Life is Busting out ALL Over!

Archive for April 2008

I had my final counseling session today. It was actually supposed to be last Thursday afternoon but I spaced and missed it. I was thrown off by a surprise phone interview complete with asking for a salary range. Who does that on the 2nd interview?? Apparently I was reading blogs or writing blogs or something and didn’t realize I had missed it until I got in the car.

I felt more stupid than anything. 1) One of the small changes I’ve decided to make in my life, and therefore PROCLAIMED loudly every session, was to utilize my planner so that I can exert a little more control. (or feel like I do) To the point that I become one with it. As in if there was a fire in my house, I’m grabbing my cat, my wallet and my planner. To illustrate this point, I brought my planner to every session after my proclamation. So to FORGET and just not show up to an appointment… what kind of progress is THAT??

2) I knew that my counselor would be doing an evaluation of me as part of her training and I REALLY REALLY didn’t want it to state “Client was making very good progress but failed to show up for her last session. Clearly she has resorted to coping mechanisms and therefore I am unable to properly evaluate her”. Or something. I wanted her to be able to have an complete evaluation and basically I wanted to finish strong, or some other competitive metaphor.

So I rescheduled and went back in today. It was good and nice and whatever but I’m a little bit annoyed. My counseling is done on campus and is free. Therefore I have a doctoral student who is my counselor and I’m sure does some sort of evaluation on me as part of her training. I really don’t mind she’s not licensed. For one, it’s a strong program here and two, I kind of like her. She’s a great listener and she really came around and started hitting me with the heavy stuff a couple months ago. I was scared we’d be on the break up FOREVER (although… probably still needed).

Anyway, I’ve noticed progress and a change within myself. I can FEEL it. I’m starting to release this control grip I have over everything and I’m starting to trust. It’s been good.

But today, we are literally 10 minutes from the end of the session, and I ask if she can help me process through a fairly large (on a grad school budget) frivolous purchase (which I’m embarrassed to admit here but I’m sure you will be able to figure it out soon) I am thinking going to make. I sort of discuss my reasons and thought I made sense. She countered with some other valid points but I still held my ground

And she goes… “Well, I do think that you have been and are consistently motivated by external factors, whereas you should be motivated internally”.

HOLD THE PHONE. What??

A) She is totally right. I am motivated by external factors, I don’t put myself first, yada yada, it all makes sense to me. In fact, I think it’s the missing link.

B) This is the FIRST thing she’s done in all of our sessions together that remotely resembles a challenge from her to me. A challenge I could really dive into and explore.

Then she finishes her thought, with my mouth agape trying to register and linking everything in my life together, and looks on the clock and states, “We’re out of time”. She smiles and wishes me luck and that’s it.

That’s IT!! Done.

Totally well worth it, love the concept of self exploration, value counseling and psychology, but seriously, could we have gotten to this in March??

Since I will be embarking on this self exploration alone this summer, maybe I should also explore why I’m so competitive with my own counselor?? I mean, coming up with conclusions before she does, holding my ground, countering her points with more of my own… really? There’s no winners in therapy, right? Aren’t we all winners for even making the effort??

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1. Although I am great at organizing bar crawls, I now suck at participating in them. My body literally did not WANT a gin and tonic. I almost wept. (seriously? I put “weeped” and had it there for hours. You know when it’s finals week when….)

2. My tolerance for friends who become annoying when intoxicated is quite low.

3. I live in a world (no less a town) where a jukebox exists in which it is PAINFUL to find 25 decent songs (Why I put $5 in, I’m not sure.. probably because I’ve never been LET DOWN by a jukebox before).

4. I still believe in fate

5. The best pictures of me are taken when I’m not expecting it or looking at the camera.

6. My cohort’s nickname for me is Aerosmith. It’s official. My first name does not exist any longer. I brought this on myself, however, in an effort for people to get my last name right I say “Kind of like Aerosmith”. There you go. And worst of all, I kind of/really like it.

