I’m not afraid to laugh, I’m not afraid to cry, not afraid to live and not afraid to die

(Wildflowers–Stephanie Pauline)

Spring break has flown by…and I feel like I have taken way too much of a break as I look at what is left on my to do list. It is going to be okay. I just gotta do it. Taking a break does give me a lot of thinking time though…

It is also a little annoying that before I can say yes I want to live with anyone, I have to map it out and determine if it puts me into what feels like a safe zone. Luckily I found a place that met the criteria. Is the location the absolute perfect spot, no, but beggars can’t be choosers, and it is still in the safe zone. I am a little bit nervous and a little bit excited for my first real communal living experience. (I don’t really know if my time in the dorms counts as communal living since I pretty much only shared a hallway and bathroom). It makes me feel a lot more like a real adult to be moving in with someone even if it is for only 5 weeks at a time. It seems like a step up from my apartment.

So yeah, found was the keyword. I was invited over to see the place. It was going to be a good place to live. The person was nice. I was so thankful to have somewhere to live next year. I went to bed thinking I had finally found a good place to stay for 3 of my rotations. I stayed up late writing a thank you note…and when I logged in this morning to send it, I had a message that she didn’t think it was going to work out. So frustrating. Starting over again. On a side related note, it was kind of funny when I was driving home and realized that most of the time if I suddenly recognize where I am it is because it is where I was when I realized I was lost on some other excursion…and therefore recognizing where I am doesn’t necessarily have any bearing on whether or not I have any idea how to get where I am going.

I know God is good. I know that I cried second year because I was never going to find somewhere to live and started paying fees to get on the waiting list for places I didn’t like in hopes of at least having SOMEWHERE to live in the fall…and finally a month and a half before the end of summer there was an opening and it was even at the one place I really wanted in the first place. I don’t want to end up living out of my car, but I could make it happen for five weeks at a time. Plus, God opened up my social skills to make a roommate situation even possible, so I have to believe he will open up a place for me to stay.

How does hurtful relationship change you? Well, as much as I love snacks and as much as I know that I can’t carry enough water to school to really satisfy myself, I refused the offer on Friday. Usually I would be thrilled, but sometimes I feel vulnerable so I refuse people’s attempt to be nice because I am afraid of what might be hiding behind the suggestion, or because I don’t want to be anyone’s charity case. It doesn’t matter that it is someone I have known for a long time and with whom I’ve had no negative experiences. Sometimes my brain just clicks into a position where I say no, because as much as I want to reach out for the hand up, my brokenness tells me that a hand up could just mean the power to drop me and break me further. It isn’t how I want to live—and luckily isn’t where I live all the time, but it is frustrating that I ever have to live there at all.

Thankfully, I am learning over time that most people are safe and not out to hurt me. Gradually, I am learning to let people in and not be constantly enguarde waiting for the next attack. But sometimes I revert back into that place where the world was shaky and being nice could just mean an easy way past my armor to make the next attack hurt more. I am learning that it really can be safe to put down my armor, but change doesn’t happen overnight. I am still a people-lover, but it is only a select few with whom I feel safe going deep…most of those people might wish I didn’t feel quite so safe since they probably get too much of me since there are fewer people to spread out the sharing between…

Also, writing this made me realize a new solution to trying to carry all the water I’ll need for a day…yeah, I can’t get to the sinks without breaking rules, and yeah, the cafeteria is technically closed…but I can get to the water dispenser outside the bathrooms…I heard on the radio a few years ago that in order to not get sick at school you shouldn’t use those…but I mean, everyone else does, so maybe it is time to give that a try. It does seem safer than a drinking fountain since the water can drip downward instead of festering in a puddle of germs in the spout…we’ll see if I get to the point of needing it before I go home.

LOL: How to run out of water by 1:00…Realize that you don’t drink water from the water dispensers outside the bathrooms and everyone else does…decide now that you’ve realized it that maybe the radio people are wrong and you should do it. Also realize that you’re not sure you’ve even used a drinking fountain for its intended purpose since high school because the radio telling me not to came shortly after the OCD going away and there were only like two months in between so it probably never happened, and the unknown is a little scary. Decide you absolutely must do this no matter what today. Finish two water bottles and can of Sprite that were supposed to last all day. Yeah, there are extra water bottles in the student org room that are up for grabs, but I tried one of those on Tuesday when I ran out of water, but they taste like plastic. Yuck. No wonder they were up for grabs.

