Where’s Melissa Been?

Me (in the hat) and my best mate (in the awesome scarf) mugging for a post-beach selfie.

Me (in the hat) and my best mate (in the awesome scarf) mugging for a post-beach selfie.

While I’ve been posting a few tidbits here and there since the last 366 update, I’ve been pretty darn quiet. Where have I been and what have I been up to?

Well, dear readers, much of the radio silence has been due to the fact that I’ve started full time work again. Do not cheer. This isn’t something that will advance my career. It’s just a job to pay the bills. And it is not exactly great. In fact, the company is pretty terrible in acknowledging the fact that its workers are human beings. My supervisor has actually called me a “profitable commodity” to my face. Worse, I was hired on without the company disclosing the fact that they have mandatory overtime…so what I thought would be a 40-hour work week is actually about 48 hours. Yup, that’s right. Over the course of five days, they squeeze a whole extra day of work out of me. I basically have enough leisure time to come home, make a quick dinner, clean up from cooking, and then collapse into bed. It’s pretty soul-crushing. Body-crushing, too. It’s such sedentary work, my muscles actually ache from disuse.

I’ve also been working a slew of 10-day long stints in order to arrange for enough consecutive days off around this past Thanksgiving to actually have some fun. One of my best friends from college, S., flew out from Minnesota to spend the holiday with me. It was a blast. I picked her up at Sea-Tac at like 2 am on Wednesday, then we drove down to Olympia, had breakfast and a nap, then drove to Portland, had a second breakfast, toured the Japanese Gardens, met up with my best male friend J. for dinner at Pok Pok, then drove to Cannon Beach that night where we spent a couple days just tooling around the Oregon coast, playing around on Cannon Beach, and touring the quaint little town (on Black Friday). Then it was back to Portland for some Voodoo Doughnuts, then we drove back to Olympia to have dinner with S.’s aunt, uncle, and cousins who live nearby in Shelton. We then spent all day that Saturday lazing about at a Korean Spa, being all naked and relaxed and getting massages and body scrubs. Then we met up with sorority sisters and assorted college friends in Seattle for dinner…then back to Oly. That last Sunday, we stuck around town while S. did some homework (and generated an amazing Ph.D.-level research idea), had lunch, then buzzed back to Seattle to do a blitz-tour of Public Market before I had to drop her off at Sea-Tac once more.

S. on Cannon Beach.  That's Haystack Rock there in the distance.

S. on Cannon Beach. That’s Haystack Rock there in the distance.

Honestly, I felt like I did more living in those 5 days than I had in the past 5 months. Not that I haven’t been living. I’ve done some right grown-up things such as *finally* getting the title to my 2005 Ford Taurus. Folks, this has been a battle I’d been waging since moving to the PNW back in 2008. Essentially, this was the issue: my dad bought the car from a dealership in 2006, but never bothered to file the title work. When he gave the car to me in 2008, the car was still titled to the dealership. That dealership went out of business in 2007. I finally put the pieces together in 2009 after badgering my dad for months to get me the title. So 2009-2013 was spent writing to every state agency I could trying to get a title from the defunct dealership, filing court cases, etc. As it turned out, all I had to do was have a judge issue a court order…no lawsuits, nothing. I had the title in under a month once I sent out the application for that court order…but it was pretty much 4 years of the Indiana BMV, Ford Motor Company, the Indiana Secretary of State, the Indiana Attorney General, and my own private legal counsel all telling me to do different things before I finally got in touch with the right person…a simple clerk in the District 3 Court back in Madison County, Indiana. I thank the Gods that they got me in touch with her before I gave up and drove the car off a cliff.

My old Taurus and my new (to me!) Element.  I love my new car!

My old Taurus and my new (to me!) Element. I love my new car!

Right after I got the title to the Taurus, though, I sold the car. It was something I needed to do. Every time I looked at it, I got angry at my father all over again for everything he put my family through. I also really wanted a Honda Element. The way I saw it, the Element would be perfect for helping defray moving costs in the future (since I’d just need to rent a small trailer instead of a huge U-Haul) and it’s so big that I would be able to fill a new place with lots of furniture. Also, I really love camping but I hate pitching tents. I can pretty much “car camp” in lots of comfort with the Element. So I found one at an incredibly reasonable price for the Pacific Northwest and bought it. It’s been pretty solid ever since. I have had to sink some repair costs into new tires, a new lock actuator, a remote, and a bevy of windshield repairs (it’s a rock magnet!)…and I have a few more repairs slated for future paychecks. But I love my Ellie. And when I see it I feel hope for my future rather than despair over my past. It even makes working the terrible job worth it.

So that’s been the crazy in my life recently. Thankfully we’re well into the Dark Times between Samhain and Imbolc, a time where we spiritually take a bit of a breather and take inspiration from all the resting seeds below our feet. We need to rest, too, before we can flower anew and bear fruit once more.


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