Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blue Christmas? I hope not.

This break has not been what I expected...thus far. Maybe I go looking for bad things. I was thinking about that today. Perhaps the reason these things keep happening is because I keep expecting them to happen. At the same time, I'm almost afraid to not expect them when they've been happening so often. I'll explain.

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

Standing at a Crossroads

I don't have a set topic in mind for this entry...so do excuse me if I ramble a bit.

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 Raleigh to meet up with Sara, Molly, and Ashley so we could exchange gifts. We also got a cookie cake (those things are way too good) and saw Twilight (yes, it was my 3rd time – don’t judge). It was so much fun to see it with them because they’re just as obsessed as I am. And watching Sara drool over Jasper was pretty fun too. When I’m with them, especially when we’re at Meredith, everything feels right again. It’s like nothing has changed, nothing bad has happened over these last few months. I’m happy again. The hardest part is always leaving…because then, I’m brought back to reality. I’m not a Meredith student anymore, I don’t live in Stringfield. I’m a grad student at ECU and I live in Greenville. Sigh. If Meredith had had a graduate program in marriage and family therapy, I would have seriously considered getting myself even further in debt to enroll in it. I miss that school, my friends, and Raleigh so much every day. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some nice people here but…it can just never been the same. And I’m fooling myself if I think it can.

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 Greenville. I have no husband, not even a boyfriend, no children, no family here… Of course, even if Ben and I were still together, I really doubt he could have made it to this party. It’s just hard seeing all the couples together, looking very happy, and knowing that I’m going home to my empty apartment. I had the option of going over to Kristy’s tonight…a few other people were going over but, honestly, I just wasn’t in the mood anymore. As lonely as I feel, I just wanted to be…alone. I guess this is just sort of the way it’s going to be for a while, huh? I need to get used to it. I’m kind of glad tonight is over.

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.