Lunch This Past Tuesday

For several months, ever since my car was stolen, I have been climbing in to my car's driver's seat from the passenger side of the vehicle. The lock had apparently been forced open with a screwdriver or something and the whole internal locking mechanism was completely broken. I no longer get mad when I think about my car being taken for a teenage joyride, or used as some kind of temporary hotel, but I do occasionally speculate on what it was used for when it was away. Anyway, I had become quite adept sliding across the seats and rather indifferent to potential stares from strangers. I mean, my car was broken and it was not my fault. What could I really do, right? So, on Tuesday, I finally got it fixed. I spent the afternoon walking around downtown while the mechanics re-tooled the door. I was also able to buy a few small art supplies, like a metal copic brush pen.

My walk across town also helped me consider my current demoralized condition. My career path is not going so good, and getting my master's degree may not be in my future after all. Truth be told, I have earned a several incomplete grades and it is rather hard to get them resolved while still trying to attend class. It is very much like trying to save money while spending much more than you earn. I am just not getting ahead. To say that I have been spending a lot of time being pensive and disappointed is an understatement of sorts. My future plans and goals for my life are shifting, but I still don't know which direction they are shifting in yet. I've been reflecting on my future for the whole past week.

Today, I went to talk with the administrators to see if there was any hope of somehow salvaging what I could from the past two years of college enrollment. According to the people I spoke with, there may be a chance to get a degree at some future point, but it is long shot. A very, very long shot. But to earn this chance, I have to swallow my pride again, justify my presence to several bureaucratic gate-keepers, and finally make some academic progress. And to do that, I will have to spend the next three weeks on campus at the admin. bldg, the clinic, and the library. I am not sure I am up to it. On the other hand, to think that I've added a few more thousand dollars of debt to my college loans without a degree to show for it is a strong motivator to persist along my college path for a little while longer.

Regardless of what decisions I come to, my plans for the summer (and beyond) involve a significant change. For too long, I have been stuck in a sort of spiritual neutral; the ship of myself has sailed into still and stagnant seas. Soon, I will move back in with my folks, start work in the family business, explore my illustrator interests, and generally regroup emotionally. I think a change in my physical environment will actually help me get kick-started. And I am looking forward to making some progress--any progress--because, after all of this, a little success will go a long way.

30 May 2006

Future Shock 

Future Shock

I have become a close friend to anxiety. It has nested comfortable inside my chest, to the left of my heart, and whispers to me constantly. Usually, I try to fight it and say to myself, one way or another, "okay, just because you're worried about the future does not mean that things won't eventually be okay and sort themselves out. Life goes on. Failures are just opportunities. Feelings aren't facts. Yadda, yadda, yadda. But because the whispering of anxiety is incessant, it takes all of my energy to fight it or ignore it, and occasionally, it absorbs me from the inside out.

One way or the other, it seems that my current school plans are either at an end or on hold. I certainly can't afford to keep going into to debt, either financially and academically without having some sort of promise of future reward. So, I am looking at getting a new job, but not in the field for which I have studied. I am looking at getting a new place to live, but some place super cheap. Essentially, I am looking at starting things over, going back to where I was four years ago, but this time, I don't really have a plan for how to move things forward or recover some of what I've lost. I've reached a cul-de-sac in life, and I have to turn around.

Perhaps, I do have something to show for it. For example, maybe I have a better sense of self. After all, I am resolving some long standing life issues to some degree, even though I feel I've made more than my share of mis-steps. And maybe I've even improved the quality of my present and future internal life, even if I will continue to be among the poor and working class. But faced with my current setbacks and debts, this is classic "cold comfort."

But, now I've indulged my anxiety with this blog post, I can start talking back to it with the "life goes on, failures are opportunities, and feelings aren't facts" stuff. There may yet be some things I can do, so, I will do what I have always done. Accept where I am at without too much regret, and try to negotiate for better place and more secure future.

18 May 2006

Today on Campus 


I've been on some new medication that makes it more difficult for me to stay asleep. Consequently, I have been waking up super early in the morning, usually around 4:00 a.m. or 5:00 a.m. This would be great, except that I am getting to sleep around midnight or later. I've always had a weird sleep schedule, which I think was due to the swing shift/graveyard I worked at for nine years, but this medication I am on makes the whole eight hours of sleep idea a lot more challenging.

Speaking of medication, because I don't have an income to speak of, I have to signup for a patient assistance program to continue to get this stuff from the corporate guys who make it. I was on campus during the hottest part of the afternoon today getting all the required paperwork filled out and jumping through hoops. The nurse manager, a nice person who seems really overworked, was in charge of all the hoops that needed to be jumped through.

I've had to work with this Nurse Manager before, let's call her R.N. T-----. She's a very nice person, but the last time I met with her, I was sweating from the exertion of walking across the campus on a hot day. After a few minutes, she noted that I was sweating and so she asked me if I was okay. I assured that I was, but while I was filling out forms and such, she left and got me a cold soda. A little stunned, I quietly took the soda and put it in my bag and drank it while walking back to the library. Well, today, the same thing happened again. R.N. T----- looked at me with a look of concern and asked if I was okay. I was sweating again, partly because it was hot and I don't acclimate well to the heat, and partly because the meds I am on make me perspire more. But she was so concerned that she made me take a cold can of apple juice, even though I repeatedly said I was fine. After I filled out more paperwork, I left and drank the apple juice in the car.

However, I have spent the rest of the day wondering if I look like crap, like some kind of human disaster who has just crawled out from under a rock. What is it about me that inspires concern on the part of this woman each time I see her? Do other people notice how I look and think to themselves, "what is up with that guy?" but don't say anything for some reason? I am not going to be too self-conscious about it, but getting feedback about your appearance along the lines of "are you okay?" can affect your self-image for the day. Oh well.

16 May 2006

Morning Moon 

Morning Moon

I've not been sure what to post, so I haven't really done anything with my blog here for awhile. My biggest project is trying to finish up work for several classes, but everyone knows that, and therefore, is not really worth mentioning.

Although I may not have made much progress in the school department of my life, I have been making a lot of personal progress in creating a healthier lifestyle. I am not sleeping as much as I used to. The above picture of the moon at 4:00 a.m. is evidence of that. But, most people are sick about hearing about my so-called progress too.

In fact, the only thing that might be interesting is that I bought a recliner for ten bucks on Friday. I happened to see it at the St. Vincent DePaul store as I was driving by it after school. It was a bit of a trick loading it in the car and carrying up the stairs by myself, but somehow I managed it. Normally, I read my school books in bed, but I usually fall asleep if the books are too boring, which frankly, they can be. I figure that the recliner will be a better place to read.

Saturday, I cleaned the apartment top to bottom, which included doing a sink full of dishes by hand. I also rearranged the living room to accommodate my new piece of (shabby) furniture. Today, I read my school book. I need to write a two page paper and make a bunch of copies tomorrow, and then on Wednesday, I have to be in Salem to get the door of my car fixed. It has been stuck closed ever since some thief broke into the march before last. I have been climbing into the driver's seat from the passenger side of my car. I have gotten pretty adept at sliding in out of my car, and I am not as self-conscious about looking like some cheapo astronaut climbing into an Apollo module, but it will really be nice to open the driver's side door again. Not sure when I can post next, but maybe I will post a bit sooner than I have been.

14 May 2006