Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hey you, shut up!

I always know that I'm feeling unsettled when I can't figure out what to wear, constantly make changes to my hair and make-up and obsessively think about what color my hair should be next. I'm beginning to think it's a coping mechanism for my inability to control my environment. I can't always predict what is going to happen to me but I can control how I'm going to look when it happens. It's a bit irrational and narcissistic I realize but it's better than just freaking out about things. It's also symptomatic of my constant insecurity with myself that at the age of 26 I realize is never going away. 
It's funny because on the outside it looks like great things are happening (and they are great things) but they are overwhelming things. I'm choosing field placement, I'm attending classes for a Masters degree I am one step closer to obtaining. I am discussing my next big move and taking a relationship to the next level, in a matter of months. I get so ahead of myself though and it's really hard to focus on the day-to-day stuff. I feel like for the most part I'm doing a really good job staying on top of things but there's a voice telling me that I'm going to fuck it up. Pesky irrational voices. It worries me because with all of the exciting things to come I feel less happy. I'm assuming that's just the anxiety looming that's not allowing me to stay positive but I wish it would just shut the hell up every once in a while.
Sometimes I just wish things were certain. Like without a doubt, for sure, meant to be, perfect, never-wavering, set in stone certainty. Nothing in life is certain so I suppose I just have to make the best decision for me with the evidence and supporting facts. Shut the hell up, logic.
Ok, enough of the introspective, anxious crap that never goes away.
This week was relatively boring, as are most weeks in graduate school. On Monday I went to class, bought new gym shoes and then went to 12th and Porter to go see my friend play bass for Natalie Stovall. It's country, which doesn't typically get me psyched but she's talented and it's fun to watch your friend work when it consists of a bass guitar and lots of noise. On Tuesday I immersed myself in plenty of work over the 8 hours at my internship. Wednesday consisted of babysitting and getting home way too late to have to wake up at 7 a.m. but it's always worth the money. Babysitting always makes me think about parenting and having children of my own. Hanging out with smart, 'normal' kids always makes me very of aware of why women go through the whole birthing process. Kids are amazing. Working at the residential for years gave me a different perspective and turned me off to the whole idea but now I'm beginning to understand. It's just a matter of not messing up your kids too badly even though parenting is the hardest job a person could have. Thursday was another 8 hour day back at the placement. Friday consisted of more internship, meeting with my advisor and then my first day back at the gym. The gym wasn't too awful. I have to do low impact stuff so elliptical, bike, stair climber,etc. I walked a mile on the treadmill on Saturday after doing the other stuff. It was the slowest mile I have done, ever. I need to start goal-setting when I go so I can see improvements. Mostly I want my left ankle to bend like my right one. And to get up to the point where I can run. I understand the process and how long it may take but after 3 months of inactivity I am just thankful to get back at it. 
I'm looking forward to being productive over the next two weeks and then going up to Louisville to see J for his birthday. Present and crafts are done and ready to go, now I just need to not mess up his birthday cake when it's time to make it. We shall see how that goes.
My brain is pretty much done with studying for the night. It's ready to watch mindless crap on television or to read a non-school book. First I need to leave Ugly Mugs in order to do that. Quite possibly my favorite coffee shop in Nashville thus far, I just wish they were open later. 
Have a wonderful week, I hope I can do the same. 
side note... I spend wayyyy too much time on 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I can get us out of here

