obviously I lied

First things first, the trip was AMAZING. The flights, not so much, but I arrived unscathed. Exhausted, but good. I was able to travel with a wonderful woman from our university and we became fast friends. It was so nice to have someone with me on the traveling parts of the adventure.

Once we started the workshop I was in my element. I love sharing what I know about educational best practices and I’m allegedly good at it. The group we were working with were truly wonderful people.

All in all I would have to say that this was the most positive, life-changing event of my life.

In the “closer to home” category of news, I officially got into grad school round 2. I found out while I was in India. I shared the news with the group and was treated to a celebratory dinner during which I promptly got sick as a dog.

Also, there have been talks with Lancelot and I about the definitions of particular nouns. Who knew that “lilac” and “lavender” were really the same fucking color? Communication kids, it’s the key to literally everything.

At any rate, I’m settling back in to “normal” life. I’ve come to realize that 2019 will be anything but. I’m going to Ireland in March, Dubai in April, and then an as yet undetermined international destination in November. For the girl who hadn’t left the country in 25 years this could be terrifying, but it’s not.

Bring it.

one of those mornings

The packing is coming along, though I realized this morning that my best bet may be to take a backpack and small carry-on suitcase in addition to the larger checked bag. I’m still not sold on this idea, but it’s sounding more appealing. I’ll examine more tonight when I start putting the pharmaceutical portion of my baggage together.

Clothing, jewelry, shoes, snacks, and my overnight bag for Thursday is all done. So that counts for something I think.

This morning I woke up around 4:30, about the time Lancelot finished him lunch break I think. And that was fine, I was rested by that point and ready to get up. I had time to finish the second hat, yay!, and make a smoothie and my bed. It felt productive and productive is good.

I’ve been trying to work on my communication skills lately, as in getting back to being able to talk about things like a grown-up and not throw temper tantrums. I feel like I’m making good progress, but I will say that there are still just some times when I’d prefer to punch people in the fucking throat.

In the “things that don’t make me want to throat punch someone” category… It’s not officially official until they send the letters later this week, but a little bird told me I’ve been accepted to grad school.

I’m really kind of starting to wonder what the fuck I’m getting myself into. I’ve done grad school once before, but I was obviously younger. Do I really still have the chops to do this? Am I honestly talented enough to do a writing program like this?

I talked to the one program coordinator this morning and he told me that he had read my application and that I had nothing to worry about, they were impressed. But still. I have a lot of years of thinking that I’m shit at this stuff that I’ll be fighting against.

Gotta try though.

hard times at Panda High

I am a serious creature of habit. I pretty much always do the same things in the same way at the same time. Deviation from a routine has the capacity to send me off the edge of a very tall cliff. And for whatever reason, my busted little brain expects everyone else to be just the same.

Amazingly enough, life does not work that way. Also amazingly enough, I (think) I managed to keep my shit together this time. Maybe? Maybe. Poor damn squishy panda…

The hat that refuses to die is almost ready for the decrease rounds. YAY!!! I’m taking it with to Lancelot’s this weekend so that hopefully I can finish it. The weather here is much more “winter” than “autumn” right now so I definitely want to make sure he has both hats before I leave. That bastard weatherman is actually talking about snow for today. Good thing I’m wearing boots.

I didn’t manage to get any packing done last night but I did identify the dresses I’m taking with. I’ve decided that dresses make the most sense for the days I teach since they’re comfortable and take up less space than multiple pieces. I’m also taking one extra dress, a black one that I’ll wear with a light cardigan, in case I need something for a dinner.

Still trying to figure out what, if any, of my shawls or other knitted bits to bring. And jewelry, that’s going to be a decision.

I’m also taking two pair of black flats which will go with everything, take minimal space, and allow my feet a bit of variety. I plan to travel in my tennis shoes which are quite bulky, but totally comfy, and they slip on which makes them ideal for airport security.

Let’s be honest, there are just too damn many decisions to make. This morning my friend N asked me if I’m taking my good camera with me. Hmm, good question.

In other news, I’m still waiting for one more letter of recommendation before my grad school application can officially be processed. I don’t doubt that I’ll get in but this is taking FOREVER. I am much frustrated. Enrollment starts on November 12th. GRRRR.

In other, other, news, I am wearing a shawl I knit a thousand years ago and some of the beautiful jewelry Lancelot got me. And knee-high peacock socks under my boots. I am stunning.

I’d love to tell you about the shawl but all I can remember is that the pattern was called Bloom but I don’t remember a damn thing about the yarn. It’s smooth in spots and then fuzzy in others, the colors are kind of muted, and I put a really funky beaded border on the shawl that I don’t recall being part of the original pattern. It’s quite like wearing a hug. And it looks great with the jewelry.

12 notes

Mama, are you in there?

I do actually have some legit stuff to talk about, but I need to vent a little first. Bear with me.

I took my laptop home this weekend so I could do a few things. This isn’t something I do too often, but it’s not unheard of. I was good and early this morning, feeling pretty good about getting up in plenty of time, right until I walked into my office with just my purse and my coffee and saw my empty desk.

