Frozen.

Have you ever experienced that feeling where the person you are working with/for thinks that you are going to fail, so naturally you completely mess up? That feeling where you are completely lost, losing all memory of what it was you were supposed to be doing. That’s what my student teaching experience has been like. The teacher I was placed with completely immobilizes me, and the people who could make a difference, truly do not understand. It even feels like they might not even care…

I didn’t come to graduate school to be told I should start thinking about other options. I didn’t come to graduate school to be told that I should get my Masters and not my teaching licensure. I came here after years of thinking about this decision and I finally went for it.

First, it was the financial burden. No one tells you that you can get loans to cover your summer credits at my school. No one even offered a scholarship or any other sort of payment plan or additional funding. No one paid any attention to the fact that I would be supporting myself. So I paid them. I paid them the over $7,000 for my summer courses. I paid them the additional $3,0000 in the fall when for some reason my financial aid kept being split up between the fall and the spring and I still owed and had to pay late fees. I paid. I did my part.

Now why is this university completely failing me? They have taken all of my money. They have taken my sanity, because the money that I paid them OUT OF POCKET for my tuition were supposed to be my living funds for the year I was in grad school. I got a job. I’ve worked my ass off despite being completely broke and my school not helping me financially whatsoever. I operated on 5 or less hours of sleep for months.

And now I’m the one who doesn’t get to finish up my student teaching placement this week. I was penalized because my advisor put me with someone that wasn’t a good fit, and didn’t feel right even a few weeks in. But no one listened to me when I asked for help. They waited until it was too late and then offered me a placement that will meet for my summer semester.

Now I am terrified that choosing this profession was all a big mistake, even though it wasn’t. Now I’m terrified that if I don’t make it through this second placement I will be jobless and $50,000+ in debt to a university that couldn’t even do the one job I paid it to do: Get me my licensure.

I know no one is perfect, and I know that everyone has flaws. But when does this end? This was supposed to be my way out of the monotony that was dragging me down in my previous life. This was supposed to mobilize me into my career.

I have about 6 weeks to pass this student teaching. SIX WEEKS. At this point, I don’t care if I get a classroom teaching position in the fall. I’ll sub, I’ll be a teaching assistant again, I’ll keep working in retail.

All I want is to graduate and get my teaching licensure. I could sure use a miracle at this point.

IBS.

For a few years, I knew there was something wrong with me. Normal people don’t need to know the location of every bathroom in every single public place they visit. Normal people don’t plan their whole day around if they will have access to a restroom or not. This is atypical.

It is not normal to feel like and almost shit your pants once or twice every two weeks. It is not normal to have constant aching in your stomach, diarrhea, and constipation. If when you poop, you feel like you can’t get it all out, that’s not normal.

I knew all of these things for several years but continued to have the same issues. It is still a source of constant embarrassment. All my friends would notice my frequent bathroom visits when we were all hanging out. I didn’t want to even think about having sex with anyone because it was such an issue.

I finally got a new doctor last year and she finally listened to what I had to say. None of those things are normal, she agreed. She prescribed me with anti-anxiety meds and encouraged me to try parts of the FODMAPS diet. (No, I do not know what it stands for, you’ll have to GOOGLE it).

I figured out pretty quickly that a lot of my issues were caused by soy. I had a lot of soy in my diet. I love edamame mixed with veggies saut√©ed on the stove in some basil, garlic, and olive oil. I would eat it practically every day. And I have been a vegetarian since I was 14, although I am technically a pescetarian because sometimes I eat salmon, lake water fish, or shrimp. But now, I can’t eat tofu or veggie burgers or any of the plant-based protein foods that I like. But cutting out soy made a huge difference. So did cutting out yogurt ūüė¶ I still miss it, so much.

I’ve made all these changes. You would not believe how much better I was feeling for a while. Instead of feeling sick every single day, multiple times a day, I switched to feeling sick once or twice a week. If I skip meals, I pay for it. If I don’t eat enough, I pay for it. If I wait too long between meals, I pay for it. I constantly still assess where the bathroom is, but I wasn’t driving to work squirming in my seat every day, trying to think of where the closest bathroom could be or whether I could pull over somewhere, if I absolutely had to.