Sometimes life is frustrating. Particularly the times when I have been sitting in front of the exact same article trying to read it for the past 1 hour and 50 minutes and have read the first sentence. I am slow, but not that slow. The problem is, inside my head I am deciding if one braid or two is more professional for my rotation next October…and I am fantasizing about sleeping in my car…and I am thinking about grocery shopping and cookie making and Qdoba…I think I may have gotten less done in the 9 days of spring break than I usually get done in the 2 days of weekend. It is going to be okay though…and besides, it isn’t really fair to say I didn’t get things done when I started off spring break conquering the big fear that had been eating away at me for a while, and then conquered the water dispenser later. Plus it discounts the final hour or so I spent in the student org room finishing up consolidating and organizing all of Cru’s stuff…oh my…we now have 4 fewer boxes, and the boxes we have are at least mostly organized. We have way more stuff than we need.

I don’t want to complain, because I am blessed with the ability to pick up on certain things relatively quickly without a learning disability getting in my way, but it is frustrating when I know I could be doing so much better. There is no reason that my homework should be completed early yet not turned in. There is no reason to not bubble in the answers that I circled on my exam. I play it off as lazy or careless, but the reality is that I am trying really hard, but sometimes the connections just don’t get made. Seeing as how I even went through the exam to double check my answers, I know that I wasn’t being careless. It doesn’t take that long to bubble in an answer and I care about my grades, so there isn’t a good reason to leave it blank. I really have no good explanation for how these things happen beyond that the length of time required to pay attention to make it happen sometimes just doesn’t happen. It is frustrating, but it is the way I am…and why I write a lot of stuff down and try to remember to reference my notes when possible. Another reason that being off campus will be good: very few if any scantron exams in my life. I know I shouldn’t wish my life away, but I just want the pharmacy school chapter of my life to be over.

Sometimes things don’t go the way I planned. I was thrilled to be greeting at church and accidentally ended up there super early because I was so excited, because greeting is one of my happy places. Give me something of value to do, and I will be happy. Also, like the song “Sunday” says, “It’s Easter weekend come on come on!…looking forward to community…We so excited. We know Jesus is alive today!”…and then, long story short, I don’t even remember what happened but anxiety was rushing in and all I could do was ride it out, because I don’t think a greeter should leave in the middle of the service. When the service ended my nametag was off and I was out the door. I went to my car, changed back to my t-shirt, hugged my knees into my body, and threw food in my mouth. It is frustrating, because I know what made me vulnerable: staying up late, and deciding that I was going to wait to eat until after church combined with disappointment and stress. I know from the blog I used to read that if you have a history of anxiety that as your blood sugar drops if you haven’t eaten in a while that can trigger a panic attack. Since I usually eat dinner around 3:30 or 4 on Saturdays, and was using up energy sorting stuff for an hour before going to church, and this started around 5:40ish I guess this is a reminder that I am human and need to eat on a regular basis. Oops.

The evening didn’t end negatively though! I went to Schnucks and got all the things on my list except semi-sweet chocolate chips (because I decided it wasn’t worth it since the milk chocolate ones were on sale and the semi-sweet weren’t and semi-sweet are so much more yummy). Also, even though it meant waiting in line longer, I was thrilled that Schnucks was busy so that I could bag my own groceries!! Yay!! Jesus died so that I could experience true Joy…by getting to bag my own groceries at the store…it’s the little things.

20160326_202319This is what really hoping pinterest didn’t steer me wrong on delicious cookie recipes looks like (Don’t worry, I washed my hands in between touching my phone and touching anything at all food related–when I prepare food for myself I am not overly careful anymore, but it probably does still reach OCD levels when I am making food for other people)…pumpkin cookies waiting to go in the oven, and banana cookies in the bowl waiting for a clean cookie sheet. Just in case I also bought an itty bitty container of creamy peanut butter and eggs to be able to make some peanut butter cookies that I know are delicious. The cookies are for the event I am doing Wednesday on invisible pain. Plan A was making bean bags, but I couldn’t find a set of directions on making bean bags that were simple enough for me to follow, much less teach, plus that would require going to the land of far far away (AKA Target or Walmart or somewhere else besides Schnucks) to get supplies. Plan B was making ice cream, but considering that the ice machine and the rooms I have access to with video projection equipment are in different buildings, and I have never successfully made any ice cream in a bag recipes on my own, that didn’t seem like a good way to set myself up for success…enter cookies…because pinterest found me a few recipes that looked good and it would give me an excuse to try them. By the way, pumpkin puree is not good all by itself. There were a couple spoonfuls left in the bottom of the can when I was done measuring how much I needed, so I figured I like pumpkin things so I’d just eat it…umm, yeah, pumpkin bread is delicious but pumpkin puree is not. I am super proud of myself, because I have not snuck any cookies yet, and if I can get through taking them out of the oven and putting them in a box without sneaking any then I know for sure I can wait until the event starts to start eating them!

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