Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I went to visit Hillary in Raleigh on Saturday. She had just gotten back from Austria and I was very excited to see her again. It's interesting how it was. As soon as we were alone (I picked her up from Travis's), it was as though no time had passed. We were just chatting and laughing as we always have. We had lunch at Whole Foods and ended up sitting there for probably two hours, just talking. A bit later, we ended up at Starbucks for coffee and more talking. I'm surprised I didn't lose my voice. But it was so NICE. No one else gets me as well as Hillary does. She can just look at me and know what I'm feeling/thinking. I mean, sure, that can get annoying when I don't really want her to know these things but, most of the time, it just reminds me why she's my best friend. I am so very glad she's back in the country. Anyway, that evening, we went back to Travis's and, eventually, started watching Love Actually. A few things started happening at once. Suddenly, I was very aware of Hillary and Travis, cuddling on the couch. Now, don't get me wrong...I really like Travis and I'm so glad Hillary found someone like him. I'm happy for them. However, right now, it's just difficult for me to be around couples...especially if there is no one else there to distract me. Also, the movie was starting to get to me. I LOVE this movie but it's a love story and I was tired. When I'm tired, any emotion that I'm feeling is amplified. At the moment, I was feeling sad. So, I started to cry. I wanted to be discreet though so I just sank deeper into the couch (Hillary and Travis were on the other one) and tried to hide. No dice though. Hillary totally knew I was upset (example of what I was explaining earlier) and she had a good feeling about why. I told her later that, sometimes, it hits me how very much I miss Ben. I start picturing his face and things he used to say and, all of a sudden, I just can't hold it in. It was like that that night. And it was sort of embarrassing. I don't like to break down in front of other people. Hillary was okay but Travis was there too and I just hope he didn't feel too awkward. It was a bit of a rough night for me.
When Hillary and I were driving from Whole Foods to her house on Saturday, my car started to overheat. Mike (her "stepdad", though she'd rather not refer to him as such) put some water and coolant in my car but to no avail. We tested it on Sunday and, after just a leisurely drive around the neighborhood, it was overheating again. Great. Not to mention typical of my lovely Ford Probe. My dad ended up having to pick me up from Raleigh. My car has a knack for breaking down when I'm away from home. We were hoping it was just the thermostat but found out today that it's the water pump, which is more expensive. Double great. Hillary was gracious enough to let me tag along with her to Outback where she was having lunch with her family. It ended up being a really nice meal that I enjoyed so I guess the afternoon didn't end too badly. And I apologized to Hillary for being so emo.
For Christmas, I ordered my mom a subscription to the new Food Network magazine and was excited to give it to her. Today, however, sort of ruined that surprise. She checked the mail this afternoon and found a postcard that said something along the lines of "Melissa Staley has ordered a subscription of the Food Network magazine for you". I tried to grab it out of her hands but she had already seen it. I was so pissed. I could only get two things for my mom and one was already ruined...three days before Christmas. This small event was the last straw. I broke down, babbling about how this Christmas has just sucked...for the obvious reasons along with everything else that has been happening. I know that if these things had occurred last year, it would have been frustrating but I wouldn't have thought too much about it. This year, however, it just feels like things are piling up. I want to change my attitude about life but that's easier said than done, believe me. I've been making conscious efforts but, when you've been stuck in such a pessimistic mindset for so long, it's difficult to change. I'm hoping that the new year will bring me better strength. I know that life will deal you some blows and I want to be better able to deal with them than I have lately.
Perhaps my next blog will bring better news :-/
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
First of all, the semester is finally OVER. Yes, I survived my first semester in graduate school. It's hard to believe, especially with all the little obstacles I encountered along the way. Ooh, and another bit of good news...I made ALL A's! It's very exciting. I was a little worried about, at least, one of my classes (Ethics was HARD) but I persevered. That was a nice Christmas present that I gave to myself. When I look back on it, I don't know how I managed to concentrate on school with everything else that was going on in my life, especially at the beginning of the semester. Of course, having a certain distraction removed (albeit, not by choice) did make it easier to focus on my work. When everything was over, I wanted to make sure that I thanked the people who helped me through the semester. One of them told me that, as great as it is that I made it through, the feeling of insecurity never really goes away. That didn't surprise me much. I've felt insecure my entire life, I told him, so I'm used to it at this point. I do hope that, someday, it does fade a bit. I have a difficult time thinking about the semesters to come though. It just stresses me out a little...especially when I consider starting my internship. I'm ready to know NOW where it's going to be. I've been looking into the Family Violence Program of Pitt County. I would love to work with victims of domestic violence. I don't know why but that issue has always been one that's close to my heart. I hope that site does work out for me. It really just comes down to how many contact and relational hours I would be able to get there. If it's going to hold me back from getting the hours I need to graduate, despite the great experience I would gain, I almost can't see the point in working there. Most of the other possible internship sites don't interest me that much because they're mainly medical. I don't plan to go into medical family therapy and, from what I've seen, the work the MFTs do at those sites is very brief...not exactly what I'd originally pictured. But I guess we'll just have to see how it all pans out.
