Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Realization Of

This morning I woke up feeling sick. My head hurt, my stomach hurt and I felt like I was going to puke. I also felt really dizzy and weak. It was a horrible feeling. I was hoping to wake up and walk 3.5 miles with my mom this morning like I did yesterday. That plan failed. I slept until about noon and finally got up and showered and attempted to iron some clothes. I felt better after a shower and I feel almost 100% better now. I am wondering if maybe I'm having a bad reaction to the antibiotics. I have a cyst that I'm trying to get rid of. Gross and TMI, I know. So I'm taking amoxicillan for it. I've taken this type of antibiotic before and never had an adverse reaction to it. This sickness is sudden and kind of a freak thing. At least I feel a bit better now.

So my additional news. Most of you know this but for those that don't, I have been accepted into RMC!!!! Officially! Orientation is August 16th. I have a week long orientation and my first day of work is my birthday, August 24th. I have been placed in my first choice placement site which is Drueding Center/Project Rainbow. This is a transitional home for homeless mothers and their children ages newborn to about 12 years of age located in Philadelphia. This is where I found I was needed the most. My official position title is "Youth Advocate."

As a Youth Advocate I'd be the voice of the youth. First of all, this is a brand new position so I don't really have a concrete job description. I'm sort of my own boss but I'll have a supervisor to report back to on my progress.. I'll be assessing the children's education and social needs. I'll have to plan and execute programs which stimulate their intellectual growth. Additionally I will work with the Homeless Childrens Initiative program in Philly and with the local public schools. I kind of have to build a relationship with key school faculty (principals, guidance counselors, etc) to learn how I can better help the homeless children in Drueding Center. I'm really excited and really nervous. The neat thing is that this position has the potential to revolutionize their program in a really positive direction! Talk about impact!

I'll be living in a community of about three to four Sisters and two other volunteers. We'll be living in a Convent in Huntingdon Valley. So I have about a 40 min commute into the city for work but I get to live in a nice part right outside the city. The program provides me with room and board, a small stipend for personal expenses, health insurance, spiritual guidance, community living, and the Americorps Award at the end of my service year. We also get a community car to use.

So that is the official news. It is really neat, my mom and dad are trying to help me get ready for the 'real' world. My mom is busy helping me pick out work outfits and my dad is giving me life advice. They are driving me up to Lewes, DE around the 12th or 13th or so. Then I'm taking the ferry over to NJ to stay with fam until the 16th. My Aunt is going to drive me up to Philly.

In other good news I'm trying really hard to take my health into my own hands. I stumbled across some pictures of me in high school. I couldn't believe how thin I was then. I thought I was kind of fat but nothing to what I am now. Not to be a downer on myself but I am def watching what I eat, drinking lots of water, and trying to exercise. I don't want to be an overweight single girl. I do hate society for making the ultimate standard of beauty a thin girl with perfect skin. That is unrealistic but the truth.

My two best friends from high school will all be officially moved back on the Eastern Shore tomorrow. So I'll have Beth and Clay to enjoy before I leave. Beth is going to grad school and Clay is looking for a job in marketing.

I guess that is it. Nothing really amazing has happened. It has just been little things. Family life is going well though. For once. Within my house. Hope it stays that way.

Until next time...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let the rest of my life begin

New Jersey was great! I arrived on Friday afternoon and was greeted by my grandmother, aunt, and two cousins at the Ferry. I couldn't believe how much my cousins have grown. Laura is 11 and Johnny is 7. We kind of relaxed a bit on Friday, taking in the day to do a few errands and such. That night we rented a movie, Session 9. It was ok but it could have been scarier. One of the things I love about going to New Jersey to visit family is that I get spoiled like a child. I get soda, sweets, cable, and we rent scary movies every night. I mean I suppose I could do that here except my parents eat pretty healthy, soda is limited, we don't have cable so we have to watch the movies we have all the time. I really got to bond with Laura over her Spanish summer worksheet. It was fun because we developed a lot of inside jokes out of it.