My issues were better, for a while. Grad school certainly did not help with the take out food and late night meals, but it was better last semester. I just finished my first week of student teaching (!) and it has been MISERABLE this week. I have constantly had stomachaches. I constantly feel like I’m shitting my pants, and then go to the bathroom and nothing is there, and then nothing comes out, and then I’m just constipated. Every fart creates immense fear.

I went to CVS to pick up my prescription the other day and almost starting yelling at the pharmacy tech because she was taking so long. And then I’m starting to feel like I might faint, my face is burning up, and I really have to go. She tells me there’s no public bathroom in CVS, even though I can feel the sweat pouring down my face. Luckily, no one questions me as I run into the bathroom at the restaurant next door. Unluckily, this same situation has happened to me several times, once I even had to pull over and go into a restaurant because I was worried I wouldn’t make it the 2 minutes home.

I don’t know why I needed to tell anyone this at all. It’s a constant issue and it was much better for a while, but it never completely goes away. And now it’s back, in full force, and I have children I have to be responsible for. How am I going to do my two takeover weeks if I am constantly needing to use the bathroom? I am so embarrassed. I feel like everyone can see me squirming and hears the weird noises coming out of my stomach. I feel like when I go out to eat I have to constantly watch what I eat. I feel like I’m constantly tired and exhausted, I’m sore from wiping so much, and that I am having to worry about this issue way too much when I’m around my boyfriend.

I don’t know if anyone who doesn’t have IBS could truly understand. I know I didn’t understand what Ulcerative Colitis truly was like for my brother until I started having my IBS issues.

I know there’s no magic cure. I know that I’m supposed to be relaxing, but that’s nearly impossible with the combination of working, grad school, student teaching, and anxiety. IBS is just another thing I have to constantly worry about.

But if anyone out there knows anything that could help, I would truly appreciate it. I want to be able to sit on my boyfriend’s lap without worrying about this. I want to be able to go on a date with him where I don’t have to rush to the bathroom for fear that I might have an accident. I want to be at my student teaching position and feel okay. I want to be able to go for a walk or run without worrying that there will be no bathroom for a while.

Someone, out there, please help.

Parents.

Guys. It’s happening. I’m in a functional adult relationship with the guy from my math class. I don’t really know how this happened. He like pays for dinner and opens doors for me. We hold hands when we go to the movies and we like go on real dates and stuff. And we make out a lot, in my car. We are like teenage adults…

I am so scared but I am doing my best to put myself out there, despite all my anxiety about being with someone. It’s almost weird to be not single. I mean I catch myself doing things, and I’m like stop. no. you have a boyfriend. A real one. You don’t have to be single anymore.

I mean I have a real boyfriend who plays with my hair without me even having to ask him to. That’s pretty special. I don’t know any of the past guys who would just do that without me having to ask them to.

I’m falling for him, big time. We don’t say the “L” word yet, but I hope we do some day. I have such a hard time NOT imagining the future with him in it. I have so many things I want to plan and do with him in the future.

And today, he’s actually meeting my parents.

Which is a huge deal. The kind of huge deal that kept me up all night hoping everything will be okay.

Because I like him a lot. And I’m not the type of person who loses interest. And he’s actually meeting my parents. It’s happening. TODAY.

Together.

“I have a confession,” I say, trying to be cute.
“Oh yeah?” he says.
“I have a crush on you.” I text back.
“You don’t need to have a crush. We’re together.”

And then my heart smiles with the strength of a thousand suns and is full of colors of planets and stars and all of the rainbows you’ve ever seen in just one lifetime.

I then proceed to laugh, because I had no idea that we are together. None.

You see, life has given me nothing but rotten lemons lately in the love life department. This one though, he could possibly be different. He doesn’t kiss like he already knows how, he kisses like he would do anything to learn how it is right for me.

