Yes, I’m Scared of the Dark. Terrified, Really.

I have a lot of fears.

Well, maybe not a lot, but at least two or three that seize my body with terror & fill my mind with awful images & scenarios whenever I think of them.

Like drowning.

The thought of not being able to draw in a breath without choking on water & being submerged in a body of water petrifies me.

And snakes…my toes curled up & my heart nearly flew out of my chest just typing that s-word…so I think it’s best we just move right along to my final fear:

I’m terrified of the dark.

Yes, I’m 29 years old and I’m afraid of the dark-have been since I was a kid. Even as grown woman & mother of two kids, a small part of me is always convinced something will emerge from it to “get me,” even though my rational mind knows this isn’t the case.

But that’s the thing about fears, right? They aren’t always rational, are they? (Follow me, I’m trying to go somewhere, I promise.)

I think what scares me the most about darkness is that it places everything it covers into The Land of the Unknown…what was sure & recognizable in the light becomes shadowy, fuzzy & unclear in the dark. For a control freak like myself, I’m sure you can imagine why this freaks me out. I wish I could tell you that I don’t stay awake some nights wondering if the shadow in the closet is really from the ironing board that I KNOW is there…or from some horrific figment of my imagination it’s put there to f– with me. Seriously, I wish I could but I can’t. I don’t do it much when I’m with someone else but if I’m by myself? Forget it. I’m cowering under the covers trying not to think about how unsafe I feel…Sometimes, just to shut up & shut down the fears screaming in my mind I have to actually get up, turn on a light, and go physically touch objects around the room I’m in…just for reassurance.

Crazy, right? Weird, right? Yes I know. Stupid? Probably…but as I lay here in my bed typing this and trying to tell myself I’m not going to wake up with some stranger laying next to or on me, and that the boys & I are VERY safe, I’m realizing that my fear of the dark is really just a fear of uncertainty. I hate not knowing. Ambiguity and I are not friends. Not being able to see & know everything around me leaves me in a very unsettled place emotionally…which disrupts me mentally, and manifests itself physically into agitation, irritability, paranoia, and crippling anxiety. I even get intrusive thoughts sometimes. My mind smells any hint of fear & just takes off in about 20 different directions, all of which lead to something horrific happening. If I can’t see or know everything there is about something, a person, or where I have to go, I’m a wreck and not too pleasant to be around. This is one of the reasons I hate getting lost. Can’t. Stand it.

And it’s one of the reasons why even though growing up a military brat acquainted me with change & taught me the importance of adjusting & adapting to it, I’m not very good at embracing it like I should be. I know, you’re thinking to yourself “The chick who changes her hair color every time she blinks is afraid of change? What the hell?” But seriously, while I may not be afraid of changing how I look, I am terrified of how change impacts my life in other areas.

I like change…There are times my restless and adventurous little soul yearns for it…but then when it shows up ready to deliver I promptly begin to freak the hell out. I know-I don’t get the contradiction either, trust me.

So even though I was dying to pack up & move across the country…am giddy at the thought of marrying the nerd of my life…am relieved to be taking a break from work & school and looking forward to just being MOM….here I am, laying in a hotel room in Austin, TX, (IN THE DARK!) absolutely paralyzed by my fear of the uncertain…of what’s unknown…imagine Usain Bolt running around at record speed inside my head waving 500 “what if?” flags stirring up a fear tornado. That’s my mind right now.

A fear tornado. I’m dead smack in the center staring wide eyed at all my fears & questions swirling furiously around me.

What happens if Bertski doesn’t come back from PA next week because his train derails and crashes and I’m forced to be here by myself? How would we survive & live without him?

What if someone breaks in here or attacks us while he’s gone? How would I defend us?

What if he changes his mind & doesn’t want to marry me?

What if he hates it here?

What if I hate it here? And the boys? What if this was a mistake?

We haven’t found a place yet-what if we don’t? How long can we stay here at the hotel? Will they kick us out? Where will we go?

What if by choosing to “just” be Mom, I lose the other parts of me that make me…ME? What will happen to my passions, my goals, my ambition? What if I don’t go back to school & I regret it? Will my children think less of me if I don’t have a degree? Will I be setting the bar too low for them if I don’t go back?