Sunday was memorable (I'm skipping around). I got up early and went to church with the family. Afterwards we had brunch at McDonalds and returned back to the house. I had a date that night with a guy who works with my Aunt. Laura had a birthday party before my date so I requested to be dropped off at my grandmother's house for a few hours. I will never forget this time I had with her. I literally had my grandmother all to myself for three hours. We looked at my pictures, figured out where I'd be working in Philly in relation to places she has been and lived. But it was nice just talking to my grandmother for a few hours without others around or distractions. Our conversations were never really deep or emotional, but they were meaningful to me. I will never forget that day and I wouldn't trade those moments for anything.

Laura and my Aunt arrived kind of late, leaving me with less then an hour to get ready for my big date. We went shopping for a birthday present for Laura's friend earlier that day and I scored a rockin dress. I was looking for white Capri's to go with my black ass dress shirt but I came up empty. I opened my mind a bit and tried to find something else that would work. Before you know it I found this really cute blue dress. It went down to right above my knees, covered my fatty arms, had a plunging neckline and was made out of a material that didn't make me look fat. I loved it! It was a $30 for $15. I had to buy it. So I had this rockin dress and a date in less than an hour. I panicked as I got a shower, dried my hair, and tried to do my make up in about five seconds. Fortunately Chris got a little lost so I bought extra time.

The evening was great. He picked me up in his convertible and we venture to Sea Isle City for dinner and drinks and some entertainment here and there. We had dinner at La Casa then went to two clubs with live bands playing. I really liked Ocean Drive because the band played 90s rock and they had $5 shots of Patron on special. We had a great time. We also went to a saloon and an Irish Pub to check out the scene. He drove me home and I passed out on the air mattress in my Aunt's living room.

Monday me and the family went to the boardwalk. We rode the rides and enjoyed roller coasters, boardwalk fries, the Ferris wheel, claw machines and ice cream. I had a great day. I was a little exhausted from the night before so I didn't mind when the day came to a close. That night we watched "The Knowing" an interesting movie which didn't quite have a good ending. Tuesday we ran a few errands and visited the airport museum with my grandmother. I got to get my picture taken in various planes and helicopters. That was a lot of fun. My grandmother loves looking at the old war planes. On Wednesday my last day, we hung out in the pool and day and enjoyed the sun. My grandmother watched us from the porch. I left on Thursday afternoon and drove to Beth's to help her house sit until today, Sunday.

There are a few more things to tell but I'm exhausted so I'm going to get a shower and pass out in my own bed for the first time in two weeks. I can't wait to sleep in tomorrow.

Until next time...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Jersey Tomorrow

Well I leave for the NJ homeland tomorrow to spend a week with my family up north. I'll try to keep updating as adventures happen. <3

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Epic Proportions

There are several things on my mind this evening. The first is just me noticing the jargon of today. Five years ago I did not use the following phrases:

totes = totally "I'm totes going to say that"
sketch= shady "That party was so sketch"
lolz= haha "Then he tripped. Lolz" (pronounced lull-zzzz)
FML = f*** my life "I had such a bad day. FML"
shiz = stuff "I have to pick up my shiz at the house"
biddy= hag or female dog "You ol' biddy you"
I'm just saying - (self explanatory)
sweet = cool "That game was so sweet"
most def = definitely "Most def, I'll be there"
stoked = excited "I'm so stoked for the weekend"
for real(z) = seriously? "I'm going to the Outer Banks for realz this time.
FAIL= something didn't go right "I tried to ask this guy out but he walked away before I could approach him. FAIL."
Epic = great "This weekend is going to be of epic proportions. OR This day is going to be EPIC"
That's What She Said = sexual innuendo "I wish it was bigger. " "Thats what she said"

There are more but I can't think of them right now. I just was amused at thinking my language today and my language five years ago. We used to say "the bomb" and "gnarly" and crap like that. Also, I want to incorporate the word "chagrin" in my vocab more often now.

Secondly. I had my cousins over for a few days. It was really great spending time with family. We didn't end up going anywhere but we watched a lot of movies and sat around and talked. It was really nice. This visit made me realize how much kids like me. I think I'm not good with kids and that I'm better with the elderly and dogs. But kids are the least judgmental creatures on the face of the earth. I became a human jungle gym and loved it. The moment I'll remember the most is when I was laying on the floor watching a movie. The two girls, one is almost 4 and the other is 6 were laying on the floor and leaning on me. So I was kind of like a big pillow. Suddenly the almost 2 year old waddles over to me, and sits down right above my chest and lays on me too. So I have a picture of the three girls laying on me watching the movie. I forget how good I am with kids. So maybe if I ever become a youth advocate one day I'll do all right.

