Manifesting

dont-fear-failure

Lately I’ve been listening to motivating, inspiring talks that are encouraging me the way forward in a way that I haven’t pursued or utilized before. It all started with the Manifest This podcast, in which Ashley Wood interviews entrepreneurs (mostly women) and asks them how they got started. Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t something I’d planned for myself, but having my own clinic and being my own boss, working on my own time table sounds more and more enticing every day. And it goes deeper than that: doing my own thing, focusing on my passion to become a writer somehow… that’s part of it too.

In one of the interviews, Ashley interviews Mimi Ikonn, who tells her story about starting with nothing, no money, broke, working two and three jobs, and how she got Tony Robbins’ “Get the Edge” CD set, and she mentioned the power of positive thinking, to imagine your life the way you want it to be as if it has already happened, to say every day, “I am rich,” or whatever goal you may have, and to act on it, since thought alone won’t produce results. But it’s thought that begins the process.

So I got online and found a used (much cheaper) version of “Get the Edge” and have been listening to it every day on my way to and from work, and I’m telling you, it works! I used to think Tony Robbins and anyone like him was… unrealistic, I guess, that the only people who might listen to him would be career-driven people who only care about money and power, as if there could be no spirituality in that. I thought you had to already be a certain kind of person for him to appeal to you, or for you to be able to take the actions he suggests. But what he’s really about is showing you how to use your gifts to produce a positive impact on the world around you, and for me, and probably most people, it’s about figuring out how to find meaningful work that isn’t just part of being a cog in the system, and finding a way to make a living from that way of life. It is possible. If other people do it, then why can’t I, or you, or anyone else?

Then I also realized that maybe I am a career woman. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a life, although I must say lately I haven’t had as much of a social life as I’d like, but I do enjoy my job, I like that it’s not a traditional 9-to-5, I like the people there, and I want to keep learning about health and wellness, to expand and learn more. There’s always more to learn!

Whereas before I just wanted a job that I could tolerate and would pay my bills.

Why not go for more? Why not admit that you want more from life?

successful-people

And get concrete about what you want from life. My biggest goal right now is to find my own home, my own place to live, no roommates, no partners, no one else but me in my own beautifully decorated, clean space. So instead of just hoping and dreaming for that, I can research rent costs, find out what my salary would need to be to make that, and then figure out how to make it happen. I’m almost 43 years old, y’all. I don’t care if everyone in the DC area lives with their mom or partner simply because no one can afford it otherwise. That does not have to be me. Maybe I can even buy a condo? My dad is helping my sister buy a house, and he hasn’t helped me do jack, so I’m beginning to wonder if I should also ask for help… Do you know how hard it would be for me to ask my father for help? I’ll think about that later.

For now, first things first. I’m not going to move in the middle of the school year, so I’ll graduate first, while in the meantime put feelers out there for job opportunities. Who knows? Maybe there’s a job in some other part of the world that’s perfect for me.

This article appeared on my browser home page this morning, so I’m going to try to get back into my routine of getting up at 6am (5 is pushing it) and writing and reading. Note: I don’t agree with everything this guy says or does, but I do find the article inspiring, and I think it’s important to take what appeals to you and leave the rest. Being an early bird, and someone who already does a lot of what he’s writing about, it’s easier for me than someone who likes to sleep in until noon. It seems to me that those folks could do their best work at night? Whatever the case, I’m working more late shifts next month, so I’ll be able to get more personal work done in the mornings.

What I’m really getting from all this, and hope to convey to you, is to look for every opportunity to grow and have the best experience you possibly can while here on this Earth in this lifetime. I’m in AA and I love AA, it got me sober, it changed my life, it helped me get the friends I have, and most importantly AA helped me find God. But I don’t agree that there’s only one solution for everything or for everyone. I’m a big believer in finding every opportunity you can to have the best possible life you can, and never settle for less. Keep an open mind for all the endless possibilities out there, know that it is possible to live the life you desire, and never, ever give up.

giving-up

The above image was taken from Money Saving Mom’s blog.