Can we survive off of just one income?

What if the boys get sick or need to go to the doctor? Or me? Or Bertski? We don’t have health insurance…

What if I’m not strong enough to handle all of this change & I sink into an episode or my illness rages out of control again?

I could go on…but I’ll stop the list there. I know some of these fears are irrational, slightly silly & maybe even stupid-I know this, I do. But there are others that are valid & real and they’re the ones that cause me the most unease. I’m incredibly happy we moved. Grateful for the people we’ve met here & the connections we’ve made despite being states away from family & friends who have supported us for years. Thrilled that I’m doing this with the man I love dearly and my boys…

But I’m also scared shitless over the unknowns of this venture, of everything that sits in the dark, and restricts my vision of the future. We’ve executed a plan that brought us here, but large amounts of that plan have been rooted in uncertainty & our desire to just stick together & “make it happen”until we’re settled.

I’m afraid of the dark, because not being able to see what’s in front of me leaves me feeling very unsettled…uneasy…uncomfortable. I’m trying to take it all in stride & just learn to be okay with not knowing. I’m trying to embrace the nuances of change without trying to control it too much. It’s not easy, but I’m trying.

Well there you have it. I told you some of my fears, what are yours?

Manic Monday: Updates and My New Love

WHEW! It’s Monday! I can’t believe it, seriously. It’s MONDAY, people. I have so much going on it feels like it’s the middle of a grueling week, and it’s only Monday. So much to tell you where do I start?

Hmmmm…..

My head is spinning. I can’t tell if it’s from everything that’s going on or from the medium iced coffee I now regret ingesting. Note to self, no more caffeine. If any of you fine readers have alternative solutions for trying to stay awake amidst medicinal side effects such as fatigue, please let a sufferer know….

Ok. So what is going on? SCHOOL. COLLEGE. MIDTERMS. Seriously, this semester took a sharp turn into WTFville very quickly and I’ve had more than I think a human can handle due daily for the past week and a half or so. Seriously, I know my profs are Christians, but between you and me I think they’re smoking something because who assigns this much work? Clearly my profs do. It hasn’t been fun, to say the least…..

But fun IS on the horizon because SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK! I know understand why students go to Mexico and lose all inhibition and get wasted for 5 days in the middle of March. You’ve gotta release the pressure and tension somehow, right?

How am I going to release the pressure and tension during spring mini vacay? First I’m going to have a margarita. Or ten. On the rocks, none of that fru fru frozen nonsense. Next I’m going to board a plane and head to my dream city: Austin, a city I hope to one day live in, even if it’s just for a year or two. Yep that’s right, Brennan and I are heading cross country to the Lonestar State. It will be my first vacation, my first real break in over TEN (count em, TEN!) years. I think its long overdue don’t you think?

I’m very excited because I will be away from the East Coast and seeing some family I haven’t seen in years, so I’m sure it’s going to be a swell trip. And I’m only kidding about the ten margaritas, I’m on meds, so I will of course be responsible and only allow myself one, two maximum.

Speaking of meds, guess what? I’ve jumped out of the dating game and into what I’m hoping is a long term relationship with Lamictal. Y’all I’ve been on it for a solid month and that’s how I feel: solid. Still hypo manic, still a little (tiny) bit depressed here and there but it’s finally manageable. I feel like my mind and emotions are in a checks and balances system that works. I don’t want to jinx myself but I really do think that between Lamictal, Abilify, and my anti anxiety meds I’ve found the right cocktail. So I think I’ve found “the one,” and I’m so in love, I can’t believe it ;)

Speaking of my illness, I was asked by my professor to speak to her abnormal psych class about living with PPD and BP. I did and even though I cried, it went very well. It felt good to be able to be open and transparent with others, especially Christians, and I’m do glad I did it. I hope I eliminated some shame and stigma by speaking out….

And speaking of shame, there will be no shame in my game when it comes to Dance Party Fridays, people, because I’ve kicked it up a notch. I ordered some dancing scarves…

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And ribbons….

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And can’t WAIT to use them in a video! They came in the mail today and made. my. Monday. So pumped, I think my first song with them will be some Florence and the Machine…what do you think?

So in a nutshell that’s my life at the moment. On this Monday.

