Category: Life lessons

Let’s talk about today…

I’m in the land of the living; however, most of my residence today is in the I Am Chronically Unwell camp! That’s no problem!

Well it’s a bit of a problem…let me explain.

I’m what most people would consider invisibly unwell. Meaning that there’s not many external markers that give away my membership in the club of chronically unwell and/or sick individuals.

There’s millions of individuals who have invisible illnesses so that’s not the problem.

The problem is that at times my acting skills are so good that even I forget that chronic ailments take up residence in my body. Yes, acting skills! Day in and day out I purposely put on my best face and I muster up all the strength I can to downplay my membership to the chronically unwell club.

Through the years I’ve worked hard to not allow my ailments to define me. We’re not going to get into how psychological, physical, and emotional damaging this mindset can be when it has limited impact on the true state of illness.

I won’t say that this acting is a bad thing, neither will I declare it a good thing…I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. I’ll just say the acting is what I do on a daily basis. Acting as if I am free of any ailments despite the fact that my body is riddled with ailments became my way of life decades ago. So much so that presently acting well is simply a habit now.

Sigh. So when I have days like today when my illnesses outweigh my acting skills and I must pause…I struggle.

I struggle because I’ve spent so much time pretending to be well that I forget how to tend to my illnesses.

I struggle because no one is used to me saying no or being unable to participate in whatever activity they want me to.

I struggle because on those days (today) I’m forced to look at myself and see the illnesses that I fight so hard to ignore.

I struggle because the illnesses impact my entire being.

You’d think I’d only experienced days like today once every three years, the way it seems to knock me down. You would think that there’s no warning signals and that I’m always caught by surprise based on my reaction to days like today.

None of that is true.

I frequently experienced days like today. There’s generally always warning signs and I even take steps to prepare for the life interruptions. Yet, I’ll never get used to the toll days like today take on me.

Days like today will be familiar, yet foreign.

Yesterday

The first thing that comes to mind when I consider the word yesterday, is Boyz II Men’s cover of The Beatles’ song Yesterday.

One of the most vivid memories I have of that song was at one of my relative’s celebration of life or what’s more commonly known as a funeral. The song was covered by someone at the service, I recall thinking that the song the individual sung could not be the Boyz II Men song that I use to pretend I hate a fight with my fictive husband!!!

Pause — I won’t reveal how young I was at the time but let’s just say that I was not even dating, let alone married!!!

Oh and I loved to pretend to fight with my fictive significant other because that meant I could be single again. Lol! Even then I was eager to not be attached to anyone or anything that would potentially hinder me receiving an education.

Hey! I didn’t realize that I could be in a relationship or even married and still get my education. Those things felt like they did not belong together.

Anyways, back to yesterday…this post is not about the song or the beautiful rendition of it at my relative’s service…no! It’s really about yesterday.

Here’s another thing – yesterday is not referring to any particular timeframe other than before the time of writing this. You know some people want you to be specific! Like I’m writing this post about an event that occurred at 1400 hours June 5 2010!!! Lol

I may be a bit goofy…stay with me I’ll make a point and if I don’t you’ll at least enjoy my silliness.

Yesterday, I thought I had everything figured out. I knew what I wanted in life; but most importantly I knew who I was.

Like the song says, “it’s hard to say goodbye to yesterday” but I have to say so long, farewell to you my friend, goodbye for now, until we meet again — Yes I just referenced Out of the Box from Playhouse Disney.

I had to say goodbye to yesterday’s image I’d created of myself and all the things I thought I had figured out because today I realized I’m still learning.

I’m changing everyday I’m becoming who I am…that sounds weird but I believe that I will never arrive as long as there’s breath in my body. I don’t mean that in a bad sense but just that I am unaware of what the future holds and how events will shape me so although yesterday I had it all figured out…there’s a great chance that that configuration doesn’t work for today.

I am always becoming who I am. Yesterday I thought I understood who I was going to be today…but today I realized that I’m still learning.

I’m Walking Away

Walking away from everything and everyone sounds so effortless and effective…it may be. I’ll never know.

So much of my identity is tied into things and people that walking away from all of it seems like an awful lot of work. I’m not interested in recreating me.