Love and light,

TCH

Advertisements

A Window Into My Life

Right now is a time of transformation for me, and I’m already feeling lonely. The time has come, or so it seems, for me to find a new community of friends, and I don’t know yet where or how I’ll find this community, given that I’m not moving into a new place yet. In August I graduate, though after that I won’t automatically be a nutritionist, so I’ll have to decide if I want to stay in Maryland and get my extra 700 or so hours of supervised clinical time in so that I can become certified in this state, or I can move somewhere else and follow whatever that state’s requirements are. The cost of living here is so ridiculously high, because all the politicians live here, that I can’t imagine staying. I was all gung ho on moving to Arizona, since my best friend expressed a desire to go there, and it seemed like a sign. There’s nowhere else I can think of where I’d have a reason to go. Although now that I think of it, I suppose I could move closer to my sister in New Mexico. I’m not crossing Arizona off the list, but I will say after reading this blog about how it’s 120 degrees and scorpions sleep in your bed with you, I got scared.

Back to the present time, since I do have at least eight more months in this state, and I want to make them the best eight months I can. I broke up with my boyfriend last week, which means I need to find a new community of friends. We’d made friends who I was having a lot of fun with, but it’s the kind of situation in which they’ve known him for longer, and it feels less comfortable asking them to hang out with just me. We only dated for four months, and prior to that I had my own group of friends who’ve since all gone their separate ways, and due to two of them forming their own relationship, and one of those having been interested in me while the feeling wasn’t mutual, there’s no chance of that group getting back together. Oddly, the two who are in a relationship are going to see me as a student nutritionist in clinic, so it’s not like they dislike me, but it’s not like it could go back to the way it was either.

I don’t know that I’d want it to go back to how it was anyway. I’ll have to exercise the law of attraction and manifest a group of like-minded friends who have similar interests, who want to be healthier and more positive, and a desire to live a more spiritual life. The problem is that then I have to take the action, and being in grad school I don’t have much time to develop much of a social life. The easiest thing to do is go to AA meetings, a welcoming environment where it’s easier to find people who like to be social. But if I truly want to meet like-minded people with similar interests, I’m probably going to have to move to a trendier, more expensive part of the city, like Takoma Park in DC, or whatever the hipster part of town is in Baltimore. There are yoga studios everywhere, including one near my house, which I can’t afford, and my former friends go there anyway. There’s meditation in Bethesda which I tried already, and no one ever talks to you, plus the traffic is too much there. Also, it’s Buddhist meditation, and I’m moving away from Buddhism, though I believe in the philosophy of mindfulness, acceptance, and being present.

I can’t say I’ve ever considered myself a full-fledged Buddhist, but I guess I’d say I take beliefs from different traditions, and meld them into my own. Lately I’ve been doing a lot of guided meditation during which I envision my spirit guides and ask them to help me, and I bought crystals and tarot cards to help guide me. It’s uncanny how the right tarot card appears when I ask a question. For example, a few days ago I asked the question: What can I learn from my love life? and I got the card “Caught in Ruins,” a card with a picture of a man and woman inside a prison, which made me laugh out loud and want to cry at the same time. But after reading the card, it turns out that there’s no roof over the prison, that the limiting thoughts and behaviors are self-imposed, that I have the power to change and stop perpetuating my old beliefs and patterns. I’m just not sure exactly how to do that yet, though I’m focused on honesty.

The problem I have with relationships is that so far, about every five years, I go through a transformation, and whoever I’m dating or married to at the time no longer fits my life. I find it hard to grow with this other person in my life. I feel constricted, suffocated, like they’re somehow holding me back, and I feel as though they don’t understand me. The path they’re on seems uninteresting to me especially because it’s often unexplored, dated, conventional. The key is to find someone I can grow with, and I just haven’t found that person yet.

