Life is Busting out ALL Over!

Archive for the ‘grad school’ Category

The waiting game is on. But it’s one in which I’m happy to be apart. There has been a feeling I’ve been waiting for, not a feeling of belonging but one of just being me. And I was. I made some mistakes and laughed at myself, I was met with helpfulness and they laughed at my jokes. I never had to explain anything further from my own train of thought because they appreciated it. And my personal philosophy of transparency is a value in which is lived.

I guess I win no matter what because I at least know a place like this exists. But I would walk 5 miles in 2 feet of snow just work with those people.

In the meantime, I’m going to try my best to distract myself with other things. Most notably, preparing for a conference in Nashville starting tomorrow.

Hi. I’m currently typing from a computer on a campus in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have an interview here in about 3 hours. My suit is packed in my carry-on and I smell. Also, I paid for my own flight here to interview. (which, in this biz of higher ed, is UNHEARD of. My professor, who I advised on whether or not I should, told me I was the first person he’s heard of that did not get their on campus interview paid for. Awesome. If you really knew me, you’d know that I’m the first in a some other categories, more health related, still nothing to be proud of, so being the first, in this case, again just is par for the course).

The job is one I’m interested in, had a great phone interview, and basically people, I just want OPTIONS. So last week in the span of 24 hours I got one phone call to ask me to interview, hours later I did over the phone, hours after that I was trying to find flights – 5 days before. My professor said to look it as an investment. I prefer to look at it like the haircut and the Wii Fit I had saved up to purchase. Whatev.

Except for the fact that when I called the day after to confirm the interview was do-able on my budget, the boss guy told me it would be ONE HOUR. I booked a 6am flight (why, god, does EVERYTHING have to go through Atlanta?? I just dont’ understand it) to get home by midnight tonight for ONE HOUR. Also, I have no idea where I’m going because they didn’t tell me and it’s a good thing I’m so gosh darn nosy because I pretty much stalked the boss-man to find out where his office is, memorized the campus map and will show up at 3pm.

I realize that if this is indicative of how the place runs, it may not be the right place for me. But I like adventures and I especially like adventurers where I can rent a car and explore/look at stuff off the main road I need to be on – it’s cool. So I’m here.

However, the recent events of this morning made me realize I am a stubborn little b*tch and actually I’m sort of asking myself: This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. Am I right? Am I wrong? MY GOD WHAT HAVE I DONE??

(and yes, I recite Talking Heads whenever I’m super confused, I find it makes me laugh, and then feel better)

And you would too if you had to go through the National Lampoon’s goes to Charlotte trip I went on this morning:

1. I had to wake up at 3am to leave the house on time to drive the hour and a half to get to the airport

2. I left at 3:45am

3. I went “to bed” at midnight but I actually fell asleep at 2:50am. YUP. I worry because I’m awesome and therefore I don’t sleep when I’m worried/excited.

4. There was a typhoon hitting Indiana early in the morning and mother effing 18 wheeler trucks going at least 75 on the highway. I only went 60-65 even though it’s a 70mph zone b/c well, I was EXHAUSTED and I didn’t want to DIE but I thought I might because everytime one of those stupid trucks past me it would kick up so much water that it literally was going OVER my car.

5. Totally got IN the airport at 5:20 – my flight was at 5:57am – but I have made it to the Indy airport with literally 10 minutes to spare and made the flight so I wasn’t worried.

6. Until I got to the 500 person (no joke) LINE for security. It wrapped around two corridors. Except if you paid membership fees in to the “club” – then you could go into the retinal scan and get in, in like 30 secs (having the gov’t own a picture of my retinas… uh, no thanks) However it went by kinda fast.

7. Until I got ready to put my bins on the cool roller things into the conveyor belt and the guy in front of me had to empty EVERYTHING out of his bag one by one into separate bins. If he was building legos, he would have gone faster. Then everyone started cutting in line in front of him (and me). That was AWESOME. I LOVE PEOPLE.