He doesn’t judge me for my mistakes, only tells me he doesn’t care and that he’s lucky. Lucky? No kidding. I feel like I’m the lucky one.

You see, I haven’t even told him yet about all the horrific ways I’ve been broken. He sees me as strong. He sees me as a hard worker. He tells me not to text him when I’m driving because he really truly cares and could never life with himself if something bad were to happen to me because of him. But it would be my fault for texting him.

It’s hard not to. When you like someone who actually treats you well and says cute things and acts like they are just as confused and awkward as you are. Someone who just knows you are together instead of asking. Someone who wants you to go to hockey games or watch sports, and you just go because it’s a good excuse to spend time together.

Someone who always opens the door for you and never lets you pay for dinner. Someone who tells you it will be fine. Someone who cares about other people and works harder at studying than anyone you’ve ever met before.

This guy is my together. I told him he rescued me. He told me, you were already perfectly strong on your own.

This guy is my math class crush who constantly pushes me to be the best I can be. This guy makes my heart melt, my pulse speed up, and my whole body smile, and we, well we’re together.

Ignore me.

Does anyone really feel as messed up as I do right now? I feel like I need to burst. I feel like I need to do everything in my power to push him away. Is that normal? I feel like it’s not.

After months of being ignored or brushed off by my horrible ex boyfriend, I can’t help but lose my mind when someone who supposedly likes me doesn’t make any effort to talk to me. The reasons have ranged from they don’t actually like me to they are engaged in a football game. Whatever the reason, I always spiral out of control whenever I feel ignored.

By friends, by family, and a thousand times over by boys I like. I will absolutely give up if they don’t talk to me very much. I want to give up whenever I don’t hear from them. I really want to give up. And I have to fight myself.

It’s not normal to feel like this, self. It’s normal for people to be busy. You probably like each other just the same amount. Nope, I like him way more, self. I need to end this before I get too attached. I need to push him away. I need to take my space and be myself again. This means I clearly can’t handle simply liking someone, so why would I be even remotely able to be in a relationship with him? I’m going to scare him away soon anyways, I might as well just consciously do it.

So I push. And I push. And I hope that something frees me from my inner turmoil. And I know most likely it’s going to be me pushing you away when I really do like you. And I think you really do like me too. But I can’t handle being ignored. And I don’t know how to tell you about that because you don’t suffer from anxiety and you don’t really get what it takes for me to get out of bed in the morning. And you don’t really understand that every day is a struggle and there are simple things you can do to help.

Because I don’t want to seem desperate or needy or annoying. I don’t want to force you to talk to me when I’m not sure you even want to. Part of me wonders if you are waiting for me to text you. Do you feel this constant pain that I feel?

I’m not ready to talk about the horrible things that happened to me. I’m not ready to tell you about what he did. What I put up with. What it did to me. I want you to see me as unbroken as you possibly can for the longest amount of time that you possibly can.

But let’s be honest here. I am broken.

Conflicted

I know I haven’t been around here lately. I feel really guilty about it, but there’s nothing I can do. I have been through so much in the past two months, I don’t even know what I can say… and besides, I need to make a rant so that maybe I can stop obsessing about something.

For starters, grad school has been nothing but a huge financial burden. I got a job at a retail store nearby because my program didn’t give me any sort of aid other than loans. And the loans they give you don’t cover the total amount, and so then you have to take out even more loans. Like people, I am going to be a teacher, not a billionaire, come on. Jack up the tuition for MBAs and Engineers, but I am getting a Master’s in Teaching.

Anyways, so that has been an absolute nightmare, come to find out anytime I take out a loan they just keep applying half of it to next semester, and they didn’t tell me this for months. I’m taking WAY less credits next semester, too. So I’m going to be absolutely broke at the end of all of this because they don’t listen and they aren’t helpful at the financial aid office.

My cat has also been sick ūüė¶ there was what looked like a huge growth on her chin, which turned out to be a pimple. Kitty acne guys! Except it won’t go away and we’ve been to the vet twice (almost $400 later). And then my car was making this weird squeaking noise and it turned out that it needed $840 of work…So needless to say, I have like no money left. None.

