Whale watch with the little brother, 24th August
Life’s still fucked up.
I can’t shake this depression - everything seems to be a trigger lately: work, home, fucking breathing.
It’s hard to explain to someone what it’s like if they’ve never experienced it, and I don’t have anyone that I can talk to. Don’t have anyone I feel I can burden with this. Bipolar blows chunks on a good day. During a drawn-out depression cycle? There are no words to describe the level of suck. There is no ‘embracing the suck’ to be found here… Not anymore. I can’t.
Let’s just say I’ve been seriously pondering going on disability… It’s exhausting to try and keep my shit together at work. But I HATE the idea of giving in. To taking payments from the government just because I can’t adult at work. I don’t want to look for a new job because the pattern will start again. It always does.
Of course, speaking of the government, I can’t receive Social Security payments if I live in Ukraine. I pay into a system - against my will, I might add - and I can’t even reap the benefits if I decide that I don’t want to live here anymore. (Ukraine is one of a handful of countries the US won’t send payments to. I don’t understand why.)
So. Our trip to Ukraine is in 50+ days and I’m getting nervous that I won’t be able to speak well enough. I still have a terrible accent. I still struggle to memorise the vocabulary and grammar. I’m panicking. However, all that aside, if I like Lviv like I like London and Boston, I’m thinking that maybe we can move there. London will probably never happen. It’s hard enough to get a visa and now that I can’t hold a job? There’s no way that we can afford to move to a place where the exchange rate is $1.30 to £1. The current exchange rate for the hryvnia is $0.38 to 1 UAH.
I’m also thinking about taking an online course to teach English as a second language. I could do that online or I could do that in Ukraine. It’d be nice to have a job where I can set my own hours. Where I can work when my mood is OK and I don’t have to worry about losing my shit at the day job.
I don’t know…
I’m going to be starting a bullet journal tomorrow. I’m going to use it to track my moods and use it as a to-do list and all that good shit. I’ve wanted to start crafting again, so this is probably a good way to do it. There was a funny thread on one of the Facebook groups when someone said they shouldn’t have googled “Bullet Journal” using the abbreviation “BJ”... BuJo is the preferred version. I think BuJo sounds ridiculous, but I’m definitely not going to call it a BJ.
I’ve started to read Harry Potter in Ukrainian - and really focus on it. I’m writing down the words I don’t know in a special notebook, and there are a lot of them. I don’t care, though. Two paragraphs, or two pages, it’s the fact that I’m doing it that matters, not the quantity. I’m also working on translating “IBY”. It’s slow going, but it’s going. AND I’m still writing fan fic. I’m pretty sure I’m never going to be able to walk away from Harry Potter… I’m pretty sure there are worse things to be addicted to.
BU Hockey starts in a few weeks. I’m not that excited for this season. Every year I think it’s going to be our last as season ticket holders, and every year, I renew. Right now, I can’t look forward to squat. Hopefully, I can shake the depression before the season starts. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long few months.
Oh well… I’ve got nothing of value to say other than I’m here. I’m alive.
I’m just… struggling.
I know people mean well, but telling me I should learn Russian because it’s same as Ukrainian / Ukrainians don’t actually speak Ukrainian / Ukrainian is a made up language - a Slavic Esperanto (????) can truly go fuck themselves.
I am Ukrainian. I will learn Ukrainian.
And, I’m actually doing quite well. There’s been a huge time and financial commitment to it, but it’s starting to pay off in dividends. My memory sucks thanks to one of my bipolar meds. (I suppose that after being stable for so many years it’s about time for some side effects.) I’ve been working on different memory techniques and some of them seem to be working. I think the most major thing I’ve done is to focus solely on five days a week with the one tutor. She’s great to work with, never rushes anything, and doesn’t confuse me with random vocabulary and grammar rules.
If anything, I’m the one confusing her. Today’s un-translateable phrase: Ride it out. As in, I’m in a bitch of a depression and there’s nothing I can do except ride it out.
Oh yeah. Let’s chat about that, shall we?
I’m sick of finding jobs that are perfect on the surface and total shit once the honeymoon period wears off.