8. I had about 0 minutes left till my plane left but I had faith. Man did I have FAITH!

9. Then I got to my gate, in about 2 seconds and I see a couple standing at the counter. And then I see my plane pulling away from the gate. People, I can NOT reiterate this enough. I have flown a lot. I was a chapter consultant for my international sorority (whoo! Canada!) – I went to 33 different chapters and between going home on breaks and flying from one end of the country to the other every 5 days, I flew about 75 times in 9 months. Plus some other flights here and there in years after. I.have.never.missed.a.flight. NEVER.

10. And as I was waiting for the gate agent to finish booking the couple in front of me on a direct flight to Vegas for a $25 fee, (yet they were flying to ATL first, too. What the H?) this happened:

Elderly Lady going to Vegas: Those damn security lines screwed us over!

Me: Unless you had the retinal scan, then you could go through just fine.

Elderly Man going to Vegas: RECTAL EXAM????(!!!!!)

Me: (pause) Yeah… I’d almost rather do that. (WTF. MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!)

11. Then rectal man and wife left and it was my turn. Now, I wasn’t worried about getting on another flight because I had until about 2pm to get here and make it to my interview (although I needed to write a paper during my waiting time) and when I had checked the airline previously there were like 4 options that would have gotten me here by then but the earliest happened to be the cheapest. Well, the airline that rhymes with MairTran totally lies (Joe LIESSSSSSSSSS, Joe liesssssssssss (I do this too when someone says the word “lies”)). There was only one flight after mine and it would have gotten me in by 4pm. When my interview would end.

This is the point where my stubbornness kicks in, I could have just gone home, gotten some sleep, worked on my project and called here and said sorry. But dammit, I paid for that stupid ticket, and I was at the airport and so I did what anyone else would do. I bought a one way ticket to Greensboro, NC. Double checked with MairTran that my return flight I already checked in on, would still let me fly (the peeps at U.S. Mairways freaked me out). Greensboro was about $1200 cheaper than flying into Charlotte so I did it and consoled myself that I’d have a one and a half hour drive (I freakishly adore road trips) and I’d still make it.

12. Get it all squared a way and enter a new security line, much, much, MUCH shorter. However, the guy that checked my ID and ticket told me I was special. Thinking he saw my birthday (because it is SPECIAL to the point everyone makes a comment about it when they see it special) I said, “Thank you”. Then he goes, “No, honey, you are really special, like special screened.”

Yup, I was the airline security equilivalent of riding the short yellow bus special. Apprently there is some rule that if you buy a ticket within 24 hours of your flight you go on some special watch list. And you have to stand in a special section, that is marked RESTRICTED with a special rope. All by yourself. And although I knew it was just protocol, I was instantly regretting that I watched Brokedown Palace the other weekend.

13. So literally 15 minutes after standing in my special section ALONE, my new plane was boarding. I mean, HELLO, what if I had been a threat or something, you don’t just leave them alone. Anyway, some lady came over and took me somewhere else and I got a pat down. Then some guy went through my bag, my laptop and my carry-on with tampons, which was awesome. I wasn’t even embarassed! Although he seemed more embarassed by my Lady Speed Stick in the pocket. Whatev.

14. I’m clear of my special status and I join the very last group boarding the plane… wait for it… to CHARLOTTE. That’s right. I was flying into Charlotte to get my connecting flight to Greensboro to then drive to Charlotte. I was like, What the HELL? So I asked a flight attendant if I could just leave when I got to Charlotte and not even bother to go to Greensboro, considering that’s where I have to be in the first place, but I didn’t want a lifetime of special watch list. She said it would be fine, so I was excited.

