Month: May 2019

Life Transitions and it’s Problems

In 9 weeks I’ll officially start my post-PhD career, I should be excited. Unfortunately, my tumultuous financial life bogs me all the way down. It’s difficult to focus on the blessing of a new job with good benefits when I’m constantly alerting debtors of my inability to pay.

I also have to deal with the emotional toll of relocating and starting all over again. I’ve started over at least once in my adult life; however, this time is different. This time I hope to be planting roots and making myself a home.

This time I won’t be a student and I’ll be working in my field of choice.

Some have suggested that I simply keep the faith and not worry about things I cannot control.

My thoughts are clouded by unnecessary worries. Yes, my credit score is rapidly declining as I wait. Yes, my health desperately wishes I had health insurance or at least the financial means to see a health care provider. But I am in a position that I can’t do much about anything so my worry is unnecessary.

Friendship Failures

It’s commonplace to hear about long-lasting friendships and about the beauty of friendships in general.

That’s wonderful…but where’s the conversations about those friendship failures?

I’ve had quite a few of those in my life. Honestly, I’ve had more of these failures than I’d admit publicly.

The first question I’m asked when I mention the many failed friendships I’ve had is – What’s wrong with you?

Trust me, I’ve asked myself that many times. I’ve concluded that I’m certainly not everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to being a friend; however, I’m also a very good friend.

My lack of expressiveness sometimes causes problems in my friendships. Also my love of solitude and quiet time doesn’t bode well with many individuals. Not to mention, how the chronic illnesses which take residence in my body can sometimes make it difficult to spend time with friends.

I remember the time I changed the plans to hang out with a friend at the last minute due to my unpredictable chronic illness flare. Notice I said I changed the plans, not canceled outright!

That was the last time me and this individual hung out. I thought we were on our way to becoming lifelong friends…our relationship didn’t make to two years.

There was another lovely individual that I bonded with nearly instantly. We were fast friends! Well during the second year of our relationship we had a disagreement about lifestyle choices. After that fateful conversation we never said as much as hello to one another again.

This particular situation was difficult because during our brief friendship we’d made plans to be in each other’s lives for major events like marriage, children, career milestones. Oh we were so optimistic, yet we chose to terminate communication with each other after just one conversation that highlighted a disagreement about lifestyle.

Then there was also this individual who I called my best friend and felt like they were a sibling to me…our friendship lasted for years. Honestly, it was on and off so when I really consider the times we were actively friends I must say it lasted only about four years.

This particular friend and I had a disagreement about my choices and the relationship ended, never to be mended. The reason I say it will never be mended is because I have no real idea why it ended. We grew apart rapidly and I continued to be friends with our mutual friends. Much to the dismay of this individual

I often hear individuals say that people enter into your life for a season. That may be true, but even with that understand friendship failures are difficult.

I can often be overly optimistic when it comes to friends. I’ve also been known as someone who is too forgiving and always there for individuals even if they are no longer my friends

For example one of my former friends called me early one morning – around 3am – I was asleep. The ringing of my phone woke me up, so I answered. Short of a few significant others who worked early mornings or late night, no one called me at 3am unless it was emergent.

I was shocked when I saw my former friend’s name on the telephone screen; but I answered. This individual was having a hard time and needed a friend. They even told me during that conversation – that although they no longer talked to me they knew that I would be there whenever they needed me.

It was a long call but the crisis was averted before the conversation ended. I didn’t end the conversation expecting the flat lined relationship to suddenly gain life. I’m very thankful that I didn’t hold a grudge and I was able to be the friend I desired others to be for me.

I have many wonderful friends and I’ve learned how to be a better friend. No lessons were quite as impactful as my friendship failures.

Reveille

Listen to your body. That’s advice I give often to my friends and family.

Somehow I don’t believe it applies to me!

Ok, pause! I’m not suggesting that I’m immortal and I have no reason to listen to my body

However I am suggesting that my actions often suggest that I do not have to listen to my body.

Here’s the craziest part about this dismissive attitude I possess when it comes to listening to my body…wait for it…the same body that I refuse to listen to is filled with chronic, autoimmune illnesses.

To me it’s laughable that I actively don’t pay attention to the glaring signals my body gives.

It’s laughable because individuals like me whose bodies possess chronic, autoimmune illnesses are often and always told to listen to their bodies.

My stubbornness decides to ignore my body. Part of this is because living with chronic illnesses some which cause chronic pain individuals learn to ignore their bodies. We honestly cannot react to every single signal our bodies send out

But we have to find a balance to know when to pay attention to the signals our bodies give

And this is where my resistance is strongest.

It’s nothing for me to make an appointment 10 weeks after experiencing abnormal swelling that gets worst during that time. Health professionals often look at me in amusement and disgust when I tell them how long symptoms X started.