And I’m working about 26 hours a week and taking 19 credits. I’m basically not a person anymore and don’t have time to do the normal things that people do like watching tv or vacuuming their rooms. I eat a lot of take out food and a lot of microwavable meals. I am losing weight like it’s nobody’s business. I barely write. I barely smile.

Grad school has taken my soul hostage and left me as a robot. I’m serious guys. The way my schedule is right now I don’t have a single day off. And I can’t afford to get rid of any of my shifts at work because I already am basically in the negative anyways, even though I work 4 shifts a week. So, thank you all the sacrifices that I made. Moving away from all my friends, quitting a new job that I actually liked, and moving in with my grandmother for $200 rent and basically giving up my independence and every semblance of the person I used to be. I hope that it’s freaking worth it in the end.

——
I guess that was rant part one. Now here we go. As if all that crap wasn’t enough, the cute guy in my math class had to go and make me like him. I’m so disappointed in myself because it feels like this always happens. And then I get so so lost because I don’t know which way is up.

We were table buddies in math but always ended up chatting after class or what not. I thought he was cute on the first day of class all those weeks ago, and I obviously kept it to myself. He actually seems like a pretty nice guy, but is coming from an extreme career change as he was a statistics writer for a sports magazine and is now getting his master’s in Special Education, which honestly just made me like him even more. He’s from Long Island, and is very Italian, kind of on the short side, but is really sweet. He’s calm and gets his work done ahead of time.

Then there’s me. Anxiety is through the roof right now. IBS. Insomnia. Family issues. Pet issues. Financial issues. Time management issues. Always working issues. Lack of stability and independence and what not issues. Anyways, we had a math quiz a few weeks ago and I created a google doc for our group to study with. So I got his email! I was so proud of myself (ha ha). We emailed back and forth a lot after the quiz. I think it was like 99 times or something ridiculous. I then just gave him my number and he emailed me back with his. So I texted him. And then I couldn’t stop texting him. He was so interesting to talk to. And obviously I already had a crush on him.

In the midst of everything he invited me to his birthday party. Naturally, I absolutely panicked because I am a ruiner and that’s what I do. It was a Friday night though, so I was going to be working anyways. I said something dumb like I could meet him afterwards if I didn’t get out of work too late. I obviously never had the intention of going because I could feel the color draining out of my face thinking about all the new people I would have to get introduced to. I don’t know if he asked me as a friend or what, but obviously that adorable gesture started to make me think that he might just like me, too. I knew he knew that I had been really stressed out and maybe he had just invited me because it was a party and a good time to unwind?

It ended up being a huge flood in Boston that night so he went out to dinner with all of his friends but was home around the same time I got out of work because all the bars were closed. We kept texting until like past midnight and did that a few other times. But it’s always me initiating everything. A friend of mine says that the guy is probably interested because he keeps texting me back and doesn’t flat out ignore me. I can’t help but wonder if he does like me. I mean, what was that whole birthday party invite about? Did I ruin everything by saying no?

I can’t figure it out. I want to text him. I like him. It seems unnatural not to. But with my past, I have to be careful. I can’t put my foot forward if he isn’t putting one forward with me. I know we are both graduate students and have ridiculous amounts of work this week… but what the hell is wrong with me? I want him to show me that he likes me but to push him away at the same time so I can protect myself. I would give anything for a sign that he really does like me. If he doesn’t, please just let me down easily so I can move forward with my life, and stop obsessing over what the birthday party invitation meant. Or what it means when he doesn’t answer my texts or send me a text first but then is all flirty in class, stealing my pretzels and talking to me after and during, and oh god, just make it stop.

Friends…?

You never know how lucky you are until you move away. I have a great group of friends in the city I just left and knowing that I had those friends makes me even lonelier than I already am. It’s like when you buy an ice cream cake and you don’t know how good it is until you open the box. I never thought I would make such strong friendships with such wonderful people. I feel honored and extremely lucky to have these people in my life.

