Hard work – sometimes it really does pay off…

Okay, first of all… HI GUYS!  Did you think I forgot I had a blog?  Well… to be honest, I kind of did.  And since I last checked in on here (which was WAY too long ago), I’ve gotten some big news… and I mean big…

I GOT INTO DIRECT-ENTRY GRADUATE NURSING SCHOOL!  

And not just one… but two schools!  And I still have one to hear from!

This is all after getting several rejection letters and trying to pick myself up off the ground and figure out what I plan B was… but now I don’t need a plan B.  I have plan A and plan A^2, and I’ve got approximately 10 days to decide which one of these amazing programs I’m going to accept admission to!  Did you hear that?  I GET TO CHOOSE!  After beating myself up for not being smart enough or not testing well enough, two places took a look at what I was offering and decided that it was just what they wanted.  And let me tell you something… it feels damn good to feel wanted.

I will update you more about these places soon, and maybe you can help me assess the pros and cons and make a decision.  But for the next few days, I’m on vacation with my visitor, Sweet C (all the way from Australia!) and we’re going to take that big crazy horse of mine to the beach tomorrow and hopefully not die.

See… sometimes that hard work really does pay off… (and I am SO damn happy it did!)

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Filed under Friends - those "other" relationships, Grad school, Life

Poor Whit, V-day, and old folk problems…

First, a little RIP shout out to the helluva voice Whitney Houston.  Regardless of what these toxicology results determine, the event itself is a tragedy.  The music industry has lost an amazingly talented and successful artist; a mom has lost her daughter; a young 18 year old has lost her mother in the prime of her life.  It’s so very sad.

I was discussing the heavy use of drugs and alcohol among celebrities with my madré over the weekend and my conclusion was this:

I believe that everyone, at one point or another, looks for feelings of euphoria, invincibility or numbness to satisfy or counteract personal struggles.  Every one of us has these struggles, but it is the degree of them that differs.  Some may seek the advise of a friend or counselor, others may turn to retail therapy, alcohol, food, gambling, mindless sex, or other high risk activities for a distraction or temporary fix.  It is not up to us to decide what someone else needs to deal with their own struggles.

When you are in a position of extreme fame or success, whether it be as an actor, singer, athlete or successful businessman, you are under constant pressure from everyone, including yourself, to continue that success.  What happens if you fail?  What happens if you do succeed, but you reach all the goals you’ve dreamed of since childhood?  What if you had always wanted to win a Grammy, and now had 8 of them.  What’s next?  What about that dream of playing professional baseball and winning a World Series?  Check.  How the heck do you deal with the pressure of following that up with something even better?  Anyone in one of those positions has been working toward these lofty goals for decades… and when they reach them, where do they go from there?

I’m not saying it’s right or excusable to turn to any of the aforementioned activities for a higher high.  I’m just saying that I get it.  When the pressure to be greater is that intense, I bet it would be easy to lose your way.  And for that, and for Whit, I feel sad.  And that’s that.

Oh, V-day, you obnoxious whore you… 

I’ve never had a real valentine… except for maybe last year when a boy I went on 2 dates with sent me chocolates to my workplace (when I didn’t even tell him the name of the place where I worked… there was no third date…)  Maybe except for my dad who always brings me some flowers.  He’s a sweet guy.  Not the One sent me a text on the V-day we were together… he went off with friends for the weekend and left me behind… and all he had to say was “happy v-card day!”  What does that even mean?  Clearly we had surpassed that event already… Anyway, at this point in life I’m pretty much over this lovey dovey holiday as I clearly think you don’t need a special day to tell people you care about them.  BUT… and this is a giant but… this year I am participating in an awesome little ditty from the lovely Ashalah which is a sort of bloggy Secret Santa, but instead of Santa, you get to play Cupid.  She hooks you up with a stranger (scandalous) and you send a fellow blogger or blog-follower a valentine in the mail!  How cute is that?  I am super excited about mine, even if I don’t know her… because I DO know that this is her first Valentine’s out of a 7 year relationship, and I’m pretty determined to make it her best one ever.  EVER.