Back to the tarot cards, another good example happened the same night, when I asked the cards what I needed to learn about my career path, and I drew the card, “Wishes Fulfilled,” which was a good feeling. Last night I asked the cards what I needed to learn right now, in this moment, while feeling lonely and wondering where I’ll find a new community, and lo and behold, I drew the card, “Sangha-Community,” which read that I need to find a new community. Too bad the cards don’t tell me where to find this community. I think ultimately the idea around the cards (and meditation for that matter) for me is to use my intuition, to follow my gut and do what I know in my heart is right.

By the way, the tarot cards are the Akashic Tarot Cards from Sharon Anne Klinger and Sandra Anne Taylor. Lately I’ve been drawing a lot of cards to do with writing and publishing, which has always been my dream. The problem with my writing is that it doesn’t offer help to anyone else; I’m just offering you a window into my life. Yesterday I listened to a podcast interview that Oprah did with Sue Monk Kidd, and Sue Monk Kidd said something along the lines of—or rather, this is my interpretation of what she said—which was that it took her being vulnerable and honest to put her writing out there. And that is MUCH harder than it may sound, for me. Kidd’s first book was a memoir, decades before she published The Secret Life of Bees… So maybe the ticket for her was to write fiction, which some may say is thinly disguised memoir.

That being said, I’m not going to not become a nutritionist, although I will say I’m already becoming discouraged. When I started, I’d gone to the orientation in which they told us there were all kinds of jobs everywhere, and you could make $95k, etc. But last semester I was sitting at lunch with some of my classmates, one of whom casually mentioned in passing that this wasn’t a career path you follow for the money. Then last night someone posted on our private Facebook page that she talked to an RD (registered dietician) who told her she’d never heard of a CNS (certified nutrition specialist), and that basically it’s much harder to find a job for a CNS than an RD. A lot of comments followed that revealed this is not the easy career path I thought I’d chosen.

So I may end up writing about nutrition at some point. Whatever I do, I find it hard to imagine balancing a relationship, career, social life, and physical exercise all in one life, since I’m imagining myself spending all my free time writing a nutrition blog. But this is not exactly how manifesting the life you want works. Haha!

One thing I’ve learned is that the idea is to follow actions that come smoothly. Not without action or work, but to explore different avenues, and when doors open, they’re meant to be. If I have to force something, it’s probably not meant to be. I just have to remember to take it one day at a time, one foot in front of the other, and try not to project into some unknown future. My biggest fear may be coming true: that I’ve chosen the wrong career path, again, and now I’m even deeper in debt than before, six figures this time. It could be that I tried to force something instead of following my passion to become a writer. But on the other hand, if my biggest fear is coming true, it’s because I’m making it into a self-fulfilling prophecy. I do love nutrition, and have already been spending way too much time on my first two clients, out of sheer interest, so that’s worth something, right? My deepest interest lies in spiritual matters and finding one’s purpose, so maybe I can somehow tie that in with writing and nutrition… Everything happens for a reason, so it could be that I needed to take this winding path to come back to my origin, and maybe I can somehow tie these things all in together.

I really have no idea how I’m going to do that. But then I guess that’s what life’s all about.

PS: I feel that it would make more sense to separate this into three different posts: one about career, one about relationships, and one about community. In each post I’d explore each topic in more depth. But, I have homework, and then work, so I’m going to publish this meandering post as is.

 

Do Your Own Thing!

The other day I calculated that it will take me only one year to finish school. That is no time. Already I’m thinking of the new car I’ll buy and maybe the place of my own I’ll rent at first, and then one day I will buy my own place. Nothing fancy, maybe just another Honda Civic 2-door coupe, because I’ll have so much debt I will need to live fairly simply, which is fine. I’ll probably stay in my current living situation for a while to save money. But it will be so nice to get mani pedis again, and maybe a personal trainer, and regular massages. Those are all luxuries I afforded with my old job in marketing, which seems like a hundred years ago to me now. Everything seems like a hundred years ago to me now, except what’s happening in my life today. Did my mom really die less than a year ago? Did Steven break my heart only five months ago?

