Tonight is My Last Night in Florida

And I honestly don’t know how to feel about it. 

I’ve lived in this state since 1997. 

My dad died, my mom auctioned off all of our possessions and moved us all to Florida. 

I have been thinking about that time in my life a lot lately, as one does when the leave a place they’ve lived for a long time. 

There was a clear option for me to live with a coworker who was like an adopted mom to me, who offered me a place to stay so that me and D could stay in Georgia. 

That’s one of the big spots when I wonder how much differently my life might have gone if I didn’t come to Florida at all. 

I was always kind of nervous about living here, because we’d come down for summer vacation a lot when I was a wee Jacki and the only thing I remember about every single trip is getting vomit-y sick, including throwing up in trash cans at probably every theme park in Florida, up to and including Lion Country Safari. 

Every time. 

So I was pretty worried about living here. 

But aside from morning tummy happenin’ pretty regularly I haven’t been vomit crazy since living here. So it’s not been a physical burden, really, except for the sweat. 

From 1997 to 2011 I lived in various places in Brevard County: Cape Canaveral, Melbourne, Merritt Island, before finally settling in Palm Bay. 

I also worked a fair amount of jobs: Blockbuster Video, reservations for The Big Red Boat, verification department for telemarketers, telemarketing, foreclosure cleanouts, private eye reporting, cleaning condos, real estate marketing, receptionist/accounting for a technology firm, report generation for an appraisal office, outreach for the local workforce board and then I moved to Orlando, where I had two jobs: The Weekly and Fairvilla. (and now freelance, obv)

 

Looking back, I realize a lot of the reasons I was unable to hold a job for a long time was because of my brain. As an autie, I take everything extremely literally and 100% expect people to uphold their word. And when a rule wasn’t followed or a deadline ignored, I held people accountable. 

And, y’all, folks don’t like that. So I didn’t stick around long. 

And also, there was the part of my brain that has served me so horribly for most of my life that tells me my decisions are always one. That one came from a lifetime of people questioning my decisions or talking me out of them or just being told I was wrong all the time. You hear that shit enough, you believe it. Especially when you hear it from the people who are supposed to love you or be your friends. 

So at work, I was never sure of myself and always questioning every singe decision I made, which, for an employer, can get exhausting. I know, especially in times of high stress, that I let all my lifetime of insecurities bubble up to the surface and I expected those around me to perform to these standards I’d set for myself. 

Through therapy and a lot of work on my own, I’ve been able to unravel a great deal of that and feel like I’m a more complete “employee” to the people I work with nowadays. 

So now it really makes me angry to see when employers feed into or exacerbate others’ mental health issues. 

The places I stayed the longest I really feel took advantage of (either knowingly or unknowingly) my undiagnosed OCD. Even though I said so many times, I was not good at taking notes at meetings or on phone calls, because I the way my brain works, I don’t do nuance that well. But whenever anyone else offered to do the notes – we never received them.

Since my brain didn’t allow me to be assigned something and not do it, I was stuck doing it so much. 

And that was really hard for me because it made me feel like a middleman and I do not like that. I don’t want to translate your words to another human when it is much easier for you to just talk to them directly. When I middleman, it makes me feel like I am responsible of the feelings of both parties for something that literally has nothing to do with me. 

Well, that’s how it used to be. I think if I worked in a traditional workspace nowadays it would be a different story because I’m actually convinced of my worth finally. 

So, Florida. 

I don’t think I’m gonna miss it as a state. 

Yeah, there are a fuck ton of people I will miss, and places, but I barely saw anyone or did anything for the past couple years. 

And, y’all, we’re gonna have room for visitors at the Professor House. And y’all know how much I love discovering new things and introducing people I love to them, so come see me!!!

And since I pride myself on being honest here, I’m gonna tell you that my brain is simply DONE blogging for the day, as it packs up the rest of our lives here. 

 

 

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