This week offered a lot of insight into the things that I want in the future, things that I need to begin preparing for and things that scare the hell out of me, all of which are related. 
I wasn't overly productive this week due to some set backs in motivation and car troubles that led me to sulk. I'm working on a project for my internship that keeps me in front of a computer on an excel spreadsheet for eight hours a day. I'm not complaining because it keeps me busy but I find myself getting easily distracted and off task frequently. I don't know how people do that all day and stay productive. Thankfully there will be breaks from time to time for meetings and supervision and whatnot. That is the one downfall of macro social work, spreadsheets. Microsoft Excel and I are bitter enemies. 
The other days of the week I spent at class and got really excited to get the semester fully underway. Especially my policy class which is going to be me spending a lot of time of the TN legislation website. Nerdgasm. In my seminar class on Friday my adviser brought in a speaker to talk about her role at legal aid in Nashville and I fell in love. Not so much with her (she seems like a nice lady) but with the things she gets to do on a daily basis. She gets to meet with attorneys (the good kind), track legislation and advocate. So, in my haste to find a field placement for next year I looked for legal aid in Louisville as well. Turns out there is one and a licensed social worker on staff. Sounds like I'm going to be putting my adviser to work on making connections in Louisville. I'm really excited at the prospect of working at legal aid. When I was considering law school that's where I wanted to be eventually too. Now I need to work my butt off to impress them so they'll let me come intern. I think the 4.0 the first semester will help too. It feels good to make a decision on placement so it's one less thing I need to worry about during the semester. 
This week I also babysat and got to see my friend and catch up over terrible beer and people watching. I also finally got a professional haircut, which probably shouldn't warrant the excitation I felt about it. I'm poor and can't afford real haircuts often. I found a stylist in Murfreesboro that was really cool and easy to talk to. I told her what I'm doing in school and we talked a lot about random things that strangers talk about. She said that its apparent why I want to be a social worker because I'm easy going and enjoyable to talk to. One-on-one I could talk to just about anyone that has a good grasp on the English language. That and I love asking questions partly because I'm interested in people and partly because I don't like talking about myself. It works well. 
I got to have a long talk with my best lady friend last night and I'm really excited about the things she told me. I'm excited for her and her outlook on things. I think 2012 is going to be a fantastic year for me and the people I love. 
Today I was approached by a man at Starbucks that spoke broken English. From what I gathered after rephrasing my questions several times was that he was looking for a family to talk to so he could improve his English. He said he would pay $400 a month to stay with them. As enticing as the offer was to bring a complete stranger into my sister's and her boyfriend's home I reluctantly passed but told him that I'm at Starbucks often and if he wanted to talk to me to practice his English that would be ok. I told him to look online for someone to stay with, he wasn't keen on the idea. I think there was still a language barrier and misunderstanding on what he was looking for. I still don't know what the hell he was looking for to be honest but I really wanted to be helpful. I suggested ESL classes. He said he wanted a family. I suggested craigslist. He said he wanted to stay with my family. I told him we had a dog and didn't have room for him but that I could help him find a place online. He looked defeated and told me he'll see me again at Starbucks. I'm not sure what to make of any of it. I'm going to call that whole interaction unsuccessful. Hopefully the next random girl he asks for a family can provide him with something he's looking for, maybe a nice fertile womb for his family. 

Anyway. Have a fantastic week. I know I will. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

instead of waking my best friend up at 2:30 a.m....

I really, really wanted to talk to my best lady friend about what has been going on lately and some recent developments. Then I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, which then turned into 4 episodes, it's now 1:30 (2:30 Michigan time). I should have been sleeping hours ago and had every intention to but then I got all wound up thinking about things and here we are....When I have anxiety the first thing that gets effected is my sleep which I hate with a passion.  Then it spirals and I wake up crabby after sleeping too little and it puts a damper on the start of the day. 
Anyway, after talks and thinking and worrying I decided that I need to just take a chance on things and see how they ride out. 
A very wise and attractive man once told me (it was tonight actually) that you're not really living if you're not doing the things that make you happy. That's paraphrased but you get the idea. I've tried and tried to just go with things and take chances but never without agonizing over them afterward. If I get the chance to worry about things then I will worry. I'm mildly crazy (don't tell my boyfriend) and don't really like leaving things to chance. However, I do need to work on saying 'yes' more often and feel happy about the decisions that I make. And make the decisions that make me feel happy. 

I know I've had people in the past tell me these things too but I need to move that way at my own pace. I think at least I'm moving in the right direction. Literally and figuratively. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm just pulling on a line, on a line, but sometimes it's pulling on me