I refuse to walk away from everything and everyone

However I am placing everyone and everything in an appropriate position in my life.

I’ve noticed that I’ve given too much to some and too little to others. I’ve used some things too much and other things not enough so balance is what I strive for.

Balance in my relationships with people and relations with things.

At times it feels like walking away from everything and everyone is exactly what I should to remedy my situation. But rarely is the seemingly easy, easy.

Transitions, transitions, transitions

I’ve written a lot about transitioning from grad student to PhD and the job search. Many of my trials and triumphs I expected to have…others not so much.

The changes in relationships are something that I was totally unprepared for. I’d read the literature that suggests that the first generation graduates like myself had unique relationship issues.

It’s too painful to write about really. I never expected my relationships to change in anyway once I got my degree.

Some people think I behave like I’m better than them while my behavior hasn’t changed. The knowledge that I have degrees has and the attention I receive has changed.

I’m proud of myself and although I don’t share my accomplishments widely I am proud of them. I refuse to downplay my accomplishments to make others feel better. Yet I also only mention them when I’m asked about it.

I’ve never thought I was better than anyone, however, if someone believes I am better than them…who am I to dispute it?

I have no control over another person’s reactions to me. I take responsibility for my actions and I realize that my matter of fact way of speaking may easily offend others.

I’ve always been that way. Im very analytic and at times it may very well seem that I’m speaking an unknown language. At times I will think through something aloud while speaking with someone and I’m certain to them it sounds like gibberish

I see people as my equals and I speak to everyone the same. I speak to a 3 month old baby using the same direct speak I use with an adult.

I’ve speculated that I could possibly be somewhere on the autism spectrum – but I always conclude that if I am I’ve learned how to cope throughout the years.

Plus my quirks have not gotten in my way. Perhaps it’s not the degrees, accomplishments, or attention that created the changes in my relationships.

Perhaps it’s the direct exposure to me on a day to day basis. I believe that when an individual is around you, you witness their quirks in a way that you may not usually notice.

I’m generally reserved and I enjoy solitude. I don’t like to converse with multiple people at a time – not because I’m stuck up, but because I have total hearing loss in one of my ears.

I’m upset now because I try to present myself as a kind individual who really just loves to help. To know that there’s at least one person who thinks I belittle them, is troubling.

I’ll think about the accusations for awhile and I’ll survey my behavior when I’m interacting with others. If there is anything I can do to address this alleged behavior, I will.

Even with that, I know that I don’t think of myself as superior. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunities I’ve had in my life and I’m thankful to everyone who helped me along the way.

I imagine this is just another part of my transition….but no one told me that my relationships would change.

Independence

I’m a bit rusty on child development research; however, I know that between the toddler and preschool years children stake their claims for independence.

Oh yes they want to prove that they no longer need their caregivers to help them with anything. Most of us in the United States are very familiar with the coined phrase, “mommy wow, I’m a big kid now” thanks to a popular advertisement.

This time of independence is often challenging for the caregivers. This stage is one of the first times, caregivers get a glimpse into the future when their child is less dependent on them. This stage comes quickly; however, many caregivers feel like its sudden.

As you know I’m certainly not a toddler, nor a preschooler but I’m once again staking my claim for independence.

I’ll explain…I’ve had a various jobs throughout my life but the next job will be the first position I have where I’m also not simultaneously a student.

That’s all great but it has little to do with my claim for independence.

My claim for independence stems from the fact that I’ve reached a place in life where I’m not concerned about being identified by my family or any attributes.

I don’t want to identify myself as X’s daughter or a member of X organization.

So my independence embodies the fact that I’m stepping out on my own and I’m defining who and what I am. My family and friends don’t have to hold my hands because like the child attempting to prove that they are a big kid now; i am showing my Family and friends that I’m able to do these things I’ve set out to do,

I’m a big kid now!

Less Than 60 Days

In less than 60 days I will be fully employed in my dream job. The job I’ve worked all of these years to receive. The reason I suffered through all of the years of education was to be qualified for this job.

The aforementioned makes one believe that I should be celebrating, right? Unfortunately, I am not celebrating this milestone in my life.

