Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 7

Day 7 - A picture that shows your true self.

How I usually look on the outside.

How I usually feel on the inside.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Today, I accepted a job offer with Triumph, LLC. I'll be starting out as an Intensive In-Home Team Specialist and, once my provisional license is official (Lord willing), I'll move up to Team Lead. I'm excited about it but I'm trying not to allow myself to get TOO excited. I was way too excited about my last job and it, well, blew up in my face. I did do more research before accepting this offer, as far as talking to others who work for, or have worked for, the company. I've gotten surprisingly good reviews (surprising because I was afraid they would be otherwise). Before I started at Youth Villages, I just sort of ignored what few things I heard about it (because they were bad and I wasn't about to let anyone burst my bubble). I wanted to be much more cautious this time and, hopefully, it'll pay off. My training starts on Monday. While I will be very sad to give up all the free time I've had, I won't miss the days of just wandering around the apartment with nothing to do and no money to spend. It'll feel good to have something with which to fill my days. Or, at least, I say that now. ;)

I've been having a tough time sleeping for the last few nights and I'm not sure why. I moved my TV into the living room after Brandon left, so I had to get used to sleeping in silence again (I'm not a fan). I tried playing soft music on my ipod but that ended up keeping me awake worse than the TV. Even when I do fall asleep, I wake up again shortly thereafter. My body feels so tired but I just can't sleep.

This evening, I finished off the second book I've read all the way through in the longest time. Again, I recommend Loving Him Without Losing You to every woman I know. I do hope the new job will still allow some time for my newly rediscovered love of reading.

Day 6

Day 6 - A picture of somewhere you've been.

From my study abroad experience in Summer 2007 - Cardiff, Wales.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 - A picture of your favorite memory.

I couldn't narrow it down to 1 so...

At the movie premiere of Harry Potter and the Order of the London!

My graduation from of the few times all my favorite people were in the same place.

Meeting one of my feminist idols - the great Gloria Steinem.

Graduating from ECU and putting behind me one of the hardest, but most rewarding, experiences of my life.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 4

Day 4 - A picture of my day.

Or, at least, my day so far. And as I don't plan on too much more happening today, here it is...

I woke up to this:

Though this one doesn't depict the snow/sleet that was also falling on this 28th day of March. It IS Spring, right?

Then, I interviewed here:

The outcome of which is TBD. This week...I'll be mailing off my LMFTA application. Jamie moves in on Saturday. My parents are also probably coming to town on Saturday to bring my (likely temporary) couch and my ECU diploma (finally!). Changes, changes...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Day 3

Day 3 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

For me, it's a toss up between...

Criminal Minds and...


Day 2

Day 2 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest.

My mom, of course.

On a separate note...Brandon moved out today. It went about how I had expected it to. The gloomy weather was appropriate and certainly reflected my mood. We weren't ugly toward each other in the least, which may have made things even more difficult to some degree. With him went the couch, chair, ottoman, entertainment center, and TV...leaving the living room pretty empty. Looking at that open space, I felt the most alone I've felt since we broke up. I didn't realize how much I'd still been depending on him, at least emotionally, knowing that he was still in the area. Now, he's just going to feel so far away. I still believe that everything happens for a reason but, unfortunately, telling myself that over and over does little to ease the hurt.

I am a dreamer and when I wake,
You can't break my spirit - it's my dreams you take.
And as you move on, remember me,
Remember us and all we used to be.

Goodbye my lover.
Goodbye my friend.
You have been the one.
You have been the one for me.

Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt

Friday, March 25, 2011

30 Day Project...Just For Kicks

So, I've seen people participating in this 30 Day Project thing and, just because I want to do something a little bit fun, I'm going to do it too.

Day 1 - A picture of yourself + 10 facts

One of my favorites (thanks, Hillary)...from a simpler time.

