Tag Archives: education

I have a new therapist and she is…ME

Hey strangers. Soo…how’s life? Good? Good! I’m so glad. Oh, me? What have I been doing? Well…

Law school. Yowza. Where to begin?  Back when I was applying to schools, a bunch of people warned me not to go to law school; and while I am not even remotely wishing I had listened, I understand why they did: law school is NOT EASY. Is it the hell people made it out to be? Far from it, but that’s probably because I am certain that this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life. So if you are pondering taking the LSAT, maybe shooting out a few law school apps for the hell of it, ask yourself, “Do I really have any interest in the law/being a lawyer?” Because if the answer is NO you should NOT go to law school.

Just saying.

What else is going on? There’s some light tutoring, a lot of being stalked and nuzzled and stared at by my dog, the occasional kitchen foray, and a boy occupying my time. (Like, the best boy. The weirdest, dorkiest, sweetest, adorablest, smartest, funniest, wonderfulest boy. Just saying.) Oh, and sometimes I sleep. Every now and then.

So with all those things on top of endless reading/writing/research/studying/confusion, I am midway through my first semester of law school and I am starting to lose my shit.

I admit it. There’s stress and then there’s STRESS. I am not yet STRESSED, but I’m getting there. I’m stressed.

I have sought various methods to healing with this mounting stress level: healthier eating, allocating more time for drowsy resty sleepy time, running, vitamins, less caffeine, etc. I’m even debating maybe taking advantage of the counseling offered at school. But you know what has worked most effectively so far? Reading this here blog.

Yeah, I’m my own therapist. It’s weird. I know.

Seriously though, rereading my own musings and mullings and meanderings has given me so much perspective. Comparing where I was then to where I am now helps first and foremost: I’m moving up in this world. I AM! But also, I was a smart cookie with some damn good advice: e.g. “The more good you concentrate on, the more good you see. Building momentum in a happy, hopeful direction can only make your life better.” Helpful, that is!

I’ve kept a few journals in my day, and when I look back at them I never fail to squirm and loathe who I once was. But reading this blog makes me feel…better. Healthier. Less…stressed. My 2011 self is giving my 2012 self advice…and it’s improving my quality of life!

It’s like time travel!

Hey, I am not trying to toot my own horn here. I’m neither a mentor nor a wizened soul. I am just a lost and loopy twenty-something who occasionally babbles in a public forum. And once in a blue moon, hidden in all that babbling, there is nestled a nugget of wisdom that resonates with those of us having quarter-life crises. This week, reading my own words has brought me some solace and sanity that I really really needed. I can only hope I have similarly helped anyone else who has had the misfortune to be sucked into my ramblings.

My craziness…bringing sanity…I never thought I’d see the day.

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And then…one day… she got on with her life

Once upon a time, a girl newly relinquished from her undergraduate career started a blog in which she rambled about the piteous happenings of her small and empty existence. She had no career, no credit, no future, and very little hope of changing her situation, but goddammit she had a place to bitch about it. And because she had a modicum of humor and a rather wide lexicon, people read her writing. And she would write a lot and then not write at all for months, and then return here and there to comment passionately, albeit shallowly, about some little tidbit of her little world. And people would read it.And she’d think, “gee, why don’t I do this all the time?” But inevitably, she’d fall off the map again.

Well, the last time she fell off the map, it was because she was FINALLY GETTING HER FUCKING SHIT TOGETHER.

Yes, my friends. I, Pamela, have decided I do not wish to stay eternally condemned to a life in limbo and have gotten on with my life. I am no longer a nanny. I am no longer living with my parents hating every moment of my existence. I am no longer dating someone who I feel little to no real connection with. I am thrilled to report that I have–dare I even say it?–the beginnings of a LIFE.

This week, I started law school. For the first time in nearly three years, I am feeding my mind, bettering myself, electing to live up to my potential. Good lord, does it feel good to have a purpose again! To get up early and gogogogogogogogogogogogo until late at night! To feel, at the end of the day, that I have earned a beer or some chocolate or–gasp!–some wonderful, glorious rest!

I feel alive again.

Praise EVERYTHING.

I’m not saying this isn’t limbo. I’m not saying I have everything figured out. Nor am I saying watch-out-world-because-Pamela-is-coming-for-you-and-she’s-got-her-ass-kicking-shoes-on. But I am saying, that things are changing.

Also, I’m done beating myself up for the last few years of aimlessness and depression and spending too much time watching the days pass; I’ve chosen to love myself enough to accept my later-than-I’d-hoped development. I think I needed those years of aimlessness to get me here. I think I was chronologically an adult but mentally still an adolescent. I think we all grow and change and evolve at our own pace, and, maybe, I just evolve in fits and starts, leaps and bounds, rather than gradually and steadily. One day, the sun set and I was afraid of everything and imprisoned by my own inertia, and when the sun rose the next day I was done being afraid and ready to build some momentum.

And now, here I am, gaining speed.