My whole life I struggled with making friends. I was never popular. I always felt like a social outcast. There were times, especially in middle school, when I didn’t do the right thing because I felt someone was bringing me down as a friend.

In middle school there were these twins who I wanted to be so badly. They had money, were good at sports, had been skiing their whole lives, and everyone liked them. The twin I had more classes with told me that for their birthday this guy, Patrick, made out with all of the girls at the party. At the time I was super impressed. Now, thinking about it, Patrick made out with like 15 middle school girls in the same night. Gross. (I would like to add that I always had a huuuuuge crush on Patrick and was so jealous. Now, Patrick is a fat police officer and he is not at all cute). I know this because, somehow, we are still friends on Facebook after all of these years.

Needless to say, I tried super hard to be her friend even though the kinds of things she was doing were completely foreign to me. I mean, I didn’t properly make out with a guy until college, let’s be honest here. I had a few boyfriends in high school and all we did was kiss and awkwardly avoid that whole using tongue thing. It almost seems comical now, to me.

When I planned my eighth grade birthday party, I invited this cool twin. She told me not to invite this girl that I was friends with. So I didn’t. I wanted her to like me. I wanted her to invite me into the popular group that she was a part of, so then I could finally not feel like a total dweeb, for once. She kept saying how excited she was for my party. I felt so relieved that someone like her would want to even consider being my friend. The week of the party, she informed me that I couldn’t make it. So I invited the girl that she didn’t like, instead. And let me tell you, to this day, I don’t regret inviting this girl at all. She truly was my friend and I’m glad the twin didn’t make it to my party. (Side note, I was totally always the naive and innocent one and I’m still not sure to this day how someone’s bra ended up in the freezer…)

Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that I suck at making friends. I suck at picking the right people to hang out with. My social anxiety makes it impossible for me to read people or know if they want to be my friends until they pull a gesture that really tells me they want to be my friend.

I spent the first 3 weeks of college mostly alone and so awkwardly saying “hello” to the people in my dorm and then going straight in my room. I cried a lot. I was really homesick and had no friends. One night, I ¬†was doing homework and I came out to tell my neighbors to shut up, since they were all hanging out in the hall way. Instead, I talked to them, and some of those people I met that night are still some of my very best friends. Things like that don’t usually happen to me; it felt like the exception that time.

Flash forward to the rest of college where I didn’t really make any new friends other than those I had become friends with during my freshman year and then the occasional friend along the way. Even when I was a RA, I thought so many of those people were my friends, come to find out they were all hanging out and not inviting me, and many of the people I wanted so desperately to be friends with have already unfriended me on Facebook. Even people I thought I was close with didn’t make an effort after graduation.

So what is it about me? I consider myself an okay, if not good, friend to the friends I already have. I try my hardest to be there for people when they need me (or even if they think they don’t) and I try to include everyone in what I’m doing. I try really hard to keep in touch with friends who move away. I try to keep tabs on my family near and far. I try to be kind, to say the right thing, and to have somewhat of a social life. I am fiercely loyal, almost to a fault, about the ones I care about. I’m not afraid to alienate people who betray my friends or family.

There are two more sessions of my second summer class left. Let me tell you, if you thought making friends in high school, middle school, or college was tough, it’s NOTHING compared to attempting to make friends in grad school. Nobody wants to talk to you, but they all want to talk to each other. I mean, we are master’s students, people! Enough with the cliques. I just keep having these horrid flashbacks to middle school.

Your peers will laugh out loud when you are talking to the professor and make a mistake. Your peers will rudely correct you when you’re wrong and act like you’re wrong when you’re talking about something you’re familiar with and they are not. If they don’t know it, it’s not right and they will then attempt to prove you wrong, when the whole time you knew you were right and that just ended up being a huge waste of time. People will steal your chair even when you leave your belongings in it so you don’t get to sit with the other people and you have to sit by yourself, again.

People in grad school forget how to say hi or use their manners. People in grad school forget how to be kind. You feel extremely sad that you don’t have any friends, but why would you want to be friends with these people anyways? Who makes plans during class right in front of everyone else? Who rides the subway with you a few times and then starts walking to another station without saying a thing? Who feels the need to endlessly correct you and put you down? Grad students.