Things at home have been on the rocky side. Small fights with my parents have escalated into serious ones. I've decided to put some distance between me and my parents for a short time. Not that this idea solves everything. I'll be going up to New Jersey to stay with family for a week starting Friday. Then I'll be back to help my friend house sit for a few days. I might help her move out of her apartment across the bay as well. So that is two weeks that I'll be out of my house and out of my parents' hair. Granted, they will miss me and I'll miss them. I just think it would be wise to have a mutual break. This is the most cost efficient way I can make it happen. I'll be spending little to no money on both trips. Plus I get to hang out with my Jersey family for a whole week! This includes my grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousins and even some dogs. I'm stoked.

In other news, RMC has not called yet. They said they would call in a week to a week and a half. It has been almost a week and a half. I'm getting nervous. Like, there was a glitch in the reports or something and they are going to come to the difficult conclusion that I am not right for the program. I mean, I didn't think that was a possibility. I'm trying to rule it out in my head. Since it is getting really close to being almost two weeks I'm expecting a phone call tomorrow or Tuesday. I'd prefer tomorrow. We'll see what happens.

That is about it. I'm just watching shows on my computer and dreaming about the future. I'm looking forward to these two weeks though. It is bound to be a blast and full of adventures.

Until next time....

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wishing and Hoping and Waiting and Pacing


I haven't posted in few days because nothing interesting has happened to me lately. I still do not have a job. I am still fighting with my parents almost every day. I still haven't heard from RMC about whether or not I'm accepted. I've done chores to prepare for my cousins' arrival. My dad's nephew and his family are coming to stay with us until Sunday. This will be a good time. It means a surplus of food and treats, unlimited sodas, perhaps some beer, and family fun for like three days. We're talking carnivals, state parks, watching movies. Seeing my grandmother and Aunt in New Jersey and having my dad's nephew come visit are the closest I get to family gatherings or family fun. I have a decently sized family too.

There is my mom who is one of five kids. My grandmother on her side is my only living grandparent. So I have three uncles and one aunt from my mom's siblings. Then of course almost all of them are married so that's more aunts and uncles. The only cousins I really talk to are my aunt's two kids. They are pretty young, like 11 and 6 or something like that. I'm not really sure. Then I have four great aunts. One passed away from breast cancer, one past away due to illness, and two reside in the suburbs of Philly. I am really close with my grandmother and try to talk to her at least every day.

On my dad's side of the family he was one of five. There were three brothers and one sister. One of the brothers kind of dropped off the face of the earth. The other two were kind of sort of in contact with my immediate family but now they just live their own lives. I haven't seen them since I was about 4 years old. I don't really talk to the aunt either. Then I have a great aunt who sends me presents and cards on holidays. I don't even know what she looks like. My grandparents on his side died before my parents were married. But sure enough we discovered through hereditary searches that my dad's nephew was looking for his uncles. We got connected and in a day I had over seven new cousins. My dad's three nephews and their children. It is pretty awesome. Then through more tracking we actually found my dad's half brother....that was almost a family secret. My dad knew of his half brother but never knew who he was. So that whole section of the family came down from the north to visit my dad. So, I do have family. It is just kind of spread out.

I'm an only child too.

So today one of my dad's nephews is coming with his wife and three kids. They visited us last year too. They are a great bunch. The kids add a bit of livelihood into the house. I like to hang out with my cousin who took an interest in my radio show.

Other than that I've just been sitting by the phone waiting for RMC to call me. I was told I'd hear from the Director in a week to a week and a half. The official mark for one week was yesterday. Ok, so week and a half...that is Friday or Saturday. Today is Thursday. I really hope I hear something soon. While yes, Eileen said it looked good, anything could change. They could find a flaw in one of the reports or think about something I said during a meeting or dinner and decide I'm not a good fit for the program. I'm starting to doubt myself, even though that was the best interview I've ever had. What would I do if they reject me? Get a real job, obviously. I'd move out as quickly as I could find a job. But what would I do? A part of doing this program is because I still don't know what I want to do with my life. So this will help me decide or come up with something or learn things about myself that I didn't know before. Please call. You are making me nervous.