7. Chicago or Boston. Boston or Chicago. I’m releasing the next steps of my journey to a higher power because He/She has never failed me, although I continually forget this.

8. It’s probably best that I never eat Taco Bell again.

9. My little sister is my teacher. Never saw that coming.

10. Gentle falling rain makes writing easier.

7% of the state is counted, and they can call it already??!! Is this a democracy or a generalization??

Fear not, Indiana is in two weeks and guess who has changed their voter registration and is voting early??

Yup, that is right. Sorry Hills, you might have gotten the bitter voters in Pennsylvania, but the bitter Hoosiers understood what Senator Obama meant, and they’ve seen the light

You can buy votes, but you can’t beat the fierce urgency of NOW.

Life is moving so fast, sure things falling away by the second, that I am literally left silent.

I know years from now, I’ll be able to look back and see how the pieces fell into place but for the meantime, I am content to watch, unable to describe this current.

“love builds up the broken wall
and straightens the crooked path.
love keeps the stars in the firmament
and imposes rhythm on the ocean tides
each of us is created of it
and i suspect
each of us was created for it”

— Maya Angelou

1. EARTHQUAKE + AFTERSHOCKS + INDIANA (Fine, Midwest) = WTF????

First of all, can I just state how flipping exhausted I’ve been this week? My two major projects of the semester due last Tuesday, then one flight and long job interview over two days in GA, next day 5 hour drive to Chicago for another one and back (You ain’t ever experienced boredom until you’ve driven through Indiana. I’m seriously thinking of trademarking this phrase), crashing before 10pm that night, and then getting flipping woken up by an earthquake at 5:38am the next morning. And of course due to my love of Breaking News/Special Reports, I was up for the rest of the day. Seriously, I needed sleep!! It was kind of like the time my freshman year in college when my new member class slept for a week at the sorority house and the fricking fire alarm went off at 4am after we had been out all night – all of us sleeping on the living room floor, walking out of the house wrapped up in our blankets, thought they were hazing us until the fire trucks showed up, because it was a risk management DRILL. Yeah, it felt like that. Jerks.

Anyway, I’ve always maintained to others (because *I* have conversations like this) that when you compare this country with natural disasters – West (Earthquakes), Midwest (Tornadoes) and East (Hurricanes) – that I would take Tornadoes any day of the week, even though they are nasty next door to my hometown destroyer fuckers – at least we have a warning system. Even if the sirens fail, we still have clues: 1. Green sky 2. Wall Cloud 3. Hail 4. Duck for your life. Earthquakes, out of nowhere, and hurricanes are so fickle you end up doubting it or proving you can outlast them. See, rock, paper, scissors, we win.

But now*, the experts are saying this is Mother Nature’s warning call?? Tornadoes AND earthquakes. Awww… HELL NO!!

2. ARTSY COLLEGE TOWN + LIFEISBUSTING = TRUE LOVE FOREVER??

Not in the major path of any of these natural disasters has now been included in my pro/con list entitled, “Where the hell am I going to live?”. I had THE MOST amazing interview at the University of Georgia. Holy hell, I love that town – it is an arts town, a CREATIVE town and creative/spiritual/imaginative peeps are my favorite kinds, we love each other. Athens, call me!! It is in the field I am most interested and where I think my heart belongs. I felt like I rocked the 8 HOUR interview process including a 30 minute presentation. THAT I WROTE THE NIGHT BEFORE. Yikes.

But for real, the staff was amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere interviewing where the future employer tries to woo you as much I try to woo them on me. And the job. Oh my god the job. Pays like crap but holy heck, I’d even get to teach a class. I want to marry it. Two positions, four candidates (met them all, very nice and I’m the only non blonde – TEAM BRUNETTE!) and stated the toughest decision they have to make. I feel like I could crack the top 2 but I can see it going either way.