It’s lucky I have a great group of friends back in Maine, otherwise I would completely lose my mind. I just need one friend. ONE. Then this class might have been easier to get through.

Luckily there’s just two days left, and then I’m off to the midwest with my parents for 10 days. I need a break from feeling so lonely and sad every time I make the trek into Boston for class. If one person in that classroom could just understand that I just moved here and maybe could try reaching out instead of completely ignoring me or putting me down, that might give me some hope for these people. Instead, I’m left to wonder if maybe, in the fall when I am taking more classes, will people be more respectful and understanding? Will I continue to take classes with some of these people?

I tried to be patient but I can’t wait until this class is over.

graduate school.

I wanted to let you all know my big news: I am going to graduate school in Boston for the next 12 months! Woohoo!

I didn’t have internet access for a few weeks and then I finally got it set up this week only to find out that I have a broken router and now I have to wait for a new one to arrive in the mail!!

I have literally flipped my whole world around in order to make this possible and it feels so strange. I’m definitely not used to any of it yet, and there are so many changes that come with it all. By the way, I HATE change, just in case I haven’t ever expressed that before.

3 Things I wish I had known about grad school ahead of time:

(1) When you don’t live on campus, it is impossible to know what you are doing. You will basically go broke within the first week of grad school.¬†I didn’t know that I was actually¬†eligible for student¬†loans but at first I thought I was but then I didn’t think I had enough credits. ¬†I was all confused. I paid over $3,000 out of pocket for my summer tuition and now I am¬†absolutely screwed (with $$) and I have no idea where the financial aid office is or who to talk to. People are NOT helpful by email.¬†

(2) If your advisor is not teaching a summer class… they will pretty much disappear and suck at answering your questions via email.¬†I mean me asking you what¬†specific¬†physical education class I should take over the summer, having tried to search on three different occasions, and you responding with “any physical education¬†class…” complete with the ellipsis to treat me like I’m some kind of¬†dumbass. I’m just trying to make my full-time semesters a little bit less hectic, but you know, thank you for the ellipsis because that really helped me solve ALL OF MY PROBLEMS.¬†

(3) Being in grad school is just plain hard.¬†Everyone else plays Pokemon Go in my class so I downloaded it and now they are all¬†looking at me like I’m crazy¬†because it’s almost like I¬†copied them, which I basically did so that I could fit in better. Everyone is younger than me. Everyone has established possees and cliques and here I am just having moved here and having¬†basically ZERO friends around and¬†everyone looks at me like I have fourteen heads when I try to talk to them. Having to sit through 3 hours straight of math is hard enough but even harder when not a single person wants to be your friend and you work in groups every single class.¬†

So basically, so far, I’ve bought a lot of crap I didn’t need because I’m stressed out that my savings are gone because I had to pay for my classes out of pocket. I never said I was¬†reasonable¬†or¬†intelligent guys. I tend to dig myself in humungous holes and wonder how I got down there to begin with.

I also am living with my grandmother which has taught me a few things:

(1) Old people are more popular than I can ever hope to be. And did you know that it is RUDE not to pick up the phone if you are in the middle of something? YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CALL PEOPLE BACK LATER. NO WAY!

(2) If your three-month-old kitten tries to steal your grandmother’s glasses, he is terrifying and we should all be afraid of him. But, we can’t kick him out of the room and put him in the hall way so he stops.

(3) For once, you’ll live with someone who drinks less water than you do. You’ll sound like a nagging biotch of a mother by how many times you harass your grandmother to drink water daily.

(4) It’s not acceptable to leave ANY of your stuff lying around the common areas. If you leave recyclable bottles anywhere except in the garage they will be put on the table in a huge pile and nobody will use their words to ask you to take care of anything.

(5) Things that literally are stupidly freaking hilarious like the fat that Siri’s favorite animal is a Tauntaun but only when it’s cold, are NOT FUNNY.

