Out of Thin Air

As much as a 3 day week sounds blissful, I’m starting to see the downsides.  Four days off are nothing to complain about, but reality is the 3 days I am in school and trying to get everything done are intense.  Add in trying to date and have a life and its the perfect storm for needing those 4 recovery days.  At least when they are weeks like this one.

Working? um… why would I? to pay bills? Ha!  That implies there are actually jobs available that will be flexible enough to work with school schedules! Right. Not in this area lately.

Sure I could go for the Do You Want Fries With That option I guess, but I am trying to avoid the Freshman Fifteen this go around (does a 2 year associates even have a Freshman year?) and in all reality the minimum wage for busting my ass route is just going to leave me with no energy to study anything.  So what’s the point? I’d flunk out anyway.

Thought that Grants & Scholarships would be extremely helpful this go around since the first time I did college I didn’t go for any at all.  I was extremely lucky in that my grandparents & parents did some serious sacrificing and planning to put me through starting the day I was born.  So since I haven’t even used assistance before, why not now right? WRONG.  No longer eligible.

here have some cash… just kidding!

The grant I got – turns out someone in Financial Aid is a moron.  They gave me money yet some how are now saying I didn’t qualify for it.  So they took it back.  Why don’t I qualify? bad grades? shady past? criminal records? blue eye shadow?  Nope.  Simply because I have a degree.  A degree I was honest about from the get go in applying to school.

So now I owe several hundred dollars which they let me use at the bookstore for this now imaginary grant.  Which has to be repaid before I can register for classes next week.  Not sure how many people who aren’t working actually have that money just laying around without any purpose, but its not this girl.

Everything I have goes to getting by.  Sure I’m not eating ramen every night, but I have cut back on a lot of expenses since starting school.  So much so that I’m frustrated in a lot of ways.  But that is adulthood.  Not very many people do have tons of extra money to just toss.  Its a trade off I am willing to make.  Every purchase matters more now.  If I decide to go get a cup of coffee out, that means I have to cut corners elsewhere.  Its life.

Still I’m at the point where, its starting not to work.

Added unexpected expenses, like the grant I now have to repay along with the tuition for next year, are just not working out.

So stressed? You betcha.

What’s a girl to do?  There are several places hiring for full time.  One side of me says to take a step back and start working again.  School will be there when I can get to it.  Maybe take one night class for the next decade.   Still going full time would mean I am done and working in a job I am going to want to be in, in roughly another year and a half.  IF I can get there.

Student loans? As much as my parents really don’t want me to take on more debt… they are starting to seem like a very real option.  Scary as it may be, the money has to come from somewhere.

Between trying to figure all this out and finalizing a will & end of life paperwork (for class, but still hit me hard emotionally), study for exams, stay up on readings, prepare for a speech (um… got an A even with um… saying um… way more than um… I wanted to!) and doing photowalks, honoring soldiers and staying connected with friends, I AM BEAT.  My brain feels fried.  Deep fried.

Still no stopping now.  It may be my “weekend” but there is laundry to do, bags to pack, roads to travel with family waiting at the end to see.  Oh yeah… & homework. Lots and lots of homework.  With another exam waiting for me at 11 am on Monday.

this is my favorite mug. tends to always be dirty.

Thank goddess for the Keurig & pug snuggles.

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What am I waiting on?

Flipping channels today I stumbled across a discussion about abandoning the life you think you need for the one you truly want.  The question was asked how do you know what it is that you really would be happy doing?  The speaker gave the scenario of walking by a group of strangers who are having a conversation.  What would the topic be that would actually make you stop & introduce yourself to be able to join in the conversation?  Whatever it is that you care enough about to join in a group of total strangers’ conversation, is what brings you joy.

So what is it?

What is that one thing that makes your heart sing?

It stuck with me and struck a chord.  What would be my one thing?  More importantly – how can anyone focus on just ONE thing?  Is it normal to have one thing? Maybe I have life ADD.

Ask me in high school what I wanted.  Ask again in college, after college, after September 11, 2001, after the end of my past relationships, last summer…. all different answers.  Still judging by other successful lives, there has to be a common thread some where in there.

