A New Leaf/A New Alexa

March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment

Warning: This post may be a jumbled mess of stream of consciousness. Apologies in advance.

It’s been a long week. Not in a bad way, just in a EVERYTHINGISHAPPENINGALLATONCE kind of way.

I’ve started going to the gym. Like a lot. I go to a morning yoga class at UAB from 7:30-8:30am Monday through Thursday before work, then after work I do whatever fitness class I feel like going to from 5:30-6:30pm. I’m not gonna lie — I’M SO FUCKING SORE. But I feel great. It’s a humbling experience to be in a Zumba or Step class for me. I’ve got two right feet and have no idea how to use them. I learned very quickly that there’s nowhere to hide in a fitness studio because two walls are mirrored and a third is all glass. For the most part, I just pray no mean-spirited college student is outside the class filming me as I fumble and stumble my way through class.

Yoga was going really well and I felt like I was in way better shape than I thought until I got a different instructor yesterday who made us do all these plank moves and try to balance on our arms. My lower half has most of my weight (and is rather plushy) so there really just wasn’t any way for me to do the balancing moves she was directing us to do. Disappointing, but hey, I know my limits and there ain’t no way these little arms are going to lift that booty and those thighs off the ground. Sorry, Charlie! Or whatever the yoga teacher’s name was… probably not Charlie.

My mindfulness is TERRIBLE in yoga and my breathing sucks too. I’m working on it, but my inner dialogue is just incessant. Even when I try to just focus on my breath, my inner voice keeps nagging me: “You’re not focusing on your breath! Stop thinking about things! You need to focus! You’re not focusing! Stop thinking and shut up!” Yeah, realllllly helpful, brain.

BUT, the good news is that my mindfulness and breath are AWESOME in my evening fitness classes because I’m desperately trying to follow the moves of the class and my breathing is really well-paced and even because if it isn’t, I’ll pass out on the floor. Honestly, even with my good breathing, I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up or both in class. Not so much in zumba, but definitely step. Holy god. She had us doing all this crazy abs and back stuff on a stability ball against the wall. I just about died, but thankfully, the rest of the class shared the sentiment. I don’t know if you can break an ab, but if you can, I definitely have. The only muscles that don’t hurt are my legs, but I’ve always been in good shape down there despite some extra padding. Okay, a lot of extra padding. Mark didn’t say I had “thick legs” for no reason!

Doing these classes is mentally and emotionally really good for me, in addition to the physical benefits. I’m getting active and finally doing what I’ve been telling myself to do for the last five years. But more than that, I’m really challenging myself to learn new things, put myself into new situations, and expose myself to new experiences. I know one thing that really irked Mark about me was that I would never do anything I was bad at, but I’m fucking terrible at Zumba, Step, etc. (honestly, if it wasn’t for my many years of doing Tae Bo tapes, I would be COMPLETELY lost in class) so it’s kind of humbling and refreshing to do something I don’t have a chance in hell of being perfect at. That’s terrible grammar, but give me a break — it’s Friday.

I don’t know anyone in my classes, so it’s good for me to be around strangers and not be judging them. Mad props to everyone in those classes! They’re really hard and it says a lot about a person to be willing to sweat it out with a class full of people in the gym. Especially the guys. I have huge respect for guys who do yoga because for some stupid reason, Americans think it’s emasculating when in reality, it’s soooooo good for you, no matter your gender.

It’s also good for me to feel silly. Which I do. A lot. I feel embarrassed pretty often too, but my instructors are very positive and tell me all that matters is that I keep moving, keep trying, and stick with it. So who the fuck cares if I can’t do a revolving reverse step? I’m doing my best and I’m sweating it out. That’s what matters.

I’m also really happy with the high level of diversity in the classes. YAY FOR NOT BEING SURROUNDED BY JUST WHITE PEOPLE. Lots of races represented. It’s sooooo refreshing, especially for living in Birmingham (versus DC, for example).

So there are a lot of benefits, and probably more to come like feeling accomplished when I finally get the routines down and can follow the class without falling over my own feet.


I started my job training this week, which has been good for my brain. Lots of stuff to learn and figure out, plus I’m really good at talking to people apparently (who knew!) so my boss is impressed and happy with me.

There are some weird things about the job though, or rather my coworkers. My boss reminds me SO MUCH of Alec. Not in his mannerisms, but in his face. Basically his entire head is Alec’s head down the little bald spot on the back, the receding hairline in the front, the broad forehead, the soft eyebrows, the strong jawline, and the eyes. Even his nose is damn near identical to Alec’s. The only thing that’s different are their mouths, but come on, the rest of his face is all there. It’s pretty disconcerting at times. He’s a really nice guy, like Alec, but he stares at me a lot. It’s probably a Sales guy thing, I’d imagine. They like eye contact.

One of the girls training with me was at the bar the night Mark and I had our last big fight. She has a marilyn piercing, which normally I don’t find distracting, but she doesn’t have the right jewelry in it. It should just look like a ball flush against her face, but she has a tragus or other cartilage piece in, so it sticks out of her face like a half an inch. It looks like a weird little mushroom or something. Everyday I tell myself a higher and higher dollar amount for how much I would pay to get the chance to push it back into her face where it’s supposed to be. Anyway, Mark and I noted her at the bar, of course, because the marilyn piercing is just that bizarre-looking, so now whenever I see her (you know, every single day), I feel that twinge in my gut remembering how bad that night ended.