(6) It is more important to wash the kitchen floor by hand or to walk up and down the stairs to do your laundry than to breathe. Especially when someone else offers to help. Just. Say. NO.

(7) Your girl cat is suddenly a BOY and your boy cat is suddenly a GIRL. Boy cat is too skinny even though he is a baby!

(8) You will no longer be able to just do your own thing without giving a heavy detailed explanation before you leave the house.

(9) Things that used to take 5 minutes will take hours because your grandmother will not stop talking to you.

(10) If you tell someone that you’ve heard the same story from your grandmother 17 times (which is obviously an estimate but probably not an exaggeration) you will be the bad guy and be given dirty looks.

(11) If you tell your grandmother you are working a wedding on a Saturday, you told her Sunday. And by god you are confusing her on purpose because you obviously said the wrong day and she should have been recording you to prove her point.

(12) Donald Trump is making the republican party LOOK BAD!!!!

(12) Demi Lovato was wearing a horrible outfit on 4th of July and she looked like she was wearing her underwear.

(13) You now are completely (and might I add, repeatedly) familiar with the drama of your grandmother’s friend who lives down the road. And the drama of basically every other friend and family member who calls on the phone. Except you overhear the conversation, and then it gets told to you again 400 times after you overhear the phone conversation.

(14) Do people really wear short shorts?

(15) When your bra straps show, that is not acceptable.

(16) It is also not acceptable to offer to carry a fan downstairs for your grandmother.

(17) If you can lift the trash can without a dolly, you are superwoman.

(18) Grandmothers who have never tried pad thai become addicted to pad thai.

(19) Your collapsable blue outdoor chair your parents gave to your for your 27th birthday is the most important item that you own. Your roommates would have stolen it if you had not brought it to Massachusetts or probably claimed it as their own and not given it back.

(20) The bottoms of your pans are supposed to be shiny and beautiful. You’re just not supposed to use your pans to cook. People really buy non-stick pans too and then wonder why they look so dirty from things sticking to them.

(21) Your grandmother will suddenly realize one day that you’ve been living on your own for 5 years and it’s no wonder you came with so many of your own belongings.

(22) You will have a hard time keeping your stuff confined to one bedroom. Your grandmother will question when you put your stuff in another room only to realize that it’s actually her stuff and her stuff is IN YOUR ROOM.

(23) Every day you wear something new you will get a fashion critique whether you ask for it or not.

lonely.

I’m tired of hearing that people are lonely and then using it as an excuse for doing stupid things. I have been basically single since August 2012 (except for that brief time where I was dating someone I really cared about for 3 months or so and it ended horribly). I have no sympathy for any of it anymore.

Being lonely is not a good excuse to hang out with your ex girlfriend at the expense of your own heart. Being lonely is not a good excuse to harass your other ex at his place of work and bring the first ex there to make him jealous. Try being actually single for a while without hanging out with any of your exes. Just try it.

Being lonely is not an excuse to make out with the guy your roommate has a crush on. You shouldn’t have ever even considered making out with someone else at that point since you were still hanging out with both of your ex girlfriends. Now you’ve lost the trust of everyone around you and hurt a really nice guy for no reason.

Being lonely is not a good excuse for sleeping with someone else when you’re already in a relationship. Don’t have your cake and eat it too. It’s beyond tacky. It’s the most selfish thing you can do and it affects multiple people in horrible ways all at the same time.

Being lonely is not a good excuse to get absolutely wasted and make a fool of yourself. Being lonely is not an excuse to act like a complete slut all of the time. Yes, people make some drunken mistakes, but to make them repeatedly and blame it on being lonely, it’s not okay.

I’ve experienced every single holiday for the past four years alone. I’ve witnessed several cousins and friends get married or engaged. I’ve seen people have babies. I’ve seen people fall in love in seconds and realize they’ve found their soulmate. I’ve spent so much time alone that I don’t recognize myself anymore, sometimes. I’ve felt lonely when I am around ¬†the ones I love or in a crowd of people. I’ve felt lonely while watching tv in my own living room.