I know what makes me light up & brings me joy.  But making it into a career?  It changes…. a lot depending on the situation.  Spending time with the parrots, pugs & other animals in my life certainly is a highlight, but would it be so great if it were more? not sure.  Enjoy writing & reading, but how does that really pay? I’m not an english major or connected to those to publish a book & what would it be about.  I have more life to live.  Human Resources was great & in many ways I miss it, but something was missing there.  Hard to keep so positive in the land of negative.  Law is certainly exciting & has my attention right now & I sincerely hope that a door will open for me there when its time.  Hopefully I can find a way to uniquely make it my dream come true.

Still… why the wait?  Why does life make us wait on our dreams?

Even when we think we are nearly there, things change & our devotion gets tested.  Find a great connection, but realize you need to go thru a couple years of training… expensive time consuming training.  Yes tested.  People doubt your ablity and question your desires.  Someone will always try to define you to their standards.  Truth is they may be right in their perception, but that doesn’t make it your reality.  Just means that is what they believe.  Have to stay strong and maintain what is truth to you.  If its meant to be, it will be.  No matter who thinks differently.

So part time job?  that doesn’t suck my soul dry in the meantime?  that would be ideal.  Til then I just am going to hang on & keep focusing on what on earth this dream may be.  Right at the moment it feels a lot like less of a reality than I was hoping it would be.  Still.. hoping it is a test. just a test.

Bring me her HEART

How is it already June 1st?  Hurricane season  officially begins although someone forgot to tell those 2 storms that have already blown through the area.  Guess 2012 is going to be a wild ride.

Check in for the latest challenge:

  • Work out at least 4 times a week 30 minutes – hm… I was doing great but lately its less formal exercise, more just wandering around & other exercise as it comes up.  Playing in life.  Which is great.
  • Keep waking up by 9:00 am for at least 5 days per week – freely admit this goal has been tossed by the wayside for the most part. No alarms set & late nights have been awakening more like after 10 am than before 9 am.
  • STUDY!  – classes underway & so far I’m amazed by everything.  Loving it almost every step of the way.  The hypothetical documents drawn up are hard.  I get lost in the details of this doomed couple & having never done this before, its a challenge, but I guess that is what school is for – to challenge and grow.
  • Improve typing speed – blah. Testing my speed today & it was at 46 WPM, which is MUCH less than it was before.  Time to practice.
  • Live on $100 a week – having someone supportive of this is everything.  Its been interesting coming up with free/really cheap dates.

So far I am pleasantly surprised by what June has to offer.  Looking forward to the coming days.

Spent the day with the guy strolling & talking after going to a matinee showing of Snow White & the Huntsman.  LOVED the film.  Sure its not the greatest ever made & there are mistakes & ways that some feel it could have been cast differently, but I love it.  Great glimpse into a fantasy world and break from reality.  Not that I am going to complain about reality.  Life isn’t so bad.  There will always be ways to improve, but attitude, faith & hope get you through so much.  Suprises that make you stop, smile & do things you may otherwise never thought to do.

Fingers crossed that I will have some great news to share soon.

Stuck Rambling in this Holding Pattern Waiting for the Green Light

Ever feel like you fell asleep on the bus of life and just missed your stop?  The wheels keep turning and you realize you need to exit, but just aren’t sure where.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I remember an episode of Dead Like Me, where Georgia decides to let someone live who she should have reaped.  Ends up backfiring on her.  The person lives, but since it was past their “time” there are repercussions and it turns into something that never should have happened & bring a certain negative side and corruption.  More people die earlier than planned due to side effects of one person living longer than they should have.  As morbid as it sounds, that show gave me comfort.  In a lot of ways death is brutal to accept.  If you see it as a relief and timely, it gives it a little better chance of acceptance.

Learning that Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys passed yesterday after an emotional day was harder than I ever could have imagined.  Like my mom’s, his cancer started in a gland in the neck area & he went through surgery & radiation.  I imagine the holding mask was similar to my mom’s that they used to pinpoint the radiation – that mask creeped me out more than any one in a costume shop ever could.   Maybe it was his time.  Maybe it was a relief to let go of the struggle.  Maybe his passing will spur a positive action that will save lives.  Maybe.  Still it’s not an easy one to accept right now.  I never met the man, but his words inspired and were the soundtrack to many moments in my life.  His ability to spotlight and raise money for Tibet, will stand as a testament to his true character.   One can only hope to be able to help others as he did.  Still I can’t help but wonder what else he could have achieved given more time.