1. I'm almost always early, every where I go. Even earlier if I'm going to a place I've never been before.
2. I'm addicted to cupcakes. Surprising me with cupcakes is pretty much the way to my heart.
3. I usually sleep with my head under the covers, especially if I'm sleeping alone. I create my own little makes me feel safe and cozy. :)
4. I could watch re-runs of Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU all day, every day.
5. I have scoliosis. I had surgery for it in 2000 but my back will never be "quite right".
6. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I can hear my neighbors talking while inside my apartment.
7. I wanted to quit grad school almost every single day I was in it...I'm glad I didn't. I now consider it one of my biggest life accomplishments thus far.
8. I'm "in love" with actor Matthew Gray Gubler and he's definitely my "type".
9. I have a hard time talking about myself, especially pointing out my strengths. However, with all the job interviews I've gone on recently, I think I've gotten better.
10. I have a habit of twirling the rings on my fingers, mostly when I'm bored, thinking, or nervous.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I recently started reading a new book called Loving Him without Losing You. I feel like this book was written for me, which is weird because I just stumbled upon it while looking for a friend's birthday gift. In it, the author (Beverly Engel) describes what she calls the Disappearing Woman syndrome, which is when a woman completely loses herself in a relationship. Engel explains that this syndrome is actually on a continuum with women at each extreme as well as in the middle. Personally, based on the description of the continuum, I feel like I'm in the middle somewhere. In one of the earlier chapters of the book, it asked me to list all the ways I feel like I "disappear" in relationships. It wasn't hard to do. I won't go into detail but I was able to list 10 ways I disappear. These were things that I had noticed before but a) didn't want to admit because, come on, I'm a feminist for goodness sakes b) didn't think it was the phenomenon it appears to be and c) had no idea what to do to go about changing it. Engel lists 7 strategies (or "commitments", as she calls them - commitments to YOURSELF) for maintaining a healthy, solid sense of self while in a relationship:
  1. Learn to go slowly.
  2. Be yourself and tell the truth about yourself.
  3. Maintain a separate life.
  4. Stay in the present and in reality.
  5. Don't go changing to try to please him.
  6. Cultivate equal relationships.
  7. Speak your mind.
I definitely recommend getting this book, even if you don't think you lose yourself in relationships. According to Engel, and I agree, almost all women disappear to some extent - thanks to culture (society!), psychology, and biology. I'm taking some of my time as a single (and, sadly, unemployed) woman to strengthen my own sense of self and, hopefully, be much more confident in who I am the next time I choose to get into a relationship...whenever that may be ;).

A few weeks ago, I made a post-breakup CD (it's what I do) and, as a few of my friends and acquaintances are also experiencing the end of a relationship, I thought I would share the songs.

  1. King of Anything - Sara Bareilles
  2. Firework - Katy Perry
  3. Forget You - Cee Lo Green
  4. What the Hell - Avril Lavigne
  5. A Little Bit Stronger - Sara Evans
  6. Ridin' Solo - Jason Derulo
  7. Stronger - Glee Cast (you may prefer the Britney version but I'm a Gleek!)
  8. Magic - B.o.B. w/ Rivers Cuomo (really has nothing to do with breaking up - just makes me feel good!)
  9. Defying Gravity - Glee Cast
  10. Single Ladies - Beyonce (duh)
  11. Believe - Cher (don't hate)
  12. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler
  13. Just Fine - Mary J. Blige
  14. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

Sunday, March 20, 2011

No Steam

Today, Brandon came by to start packing his things. He's officially moving to New Bern next weekend. And, tomorrow, we've been broken up for one month. It's hard to believe that so much time has already passed. When we moved to Morrisville in January, I certainly didn't think he would be moving out in March. The same sorts of things keep cycling through my thoughts and I know my friends and family have to be tired of me talking about it but I just can't figure it out. As I was telling my mom earlier...this is something that we just can't see eye to eye on and probably never will. I can't understand his decision and he can't understand why I feel the way I do about it. But the process is almost over, at least the moving part of it, and I think we'll both be a little less stressed when it is.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chasing Pavements

Brandon took his name off the lease today. I don't really know how I feel about it. It's a relief to have a roommate to fill his place but...she's not really "filling his place". He even seemed more sad today than I've seen him in the past. I knew it was coming but didn't realize exactly how I was going to feel when it actually happened.

