Wednesday, June 24, 2009

They Say That Bad Things Come in Threes...

And if that's true...I think I've just had my third one. At least I hope that's the last of it for a while. My mom found out that she lost her job today. She went to work this morning, thinking everything was business as usual, just to be called into a meeting and laid off. My dad lost his job in April of this year so I'm not entirely sure where that leaves my parents as far as finances go, not to mention morale. I just can't believe this has happened. I was under the impression that my mom's job was secure and took comfort in that fact after my dad lost his. But no one's job is secure anymore. It's easy to pretend that this economic crisis isn't happening until it comes knocking at your door.

When my mom called me, I was at the clinic waiting on my clients. While talking to her, I noticed that they were late and was beginning to assume that, thankfully, they weren't going to show. I was very upset and in no shape to see clients. At 12:15 (their appointment was for 12), they walked in the door. Super. THANK GOD Edwina (our clinic administrative assistant) was there. I walked into her office and was so visibly upset that Edwina sprung into action immediately. She explained to my clients that I had just received some personal news and would not be able to see them today. I didn't even know we could do that. Edwina rocked my socks today. And I think she should be a therapist herself. She sat with me after my clients left and just talked to me about the whole situation. I left the clinic feeling loads better than I would have had she not been there.

My last two entries have been rather melancholy...I'm hoping to provide something more sunny after my New York trip. :)

It Wasn't Long Enough

Sometimes, songs can say EXACTLY what you're feeling if you listen closely enough. I tend to pay special attention to lyrics and, yesterday, I heard this Rascal Flatts song that really spoke to how I'm going to be feeling soon.


I miss you so much
your light, your smile, your way
and everything about us
though you're gone, you're still here
in my heart, in my tears

Yeah you sure left your mark
we were just gettin’ started

It wasn’t long enough
it wasn’t long enough together
but it was long enough
yeah it was long enough
to last forever

Sometimes I get so mad
I scream, I swear at this
'cause this isn’t how we planned it
I sit here in a cold room
prayin, waitin’ on you

To run back though that door
to the way it was before you left

It wasn’t long enough
it wasn’t long enough together
but it was long enough
yeah, it was long enough to last forever

I’ve been cheated, defeated, can't believe that you're gone

It wasn’t long
it wasn’t long enough
it wasn’t long enough
it wasn’t long enough

No no no

It wasn’t long enough
it wasn’t long enough together
but it was long enough
yeah, it was long enough
to last to last to last forever

No, it wasn’t long enough.

-Rascal Flatts

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some Much Needed Girl Time...and a New Addition

This week is passing far too slowly. On Thursday afternoon, James and I are leaving for New York and I'm very excited. However, everything between me and Thursday is moving like molasses. Tomorrow will be an especially long day with my internship and 4 clients on the agenda. Fortunately, I'm having dinner with Jamie tomorrow night so that gives me something to look forward to.

Hillary came to visit this weekend and it was really nice to spend some one-on-one time with her. This was the first chance we've had to do so in a long time. She arrived Saturday afternoon and I felt bad allowing my guest to just sit around the apartment so we went off to the mall. Now, Hillary is accustomed to Crabtree Valley Mall and our little mall hardly compares. But she was a good sport. And American Eagle was selling underwear for $1.95! After the mall, we had dinner at East Coast Wings which has become a favorite hangout of my MFT friends. I think the menu item that keeps bringing us back is the cookie skillet. You've probably had something similar - chocolate chip cookies on a skillet with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce - but you've NEVER had one like this. It's amazing. Happiness in your mouth. I could probably eat a whole one by myself but I wouldn't allow it...except maybe on my birthday. Or the day James deploys. I think Hillary enjoyed the delicious cookie skillet nearly as much as I did. Conveniently located by East Coast Wings is the movie theatre and we dropped in to see The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. It was SO good! I read in a magazine that the critics only gave it 2/4 stars but it usually turns out that I love the movies hated by critics. Perhaps that says something about my taste but oh well. I was a little worried that the funniest bits of the movie were the ones shown in the trailer but that wasn't the case at all. I recommend this movie if you're feeling romantic and in need of a laugh. After Hillary and I returned to my apartment, we watched Wedding Crashers (I saw a theme forming in our film choices...) and Hillary fell asleep on my couch, bringing an end to the night.
Sunday, we had lunch at the new Hibachi Japan near my apartment before going to pick up my kitty! We brought her home and she quickly began to explore her new environment. I realized that the flimsy litterbox she came with was just not going to cut it. So Hillary and I headed off to Target where I spent exorbitant amounts of money (not only on cat stuff but other things I just HAD to have) as I usually do in that store. On the way home, we grabbed smoothies at the wonderful Tropical Smoothie Cafe. Their smoothies are expensive but worth it because they're huge and last forever! Not to mention super tasty. We were lazy for the rest of the day, lounging around and watching Hairspray and Made of Honor (another wedding movie, hmm...). I was so glad to be able to spend this weekend with my best friend. Things just haven't been the same without having her right next door.