Its almost noon and I am still rockin my PJs. I suppose I should get dressed and make sure there is nothing else that needs to be cleaned or cooked or arranged. You'd think the Queen of England was coming to visit. :) I'm not complaining. Its a fresh change of pace and a break from monotony.

Until next time....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July Weekend


The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. It is special because about five or six years ago I went to a party at my friend's half built house and had an amazing time. It was kind of my first "real" party so to speak. I love fireworks. I love summer. I love cookouts and I love the beach. I really appreciate our freedom and used to don red white and blue apparel year round. I actually owned a pair of American Flag freedom pants. I had the little headbands with wiggly flags on them. I love the Fourth and always try to do something special.

This 4th was no exception. I started early by spending the night at my friend, Beth's house on Friday night. This made things easier for Saturday's fun. Friday night I went to the ice cream festival at my old town. This was an incredibly hick but cute festival featuring the All Shore Band, bell ringers, free ice cream, and lots of people. Then we went to the carnival, lost at bingo, ate fried Oreos and had a pretty good time. Then we went to Shucker's for a few drinks. I had so much fun dancing that when I dropped it like it was hot I split my skirt. I was dancing out on the floor and felt a bit of a draft. I reached behind me and realized that my skirt had split from the top all the way to the bottom. Awkward, I know. So I spun the skirt to the side and tried to pull off some sort of retro rip look. I kind of just looked stupid. I was amused but this incident sobered me up right quick. We stayed at Shuckers till last call and then headed home. I decided I was a bit hungry so I made a pit stop at McDonalds at 2am. haha I ate my quarter pounder with cheese as I drove back to Beth's. It was a really fun night and a great way to kick off the Fourth.

Saturday morning I woke up early to walk in a small town parade with Beth and her dog, Baller. Her mom made a streamer collar out of red, white and blue and we put it around his neck. So we walked in this parade, showing off the dog. At the end of the parade we were rewarded with Popsicles and water. Beth's parents drove me back to her house because she had to pick up her friend, Jon. I got my stuff together and went to the creek to meet Clay and his fam. We took the boat over to Cedar Island, yes the land of magical wonder. Here I ate fried chicken and home made brownies with joy while sipping on a Bud Light. It was awesome. We went to seaside and played in the baby waves and visited other locals/ate their food. haha I think we were on the island from noon till about 6pm. I only got a tad bit sun burnt, Beth got the worst of it. Jon had a great time. Clay and I have crazy pictures. It was perfect.

I returned to land, took a shower at Beth's and then tried to plan my next move. There were going to be fireworks at Shuckers so we had plans to go there. I called up the parents to let them know what was up and they were less than thrilled. Due to a communication problem, my parents were under the impression I was coming home right after the beach. Therefore, they had made plans to go to the carnival with me that night. I remember telling them about fireworks and was just trying to figure out how to save gas/spend time wisely from 6pm-10pm. This resulted in a fight due to the disagreement. They are still kind of upset with me.

So I'm working through that. We found out that the fireworks started at 9pm....and it was 8:55. We booked it over to Shuckers and witnessed comeback fireworks. What does that mean? Well, my old town used to have a really nice firework display each year at the Fireman's carnival. This town sold the carnival rides and gave up the carnival grounds. They just couldn't afford to hold the carnival anymore. So there are no fireworks in town. To see Eastern Shore fireworks you had to drive all the way up to the top of the Shore or all the way down to the bottom. This is not convenient for us middle of the road folks. So Shucker's, "the Eastern Shore's Premier Nightclub haha" decided to host a firework show. It was beautiful. The show lasted about 15 min or so, they had a beautiful right above your head display of professional fireworks. I think the display was better than the carnival's old displays. So there, comeback fireworks! The town made a comeback.