15. Until I got to my seat, where some girl was sitting in between two guys she clearly wanted to sit next to, so I had to ask her what seat was hers so I could sit there instead. She had no idea. Seriously PEOPLE, get with the program. So then while I waited for her to figure out her life, I had to try to find a place to put my carry on in the overhead compartments, which were ALL FULL. Also, I must illustrate the scene. I am tall and I am broad in the shoulders, I also have some pointy elbows. Also, I am not coordinated. I literally just said “Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry…” as I was walking up and down the aisles running into peoples’ knees with my carry-on, my bag/purse hit a couple shoulders, my elbow grazed some people’s hair. You get the idea.

16. As the plane was taxiing, the chick finally figured out her seat, 17B. 17B was smack in the middle of two big dudes. One dude  kinda big, the other dude REALLLLLL big. Like so big he set his arms folded on his belly and slept the entire way. When he got out to let me squeeze in, I seriously thought I was being Punk’d, like at any minute Ashton was going to pop out with cameras and then everyone would laugh, and then I’d say to the camera, “haha, I got Punk’d” and then they’d usher me to first class where I’d have the nice flight attendant who told me I could ditch on Greensboro.

Nope. First big dude stared out the window like he’d had a long lost cloud for a pet as a boy and REAL big dude slept with arms folded on his belly. It worked out fine until REAL big dude started snoring and then later was speaking some language (I think Portuguese?). I thought he was on his Bluetooth, he sounded so demanding. Nope. Just sleeping.

16. So I finally got off the plane with some sleep a full hour and a half before I had originally planned to arrive.

Also, I got insurance on my rental car, just in case.

This thing better BE worth it!

And also, this might be the DUMBEST of dumb decisions I have ever made.

But new story, BONUS.

Uh… God?

That sign you sent today by way of a FedEx package? Just wanted to let you know I got it. I mean I *got* it. My heart is open, so do what you think is best, of course. If this is where you think I should head next, I’m trusting.  I have to say, judging by the materials in the box, you know me pretty well.

Love,

LiB

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.

I’m here. In Hickville.

Moving was a little stressful but went well, the moving company was great and I’d definitely recommend them to anyone. Even if it’s going to force me to eat Ramen for the next 6 months. Saying good bye to R was sad but he was great, calming my fears and giving me hugs. He even snuggled in bed, which he is a fan of, neither am I come to think of it, but it was nice. He’s even made comments on coming to see me even though we’ve only decided the first weekend I would come up to Chicago to see him.

2 and 1/3 days in and I’m feeling like this was the best decision I’ve ever made. The townhouse is great and with all carpeting, it feels real cozy and home-like. Hardwood floors in every Chicago apartment had never made me feel this way.

I’m unpacking and making progress although I’ve hit a wall but I need to push through it. My clothes do belong in a closet, they deserve that much.

Something I’ve noticed about this here hicktown is that the people are real nice. Almost disalarmingly so. Maybe I lived in Chicago too long and got used to being street smart but the most meaningful conversations I’ve had were with the utility and cable folks sent out to my house.

The Water guy was great. First off, there is a remote on my garage (that I thought was to a garage door opener) that they scan to read the meter. The company told me they’d be sending someone out to check my meter. I thought that this would lead to me opening my utility closet/future storage closet and having the guy invade my privacy for a little while. Instead the guy rang my DOORBELL (still excited about it!) and told me he read my meter. I asked him to show me where it was, trying to be very adult and responsible-like. Then we got into a 15 minute conversation about the insane property taxes in this county that is literally bankrupting this town. They’ve tripled in the last two years and for a town with no manufacturing base, and folks that are trying to make an income that is just barely livable, everyone is flipping out. (There are signs everywhere protesting) This led to a discussion about how the country has forgotten Middle America, honest people trying to make a living and not being able to. The words coming out of my mouth sounded like lyrics to a John Mellencamp song. Apparently I adapt quickly.

Yesterday the cable guy came, without my DVR box (weep!) and installed my cable and my internet (legally, I was pirating someone’s wireless). He was here for an hour so I made most of my time by talking to him. Discovered his profession makes $70,000 a year installing cable. He knows how much I pay in rent here. We got comfortable really quickly and were sharing these things that I don’t think I’d tell my friends (salaries are taboo!). Warm, midwest folks here.