Maybe it’s a signal from my body but I’ve forgotten what I planned to place here so I’ll just end it!

The Magician

I associate with people from many walks of life; their beliefs and their appearances vary.

This is a wonderful thing, it gives me an opportunity to explore my beliefs and appearances.

Most who know me would agree that I have no issues letting people be who they are or even whomever they wish they were.

I don’t proclaim to know the Truth; I prefer to view it as my truth. Years ago I decided that I can only speak my truth and that my truth could be completely different than someone else’s. Neither of us are unequivocally right; although, we may each believe that we are.

Some of my associates speak about the fascinating prowess of one whom I can only characterize as a magician. Even my characterization is evidence of my truth; I’m nearly certain that my characterization would cause a pother between my associates and myself.

Thankfully, I’m constantly informing my readers that this is simply my opinion, my truth.

The magician, I’ll stop short of referring to this being as great – I have to have some respect for my associates. So yes this magician is one who comes to the rescue of many individuals – I only have their testaments as evidence.

Several of my associates affirm that the magician has rescued them during the darkest of days, those times when everything that could go wrong, did.

Let me expound by example:

One such associate loves telling a story about the time in his life when he lost his job, fell behind on bills, subsequently lost his home and his car…then the magician came in just when he was about to lose his final shred of hope and dignity…the magician came in and voila this man’s life was rebuilt.

Not only was his life rebuilt, it was better than it had been before he lost all tangible items of value.

He was provided a job that he would’ve never been considered for as long as he had the job that he ultimately loss. That’s important, the losses were purposeful and the magician was able to use these losses for good.

I could go on but quite frankly all of my associates’ stories about the magician sound the same. If I didn’t know for certain, I would swear these individuals simply traded stories or at least they were paid by the magician to become walking, talking billboards.

From what I hear the magician puts on a great show, unfortunately, the tickets sell out quickly or at least I haven’t learned how to acquire any so I have yet to see this great act for myself.

I do enjoy the stories my associates share with me about the magician.

Money problems

I’ve been unable to fully appreciate the fact that I’ve received an academic appointment because it starts in August…right now it’s May.

The dilemma I’m facing is that I have no income currently and that has been the case since I walked across that stage in December.

That’s another momentous occasion that I’ve been unable to fully appreciate because of my dire financial situation.

I’m extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to complete the level of formal education that I have. Additionally, it doesn’t escape me that I am one of few to attain the coveted academic position that’s been granted to me.

However, the bigger picture highlights my starting position of being a first generation college graduate from a rural lower socioeconomic area.

I’ll save the rest of the thoughts for research but thinking about my starting position brings me hope. I’ve overcome much in my educational journey so I know that I can endure this phase of financial destitution.

My debtors have been incredibly kind to me and I completely understand that they have a business to run.

My current financial situation is completely of my doing and even if it takes years for me to clean this mess up I will. I take full responsibility for the part I played in this situation.

It grieves me when I’m unable to pay even the minimum payments on my accounts. I try to answer every call from my debtors and each time it takes a little out of me. I have to tell them that I graduated from school recently, my income was tied directly to school, I have employment lined up, but it doesn’t start until August.

I’ve looked for part time work but I’ve been unable to find anything. My parents are graciously providing me housing, without them I would be without shelter.

My situation sucks right now but I’m grateful for the blessings that I’ve experienced even in the midst of this chaotic time.

I have chronic illnesses that are not being monitored because I also no longer have health insurance and if you’ve been to a healthcare professional in the United States while uninsured and no income, you are well aware of the problems with that picture.

I’m proud of myself because although I’ve had flares and I’ve had many low moments as a result of my current circumstances, I have yet to give up completely.

This time has given me a stronger desire to give back to the communities that helped me and to assist students who are from like backgrounds. I want to make sure that we are not forgotten.

I’m struggling right now in ways that I’ve never imagined I would but this is all temporary.

If you have any suggestions of in the meantime work I could do and how I can bridge the gap between now and when my job starts in order to pay my debts and stay afloat…let me know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post!

Love

Recently, I was told a magnanimous love story without a storybook ending.

The two in love did not end up together or reunite later in life.

The love the shared was interrupted by life and personal decisions.

The love story never grew beyond the beginning stages of love. There’s no way to know if the love was lasting.

From that love story I learned that love is not enough.

One must make concerted efforts to let love grow.

It was a beautiful love story, although I’d heard it before.

To survive the often harsh realities of life the beauty of the love, needed so much more.

My beauty

My mind is beautiful; you may not know that tidbit of information.

My thoughts are complex; however, they are sometimes quite simple.

My heart is beautiful or so I’ve been told

I care for many, even those I don’t directly know.

My character is intricate, not easily defined

It’s difficult to bind to words just how beautiful I truly am.

My beauty goes beyond my external facade.