Fabulous?  I think so…

And lastly, a little more sad news, just because it’s Monday and we all need a little pick me up… the super cute old folks I take care of during the weekend have to move into a nursing home!  Yes, I know at first they were more clients with bowel issues and crass comments, but I’ve grown to love them both!  Basically, they can’t afford 24/7 private care anymore and need to move into a county home… which SUCKS.  You have to move your entire life to a place you don’t want to go which is about as far away from home as possible, all because you’ve run out of money.  My heart is so sad for them… Fred just told me, “I’m so depressed about it…” and Dorthy was just trying not to cry… I, of course, left them all my contact info (which is probably against the home care rules), so they can call me when they get settled and I’ll go visit them.  I’ll make Fred cookies because he LOVES his desserts and I’ll paint Dorthy’s nails because she loves my little at home manicures.  Getting old sucks, and that’s all there is to it.

I hope you all have an enjoyable Monday… you know… enjoying your YOUTH while you have it available to ya!  Maybe you’ll be inspired to be a local elderly’s valentine tomorrow… you never know…

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Filed under Life, The Ex Files, Workin' woman

Finally figuring it out…

Hi Kids,

Yesterday was a discouraging one… but it helped me to identify a strong feeling that I’ve had for most of my life which I now believe could be a significant contributor to my general anxiety and sometimes depressive mood.  It seems kind of silly, actually… like a light bulb has turned on in my brain shining on a very obvious feeling that has plagued me for most of my life.  Basically, I’m afraid I’m not good enough.

Another letter of regret arrived today and the first thing I thought was, “here it is, another affirmation that I’m not enough.”  And I know this is a horrible thought to have and that I should be happy with myself and how I look and feel and blah blah blah, but this is something I have struggled with for a lot of my life.

In fact, I feel like I can apply it to so many situations… even from elementary school!  Remember those days in gym class where you were one of the last ones picked for a team?  A natural reaction for a small child is to think, “I’m not good enough for this sport/team.”  It shouldn’t be natural, but it is… at least for me.  The same feeling occurred when I was passed over for National Honor Society in high school regardless of my good grades and involvement in a slew of extracurricular activities.  I remember the letter from the principal which notified me that I wasn’t accepted… she had outlined that I didn’t have enough “character” for NHS.  For a woman who had been my principal in both middle school and high school, yet still couldn’t pronounce my name correctly, she was in no position to judge my character.

Then I think of any breakup or quasi-cheat I’ve been the reciprocate of… all of those times I was made to feel like I wasn’t enough… good enough, pretty enough, fun enough, gf-material-enough, whatever.

And now I’m having these thoughts again… that I’m not smart enough, cultured enough, experienced enough, good enough… for the graduate programs to which I’m applying.  I was rejected by school number 3 yesterday, and I’m feeling defeated; that my old friend rejection is rearing his ugly head again in my life… when all I want is to feel like I’m enough.  I want to be good enough for this program… and I certainly meet all the requirements and even exceed most of them… but I didn’t spend 2 years in South Africa caring for starving children, and I haven’t collected 3 other graduate degrees while pondering the exploration of the field of nursing, nor have I received A’s in every single class for the past 60+ credit hours, and I also don’t have multiple EMT certifications that would allow me to work with the busiest ambulance squads in the country.  But a lot of the other applicants do… and their experience is turning my respectable application into mush.

If I had a million dollars or independently wealthy parents, I could too spend multiple years in a third world country treating children for worms.  I could also afford to take any prerequisites over and over until I got the A I wanted.  And maybe if I could rewind 10 years and start working on job shadowing, Future Nurses of America (does this exist?), pick the right major the first time out… then I’d have a better shot.  But, if that were the case, I’d probably be applying to med school instead.