Since then, I've just been trying to adjust to life with a pet. I have to admit that I've gotten rather frustrated with Charlotte (that's what I named her...obviously) at times. I just have to keep reminding myself that she is only a kitten and will grow out of this rambunctiousness eventually. The biggest issue I have seems to be when I try to use the computer. She is attracted to electronics like no other and loves to walk all over the keyboard when I'm trying to type! If she keeps this up, I have no idea how I'll be able to write papers next semester. Any advice on how to stop this would be much appreciated. Otherwise, she's a very sweet cat. She follows me from room to room and even sits outside the tub when I'm showering! Today, she woke me up at 7am but that was actually okay because I needed to get up anyway. And I love when she curls up next to me on the couch and goes to sleep. :)

Until next time...happy Tuesday. =)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time is Simultaneously Passing Too Quickly and Not Quickly Enough

I just returned from Buffalo Wild Wings a little bit ago. I suppose that's one good thing about being an adult...the ability to drop everything and go out with friends. Maybe not the most responsible thing but definitely the most fun. I left the restaurant, however, in a bit of a low mood and I'm not sure why. It was good to see my MFT friends. Since the summer began and we aren't with each other for 12 hours of classes per week, I feel like we hardly ever get the chance to catch up. We all have such busy schedules with our different clients, internships, and assistantships stretching us all over Greenville (and Snow Hill). Maybe I felt low because we had been talking about school. It's pretty much inevitable when we're together as that is the most obvious thing we all have in common but, sometimes, I just want to forget that I'm even in grad school. Then again, I suppose we all need some time to vent about things and who understands better than those who are in the same boat? We didn't stay too long but I enjoyed it. Another possible source of my low mood was that we talked a little bit about the deployment. It wasn't in detail but still, just thinking about it and verbalizing it made me blah. I wanted to call James after I left the restaurant but he has staff duty tonight and is, therefore, occupied. Fortunately, I had a good phone conversation with my mom and felt much more chipper afterward.

Today actually brought some exciting developments. Sam and I have decided to move in together for the next year and we think we found our apartment today. It has wood floors, a fireplace, a big balcony, a spacious kitchen and living room area, walk-in closets, and bedrooms that are nearly equal in size. What's even better is that I'll be paying less than I do at my current apartment for a nicer place. I'm very excited about living with Sam. I think we'll be able to help each other through the struggles that are to come in the next year. Also, with James leaving, it will be extremely helpful to come home to an apartment that isn't empty. Oh, and how good of a friend is Sam? She took off of work the day that James deploys (more on that later) so she can be with me. I don't know how I got so lucky when it comes to friends.

The other bit of exciting news is that I'm getting a kitten! Bryan's brother, Jeff, has a friend who found a kitten and is trying to get a home for her. Right now, Kristy has taken her in but can't keep her. I didn't think I'd be able to either (the pet fee at my current apartment is $350 - way too steep for me) but since I'm moving, it's perfect to get a pet! I need to figure out a name for her so suggestions are welcome. Hopefully, she will also help to alleviate my loneliness.