Then I had to make a hard decision. Beth was really sun burnt and not feeling well. I was staying at her house for the night. I could either go home with her and watch a movie. Or I could stay at Shux with Clay and meet up with Cora, a good friend of mine from high school theatre and forensics days. I hadn't seen Cora in over four years. I know now I should have went home with Beth and be with her. I didn't. I stayed out for a second night at Shucker's with my other friends. It was a blast, I won't lie. I saw people I had a class with one semester in freshman year of high school. I saw people I went to middle school with and who dropped off the face of the earth. I got an old forensics picture with three other people from our team. The music was good, the atmosphere was more of the young crowd, and it was fun. Cora drove me back to Beth's around 1 or so in the morning. (After we had a parking lot feast of McDonalds cars side by side). Beth said she didn't mind if I went out or stayed with her as long as I "was returned to her custody haha." But I'm an idiot for not going back with my friend who I was staying with. She was so sun burnt and tired and I didn't even feel like going out that night to begin with. I just wanted to see Cora, who in turn wanted to hang out with me for a bit.

You can't please everyone. I will never learn. I try to take the road of less damage but I think I just end up choosing the road of most damage. I don't know.

But that was my weekend in a nutshell. It was a really good time and I enjoyed my favorite holiday. My friends all leave tomorrow and go back to their lives in C-ville and Richmond. I, will be back to spending my days trying to find a job for a month and a half and waiting to hear if RMC accepts me or not. Thrilling, I know.

Upon reflecting on the many reasons why I am so excited about RMC I realized a few things.
1. This program is perfect because I really don't know what I want to do with my life. I'm up in the air about counseling, social work, journalism and the like. I have no set plan.

2. This is a transition from college life to the real world. I've have similar responsibilities I would if I were on my own, I'll have a 9-5 M-F kind of job, I'll have to keep my living space clean and be courteous to others. Its like the real world on training wheels.

3. I love the fact I can continue nurturing my spiritual life. I'm coming from being involved in CCM to being a parish orphan. Yeah. This gives me no outlet to grow in my faith or continue to build my trust and relationship with God.

4. I love the adventure aspect. I'm literally giving this up to God and basically pulling a "Jesus take the Wheel." I don't know where I'm going to end up. I don't know what is going to come of a year. I don't know what I'm going to do after a year. (Which excites me instead of scares me). I always wanted to plan my whole life out, every last move, but now I'm just seeing where things go and what comes of them. Its so adventurous.

5. Practicality. While this position does not relieve credit card debt of any kind and makes me drain half my savings to pay off debt while serving a year, it is beneficial in many other ways. Spiritual growth, almost 5 grand to pay off student loans in one shot, loan forbearance for a year because face it, I really don't have any money to pay my loans now anyway, room and board (no rent or bill worries for one year), stipend so small I have to really think about how to use it (building financial responsibility), free health insurance (co-pay) (well I'm uninsured right now...and I will remain so if I go get a job on my own), community living (learning lessons and transitioning from being around people all the time to being on my own). It makes sense. With the economy, it makes even more sense. Everyone is going to grad school or volunteering for a year.

There are tons of reasons why I really want to do this. Including the fact I felt incredibly at home and happy during my interview. Honeymoon stage or not, I loved it.

But I guess I still have things to think about. Oh, yeah, and relationships to repair right now. Oh, and a temp job to find.

Until next time.....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A little taste of home

This evening I went to the carnival with my friends Clay and Beth. I got there a little late because finding parking was like looking for a gold brick in a dollar store. I found my friends seated in the front row watching kareoke. After watching a few acts myself I soon found out why. This was the best entertainment no cost can buy. Some people were awesome and upbeat. Some people were downright brave. Others were just a little timid. I had a good time. I thought I would have spent a lot more money on rides, food, bingo and games.

After we had enough of the singing we played a game of bingo. Lucky for us we got on the last game of the night. $50 prize for the bottom row. I thought, 'there is no way I'm going to win this.' The caller said "someone is going to win this I just feel it" which is ironic because there is always a winner in bingo. Anyway I said "its gonna me be." Well we played and my friends would be like "boo ya" when they got a number. Suddenly I got four of the five numbers called. The caller says "G 50." I said "I would have wet myself if he called G 60 haha." Then he says "G 60." I thought, oh my goodness I just won $50. I screamed "BINGO!" It was a good bingo and they handed me a 50 dollar bill.