But, I’ve also made some pretty significant gains. I’ve begun to heal and actually listen to my body. Granted, it unfortunately ended up with me getting prescribed anti-depressants to help with everything that’s going on and trying an elimination diet for my IBS (I miss real yogurt so much!) but I’m working it out. Being lonely and single caused me to begin this blog a few years back and I’ve had one hell of a good time writing and interacting with everyone in the WordPress world.

Being lonely really helped me start thinking about the kind of career that I want. I realized I can have multiple careers. I can be a writer, a teacher, and eventually join academia with further degrees in teaching or some other related subject. I’m also beginning my master’s degree, finally, thanks to being lonely. I’ve run two 5ks while being lonely. I never even dreamed that I would enjoy running, let alone run long distances. I’ve adopted two absolutely adorable cats and they make me feel truly loved every single day.

So friends, be lonely. Feel the feels. Stop doing stupid things and using being lonely as an excuse. Being lonely should be a bridge to better things. Being lonely should be the fuel to firing up your life. We all experience pain at one point or another and it’s important to feel the pain as you need to, or you’re never going to be able to move forward with your life. So, do yoga or run the 5k. Experience loneliness from the comfort of your own home. Write, draw, drink the margarita without worrying about how many calories are in it. For god’s sake, being single can be the best times¬†of your life. If you appreciate your loneliness, someday your soulmate will come along, and you will be ready. If you appreciate your loneliness, you won’t be sitting around waiting for someone; you will be the love of your own life.

update.

Needless to say, this year has been absolutely insane. I’m about ready for things to settle down, but I don’t think they will for a long time.

The good news is that after two months of worrying that I have cancer, my biopsy came back clean. When I finally heard the news, I almost burst into tears of happiness. Somehow I stayed strong even though I was worried I was going to die for two months, which was the time it took between scheduling an initial appointment with the gyno and the results finally coming back. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted them to do whatever necessary to save my life even if it was taking out my ovaries and making it so I could never have children again.

The good news is that I’m getting a new kitten next week. My baby girl will be getting her first fur-sibling. She’s been living with some fur-cousins but has not experienced actually sharing me with another pet before. I am excited to bring him home.

The great news is that I am going back to school. It’s finally happening. I am moving to Boston and getting my Master’s in Elementary Education. The timing is a little wonky and I had to turn down an amazing opportunity at Columbia due to affordability but I am excited that this program will only take about a year and then allow me to work as a teacher September 2017.

The bad news is I haven’t been writing. Like, at all. It’s pretty bad. I have all these ideas but I have spent so much time focusing on all the paper work for grad school and tying up all the loose ends that I keep forgetting to make time to read the blogs I follow and to write down my thoughts. I am getting back into it now.

The bad news is I have to move and I’ve lived in the same city since I graduated from college over 5 years ago. It’s extremely bitter sweet and there are so many people and places I am going to miss. I am going to be living with family for the next year so saying goodbye to my independence has been quite the struggle.

The bad news is that my roommate issues became neutral and then this past weekend she made out with the boy I like behind my back. And then my heart was snapped into a million pieces and I realized that bad people don’t deserve my time or effort. I can’t even begin to explain how many times I’ve been nice to her lately and how backstabbed I am feeling right now. Luckily my move out date is in less than a month.

The bad news is I have to say goodbye to my new job that literally saved my life this past year. When my old job was about to make me go off the deep end, this job popped up and made me want to be a teacher more than ever before. I met so many wonderful children and staff members at the school I’ve been working at and have had the opportunity to teach special ed math and literacy. I definitely want to try and come back in 2017 when I’m all done with school. We only have a few more weeks left before the school year ends and I am going to be extremely sad when I have my last day with the wonderful nuggets I have gotten this amazing opportunity to work with.

So there you have it… I’m sure I’ve forgotten something but I am looking forward to these next steps that I’m going to be taking. I’ve been taking a night class already so I’ve been commuting down to Boston once a week… and barely having any time to get my homework done or to write. I promise I’ll try to do better.

I’ll be back very, very soon. Love you all and thanks for reading.