At my current job I’m training to be a “manager on duty” which means I will act as store manager on one or two days of the week. The managers  and the owners at work have always liked me, which is a good feeling. I love being teacher’s pet. Especially because they are good people, and I’m so comfortable there. Maybe I could be a nutritionist there. They have a nutritionist who gives free consults in the other store once a week—it’s her way of getting new clients, I think. She has her own practice in a town outside in the country, closer to Baltimore, while I’m closer to DC.

The comfortable feeling I have at my current job is so different from when I worked at a marketing agency. The last company I worked for was owned by a really good guy (and quite good-looking), and my manager was also a great guy (also a hottie, not that there’s neither here nor there… and both were British so they had those sexy British accents… just saying), but most of the people in the office were recent college grads, who were hard for me to be around. Though I looked near their age, and they thought as much, I’d already been divorced once, had gotten sober, and was going through my second divorce, and had no interest in marketing, no interest in becoming a manager there, no interest in spending my free time on marketing, or working late. They were interested in moving up, making more money, and they actually liked commercials. I never knew anyone actually watched those, on purpose, not even the Super Bowl commercials, because I hated football (still do), and could not understand why the general public liked the things they do, like pop music, for example. Though I get it now. It’s catchy, fun, and happy, and some of those commercials are pretty funny. But I’ve just never been that interested in selling stuff to people, until now, and it’s only because I believe in where I work, I believe in the products, and I don’t try to sell people something they don’t want or need, nor would I want someone to risk their health just to buy an expensive vitamin they think will help them lose weight. At the time though, it was hard to be around so many college graduates willing to work harder for much less than I, who operated under the work hard play hard basis, which was what I used to do, especially the play hard part. I just wanted to collect a paycheck after doing a good job for no more than 40 hours a week. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to work more now, and quite honestly I think we should all work no more than 32 hours a week. Or do something you love so much it doesn’t feel like work. I am hoping that’s how it will be for me. Though right now it would behoove me to be doing homework instead of writing this blog. Too bad no one’s paying me to just write what’s in my head all the time. But that’s another topic for another blog post on another day. In short, I wouldn’t want this to become work.

I remember once I had to work with a young woman who was the account manager for the ads I wrote and managed and finding out that her mom was only a few years older than me. This particular young woman I think of often because of the way my career there ended, and I must say it’s because I get this feeling that she had some part in my demise, though obviously it was ultimately my responsibility, my attitude, that got me there. I’ll call her Kennedy because that’s a good millennial name. Kennedy seemed to hold both respect and awe for me, particularly for the fact that I was willing to leave a high-paying job to explore what I wanted to do with my life. At the same time, she was very driven, ambitious, and quite bossy. For someone who was almost 40 to be bossed around by a girl young enough to be my daughter in an environment where I already felt uncomfortable and out of place, and that being my first experience like that, ie, the knowledge of getting older, and having such experiences like that, such as having a doctor who looked like he just got out of high school (though to be fair, I look younger)—well, it’s a weird experience.

At work I have a similar situation with a friend I’ll call Barbara, except that now I’m in Kennedy’s shoes, and Barbara’s at the near-end of her career stage. Barbara feels that the company is full of politics, all they want to hire are young people they don’t have to pay much, and the young are willing to work harder for less, and Barbara needs a job she can stay in for the next five or 10 years, a good place to retire. She’s been working for 40 years or so, and she’s tired. She takes care of her autistic grandson in her “free” time, lives with her dysfunctional daughter and the daughter’s moocher boyfriend. Barbara has a hard job of being buyer for my department, and some young woman has stepped in as her not-boss-but-boss, ie, and unofficial boss—so technically that’s the one who’s in Kennedy’s shoes. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s hard getting older in the workplace. Barbara doesn’t make enough money to live on her own, and her grandson is the light of her life, but she deserves her own life.