I've been home for the holidays since Friday and it's been...alright. It's been really nice to just lounge around, watch TV, read books I actually want to read. But, unfortunately, I'm already longing for human interaction outside of my parents. I've sort of made plans to hang out with Ashley (since she lives so close) but that won't be happening until after Christmas. Cole and I had talked about hanging out but, as far as I know, he isn't home yet. Sarah works all the time. Molly and Sara are at home, out of state, for Christmas. James, who I had originally made plans with back in October, suddenly has a new girlfriend and couldn't care less about doing something with me, apparently. My high school friends and I have made tentative plans for after Christmas...which should be fun but, perhaps, a little awkward since we haven't all been together in a very long time. Honestly though, I'm looking forward to it. Amy and I are actually going to see Mercy Mercedes (with a trip to the Olive Garden beforehand, perhaps) on the 28th. That will be the first time she and I have done anything one on one in a while too. It will also be the first time I've seen Tom in quite a while...not that he'll even know I'm there, surely. I think a lot of people are due to be at that show. Anyway, I really am happy at the prospect of seeing these people who have sort of slipped out of my life.
Hillary will be home from Austria tomorrow and I'm quite excited about that. I'm not meeting her at the airport as initially planned but I will be going to Raleigh for a visit on Saturday. I wonder if it will be weird at all or if we'll just fall right back into place. I'm thinking that the latter is more likely. We don't have anything planned for the day as of yet but I'll just be glad to see my best friend again. This was really the worst semester she could have been away...for me anyway. But at least I was able to talk to her over AIM (since she broke down and got it) and Skype. Lord knows I've missed her.
To my readers...I'm sorry if my blogs are depressing. It has recently come to my attention that they sort of are. That isn't my intention. I don't try to be such a pessimist. I think that's just where I am right now. I'm at a crossroads and it isn't comfortable. I was talking to someone a couple weeks ago about my current situation and she said that, apparently, I'm just going to be miserable for a while. Great. Who wants to hear that? I'm not saying she was wrong though. I think I have a lot of work to do.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
As I promised…here is my first real entry in over a month. Sorry it’s taken so long for me to get back to this thing. It’s been an absolutely crazy few weeks and I’m so glad to be looking at the end of them. Six days from today and I’m able to go home for Christmas. It’s been a long time coming.
I’m feeling a little low tonight, thanks to a few different things. The weekend hasn’t been bad at all so far, actually. Yesterday, I went to
Tonight was the MFT Christmas party and it was…nice. I’m just horrible in social situations. I always feel so awkward. It didn’t help that within 20 minutes of being there, I opened a bottle of soda and it exploded on me. And I screamed. Great. I just don’t feel like I know anyone very well outside of my cohort. I’m only familiar with a few of the second years, mostly my “buddy” Angela and I hardly know the doctorate students at all. Of all the professors I’ve had, the only one who was there was Damon. Of course, I didn’t know anyone’s spouse or children. I felt very out of place…and I think it showed. I hate being in those situations. I feel like I cling on to one person or a couple people and I end up following them around all night, which I’m sure is a little annoying. It also reminded me of how alone I am in
It will come as no surprise that I am feeling a lot of pressure to get into a relationship, get married. I feel a little bit like an outcast among the other people in my program and, to a lesser degree, among my best friends. It’s really difficult to go from being someone who was in a long term relationship to being single. It’s a big adjustment in almost every aspect of life. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone else but nearly everyone I know is in a relationship and I feel really left out. I can’t help thinking, “Why not me? What’s wrong with me?” And then I get into a really awkward situation like tonight and I realize…oh, that’s what’s wrong with me. Who wants to be with the girl who is never put together, never knows the right thing to say…?
Sorry to be such a downer tonight...it's just the mood I'm in.