I’m off to unpack my closet and hit the bank and Meijer. Oh, and maybe pick up some food seeing as there are about 15,000 fast food joints to every grocery store here and lord knows my junk in my trunk is full to the brim.

Tonight I’m going to meet some ladies in my cohort for the first time. We are all gathering to watch The Hills. Even peeps bettering themselves through education need some guilty pleasures. Team LC!!!

Today if I had to sum up my luck in life, today would be the day I would put in the dictionary for the word(s?) “Typical Greenleaf”. And if you know me, which you don’t because this bloggy-blog is totally anonymous (and I LOVE that) and NO ONE I know knows I have this thing. And it’s going to stay that way, capesh? Good.

So today I had made an appointment with my future landlord/management company to pick up my keys for the afternoon so I could get into my new pad to scope it out. With all the overwhelming anxiety, etc I didn’t really remember the upstairs of the townhouse. At all.

I got up early today and left the house by 7am. Drove the almost 5 hours* down there. I am literally a block away when the management company calls me:

“Hi greenleaf… this is XYZ management company. We know you are coming down today but greenleaf, we don’t have the keys.”

Hold the phone. Literally. But anyway. WHAT. I knew I couldn’t really pick up my keys until I got into town next weekend so that they could clean and de-grossify. No problem.

Well what the problem was, was (do you ever hate having to use the same word twice like that? I do. I always stop and delete and then realize that, in fact, I have to use it.*) they had given the keys to a vendor who was replacing all the closet doors. He hasn’t returned them and they couldn’t get a hold of him. BASTARD.

So I drove 5 hours* to do what? NOTHING. Ah, my friends this has a totally fairy tale ending. I spun my productive greenleaf wheels and went over to the management company anyway. I gave them my rent check and got info on utilities, which I had started to do but had to stop. Do you ever notice that you could do almost anything online but when it comes to utility companies their websites SUCK MAJOR ASS?? Well, I do.

I then went over to my townhouse, just to see if Bastard closet door guy was there. He wasn’t. But I did push my nose up to the windows and got to see the living room and kitchen, and planned out how to set up my furniture in the living room. But I didn’t get to see the upstairs, obviously, because it’s upstairs. Bollucks.

I still had only been in the town for 45 minutes at this point so I went to the mall. Like any red-blooded American girl would do.

I found bedding that I wanted and I bought a WASHER AND DRYER. I needed to buy one, cause I have hookups’nshit. But holy hell, I have never bought anything that felt so adult. My only sadness is that I’m renting not owning. But I’ll bring little Wendy and Draco (Oh, like you don’t name household objects?) with me where ever I go.

The best part? I totally got a sweet deal on a promotional offer Sears has until tomorrow. And had I actually gone down to hickville to do what I was supposed to do. I would have never had gotten a w/d today and I would have paid out the anus. ew.

So I felt good driving FIVE HOURS back in Indianapolis rush hour (p’shaw, they call it that?) traffic and through Chicago’s (easy peasy today, Lolla peeps I waved to you as I was listening to David Bowie in my car on the LSD. As long as I’m going to stream my conscience, god, I’m going to miss driving on that road).

I think I’m ready to do this thing.

P.S. That new show Greek is fricking AWESOME! R and I have fallen in love with it. And he, a lapsed typical Jeep driving ex-frat boy, and I, the loyal sorority leader I still am, both have found the show to be so entertaining. And honestly, I should get in an uproar about how the sorority women in the show are totally misrepresented and the fraternity men actually look like they come out on top (how’s that for a double entendre?! ha!) but really, I could care less. The show is well written, the kid who plays Rusty is fantastic and he’s from Chicago so you can hear the Chicago accent in his voice. My only issue with the show is that R thinks that he bore more than a striking resemblance to Cappy when he was in school so he laughs REALLY loud at EVERYTHING. I didn’t know him then so I can’t really argue. But still. It rules.