That was my day in a on to this past weekend...

It all began on Thursday. I arrived at my internship and actually had, what I felt to be, a very successful session with one of my clients. So, I was feeling pretty good...up until about 10am. I received a text message from James saying that he had found out when he would be deploying. He wanted to know if I'd like to hear it then or later. I thought about it. Either I learned of it then and it ruined my day or I worried about it for the next several hours and it ruined my day. It wasn't looking good. I asked to know then. As it turns out, he is in the advanced party and will be leaving July 27th, as opposed to early-mid August as we had expected. For the next 30 minutes, I just sat in my office, starring at the wall. Oh, and crying. It wasn't a proud moment for me but I didn't know what else to do. Eventually, Kasey came in (one of the counselors I work with, who also graduated from my MFT program) and the whole story came out. I was just waiting for someone to talk to. I felt a little better afterward but I still didn't think I would be useful at my internship so I left for a couple hours. It seemed too strange to just carry on with my daily activities given the recent news. For the rest of the day, I was in a bit of a daze and just grateful that I would be seeing James that night instead of having to wait for the next day.

The next day, I really just wanted to concentrate on having fun with James. We woke up very early (5am - ok, a little after...I didn't want to wake up) to get ready for his pro-ball tournament. Pro-ball is a cross between football and rugby and I'm pretty sure the Army created it. The major difference between pro-ball and those two sports is the lack of equipment - no helmets, no pads, no cup - just skin, bones, and blood (lots of blood, I came to find out). And let me tell you, they are SERIOUS about this game and they rarely play nice. I watched as a man was knocked unconscious. Others were walking around, covered in mud and blood. James was forced to bare his midrift as two of his shirts were completely ripped. Some of the other injuries we later learned of included a broken nose, broken collarbone, broken finger, and one guy is nondeployable because of this game! I asked James if he thought it was worth all of that and it didn't surprise me when he said it was, that it was fun. I have to admit that it was exciting to watch him play (he's good at it). However, every time they called for the medic, I got a little nervous, jumping up to make sure James was still on his feet. He managed to escape with some cuts and scrapes and at least two days of being very sore.

That night was the military ball. Actually, it was the SEND OFF ball. Hmm. I chose to have my hair professionally done for the night as I can never do much with it. I was a little scared about someone in Fayetteville doing my hair though, to be honest. Maybe it's wrong for me to feel that way but, I had basically closed my eyes and pointed at a place on the map. I didn't know what kind of sketchy sketch place I had to expect. I was lucky though and the woman I had did wonders with my hair. As a perk, she didn't try to make awkward conversation with me. I was almost too worn out from the tournament to be much of a conversational partner anyway.

The ball was certainly entertaining. As nice as it was to see James all dressed up, it also brought everything home for me. That feeling was intensified at the ball when the colonel spoke of the upcoming deployment and how much he appreciated the sacrifice families made watching their man go off to war. I was really glad when he just stopped talking. Overall though, I made it through the night (the ball, at least) without getting too emotional. Dinner was good and the comedian was much funnier than any of us expected. During his act, one man had to literally be thrown out because he was too drunk and couldn't keep his mouth shut. His poor wife (for more than one reason) was left in there by herself. I bet he slept on the couch that night.

It was after the ball that things got really interesting. When we got back to James's apartment, a lot was on my mind and I just couldn't hold it in anymore. I lost it. I just sat on the edge of his bed, still in my dress and shoes, and bawled into my knees. I don't think he quite knew what to do with me. I just felt ANGRY. I was angry about his leaving, about having to continue in this grad program knowing how insane I'm going to be and how I'm going to have to do it without his support, which I've gotten used to. He handled my outburst very well and even said some really wise things (though I think they just made me more angry at the time). He said that what happens to us has more to do with our attitudes than any external events. That's when I realized how bad my attitude has been (maybe his calling me out on it is what made me angry - but I needed to hear it). And so, to follow James's advice, I'm going to start being more conscious about my attitude and how it affects my day.