That’s why I am studying nutrition. So that I can do something that I presumably will enjoy in my later years. It’s a big leap, borrowing all this student loan money for something I’m not sure I’ll like, because you never know what something’s truly like until you’re in it.

For the longest time I had this (subconscious?) idea in the back of my head that I’d most likely meet some man who’d help me, maybe who’d even support me while I was in school. Maybe I could work part time at my job so I’d have more time to study and do what I wanted. When Steven left me, I felt like I had nothing, no one. Mom had already died, so who was going to take care of me now?

Guess how empowering it is to realize that is not how it has to be? You can’t really know until you go through it. But I can tell you this: I’m doing this all on my own, and I feel pretty friggin fantastic. Not only that, but I’ve been doing this on my own. I borrowed money for my undergraduate and master’s in creative writing, I pay my own bills, I pay my own rent, I paid for my car, I pay for my student loans, I make my own money, and I have been doing this since I graduated high school. Never once have I done anything illegal, immoral, or degrading for it. I almost became a stripper once, but after this geriatric dude waved at me while I was “auditioning” for the other strippers in the back room, I realized, That old man is waving at ME. I was 21 years old at the time, and I thought, How lonely must his life be to be in a strip club in the middle of a weekday, waving at a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. And how I’d have to flirt with men like that who were potentially child molesters or just very sick, lonely, broken, depressed, lost souls. And I don’t mean to judge anyone out there who is a stripper. You do what you think you have to do, and more power to you, sister. If I could’ve done it, I absolutely would have, and maybe I wouldn’t have so much student loan debt. But that would mean emotional bankruptcy for me, and I was already there at the time. No need to add to it.

Here’s what I want to say to all the young women out there reading this: follow your heart, do your own thing, take care of yourself, do not rely on someone else to come rescue you. Think about what you want your life to look like, and if you’re dating someone right now who you know in your heart is not who you want, please find the courage to leave. It can be so hard on your own sometimes but it is possible and it is worth it. Nothing in my life has ever been more empowering. And you will find the right one, eventually. I believe it for myself, and I believe that there’s someone out there for everyone. Be who you want to attract. That’s what I learned. I wanted so badly for my ex-husband to make more of his life, get a more meaningful (yet hopefully better paying) career. Those were things I really wanted to do for myself. It’s not my job to fix someone else to be who I want them to be. Instead I can focus on my own dreams.

I need to get ready for work now, so I’ll leave you with this favorite of mine, on my list of empowering songs I compiled on a playlist a few months ago:

Still Searching

What I want to know is where are all the people out there struggling with their careers, or lack of? Where are all the support groups for those of us who have no idea what we’re doing, where we’re going, or how to get there, specifically when it comes to a career? Everyone’s more concerned about their relationships—like me—but they seem to have their shit together otherwise. Everyone I know is already on a path of doing what they want to do, and those who aren’t, accept their situation. They’re not endlessly searching for something different. And don’t tell me that if I believe it, it will happen, or to do what I love and the money will come, or to get a career coach, or take some classes, or read some books, or do more networking. I’ve tried all of that.

Sigh. I guess I will just keep trying.

Ugh!

It’s been two years since I left my marketing job and one year since I started school to study nutrition, yet doubt still plagues me. Every night for years I’ve prayed for my higher power to remove my doubt, fear, and insecurity, and to direct me in what God would have me do. Every week I talk to a therapist. Now I’ve found Codependents Anonymous (CoDA), and my new CoDA sponsor gave me some hope the other day after I told her my story. She said that I’m bright and won’t be working at the grocery store for the rest of my life, because I don’t want to, and she said, “We need to get you writing,” and she said, “If you don’t want to go back to school, you don’t have to go back to school.”

I’m going anyway. Even though I dread it, and haven’t bought my books yet, and have no interest in physiology II, and limited interest in eating or cooking. It just feels like my only option right now.