My new roomie, Jamie, is planning to move in around April 1st. I just hope my lucky streak when it comes to roommates (i.e. Hillary, Sam - boys excluded) continues. After Brandon moves, I'll still have some things in the apartment to rearrange, a.k.a. moving all of my crap out of Jamie's soon-to-be room. The whole apartment is a work in progress. I haven't been very motivated to decorate the walls but I'm getting to it. I want very much for it to be a place I enjoy coming home to.

I'm in the process of applying for my Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Associate (LMFTA) status and it's a serious pain in the butt. It's $200, first of all, with which I'm going to have a really hard time separating. Secondly, I have to find someone to be my supervisor because he/she has a form to sign. Then, I have to obtain 3 endorsement/recommendation forms. I have to attach course descriptions from grad school to the application. And the whole thing has to be notarized...all by April 1st! Seriously...after graduating from an accredited program and passing the licensure exam, you would think that's enough. Oh no. As much as I hate it, I have a feeling I'll end up driving to Greenville sometime this week. Yay.

Still no news on the job front. I have another interview tomorrow but who knows. I keep hoping this is going to be the week it happens.

Kristy introduced me to a new church yesterday called Journey. I really liked it...though I still miss Port City. That was, by far, the best church I've ever been to. But, unless I want to settle for watching it online (which isn't nearly the same), I have to find a new place. The sermon yesterday was very relevant to my current situation and I was hoping it would be. God has a way of working out that sort of thing.

And that's the update for now. I'm melancholy today, if you can't tell by my tone. I feel like I'm continuously running in place and I'm just so ready to go somewhere.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Even on My Weakest Days, I Get a Little Bit Stronger

I haven't had a real entry in quite some time because I've been considering what exactly to write. I feel like, over the last year, I've been writing about nothing but all the changes in my life. Why is my life always in constant flux? At least, I feel like it is. I'm one of those people who NEEDS stability and consistency but they escape me. In January, my life changed a lot. In February, it changed a good deal more. We're nearly halfway through March and I'm exhausted. Things seriously need to settle down.

On February 21st, Brandon and I broke up. It is a LONG and drawn out story but the basic gist is that he was offered a job in New Bern, NC and decided to take it. I was given the option to go with him but decided against it. I had just gotten back to the place I felt I belonged...the Raleigh area is almost more of a home to me than the city I'm actually from. My friends are here and my family is nearby. Job opportunities for me are here. I couldn't go anywhere. It wasn't an easy decision, though I made it quickly. It was just very clear to me. Not to mention the fact that I'd been in this apartment for exactly one month and couldn't stand the thought of packing everything up again and going through the physical and emotional turmoil of moving. And I knew that New Bern had nothing to offer me (aside from Brandon)...I would be at least an hour and a half from anyone I knew. Some people can live like that but I can't. That's really all I'm going to say about the break up itself. I'm not going to badmouth Brandon, especially online, though I'm still extremely hurt and quite angry over the whole situation.

Since then, I've had to do some serious thinking and my emotions have been up, down, and everywhere in between. The first week, it didn't feel real yet, especially since we saw each other nearly every day. The second week, I was a tower of strength...I didn't even understand where it was coming from. I felt GOOD, which caused a little bit of guilt because I wasn't sure I should be feeling that good. I felt at peace. This past week, however, has been rough. Some things happened on Monday that just tore me apart. Monday night, I simply lost was the worst I'd felt since the night we broke up and I was all alone, mostly by choice - I didn't want to call anyone; I just needed to deal on my own. The week improved after that but I still didn't feel nearly as strong as the week before and I couldn't stop thinking I'd let myself down. I know now that isn't the case because I'm going to have good days and bad days but I just wasn't willing to cut myself any slack. If a friend was in the same situation, I would have told her it was completely normal...I need to start listening to my own encouragement.

