That Ever-Present, Uninvited, No Good Feeling.

Hello, Friends! It's been a while...

It's been seven months since I started this little blog. A lot has happened in the last seven months, but despite that, I like to think I've done a decent job of creating somewhat interesting content on a somewhat consistent basis. That is, until recently. While checking to confirm the date of my first post, I also noticed that it's been nearly a month since my last post. I could blame it on being busy, which isn't a lie, but it's definitely an excuse. Here's a glimpse at what I've been up to these days.

I just got back from vacation at Disney World with Casey's family. Despite not being what I'd consider a "Disney Person", I had a great time, and the trip reinforced my belief that I'm very lucky to have found a boyfriend with such an amazing family. I was also pleasantly surprised by the quality of the beer selection, and drank reasonable but sufficient quantities of Cigar City Brewing's Jai Alai for the duration of the trip. We also took a day trip to Tampa to check out Cigar City Brewing in real life!

I've also been busy getting into a groove at my not-so-new job. Working at a small startup in a position that's required me to wear many hats is something very new and different for me. At times it feels a little overwhelming, but overall, I am enjoying figuring out how to navigate unique challenges, and learning how to work with clients and colleagues who are very different from those I am used to. The studio is awesome, and the staff and kids are incredibly talented—if you have a minute, please show us some love on Facebook!

The last, and arguably the most exciting thing going on in my life is that I've made the decision to go back to school. I got into the Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program at ABTech, and I start classes in the fall. It's a two year program, and it's a combination of classroom instruction and hands on learning in the school's production facility. I have no idea where this is going to take me, but part of me is pretty excited to figure it out!

The other part of me is scared shitless, and this brings me to the other thing that's been occupying a lot of my time lately—anxiety. I will preface this by saying that I have never received a professional diagnosis regarding my mental health, so I can only really speculate that whatever fresh hell that is currently happening in my brain is anxiety-related.

For as long as I can remember, I've been an anxious person. Nervous about even the smallest of consequences of any action. I've never been great at talking about myself or taking compliments, and I try to avoid sharing opinions or correcting others because I'd rather let someone else definitely be wrong than possibly be wrong myself. It's incredibly difficult knowing I am a competent and capable person, yet frequently feeling unable to convey it.

It all starts out positive enough— I have an idea, or see a job posting that sounds like it would be a great fit, hell, even seeing an ad for an event that I might like to attend. Pretty harmless, right? Then the self-doubt starts to creep in.

I excel at talking myself out of things, and the internal conversation I've been having with myself about going back to school has been no exception. I inquired about the Brewing, Distillation, and Fermentation program at ABTech when I first moved to Asheville, and the emails I received from the academic advisor sounded like she didn't think I should enroll, rather my interpretation of her responses made it seem like I shouldn't enroll. A couple of months later, I met the director of the program at a beer festival, scheduled a visit, and knew immediately that I wanted to apply to the program.

The next couple of weeks involved sending high school and college transcripts and re-learning algebra in order to take a placement test. None of these tasks is particularly difficult,—except maybe the math part, because fuck math— but at times it all just felt like way too much, and on more than one occasion I considered scrapping the idea. But I didn't, and that on its own is a pretty big deal.

Now that I've gotten accepted into the program, I panic regularly about actually going to school. I worry that I'm going to be the oldest person there, I'm worried about the uniform,—obviously chosen by men with men in mind—and I worry about paying for school. I also worry about the schedule, whether I'll be able to work while I go to school, and whether I'll be able to do both without one negatively impacting the other. I also worry about what the hell I'll actually do with myself once the program is over.

I worry. A lot. So much so, that I often think about trying to find a job in a cubicle that pays a decent salary and offers vacation time, so I can at least do the things I enjoy doing when I'm not at work even if I don't like what I'm doing at work. It's what I know, it's comfortable. But comfort leads to complacence, which eventually leads to boredom and sometimes frustration or anger over the fact that I'm bored. It's incredibly frustrating feeling like you're consistently on the precipice of something awesome, fully aware you will give yourself a million reasons not to do it.

On good days, I snap out of it, and on bad days, I stay in bed, turn myself into a burrito, cycle through social media, and feel bad about myself. Sometimes I have a hard time being happy for others when they have good news, not because I don't have good news, but because I'm jealous of others' ability to seemingly behave and interact like normal humans, free of the inner monologue that tells you all of the reasons you shouldn't do the things you think will make you happy. It's incredibly frustrating when you want so badly to celebrate your friends' victories, but feel like you can't because that inner monologue is constantly calling you a loser.

Recently, I've been having more bad days than good days, and on the bad days it feels like there isn't anything I can write that's actually interesting, so I didn't write. Then a couple of weeks later, I thought about writing again, but worried that it had been too long since I last wrote, so I didn't write. Yesterday was a good day, and today feels like it's shaping up to be another good day, plus I added "write" to my to do list, so here I am writing, hopeful that my good day streak continues.