Struggling to feel like I’m not wasting my time.

Stressed out is not somewhere I am going.  I have learned to deal with things better than that.  Reality is to be dealt with or forgotten.  Current status is I have debt, I have no insurance again & yet still have daily meds I need.  The cash flow took a nose dive in this transition which I am still waiting on confirmation on what I am transitioning too.  I am in school, but not yet able to register for classes…. which means I don’t know what schedule I can offer to a new employer.  Still waiting to hear back about the student loan, which means adding more debt and frankly although I love the idea of doing this on my own, makes me nauseous to think about any MORE debt.  And this is all in the hopes that it makes improvements in my own life and allows me to do more that I believe in?  Is it all worth it?

Certainly is a good distraction from mom being sick.  Still she is.  Felt horrible not being able to make things better.  I wasn’t even able to keep her on her medication schedule.  In my defense I don’t really know her schedule, but I lost track of time and didn’t wake her up in time to take a morophine dose and she ended up dealing with the pain of my mistake.  Which sadly she has had to do a lot in my life.  Feels helpless waiting for the pain to go away and the medication to do its magic.

Home isn’t home anymore.  Hasn’t been for years.  Still its the only place she is now and I want to treasure the time we have.  Moving back isn’t an option, especially since my Dad’s dog sees Baxter as a threat to whatever & we have to keep the two separated so as not to stress out my Dad needlessly.  The crazy mutt has a screw loose and has attacked the pug once in the past so there is grounds to worry but added anxiety doesn’t exactly discourage things from escalating.  So my trip to visit got cut short.  Easier to just exit than to cause others the stress.

Was driving back to the beach when I learned of MCA’s passing.  Was driving there when I learned of Junior Seau‘s passing.  Both chilled me and shook me more than I would have expected.  Hard to see people you admire fall down.  We are all humans, but at times its so easy to see those who are doing great things as more.  Hope that they will always continue being strong, inspiring and doing the good they do.   Reality is we all have a time line and the lines end.  Why its so hard to accept is beyond my scope of reasoning.

But on the topic of time lines… I feel like mine is both non-existant and yet still feels neverending!

On one hand I know it seems like I have all the freedom in the world to do what may & reinvent life on a whim.

In my mind the list of things that need to get done immediately is neverending.  Overwhelmingly so.

Still I have to take a deep breath & remember that each day has three main goals that HAVE to be achieved.  The rest is all in the details.

Balancing the urges to give up and to fight on.

I know its going to be hard and waiting is half the struggle for now, but I am ready to move forward.  To know how to plan the next few months at least.   Knowing we never know when our time lines will be up it so frustrating to waste hours, days waiting to see what will be.  Waiting so that when the shot is fired to start the race, you will be ready to go with all your heart.

So I wait.  Preparing scenarios and scoping ideas.  Ready for my chance to get back in the race and follow my heart.  Hoping that there is still time to make my stance and improve something before the finish line.

May Day, May Day

What a day.

Life is good when you can start your day with this view…

There was NO ONE on the beach! I loved it. Felt like my own private island get away.  Originally I paid for an hour.  Once I planted my butt in the sand, I didn’t want to leave.  Tried to get more time on the parking meter – not that anyone was waiting on an open space – but I couldn’t get the process to work without knowing my plate number on my car.  So I took it as a sign that my alabaster skin probably didn’t need to get any more sun for the day.  While I will take a tan, a burn is not anything I need.  Although there is NOTHING like the way your skin feels after a lay in the sand.

Especially since I had pole practice tonight.  Last one in a while.  Need to figure out my schedule & finances before I can commit to anymore.  I am REALLY going to miss it.  My arms, legs, abs & entire body feel so much stronger.  Lifting myself up is so emplowering.  Amazing what your body can do once you try!   Plus I completely had to giggle at the modern version of the Beltane May Pole!  May not be braiding ropes or ribbons, but I certainly circled it around enough times & twisted my body up to where it felt knotted!  I will skip the other jokes about celebrating fertility!