How was your Monday? Any Spring Break plans with your kids or vacations lined up in the future? Feel free to dish in the comments ;)

(is it Friday yet?!)

College Mama: Mountain Climbing

Wow.

I did it.

I’m sitting here on my couch snotting and sobbing from relief, elation, and gratitude.

I did it y’all.

I MADE IT THROUGH MY 1ST SEMESTER AT PBU.

I’m in shock and awe about this because back in July, and even as recently as October when I wrote this, it just seemed like such a daunting task.

  • Bad breakup; newly single
  • New diagnosis
  • New medications & adjustments
  • New therapies & psychiatrist appointments
  • New state, new city, new apartment, new environment…far away from family & church support
  • New bills
  • My boys
  • My (hypo)mania
  • My severe depression
  • My “mixed” states
  • Excruciating anxiety
  • Struggling with wanting to live…and fighting urges to self-injure (which I didn’t always succeed in doing)
  • New school
  • Full course load
  • Surviving off of GI Bill benefits, disability, & financial aide…new financial worries
Back then and at times throughout the course of the past 4 months, this mountain just seemed impossible to climb. Too painful, too rocky, too tough to grasp, my strength and mind felt too diminished and futile to even think most days, let alone actually LIVE.
Wait… Sorry…Give me a minute…I’m crying again….*reaching for tissue*
(Pause)
But here I am, at the top of the mountain I didn’t think I’d be able to climb and when I look out at the view that surrounds me, I see
  • A therapy & medication routine that’s starting to be effective and take hold
  • A fresh perspective, one that’s no longer weighed down by unrealistic expectations & standards
  • A course load that’s manageable because of academic accommodations and open dialogue with my professors
  • Two unbelievably amazing close friends, one old, one new (I’m looking at you, Lyrical Dilettante) who hold me accountable, help me see myself in a healthy, realistic light…and just…accept me. challenge me. laugh with me. dance with me…cook with me…and sit with me when I’m in my low moments and am struggling with wanting to kill myself.
  • An INCREDIBLE group of online friends who feel more like family. From my #PPDChat Army (Lauren, Charity, Susan, Jaime, Katherine, Story, & more)…. to my new friends in the Bipolar Depression Closed support group on Facebook, who are from all over the world, and encourage me on a daily basis, help me understand my BP, and love on me in my darkest moments….
  • My other “in real life” friends who I talk to at school and on Facebook…old and new…blood related and not…
  • My boys…happy…healthy….growing…laughing…super smart and enjoying being their own people
  • Forgiveness and understanding paving the way for a healthier relationship with my ex…
  • A new dating potential who told me this morning that I don’t have to hustle for worthiness with him, out of fear he’ll leave….as he puts it, “I’m here because I want you.” (His exact words.)
  • Oh yeah….and my new hair color!
  • Manic Panic hair dye has changed my life

The view from up here is breathtaking….Even with all of it’s stress, highs, lows, and anxiety, everything I mentioned above has created a solid and healthy environment for me to live and thrive in. Catching a glimpse of the beauty that’s laid out before me fills my heart with a quiet comfort because I know when it’s time to climb the next mountain (and the next semester) I can do it.

I have everything I need to make it :) I’m so grateful for all of you it’s ridiculous!

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!

Dance Party Friday: It’s a Family Affair Edition

IT’S FRIIIIIIIDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!

Forgive me, but it’s been quite a week, so I had to get that out of my system. What’s that? Why has it been “quite a week,” you say? Well….

  • Migraines. ALL WEEK.
  • Rain. ALL WEEK.
  • Tired. ALL WEEK.
  • HOMEWORK. Mountains of it. ALL WEEK.
  • Boys being boys. ALL WEEK. (I woke up on Wednesday morning to BOTH of them AND their room being COVERED in baby powder…which I have yet to finish cleaning up)
  • My fridge kept going out. ALL WEEK. But, due to the awesome sauce and generosity of some of my new PBU friends, we were able to survive off of dry goods and the groceries they bought us to replace all the spoiled stuff. HALLELUJAH!
  • Did I mention migraines and homework already?
  • Sick toddler
  • The 4yr old did this:

    Trust me, you don't want to know how he did this!