And I thought, Yeah, I am bright. Somehow she could see that about me, even though we talked nothing about anything scholarly, and she’d said she could tell I was a writer when I spoke because I’m a good storyteller, which flattered me, I ain’t gone lie. But here’s the thing:  being bright doesn’t pay the bills. One of my friends is so incredibly smart, but she cannot keep a job to save her life. I may seem so together to outsiders, but I am broken.

Some of my friends in the marketing industry had also fallen into working there without meaning to, but they had families to support, and they accepted their lot in life. Kids scare the hell out of me, so I never had any, thank God for them. So it’s a blessing that I have only myself to care for.

Now my boyfriend wants to pick up and move to Raleigh without me, to carry on a long-distance relationship until we get into a better place, and then I can move there. It’s the right thing to do, and what I’d have wanted—well, what I’d have needed, not really wanted, because I sure wish he’d try to convince me to go with him and live with him. That would just put me in an awkward position of feeling obligated to go to save our relationship, while knowing it wasn’t the right thing to do right now. No one can win with me. It’s possible he may not even go, depending on whether he gets offered the job he just interviewed for, and whether or not he decides to take it. It would be best for his kids, because they live there. It’s not like it would be the worst thing for us, yet I feel abandoned, already. I am the girl who wants to be invited to the party even though I don’t really want to attend.

And I would have wanted to go if we hadn’t had this last episode in which he expected me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his dad in a nursing home in Ohio when I felt obligated to visit my sister and stepfather in North Carolina, due to my mother’s recent passing, in spite of the fact that they don’t even really care. So I went to Ohio anyway and the whole thing crashed and my boyfriend spent a week ignoring me afterwards, and I’ve decided that no, that won’t happen again. Ignoring me is the worst thing anyone can do to me. I’ve been ignored my entire life, and damn if I’ll continue to be ignored any longer, especially in my relationship. That is not how this relationship’s going to go.

What I need to do is focus on myself and my career and how I’ll take care of myself financially so that I can live on my own, and not in a shared house for the rest of my days. I am really, really hoping that CoDA will help me do this.

Bambi and Finding Purpose

I miss my mom so much. I keep waiting for a sign from her, to know that she’s near, guiding me. Right after she died I got a lot of signs, mostly feathers and butterflies and a few owls, but now the signs seem to be fading away. It feels like she’s slipping away from me, and I don’t like it. I don’t want to let her go. The timing seems so bad, just as I’d decided to embark on a new career path, because now I’m back to where I started:  lost. Completely and utterly lost.

Maybe I’m destined to work in a grocery store for the rest of my life. Maybe this is just it for me. My mother worked in retail for 30 years and hated it. But she had my sisters and me, who gave her purpose, and then she met the love of her life, retired early, and spent the last 20 years of her life happy with him, and the last 10 happy being a grandmother and happy with helping others through volunteer work.

Working in a grocery store is not so bad. There’s not a lot of pressure, and I don’t have to sit behind a desk all day. I get weekdays off to run errands or do whatever I want to do. It’s an organic grocery store, locally owned, and my co-workers are easy to talk to, and all on a similar path as I am.

The problem is, according to Wayne Dyer in his book Your Sacred Self, I am looking for my purpose in the physical world, and my purpose is not there. Eckhart Tolle in his book The Power of Now writes that your purpose is to grow. I keep reading in different books that my purpose is to love, learn, and grow. I get all that, and I’ll do that along the way, but what am I supposed to do for money? To earn a living?

I feel pretty certain I do not want to return to school. I’m $65,000 in debt, and if I continue I’ll have double that… Though I must admit, I don’t care as much about debt anymore because everyone has it and you can’t take it with you. More importantly, I don’t feel comfortable giving clients the false notion that nutrition will save their lives or promote longevity. Everyone dies. You may as well enjoy some ice cream while you’re here.