So now I’m exhausted & bruised, but thankfully not burned.  Ending the day with a big fat smile on my face & hope in my heart.

No word on classes or a job yet, but soon.  Enjoying the moments as I wait.  One of the best realizations I have ever had is that some emotions, although valid, are useless.  Stressing out & worrying without action is just wasted energy.   So for now I wait & trust that it will work out as it should.  No reason not to enjoy the ride & keep my eyes open for the lessons to learn.

As for the latest challenge:

  • Work out at least 4 times a week 30 minutes – so far I have knocked out 2 hour long classes that worked me out! Tonight more so than last night, but I can feel my body getting stronger.  I am already hating that I won’t be going back to pole class next week.
  • Keep waking up by 9:00 am for at least 5 days per week – no alarm needed but I have been getting up before 9 am each day!  Yesterday I only beat it by about 10 minutes, but still counts.
  • STUDY!  No sense waiting for classes to begin learning.  Time is now.  Learn vocabulary, concepts, forms etc. – biggest thing I haved learned is that there is so much to learn & I want to know it all! Reading in a couple of books & working on some vocab (yes, I’m a geek!)
  • Improve typing speed – now that I am back on a laptop YES MY NEW ONE ARRIVED!!! I am better able to get to practicing.
  • Live on $100 a week – hard, but being home has helped. Also working the catering job helps. Great food to nosh on still this is going to take some work.  The temptations are there, the emails with the “savings” make me really want to go get shorts, a bathing suit, etc. to go from cold to hot weather.  Still I remind myself that if I spend $50 more than I planned but save $100, its still spending an extra $50 over budget!  They are only savings if it is a purchase that is needed.  So holding on the bathing suit & shorts… for now at least.

So thankful for all the great things I am able to experience right now.  Being able to workout in a way that pushes my  body beyond where it has been lately, walking on the beach at sunset and spending mornings laying in the sand, time with the parrots, snuggling with Baxter, new laptops (thank you financing plans) and all the potential that awaits in the future.  So many blessings in my world right now.  Simply ripe for the next phase to begin, but until then I am enjoying being right where I am.  Making memories worth remembering.

Enjoying MY life.

The Dare – Student Edition

Caffeine has nothing on enthusiasm.  Another day wide away before I need to be.  Just too excited to get going to the next phase.

Virgo: Travel plans that you have been working on for a while are finally taking shape now. Or, perhaps, you’re enrolling in an educational program, making your upcoming journey a mental one. Either way, you’re at the threshold of a great adventure and previous resistance continues to fall away as Mars in your sign gains speed. Fortunately, you receive an extra boost of help today from the practical Sun-Pluto trine, so focus on a single goal and work to make your dreams come true.

Sounds like I am right where I need to be.  Love it when you do something because you know its what is right for you & then you end up getting all these confirmations that you are exactly where you need to be.

Yes its slightly scary to take the leap, but I know now I have wings & with the effort, I will soar.

End of another chapter on the resume.  May seem slightly sudden, but its been coming for a while.  I am feeling wonderful about it & ready to start working towards my next phase in life.   The experience was valuable.    So the application is in, transcripts are on their way and my FAFSA is in the works as well as plans to get by for however long this ends up taking to build the dream.

I’m putting my money where my mouth is & walking the talk.  If you only live once, there is no reason to wait a moment more to reach for the dream.

Also time to be slightly realistic & make a plan!  So the plan. (yes… again the Virgo is going to try to plan!)  This time I am less afraid & more focused on getting through the tough times to where I want to be.  I am in a holding pattern til I can confirm if I will be starting school in the summer session or the fall.  Also need to confirm on the financial aspects.  The age old do I do the student loan question.  I have never had one before, but this time I don’t expect anyone to pay for this but myself.  My parents and both sets of grandparents were kind enough to bless me with my bachelors degree.  My PHR was paid for by a former employer.  These building blocks certainly are paying off & I am truly lucky to have had them.  Now to use them to grow on.  Sure scholarships & grants would be great but most I have found are for undergraduates and single moms.  (PLEASE feel free to alert me to any that I may qualify for in the comments! I am very open to working on getting them & if your lead pays off, who knows I may reward you.  Don’t get too excited though I will be a college student on a budget!)