There’s a reason they have these direct entry programs… they are designed to meet the needs of educated post-baccalaureates that have changed their field of interest to advanced practice nursing through work experience, volunteer experience, and some job shadowing.  Since when do you have to have multiple years’ exposure to malaria to be accepted?

It’s just frustrating.  I’ve spent a lot of time and money on this pursuit.  I’ve lost sleep over these letters of “regret.”  They’ve dug up old feelings of rejection.  Good.  ButNot. Good. Enough.  All I want in this world is to be enough for someone/something/anything.  I’ve finally figured out what I want to do for the rest of my life yet no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get where I need to be.  It’s like running on a treadmill… you keep going and going and when you finally stop, you’re in the exact same spot you started.  It’s tiring.  It’s defeating.  It’s painful.

How long do you keep going?  Keep pursuing something and investing more time and energy and money and sweat and tears until you’re beat?  Or quit while you’ve still got two feet under you?

Please… someone… just give me a chance

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Filed under Grad school, Life, The Ex Files

Daydreaming about dream homes

First – sorry I’ve been so MIA.  I do a great job of reading other people’s blogs and then forget to actually post on my own.  Since it’s almost been a whole month since I posted, I knew I had to wrestle something out of my head to put here before WordPress kicked me out.

Two sick days off from work have given me a fair amount of time to put something together, but of course I’ve just been sleeping/blowing my nose/daydreaming… oh… and designing my dream house.  What’s that?  Yes.  I’ve suddenly taken an interest in designing my dream house.  Occasionally, as a distraction from the ordinary, I like to daydream about where I’ll live someday and what my dream house would look like… everything down to the layout of the bathroom and how big my glorious soaking tub would be and how it would look out over the ocean/fields/mountains or wherever I end up.

So, I stumbled upon this website (floorplanner.com) and I’ve legitimately wasted hours over the past few days designing my dream home.  I’ve roughly designed it after some of these dreamy places I found:

Yes, please!

Or this!

Can you tell I’m a country girl at heart?  How about a few of these below… which fall into my “I want to live in a restored old barn” dream:

Barn house (mansion!)

Love the high ceilings and nooks

Barn AND a mountain lodge? LOVE!

And then I found this house listing… and forget designing anything – just give me this, please:

Um... wow.

http://www.wareck.idxco.com/idx/5081/photoGallery.php?idxID=064&listingID=F985247

But this is equally amazing:

Dream compound?

And below, possibly my FAVORITE that I’ve come across in my barn home search…

Someday...

How can you miss with this place?  It’s amazing.  All of them are.  I just love the idea of taking an old barn that is falling apart and using the frame to build an amazing home!  It’s green, it’s glorious… and maybe someday I’ll be lucky enough to live in one!  (okay okay… I’ll be lucky to just get a TOUR!)

Sorry again for being so MIA, guys.  I know this post isn’t much for words but I think the photos are pretty fabulous! :)

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Let’s not call them resolutions…

Because let’s be honest… resolutions are SO easily broken!  Instead, I’ve got some semi-reasonable goals for 2012, which is a healthy idea considering this is the perfect opportunity to start anew.  And a new start is just what I need.

In no particular order, here are my SRGs (semi-reasonable goals, duh):

Make myself a priority:  

“…the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.  And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.” -Carrie Bradshaw

As women, we’re famous for putting others before ourselves, but I’ve learned that you can’t do a whole lot of good for someone else if you don’t take care of yourself first.  That means physically and mentally.  So, for 2012, if I identify that I need a mental health day (or a pedicure at lunch, or an extra 5 minutes to exfoliate in the shower, or 10 minutes to sit in the sunshine, a good cry, etc. – you get it), I will take it.  What’s important is that I do whatever I feel that I need to do to keep myself happy, healthy, and as worry-free as monetarily possible.