I just might one day get out of Limbo after all. What a feeling.

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Sometimes I listen to people. It’s rare, but it happens.

For the 3/4 of a person that cares, I am once again quite sorry for disappearing for the last few weeks. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or the time to say it, I’m just a horrible horrible person.

I kid.

No, it’s just inertia working against me. The less I write the harder it is to get back into the proverbial saddle and wride on (get it? get it?).

But, anyway, I’m here now, trying to get my mind-at-rest to stop staying at rest. I’ve been struggling for an hour or so to organize my thoughts and decide what to say and what is unimportant, and then I remembered that once upon a time, I had readers; and once upon a time, one of my readers gave me some advice. On one of my lazy posts, someone left a comment saying:

“You should write in bullets more often. They’re much more entertaining.”

Well, I aspire to someday be considered entertaining, so reader and friend, these bullets are for you.

  • Several weeks ago I retook the GRE (Graduate Record Exam for those of you lucky enough to not have taken it on yet) and improved my score since the last time I struggled through that POS test, so I am now one step closer to going to graduate school. About. Fucking. Time. Now I just have to apply, get in, get grants and financial aid and loans, and actually GO. Not exactly a done deal. But this will all happen eventually, I just know it.
  • September 2nd officially marked my last day as a nanny. The babies are growing up: Edy started 5-day-a-week preschool this week, and Graham will be entering Montessori in just a few months. It’s bizarre and sad not seeing them everyday, but this change was very very necessary.
  • After fearing that I’d be unemployed for weeks after leaving the kiddies, and going so far as to start planning a road trip that would fill a month’s time while I waited for new work, I landed a job before even saying farewell to the babes. Last week I began working at an after-school Academic Center as a “Coach” (a.k.a. tutor). I’m working with younger students on math and reading, high schoolers with writing essays and the like, and I’m also an ACT prep coach. It is a job vaguely in my field (Praise Allah!), and I also feel like I’m doing something good for the world: in a few weeks we start working with children in the No Child Left Behind program, and I’ve already been assigned one very troubled student who just needs someone to push him, yet be patient with him. I already feel so much more fulfilled doing this than I did watching Sesame Street with the babies, and it’s only been one week. This is where I’m meant to be for a while, I suspect.
  • I hate, so much, living at home. I have officially reached my breaking point with my parents and thus try every waking moment to be…not here. The hours of this new gig (11AM-7PM) are awesome for avoiding the parentals, but I’m still constantly looking for reasons to escape the homestead: drinking on a Tuesday, eating sushi I cannot afford, visiting my BFF in East Lansing literally every weekend, working to have walked aimlessly around every Target in Southeastern MI, etc. I really like my new job and don’t want to leave it for a while, but I am still applying for any and all work that requires me to make Billy Joel proud and declare that, “I’m movin’ out.”
  • My self-esteem, for several weeks, was taking a sharp nose-dive, and I was having difficultly stopping it from just crashing completely. But then I realized that the magical thing that got my self-esteem high a few months back–high enough to, say, walk away from a bad relationship and to wear a roller derby outfit in public so as to catch the eye of the lead singer of my favorite band–I had forgotten altogether: my mantra– BE BRAVE. I was caught in a vicious circle: the less brave I behaved, the shittier I felt about myself and thus the less brave I wanted to act…and so on and so on…but I think I finally got myself out of this negative feedback loop and my confidence is on the road to recovery.
  • After bemoaning for weeks that I was emotionally broken and all I wanted was to feel something, now I may be experiencing feelings again and it’s freaking me out. I don’t know if I should be happy that I am fixed (or, rather, getting there) or if I should just re-break my emotive bone to keep from doing something stupid…like maybe being happy. GASP!
  • I am getting back into Paleo pretty hardcore. All I want to eat is tuna steaks and salad anyway, so why ingest other stuff that’s bad for me, right?
  • I feel pretty good right now. How often can I say that?

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What do you do when an avian cacophony is keeping you awake?

This.

Or, at least, I do this.

After being a lazy blogger as of late–an incredibly procrastinatorial (not a word at all…but shouldn’t it be?), computer-phobic, sorry excuse for a writer–I am finally attacking the keys because I woke up 45 minutes ago for a drink of water, and now I cannot for the life of me fall back asleep. What with the sun creeping its way over the horizon and the apparently 100,000 birds chirping, twittering, and confabulating outside my window, I had no choice but to give in, open my computer and come to this site to compose a long overdue post.

Resistance is futile.