While he doesn’t expect me to become the President of the United States, my boyfriend might not be too thrilled with my plan not to return to grad school. He should not be expected to shoulder the financial burden, nor do I want to be a lousy role model for his kids. I don’t want the message to them to be that they too can borrow tens of thousands of dollars to get a worthless liberal arts degree, then borrow more to get a worthless master’s degree in creative writing, then borrow more to study for a master’s in nutrition, only to work in a grocery store for $13 an hour. Their parents have their shit together, so they probably will not go down the same road as I am, but I still feel like a failure.

Everything I read says to think positively and envision the future I want, because it’s all a self-fulfilling prophecy. But how do you let go of the deep-rooted fear? This fear tells me I’ll be homeless, destitute, that I’ll outlive everyone, which means I get to watch all my loved ones die, and ultimately I’ll die alone at the age of 103 in a nursing home, after suffering from Alzheimer’s, stroke, and cancer.

The only answer that comes to me now is that I am happy with where I am today, and if I can focus on that instead of worrying about a future that probably will never happen, I can find peace, at least in this moment, because this moment is all we have.

From the books I’ve been reading on grief, it’s not uncommon to feel lost after the death of a loved one. I have felt lost for most of my life, so what’s a few more months or years, or the rest of my life? At some point I think you just decide this is it, and you have to just be okay with it, or suffer. My therapist reminded me that I can get an admin job, maybe at a hospital or clinic, and work the same hours as my boyfriend, making more money than I am now, and once we live together I can contribute more around the house, which I’m good at and would do anyway because I enjoy cooking and prefer to have a clean house. She also reminded me that if we both had high-powered jobs we’d spend more eating out and doing other things, and I also realized that would be a stressful life that I would not want. I don’t want to spend my free time studying or worrying about someone else’s health and whether or not I gave sound advice, nor do I want to find out someone died of a heart attack after taking the wrong supplements that interfered with their medications. Instead I want to spend my free time with my boyfriend, writing, and expanding my spiritual life. I envision a life in a small house in the countryside with a garden of vegetables, herbs, and some flowers. Neither of us likes a lot of stuff, so it would be minimal with just a few meaningful things and the things we need, and our bikes. Evenings would be spent on the porch watching birds and talking about life, and cozying up to watch documentaries at night.

Though I’d expected and hoped that my mother would live to be well in her 80s or 90s, really that she’d just live forever, maybe the timing of my mother’s death was just right. Maybe this is God’s way of saying it’s time to grow up now and be on my own. Still, I feel like Bambi.

 

Perseverance

Now that I’m 40, I think of my future more. I want to know how it’s going to look, and if I will be okay. There are things I don’t want:  to work in a job I hate doing things that cause me anxiety every day, to be unable to work or make money to support myself, to live and die alone in a nursing home. That’s where my head takes me. I forget that God takes care of me. And I do believe that. Some might argue that idea is asinine because tragic things happen all the time, that God doesn’t control what happens, and I get that. What I mean is that whatever happens I will find peace and keep up my relationship with God, even if I do end up alone and penniless in a nursing home.

I’m a few months shy of the end of my first year of graduate school and still I feel unsure if this is the right thing to do. I reviewed my student loan debt and it’s daunting, yet I don’t know what other financially feasible path to take.

Looking back on my life so far, I feel that I’ve made so many costly mistakes, that I’ll forever live in debt, and I may never find a career that I love or am competent in. It’s hard not to ruminate over my mistake in getting a liberal arts degree, and not taking action sooner to pursue something more interesting that I could also support myself doing. Everything happens for a reason, and to me what that means is that there’s a lesson in everything I do. I just don’t know what that lesson is right now.

So I hope I am making the right decision in borrowing money for grad school for a career that I have no way of knowing if or how it will work out until I do it. So far nothing has panned out, and I have no way of knowing this will be different. Growing up I thought I wanted to be a writer, and that I would teach while writing. I taught as an adjunct professor for a couple of semesters at a community college but it was incredibly hard and it didn’t pay well. Although I taught only two classes, I spent all of my free time preparing for class. I had to learn how to teach, because I’d never taken any education classes, and of course I had to study the material in order to teach it, as well as read and grade papers. Most of the students hated reading and writing, and many could not write a sentence. During the day I worked full time in the marketing department of a failing company. I have probably explained all of this in an earlier post.