Sorry to be such a downer tonight...it's just the mood I'm in.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I can't say that I would have been heartbroken if John McCain had won. While I don't agree with many of his or Sarah Palin's principles, I find it hard to believe that the next four years could be any worse than the last eight. Then again, maybe they could. Hopefully, with Barack Obama in office, we won't find out. I have to admit though that I was a little nervous at the beginning of last night when I saw that McCain started with 13 electoral votes and Obama with only 3. I was starting to worry that everyone I'd talked to had been wrong...we might end up with yet another Republican president. Anyway, all this isn't really what I wanted to write about. What I really wanted to highlight was the history that was made last night. This became very obvious with the coverage of one particular church in Atlanta, GA. Everyone in there was just ecstatic when Obama won. For many of them, this was something they never thought they would live to see...a black president. I mean, when the Civil Rights Movement started, who would have fathomed such a thing? America has really made some progress. And just for the record, I did not vote for Barack Obama because he's black. I voted for him because I think it's time for a change. You can't continue doing the same thing when that thing is no longer working. Secondly, I voted for him because he believes in reproductive freedom for women. And thirdly, I voted for him because, like me, he wants to see our troops come home from the war. I have a hard time understanding how anyone could be for war. But again, that's me.
If you haven't heard Obama's speech after his victory was announced last night, I suggest you find it somewhere. It was pretty amazing. I literally cried. I didn't think I would, but I did. For some reason, everytime he starts talking about Michelle and his kids, I lose it. No, I didn't sob or anything but it was emotional. Even Jesse Jackson was crying. It was also memorable when he mentioned the 106 year old woman who came out to vote. That makes me a little irritated with the young, able-bodied people who did not. I mean, each to their own, sure...but how can you not be interested in who will be running your country for the next 4 years? I never thought I would be into politics like this. I certainly wasn't the year I voted for the first time. But, last night, I couldn't drag myself away from the TV and I'm glad to be much more politically aware this time around.
On a totally different note, something in Dr. Hill's class really grabbed my attention this morning. We were discussing attachment theory and the components of a secure attachment. These were things like warmth and affection, responsiveness and sensitivity, comfort and security, etc. He told a story about a graduate student of his who was upset over her recent breakup (right then, I knew this was going to hit close to home for me). She was blaming herself for everything that had gone wrong and really putting her ex-boyfriend on a pedestal. Dr. Hill brought up the components of secure attachment and asked if her boyfriend exhibited these things. Of course, he didn't have all of them. And most of us wouldn't. But his story made me look at my relationship with Ben and which of the components he had or provided me with. The one I feel was missing the most was comfort and security. I never really knew where I stood with Ben. Was he dating me because he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life or just until something better came along (like a Ph.D. program)? I was never entirely sure. Then there were times when he would mention going abroad for his education (in addition to the year he spent in Scotland). That was, of course, terrifying for me because that meant even more time apart...very far apart. What sticks out for me the most, though, was a time right before he left for Atlanta. I was very upset about the impending separation and he "comforted" me by saying that, no matter what, I would find someone who would make me happy and he would find someone who would make him happy. I understand where he was going with that, but it just was NOT what I wanted to hear at that moment. That's something I won't soon forget.
I didn't mean to end on a negative note. And really, it's not so negative. Realizing that, while mine and Ben's relationship was very good for a long time, it wasn't perfect. Hopefully, now, I can find someone who can give me the comfort and security I didn't always feel with him.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
A conversation we had in class yesterday sort of rubbed me the wrong way. Damon was at a conference last week that focused on marriage and how to encourage it. He brought back this handout to share with us about a study that was done on 18-30 year olds. It broke them into categories like "scared single", "young cavaliers", and "romantic" based on their feelings toward marriage (I think I'm a "true believer", by the way, someone who sees marriage as a cornerstone). We spent about an hour discussing this handout and, of course, marriage. One of the women in my class made a comment that made me think. She said that the longer you wait to get married, the harder it is because your selection pool gets smaller. Well, yeah. I mean, I had thought about that before but it hit me harder now that I'm single. As I looked around, I realized that Jodi, Bryan, and I are the only single people in our cohort. Everyone else is well on their way to getting married (so to speak). Marina is already married. Brooke is getting married in November. Several of the others are cohabiting. And the clock is just ticking for me. I know, I know...I'm only 22. But how old will I be when I meet someone I could see myself marrying? That could be several years from now and a couple more years before we do get married. Am I going to end up an old, crazy cat lady? I don't even have a cat... The good news is that, the older you are when you get married, the better chance it has to last. That's my little ray of sunshine, I guess. I'm not sure why I want to get married so badly. It hasn't always been like that but the older I get, the more important it is to me. Maybe it's because, everywhere I look, people I know are getting engaged/married. Sarah was telling me last night about all the women in our class who have gotten married since graduation. The list was pretty long. And here I am. Single. No prospects. Sigh.
I really feel like I need a change. I think my life is yearning for it. I've been thinking about cutting and dying my hair. I'm tired of seeing the same old thing in the mirror. Everything in my life has been turned upside down since I moved to Greenville and I'm just trying to keep up.
I'm getting excited about Halloween and I hope I have some trick-or-treaters. I wish I didn't have so many papers to do so I could properly celebrate ;).
