

Now that I have driving lessons over and done with, I hope to have a little more time to spend here on the blog. So I will try to post more often than just once a month! And I’ll try to do better the next post.


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