    Soooooo. Can you see why I’m happy it’s the END of the week?! I don’t know how I actually managed to record this yesterday, but I did, and I have a special guest with me today: meet Mr. Brennan. He is 4 1/2. He enjoys the Superhero Squad, any electronic device, the drums, music, and can tell you what a trapezoid is. (I don’t even know that) He also LOVES to dance (who knew? wonder what side of the gene pool he got that from?) and he LOVES the songs we danced to yesterday.

    Recording with a 4 year old who is preoccupied with themselves on the giant monitor on mommy’s desk isn’t easy, but hey, I just went with the flow. Again, they aren’t perfect, but after the kind of week I’ve had people, life just never is :) And the best way I know to deal with it is to just get my body moving. So without further ado….here are our Dance Party Friday selections for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy :)

    Check out my other Dance Party posts: Square Biz Edition & Baby I’m a (Imperfect) Star

Table Talk Tuesday: College Mama pt 2

Last week I posted about my then upcoming Weekend of Welcome at my university & my concerns about how immersed I felt I could or should be because I’m older & a mama.

Well, my ex agreed to stay at my place and watch both boys so I could attend all the festivities I wanted. (I know, even though he’s my ex, he’s awesome) So I attended various events last Thursday-Saturday. The mandatory ones were tedious & boring, my academic meeting was informative & gave me the dose of reality I needed (I’m going after a dual degree program), & some of the fun festivities were pretty rad.

Thursday night,  I wrestled over mattresses Steal the Bacon style with people 10 years my junior, got rained on repeatedly, & leap frogged the entire length of a soccer field during a crazy long relay race. My thighs started cussing me out halfway and were dead by the time I low-crawled over the finish line. (My team came in third place-GO BLUE! AUGUSTIVUS WOOOOHOOO! PBU! PBU!)

Friday there were more meetings and I was still barely able to move from the night before. When it came time to go home, I stayed home with the boys instead of going back out for that evening’s social activities. Besides, Irene was on her way, so I had to prepare, grocery shop, you know, do Mama stuff.  Speaking of Irene, I should have listened to my gut Saturday morning when it told me to stay home instead of go to Philly with the rest of my incoming class. It was just a bad idea. Irene started pre-gaming in our area with lots of rain that left us all soaking wet….which pissed me off. Plus I’ve been to center city plenty enough this summer-I was less than enthused to be staring at the Liberty Bell & slogging my way to Reading Terminal dripping wet. The icing on the cake and perhaps the biggest indicator that I should have stayed home was the fact that I was in a reflective state of mind. Not really anti-social, but just withdrawn. I wanted to read & stew in my own thoughts….not really what I needed to be Socialite Sally for the day.

All in all I’m glad I was able to partake in pretty much everything. It gave me the chance to meet people & myself the chance to exercise some gut following. I automatically started to see what would work for me, what I could be involved in, & what I couldn’t. I learned that when it comes to something like this, it’s always best to follow your instincts-I know mine will tell me where to navigate to as I move forward this year.

Speaking of moving forward, let’s skip over Irene & just stop at yesterday: my first day of classes. It was hectic, it was usual first day stuff, it was even surprising-some of the classes I thought would be heavy hitters & require hundreds of hours of writing this semester actually aren’t. I was able to tie up loose ends around campus (like parking passes & financial aid)…but here’s the thing. It all felt like a blur. Like it wasn’t really happening. By the time I got home and fed the boys dinner, I couldn’t even remember how I had managed to do so. It was only then that I realized my heart was pounding and that my thoughts were racing-had been all day. That I had been moving (and probably speaking at) the speed of light. The frantic pace and anticipation that came with the first day of classes had raised my anxiety to a certain level & I hadn’t even realized it, because I felt so great the whole day. (Which, sound a tad like the euphoric feelings of mania, does it not?) And even though my body was tired, my mind was wired & in a very weird space, a little panicky, but I don’t even think I can articulate it actually. I just know that I didn’t feel right. I could also tell immediately that I wasn’t going to be able to sleep. But that’s just what I did. I put the boys to bed and then forced myself to sleep….at 6:30.