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Saturday, I decided to forget about taking a shower. We were at camp, right? And the bathroom wasn't exactly immaculate. But again, it was camp so what could I really expect? The day started with a big breakfast. Then, it was off to the different stations - nutrition, games, and arts and crafts. I was put in charge of the younger "Jamaican" boys (each camper was assigned to a different country) for the morning. It was my first time really being in charge of kids I didn't know and I think it went alright. After lunch, a variety of activities were planned for the campers that would keep them out of the rain and cold (originally, sailing had been on the agenda) but since I wasn't responsible for any kids at the time, I took a little nap instead. Then it was time for Tai Chi. I don't think the kids appreciated it much (I heard a lot of "This is weird!") but I really liked it. I wouldn't say that I felt an "overwhelming sense of calm" as the instructors mentioned but it was fun to do, nonetheless. Next, we had a guest speaker, Evelyn Oregon, who worked logistics at the Beijing Olympics. The kids had LOTS of questions for her and she handled it well. She met Michael Phelps! That's when you know you're big ;). After she spoke, it was time for me to head home. Visibility was bad already with the rain and I was a little nervous about driving on those back roads. I made it home though and it was so nice to have a hot shower, some soup, and Grey's Anatomy.
Today, I was pretty useless and not at all productive. I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I was able to get everything done that was absolutely necessary but that isn't saying much. Then, Marina had a get-together at her place this evening. Only Kristy, Jodi, and I showed up but it was still fun. We played a game I had never played before that made me feel a little dumb but I enjoyed it regardless. I'm really trying to be social because I know I have the tendency to isolate myself. I don't want to be a hermit. I used to give Ben such a hard time about being set in his ways but I am too. I think that happens when you live by yourself for a while. It's only been about 2 months for me and I'm already acting like an old lady.
As a final note, being at camp this weekend made me really want to watch the Olympics the next time around. They're so powerful. I can't believe I've never given them much attention. And, of course, the Olympics are going to be in London in 2012...my favorite city. I can't help but wonder where I'll be in 2012...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Speaking of Fall Break, it went by WAY too quickly. I couldn't believe that something I'd been looking forward to for a couple months was just here and gone in no time. On Friday, I went home for the first time since August...and I was looking forward to it. However, I didn't realize how much going home would remind me of Ben. I associate everything about home with him...my house, the town, the places we used to go. It was more difficult than I'd bargained for. Mom got me out of the house though, thank goodness. First, we went by her work to get her paycheck. What I found when we got there was that all her co-workers already knew my business...meaning, they knew about mine and Ben's breakup. Well, except one woman who told my mom I didn't come home to see her, I came home to see Ben. Ha. I set her straight real fast. Then, Mom and I grabbed some lunch and did a little shopping. There's nothing like retail therapy. I was in a much better mood after that. Later, we went to see The Women with my mom's twin.
Saturday didn't start off so well. My dad discovered that one of my tires was flat and came down on me about how dangerous that was, how I should have checked my tires before I left, etc. It didn't help that I was trying to work on a paper at the time. And did I mention that I was sitting in my almost empty bedroom that no longer even feels like my bedroom? It was depressing to just be in there. It reminded me of Ben too. Salt on the wound. Anyway, the tire dilemma was taken care of and the rest of Saturday was alright. Well, except for the small breakdown I had. Everything started to fall in on me...the empty bedroom, the constant reminder of Ben, the fact that I might be stuck in Pleasant Garden for the rest of my break and not be able to see my friends at all. Anyway, it wasn't a pretty picture...but I got over it. And the day ended with some baking :).
Sunday, I went to Raleigh and had dinner with Sara, Sarah, and Molly. It was nice to get together with them but it's never long enough. I feel like we're just falling back into our routine with each other when it's time to leave again. I really wish there had been an MFT program in Raleigh. Don't get me wrong, I'm really grateful for the people I've met in Greenville...I just miss that city and my old people. Raleigh is home to me.
On Monday, I had lunch with one of my Meredith professors and it was really good to catch up. He's probably 75% responsible for the fact that I'm even in graduate school. He pushed me to apply, take the GREs, write my personal statement (that was probably the biggest obstacle - I put that thing off for months). I know I wasn't easy to work with...I'm very stubborn when I want to be. So I have him to thank for actually doing something with my degree. After lunch, I swung by Sarah's to get my things and it was back to Greenville. Fall Break was over for me. Sigh.
Tomorrow, I'm leaving for Arapahoe, NC to volunteer at Camp WholeHeart for kids and teens with heart defects. I've been working on the event for a while in my assistantship and now it's finally happening. I'm a little nervous about being around so many kids because I'm just not used to it. Not to mention the fact that I've never been to camp. It should be an interesting experience, to say the least!