I think that outpouring of emotion was exactly what I needed and the rest of the weekend went well. We had dinner Saturday night at a Japanese restaurant and watched a scary movie (The Uninvited - I recommend it) and just relaxed on Sunday, watching another movie (Role Models - better than I expected). It's ALWAYS so hard to leave him but he was heading home that afternoon and I had work to do so I felt it best that I return to Greenville earlier than I might have liked.

So, there it is, friends. It's funny how things tend to turn out so differently than how we planned.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taste of Summer

Good evening, ya'll :). I had promised to update with more regularity so here is what's on my mind tonight...

Have you ever seen Legends of the Fall? I watched it for the first time this weekend with James and it had a pretty profound effect on me...I've been thinking about it for the last couple days. It's probably one of the saddest movies I've ever seen. There's death, war, betrayal, violence, unrequited love. I think it was the war that got to me the most, especially since I was watching it with James. The movie begins in 1914 so, naturally, the war scenes were very different from what you would see today but it was still difficult to watch. In one part, Brad Pitt's character watches his little brother bombarded with bullets against a barbwire fence. After he dies, Brad Pitt cuts out his heart to take back to their family. Talk about devastating. All I kept thinking about was James's heart coming back to the States in a box. Sorry - gruesome, I know. But you can see why this scene would be upsetting to me. Just so much tragedy befell this one family. And where did it start? The war. I just have a very hard time imagining my boyfriend doing what those men were doing. Again, it was 1914, I know...but it's no less terrifying today. Maybe even more so. Anyway, if you do decide to view this movie...bring the tissues. It's powerful.

Fortunately, not my entire weekend was depressing. On Friday evening, I headed into Raleigh to meet up with James. We didn't do much but, after the week we both had, it was nice to just relax with each other. On Saturday afternoon, I left James to spend time with his brother and joined Jamie, Kristy, and Will for tailgating before the Brad Paisley concert. I had never actually tailgated before but it ended up being a really good time. I felt like I hadn't spent much time with my MFT friends lately so it was nice to catch up with a couple of them. We managed to avoid talking about school for most of the night which is usually difficult when we get together. Our seats for the concert were on the lawn and we had the opportunity to see some very interesting things while we were there...mostly drunk people behaving badly. For instance, one very drunk man practically rolled down the hill all over Jamie. She was okay and probably took it better than I would have. Later, an older woman got all huffy because she was worried that Kristy was going to spill her drink on her. Okay, look, when you get seat on the lawn, you have to keep in mind that stuff is going to happen. You will probably be stepped on, rolled over, or splashed with beer at some point. You may even be inappropriately groped on the way to the bathroom. It hasn't happened to me but it does happen. The concert was great and Brad Paisley is a very talented performer. Later that evening, I was supposed to meet up with James at his brother Michael's house. I should have known I was going to have a difficult time getting back. I somehow ended up in Garner but I suppose I'm becoming accustomed to getting lost because I set myself straight again without too much trouble. When I finally made it to Michael's house, I was able to meet his girlfriend, Janice, as well as his roommates. We sat around a fire in the backyard for a bit before calling it a night.

Sundays are always a bit depressing for James and me...for a couple reasons. First of all, neither of us particularly enjoy what we're doing right now and Sunday means that Monday is just right around the corner. Secondly, it means that another week stands between us being able to see one another again. So, we both tend to be in a lower mood on Sunday. However, we didn't have a bad day at all. On Sunday afternoon, we ended up back at Michael's house. That is where we watched the previously mentioned Legends of the Fall (and I cried my eyes out). Usually, I'm very concerned about the time and getting back to Greenville in order to organize myself for the week but this time...I just didn't CARE. I wanted to soak up as much time with James as possible. It was nice to pretend it was just the summer and I could do whatever I pleased. I knew I would probably pay for it the next day but that didn't seem to matter much. Instead, we had a cookout with Michael and his friends. For a few moments, it truly felt like summer vacation...until we had to return to reality and head home. Overall though...really good weekend.