Most people would’ve stayed in marketing for the money, and probably tried to find something within marketing they could tolerate, but I chose not to take that path. I stayed for as long as I could, and then I just could not do it anymore.

Another way to look at all of this is that I chose to get out of something I loathed and although I’m already 40, it’s not too late, and I can spend my older years doing something that hopefully I will love. I will persevere. I just want to chronicle this time so that one day I can look back and remember how hard it was and how I came out on the other side of it. Maybe it will be helpful to someone else one day.

Here’s a beautiful song that has more relevance to some personal issues I’m processing right now and not ready to post about yet.

Fear and the Meaning of Life

I almost typing ’05 on a document I was saving on my computer and it took me a minute to realize it’s ’15, not ’05. How did 10 years go by so fast?

Yesterday I spent the day writing my admissions essay to get into a master’s program for nutrition. Mostly I’m nervous about the amount of time it will take to do all this work and do my day job too. I’m worried I’ll never have time for fun, especially with my new love, a man I adore. But if I don’t do this, I’m afraid I’ll never do anything, that I’ll just continue working at the grocery store forever. Eventually maybe I’d get back into marketing, but the further I get away from it, the less likely it seems I’ll get a job doing that again, nor do I want to go there again.

Ten years ago I was married to my first husband, had not yet gone to grad school for my MFA, which, resulted in nothing but student loan debt, which one of my friends believes will end in student loan forgiveness. One can only hope.

Over the weekend my first love died in a car accident. He was driving his truck on a closed road and lost control, was ejected from the truck which landed on him several times. When we were in high school we used to drink beer and he’d play his guitar and sing to me. He was a sweet country boy who lived with his grandfather and in the summer we would ride around the country in his old Cutlass Supreme and listen to Creedence Clearwater Revival. My sister often expressed her admiration at his business scheme to pick up pecans for money. He friended me on Facebook a few months ago and I accepted, only to defriend him a few days later because he kept posting embarrassing comments on my photos, and I didn’t want my friends to see that I was friends with a redneck. I know. Real mature. He had a son.

Today I’m full of fear about going back to school. I have less than $200 in my bank account that is supposed to last me for two weeks, which is about what life was like for me as an undergraduate. I will need to get gas and buy groceries, so it will be almost depleted before I get paid again, and when I get paid, everything will go to rent. I was on the verge of calling my mom and asking for money – to me, this is one step away from begging on the streets – when I remembered that I’d paid the $500 deductible for a minor fender bender, and the insurance company owes that back to me because it wasn’t my fault. So while it seemed like a curse when I was told I had to pay at the auto body store, it was a blessing because I paid with my credit card, and now the insurance company is putting $500 directly into my bank account. I’m living off my credit card which is fast approaching its limit, but I’m trying not to think about that right now. I’m just lucky that I’ll get that money to pay rent, and then I need to consider freelance writing to get some extra money. Maybe I should go back and apply to marketing jobs again. I will have to ask my boss to let me have weekends off for school, which is a weekend program, and I don’t see that going over well at all. They want us to work one day each weekend.

I am so worried that I won’t do well in school, that it will be too hard to study while working full time, that I’ll have no life, no time to see my love, and I will never have enough money to get by on. I know it’s not true, that it will work out, but I don’t feel like it will. I feel like it will be like everything else seems to have been up to this point in my life: a start was made, it seemed like a good idea at the time, and later it did not work out, and I had to start all over again, just to do the same thing again with different men and different jobs in different houses. I just want something to work out. I don’t want it all to end one day in some freak accident to show up in some random stranger’s inbox and for that person to wonder what it all meant for me, what it was all for, that I never got anywhere in life but was always trying.