Quarantine, cashier life & pinatas

Hi! I am the worst at having a blog.

My life has changed drastically just like literally all of ours.  I usually work three jobs, my main job is a full-time nanny and then I have my cleaning business and I work as an assistant wedding planner.  Of course, all three of these jobs stopped existing in the face of this pandemic and for a very terrifying week, I was unemployed.  Then I sat down at my kitchen table with a coffee or cocktail (it was my one week of unemployment to be fair) and applied to every single job that I thought might take a college drop out like me.  I also dmed a few grocery stores because I thought they might be hiring asap and that was how I got the job of a cashier and the most expensive grocery store in the west village.  This is a place that charges $8 for a brick of cafe bustelo and there’s a tomato sauce that costs $12.99 (shout out to Rao’s for apparently being THAT good).  Of course, the pay minimum wage but I don’t have the type of savings that would allow for me to be unemployed for more than a week so I took the job.

My nannying job pays $25 an hour so the price drop has been a lot for me to deal with.  It’s also been hard not knowing when/if my job will return.  My nanny family moved from the west village to their beach house in New Jersey.  At the beginning of the virus, they wanted me to travel there and stay for three days of the week and then go home.  I did this for two weeks and then I had to stop because it felt very dangerous for an asthmatic like me to be traveling on the subway and the train all the time during a very deadly virus.  The day I traveled home from NJ for the last time a stay in place order was issued and I couldn’t have been happier to be in home sweet Brooklyn and not NJ.

The grocery store job is as soul-sucking as you’d imagine.  No one grows up saying they want to be a cashier and even if they did they’d take one look at the paycheck and change their mind.  Most of my co-workers are nice.  Some of them are snappy or up tight but it’s cause they’re miserable and I don’t blame them.  When I’m at that job I’m miserable too. It’s hard to go through eight hours having the same stunted interactions with people.  I ask the same questions to every person.  “Hello, how are you? Do you have a store card? Do you want bags? Would you like to donate a bundle or milk to COVID relief?”  The store I work for is doing a fundraiser for City Harvest which is well-intentioned but it’s so horrible to have to ask people for money during this time.  They’ll say no and then pull out their ebt card and you feel like such a dick for asking them for money to feed other people when they’re struggling too.  I always wish the store it’s self would donate money and leave their customers out of it.

Today was a good day though because I am trying to enjoy my life and make the very best of it all.  At work in my shitty work uniform and same pair of black sneakers, I try to bring myself to the register as well by doing my makeup like I would and never coming to work in my uniform.  I keep my polyester work shirt in my store locker and change into it at the last second so that I can feel like myself for as long as possible.  Today was also a good day because I got out at 12:45 pm and when I walked out of the sliding doors the sun was shining and the birds were screaming their little snow-white heads off.  I went home and fixed myself a drink (my new favorite: sunny d + lime juice + tequila + tajin) and got a facetime from an unknown number hung up on them.  I then immediately realized it was a facetime interview I had scheduled for that time.  I called her back and tried my best to show that I’m a very qualified hardworking nanny that’s good at what she does.

The highlight of my day was making a pinata.  My family and I used to do this many times a year.  We’d make them for my sisters and i’s birthday parties.  I was out of practice but doing it brought back so many warm memories of happier and more than anything brighter easier times.  The smell of the flour and water and feeling of the paste drying on my fingers was therapeutic.  The biggest part of me wishes I had the money and privilege to be fully quarantined and staying home during this time.  I would love to have the time to do all the wild and rather mundane fantasies I’ve had during my life of what I would do if I had time to figure out what I wanted to do.  While sliding the wet pieces of newspaper on to the balloon, I was so focused on getting the job done that I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to make rent, about savings, about food and all the ways I am falling short.  I was just focusing on this task that I had chosen to set in front of me not a bouquet of problems that was thrust into my face.  It was nice to reach out to my childhood in this simple and fun way and to even if just for a half-hour, to think about something different.

Now I have to wait a few days until this first layer of paper mache fully dries and then I’ll add a second layer.  Then I’ll stop being cheap and pull the trigger and buy some paint.  And then the hardest part for me comes.  Trying to be artistic and painting something on it.

Question:  Are you the type of person with enough patience for puzzles?

I for sure, am not.