The woman that took the job I should have been promoted to has done nothing but spend money. Her boss constantly tells the rest of us that’s there’s no money left to spend in the budget, but she can bring on an extra body to do the stuff she can’t be bothered to do (STUFF SHE WAS HIRED TO DO), bring in a super expensive IT consultant who has done nothing but fuck up both individual computers and the company network infrastructure as a whole, AND now, she’s decided to wage a war on paper and bring in this super ridiculous paperless system thing. But, you know, there’s no money in the budget for things that are actually NECESSARY.
And let’s talk about that extra body, shall we? I. Am. Fucking. Bored. To. Tears. I don’t have enough work to keep me busy and despite asking / begging for more responsibilities, THEY HIRED SOMEONE TO DO THINGS I COULD, I WOULD, AND I SHOULD BE DOING.
I ended up taking today off because I crashed so fucking hard, I didn’t think I could handle going into work. Seriously. There was no way I could adult. I could barely get out of bed. I had my Ukrainian lesson and learned how to say fight through the depression and things like that, but after that? I was done. It’s been a long year and a half…
The paranoia that the extra person is in line to take what is rightfully mine has reached an all-time high. The anger that she’s there, doing things I could be doing / learning has also reached an all-time high. I want to punch her in the face every time I see her, every time I hear her voice. My heart has started acting up again. I’m back on my anti-anxiety meds. I’m completely miserable and I don’t know how to change things. I even sent an email flat out stating that I was taking over x, y, and z - but even those things can’t keep me that busy.
Me plus being bored is a recipe for disaster.
On the plus side, my Ukrainian translation of my Drarry fic is slow going, but at least there’s real measurable progress to be seen. Of course, I’ve been doing the bulk of that translation during working hours because I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO.
So. Yeah. At least there’s that.
hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home
Over Labor Day weekend, I dragged the hubby to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at Universal Orlando.
It was, without a doubt, once of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. Butterbeer! Hogwarts! The Hogwarts Express!
I felt just like the little 12 year old fangirl I really am. (Of course, all my good Harry Potter shirts are Doctor Who crossovers… and holy fuck! There were probably as many Whovians as there were Potterheads walking around.)
Harry Potter was my introduction to the world of fandom, but I wasn’t ready for it back then. Once I was ready, I’ve embraced it with open arms. The fan fic alone is nothing short of incredible. I’ve published two - one was way more popular than the other. And I have to agree with the citizens of AO3… the first one is the better one.
I even began knitting a Quidditch sweater. Of course, Pottermore sorted me into Ravenclaw… which - if you’re a book nerd like me - is absolutely shitty. All the fucking merch is based on the movies. Ravenclaw’s house colours are blue and bronze. NOT blue and silver. Our crest features an eagle. NOT a raven. So yeah, long rant short: I’m making my own Ravenclaw things.
I’ve been quiet because 1) knitting that fucking Quidditch sweater has been taking all of my free time and 2) I’m being bullied at work.
Yeah. I’m 40 fucking years old and I’m being bullied.
I can’t defend myself the way I want to (adulting is hard), but I am defending myself. In my review today, the only bit I scored poorly on was “plays well with others” because of this person. In my defence, my boss only circled the lower score because he was being honest, but we all know why I don’t play well with others. It’s a long story and there’s a lot I can’t say so…
There you go.
Knitting. Harry Potter. Fan fiction. Working.
I’ve taken a break from actively studying Ukrainian for the summer (see: Quidditch sweater), but I’ve been listening to a lot more pop music. I’m catching more words which is amusing because I still have the vocabulary of a newborn. I also managed to fight through three chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Ukrainian during the flights to and from Florida. I missed probably 90% of the words, but I recognised enough words to make myself feel good and follow the story.
I’ll start again in October. I just needed a break - I feel like all I’m doing is studying, but I’m not making any progress.
I also received the Hunger Games trilogy (finally!) from a Ukrainian bookseller and I’ve gotten through the first chapter of The Hunger Games with relatively little trouble, amazingly enough. Even without the vocab.
