Tuesday, October 21, 2008

True Believer? We'll See...

I'm watching House and blogging at the same time so my writing may seem a bit...distracted. I try to combine my fun activities so that I don't feel like I'm spending too much time in leisure. I feel like I've taken a lot of leisure time the past couple days, though, and I know it's really going to catch up with me. This weekend, for instance, I have SO much I need to take care of. The due date for my biggest paper so far this semester is approaching quickly and I haven't started yet. It worries me but I think I'm trying to downplay how important the paper is so I won't stress out too much. I haven't decided yet if that's healthy.

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

Camp Recap

Is it really the end of the weekend? Where did it go? Sigh. It's been a weekend unlike any other I've had. Friday morning, I drove to Arapahoe for Camp WholeHeart. The trip in itself was pretty interesting because I got a little lost. That's my lack of direction sense for you, and the fact that camp was way back in the boondocks. I finally arrived in time for lunch and a lot of preparation before the kids showed up. When they did, chaos ensued. But it was nice to finally put faces with the names I've been reading for months. Soon, it was time for dinner and I have to say that Camp Don Lee (where Camp WholeHeart was held) knows how to do food. It certainly wasn't the camp food I had imagined. After dinner, we held the "opening ceremonies" because the theme for camp this year was the Olympics. I'm not sure that all the kids really got the significance of it but it was still fun to watch. The final event of the night was the campfire and, of course, smores. One of the campers, Alivia, latched herself onto me for the campfire, saying that we were going to be "the very best of friends". Yikes. I wasn't sure how to handle that but I was sweet to her. Did I mention that she was the one singing the national anthem at the TOP of her lungs? Needless to say, I was glad we were staying in different cabins. Don't get me wrong - she was a sweet kid, just a complete hand full. I went to bed that night at 9:30pm, which is typical of me only if I'm sick. I was just exhausted though. It was a good thing that I turned in early because I had a tough time sleeping. First of all, the kids were still up when I went to bed. So I could hear The Jonas Brothers and songs from the Grease soundtrack streaming in my window for the first couple hours. Oh, and little girls singing The Jonas Brothers...loudly. After that stopped, Nancy (my roommate) was really sawing some logs, if you know what I mean. She'd warned me that she snored but I didn't realize it would be that bad. I ended up falling asleep with my iPod on. Not ideal...but it worked. And I dreamed about Ben. Apparently, it was just meant to be a restless night.

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

Is it Christmas Yet?

It's almost the end of another week. I can't believe how quickly time is passing. In a way, it's good because Lord knows I am ready to be done with school. At the same time, I'm becoming overwhelmed by everything that is coming up in the next few weeks. Actually, the rest of the semester is going to be insane. Looking at my list of due dates makes me want to hyperventilate. Damon (one of my professors) told me that he hasn't enjoyed a Thanksgiving in years. That's really depressing, you know? I love Thanksgiving and I don't want to be stressed out the entire time. It'll probably be that way though. That's sort of how Fall Break was...I just couldn't let myself relax. I woke up after 10am one morning, my heart pounding. I can't sleep in anymore! And I'd promised myself I wouldn't do anything academic...I worked on assignments Saturday and Tuesday. So much for that promise. I suppose this is just something I'm going to have to get used to.

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

Counting Those Days Until Fall Break

So...this whole independent woman thing is beginning to fade. Don't get me wrong, I still see myself as being very independent and I'm fine being by myself. However, I can't ignore the fact that I'm also a big hopeless romantic and that I want to find the person I'm going to marry. Up until last Thursday, I thought Ben was that person. I thought I was on my way to getting engaged. Now, I've been set all the way back. It's like landing on a "go back to the beginning" spot during a board game. Not that it's a race or anything. I don't know why I want so badly to get married. I can't really put my finger on the reason. It's not as if many of the relationships in my family have been successful. What's more is that I know the more I look for it, the less likely it's going to come...and yet, I still look. When I met Ben, it was completely unexpected. I have a feeling that it will be next time too. And there's no telling how long I'm going to have to wait. As they say, you can't hurry love. Until then, I'll just try to enjoy doing my own thing, getting through school, enjoying time with my friends and family. But that doesn't mean I won't be a little bitter when I see a happy couple kissing or holding hands. I just want that...is it so wrong? Since it's been two months since Ben and I saw each other, I feel like it's been longer than a week since I haven't had it (though I've only been single for about that long). I'm going to try SO hard to be patient and trust that God will send my own Edward Cullen this way (sorry, Twilight reference).

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


I didn't think I would be writing this soon after my last entry. I thought it would take much longer to get my life back on track, as I put it. And things aren't perfect by any means but I'm trying to move on.

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 :).