I hope a good weekend is had by all :).
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm definitely my own worst critic. Today, for instance, I said something in class that wasn't exactly what the professor was looking for and during the rest of class, I was beating myself up over it. I thought, "Why did I have to open my mouth and prove that I'm dumb?" I overreacted, obviously, but grad school has a way of just making you feel stupid. I'm constantly worried about not grasping the material. I'm doing the work but am I GETTING it? I also worry that I'm not doing enough. If I spend any moment of my day doing something that isn't academic, I feel like I'm slacking off. Damon's class is probably of most concern at the moment. Our Theory of Change paper is approaching quickly and I have no clue what mine is. How can I know after not even one semester??? I have a meeting with him tomorrow to discuss my paper (or lack there of as I haven't even started). The theories we discuss in his class are over my head and I keep wondering if and when they're going to click with me. I'm not so sure.
I'm getting quite excited about Fall Break, especially if I can take care of most of my work by then. I'll be spending lots of time with my mom, I think...maybe going to a movie, buying a new bedspread (yay!), and perhaps doing some baking? Then I'm heading to Raleigh to see my lovely Meredith ladies. I never get enough of them these days. I miss seeing them as often as I used to. It just isn't the same without having them live down the hall. It won't exactly be the Fall Break I had been looking forward to for months but I'm still hoping it will be good. :)
Sunday, October 5, 2008
For those of you who haven't already heard, Ben and I broke up last Thursday night. I'm choosing not to go into the details here but if you're interested, you can ask, of course. The bottom line is that the relationship just wasn't going the way either of us had hoped and the distance didn't help. I'm sure it was better to end things now, while we were still on good terms, than to carry things out longer, becoming more unhappy with each other and, eventually resenting each other. I wouldn't say that the fateful phone call went well but this relationship ended better than any of my other ones have. I still have a lot of respect for Ben, I know he's a good guy, and I want him to be happy. Even if it's not with me. And I love him...as hard as it is for me to admit it. After all, love doesn't just go "poof!" after you break up with someone. That would be ideal though, wouldn't it?
Lots of people have commented on how well I'm taking everything. I attribute that to several reasons. The first is that I had been mentally preparing myself for the event, not only during this last hellish week but, I think, ever since I knew Ben and I would be in a long distance relationship again. I tried to not be pessimistic but, after all, we did break up three months into our last long distance relationship. Granted, that was an international relationship, but I still didn't want to get my hopes too high. I couldn't bear the idea of being surprised or caught off guard by a break up. I knew that would devastate me. So, for better or worse, I had this in the back of my mind.
Secondly, I attribute my good attitude to just that...my good attitude. I've been trying very hard not to dwell on the good times (because there were a lot) and, instead, focus on the things that weren't so perfect. That may seem like just the opposite of a good attitude but, think about it. What good would it do for me to sit around, moping, and thinking about how much I miss the happy times? It's easier to think, "Well, now I don't have to deal with *insert grievance here* anymore."
Finally, I attribute my perseverance to the people in my life. My friends and family have been amazing. I've even been contacted by people I would have never expected to hear from, expressing their concern. As soon as I changed my Facebook relationship status to "single", my inbox and wall were full of messages (I know it sounds trivial but it represents something). Everyone has been incredibly supportive and loving and I KNOW I wouldn't be taking this as well as I have if it wasn't for them. I've also been really touched by how my cohort reacted to my break up. They've invited me to their homes, asked me out for coffee, etc. to get my mind off everything. I owe a lot of my strength to my loved ones.
Needless to say, I'm no longer going to Georgia for Fall Break. Instead, I'm going home for a couple days, then to Raleigh for a day or so. It will be good to get out of my apartment. I'm especially looking forward to seeing my parents because I haven't since the middle of August (both of my parents, anyway). I just want to relax, recuperate, and clear my mind. Only 4 more days :).
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Today started out a bit rough. It was tough to wake up this morning after last night's breakdown. I guess I had really worn myself out. And the weather wasn't helping (there I go again) because it was so gloomy. On top of that, I knew I had a day of studying (or, at least, fake studying) ahead of me with my first Research Methods test tonight. That would make anyone want to stay in bed. After a few hours, though, I started feeling a bit better. I lit a candle and made some coffee - two things I rarely do but just felt like doing today. It was actually sort of therapeutic. By the time I left for campus, I was in a decent mood.