This morning I woke up and realized that I’m a little scared about what it’s going to take to tackle this semester. It’s going to take me being on my A game, and I know I’m not. Not mentally. I’m still trying to get there. Medication is starting to help, and I start therapy next Tuesday….but trying to manage college life, motherhood, life in general, AND trying to get a manageable hold on a mood disorder (meds, exercise, therapy, etc)? MAN. That’s alot. And I didn’t even mention blogging…..

Can I do it. I believe I can. But the question, is how? I think my therapist will be able to help me develop some strategies (she’s a cognitive behavioral therapist), but do you have any suggestions on how I can approach this? How do you balance it all & stay afloat? Especially you readers who do or have battled a mental illness, how did you take care of everything but also manage to take care of yourself at the same time? Any advice you can offer a mama?

 

Table Talk Tuesday: College Mama pt 1

First, before I write another word, I want to play and sing along with this song…..(ahem, clearing throat for serious belting out)

“WHOOOAAA OHHHHH OH OH OH, OH OH….” Ok, got that out of my system. When I buy my ukulele (which is on my life list) this will be the first song I attempt to play. I’ll tell you the second one in another post :)

Second, I’d like to say that I just took my meds for the day, SO, their effects are having an affect on me. In other words, physically, they make me lose my balance-ALOT. So for the first hour after I take them, I’m a complete klutz and I feel funny in head. Not in a bad way, but just in a “I just took a dose of nyquil” kind of way. So I apologize for any typos, ramblings or nonsensical  things that spill forth from this paragraph on…

So. I graduated in May with an Associates in Arts. I’m so appreciative and grateful for those who supported me through that journey, but I want to take a moment and thank my therapist at the Postpartum Stress Center in Rosemont. One of the first assignments she gave me when I expressed my icky feelings about how the school had messed up my credits, was to go to the dean and asked to be “grandfathered” into the program, because they messed up and I REALLY needed to graduate. I looked at her like she was crazy….cause, I hate doing things like that. But. I went. I did it. AND IT WORKED. They adjusted some things, had to pick up an extra class, and I GRADUATED.

During this time I also took a step, no a LEAP of faith and decided to act on the pull in my gut to change my major. I love social media, but I had been feeling the urge to pursue my passion-helping people. Helping women. Mamas. Veterans. People like me who have been through what I’ve experienced. I’ll write more about that in part 2 of this post….but as I was saying, I took a giant leap of faith and applied to a school I had been told & advised had the best counseling program in the area. And it was a Christian university. The pull grew so strong, it overrode my nerves and I applied. I GOT IN. *cue the celebration music*

Well today is Tuesday. Orientation starts on Thursday and goes through the weekend. And I’m a little (re VERY) freaked out about it. Excited to be in a place where I can grow spiritually and really let my inner bible geek feast off of the knowledge of my professors, go deeper into the bible and firm up what I believe? Nervous but determined? YES very. To say I need to be here at this time in my life is an understatement.

But I’m nervous ya’ll. Of course most schools these days have “non traditional” students who take classes….but will they be in my classes with me, during the day? Not taking night classes because, hey my boys need daycare. I’m 28 with 2 kids. I know millions of women do this everyday and make it happen. I know I can make it happen, especially now that I’m taking care of myself mentally. I just…I don’t know. I want to really experience that whole “going away to college thing”. I want to be a part of the community. Get involved. Not to the point where I’m overworked or neglecting my mamahood responsibilities,but I want to be active, engaged, go to homecoming,  sign up for projects and ministry outreaches. That’s why I’ve let go of things like consulting. Why I’ve let go of other duties & responsibilities at my church. (I have other reasons for this too, but that’s a WHOLE other topic) Why when things with my ex ended, I transported myself out here to an apartment I’m renting through the campus.

I feel so strongly, that I need this. I know I’m out here where I essentially know no one. I know I’m “on my own” in a sense, away from family, church, and everything that was familiar to me. But….I just can’t shake this feeling that this is how it’s supposed to be. And by feeling, I mean not some fickle matter of the heart. I’m talking destiny here folks. That whole “I have to make a drastic change in my life to progress” feeling. And while others may disagree, I’m believing that it’s God’s will. He’s working it out so far.

So my question that I pose to you is this: As a mama, am I being too unrealistic here with wanting to get the full college experience? And if I’m not, any suggestions on how to juggle, balance, manage this? I know because of my situation I’m not a traditional student…but does that mean I’m wrong or delusional for wanting this? How do I make this work for me and my boys? Anyone out there been through this? I’m taking any and all suggestions.