I have some exciting events coming up... This Friday is the military ball. I've never been to one and, honestly, I didn't think I'd have another chance to really dress up (until my wedding?) after graduating from Meredith. So I'm quite excited. The following weekend, Hillary is coming to visit me in Greenville for the first time and I'll be showing her the sights (hardy har har). And the weekend after that...I'm off to New York for the first time ever! Look for pictures in the weeks to come! =)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Better Late Than Never

I'm nearly a month overdue on when I said I would write a new entry but, as my title suggests, it's better late than never. I guess I had been under the impression that I would have loads of free time after classes ended but that has hardly been the case. My days are still filled. Not with the most interesting stuff, albeit, but still filled. When I haven't written in a while, my dilemma is trying to remember everything that has happened. And a lot has happened. Unfortunately, my blogs won't be quite as fun to read as Sara's and Molly's who are in Italy and Iceland, respectively. I'm jealous...I'll be the first to admit that. I'm in Greenville, NC, for goodness sakes. Speaking of which, over these last couple weeks, I've been absolutely itching to get out of the country. I think it's because all my friends are rendezvousing through Europe this summer. It's been far too long since I did the same. My favorite teacher from high school, Ms. Coleman (though she has recently allowed me to call her my her first name, Season) recently joined Facebook and she mentioned a trip to Spain that is coming up in summer 2010. I'm seriously considering making this trip a reality for me. I've never been to Spain and it would be a great graduation gift (that my parents don't know about yet). I long to travel the world!

Ok, so...on to my life update. I will try to be as brief as possible, for your sake. ;)

I finished my first year of grad school. It's difficult to wrap my mind around, especially since we don't have an official break for the I feel like the year is just continuing (which, technically, I suppose it is). So let me rephrase that. I completed my second semester of graduate school. And can I just tell you that second semester was, to be blunt, HELL. I've never had a more difficult semester in all my school years. On the same day, we started our internships and began seeing clients on our own. Simultaneously, we were trying to wrap up our classes (a.k.a. we had papers, exams, and presentations to make it through) and most of us were completing the last of our assistantships. Some of us (me) were also starting new assistantships with Greene County Healthcare and trying to make time to shadow MFTs at those locations. It was RIDICULOUS. We were losing sleep (I pulled on all-nighter at the clinic with Sam on my 23rd birthday...I should NOT know that the cleaning lady comes at 5am...but I do and how I found out makes for a funny story - ask me sometime), not eating well, and not getting much exercise. I can't speak for anyone else but I had really let myself go and I'm paying now for the bad habits I acquired during those weeks (i.e. eating when I get stressed, which is often, and passing on the gym for a nap - hey, you gotta do what you gotta do). Let's just say that a huge sigh of relief was heard among the MFTs on May 7th when the semester was officially over. For the first time in about a month, we didn't have 10 million tasks hanging over our heads. It was nice. And to celebrate, I headed home for the weekend.

Before I proceed to the next part of my update, I should note that I've started dating someone. His name is James and we met at the Hibernian in Raleigh during my Spring Break. It was a totally unexpected meeting, believe me. I'll explain. The night of Laura's bachelorette party, I arrived back at Meredith and Molly let me in the dorm (darn outdated CamCard). As it was, she and her friend Rasika (who I ended up liking very much) were going downtown to the Hibernian and asked if I wanted to go. I had driven to Raleigh from home that day and had been going ever since. I was exhausted and no shape to hit the bars. But it was my Spring Break and I didn't want to pass up an opportunity for fun. Well, after we arrived at the Hibernian, I began regretting my decision. The three of us were descended upon by a very drunk, very obnoxious man from Boston who was watching the basketball game and being quite vocal about which team he wanted to win. As irritating as he was, he was also entertaining...but as soon as he learned that Molly was from Boston, Rasika and I no longer existed. I was bored and my glass was empty. Crisis. To make a long story short, James and two of his friends, Tadd and Kendall, ended up rescuing us from the drunk Bostonian and inviting us to sit at their table for a bit...which we did until 2am. We saw them the next night (this time with Hillary) and the next night (with Ashley). James and I have been together ever since (though it didn't become official until April 24th). Coincidentally, Molly ended up dating James's friend, Kendall...which works out nicely for double dates and whatnot. :) So, there's the backstory.

