Summers in Alaska

Photo by Errin Casano on Pexels.com

I did a crazy thing for the Summer. A friend of mine I’ve known for almost 20 years bought a business. It’s a homemade ice cream shop. She asked me if I wanted to help out and offered to bring me on as a manager. I’ve worked in the service industry for about 12 years, so I felt qualified for this position. I accepted. I left Tucson, Arizona on May 1stand arrived in Fairbanks, Alaska that night. The exciting part was the ten-hour layover in Seattle, Washington. If you have the option to fly stand by, I would not do it unless you were not in a hurry.

Alaska will be nowhere near as hot as Tucson, but the Sun never really sets. It’s always daylight. There’s a bit of Twilight for about 45 minutes around midnight. Otherwise the Sun is out. I haven’t seen the moon since I got here. Another fun fact, the mosquitos here are bigger than average. I wouldn’t call them huge, but they’re everywhere. I’ll survive. I’m working so much that any bites I get I usually forget about. That’s the only downside so far. I’m sure my opinion will change later.

Now I manage an ice cream shop. I’ve learned how to properly dip and scoop ice cream like the pros. I hope to learn how to make the ice cream before the Summer’s over. There are lots of flavors and lots of combinations of flavors. I’m having fun, but every now and then we have small issues. I don’t mind dealing with issues, but they all happen in one day. Some days are more stressful than others. As the opening manager, I only deal with issues for a couple hours. The first half of my day is spent getting the shop ready to open. It gets busy after I leave. That makes me happy.

The space is small so once a crowd of people are there filling orders, I immediately want to leave. I don’t like being around a lot of people in a small space especially if I don’t know them well. It will get easier. I’m still having fun and that’s what’s important. Alaska is a beautiful place and the population of the whole state is less than the population of Tucson alone. I enjoy the small-town vibe. Unfortunately, I’m staying with my friend and her family and they live outside of town meaning everything is far away.

I’m only here until September. This should be an easier Summer. It’s not the first time I’ve been away from home for a Summer. Several years ago, I enlisted in the Arizona Army National Guard and went to Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training from April to September. This feels similar. At least the being away from home part. I don’t know if I’ll return next Summer. That depends how the rest of this adventure goes. I think I’ll have a good time, but I may not want to come back every year. That’s a bit much.

Breaking from the Social Media Madness

Toward the end of January, I went hard with social media posting. I posted something every day and I checked notifications constantly. I think this took a toll on me. All that extra noise on top of already feeling depressed and people started telling me that I always say something that rubs people the wrong way. It makes me wonder if everyone I’ve met has felt this way and perhaps that is why I have difficulty maintaining relationships of all kinds. Have people only put up with me to avoid further conflict?

All this added up to needing a break from many things. I spent a day at home, signed out of and deleted social media apps, and spent the whole day in my pajamas. I think some would call this a recovery day. I think it helped. I have a refueled ambition for my blog but also for how to move forward with social media in regard to my writing. Within 24 hours of hitting my lowest point in a long time, I have bounced back to at least a slightly functional human. I have a list of tasks I need to complete, but I’m uncertain how to move forward with personal relationships.

This has always been something I’ve struggled with and when I think I’ve improved, I find more obstacles. It’s a never-ending battle and sometimes I wish I didn’t have to hold a job and could just write every day and make enough income to survive. I’m taking steps to move my life in that direction, and it will be years before that is my sole source of income. I have an appointment scheduled with a psychiatrist and hopefully from that first session I can get a plan of action. I’m giving myself a year to work on many things.

There are many factors I have no control over, and these are the things I think I struggle with the most. There is only so much I can do about my financial situation and stabilizing that holds the biggest uncertainty. Almost half of this past year I was unemployed, and many other things caused it to be potentially the worst year in my recent life. I think that’s why I’ve hit such a low point and can’t find any resolution. So, I do the only thing I know how to do. I bury myself in my work and avoid all humans. Sometimes that’s what I must do to survive.