Initially, I didn't want a roommate. I couldn't imagine living in this apartment with anyone other than Brandon. Eventually, however, the thought of moving again became much less pleasant than the thought of living with someone I didn't know. And so I joined (which was pointless, by the way, as not a single person has contacted me or replied to my messages) and posted the room on CraigsList. I'll be's been a frustrating process, especially because my first few e-mails were sketchy and nothing I would actually pursue. Fortunately, it looks like I've found a roomie. She seems very nice (and normal) and we have some things in common. We've both agreed that we're not looking to be best friends but just live together amicably. I hope and pray it works out.

I'm still looking for a job and, needless to say, I started to freak out just a little bit more when I found out Brandon would be moving out. I applied for probably 15 jobs this week (after a friend kicked me in the butt and helped me realize I don't want to be so desperate that I take the first thing I'm offered) and I'm waiting to hear back about some promising leads (fingers crossed!). My stress level is going to continue to be paramount until I get a job. That's just how it is.

On a much happier note, I PASSED MY MFT LICENSURE EXAM...heck yes, I did! Allow me a moment to brag... Not only did I pass, I made a 173 when the passing score was 133. And who made the highest score of the 38 examinees in North Carolina? That would be me. And who made only 6 points less than the highest score in the US. Um...yes, that would also be me. Who's bad? I'm bad. Those test results brightened an otherwise gloomy week.

On another happy extreme amount of gratitude goes to my friends and family who have been amazing during these last few weeks. I've gotten phone calls, text messages, visits, free dinners, and more from them in an attempt to check on me, get me out of the apartment, and just generally make me feel better. They've been incredible. If this had to happen, I thank God it happened here. Even on the crappiest of days, I still feel blessed because I have some really super people in my life. I love, love, love them.

And that is how I'm going to end this entry because I've had enough bad mess in my life lately. Hopefully, I will soon have even better news to report (roomie situation working well? new job? won the lottery?). As Ellen concludes her talk kind to each other. Lord knows I've recently had a lot of kindness come my way. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Theme Song. Philosophy. MANTRA.

Below are 2 of my post-break-up theme songs. The first also helped me through my previous break-up; the second is one I just happened to come across today (while making another of many post-break-up CDs) and couldn't believe how much it applied to my current emotions and situation.

Defying Gravity (performed in Wicked...and also by the phenomenal cast of GLEE)

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I am defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you wont bring me down!

I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you won't bring me down!

A Little Bit Stronger (by Sara Evans)

Woke up late today and I still feel the sting of the pain
But I brushed my teeth anyway
I got dressed through the mess and put a smile on my face
I got a little bit stronger

Riding in the car to work and I'm trying to ignore the hurt
So I turned on the radio, stupid song made me think of you
I listened to it for minute but I changed it
I'm getting a little bit stronger, just a little bit stronger

And I'm done hoping that we could work it out
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around
And, oh, I'm done thinking that you could ever change

I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger

Doesn't happen overnight but you turn around
And a month's gone by and you realize you haven't cried
I'm not giving you a hour or a second or another minute longer
I'm busy getting stronger

And I'm done hoping that we can work it out
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around
And, oh, I'm done thinking, that you could ever change

I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay
Even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger
I get a little bit stronger

Getting along without you, baby
I'm better off without you, baby
How does it feel without me, baby?
I'm getting stronger without you, baby

And I'm done hoping we could work it out
I'm done with how it feels, spinning my wheels
Letting you drag my heart around
And, oh, I'm done thinking that you could ever change

I know my heart will never be the same
But I'm telling myself I'll be okay
Even on my weakest days
I get a little bit stronger

I get a little bit stronger
Just a little bit stronger
A little bit, a little bit, a little bit stronger
I get a little bit stronger