I got to school a bit early today so I could interview Damon (my professor for Family Therapy Theories) for an assignment that's due in November. Yes, believe it or not, the Procrastination Queen is actually trying to get ahead. I had to ask him about an ethical dilemma and the one he gave me reiterated what he said at the beginning of the interview - not all ethical violations will be black and white. However, I was hoping that it would be a bit more juicy than it was. Oh well. Afterward, he asked some questions about me - where I'm from, where I got my undergraduate degree, etc. When I told him about Meredith, he was a bit surprised as he didn't realize there were that many women's colleges around anymore. So I had to fill him in a bit on the Meredith culture. He asked the question that many people ask of women's college students - how did we meet guys? Why is that everyone's first concern? Oh, and people normally ask if we're all lesbians. Thank God Damon didn't. Don't those questions sort of contradict each other though? I don't understand why there are so many misconceptions about women's colleges. Did people ask those questions of men's colleges (when there were some)? I mean, back in the day, only men were even allowed to go to college. Was it a concern that they were gay? Why is it so unheard of that women would only want to go to school with women? Personally, I loved not having guys in the classroom or even on the campus. That's not why I was going to college. And the ones who were for that reason could take their little butts to State. ;) Anyway, Damon told me that I was "an excellent writer" which I REALLY appreciated, especially since I've been doubting both my skills and intelligence lately. He was fun to talk to and I'm glad I got the opportunity to interact with him one on one. I hope I have that same chance with my other professors throughout the semester.
Then came the dreaded Research Methods exam. I really had no idea what to expect and, even though it was open book/open notebook, I was nervous. As it turned out, it was really easy. But because I finished quickly and thought it was easy, I was even more nervous. Then she proceeded to grade them right in front of us...as we sat in silence waiting for everyone to finish. She didn't want us to leave because there were a few things she wanted to talk about after the test. I wish I would have brought something to do. I haven't had to sit around after a test since high school. And what she talked to us about was a little confusing. She tiptoed around what she really wanted to say. She kept alluding to some sort of inappropriate behavior that she had observed but she never said what it was. How can we avoid said inappropriate behavior if we don't even know what it is? I have a feeling though that it's the whispers and facial expressions we make during class. When that occurred to me, I felt sort of guilty. I don't want to be inappropriate or immature in class. It's just that SOMETIMES, I have to make a face. That's just the way it is in this class. But I'm going to try to be better...at least more subtle. After class, a few of us had a venting session in the parking lot. That's fair though, right? We're not doing it in front of her face. I was in a good mood when I left campus because I did well on the test :).
Something else put me in a good mood too... Before class was over, Kristy asked if I wanted to come over to do homework this weekend. I know it's simple but it was a nice gesture. I think she knows that I get a little lonely over the weekends. Maybe I'm starting to make some connections after all.
As a final note - Ellen Pompeo of Grey's Anatomy is going to be at MY Meredith College this Saturday speaking about Barack Obama's campaign. What?? How random is this? I thought it was a joke when I first heard it. But it's true. And, if I can talk myself into staying in Raleigh a little longer, I'm going to try to see her. That's too good an opportunity to pass up, right? I try not to get starstruck but, let's be honest, I love Grey's Anatomy and if the star of it is going to be that close to me, how can I not, at least, try to be there? If only it could be Patrick Dempsey...
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
It wasn't until this evening that things got a bit sour. I was talking to Ben on the phone and he mentioned some things that just didn't sit well with me. Albeit, it probably has A LOT to do with the fact I'm a little PMS-y, I will admit that. But I had a bit of a meltdown after we got off the phone. When I'm upset over a little thing, everything that has bothered me in the last week, or even month, starts spilling out. It's a little ridiculous. When I'm like that, I have a very hard time putting things in perspective. I started thinking about how Ben was meeting people, being liked by people...and I feel like I'm all alone up here in Greenville. Everyone keeps telling me that it will get better and, maybe it will...it's just hard to distance myself from it enough right now to see that. A lack of confidence in myself is a big problem. I thought I had gotten over those issues in undergrad but they have recently resurfaced. I realize that I felt confident at Meredith because I was in a safe place that I loved. Now that I don't feel so safe, I'm doubting myself and why I'm here. And it's something that I can't change overnight. I've been trying to surround myself with things and people I know will make me feel good but that doesn't always do the trick. It has to come from within and I haven't figured that out yet. I wish I could stop attributing my value to what other people think of me. I don't want to care what other people think. I want to just know that I'm a good person, worthy of loving and being loved without someone having to tell me so. I want to know that I am in this program because I'm qualified and they think I'm going to make a good therapist. Of course, just because I want these things doesn't make them happen.
Fortunately, I have a pretty good support system - even if they're not located in Greenville - and, by the end of the evening, I was feeling a little better. It really is true that people need other people to survive.