My empty fucking desk where my laptop should have been. Only it wasn’t. It was still in my backpack in the back of my car.

Ok, put my office keys around my neck, duck out the side door, back to the parking garage to get my backpack out of the car. The side door is a one-way deal. You can go out but you can’t get back in. The very second I heard the latch click was when I remembered that my car keys were in my purse, not my coat pocket.

Out the door, around the building, back into the office, get the car keys, out to the garage, and finally back.

I should have worn my fucking Fitbit today.

On to the legit content…

Lancelot loved the hat and actually asked for another, identical, hat. When it gets really cold out he evidently layers hats. Not a problem, I had left the yarn and all the necessary supplies in their bag. I just need to cast on, 128 stitches, and start again.

The title of today’s post, a little more obscure than is typical even for me, but is sitting with me. I went with Mom yesterday and saw “A Star is Born.” I’m not going to spoil anything here, there are plenty of websites that will happily do that for you. The end is sad but it has to be. The story is very well told and the music is amazing. I do highly recommend it.

There is a scene towards the end where Bobby, the main character, Jack’s, brother, comments that Jack always said everyone gets the same 12 notes in an octave and that’s all you really have to tell your story.

As a writer I have the same 26 letters that I can combine with some punctuation to tell my story.

The real question, Jack’s question and mine now, what do you have to say? That’s what I’ll be working on.

in the light of the morning sun

Therapy yesterday was good. Amazing, really. I was able to recognize some patterns, in my behavior and his, and put words with a few of the intangible concepts that have been plaguing me.

I feel vulnerable because I don’t think my feelings are being validated. This is feeding into the Borderline tendency towards unstable behavior in relationships. It appears to me that he was shutting down yesterday because he may have been uncomfortable with my approach to information gathering. We should continue to work on keeping the lines of communication both open and honest.

I also need to acknowledge that there is more going on in my life than just this relationship. I’m working on my own health issues, Mom is dealing with one of her own, I am trying to get into grad school, work has been a bit odd, and then there is the whole overseas trip thing. All of these influence the others as well as the way I function as a person. I need to cut myself a bit of slack.

But here’s the good news – I have made significant progress in the way I work to control my anxiety, believe it or not.

There was a time in my life, prior to the last husband, where a day like yesterday would have been the end of the relationship. I’d have lost my shit and done all manner of pushy and ineffective things to try to force validation. And it would have backfired in a horrific way.

But I didn’t do any of that. Every coping mechanism I tried helped a little and wasn’t destructive. I am learning. You probably can’t grasp how proud I am of myself because of this.

Why is it different this time? She asked me that. What makes this guy so special? So I started listing all of the things that I love about Lancelot…

  • his smile lights up his whole face
  • the way he always tries to make me smile, even if he has to push up a corner of my mouth with his finger
  • his hugs
  • he’s smart and we have some of the most interesting conversations
  • his sense of humor
  • I feel safe with him, physically and emotionally
  • those kisses
  • he’s polite
  • in spite of what he would have you believe he really is a big teddy bear, a gentle giant
  • he treats me like a person, not an object

I could probably keep going like that for awhile, but hopefully you get the idea. I didn’t make it near that far with my therapist before the tears started.

He’s incredibly special to me and I love him, so this whole feeling vulnerable thing is harder than ever because I’m more invested in him than I’ve been in anyone in a ridiculously long time.

Bottom line – I want this to work and I am willing to put in the work to make that happen. And I believe in my heart of hearts that he is, too.

I’m feeling more optimistic this morning about my coping skills and about how things are going. I was referred to as “me darlin” last night, which was something I had very much hoped to hear since that usually seems to be a good indication of “all systems go.” Plus it makes me blush and smile at the same time. The only thing better is when he puts on his Irish accent and says my name and also adds “me darlin dear.” That melts my heart. Anyway, I also snuck in a very brief phone call and heard his voice which always helps settle me.

Needy? Yes, it was. Did it help? Most certainly. Worth the risk? Yes, it was.

I’m feeling much better today than I was yesterday, which is always good. Part of the feeling better is that I have my Visa for the India trip, which was another piece I was waiting for. Yay! Now to start looking at the luggage restrictions and current TSA information so I know what I’m dealing with.

I also took a little time to knit this morning which always helps. That’s part of what I know I need to reintroduce into my life is more time to engage in my creative outlets. I’m not sure how that will work once grad school starts, it’s been so long since I’ve done that, but I know it’s possible.

On a sort of related note – any knitters out there have a recommendation for an easy to deal with project to take on the plane, preferably that uses sock/fingering weight yarn?

brain barf

I’m not feeling like me again and this fucking sucks. It’s been one of those mornings that, for whatever reason, I’m questioning things. All the things.

  • what if every shitty thing a guy has ever said about me really is true?
  • what if I can’t keep my shit together while I’m in India?
  • what if I can’t hack grad school this time?
  • why the hell can’t I stop the hamster wheel and get the fuck off it?
  • why does my body hate me?
  • why do I hate my body?
  • am I actually supposed to be happy?

Ugh.