My first step toward this?  Well, I purchased a LivingSocial deal for $50 to get my teeth whitened and an Invisalign consultation (with $2000 off should I choose to move forward with it), and I’m going in February!  I don’t have super messed up teeth (hence only having a retainer and never braces), but my upper bicuspids (fangs) stick out and I’ve got a small space between my two front teeth which I think subconsciously causes me to smile funny and also makes me feel a bit like I’m a vampire twelve years old.  Stay tuned…

Identify a Plan B:

If you’ve been reading for a while (or read my about page), you’ll know I’m in the process of applying to several graduate level direct entry nurse practitioner programs.  In fact, I just mailed the last of my transcripts from last semester and am now officially “in waiting” – ahh!  These super competitive programs only take about 10% of applicants, so there is a very real chance (more like “highly probable”) that I will not get in.  And guess what… I still have no Plan B.

I think I’m hoping that if I don’t have a Plan B, that will karmically (is that a word?) help me get in.  I haven’t quit my job or anything drastic, in fact, they don’t even know I’ve applied to grad school.  I will have to find a new job if I don’t get in, though, because I can’t spend too much more time at this one or I’ll be checking into an institution that is NOT for higher learning.

Try to be early, not just on time:

I’m chronically 5 minutes late.  To everything.  Except interviews – those I make sure I’m early for.  But this all flusters me and there is no reason that I need to be 5 minutes late to anything!  Damn GMA for distracting me during my morning routine to get ready for work with your funny YouTube videos or PopNews.  Or changing outfits 14 times even though only 2 people may see me all day.  It has to stop.  I don’t want to rush anymore!  Or drive like a maniac and tailgate nice little grandmas that always seem to end up in front of me during my commute.  Ugh.  Enough.

Stop wasting time on things I can’t control:

This could also be called “stop wasting time on Facebook.”  Since it’s now been scientifically identified as FOMO (fear of missing out), I at least am not alone in this worry department.  Think about it – a majority of people only post fabulous news on Facebook.  SoandSo is now in a relationship with SoandSo.  Childhood Boyfriend is now engaged to Girl You Always Hated.  Prom Queen/Scholar Athlete is expecting child #2.  SoandSo just purchased a home.  Blah is spending 6 weeks in Australia.  BlahBlah just got promoted.  “Friends” are planning a girls only trip (and you’re not invited).

STOP.

Stop reading about it.  Stop giving a shit about it.  STOP COMPARING YOUR SITUATION TO THEIRS.  When you’re singlelivingwithyourparentsinajobyoudon’tlike, seeing everyone else you’ve ever known have all these life changing and/or fabulous things happen can get REALLY FRUSTRATING.  Maybe the worst status updates are the photos of a bunch of your college cronies all together having a blast at a party that you weren’t invited to… (just me?  maybe…)

STOP LOOKING!  MUST STOP!  For my own sanity, and maybe yours, I think it’s time to really take all that with a grain of salt and spend that wasted time fretting about how you measure up otherwise – like applying to grad school, taking classes for FUN (you heard me), dating, making new friends, opening a separate savings account for a future home, etc.

This is a hard one, but if I can do it, I will see that:

Go on a vacation, dammit!

Funds are limited, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t spend a few bucks in gas money to camp for a few days (in much warmer weather) or actually read the 45383 emails from Kayak and Southwest Air offering super deals last minute to places far and wide.  Just yesterday, I could have booked a trip to the DR for $12.50 a night.  WHUUUT!?  And along with this, hows about I get my passport updated (finally!)?  If you want to go with me, let me know.

