Wednesday, January 23, 2013
I realized this afternoon that I've blocked out the majority of the past several months. They were not good months. It's really seemed like one endless disaster. If I didn't know better, I would think the universe was punishing me. But, I think that my motivation really comes from all of that. I've finally just said "enough is enough" and I'm going to make my own luck.
To go back in time a bit, I used to be very actively involved with a lot of people. I love having people around me. I love DOING things. It really doesn't matter what those things are. In high school, I was that crazy chick who had the principal override policies so I could take extra classes. To put it bluntly, I was very driven. If I thought of something I wanted to do, nothing could stand in my way.
In my second year of college, I broke. I was still going full throttle. Max load of credits, extra-curriculars, 20-30 hours a week of waitressing to help pay for school. About a month into the semester, my grandma died. That might not sound like the biggest tragedy--she WAS old and had several health issues. However, it was a major change to my support system. My grandma was one of the few people in my life I knew that, no matter what, if I ran into trouble, she would be there to help. I fell apart. I couldn't concentrate on my work. I had no drive to do anything. I would randomly burst into tears in class. I couldn't remember anything I tried to learn. A family member made me promise to go see a campus counselor. I went. She told me I needed better friends. I told her... some not nice things.
After that, I took a year off from school and crashed on a friend's couch. During that time, I met my boyfriend. It took some time, but he helped me manage my crazy. We set goals. I got a bit of my drive back. I went back to school & finished up--straight A's for the rest of school. I applied to grad school to pursue my goal of getting a PhD to teach undergrad Chemistry. I got an email from the school I applied to telling me, in other words, "We wish you applied last year, we can't afford you this year because of budget cuts." It was a major emotional hit.
I spent something like two years after that trying to get a job. I developed some anxiety issues that made it really hard to interview. Ever tried interviewing mid panic attack? Not so much fun.
A friend suggested that I apply to do online tutoring. I can work from home & tutor kids--which is something I'm really good at. After a couple months of that, I got the opportunity to do a special program with the company that teaches math to middle school students in NYC. I was starting to feel more confident and useful.
Then this past summer, they requested that I take what equates to supervisor training and received a promotion. So now, I am responsible for over 40 other tutors and making sure that their tutoring is "up to snuff." I'm starting to feel that old spark again. The "I can do anything, just watch."
We found out that we would be moving because my boyfriend was being assigned to shore duty in San Diego (Navy). Finally, after 6 years, he won't be gone for months at a time leaving me to worry/stress/eat tons of junk food. The week that boyfriend was supposed to leave the ship (that was currently in Virginia), Hurricane Sandy hit. That delayed his departure and left me to manage moving from Seattle to San Diego alone. His dad's house was completely destroyed in the hurricane in New Jersey. It was a crescendo of Very Bad Things. How could it possibly be worse than moving myself, four cats, and all of our stuff 2000 miles without him there to help?
A few days later, boyfriend's dad was killed in a car wreck. Teach me to not say "things can't get worse" huh? In addition to moving, at the same time, there was a funeral across the country to deal with, relatives to worry about, etc.
We've been dealing with all of that for the past couple months: insurance companies, banks, funeral home, etc. It's really put a damper on pretty much everything leading into the holidays. So, it seemed almost expected when I got a call on Christmas Eve telling me that my step-mother was in the hospital and her organs were failing. She died on Christmas Day. Now, I am not remotely close with that side of my family. I haven't spoken to my dad in years, I never got along with my step-mother. But it succeeded in making me feel incredibly guilty for Christmas. My brother lived with them and was going through his own personal crisis.
What's almost hilarious is... it wasn't until a few days after Christmas when we went to Six Flags that the stress and nonsense of the previous few months hit. I went to ride a roller coaster and couldn't fit. I watched people who CLEARLY weighed more than me fit on just fine. I'd been telling myself while we waited that if they could fit, I could fit. I was wrong. I got to do the "walk of shame" and walk off the ride after two ride operators tried to squeeze me in. I decided right then that this was going to be my year. I will fit on every ride at Six Flags by this summer. I will not lie to myself or convince myself that things are "okay."
This year I'm going to DO THINGS. I have a busy year and a lot of great things planned. These aren't Resolutions. These are promises to myself that I can't break.
-I will not be a victim. Things happen, good and bad. I will not let them control me. I control me.
-I will stop making excuses for things I could do, but chose not to. I made the choice, I deal with the consequences.
-I will be proud of the things I have accomplished, not ashamed of the things I have not.
This is my year. On 12/03/2013 I will give my grandmother the best birthday present I can: I will be the same granddaughter she was always proud of. On 12/03/2013 I will give myself the best birthday present I can: I will be the best me I can be.