On that note, I should go to bed. I have a test to study for tomorrow (my first grad school test!) that I'm really looking forward to. ;)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I was able to talk to Hillary for a little bit today. She seems to be doing well, just missing everyone in the states. I can understand that. Being in Europe last semester gave me a taste. I remember being SO homesick one night. I had gotten a really sweet e-mail from Ben and, after reading it, I just couldn't stop crying. I felt so far away from him and my family. Being exhausted, as we so often were, didn't help. It passed though and I'm sure Hillary's will too. At least, I doubt her homesickness will be constant. She'll get busy and enmeshed in the Austrian culture. I can't help being a little jealous. I mean, I'm in Greenville for goodness sakes. But I'm happy that she has this experience. How many people can say they studied abroad twice during their college career? Lucky girl.
Last week, I made a list of all the assignments that are due this semester and when they're due. Looking at October and November (and well, December too, to be honest) made me nervous. Things are going to be happening really quickly and I'm worried about how I will get everything done. And these aren't easy assignments...they will take time and actual work. I feel like I should always be working ahead but I need time to take a break too, right? My goal is just to not have to do anything over Fall Break. I want to dedicate all of my time during those four days to be with Ben.
So, that was my weekend along with a few things that are on my mind tonight. If this week isn't too crazy (and you never know), I will update again soon. :)
Friday, September 19, 2008
After I got out of class last night, I talked to my mom. She hit a deer last night. Or the deer hit her, as she described it. Her car is totaled. Bad news (or in this case, bad events) never have good timing, do they? What's more is that she doesn't have rental coverage on her insurance policy. I'm not sure what she's going to do. I hope she's able to get a car (or rental car) without too much money/trouble.
I've decided something about myself. I'm never going to be that polished girl. Nope...I'm always going to be a little disheveled. My hair, makeup, and clothes will never be perfect. That's just the way it is. I don't have it in me. It's something I need to come to terms with.
My mom asked me last night if I was happy. I told her no. I don't know if that was fair though. Am I as happy as I possibly could be? No. I would much rather be near Ben and my best friends. I would rather already have my Masters. But it isn't that easy, is it? So, my answer would have to be, I'm okay. I have to keep reminding myself that this is temporary. I'm scared though that I'm spending too much time rushing the days and not enough time trying to enjoy them. It's hard. I don't want to look back on this time and feel like I wasted it. Then again, let's be honest, if I get my Masters, it won't be a waste, regardless of how I spend the rest of my time.
Rasheeka, a friend of mine in the MFT program, has been making lots of great and supportive comments on my blog, which I appreciate. I feel like she and I are on the same wavelength. She mentioned how the ladies (and Bryan, of course) in the MFT program need to be there for each other during the tough times. I do hope that's the way it works out. Having a support system is really important and I feel like the one I've always had is far away...
On a brighter note, I'm going to stay with Sarah Beeler next weekend and will be seeing Sara Croninger's new show. I'm very excited and can't wait to see my ladies. :)
I really need to crack down tomorrow because I hardly got anything done today. I constantly feel this pressure to do stuff. I can't just sit and watch television anymore without feeling guilty. But I guess this is the way it's going to be for the next couple years. Dr. O'Dekirk said that a person can deal with (most) anything for two years. I hope he's right. I don't mean to sound so down or so negative but these are things I'm experiencing for the first time. The transition has not been easy for me. And maybe it hasn't been easy for the others either...we just don't talk about it. I wish we did...I could use that. I feel like everyone else is just so SURE. What if I end up being that person who doesn't make it? Angela said they'd only lost a few students along the way... I don't want to be a failure.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
We shared our genograms in class today and that was an interesting experience. I was in a group with three ladies who were all older than me, none of whom are in the MFT program. I was a little hesitant at first to share my personal family history with them but it actually turned out really well. They were inquisitive, intrigued, and supportive. When I mentioned how much I've struggled thus far this semester (more so in the very beginning than now), they instantly became very maternal, which I appreciated. They insisted that I would make it through the program and wouldn't quit. Even though they don't know me well (better now than before I shared my genogram), it was good to hear that from them. I enjoyed talking about my family...even though the patterns I found while doing my genogram were disturbing. First of all, a LOT of people in my family have dealt with or are dealing with alcohol or substance abuse. Secondly, almost everyone has been divorced at least once. Yeah, that's right, AT LEAST once. It scares me a little. When I was younger, I was really afraid that I too was destined for divorce. However, Dr. Hill often says something in class that gives me hope...our history does not define our destiny. So I have some sort of say in what happens to me. I'm thinking that, if I don't do a thesis, I might take an elective in substance abuse. I think it would help me come to terms with my family and give me the skills to help families like my own in the future.