GO PBU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The View from Up Here

I’ve been a quiet wreck the past 3-4 weeks.

Quiet, meaning I haven’t said much about it and have kept the emotions exploding within me to myself.

A wreck, meaning that at any given moment during the said time frame, I’ve had tears streaming down my face, physical evidence of the flood of emotions consuming my heart and mind….

Any given moment meaning while I’m driving my car….huffing, puffing, & heaving my 30lb overweight body through a 3 mile run…washing my hair in the shower….eating a peanut butter/banana/honey sandwich and wasting time on Twitter (@addyeB-follow me! I follow back-unless you’re a spammer…or creepy)…changing my 13mo old’s diaper, you get the picture-completely random and quite unexpectedly, I’d find myself crying and clenching my fists….

But not because of stress, although I’ve had PLENTY of it recently….or because of sweat-inducing anxiety (which is NOT fun and tends to happen way too often in my opinion)…or due to a complete, overwhelming lack of motivation or depressing thoughts (you know, the kind where just the THOUGHT of moving wears you out)…No I’ve been a wreck for a GOOD reason-let me explain:

It started at Camden County College’s “Spring Fling” a few weeks ago. Well actually, it started that morning as I was in the shower feeling the excitement over picking up my cap & gown spreading like warm sunshine on my skin. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about the journey it took to reach that point-and that’s when the levee broke, emotions charging through my mind like a rushing current…

4  1/2years ago, I was a single mother living off of a $506 bi-weekly unemployment stipend, and had been separated from the Air Force for about six months. I’d spent those six months fighting for said unemployment benefits, navigating the social services system for healthcare, living with friends, living with strangers, trying to recover from (another) failed relationship (my judgement really SUCKED back then), trying to get my son’s father to indeed acknowledge that he WAS the father, searching for a job, and learning how to adjust to this new role I found myself in: MOTHER.

When I look back over the time since then I see snapshots of myself:  going hungry so I could spend the money I had on groceries/diapers/necessities for my son…being homeless and trying to find a shelter for us to live in….endless job searches….working the overnight shift at Target stocking shelves, wondering if I’d ever get back on my feet….having to move back in with my parents and share a room with my sister (I used to feel so guilty about that)….waiting for a year to FINALLY get disability compensation from the VA and another 6 months to FINALLY get into a VA education program so I could go back to school….The agonizing “should I go to school for what I really want, or should I just go for something guaranteed, like medical coding” decision process.(I chose the first option)…having another child and realizing I’d have to put school on hold for awhile….struggling with depression and anxiety the past two years….sitting out in my car in the college parking lot a mere 10 weeks ago, hopes crushed because of a small glitch in the computer system, wanting to give up because I thought graduating just wasn’t in the cards for me-I wanted to give up-badly….

So many disappointments. Failures. Mistakes. Pain. Frustration. Anger….The rigors of discipline. Learning the nuances of time management. Stress. Not knowing how I was going to make it financially. Guilt. Shame….some of the valleys I’ve spent time in the past 4 years have been the darkest and driest ones I’ve found myself in yet….Some of which I never thought I’d make it out of…

BUT I’ve had triumphs and successes too. I’ve been stretched and have grown. Been broken and rebuilt. Refined and remade time and again throughout this journey….

And so when I walked up to the table where they were passing out caps and gowns to graduation candidates, I almost couldn’t do it. There I was, standing in a crowd of people, afraid to step forward and claim the prize I’ve wanted most since I was in kindergarten.(Going to and graduating from college has been a dream/goal of mine since I started school. Yes, I love to learn-I’m a nerd) Afraid that when I gave the lady my name, she’d look over the list, look at me apologetically and say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t see your name.” When I finally got the nerve to approach the table, handed her my ID and received my cap & gown in my hands, I realized my hands were shaking and I had to blink back gallon sized tears….

The same tears that threatened to spill over as I sat in rehearsal yesterday, in awe that I was actually there. This was it…

All the worry about finals, all the pressure, all the fatigue, all the work it had taken to stand with the hundreds of others in the gym who had completed the same journey-It had paid off. I made it. Listening to the various details & instructions being given to us about where to sit, where to stand, who’s hand to shake, feeling the buzz of eager anticipation and excitement made me realize that the journey had been worth it. Every. Single. Step.

