Wednesday, October 23, 2013

We Wouldn't Appreciate The Sunshine if It Wasn't for the Rain

Do you ever get emotional whiplash? For example, one day is horrible and makes you question yourself and your tolerance for such awful conditions. The very next day, everything turns around and you appreciate the good fortune even more than before. That old saying goes, "we couldn't appreciate the sunshine if it wasn't for the rain." I suppose that is a very accurate statement.

This Monday was one of the worst days I have had in a long time. I started the day, tired, and with a dentist appointment! I had a procedure done at the ripe time of 9am. Then my dentist tells me I have to eat soft, non-chewy foods for the next 24 hours. I had to work until 7:30 and the foods I brought to last through the day were on her "do not eat list." An easy problem to remedy but I was distraught and it stressed me out. The worst part is I was SICK. Nothing like having your mouth mauled by metal objects at 9am when you are SICK. It was awful.

On my way to work I stopped at the store to buy puddings, yogurts, jello and soup. I then proceeded to have a pretty crummy day at work. Nothing was going my way. I was alternating between being freezing and sweating. I was chain drinking tea and my mouth hurt. All I could do was try to work, eat soup and swallow yogurt. I was not a happy camper.

I found out I had to babysit for a program that evening, turns out I didn't but it was an added responsibility to my already weak state of body and mind. Then I ran my tutoring program which didn't go so well either. My kids must have had a difficult day at school for their energy was a little too much that evening, even for me. I was sick, I worked overtime, I had been called out for some stuff and I felt overwhelmed, overworked and just plain ill.

I warned my boss that I might call out sick the following day because I had been battling a fever all day. I only went to work on Monday because there was no one to cover my programs and events that day. After being beat down by the elements (and being hungry all day because chronic pudding and yogurt eating is not fulfilling) I passed out in a Nyquil haze.

Only to awake Tuesday morning, still sick. So I called out to keep my germs to myself and checked my phone. In the early light of the morning I got some great news which began the upward shift of my luck. A personal essay I submitted three weeks ago for publication was accepted! The editors would e-mail me to tell me when my story went live and then I'd receive payment for my work! This was excellent news. I'm sort of in this weird transition phase where I'm trying to freelance to get some byline credit. My latest published piece is from 2008 so...time to update the ol' writing resume. This good news couldn't have come at a better time.

I went back to sleep to get more rest and woke up feeling fairly better. I finished a paper for my law class (that I had the utmost lack of faith I did well) and bundled up for my trek to my Magazine Writing class. I arrived 15 minutes late donning sweatpants and holding a bag of Wendy's for dinner. The class stopped on my arrival. I said, "Hey guys, I'm sorry I was sick today and I came from Center City. I had to stop and get dinner. That's why I'm late and please don't judge me on the amount of food that will come out of this bag because it is going to be like Mary effin Poppins up in here." They laughed and said I made quite an entrance.

The funny thing was I was in the elevator before class with another student. I smiled at her, held up my Wendy's bag and said, "Damn. They're going to know why I'm late." She thought that was funny, as I did too.

Class was fantastic. We get off on the most random tangents. Then at some point, class turns into "Story Time with MA" and I share a personal story or two for entertainment purposes. I told the class that this feeds into my egotism but they still asked me questions about certain things.

It was a pretty good day after a pretty bad one. I tried to get to bed early but woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of my neighbors conversing across their apartment. My place was dead silent so I needed white noise. Naturally I downloaded an ambient sound app and listened to rain falling on a roof for 40 minutes as I tried to get back to sleep. I woke up exhausted. I spilled my coffee all over my office chair when I got in. BUT I got a 96 on that horrible paper I wrote. I guess it wasn't that horrible after all. :-D

So changes are happening. I'm feeling more in control of my life and its accompanying situations. Things are looking up for now and I'm going to enjoy the sunshine for as long as it lasts.

Until next time...

Monday, October 14, 2013

I don't know whether my life is made up of...

....a series of unfortunate events or a series of questionable decisions.

Maybe it is a bit of both.

The past week or so has been riddled with questionable choices and epic adventures. For example, one week ago I decided to run a 5K for shits and giggles. I registered for a "fun run" and stretched a little. I ran the race, came in dead last and spent the day drinking "free" beer out of a glass beer boot. I made new friends, I networked, I had a pretty awesome time. All. By. Myself.

Of course I indulged in the "free" beer a bit too much, ordered enough McDonalds to feed India, ordered pizza oh...and I fell off a SEPTA bus. I'm pretty sure I would have done the falling part even if I hadn't been drinking. Falling off the bus led to a torn LCL. McDonalds gorge led to Mighty Wing bits littering my comforter. Fast food binge led to guilt and shame. Actually, I think the whole experience made a great story but led to guilt and shame. I made up for it on Sunday by cleaning and eating stir fry vegetables for dinner.

As I muddled through the work week, trying to get through each day I had some interesting mini-adventures. I submitted another piece to Thought Catalog...waiting for the silence of their rejection now. I had my Magazine Writing class in stitches of laughter after I revealed I hunt white tail deer with a muzzleloader rifle around Thanksgiving with my Dad. My professor said I may be the only muzzleloading white tail deer hunting social worker in the world. This conversation lead to hilarious segways about my love for guns and my bizarre, dramatic life in general. Oh, and when he asked if anyone in the class runs I said I ran a 5K over the weekend and came in dead last. The class almost died laughing. I mean, really guys? I love the attention but your joy and laughter at my stories only feeds my narcissistic ego. Especially when a classmate tells me to stop talking because she can't stop laughing. I have been told, once again, to compile personal essays and write a book. The personal essay approach makes writing "Never a Dull Moment: The First 25 Years" more manageable. Got to get on that.