Foster new friendships; let go of those outgrown:

I can only speak for myself here, but I’ve recently experienced a big change in the friendships department.  As people pair off, at least in my experience, they tend to spend time primarily with their significant other.  If they do hang out with other people, it’s typically a couple thing.  I don’t know who created this “double date” only trend, but I’ll tell you that I’m not a fan. In addition, people that I was once very close with (most of whom are in relationships), now live at least an hour or so away from me, have jobs where they’ve created new friendships and more and more frequently have began distancing themselves from old friends.  Not all old friends – not the BFFs from elementary school, or the college roommate that still lives nearby.  But the ones who are less convenient to stay in touch with.  Apparently I’ve become that one.  And it sucks.  And I get upset about it.  And I’ll stop whining about it now.

But this means that I need to start fostering some new friendships.  I’ve been limited at work because I work with 2 old men.  I did befriend some people through my classes, but now that we’re done with school and back to crazy work schedules and OT and such, it has become more difficult to find time to get together.  But I need to make time.  Now that classes and applications are finished, I will have a lot more free time.  And with that time, 2012, I plan on getting myself back out there and making some new buddies, whether it’s in a yoga class or a book club or even maybe one of those MeetUp groups.  MUST SOCIALIZE.  And, also… maybe keep trying with those old friends… but don’t make a career out of it.  The simple fact is that if people want to maintain a friendship with you, they need to also make an effort, and if not, you cannot do anything to change that.  Read: Stop wasting time on things I can’t control.

Pay attention to red flags:

Remove the blinders, kid.  Confront the things that need clarity.  Stick up for myself.  Enough said.

Remember the things I love to do, and make time for them:

Guess who loves riding horses?  Me.  Guess who has a horse?  Me.  Guess who hasn’t found the time (or weather) to ride?  Yup.  Buck up, Eliza.  MAKE THE TIME.  And pray for decent weather.  And that $750 camera I bought?  USE IT!

Eat better, but don’t starve:

I love sugar.  Correction – my body craves sugar.  It’s bad for me.  CLEARLY!  While I can’t get super upset about a fall off the wagon bite of Ben & Jerrys, I need to be better about sticking to a healthy diet and limit the complex carbs and sugars that are reeking havoc on my insides (and eventually outsides).  Perhaps I need to scrap pasta all together.  Paleo says so.  Which makes me think that one of my non-resolutions should be to eat the Paleo Diet for 30 days and totally cleanse myself.  Then I can add stuff back in if I find it absolutely necessary.  Maybe I’ll even blog about it.  Okay – goal will be to create a schedule of when I’m going to start and what I will eat and all that stuff.  It’ll be like Lent – but 10 days shorter.  I can do it, right?

Journal it:

Put it in a diary.  A blog.  Whatever.  I just need to keep track of these goals and any progress towards them.  It will also be helpful to record any lapses so I can see where I went wrong and maybe fix it for next time.  And just to vent.  Because we all need to vent.

Thank you for listening (reading) to me vent.  Much appreciated, Bloggies.  I wish all of you a healthy and happy 2012.

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Filed under Friends - those "other" relationships, Grad school, Life, Workin' woman

Famous girls I want as BFFs

Good girlfriends are hard to find.  Think about it.  Sometimes they are harder to find than a boyfriend.  You dress up and compare yourself to other girls… and you check out other girls when you’re out (oh come on… you do…)  And we all know girls can be catty and competitive and dishonest.  It’s a rare girl that will consistently let you cry about your ex for weeks on end, then help you sign up for online dating and help you write a profile introducing your amazing self.  She’s the girl that will hold your hair back when you’re buckled over the toilet after a night of one too many adult beverages.  She’s the girl that will indulge in a ridiculous amount of Ben & Jerry’s while watching multiple seasons of Sex & the City with you (and your cats).  She’s funny, supportive, and most important – she’s consistently there for you, single or taken.  She puts her friends first and when she does leave the post as your wing woman to spend the night with her wonderfulfabuloushandsomesecuregenius boyfriend, you are GENUINELY happy for her.  Not a bit jealous.  She’s THAT kind of amazing.