Speaking of a thesis...wow, what a dilemma. Do one or not do one? I have several reasons to go either way. Do one - I might decide to get my Ph.D. one day and it would be helpful to have a thesis under my belt and I could get published in a journal. Don't do one - it doesn't look likely that I'll get my Ph.D., I'm not that interested in research, I don't know that I could dedicate myself to something as time consuming as a thesis, and I don't want to kill myself next year with classes, an internship, a possible assistantship, and a thesis. See my problem? I'm trying to set up an appointment with the director of the MFT program in hopes that she can give me some guidance. It's scary though...I feel like I need to decide my future RIGHT NOW. Most everyone else in the program has already decided to do a thesis. What's more is that they know exactly what their topic would be. I don't even know what general subject matter I would want to concentrate on. Oh man.
Ben and I talked for a long while tonight. I really look forward to our phone conversations. I mean, what else do I have right now? I am counting down the days to fall break like you wouldn't believe. I overheard a conversation on the bus today between two people who had no idea when fall break was. In my mind, I'm thinking, "How do you now know when it is? It's been in my planner for over a month!" But I didn't speak up. Maybe they don't have Atlanta and their boyfriends to look forward to. Tonight, we were trying to decide how we were going to see each other this summer. Yeah, it's several months down the road but there's nothing wrong with thinking ahead. We didn't come to any conclusions though. He doesn't know if he'll be taking classes all summer and I don't know how much time I will be devoting to my assistantship this summer, how many breaks we'll have, etc. It would be SO great if he could move up here for, at least, half the summer. The problem would be what to do with Miss Alice. We'd figure out something though, I think.
The more classes I have, especially the one I had today, the more I realize how I want to approach my own family. Today, for instance, I decided that I'm building a tree house with my kids. I want to have dinner together every night. I want to go camping together. I want to have board game nights. I want to do all the things as a family that my family never did. It makes me anxious to start one now. Obviously though, that isn't an option at the moment. Which is okay.
As a final note, my legs are really sore from the gym. I hope this working out will pay off.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Class went pretty well today and I turned in my first ever grad school assignment. It didn't seem like anyone was too confident about it though because Damon (my professor - they prefer us to call them by their first names) didn't provide an example. I guess I'll see when I get it back. I just don't feel competent yet...know what I mean? I look at the second year MFT students and they seem so ahead of me. I understand that they have a year under their belts but it feels like there's more than a year between us. I'm terrified of doing therapy and being supervised, which, I think, starts at the end of April. APRIL. That's really soon, if you think about it. Everyday, I wonder if this is what I'm supposed to be doing. Today, I was rereading an e-mail that O'Dekirk had sent me before the semester even began and I was feeling particularly low. That helped me a bit. He's so encouraging. This just seems like a really lonely process. I've been told by several people that grad school was the most miserable time of their lives, they were depressed the entire time, and thought seriously about quitting every semester. I can't even count how many time I've already considered quitting. It has less to do with whether I want to do this and more to do with whether (I think) I CAN do this.
I had a bit of a breakdown last night and I can't quite explain why. I was talking to my mom about getting a pet, which I would love to do, especially since I live alone. She asked what I would do with the pet when I went away for the weekends. I hadn't thought about that. Suddenly, my little bubble had burst and I was really irritated, for some reason. Then, I just started crying. I don't know why. Maybe some of it had to do with how overwhelming this weekend was. I had three assignments to work on, lots to read, and I tried to make time to go out with the other MFT students. Also, I did nothing yesterday but work. Staying in all day tends to depress me. I'm so afraid that I won't be able to balance everything and I'll either become a complete hermit or my grades will suffer.
I had a pretty vivid nightmare last night. My aunt Trish and I both died in a fire while trying to save my Grandma. What's more is that the professor for my Tuesday class, Jennifer, was the angel of death who offered her hand to Trish and me while wearing a fireman's uniform. After I went to Heaven, or wherever I was, the only thing I could think of was that Ben and I would never get to talk to each other again. Unless he died, which I didn't want him to do. It was depressing. Needless to say, the remainder of my night was pretty restless.
My research assistantship is going fairly well, I guess. Except that it's boring. And my supervisor's office is suffocating. Everyone who knows me well knows that I'm a neat freak. And this woman is MESSY. Just sitting in her office makes me feel claustrophobic. I start getting really antsy and want to get out of there quickly. She's nice, though, and flexible with my hours, which I appreciate. I just wish the things I'm doing were more relevant than they seem to be right now. I'm volunteering at the camp she organizes, Camp WholeHeart, in October which I'm both excited and hesitant about. I've never even gone to camp, much less been anything resembling a counselor. She says it's a lot of fun though.
I joined the gym today and I'm really proud of myself for doing it. I told myself all day that I was going to but I was afraid my laziness would kick in this afternoon. But I did it and I'm eager to start working out. I'm hoping it will help with some of my anxiety.
As a final note...I miss Meredith. And I miss my MC ladies. More and more everyday.