But the highlight? Tomorrow my boy’s back in town. HOLLER.

Nicole Ritchie’s on 20/20, gots to go. Happy weekend Chicago!

*Dear I-65, you can DIE. DIE. I hate you. I hate every boring inch by pavement boring inch of you. Of course I’ll never say this when I’m driving on you because I don’t want you to pop my tire or anything. But you suck and if there was another way that is faster to get to Hickville, Indiana (and believe me I’ve tried every way till Sunday) I would so be on that train. Hmmmm… train.

It’s been a strange couple of weeks for me. I think it started with going back down to Indiana, to where I’m going to spend the next year in grad school. The purpose of the trip was to find a place to live, but something much bigger happened. I suppose the reality of the situation hit me that this is where I’m going to live. Obviously, it’s something you think about. But when I chose the grad programs I wanted to apply to, I chose them for the program, not for the town or city that it occupies. I think, for graduate programs, that is what you have to do.

Unlike undergrad, the program is the main factor, the priority, not the extraneous information such as, does it have a winning football team (it does not, the failure in football seems to follow me), is there a good bar scene (probably not), or how great is the mall (woot for JC Penney!). I am confident in my decision to attend this program as it will allow me to have the best experience possible additionally at a lower cost and less time to complete the program (something at 29, was important to me).

This confidence, however, immediately drained as soon as I drove into town for the third time. Unlike the first two times, I wasn’t so much focused on my destination because I had been there enough to go without directions (however, not without a speeding ticket). So when I drove into town, and driving around the next day, I was looking at it with new eyes, the eyes of a future resident. And these eyes were FREAKED out.

First, I am moving from a large, Blue city in a Blue state to a small Red city in a Red State. Secondly, like much of the rural Midwest, it is a depressed town. Without the university, the town wouldn’t exist.

Now, I’m not some cosmopolitan city girl who can’t live without her martinis and brunches. In fact, I now make my own martinis and choose local organic places to eat my breakfast, if I choose. I’m also no stranger to rural college towns in the Midwest, having spent my undergraduate years in one. But it’s quite a different experience when you are spending your 4 years in a bubble. As a grad student, I made a conscious choice to live farther from campus, to commute a tad, and to separate myself alone from groups of students.

I will conclude this portion of rambling but just stating that it is hitting me that even though this is the journey I chose, and with no regrets, it is a journey I will take alone. (Well, my roommate will be coming with me, I can’t give her up, duh!) Sure, I’ll make friends with my cohort, and thanks to the wonders of facebook (which, I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest person registered) I’ve already gotten to know some of them. But it is daunting to understand how reliable I must be on myself. More than when I moved to my own place, with no help (except for the rad mover guys that showed up 2 hours late), More than when I traveled the country as a collegiate consultant and always had a warm place to stay and food provided for me, more than when I moved into my first apartment in the city into a place with 2 strangers for roommates.

Amazingly, a transformation has also happened. After 7 years of contemplating if this is the right thing for me, of wanting and craving it when times in my current career went south, I am actually doing it. A lifetime spent of regrets, and rethinking my choices and living in the past when life was easy (hah!) is gone. I have no trepidations or reluctance. My last day in corporate America is Tuesday. I have 6 weeks of packing, cleaning and spending time with those important to me. Then I’m off. My future, my journey is right ahead of me and I feel like I am on the right road, in cruise control and it is scary but exciting and wonderful all that the same time.

However, if my loans would come in like they are supposed to in the next couple of weeks, I may just be worry free!
P.S. Although I know this post was long – be thankful that I didn’t also include the other things that are making this weird, like being shunned by my boss, the boyfriend and I agreeing to stay together next year without knowing what the future might be and completely close to broke paying off my remaining debts. But that stuff, that’s all in a day’s work.


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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