So again the plan, or the challenge I am setting for myself:

  1. Work out at least 4 times a week 30 minutes
  2. Keep waking up by 9:00 am for at least 5 days per week
  3. STUDY!  No sense waiting for classes to begin learning.  Time is now.  Learn vocabulary, concepts, forms etc.
  4. Improve typing speed
  5. Live on $100 a week (But I am changing the rules on this one)

Each week I am going to limit myself to $100 per week to eat, entertain myself, etc on.  This will not include bills, gas, medication or pet expenses.  It will include clothes, food, going out, all that extra stuff.  Again there is a way to add to the amount!  Achieve in order to get more.  Reward system.  Budget living again, but with hope.

As before – Any food in the house or anything given to me won’t count cost wise.  Also I can and will find ways to earn cash. Still resolving not to touch the 401k!  To add to the weekly allowance I can gain some extra cash flow by earning it:

  • For every application for a scholarship, grant or employment I complete & submit = $1.00
  • For every hour I volunteer = $1.00
  • For every interview I go on = $1.00
  • For every extra 30 minutes of exercise beyond the 1st 4 sessions per week = $1.00
  • Each day I track over 10,000 steps in a day = $1.00
  • For each book I finish = $1.00 for each book, $5.00 for anything related to the law field.

So back to the plan.  Tracking everything I do.  My life is my job.  For now at least.  I still am doing the catering service and actually am working a wedding today.  Perhaps with the increase in film production locally lately, I will find myself doing extra work again soon.  Once I get the green light on classes & can figure out my school schedule, I can get a better idea on what hours I can work.  Then its job hunt time.  But for now I am not sure if I’m going to summer or fall session & not 100% confirmed where I will be studying.  So a lot is up in the air.

I’m beyond excited.  Feels 100% right for me.  Can work in a field where again I am helping others.  Law school could be an option down the road, but I believe I am more into the research and administrative assistance side.  Not sure I would be much for the public speaking in a court room.  This way I get to be part of the team & support in the efforts but get to stay out of the limelight.  Completely know the value of support.  Reminded how much of a gift it can be as I do this with the support of friends & family.

Not alone and not accepting defeat in this fight.  Time to grow.  Time to prove myself once again.  Time to survive and thrive!

I’m open to any advice or suggestions that you have.  Please feel free to contact me if there is anything to share.  Encouragement, advice, links, all completely welcomed.

Now I’m off to search for scholarships and read a little before I am off to assist with making a bit of magic for a happy couple (& getting a great workout, food & my next paycheck!).

Draft Dreams

Tonight I watch as lives change.  The NFL Draft is on right now & I love this night each year.  Dreams coming true. The excitement and hope. New careers start.

Which is extremely timely in my life.

I haven’t exactly been happy lately.  Just not able to get my heart & mind into my work – well, I guess I should say FORMER work.  yes my time as a recruiter is over. No drama, no hard feelings, just time to end and allow fresh energy to do the work.

So tomorrow I will be enjoying a bit of me time.  Relaxation & stopping to smell a few roses so to speak.

But come Monday.. its ON AGAIN!  another challenge to begin.  Some of my most popular post have been those where I was out of work & looking for a new job while sticking to a budget.  Of course I am going to do it again!  With a bit of a twist.  I have in mind something that came to me & like a light bulb went off, it just made sense.  One of those why didn’t I think of that before moments.  I am going to follow my heart again.  But that is a story to come.

For now I watch as others dreams come true.  The excitement to see who is picked & their smiles as big as can be.  I can’t help but be thrilled for each & every player who goes up & accepts that new jersey.  This fall I most likely will boo them as they battle my beloved Panthers on the field, but tonight we share an emotion – pure elation.  The joy of knowing the best is yet to come.  Awareness that its going to be work, but its worth every single moment.

So congratulations to all the new NFL players & their families.

Can not wait for all the things to come!