However, my gut is telling me it’s where I’ll go. My gut is much smarter than I am. So I hope it’s right. Plus, I could feasibly go out to a bar, have a beer while reading a book and meet Michael Stipe. I MEAN, HELLO. Automatic for the People made this little 14 year old lonely kid fall in love with music and like someone finally got it. Which, I sort of blurted out like three different times in various interviews on Wednesday, because I’m cool and like to BLURT random stuff out all the time like people care. Uh….. Hey, Athens, I promise I’ll watch all the blurting. For real. I’ll just go hiking in the mountains and blurt stuff there.

3. JUST BECAUSE YOUR SCHOOL LOOKS LIKE HOGWARTS DOESN’T MEAN IT’S AS AWESOME ON THE INSIDE

University of Chicago = meh. Granted it’s not a position I’d fall on my sword for but I was interested, until I met the staff devoid of all personality. Not sure that’s for me.

4. YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN??

I’m actually moving along with Northwestern for a position that interests me outside of Career Services. And I’m pissed because I have been having an internal struggle on whether or not I want to go back to Chicago. I know I’m going to have this big of a decision, it’s how my life works. Just when I had decided I was ready to move on and that *my* Chicago wouldn’t be the same Chicago (and really hasn’t been for a couple of years) to which I would return, flipping NU calls. The ONE town, the ONE place that could change everything, did. F.

More on the spewing of internal struggles to come, I’m sure.

5. SLEEP IS FOR WIMPS

I’m averaging about 3 hours a night now, due to workload but also stress. Also, I’m breaking out. So that’s awesome. I also proved to myself that I can give a one hour presentation on no sleep and not eating for about 20 hours prior. Sure, I spew random stuff and blurt out some horrible sounds, but I got through it.

6. 70 DEGREE WEATHER RULES

Enough said.

* Growing up in the burbs in IL, I’ve known about the New Madrid fault line. In 7th grade, some doomsdayer/geologist predicted there would be a CATASTROPHIC earthquake, similar to the one in the 19th century that shifted the course of the Mississippi river, along this fault line. He had predicted the exact day and time. The news went apeshit over it (SHOCKER!). All I remember was it was in December of 1990. And it was supposed to hit after school. That day, I had musical practice, and because I was always made “Girl #3 from the right” and not having to really do much except stand there, I was watching and watching and watching the clock for the earthquake to hit. It never did. You can only imagine the disappointment of a nerd/girl-who-would-go-on-to-be-named-7th-grade-Geography-Whiz-Kid. Let’s just keep this story close to our hearts and not tell any future love(s) of my lives, mm’kay?

Do you see that there? That is the gym in the rec center on campus. See the top where the chairs are all centered around? Tomorrow morning Barack Obama will be standing THERE. And I’m not going. BOO! But like 6000 people got in line and stood for 5 hours and 4000 of them walked away empty handed. But yay for Obama (yes, I’ve made up my mind! It was the speech in Philly several weeks back that did it for me. IN!)

Taking this picture from the balcony this morning was the closest I got. Unfortunately, I was trapped/guiding a group of low income middle schoolers on a day of college awareness so they can start to dream and achieve now and persist through high school and hopefully college.  God bless middle school teachers I have no idea how they do it.

I made a friend with one kid who used his free $5 lunch card to buy 20 packs of gum. His response? “I love Gum.” Um, yes you do. Then I was walking back with another kid and was telling him the first kid really likes gum and he told me that the gum kid “is a huge nerd”. Then I got into a quasi-argument/discussion about how it is okay to be a nerd. I’m pretty sure it ended with me saying “yes it IS!” and the Nerd Hater was all “No, it isn’t!” back and forth and over and over the entire time across the quad.

But I also reassured a little girl that middle school sucks donkey balls and it will only get better from here. I think I made her happy, so I earned my wings (as well as totally LIED!! Because high school can still suck too if you are still socially awkward but let’s hope she outgrows that phase by then).


Synopsis

musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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