The job is kind of a headtrip for me because I’ve never had a 100% commission paycheck. I set my own hours and have no requirements because everything is based solely on making money by closing deals. It feels kind of like driving on the interstate for the first time, because you’re driving the fastest you’ve ever driven and you’re entering big roads with lots of other cars driving way faster than you, and you know if you stay on this road you drive to the other side of the country without stopping. We’ll see what happens.


I also turned down an interview for a job at the Savannah College of Art and Design. It hurt like hell to do it not only because the job would have been such a great fit for me but also because I’ve had ZERO luck getting interviews at the millions of places I’ve applied to here in Birmingham (besides the job I have now and an interview I did for a position I actually had no chance in getting). But I turned it down, withdrew my application. Why?

Because I have to stop running sometime.

I was talking to Chase about moving around and what the relationship is of geography to happiness. He came down on the side of the argument that supports geographic location as having a high impact on happiness. In other words, if you just find the right city to live in, you’ll be happy there! I disagreed, listing every city I’ve ever lived in and stating that I was miserable everywhere. I loved DC, but I wasn’t happy there. No matter where I live, I’m still unhappy.

So why not settle down somewhere and find a way to make myself happy? Stop running from everything and everyone. Stop running from myself (which is, after all, what I’m really doing).

So I’m staying here in Birmingham. I’m even toying with the fantasy of buying a house. I was talking to my boss about it and he blew my mind when he informed me that my credit score is good enough that I could buy a house right now. I don’t have to have a downpayment (though it helps, of course) and a mortgage for a $150,000 house is still cheaper than what I pay in rent per month now. MIND. BLOWN. ALEXA COULD OWN A HOUSE FOR CHEAPER THAN SHE’S PAYING IN RENT.

I’ve got two places I really like picked out, but if I’m being a responsible adult about it, I shouldn’t start really looking until late summer or early fall. My lease is up in January, so the ideal closing date would be sometime before that so I can get in the house and paint or repair or do whatever needs to be done before moving in. I know buying a house can be a lengthy process, so it would be better to start sooner than later, but I should wait until the end of the summer to make sure I have a steady income and have paid off my credit card debt.

For now, it’s just a really exciting and abstract dream. A yard for the girls would be especially exciting (because they fucking drive me crazy running back and forth across the hardwood floors of my apartment).

I work best when I have goals to work towards, even when those goals don’t work out in the end.

You’re going to live in the house all by yourself? Hell. fucking. yes. I am. Well, with the dogs of course. And with a guest bedroom set up for Mom and Dad to visit often.


Went on a “real” date with the PhD. He’s such a nice guy and we have interesting conversations, but lordy, he just has no chance with me beyond being a rebound. He doesn’t drink beer, he doesn’t drink coffee, and he actually turned down a wine last night when he tasted it and it wasn’t “sweet enough.” I’m obviously not writing him off just because of his terrible taste in beverages, I’m just presenting that as a metaphor for determining my interest in a man. Alec, I love him to death, but had tastes along the same lines. Fruity cocktails? Yes please! Unfortunately for them, my horizons are significantly broader and my tastes far more refined. That’s part of why I liked Mark so much — he drank all the things that I drank and more, so he often challenged me (not intentionally) to try new drinks. All the coffee, all the beer, all the wine, all the mixed drinks I’d never thought of or new existed. And in the rare case that he hadn’t try something, he certainly would have tasted it without hesitation. I guess that’s a rare quality, but it’s something I deeply appreciate.

The poor kid doesn’t know what to do with me, which is fine really since I’m just dating him as a desperate attempt to move on. He texted me last night describing as “a contender for the Most Awkward Moment in the History of Ever.” the moment when he walked me to my car and I promptly turned to him and said “I’m not ready to touch yet.” and basically shooed him away. Oh buddy, if that’s the most awkward moment of his life, he’s got another think coming. It wasn’t awkward for me at all, but of course, I’ve lived a lot more than this sweet guy.

He also texted me shortly after that I’m an “odd one” and it’s really difficult for him to “read” me. Yeah well. I think there’s a club for people who think that about me.

I’m having a good time hanging out with him, but I have zero interest in and intention of it going any further. This definitely seems selfish on my part, but I want to feel good right now, and feeling desirable (if not confusing and bewildering…) is something I need. Obviously I’m not going to lead him on, and will likely have to call it off soon if he seems interested in getting physical, so hopefully it doesn’t seem SO terrible that I continue to see him because it makes me feel better. Maybe when I tell him I’m on lots o’ medication and am suicidally depressed he’ll politely excuse himself and run for the door. He definitely doesn’t have it in him to deal with that kind of….. what do I even call it? He doesn’t have it in him to handle my “dark” side? Ugh. I hate phrasing it that way. Frankly, he doesn’t have it in him to hold me down in a bathroom as I’m vomiting all over myself while trying to slit my wrist with a ladies razor.

I don’t have a clue how to meet someone who does have that strength in the first place, plus I can’t imagine that someone who DOES have the strength to deal with that side of me would even WANT to commit to a relationship with me. Don’t they have more important, pleasurable, and interesting things to do?

This week, I’ve felt the best that I have in a long, long time. I haven’t watched Netflix in days (well, I’ve watched 20 min here, 20 min there, usually on my lunch break or at bedtime, but I haven’t watched an entire show besides Walking Dead all week) and I’ve been very productive in my daily activities. I’ve got hope on the horizon that things are going to turn around and I’m aiming for the lofty goal of making my fantasy of owning a house a reality. I’d love to share my life with someone, to love someone and be loved, but I just don’t know how to make that happen (and of course, I’m still convinced I don’t deserve that relationship. Thanks, Depression. Jerk.).

But things are okay right now. And for now, that’s enough.


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