Blue Llama County, Level Up Life, & a bit about my dad

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Dear Reader,

How are you? I’m okay- and that’s good. I’ve had a bit of a stressful and exhausting (physically and emotionally) couple of weeks. I will get into a bit more detail in just a moment. I had hoped to find time to write a post last week, but travel and my emotional brain state did not allow for that. Thank you for your patience, and we will now return to our previous schedule.

I hope you are doing well. But if you aren’t- this feeling will pass, things won’t always be this way, your feelings are valid and people do care. Believe me- they do.

Central Florida Trip Report (Part 1)

An introduction to the situation...

Last week’s lack of a blog post was because I was down in Florida! It wasn’t a vacation, though. I would never vacation in Florida in September- that’s way too hot!! I melt in the sun. I traveled down to Florida to handle my deceased father’s “estate”. I say “estate” like that because...well, it was only a small storage locker that was half-full of nothing of (monetary) value. Still, it needed to be handled and I was his closest living relative.

My father and I had, at best, a complicated relationship. We’ll definitely explore that more at some point in the future, but for now a short summary. He fell somewhere on the narcissistic personality spectrum, he lacked empathy, and was a pathological liar. I don’t just mean he fibbed occasionally- he manufactured completely different personality traits, preferences and histories depending on whom he was around. He claimed grandiose things such as he worked for the CIA and climbed Mountain Everest (both definitely not true). After my mom divorced him, he traveled around the country mooching off of other women. He needed help, and I still have a layer of guilt for not recognizing this sooner. His way of living led him to die alone and in poverty, entirely unexpectedly.

In my adulthood, I was aware of my father’s manipulative tendencies and I always kept him at arm’s length. However everyone else, eventually (after he got what he wanted), ended up abandoning him. My sister and I were the only two who kept in consistent contact with him. Since I’m seven years older than my sister, my dad kept me loosely informed of some of the realities of his life. So, I was aware of the existence of his storage locker and its address. I also was the one to receive the contents of the room that he rented- a couple of bags of items.

He died three years ago. Since then, I had been putting off the handling of his storage locker. It was emotionally challenging. Not only did I lose my father, I had an overwhelming sense of guilt associated with the situation. I hadn’t understood the reality he was living in (mainly because he lied about it) and I struggle with not having done anything to help him. In addition, the last few years I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression, and I just couldn’t get up the courage and motivation to handle it. It was also far away, and I didn’t have the money to do all the necessary travel and paperwork.

I finally decided it was time this summer and I arranged a trip down to central Florida for the end of September. I was down there from Wednesday to Sunday of last week (4 nights). I have plenty of fun things to share about the places we went and the food we ate. But...I think it may take several posts! Umm…I also have a very embarrassing story of an anxiety meltdown at the airport, which I will share here in case it will make one other person feel less alone.

Level Up Life (Part 1)

Several weeks ago, I discovered this app called “Level Up Life”. It’s been around for awhile and it doesn’t seem like it’s getting much attention from its developer these days. Still, it’s got a great idea, so I’m going to use it anyway, and I’m going to take you along on the journey with me.

Level Up Life gives you a series of goals or missions to complete that will help you make your life better (in theory). Goals are divided into several different categories, and they are assigned an experience point value as well as some associated character attributes. The idea is to earn experience to increase your level to unlock new missions and make your life better. While the app definitely has room for improvement, I like the idea.

My profile at the start:

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I’ve selected two goals for this week:

Read one chapter of a book- I’d like to read more. You can log this activity on the app up to once a day, so I’m hoping to check off this goal several times this week.

Go to bed super early- I’m not sure what I’d define as “super early” yet. But I’m trying to improve my sleep habits (and I’ve had a few weeks of very little sleep), so I’m going to try to do this once this week.

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Blue Llama County (Tabby Rose, Part 1)

Sunday

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Hello. My name is Tabby Rose. My parents and I moved into a new neighborhood yesterday. It’s a new section of the county, and it seems...well...lacking in people. I hope I meet some neighbors soon. I’m already feeling quite lonely here! I am a bit nervous when I think of going to a new school. I’m not sure if I will fit in or make any friends. I’m not very good at being alone.

My new school sent me some homework in advance, so today I spent the morning completing that. I’m a little nervous about the workload too, if they are sending me homework before I even start! In the afternoon, I went to the local library with my mother to access the computers. My mother was going to work on her jokes- she’s a comedian, and I wanted to practice programming. I’m learning to code. It’s pretty entertaining, and I know it’ll be useful for my future career plans.

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I met some people at the library and I introduced myself. Everyone seemed friendly, but I didn’t really connect with anyone.

When we came home, it was time for dinner. I set the table while my mother cooked Franks n’ Beans. For dessert, we had brownies she made earlier in the day while I was doing my homework. She’s taken an interest in baking recently. I’m glad she’s found something new to be passionate about.

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Well, she’s pretty passionate about my father, but I don’t like to encourage their already abundant PDAs! Although, I must confess that while I do make faces when they smooch in front of me, I actually think it’s adorable. I love how much they love each other. I just don’t let them know that, of course.

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We don’t have many interesting things in the house just yet. Wait, let me rephrase that...interesting things *to do*. My mom has an….eclectic...taste in decor, so there are interesting things in the house, just not much to do. So, the three of us watched some television (comedy shows, of course!) before bed.

Which topics are you interested in hearing more about in future posts?
What did you think about the length of this post?