Why am I not celebrating this monumental achievement? This entire year Thus far I’ve been unemployed and that means that my debts were not taken care of.

I’m a person who always takes responsibility for the debts and mistakes I make so this year has been difficult so far.

I finished my education program at the end of 2018. I continued my job hunt, had interviews, landed a job finally.

I landed the job at a time when I was terribly discouraged. I was discouraged because although I had interviews it was beginning to feel like all of my educational preparation and everything I’d worked hard for was fruitless.

Receiving the job offer and negotiating the contract specifics was a dream come true. That call came in the nick of time to remind me that my work was not in vain.

Now I sit here at my writing desk after speaking with two of my debtors and I can say it’s another dark time.

It’s disheartening to tell my debtors that I have a job but it doesn’t start until August. That none of my family members are able to help me with these bills right now.

Every time I mention that my family members are unable to assist me with my bills during this time of unemployment. I acknowledge that my parents provide me with a place to stay and that’s going above and beyond the call of duty.

I’m an adult and I’m the one responsible for my debts. My parents are being amazingly kind by extending their home to me. It would be a hardship for them to pay my debts also. If they could do so without placing themselves in a bind, I’m certain they would.

I must mention here that my new place of employment that starts in August requires me to relocate. I’ll be starting completely over because when I left my last residence where I went to school, I donated everything except my clothing items.

That still seems like the best decision I’ve ever made and it helps to know that my items helped multiple families in need.

I don’t live in an area that has a lot of temporary employers and the gig economy has yet to take off here! So I feel stuck.

I want to be able to feel joy about my next adventure in the form of my dream job; however, my debts and inability to pay restrict my joy.

In less than 60 days my dream job starts, but in the meantime I struggle to make ends meet and I’m unable to pay the debts I’ve made. It’s an interesting space to be in.

Worry Less

As I prepare for my next phase in life, I have several concerns about how things will be.

One of the reasons I have so many concerns is because my financial state at the moment is pretty sad.

I’ve never been in a situation like this before. I worry how my future will be impacted.

This is a credit score driven community and with each day that I’m literally waiting on my job to start, my credit sinks.

I’ve spoken to my debtors, I’ve explained the situation thoroughly multiple times. For the most part, they’ve been understanding and treated me well.

They are all running businesses so I completely understand if they are unable to wait until my situation changes.

I worry about my ability to have a smooth transition because of my current credit woes.

I’ve punished myself far more severely than anyone ever should for the financial decisions I made when I had income. I punished myself for helping others who faced unusual financial situations. Oh I’ve punished myself for buying any unnecessary item when I had income.

I punished myself for months and I must say that didn’t help my financial situation. If anything the continual stress weakened my immune system which led to sickness, which led to more expenses I was unable to cover.

At the moment, I’m not in a dark place and I do not feel doomed…but it has taking months to get here.

I cannot make my job start any sooner. I cannot make temporary employment appear. I cannot change the decisions I made when I had income.

However, I can make the most of my days. I can enjoy my family and friends before I depart for my new adventure. I can respectably inform my debtors of my situation. I can accept any consequences I must face during this time.

I can take care of my health to the best of my ability. I can help others and I can smile and laugh.

There are times in life when it seems that we are sinking further into a dark hole. In these times we feel like there’s NO WAY we will get out of this tough spot or perhaps there’s no way we will survive.

You and I are not privy to what the next hour, let alone the next day will present to us and our lives; however, we can do our best to make the most of this current moment.

I have a lot to be thankful for and I’m sure you do as well. I’m not telling you to keep fighting or stand strong; I’m merely suggesting that you cherish the moment and try to enjoy it.

It is too difficult for me to tell myself to have a great day and/or make this day count….at this time in my life a day is too long to even really think about so instead I attempt to make the most of a moment.

Sometimes once the day ends I noticed that I had a good day…but it’s a blessing when I can simply have a good moment.

You know? Like during the few moments that I wrote this post, I breathed a sigh of relief from my current situation. I don’t know if I’ll have a good day and I’m certainly not going to make myself have a good day…but thanks to you, my readers, creating this post for you, provided me some good moments during this day.

I was able to worry less, if only for a moment.