Every Monday through Friday, 7 am to 3 pm you can find me working with teenagers in the foster care system, but I am yet to meet one like Trisha.
Granted I don’t know what I would do if one of the teenagers turned out to be fae. Trisha has the voice of a teenager; one that reminds me of my inner voice and sometimes outer voice.
This book is engaging and well written! Check out more of Cassie’s work here!
My parents married when my mom was 24, and my dad was 26. I looked up to them as I grew up and had this fantasy in my head that I would be married when I was 24 like my mom and life would be sunshine and rainbows. Well, I’m 26 years old, and I’ve never been married.
When smartphones came out, online dating became easier. The first time I set up an online dating account I was 16. A decade later I am still doing it. My photos and bios on the sites have changed as I grew up and matured. As I evolved so did the dating apps. There’s an app for hook-ups, fetishes, religious partnerships, and affairs. In my desperate attempts to find love and connection that would blossom into a lifetime marriage, I went on them all. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
After being on so many sites at once (upwards of double digits) I got to the point that I needed to step up my game and get serious. I upgraded my Bumble account for a month last August then crossed my fingers. 28 days into my “premium” month I was matched with a girl in Kansas City. I had burned and shot down so many times that I thought ‘What’s the harm in talking to this girl? It would be good practice!’ Little did I know that the 742 miles that separated us would help us to create the best relationship either of us has ever had.
Seven months later I am still talking to that girl. Don’t get me wrong; I love this girl, but the distance is rough with a capital ROUGH! Somehow we make it work. Every day starts with a text to the other person and ends with a video chat. Now don’t start thinking ‘have they even met?’ Yes, we’ve met! She’s met my parents and friends, and I met her friends, and I am scheduled to meet her parents at her brother’s wedding this year. This winter I plan on moving to Kansas City to make a real “go” of the relationship. She is still in graduate school for social work, so her moving is not an option; my life is just easier to move.
Being a stay-at-home-daughter may come to an end this year.
My 26th year alive was one of those years that you look back on and say “I survived.”
It was a massive roller coaster that I grew exponentially from, but I would never want to do again.
It started off with me in massive debt that my roommates were terrific at supporting me through and understanding even when I pushed them away. A month into my 26th year, I was “involuntarily separated” from a job where I loved working with my clients, and they enjoyed working with me. Where I had a supervisor that saw my energy and client commitment as a hindrance to my work performance and instead of working with me, she got rid of me. I was devastated, if you had asked any of my clients about my work with them, they would sing my praises. Many parents of my clients attempted to reach out to me after my departure, but due to my social work licensing and ethical boundaries of my profession I could not communicate with them. No being able to say goodbye to people I had spent the last year and a half in their life attempting to improve it no matter what it costs, was heart-wrenching.
After that, I took a leap. I looked into an amazing non-profit organization in Austin that was well known for their continual innovations in their social services. Less than a month after being “involuntarily separated” I was hired as a part-time employee at this amazing non-profit at their youth homeless shelter. Granted I was apprehensive; I have worked direct care with teenagers before and that turned into a hot mess. This place was different! I left my work at work and my home at home. This place was perfect for my personality. They let me use my energy to improve the workplace not just for the clients, but for the staff. Less than 3 months into employment I was awarded the company-wide “Gratitude Award” something that very few part-time employees ever see. I felt at “home” at the company. When they saw my flaws in the workplace they worked with me to improve myself, they didn’t throw me aside, they made me feel like a part of a team and a part of a family all in one.
While applying for this job I also applied for graduate school. I got accepted into SUNY-Cortland’s online Recreation Therapy Certificate program. It won’t end in a masters, but it will end in me being a qualified Recreation Therapist to be able to work in Texas. Classes started in January, and I instantly fell in love with the field.
The ending of my 26th year of life isn’t so happy. Just days before I went on vacation for my birthday, I hit a pothole with my car. I popped one tire and got a bubble in one. Both tires were replaced. My driver side seat belt also locked up and would not expand or retract; the dealership told me that I was in an accident so they would not replace the seat belt for free. I wasn’t in an accident; my car fell off the jack while I was changing my tire. They didn’t care; I took the car to the mechanic by the house and had it completely replaced. My roommates went above and beyond again. For me, my vacation started on the day my car was taken to the local mechanic. I ended up being hundreds of miles away when my roommate took my car from the mechanic to the tire shop to get my tires aligned. That’s where he found that 3 of my rims were no longer circular, but ovals. He took it upon himself to go back to the place where I had gotten my tires and reamed them for their shoddy workmanship. When I returned from my 4-day vacation, I found a new driver side seat belt and four new matte black rims on my car.
In conclusion, my past year was only survivable by the sheer love and patience that my roommates showed me. They will forever be my favorite roommates.