Also, have you done any arts and crafts during the pandemic?  I would love to hear what you’ve been making 🙂

Pandemic in NYC: #5

I saw on twitter the other day “if your job requires an appreciation week you probably aren’t getting paid enough.”  It’s definitely true.  It was just a nurse appreciation week.  I don’t know if most nurses felt appreciated or felt any difference during that week.  I’m sure they have much more pressing and crucial things to think about than a vague holiday that barely exists.  It’s like the customers that always tell my cashier co-workers and me about the people who make the noise for the frontline workers at 7pm.  They always tell us to thank you for what we do and they ask if we hear the ruckus at that time.  I never have though because I’ve always been… at my register working.  This country is very much about the talk and flimsy gestures in terms of “appreciation” instead of shit that would make us feel appreciated like livable wages.  The people who keep everyone eating and alive and society as close to normal as possible are the ones who are suffering the gravest effects of this pandemic.  The ones who are dying are the ones who had no choice to go to work because their job put profits first and didn’t shut down or the ones who couldn’t miss a days work because they had to make sure they had rent and food for their family.

Speaking of cutesy but flimsy appreciation…

IMG_6534

The Breakup & The Single Place

This was written in early February but I just realized I had never clicked publish and so now I am lol.

A few months ago I got out of an almost four-year relationship.  It was my first relationship.  It was real love and it was so much.  We met in college, the week I moved back to NYC from Upstate NY.  It was the first time that I felt affected by a person the second I saw them.  I told my best friend about him before we even talked, talking about the beautiful man with the green eyes.  We went to Texas together, to Martinique (my first vacation without my family), we tried tons of dollar pizza together and we were inseparable almost since we met.  I had imagined what our kids would look like and Pinterest boarded our wedding.

It wasn’t meant to be through and it ended after four years, two of which we lived together.  When we broke up we were living together which made it so hard and long, a break up that stayed with me every room I walked into. The week that we moved out of our apartment was the worst week of my life.  It was the biggest wedding of the season and when I got home after midnight I found out there was a fire in the apartment above ours and black water rained from the ceiling.  Everything smelled horrible and everything was stained black.  I had two friend visiting from out of town and we slept on wet couches that night because it was too late to get a hotel. That was also the same night that I found out that my uncle passed away.  We had to find somewhere new to live in about a week.  Our breakup was long and lived in and by the end nonsensical.  I couldn’t write it up if I tried and I couldn’t tell you why we broke up because it was a string of problems and moments.  By the end, we had been fighting and in truces and fighting again and I felt completely traumatized.  The break up seemed to be happening every minute of every day for weeks.

That week was hell.  By the time I found somewhere new to live I was done.  I was so over it and I felt such relief to be able to breathe alone.  There was no one to fight with.  There was no one to come home to besides me.  My twin bed felt big because it was all mine. My body and mind was the beginning and end of everything.  During the long and stressful break up I had felt so alone.  One of my best friends wasn’t present as she was going through her own stuff and my other best friend lived upstate.  My ex was not letting anything be peaceful and so in reaction to all the drama and pain we had been going through the past few months I shut off my feelings.  I am able to make myself numb when my life gets too painful and I flung my self into that empty limbo to try and have some rest.

The thing I learned about breakups is that they aren’t over when they’re over.  The feelings rush in and sway out like waves going in and out of the tide.  Every time I thought it was over and I was doing well, moving on something would come back and anger me or come back and make me remember something good.  I was not still, I was at the mercy of the waves of emotion that would smack the breath out of me.

The weirdest thing that I’ve been noticing now that I’m single is how big that word looms.  There seems to be a before and an after.  When I entered my first and only relationship I was just turning 18 and now when all has been said and done and said and done again I am 22 years old.  I used to be just myself and now I am Tessa 22 years old and Single.  I feel a certain pressure of being grown and alone. All the things that I wasn’t thinking about are now coming back as big black holes of problem.  The part of my brain that was focused on the relationship was much bigger than I thought it was. It was large and had tendrils in everything, like an octopus that was growing in my brain and an anaconda that was squeezing and suffocating me until it was all-consuming.  My thoughts were long monologues of stress for the future and the now, the future fights, and the current fights.  I was at work but I was text fighting my ex-boyfriend.  I was not feeling anything and then I was crying.  I’m now trying to build an island, a place so far inland that no waves can reach me and grab me back underwater.

