Sunday, October 28, 2012're scary

As soon as I read the words: nominal, interval, ordinal, and ratio in an article I immediately began looking around the room to see what else could interest me more than this article. Everything, everything was more interesting. I began taking an interest in a map of Kentucky on the wall and then decided that I hadn't visited wikipedia in a while. I need to figure out how to love the technical pieces of research, not just the results. 
At 9pm I began wondering when it was bedtime, unfortunately I'm still out "studying". I was productive, and then I wasn't. I can't wait to go back to that frigid house and put on more layers than an onion in order to stay warm. I know this whole 'saving money by not turning the heat on' is beneficial but I REALLY want to just be warm. Before we turn the heat on in the house we have to weather-proof or we may as well just throw dollar bills into the trash for every minute the heat is running. This week I will go to a hardware store and see to it that I don't need to go to bed wondering what the onset symptoms of hypothermia are. Ok, ok, I exaggerate but seriously, it's cold. 
It was a good rest of the week. I finished out my internship and then worked early on Saturday which was nice because I was able to get out of work and get some studying, until I nearly fell asleep in a booth at panera because I had only gotten about 3 hours of sleep the night before. I figured it was time to go home and relax for a minute before starting the process of getting a Halloween costume together. I decided to dress as Joan from Mad Men because she gorgeous, I idolize her and I had to buy practically nothing to pull it off. Not that I pulled off the look completely but it was fun to dress up and spend time on makeup and hair that didn't necessitate me worrying about looking professional. The costume also required me to wear heels which I haven't done since before breaking my ankle. Turns out my new and improved ankle doesn't really enjoy high heels and after about 2 hours I removed them. I'm hoping it just means that more stretching and exercise will remedy that problem. We shall see. This was the end result:

She doesn't always wear glasses but I liked them. I already owned the dress mostly because it is rad and it cost me $6, I just needed to wait for the weather to change to pull it out. Jason's friend Brennen made his costume. It was hilarious. They just ran around most of the night cawing at people. Jen's costume was a success and her makeup was scary. Not scary enough to not get hit on at the burrito place, but that's a-ok. 
My hair also needs to be much redder, which I am considering again but it's a pain in the ass. And who has time for haircuts? I don't. I need to find a 24 hour salon so at 1 am when I can't sleep I can at least be doing something productive. I'll dye my hair and cut my bangs any day of the week at home but I haven't mastered cutting all of my hair, I don't suggest it either. 
Anyway.....I hope we get some trick-or-treaters on Wednesday. This is the first time I have lived in a real house for Halloween in quite some time so I want adorable visitors dressed up as superheroes or princesses. Just no clowns. Please no clowns. We've still got pumpkins to carve, I'm sure we'll do that before Wednesday. I hope! 
I'm looking forward to working an extra shift this week, being a super productive student and contributing something useful to my internship. Big goals this week folks, big, big goals! Again, exaggerating a little but I really just need to survive the week. It just means I'm that much closer to finishing out this semester. 
Have a wonderful week :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

27 years later and I still don't know a damn thing

So I'm 27 years and 1 day old. 324 months. 9,856 days roughly. My body feels older than my mind does. Mostly because of the arthritic knee from a tilted patella and tissue damage in one leg and a plate, screw and 7 pins in my ankle on the other. I've not been kind to my body. It's weird to think that I am in my late twenties and I think it has a lot to do with expectations. The expectations I have for myself with my increasing age and the expectations that society has for a woman of my age. A lot of the people I went to high school with are married, have kids, and real jobs and whatnot. I guess I've never been one to worry about what society expected of me.
So instead of wallowing in all of the things that I haven't accomplished in my 27 years on this earth, I'm going to think about the things that I have done that should make me proud to be where I am.
I graduated college at 21 with a Bachelors degree. I had personal health insurance and a life insurance policy by 22, I got promotions, experience, took chances and moved states away by the age of 24. I went back to school and will have my Masters degree in less than 7 months. I didn't do it all entirely on my own but I feel like for the most part I have made wise choices. I don't regret most things and feel really lucky that I've made it this far with no more than minor aches and pains from recreational mishaps.
When we were out for a birthday dinner Jason asked me some really great questions. 'What do you want to do in your 27th year,' 'What do you regret about last year?' 'What are you looking forward to in the next year?' Most of my answers were career and travel related. I told him I didn't feel like a grownup, he said he didn't either and neither of us were really sure if or when that feeling ever comes. 
The first day of my 27th year was pretty great due to my best friend and my boyfriend and family, and I hope that's an indication of how the rest of the year is going to progress. I'm feeling hopeful, like in my bones feel it for the first time in a while. I've got what I need here and I hope to hold onto it.
The things I have learned I try to carry with me everyday and the things still left to learn are infinite and glorious. There is still so much to learn. 
What I do know is that you can plan and do as much as you want but you've also got to expect some curve balls every so often. A post I saw today on facebook was a perfectly timed little nugget of greatness. "I get out of this world exactly what I put into it." I will continue living my life (as long or short as it may be) in a way that makes me a more positive and kind person than the day before, with the expectation of an 'off' day here and there. I need to spread around the positive if I want it in return, no more, no less. 
And I just need to be me. 
In the eloquent words of Dee Dee Ramone:
I give what I've got to give
I give what I need to live
I give what I've got to give
It's important if I wanna live
I wanna live
I want to live my life
I wanna live
I want to live my life