The weekend after classes ended, James and I both went home (our homes are about 45 minutes or so from each other) and met each other's families. I got off easy on this one. I met his parents and two brothers (Jason who is older and Michael who is younger). Everyone was very nice. Well, I assume Jason is nice. He'd just woken from a nap and, like me, he isn't very conversational after just waking up. I understood though. James, however, had the pleasure of attending my Grandma's surprise 75th birthday party and met about 50 members of my family at once (that may be a bit of an exaggeration but there were lots of people). I think he had a good time and everyone seemed to like him, especially that he's a bit of a country boy. My family is big on that sort of thing. And he had the opportunity to see me dance, which is pretty rare. Below is a picture of when my Grandma realized she had just walked into her surprise party. I love her face.

The next day was Mother's Day and graduation at Meredith, which I attended with my own mother. It was absolutely surreal to be watching the Class of 2009 graduate. I could not (and still cannot) believe that a year has passed since I graduated from college. So much has happened in this last year! I was super jealous too. Class of 2009 was able to have Class Day and graduation in the gorgeous Meredith amphitheatre whereas my graduation was rained out. Meredith students dream of graduating there and I didn't get the chance to. Clearly, I'm still bitter about it. Even so, it was good to see Hillary graduate there. I'm quite proud of her.

So, what's happened since that eventful weekend? I've been seeing clients on my own for nearly 2 months now (also hard to believe) and it's had its ups and downs. I've also started doing integrated care as a Medical Family Therapist at two medical centers in Snow Hill, NC. I have to admit that integrated care has not been my favorite. However, I'm trying to have a more positive attitude about my assistantship. Being negative only makes my days longer. And if the positivity starts to fade, it will all be over July 31st. :) Team began a couple weeks ago. Team consists of watching a live therapy session through the two-way mirror. Damon is my supervisor and I have a great team - Jodi, Kristy, Sam, Jamie, and Marina. Even so, I'm nervous about having my turn in front of them. I don't have a client yet who is willing to do team but I know it's only a matter of time. When that time does come, I will surely be scared out of my mind. I don't like being watched - it makes me so nervous - but I guess it's something I will have to get past. So far, it's been an enjoyable experience. It's just funny to me because, when I first heard of team, it seemed so far away...

Molly stayed with me in Greenville until she left for Iceland last Friday. I was really excited about her visit and it ended up being a great time. It made me realize that I would like a roommate. It was refreshing to have someone to come home to, to talk to at night, to vent to when I had a bad day, and to have dinner with. I'd forgotten how nice that was because I've been living in solitude for so long! She was a great roomie...especially when she cooked dinner or baked cookies (love ya, Molly). The day she left, she woke up to tell me goodbye before I took off for the clinic and it didn't hit me until I was in the car that I was quite sad to see her go. I almost wanted to cry a little bit. But she'll only be abroad for a month and I think I can handle that.

I've been trying to spend as much time with James as possible which, unfortunately, is limited to the weekends due to our schedules. What I failed to mention earlier is that James is in the Army and will be deploying at the end of the summer. I'm sure it just became a bit clearer as to why I'm desperate to spend time with him. I won't delve too much into how unfair this all is and how we're hardly able to be together before we're ripped apart for a year. Nope, I'm just going to say that I'm taking it the best I can. I don't want to think about August. I'm a little bit in denial. I saw him in his uniform last weekend for the first time and it made everything more real for me. Anyway, enough of that for now.

Memorial Day weekend, James and I, along with Molly and Kendall and a friend of the boys', Jesse and his girlfriend, Janna, went to Carolina Beach for a mini-vacation that we all needed. We ate at some really good restaurants, spent a beautiful day in the sun, and just enjoyed being carefree with each other. It was VERY hard to return to Greenville. Summer means the beach for me and I definitely want to go back...soon.

That's the gist of my last several weeks. I will attempt to update with more regularity in the future so as not to write a novel!