I feel that I’ve been becoming an adult for so long and in that process for so many years and now that I’m finally an adult it feels jarring and sudden.  There are people my age who are parents and wives.  I am so many things and it all still does not seem to add up to any sort of stability.  I can’t tell you where I’ll be in five years though I can easily tell you where I want to be.  How to get there?  I haven’t the slightest clue.

i hate barre class

I’ve tried but I’m not yet the type of person who likes to workout.  In fact, last night after I got out of work at 8pm I trudged myself to an 8:30 pm barre class and hated it.  I realized that they have a policy that your shirt has to cover your midriff which was unfortunate for me as the workout outfit I had brought with me to change into consisted of leggings and a sports bra.  So I decided to wear my outfit for the day with my sports bra underneath which was a flowy romper.  I stuck out completely being the only one not in the obvious uniform of Lululemon and more Lululemon and wearing a full blown outift (not at all moisture wicking!!!).  I was also the fattest there which is always a trip because I’m not fat I’m just curvy.  And I was also the least white which was strange and unnerving.  It just wasn’t my scene and also I weak af and that shit burns.
I felt empowered at first when I walked in 1) cause I was proud of myself for going to work out after the long-ass and hard day I had just endured and 2) because I was surrounded by beautiful women and there was something so sentimental about all of us getting stronger together, all of our weighted arms in the air and then down.

But that didn’t last long because those classes hurt and make me feel so weak.  I am so out of shape and apparently, that was something I had in common with … exactly no one in the room.  Only ten minutes in I was already thinking snarky bitter things like “I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life but at least I’ve never spent $100 on leggings before.”  Also they are always saying “tuck, tuck” which from what I can tell is a tiny thrust and I feel like I’m always doing it wrong and then I see my self in the mirror, feel incredibly ungraceful and want to laugh and then try to turn the urge to laugh into an ab workout.

Another thing I don’t like about this barre classe (Pure Barre) is it feels very unprivate and a bit dated.  I like spin classes (I feel like “spin class” sounds so annoying and pretentious) because a lot of the time you can feel alone if you try.  The more alone I feel in a workout class the less I compare myself to others and the less my self esteem tanks. They have cool lights which makes everyone look cool or they turn off the lights completely which I love.  At Pure Barre the lights feel very fluorescent and are on the whole time until the end.  A lot of times you’re direct across from someone (whose looking very strong and capable which is the opposite of how I’m feeling).  When I think of the aesthetic of Pure Barre studio it’s very beige and I think it would be so much better with lights that would bath the room in color. But I guess that wouldn’t be very pure lol.

exciting or stressful?

Hi internet void,

I hope you’re doing well if anyone reads this.  I really love writing on here cause it’s an outlet for self-expression and lately I’ve been feeling numb and uninspired.  So I’m gonna try and come back, even to just practice noticing how I’m feeling.

The main reason I haven’t been being consistent on here is cause I decided (impulsively) to start a business.  It’s called Cleaning con Flores and it’s a small cleaning business.  Right now it’s just me and my best friend.  There’s always something to be done for it (or things that I’m behind on doing) and it’s so much to even just make it legally a business with my city.  It’s all worth it though cause it’s my own and my idea and I will never run out of energy to throw behind it.

More than anything it’s bought me great pride and great stress.  I am proud of it because I had an idea and didn’t let it go and decided to make it a real thing.  The idea was super simple what if I cleaned houses but gave a bit more than that?  We bring flowers to each cleaning and offer a survey which allows clients to communicate their exact desires of what they’re looking for.

Since I’ve last written on here I’ve filed for the company to be a limited liability corporation, hired a business lawyer, learned that I should have become a lawyer as mine is an inexpensive lawyer and she makes $275 an hour (!!), had a logo made, made an Instagram for the company, made a facebook page and website for the websites, had business cards made, gotten a direct deposit system up and running, etc. etc. etc.

I have three jobs and I do not recommend it (to anyone ever) and also somehow have $80 in my bank account.  Since I’ve last written I’ve also gone through a really hard break up (still going through it), taken up working out, become addicted to Starbucks (dolce cinnamon lattes and hazelnut lattes are it for me) and blew through my savings cause I someone rammed into my lyft driver and I went to the hospital to see if I had a concussion.  I was in and out of the ER in literally 30 mins and was spoken to by a condescending doctor for 5 mins max who told me I had a slight concussion.  I paid a $100 co-pay for all that (wasn’t even given an Asprin) and walked out thinking that was the last of it. Yesterday I got a bill saying that my parent’s insurance didn’t recognize me and I owe them $1,065.  I have to pay the lawyer $800 so make my business filed in my county (whatever that means) and my rent is about to go from $700 to $1,400 because my ex-boyfriend is moving out.  I am pretty weary and I don’t feel young at all.  I feel like I can not catch a break and when I do it’s so small in comparison to the amount of mess of me to clean up all around me.

It’s hard to practice self care when you can’t even find the time to be off the clock.  It’s hard to feel healthy when your own stress is working against your well being.  It’s hard to feel okay when you work so hard and that hustle isn’t reflected in your bank app.