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be

It's nearly Friday again and every time I get on here I realize I don't know where the time went. The weeks are always too fast and never as productive as I want them to be most times.
I've struggled to find the right way to time manage with my new work schedule. The days I work late I have the opportunity to sleep in and instead of getting up with my alarm in the morning I sleep too late then struggle to be productive. Oh motivation, so elusive sometimes. It's just like everything else, a couple weeks of self-discipline then you can get into the swing of things. I need to do that with a few different things in my life.
So one of the things I've learned at my internship is when you're low man on the totem pole you don't get a lot of credit for the work you put in (though I don't know what I'm expecting) and I've also learned that I don't like the drama of politics. I love politics and the the process, it's exciting and interesting but I don't like the games, brown nosing, or personal agendas. I sat and watched a Senator tell a Secretary that she heard 'from somewhere' a particular fact about a bit discussion that was happening. This is vague but it would take a lot more to get into than I care to write about. Long story short the 'source from somewhere' was her. She made a statement in the newspaper about the exact fact that she brought up. I laughed but also felt frustrated. JUST be forthcoming, straight-forward, honest. What happened to that? Everyone knows what you're saying so just say it. That is also my least favorite part about the election season. Every candidate is going to spin information in a way that is positive for them or negative for the opponent. Unfortunately finding the truth is not that easy and most people don't want to put the time and effort into it. Hell, most of the time I don't want to and I try to stay informed. Also, seeing the representatives and senators speaking so informally during the committee meeting left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Where's the professionalism? Most of them looked bored or sleepy or distracted during the presentations. One of them joked that he was going to sell off part of his district to Missouri and then mentioned his cattle. People voted for them to be in that position and they can't be bothered to ask questions or at least look interested. Can we just do a complete government overhaul? Oh what that's what anarchy looks like. The thought of being in a position like theirs one day also crossed my mind. 

I also learned that I need to be much more intentional about asking questions at my internship. Last year I had two fantastic supervisors that were constantly checking in to make sure I was 'getting it.' I think being a second year means being more assertive and self sufficient, especially since my supervisor is constantly busy.
These past few days I have been thinking a lot about what I want to be when I 'grow up' and I have come to the conclusion that I have NO idea. I don't know what I'm good at when it comes to social work. I know I have a skill set but I need to identify where those strengths are going to be best used. I can rule out lobbying, I just don't see any part of me wanting to do that. I don't have the heart yet to rule out clinical because that's where a lot of my experience lies. I love research (not so much the very technical parts) as well as the notion that collecting data is essential to this work because it very much is. How do you know if something is or isn't working if you're not analyzing the outcomes? It just seems like common sense. But where does that leave me? I still like the idea of hopping from city to city and doing neighborhood assessments to see where the gaps in services and needs are but I don't know how you can make a career out of it. (Thanks for hanging in there on these nerdy tangents). I need to just find a foundation that will hire me as a contractor to do whatever social work-y thing I want. 
It has been exactly a year since I destroyed my ankle and had surgery so I intend to mark that anniversary with some fancy new boots to hide the scar (with birthday money, because I still get birthday money even after 26 *ahem, 27, years of my parents enduring me).
I'm looking forward to a date night with my main squeeze, the weekend to get some school work done and hopefully some pumpkin carving and hot cider. I LOVE the fall. I want to rake up leaves and kick them around. I want to take a drive and then a walk and breathe in that fall air and admire those vibrant fall colors before the succumb to the grays of winter. I want to hear the crunch of leaves under my brand new boots. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Watch out for that one, he's a creeper

Some days I think my brain has turned to mush and is going to start leaking from my ears. Other days I think that my brain has up and moved on to greener pastures. My second year of grad school is in full swing. 24 hours at my internship, 16+ hours at my job and hours upon hours of school work a week, I wouldn't blame my brain for wanting to get out of dodge as well. Lately I've had crazy thoughts of just packing up my clothes and getting out of town as well. Not because I don't like where I am, I just want to run away from all of the responsibility. Who hasn't wanted to just run away on occasion, right? I'm pretty sure my Mom did when she had two teenage girls in the house that fought about everything.  I guess my fight or flight response is flight. Wowza.
Lately the idea of turning 27 is unfathomable. I don't feel like 26 most days anyway and now I have to claim one more year? No thanks, sir. Does it make a difference in my daily life? No, but this also isn't where I pictured myself at this age. My fourteen year old self would have said that by 27 I would have my medical degree and be in a third world country with Doctors without Borders. Turns out I suck at chemistry so that whole 'medical school' thing didn't really pan out. Expectations, schmexpectations.
I suppose I will continue to take things one day at a time and hope that the mounting stress doesn't negatively effect my relationships and social life. Obviously I don't have much of a social life anyway but when I do have time for things like trivia or board games I want to take advantage.
I'm liking work more and more because the people I work with are pretty rad. The job keeps me on my feet and around people that are typically pretty pleasant. I've acquired an admirer of sorts that came in twice today and wanted to have an extended conversation about himself and tell me that he just wants to hang out and talk to me all day. Meanwhile we were super busy and he just wasn't getting that I was at work and I was friendly to him because that's my job not because I wanted to know his life history. My coworker intentionally mentioned my having a boyfriend but the dude didn't seem to care. He was hanging out again when it was time for me to clock out at which point I had planned to just stay at work and study. Instead I decided to leave knowing I wasn't going to be left alone. My coworker warned me about that one, and some others that like to linger around the baristas.
So, for the most part, I don't have time for much except what I have to do and  don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't so busy. Oh life.
I'm hoping that I get to see some Michigan and Nashville people at some point over the next two months. I need a vacation.

Have a wonderful week.