For the last, oh, two weeks, I have experienced all the symptoms of adult ADHD without the perks of, you know, the drugs: an inability to commit to a task for very long, racing thoughts and the inability to relax, sudden uncharacteristic impulsiveness, a plethora of ideas but no patience or clarity-of-mind to take the time to write them down, etc. On more occasions than I can count, I had great ideas for posts on this here blog, even had 90% of it written in my head…and then I didn’t do squat about it. I had a simply brilliant conversation with my father (rare, but they happen) about regret and catharsis and believing in your own choices, and though in the moment I thought “I am going to go write about this the second he stops talking,” the moment I walked away I couldn’t remember half of what was said or what I even felt. I’ve been meaning to document my trip to Chicago because, frankly, it was so much more than I could have hoped for, but now it’s been a few weeks and the details are growing fuzzy and I no longer can find the words to say how great it was to get the fuck out of Michigan. And for the few people who take inspiration or insight from my struggles with weight loss, well, I’ve truly failed them. I just could not bring myself to dedicate even a moment of my time to say…something. Anything. And I feel very, very bad about that.

But here I am. I’m writing. It’s not an epic poem or a poignant little ditty, it hardly qualifies as coherent, but I am making an effort. I don’t have to time to really do an amazing job here, but I thought I’d just touch base briefly, and update ya’ll on where I am these days, both literally and metaphorically.

I am sick for the first time in months: It seems that, while exceptionally invigorating and fun, travel and I aren’t friends. My little jaunt over to Illinois was so enjoyable and so chock-full of good stuff that I totally forgot to take care of myself for a few days–by, you know, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, eating at all–and it was a huge blow to my immune system. It’s been two weeks and I still have a very sore throat and a stuffy nose. The last time I can remember having a cold was, what, February? And now I feel like crap and I only have myself to blame. But, what I don’t understand it, why is it taking so goddamn long for my body to get back on track? I’m back to drinking 88oz of water per day, eating quite healthfully, exercising…shouldn’t I be on the mend by now? Grr, immune system, grr to you and yours.

I have applied to take the GRE…again: After allowing a relationship (and a less-than-fulfilling one at that) to derail my life for the last year and a half, I am back on track with the goals I once held near and dear to my optimistic little heart: grad school, career as a professor and/or editor, moving away from Michigan and to a city where people like me can actually breathe. So, for the next two months, I will be studying my ass off so that come the day I sit down at that loathsome computer and attempt to prove that I am a valid candidate for furthering my education, this time, my verbal score won’t totally blow. I have never been all that good at studying, and have rarely needed to in the past, but it’s something I have attempted and succeeded at in times of trouble, so I’m hoping the fact that I’m more than a little rusty with the whole academic process won’t completely sap me of the ability to achieve a stellar score. Maybe I’m two years late, but I want to go back to school so badly, and I hope that I don’t end up standing in my own way.

I have admitted to myself that I condemned myself to limbo: As above-mentioned, for a few shameful years, I acted like a stupid girl and let my love for a boy distract me from all the things I wanted to achieve. I stayed in MI and didn’t apply for schools or out-of-state jobs because I was scared of what would happen (re: breaking up) if I left. This is not at all his doing: he never asked me to shy away from graduate school; he never asked me to abandon my dreams for a life of housewifery and loneliness. That was me…all me. And it’s hard to fess us to that, but, I think, knowing that I’m capable of being my own worst enemy isn’t the worst thing. I know what I’m capable of, and might be able to prevent a future derailment of my life. I also think I can forgive myself for losing sight of…everything…because, maybe, I had to lose myself to find myself. Maybe I had to make those mistakes to finally see that I was right all along (or at least up until I was wrong). Maybe, just maybe, I had to take my sweet old time to see what everyone else seemed to see–that we were a doomed couple and I was a fool–because in the process of fucking up my life, I learned an awful lot about life.

There is no place like home: My parents might make me crazy, and they might have made some questionable parenting choices in the past, but I owe them so much these days. Not only am I saving bank by living for free under their roof, but I’m finding a little respite in this bedroom I slept in as a child. All my friends who know I’ve never had a good relationship with my dad are shocked to hear that, hey, life here isn’t so bad. I’m, dare I say it, happy to be home. It’s still a messy messy house and my dad is still an alcoholic and my mom is still overly religion–dependent, but those things don’t bother me so much right now. I am actually happy to come home every day…and I honestly NEVER thought I’d be happy in this place ever again.

I won’t be a nanny much longer: I had better find writing-related work come fall, because whether I am ready or not, the babies won’t be under my care come September. It turns out preschool is effing pricey, and my employers can’t afford me at my current rate AND school for their daughter at the same time…so the end is near. This is both sad and very, very exciting. I love those children, I love them so much…but I’m ready to be done. I’m ready to work in a place where I have grown-ups to talk to. I’m ready to get the fuck out of limbo. Although…

We are all in limbo: No one–not business owners, not priests, not my parents, not even retired billionaires with everything they could ever ask for–is where they are hoping to be. Once you achieve one goal or all of your goals, you only set yourself new ones. It’s when we stop having goals that we stop living. There is always something to aim for, something to hope for, something to look ahead towards and think, “yeah…that’s where I’m headed.” And it’s not like when you make it there you’ll just…be there. There is no final destination, there are just stops along the way. So, maybe, I can stop saying I want to get out of limbo…because I never will be. And that’s alright.

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