So needless to say my first game of bingo in the season and the last game of the night proved to be a good one. I have $50. I needed that $50. Good stuff. :) I'm so blessed.

Until next time...

Transplant

That is exactly what it was. A transplant. I was transplanted from the Eastern Shore, from my boring jobless life, from my lack of local friends and lack of funds to visit my college ones, from fights with my parents, from meaningless tasks. I was taken from bleak and put into beautiful. I quickly made friends and connections with a holy community of Sisters and supporting staff. I ate blueberries every morning with my breakfast, had 24/7 access to a chapel and experienced exhaustion that feels both good yet allows you to collapse in bed at 10:30pm. Life was simple. My biggest worry was if my shirt looked too wrinkled and what time my next interview was. I watched "The Closer" with a Sister, I was invited to join an intimate community for organized prayer, I spontaneously asked their equivalent of "Mother Superior" if I could join her as she took the infirmary dog out for his final walk. I captured a piece of my old confident self where I sat down at a table full of strangers and left the table with new friends.

I know that I will never have an interview like this again in my life. Any interview I must undergo will always fall short of this experience. It felt like a retreat, a tad bit like sorority recruitment, like an interview and also like a vacation. I learned more things about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses than most people learn about themselves in a year.

Needless to say I'm back and I'm trying really hard to hold close the memories and the feelings that being up in Philly has allowed me to have. It was so peaceful. I really miss the Sisters and staff already. Everyone was genuinely friendly and eager to know my story. They laughed at my jokes and shared a few of their own. The connections I made were abundant. I know deep down in my soul that I have chosen to apply for the right program. I also have full confidence that I will be accepted. The most difficult task at hand is figuring out which placement site I will pref first. I have over a million things to consider.

That is what I'm doing right now. Trying to discern where to go. A lot of little things are pointing me into a concrete direction but I still have some doubt.

DISCLAIMER: RELIGION. You know how I am. ;-)

As you may or may not know, I have felt incredibly called to apply to this program. That calling was completely validated at my interview with RMC. I love the people I'd be working with, the Sisters I'd be living with (alongside two or three other volunteers who have applied/are applying). I traveled to four placement sites where I learned about each organization and what each position entails. I've witnessed little miracles and signs. One fun thing that happened was I was sitting in the chapel trying to write out pros and cons about the different sites. It was getting dark and I really needed some light. I padded around the chapel barefoot asking God to show me where the light was. I couldn't find it so I sat back down and said "ok, on your terms, but could you put the light on?" Suddenly the lights came on. It was one of the Sisters coming in to set up for mass. She didn't even know I was in there! So she taught me how to turn the lights on and off. haha It was a great moment.

I'm not going to elaborate in full detail but I will say this. I think I am being called to the most difficult and challenging placement site positions. If I am accepted to the program and if I chose this particular site, I'd have the opportunity to really make some change. Its a new position that could revolutionize certain aspects of the placement site. I could impact a lot of people in a very positive way. Additionally, this position allows me to experience maximum creativity and liberty. It is also the place I feel I am needed the most. I'm still asking God where he wants me. I trusted Him this far and I see how perfect this program is for me in my life right now. I have no doubts about that. I just need Him to point me into the direction again or perhaps give me some subtle reassuring hints as to what placement site He has in mind for me. I will tell you again, I really connected with the Sisters. I'm not considering entering a holy and religious life or formation. But I did find their friendship and presence refreshing and I am longing for it as I sit here.

So I still have time to figure things out. I think I did splendid on all my interviews. I find out in a week to a week and a half the final decision. Fingers crossed and hopes high.

Tonight I might go to the carnival with Clay and Beth. This is a great way to relive my childhood and perhaps go on a ride on the Black Spider and play a few games of Bingo. I'm going to try to get up for First Friday mass/Adoration tomorrow at church. I could use some more prayer and reflection time. I'm not at a complete loss but I still have doubts about placement.

I promise I'll be much more specific when the time comes. I'm being ambiguous because anything can happen.

I also applied for a job at Pizza Hut today. I hope they hire me, overqualified or not.

Until next time....

Sick September A Recap

After an fantastic month of August where all the stars were aligned and life seemed damn near perfect, I entered the month of September with...