That was just Tuesday.

Wednesday hit and I had another mini adventure. While multi-tasking in my law class I was trying to play with a Spanish Learner App in an effort to learn Spanish while learning law. My sound was off but for some reason the app overroad my mute and in the middle of a classmate's case brief presentation my Ipad screamed, "EL TORO BEBE AGUA" 5 times. I kept hitting mute but it was the repeat button. A classmate says "Wow, that is a thirsty bull." Mortified and red faced I stammered "pop up ad" as my professor inquired as to what in the hell made that statement. Fortunately he was cool about it. I apologized to my classmate. He began his presentation again only to dissolve into fits of laughter himself. About 10 min later another classmate started laughing. I was choking back giggles myself. Then my friend @mentions me on Twitter with EL TORO BEBE AGUA. It was hysterical.

Then of course I went out for a drink with my friend after the class which lead to more than one drink and even more adventures. I paid for being out so late on Thursday.

Friday I decided I wanted a SEAFEAST for dinner so I actually splurged on some King Crab Legs and cooked up a seafood feast for myself. IT WAS AMAZING. Saturday I made homemade turkey bacon pizza with pumpkin bread pudding and Sunday I cooked oven fried chicken with yellow rice and caramelized onions and peppers. I did a lot of chores, errands, and homework this weekend too. It was a well balanced weekend to make up for a very off balanced week.

That was until last night when my neighbors woke me up in the wee hours of the morning as they stomped to their apartment, laughing and carrying on. I fell back asleep only to be awoken by a gnat buzzing by my ear. This gnat issue went on for an hour and a half 5am-6:30am and I dozed back off at 6:30am. This was not so good since I entered another sleep cycle but my alarm went off at 7:30am. I was confused, disoriented and exhausted despite having sort of decent sleep. I will find that gnat and destroy it when I get home.

The pros of today are that I get to leave at 5:30pm instead of 7:30pm because there is no tutoring for the kids since they do not have homework! So tonight I'm baking up some eggplant. The cons are that it is Monday, I'm groggy and trying not to be overcome with anxiety. I'm trying to stay focused and check off the mental task list in my head. I'm trying to do things I've been putting off because there is a great sense of accomplishment when I get such things done. I'm trying to find more outlets to send my personal essays to and I'm trying to do my job and do it well. I hope I can keep up with the optimism and energy.

Perhaps my series of questionable decisions led to a more stable frame of mind. :)

Until next time...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I "want" To Believe in Vitamins

It looks as if I'm going to do some extreme fitness thing every weekend. I did some biking two weekends ago and this weekend I ran a 5K just for the hell of it. Actually, I walked and wheezed through most of it but I still finished at my usual time. I think it is because I'm chronically late to everything so I know how to hustle and power walk my way to destinations.

Perhaps I'll do Bikram Yoga this weekend. Not something I haven't done before but in terms of near death experiences, I can't get much closer than Bikram Yoga. By minute 42 I'm seeing stars, focusing on my mat and thinking "don't pass out you wimp." We'll see what happens. It is also laundry weekend and I consider my eight block hike to the "mat" exercise as well.

Lately I've been writing a lot in an effort to get stuff published and start a recognizable byline trail. I got tired of seeing my cohorts succeed in securing internships, getting published and generally doing big things while I continue to social work my way to my livelihood and wish I could just sit down and write a few good essays to submit somewhere. I have a piece under consideration for an online magazine and I'm planning on shopping out my humor column to local weeklies. I also had a good networking opportunity this past weekend (after the 5K) and I might be able to secure some freelance work even if it is for little to no pay. The way I see it, I can't do an internship because I work full time and I'm in school part time. I can't get hired because I don't have recent relevant experience. So how about I write for free and get published so we can have some updated works on my resume. I'm also going to build and design my own website...preferably from scratch....with Sublime Text. No Dreamweaver over here. I don't have a Mac anyway, just an Ipad.

Yesterday I had a lot of energy and accomplished more at work in one day than I have for the past few weeks. I wondered if maybe this was because I started taking a new vitamin. I'm on generic B-50s instead of the name brand B-Complex. They are pretty much the same but I wanted so badly to attribute my new found energy to the new vitamins. No dice. Took vitamin today...still tired as hell. However I am going to try to go to the gym after class in an effort to mix up my workout routine. Yes...healthy changes folks. I don't want to be the slow little wheezy kid nearly dying before completing the 5K.

That is about it. Trying to write more, create things, get out there and get noticed. Oh! I've expanded my social group/friend circle too. I don't know how long these little friendships will last, BUT I've tried to hang out with some new and interesting people. That means more options for socialization/experiences/writing content. Woo!

So here's to "changes" with the autumn season. Let's hope they last and I don't sink back into my anxiety ridden, procrastinating state of mind that accomplishes nothing and longs to sleep all the time.

Until next time...

What if I'm not a Writer?

I've mentioned this before. My first book I ever wrote was a few chapters long. Each page was a new chapter. I was in second or third ...