Back, Back, and Back Again: The 2018 Edition

It’s a strange feeling when strangers cheer on things you abandoned at the bottom of your to-do list almost a year ago. Notifications ping my inbox every so often with appreciation for this blog. My reaction to them waffles between touched and guilty as I haven’t even thought about writing new posts in ages. But there is so much I could say, and so much that would be useful to others.

So, I’m going to try. My schedule is bloated right now with the weight of an entirely new life. Since I last posted almost everything has changed, minus my awful habits, self-defeating coping mechanisms, and faith in myself. All of those are still awful. But what has changed? Well…

  • I left my partner of six years in October 2017. I still love him. He still loves me. But we were killing each other. There’s so much trauma between us–in our pasts together and separately–so much pain and conflict and grief that there was no room left for anything but a revolving door of disaster, drama, and the peace that came from ignoring the issues. We have a lot of work to do on ourselves and our lives independently before we can even pretend to be healthy friends again, let alone partners. He’s still my favorite person, even though we’ve agreed not to speak for a while to give us time to think, heal and grow. It hurts, but five months out, I’m more stable. Admittedly, this is after another complete mental collapse, massive aggression spikes and toxic levels of depression. At this point, I’m confident saying I’ve grown deeper roots and sense an impending upward growth spurt coming on.
  • I transferred to a university and I’m not FINALLY pursuing my BA in communication with a minor in linguistics.
  • I drive in the city on the regular. Traffics’ only redeemable quality is that it allows for more music. Parallel parking is a spatial puzzle I have not mastered but I haven’t gotten a ticket for it or hit another car yet so there’s that…
  • I have entered into neurotherapy (there will likely be a whole post on this in the future), I’m seeing a new counselor on top of my psychiatrist, I’m working with a nutritionist to find the source of my GI issues, tons of testing is being done for my health issues, and I’m trying to be more physically active.
  • I’ve deepened my spiritual exploration and now run a private group dedicated to it, fostering a like-minded community that nurtures its members and our growth.
  • And the big one…I FUCKING MOVED OUT. *Throws confetti everywhere* I have my own house and live alone. I suppose I could pretend this means I’m a fixed boomerang, but until I’m supporting myself in full, I simply won’t believe that. Fiscally the situation hasn’t really changed, and my parents are still carrying my deadweight while I’m in school. That is the definition of privilege and I’m struggling a lot with the copious amounts of guilt attached to it. It increases the pressure to succeed and make money. Unfortunately, this is also giving me tunnel vision. Money seems more important than the things that fulfill me, and I know that’s not the right choice.

With all these changes, I have a lot of fodder for the blog. I can tell you about handling car issues, numerous lessons learned while moving, how to handle household issues, tending to chores, dealing with the paranoia of living alone, cleaning tactics, balancing home/school/work/health, etc. With luck, these posts will come semi-regularly in the future, but given I’m also drowning in school deadlines with it being the madrush between midterms and finals, it may be a bit before that actually happens. Also I’m finally forcing myself to take a full course load despite anxiety and poor time management, because frankly, I just want to be done. Of course, I may still go to grad school, which is its own special hell, but we’ll see. For now, know that I’m still alive, and with more help than I can bear to receive, moving forward.

If there’s anything you want to know about specifically, want more information on, or think I should write about, please drop it in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Feedback keeps me motivated to write, so honestly, any likes or comments you post would be doing me a big favor.

-L.

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Endless Academia

Preface: 

Yet again, I have failed to meet my self-imposed deadline by a truly spectacular number of days. The post-semester slump triggered by a paradoxical overabundance of free time and excess of things to do naturally left me lounging in the heart of T.V. Land, shielded from the reality of its unpleasantly bright light by the shadow of my monolithic mountain of things left undone. It’s amazing how much easier it is to ignore something when it’s stuck in the crevices of a thousand other things just like it. I need to write my blog entry? No problem. I need to write my blog entry, revise my essay, sort through potential submissions, check the submissions’ criteria for the aforementioned essay, email my future boss about my hours, put things in my car so it stops looking like a rental, clean the office, clean my room, prepare for my boyfriend’s arrival in a couple weeks, and buy how many Christmas presents? Oh look! A new episode of Dexter recorded, better clean out the DVR first. Anyway, excuses aside, I’m suffering from a far too often squandered bout of inspiration so I thought I might try using it and finally post the Academia blog entry I promised so long ago. But hey, it’s not like I started writing it three times already or anything. Without further ado, here’s a very fracturally Frankensteined blog post built across days and delivered at last in the form of something resembling done:

Beginning Again: 

And lo’ from the depths of the mostly dead she arose once more to give words to the world’s wide web. As known as: I’m back. As promised (though delivered with undo delay), today’s topic, in the spirit of aced finals and the frosty freedom of winter break, is school.

I love school, I really, truly, and with ardently excessive amounts of adverbs, do. If I did not have to, I would never leave. When I think of taking one or two classes every (or every other) semester for the rest of my life, I think of contentment. There are even some classes I wouldn’t mind taking twice (I’ll try to resist the urge to make this post an ode to the English department).