Love and deep breaths,

Zelda

🙁

I react so unhealthily to stress. It’s really physical and I feel it come over me. I end up scratching myself until I literally have bloody scratches or get hives. I also dig my fingers into my scalp. The messed up thing is usually when I’m doing it I don’t notice and I only notice later when I can see the little injuries. I don’t know when or how i let my life get so high stress but here I am and I don’t know how to cope.

ups and downs

I started this year with a negative $20 in my bank account and cried on the subway on my way to work.  This morning I had the worst panic attack of my life

But now I’m surrounded by my best friends in my sweet home waiting for my boyfriend to come home from work and feeling hopeful again.

I am so vulnerable and life is so hard and so much.  But it is always always worth it.

The thing’s I’m bringing with me: 2019 Edition

The main energy I’m going to try to bring into 2019 is trying to be happy, trying to be healthy and trying to move in the direction of my goals.

Coming with me into 2019: 

Wearing less heels:  I barely wore heels this year because it was really so painful and it just didn’t feel that necessary.  I’m a nanny and it would be ridiculous to wear heels to work when a lot of my job is pushing a stroller.  I want to feel cute and confident without having to be in physical pain and a lot of the (admittedly cheap) heels I had really really hurt me.  For me it’s not worth it.

Doing my own nails: Getting your nails done professionally is nice and all but I really hate the part where they file my nails (that feeling to me is like nails on a chalkboard) and I really don’t have the money to spend so often when they chip the next day and I get upset and guilt trip myself about spending the money.  And I really don’t blame the nail salon, it’s really that I wash dishes every day and I am a nanny so my hands are very much working hands.

Being a nanny:  Yes it’s true $20 an hour is the most I’ve ever been paid and I love having more money than before (this also comes with being more financially irresponsible than before 😦 but I also love the kids and it has it’s fufilling and sweet moments thought it’s also crazy exhausting helping raise four kids. And there’s a lot of tantrums.  It’s the best job I’ve ever had. Even though one of the 9-year-old girls said to me the other day “you wear too much makeup” when I was just wearing mascara and blush (?!?!) and when the 2-year-old is in a bad mood she will whine “I don’t want you here.”

Dying my hair red: I am killing my hair but oh well cause I’ve been to professionals as well and they kill my hair too but just for $100 and I can kill it for $12.  I really love being a redhead so this is the price I pay.

Lotioning after a shower: Any self-care that can easily be incorporated into everyday life and make me feel low key luxurious is a yes for me.

Leaving in 2019:

Buying cheap rings:  I really love the look where you have lots of rings on your fingers and I always have.  I especially love fake diamonds and I have been buying all sorts of fake diamond rings since middle school and it’s been a look… for better and for worse.  I buy them mainly from costume jewelry stores, Chinatown and the internet (the wish app) and those they are beautiful and sparkly for a while in a matter of weeks the stones either fall off or they lose their sparkle completely and start showing their true colors (cheap & plastic).  It’s fun but it’s such a waste of money and I am going to start investing in semi-decent (poor person version of semi-precious) quality rings.  I deserve it.

Working a whole month with no days off:  This is a hard pass.  I’ve done it multiple months this year and wow I feel it’s pain now.  It was just horrible and I barely had time to breathe.  Most of my text posts are rants about how my mental health is deteriorating because of my exhaustion.  With working a whole year straight I have learned this lesson: just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. It’s hard though becuase I don’t want to choose money over peace of mind but the problem is that sometimes money is peace of mind.

Christmas shopping in December: Nah, never again.  I’m going to be adult adult and shop all year long and mostly online cause real-life shopping is stressful (mostly because of the music they play tbh).  I want all my Christmas shopping to be completed by October and all the gifts wrapped by the end of November so I don’t have to go bankrupt in December. Here’s hoping.

