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My little cousin committed suicide yesterday.

She hung herself in the backyard. Her mom had to cut her down because none of the neighbors were home.

She's turning 22 next week. I don't know her well these days, but when we were all kids, we were closer. She was always the tiny cute one running around with the other really little kids.

Her family is waiting until her brother flies in to make the decision about ending life support.

I don't feel good.

Today was my first eight hour shift at my new job. It still feels new after almost a month, probably because I was mostly a zombie until more recently. This morning I woke up early after not sleeping very well, but I forced myself to make some of the things that have been in my fridge waiting for me to get inspired and motivated. My kitchen is still cramped and disorganized, but I'm really proud of myself for pushing through and not allowing myself to make excuses. I made rice, sauteed carrots, onions, celery, and thyme, and did a batch of mushroms, onions, and broccoli. Once that was done I spooned it over butternut squash for a warm, filling, and nutritious meal that displayed the fall colors I see outside more often. 

Work went pretty well today. My first customer was a woman with dementia, I was alone in the store for an hour, and managed not to screw anything up too badly. I did end up calling my boss, but there was no way any of us could have predicted that someone with memory issues would choose that day to come in and try to put money down on her account. After her I tried to help this couple who dropped off two flip phones, it's amazing how technology has advanced and changed since cell phones first arrived on the market. Training is still annoying, but I'm getting through the modules and it feels good to know that the list is slowly dwindling.

One of the best things about my job is walking into work knowing that I can be myself, that I am respected, valued, appreciated, and can have some really interesting conversations. There are things I don't like about the job, but if my last job was a failing grade, this one is a solid B, and I believe that it has the potential to become an A position eventually. We usually have sports in the background, but I try to be disciplined and not watch them too much which is hard when there's a giant TV blaring constantly. It competes with the music we have playing in the background so there's some stimulus overload, but I'm learning to tune it out, and I'm finding that I can even totally block it out and ignore it at times.

Earlier this morning I read an article on how much employees value having a view of the outdoors, and even though it's a narrow strip of grass with that looks out onto a parking lot, having windows where I can see weather and greenery is a huge mood booster, much more than I would have thought had someone asked me. A part of me still misses working at the grocery store, I can't believe I'm saying that, but it was a great job for me in many ways even though this one is probably easier. I'll be eligible to contribute to the company's 401(k) plan after 90 days, and it sounds like I can get health, dental, and vision benefits even as a part time employee which makes me very happy, as if God has solved a problem that has plagued me for years.

A part of me feels guilty that I'm not working more hours, but another part is so grateful I only have part time status. I had no idea how much of a toll that previous job was taking on me. My boss is very direct, I work with three guys, all of them are younger than I am, and the lack of drama is so refreshing. Another thing I just love is the minimalist attitude at work. Even when people have a thing or two laying around, it's a temporary problem rather than having piles of junk and clutter everywhere. It's pretty clean for a retail store, and we have a small fridge where my boss stocks water that anyone can help themselves to whenever they are thirsty. He brings candy in too, I try to resist it, but it is really nice when you're hungry and don't have time for an actual meal or snack.

Would like to write more, but I am absolutely exhausted from the craziness today.

Xoxo,

J

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