I’ve pretty much decided that I’ll be translating my good Harry Potter fan fic to Ukrainian. I want to do it for a bunch of reasons, but mostly because I want some practice in writing. Writing will also drive the vocab home and will probably force me to contact someone I don’t know to help with the slang.
I guess we’ll have to see. Life isn’t going anywhere near the direction it needs to be going in… but I’ll survive this. I always find a way.
In either a fit of brilliance, or a stupid side-effect of the prolonged, tumultuous, bipolar cycle from hell, I gave my notice at work.
I didn’t have a great plan, or a safety net, when I made the decision. All I knew was that if we could survive a year on unemployment, we could survive the next dry spell. I was totally willing to go bag groceries at the local supermarket, or flip burgers. Whatever it was going to take.
The universe caught on to my desperation before I finalised my resignation letter, and I started to get job openings dropped into my lap.
Recruiters started emailing me and calling me completely out of the blue.
The universe has granted me with a ridiculous amount of job interviews.
It even graced me with a job offer that I still need to make a decision about.
I don’t know - yet - what’s going to happen, but I have complete faith in the universe.
It’s done right by me so far…
my childhood copy of winnie-the-pooh vs the ukrainian e-book version
This sounds REALLY weird, but I’ve enjoyed reading the Ukrainian version of Winnie-the-Pooh on my iPhone’s Kindle app. (Well, it’s not really reading. Yet.) I’ve been highlighting words I know and adding the definitions just in case I flake out. The more words that get highlighted, the better I feel. The better I feel, the more motivated I feel. Eventually, I’ll be able to string the words together and make sense of them.
The italki October challenge is going well, also. Amazingly enough, the combination of the italki lessons and Winnie-the-Pooh led me to have a great breakthrough this weekend: I’m learning garbage. Who needs to be able to count to twenty when you really need to know how to say basic verbs and nouns? I couldn’t write a sentence right now with what I (feel I) know. I can spell nineteen like a champ, though. (дев’ятнадцять) What the fuck do I need the word nineteen for? How many times do I use the word nineteen? (Three so far, but this is different. Well, four if you count the Ukrainian version.)
What I need to know are the verbs to know / to write / to speak / to work / to sleep.
What I need are adjectives like depressed / tired / happy / sad / cold.
What I need are nouns like dog / work / husband / music / friends
What I really need (REALLY) is the word fuck in all it’s wonderful and varied forms.
Those four lists are pretty much the basis of everything I write here, so those are the words I need to focus on.
And that’s what I’m going to do.
Fuck rote memorisation of words I don’t need right now like nineteen (five times).
This isn’t a new discovery. All the language bloggers who promise quick fluency in a language, they all tend to agree on one thing… Speak first, learn the details later.
It’s a weird idea and not nearly as easy as it sounds, but it forces you to learn the language. Yeah, you might sound like an idiot (tarzan-speak: I to read book vs I read a book, for example: Я читати книжка instead of the correct Я читав книгу.), but - theoretically - you’ll learn the grammar as you go along. Naturally. Without needing to memorise conjugation tables.
Well, I’m not keen on speaking (shy/introvert/social anxiety), but I am keen on writing. And so, I’m going to start trying to write. Even if it’s just two sentences about my day. It will force me to learn the proper noun cases and verb conjugations and it seems to be just as interactive as memrise. I’ve been learning the hard way that I just can’t do flashcards. They’re boring. I need to be involved. I need an external force to tell me if I’m right or wrong. Guessing an answer on a flashcard isn’t interactive enough…
So. Yeah. I will write more. I write a lot (Я пишу багато) any way - so why not try to do it in Ukrainian?
Speaking of feeling better: had a long talk with a few co-workers about the situation at work.
Needless to say, I felt MUCH better. I’m glad that people are noticing things and acting on them.
Because of this new intel, I talked at length with my Drug Dealer about the meds and the mix. It was decided that I would continue supplementing my current meds with the anti-anxiety meds. Well, I guess I really do just need to take the edge off. Temporarily. Once the situation settles down, I should be stable again.
At least, that’s the hope.