And I was/am still in awe that I’m here. It feels surreal to be in the middle of a dream that’s become a reality. I didn’t think I’d make it. Some told me I’d make it, others….others said I wouldn’t. My dad, growing up, he said I would never become anything, that even though I was smart I didn’t have what it took to make something of myself, told me I didn’t deserve to be where I am right now. But when I walk across the stage tomorrow to receive my degree, it will feel so good to know that he was wrong.

I think what has me the most overwhelmed and emotional is this feeling of humility that lays deep in my heart. When I think back and remember the past 4 years, I’m just humbled because I see that I haven’t reached this point because I’m so great, or smart, or organized, or have it all together. When I look at the fact that I’m graduating tomorrow, and all that I went through, I just see God. I see His faithfulness. I see His love, His mercy, His compassion for me. I see Him holding me together when I was falling apart. In the midst of my mistakes, depression, struggles, anxiety, and pain, I see Him navigating me through it all. I see Him giving me favor with my teachers, working behind the scenes to help me get to this point…using people in my life to encourage me to keep going despite any mistakes I made or bad circumstances I found myself in. I just see God and His greatness, and I’m humbled by knowing that I’m here because He got me here, and that myself and my faith has grown leaps & bounds because of this experience.

I graduate tomorrow at 10am with an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Communications. In the fall I’ll start a new journey, pursuing my bachelor’s & master’d degree in counseling. But before I start down that road, I’m just going to sit and soak in this moment, this victory at the top of the mountain and enjoy looking out at what’s ahead of me.

It’s a pretty awesome view.

Classroom Dialogue 101

A collection of random dialogues and happenings while attending college classes

In Concepts of Math, my prof is introducing “sets”:
“Enumerate…now there’s a word I love to say, it just has a nice way of roollling off the tongue, don’t you think? Enumerate I could say it over and over again, it just does something for me!”

Come again? Yep, definitely a geek squared!

In my Psych 101 class last week, sitting in front of and overhearing a convo between two chicks who chain smoke and have pet snakes…

“OMG, so like when we got the snake we didn’t know if it was like, you know, male or female…but my boyfriend was cleaning out the bedding one day and noticed all this stuff that looked like I dunno, shedding or something and he put it outside and we realized later on that the shedding stuff was actually EGGS and I was like ‘OMG, you idiot, how could you freeze snake eggs?’ “

*Note: I have a reptile phobia, especially when it comes to snakes* UMMMM 1) excuse me while I barf and 2) yea…I need to switch seats ASAP *scanning classroom for available seats-darn! The prof is starting to lecture, UGH, I’m officially grossed out and feel dirty all of a sudden-HELP!

Standing in the Madison Connector building, trying to warm up before moving to the next building where my class is, I notice two guys whistle at this girl who just entered the building. She stops immediately, whips her head around and says:

“Do I LOOK like a dog to you? Grow up!”

That’s right, demand respect my fellow female! (Power fist in the air)

In my Psych 101 class today, 1) I’m sitting FAR away from smoking snake girls, but found myself next to two new guys who lean over and ask me:

“Hey, is that ‘sexy chick’ up there our teacher or what? Don’t tell me that’s her!” When I reply in the affirmative, they high-five each other and one goes: “Dude, its going to be a sexy semester-I bet she’s single…” I stopped listening at that point, and

2)Meanwhile, ‘sexy chick’ prof is having technical issues with the projector. She leaves the room to call the tech dept…Immediately the black girl sitting to my left makes an announcement:

“Ok class, here you go (holding up a stack of typed up sheets) we’ve got all of chapter 1 notes WITH the chapter review and key terms all prepared and available for $5/ copy! Chapter 2 will be ready next class…I’m also available for tax preparation, and can hook up your cable through Comcast…what?! I got classes to pay for, so I gotta get in where I fit in!”

If you’re wondering if she just gave knew meaning to the words “grindin” and “hustling” while reinforcing a few stereotypes, YES she just did.

I had to whip out my Crackberry and post that on Facebook-It was too good to resist :)