Buying lunch out instead of bringing it to work: I’m really pissed that I did this when I know how to make spaghetti and sandwiches like everyone else.  I feel like this is where all my money went.

twilight clouds

Some days are really hard. This day when I took this picture was. I was almost a week ago and I still feel so so tired from it. I really just want one day off to do nothing but watch tv and tinker with skin care. I’m so tired I feel sick. And I’m used to being tired, I only feel exhausted sick when everything area of my life is so exhausting. During this weekend I felt the best and the worst of emotions and I’ve been ravaged by emotion. Like I’ve been chained to the bottom of the ocean during a rain storm waves crashing around from all sides, on top and on bottom. I feel like that led zeppelin song when he says you shook me but not talking about sex or anything just life. It’s scary when there’s no haven even if it’s just for a moment everything felt broken and our of order and I felt really upside down and floaty. I can’t wait until I don’t have to always be working or always feeling guilty I’m not working. I feel pretty unsettled and unsure. Also these are my favorite types of clouds, the purple blue grey ones that can be any mood, that understand you and let you be low key and calm and let you silently hope for the best.

more than just a working girl… or not

I got home today around 10pm after working not one but two jobs (one boring office job and then some manual labor).  I feel very grateful to be employed but it gets to a point where especially on nights like this when I get home and Nick is sleeping, I feel like I’m missing out on so much of the good stuff in life.  I’ve been working at least 50 house weekly and its crazy to realize that’s more than two days of the 7 day week in which I’m not operating on free will.  These are hours in which my time does not belong to me, it belongs to my employer and I don’t do what I want to do. I do what has to be done next and I play games with time, hoping that if I don’t look at the clock time will speed up.  I felt so much guilt when I walked into our house to find the lights off and Nick sleeping.  I felt shitty cause I hadn’t seen him all day and he’d wanted to do something but my cleaning job ran long (it was the largest apt I’d ever been in in NYC).  I also felt robbed because the only thing I was looking forward to today, spending time with Nick was gone.  I so badly wanted to wake him up and as I write this still do (it’s midnight) but that would be no bueno since he really needs his rest (also he looks like a peaceful greek god when he sleeps).  I still wanna wake him up though lol.

Tomorrow I leave straight from work to go upstate to work a wedding and I’ll be gone two nights which seems like a lot to me right now.  I love working weddings and I love cleaning but unfortunately, my wedding gigs are only paid internships at this point and my cleaning job is my side hoe of a job.  I love weddings cause you create something beautiful by working together with strangers and I love my cleaning gig cause it’s totally mine and I created it from nothing (even though at this point it’s barely more than nothing).  My maybe attainable dream is to be able to quit the soul-sucking job that is my 8-5 in which I sit in a very uncomfortable desk chair and file bankruptcy claims for 8 hours straight, looking at not one but two computers at all times.  Also my seat has just been moved from sitting next to a nice guy who hated this place too to sitting next to a man who literally started a fight cause another guy at our desk was yawning and he thought it was unprofessional (!).  I mean,… can you believe?! A supervisor had to be called and the yawning guy changed seats so now I’m sitting one empty chair from a crazy man who thinks yawning is unprofessional and now wants me to sit next to him (not in this lifetime).

The worst thing to do to your self when you hate your job yet are there all the time is to think about all the things you could be doing.  So course, this is the special brand of torture I inflict on myself.  I think about 1) all the dates I’m planning with Nick but may never get to go to cause I’m at the soul-sucking job 2) the poetry book I’ve been working on since middle school 3) panic out of nowhere that I’ve forgotten someone’s birthday 3) how dirty my room is and that when I get home I’m gonna be too tired (i.e lazy) to clean it and on and on it goes.  I have all these passions and projects that stay half started and not fully committed to for the longest time.  My heart lies in things I don’t have the time to give my full efforts to.

It really hurts that the love of my life and I fight about how much I work when I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum to feed myself and buy a metro card and not be homeless and then when I look at my bank account, it looks back at me wide-eyed as if to say “you think this amount is gonna stretch how far, keep dreaming sweetie.”  It’s crazy that I work so much it causes strain on relationships with my family and boyfriend and yet I don’t have savings and I am by all accounts broke.  It’s seems wrong to me that you can work 9 hours a day, 6 days a week and weekends and still be steadily scraping by.

On my lunch break I mindlessly scroll through Instagram.  Mine is full of travel bloggers and girls with brand collabs and money from something or other.  They’re more or less my age and they’re making money off a photo of them holding a protein shake.  I find it upsetting because it looks so easy what they’re doing and not time-consuming enough that they’re seemingly always on vacation.  I am stuck in a cycle of comparing myself to them, thinking toxic half thoughts like, “hmm, if I was blonde and with a booty would enough people like my thirst traps to get brands to want me to selfie up with their product and try to con my followers into using something that I got paid $100’s to pretend I use?”  I am constantly thinking of a way to get out of my cycle, working all the time to have enough and yet not having enough of the most precious thing; time with loved ones.  I am constantly working and then when I am not working I am straining to create a life outside of work that is a happy and healthy place.  I  wanna be someone who makes breakfast and puts a little aside for savings every month.  I want to be not struggling to juggle everything all the time.