I have a lust for learning that borders on a pathological compulsion. The tiny drops of trivia that trickle down my gullet each day are rarely enough to satiate the thirst that dries a tongue with “Did you knows” a moment later. Every word learned is one regurgitated to whoever is unfortunate enough to be at hand to hear it. “To learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach.” This is a credo I lived long before I drank the tea whose tag taught it to me (it’s amazing how much wisdom a tea bag can hold). But while randomly collected factoids and snippets of synopses are as much a passion as they ever were—many of them entering and exiting my present education to add their unique highlights—there was a time when they all but made up the whole of my education, a time when the call to formally complete or even attempt that education came not from my mouth but from the mouths of modern mandate, from parents and the state. Yes, there was a time when even reading and writing repulsed me, a time when four notebooks and one trusty pen weren’t my constant companions. Indeed, in the early years of elementary school, I was actually in Special Ed. for reading.

My hatred of the book-bound act was sourced in part in the dreaded and diabolical Hooked-On-Phonics. This “educational” program was, for many right-brained children, either pure misnomer or a twisted metaphor (every time those cards were put before me I screamed and drenched myself and the staircase I clung to in tears that could only otherwise be inspired by a liberal application of rusty fishhooks). I was four or five when first exposed to the torturous teaching device. My parents thought it was necessary because I did not take to words like my gifted sister who began reading on her own at the age of three. Sadly, being force-fed H.o.P. had a violently counter intuitive effect upon me and landed me squarely in Special Ed. several years later. To this day, I still read and write slowly, at least by the standard of readers and writers. A decade and a half later and sweet irony took control of the table and left me holding a logophilic hand (sometimes I truly believe this lifelong game is rigged to favor the most poetic outcomes). The first card dealt was imagination, an innate desire to deviate from reality into the realm of something more. It outlasted my childhood and left me addicted to what fictions I could find. The second card in the Royal Straight, was storytelling. I did and do talk incessantly, always telling and retelling even the most trivial tales as though getting dressed were an adventure worthy of the word “wondrous.” The third card was written roleplay. Discovered in middle school, it gave me a way to write out another life, a different me who dared to do what I would not. Naturally, others followed her until my head was overcrowded with femmes and fellows all clamoring for their own voice, their own stories. Roleplay led to the fourth card: a need for new words, new ways to describe and vividly delineate. This was fostered by other writers and roleplayers whose styles steadily influenced my own until at some point I turned into a bona fide word nerd and a monger of metaphors. The fifth and final card was genetics. My yaya (that’s Greek for “grandma,” in case any of you were curious) was an English teacher and grammatical tactician of the highest order. According to my parents, she passed that on to me and I’m fairly convinced it’s where my English instincts come from (“No, that doesn’t sound right, it must be this…”) because truth be told, my formal knowledge of grammar, like those of so many in my generation, is lacking in the logistical whys of language.

And that, after a winding, scenic detour and a hand of cards, brings us back to academia. It seems so strange to me that I begrudged working in elementary through high school to the extent of nearly dropping out of the latter. I was distracted by so many meaningless things—social situations so silly as to be par for the soap opera course, clothes that now make me cringe, and video games whose names are no longer known—that I did not find the value latent in my classes or the folly in failing them. I suppose it was a necessary lesson though, for after a long absence from high school, when I finally began attending college, as cliché as it sounds, I did so for me. As a result, I treated the classes with far greater care and attentive appreciation than I had ever done before. Every semester I got better at doing the reading, at completing homework on time, and as of late, at being on time. With each improvement my grades gained momentum until they plateaued on the peaks of A’s and have been holding there for several years. I have changed my intended major and minor three times (a major in Business Management with a minor in Psychology, a major in Business Management with a minor in English, a major in English with a minor in…I’ll get back to you on that). Originally, I intended to only write in my spare time but in the last year and a half I’ve realized that would be a mistake. The more I write, the better I become at it and the easier the words come to me even when inspiration ebbs. And frankly, nothing makes me happier than writing, than stories (mine or others). But still, I do not think it would be wise to depend on my words as a sole source of income and as such I’ve decided that I want to become an editor. Doing so would allow me to constantly experience and aid in the inception of new stories and works, drinking in the changing styles and interests of readers and writers to quench my own muses with new knowledge. I would also become more aware of common errors and issues in writing, which would again strengthen my own. And perhaps most importantly, it would give me a foothold in the industry from which I could launch my work, a map of where to send them and who is looking for what.

However, if I want to be an editor of any renown, I’ll need either bountiful luck or choice schooling. This takes us back to the point of this blog, for, as with so many things, obtaining what I want and need requires first, a confrontation with my Minotaurs and the solving of the riddles they read and the fears and failings that lurk between their lines, haunting my life’s labyrinth. I have already bested my fear of college, but now I’ve become too comfortable at this little two-year school and have dragged my feet through interests rather than requirements, leaving me degree-less after five years of never taking more than three courses in one semester. Three semesters from now, at that same pace, I will have my Associates degree with an emphasis in Creative Writing. But what’s next? First, I suppose I need to stop procrastinating and clinging to finely tailored excuses about time and other things to do, and look at last into four-year colleges and universities. Yet, therein lies the next Minotaur. I have never lived away from home (as previous posts have touched upon) and I could not imagine living out-of-state. I am not yet capable of crossing that rope removed from the safety nets sewn beneath it. There’s no need to lose hope though. As I mentioned in my interim post, I have a new anchor in mind for this blog and my collegiate future ties in tightly to it. So on that note, this ramble has run its course.

Stay tuned for near-future posts on:

  1.             The outcome of my driving test.
  2.             The blog’s new focus.
  3.             Adventures in employment.