This last week was spent doing an enormous amount of digging and research on something I'm not even sure is going to pan out or that I want to happen. 
After finishing up some reading today I have been looking for placement and agencies (yet again) in Louisville. I'm sitting at a Starbucks and continue to be distracted by an ominous looking hillbilly sitting across the store. In the last thirty minutes he's gotten up twice and squinted his eyes as he kept them on me, going outside and looking at me through the window. His Nascar jacket is really flashy, eye-catching to the local ladies I imagine. I'm not sure what it is that he wants unless he's just confused as to what I'm doing. Reading is a tricky concept for people that look like they struggled to make it past the third grade. That's incredibly judgmental of me. Sorry MLK, I know it's not what you had in mind. 
Anyway, classes began this week and I also resumed my internship. I was happy to be back at my internship and happy to see people at school. It helps me get back into the swing of things which is going to be a slow process considering I spent a month in Louisville and was able to see J everyday. Now I have to wait a month to see him. Lamesauce. I shouldn't be complaining since he just left today but waiting until February 9th is going to suck. 24 days to be exact. Bah...distance is tricky. 
I think the classes I have this semester will be interesting. Looking over the assignments and reading for all of them helped for me to start developing that anxiety that I've been missing for the last month. He'll settle in fully by week three or so and then grow in intensity until the end of the semester. Added worry involves interviewing at field placements for next year and trying to find a summer job. Hell, that's four months away, I've already been thinking about those things for the last two months. 
I'm in a funk today so hopefully within the next week I'll develop a little more sunny disposition and get my head back on right. As well as the disappearance of this compulsiveness to eat like crap that hasn't left since the holidays. Oh winter you kill me. That's some point in the week I'll find the energy to get back on track and into a better routine. 
In the book Spontaneous Happiness Dr. Weil discusses the importance of exercise, sunlight and looking for things to be thankful for, self-help book or not I think those are legitimate suggestions. The book gets a little annoying at times with the commentary by 'believers' in some of his methods. The testimonials make me want to stop reading but they are few and far between enough that I power through. For someone that has struggled with depression or someone that wants to help people not struggle anymore, it's worth a read. I've not finished it yet but hopefully I can do that before the semester really starts to get crazy. 
Have a good, positive week. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

this little light of mine

Lately I've been trying to catch up on Dexter. This then leads me to staying up way too late, wide awake, thinking about murder. This isn't the most effective sleep aid I've ever tried. I'm nearing the end of season 5 and thankfully I have no idea of what's to come and it has yet to be ruined by status updates or commercials for season 6 when they were airing, though that season is now over too. Hopefully I'll watch that before the next season starts airing. Stupid school getting in the way of regular tv watching and such. 
I love Dexter because you spend every episode waiting for him to get caught for something that is completely illegal and amoral, yet you don't want him to get busted....Were it real life I likely wouldn't feel the same about the vigilante justice that he doles out on a weekly basis. I'm not ok with murder or murderers murdering murderers...Say that 3 times fast. 
I could get down with a modern day Robin Hood. Stealing from the rich, giving to the poor. It's better than stealing from the middle class, am I right? 
The reading I did for school today reminded me about how much more I need to learn about how the economy works and how to work with it and still make an impact (as a social worker, not personally..I'm always going to be poor). The reading also made me nervous about the next election and the effects a more conservative president would have on this economy and a job for me in the future. Actually right now I should be worrying about Congress. Sometimes I fantasize about what I would do with a never-ending budget. Oh what lascivious fantasies they are....better public education, a functional public healthcare system, oh my, more government regulation on corporations...the list goes on. Salacious I know, but a girl can dream. 
I'm still that 8 year old girl that wanted world peace, just more articulate and reasonable for the most part. It makes me wonder how many people are still their 8 year old selves in the bodies of adults. Do people actually grow up to be what they want to be? Not necessarily astronauts or professional football players but the type of person they wanted to be. Dexter knew what he was going to be. 
I don't think that you need to have a degree or need to be a social worker to make a difference but I'm not charismatic enough to get there by any other route. I just know that no longer can I complain about something without feeling guilty for not making an effort to change it. I wonder how other people feel like they make an impact. We aren't solitary creatures.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I just got this symphony goin'

Today after waking up and showering so my brain could begin functioning I started to feel a stir. A stir that I haven't felt since the beginning of this gray dreary winter-y weather. That stir that makes you want to run and climb trees and chase squirrels. It's that feeling that people (or maybe just me) get on that first real day of spring when you just know the weather has began to turn the corner and the bees buzzing and flowers blooming make you feel like Bambi. Physically I'm a bit limited to do most of those things until my ankle is 100% but it's that energy that makes you want to take on a really big project or go try something new and exciting. At this point it could also be the coffee and coke that I've consumed (the sugary coke not the powdery kind) but there's definitely something stirring around that's getting me excited for the day and for the things to come. 
After the first of the year when everyone was talking about resolutions that I don't generally make I tossed around the notion of being more fiscally responsible, less anxious and more open to new things. Aside from my current responsibilities with school, internship and bills I don't feel the need to commit to much else. However there are about 10,743 things that I would like to try this year. This stirring has conjured up the thoughts of those activities. I want to go zip-lining. In KY and TN there are places where you can zip-line and some of those places are in underground caverns. I want to go hiking around Nashville on one of the billion trails they have. I want to go to Natchez Trace and stand on the bridge in awe. I want to get back on my skateboard. I want to start enjoying Nashville for what is has to offer before I move away. 
I realize that I have priorities to take care of first but I'm ready to go, go, go!
Ok, one of my resolutions should have been cut down on the caffeine intake but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. 
This shining sun won't be up for much longer, so go I must.
Enjoy the day. Every day. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keep on keepin' on