Needless to say my anxiety is getting the best of me and I’m sick of it. Literally. My digestive system has reached a point where it isn’t tolerating my coffee, nectar of the gods. This is BAD. And I feel like I’m putting too much stress on Lancelot. He’s an amazing guy and deserves someone less frazzled than me.

I need to remind myself of this. And breathe. Breathing is good.

I was able to be productive last night. I got my e-Visa for the trip submitted, I made a small creative thing that I can’t share because it’s a surprise, and I worked on Lancelot’s hat. I have 19 rounds left so it won’t take long.

an update – mostly in pictures

It’s Monday morning and I’m back at work. My laundry is caught up, the cleaning bits at the house got done, and some knitting was accomplished yesterday. And I slept. Sleep is good.

The vacation last week was also good. We had some rough patches, but I expected that. This was the longest stretch of time we’ve spent together. We were bound to realize that the other is not, in fact, perfect. No surprise there. All in all I would say we worked through it all fairly well. I think Lancelot would agree. I hope he would.

I realized this morning that I don’t really have a ton of pictures to share, mostly because I was too busy enjoying what we were doing to take time to get out my phone. I’m going to call that a serious win.

Not quite lost on a beautiful back road in Weston, MO
My handsome breakfast companion
All dressed up for a special dinner
These purple roses were right outside our room at the B&B. When I commented on them he told me that he requested them special, just for me. I almost cried.

I’m not going to lie and say that my anxiety isn’t still trying to get the best of me or that I always acted like an adult. I will say that I learned a lot about myself this last week, things I would imagine he doesn’t realize even, and that growth is always good.

I have yet to hear anything about my grad school application other than two of the three people I asked to write letters of recommendation have either done it or are in the process of doing it. That’s making me a bit nervous that I haven’t heard yet.

The knitting is coming along. I had thought I would have finished the hat by now but I was too busy having fun last week. I’m going to guess that he’ll forgive me.

One last picture…

It’s not often that I like the way I look or like pictures taken of myself. I take selfies regularly but usually hate them. But I love this shirt and I actually think my hair is behaving today. And this is probably the most true-to-life picture I’ve taken of myself in a long fucking time.

goals? what goals?

I like to torture myself.

Now before you get all upset about that statement, let me explain. I decided this morning that I would check and see how I’m doing on the goals I set for myself this year. I thought I’d maybe be able to pat myself on the back a wee bit for a job well done.

Oh how incredibly fucking wrong I was.

But do you know what the great thing is about goals? You can keep working on them until you reach them. And if they’re too crazy hard, you can modify them. The best difference between a goal and a resolution, like a New Year’s resolution, is that a goal will never imply that there’s something wrong with you that needs to be fixed. Goals imply that you’d like to make a change or an improvement and they encourage you to get there.

So I haven’t been making the kind of progress I had hoped with the goals I set for this year, but my world hasn’t ended and I certainly don’t feel like I haven’t accomplished anything. Actually, not doing so well with a few of my goals is helping me to see areas that really do need improvement.

No experience is truly a failure if you learn something from it.

This weekend is going to be chock full of fucks for magical shit. I’m going to hang out with Lancelot, I’m going to work on my grad school application, I have a gorgeous (and amazingly easy) purple shawl with me to work on, I’m going to cook, and I suspect there will be snuggles aplenty.

 

on writing

I don’t remember exactly when I got the idea to write my autobiography, but somewhere along the line I decided that I really just needed to. It’s not like there aren’t some really great books out there written by amazing women who also live with Bipolar Disorder. For some reason I felt like my story deserved to be told, too. So I started.

The latest grad school adventure with be a Master of Fine Arts in Writing. I’m pursuing this in order to be able to see this project through to the end. But it’s not a guarantee I’ll get in, I still have to apply. I have until October 1st to turn in a 30-40 page writing sample.

That kind of scared me, at least until I remembered that somewhere I had started this beast. And then I thought I lost the file. And then the flash drive I thought it was on didn’t have that file but some other (disturbing) crap.

And then, praise dog, I found it. All 74 pages worth.

My task now is to whittle that down to a reasonable length and make sure it all makes sense. Lancelot and K have both offered to proof read for me. Thank dog for friends who don’t judge and can spell.

fun, games, and injections

How can you not love that smile? Seriously? And those gorgeous blue eyes? He’s amazing. And he’s posing with Yorick. If you recall, Yorick was temporarily my boyfriend. He has since taken up residence with Lancelot.

So it’s maybe silly but since he works 3rd shift and I work during the day we typically only see each other on the weekend, so we frequently send each other silly selfies like this. It helps. Don’t ask me to explain it, it just does.

In other news, I sported a big ol’ purple silk flower yesterday that got a lot more attention than I thought it would. I need to figure out how to make these things.

The dermatologist even commented on it. Speaking of which, I’m doing great. My bloodwork was perfect, symptoms are improving, he’s very pleased. I’m backing down to every other week for the injections. It has also been suggested that I modify my diet some and begin exercising. I can do that.

Have I mentioned going back to school for a second Master’s degree? Yeah, I need a 40 page writing sample to submit by October 1st. No pressure.