Wowza, I can't believe it's already 2012. It's been a whirlwind of a year and I wouldn't even know how to recap it if I tried. I'll go with some random highlights and low points because that's always fun, right?
But first...let's go over what's been going on these last few weeks since I neglected to update last week. There was just no time! Ok, there probably was but the last thing I wanted to do was write about how much fun I was having when I was having fun. 
Last week feels like forever ago. The week started off with hangs, movies and nerdy bored games. We saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I saw the Swedish version and I wanted to see how David Fincher's version would compare. It was really good and I'm excited for the release of the next ones. I also need to find some time to read those books. We played nerdy bored games til nearly 4 am on Thursday and then got up early to prepare for the trek to Michigan. We got to Lansing kind of late but I was able to see Scuba and his new house and my Yen which involved wine drinking and Ticket to Ride. It was a short stay in Lansing but totally worth it. 
Luckily this year my family decided to come to Nashville to celebrate Christmas on the 27th which meant I could go to Jason's family Christmas and he could come to mine. It will probably never work out that easily again ha. So we had a very large Christmas Eve with all of his brothers, step-brothers, in-laws and other family members. The amount of people I was introduced to was overwhelming. There were two highlights of that day, one: I received a huge MSU flag that I will be hanging in my office and two: J's Grandma had me cracking up with her stories about being a nurse. All of his family was really nice. Then Christmas day we made the trip to Mt. Pleasant to spend the day with his Mom and Step-dad who are also very cool. We spent 7 hours drinking wine, eating and playing games. That's my kind of Christmas. 
The 26th was spent in Toledo, Oh to see some of J's friends. His friend Josh is one of the funniest people I've ever met and is always a great host. By the time 2 a.m. came around I was ready to pass out so we could get up at 8 and drive back to Louisville. We drove from Louisville to Nashville after making a quick pit stop to shower and pack more clothes. It's exhausting just to retell it. It was five days in a row of poor sleep and too much food. We finally got to Nashville and met my family (sans my Dad) for dinner and then a tour around the Opryland Hotel. We got to sleep in a bit and then spend the entire next day with my Mom, siblings, in-laws and niece and nephew (who are the cutest kids ever). I spent a lot of time encouraging my niece and nephew to take advantage of jumping on the hotel beds and running amok. It may not have been appreciated by others but I found it hilarious and they seemed to have a great time. We went to the ICE! show at Gaylord which was 2 million pounds of ice carved into the Pixar characters from the movie Madagascar. It was insane. They gave us huge parkas to wear since it was 9 degrees in the show. It was an incredible sight and probably not something I'll see again. My Dad was supposed to come down with my family but had this work thing to handle and since he's the boss he couldn't get out of it. I was really bummed that we didn't get to spend time with him and I know he was sad about it too but maybe that will just give me an excuse to head up to Michigan again soon. 
I headed back to Louisville after my family left which brings us back up to date. We celebrated New Years with the Bandits who are all awesome people. Everyone dressed up and we had a New Year's cookout, which was the first I had ever been to. It was relatively warm outside for January and the boy made an amazing dinner for us. Lots of alcohol was consumed, though I kept it to a minimum for the most part. 
2011 in review: (not in chronological order)
-Moved from my own apartment back to my sisters so I could go to school without constantly worrying about finances. 
-Broke my ankle in two places which resulted in surgery and extensive complaining on my part along with a lot of pain and more bitching. 
-Started graduate school and kicked the first semester's ass.
-Attended my first moped rally (with several following) and met an amazing man that makes me very happy.
-Made some more great friends through school and other means.
-Became addicted to my smartphone and netflix
-Continued to miss my Michigan peeps.
-Learned a lot of things.
-Rediscovered my love for Otis Redding and dancing.

I resolve to live my life the way I want to without worrying about the things I can't control. Bring it on, 2012.