Since I seem to be experiencing a ton of MIA gfs being all romantic with their bfs/fiances, I’ve been daydreaming about some new bffs.  Here are a few ladies that I find so fantastic that I really honestly do believe we could be bffs in real life.  Hopefully that’s not creepy.  Just a little?  I can live with that.

Anne Hathaway

Adorable.  Goofy.  Sincere.  I’m pretty sure she’d be a fabulous bff.  She’d be super dorky and we would do dorky friend stuff together.  I’d console her during her nasty break up with the Italian finance douche.  We could eat lots of ice cream together then go jog really slow to burn the calories off… and probably end up walking.  Or just sitting and talking more.  And then decide to go out for more ice cream.

Zooey Deschanel

Hiiiilarious.  Fabulously sarcastic.  Completely rocks the bang.  Quirky in the best way possible.  This girl would pour me a glass of champagne after a break up and stuff me full of cookies.  Then she’d yell at me to get my lazy ass out of bed and get glammed up to try to pick up as many guys as possible… making it a game and keeping a running tally of the good, the bad, and the oh hell no… and you can bet that she’d be one hell of a wing woman.

Sara Bareilles

I already consider this girl a bff for her last album helping me over my Not The One.  I also just find her absolutely fabulous.  She’s talented and knows her shit (like EXACTLY how I’m feeling) and I’m pretty sure she’d be the girl that would read my mind on a regular basis.  We’d do lots of retail therapy together and she’d be honest about what looks good and what looks crap.  Then we’d get coffee and people watch for schmexy men and try to keep our sailor mouths under control… until she spills her coffee and lets out a public f-bomb.  Oh, real girl, will you be my real bff?

I could also add the likes of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to this list.  Just for the record.  And maybe some of you bloggies!

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Filed under Friends - those "other" relationships, Life

Time to breathe…

Well, I certainly took my sweet time getting back to this blogging business!  The  past month was so insanely busy that I never had the energy to type about it all.  The good news is that I finally have some time off from work, school is finished (for now) and almost all grad school applications are in!  But enough about that…

I went out last night for the first time in longer than I’m willing to admit.  An old boy/friend was home for the holidays and motivated me to get my buns out in public.  I met up with him and a few of his friends, and a friend of a friend… a nice girl that he was conveniently smothering with his drunken advances.  This is usually reserved for me, so I was a little bent out of shape when I didn’t get the attention I was expecting.

But, like I said, she was really nice.  I actually hardly talked to him, but discussed more with her the holiday single dilemma.  She had just gotten out of a relationship of 4 years on and off where the d-bag was seeing someone on the side for some time.  More awkward is the fact that they work together and have to see each other on a regular basis.  She then told me the other girl with us had the same thing happen… a long-term relationship that was interrupted by some new bootay (all the way from Germany).  For some reason, in both these cases, these guys who slowly strung these girls along found NO issue committing to the new girls in their lives.  We discussed the ridiculousness of the “Facebook relationship” but how we secretly wished that those guys had made an attempt to publicly acknowledge our relationship… something that they had no issue with the new arm candy.

What makes certain girls “public” and others private?

Another interesting perspective was from the drunken genius I had originally met out.  While he’s a huge nerd at heart, he’s been a bit of a ladies man since college.  I learned this the hard way when I had a slight crush on him my freshman year (and by slight I mean head over heels, Prince Charming had arrived kind of crush).  DG (Drunken Genius) discussed with us his most recent “relationship” with a woman he worked with.  He explained how she was wonderful in every way, but she just wasn’t the girl for him.

Ladies, how many times have you heard this?

What makes you the right girl?  I flat out asked him if he was waiting for a halo to appear around the woman of his dreams and he said yes.  Of course he did.  For him, and so many other guys, it’s apparently all about the next best thing.

Now, does this go back to the idea of men having limited attention spans and their need for new stimulants?  Maybe… but if this is the case, then why does it seem that the girl after you is always the answer?  Maybe that just happens to me.

Obviously us as women are also looking for the right guy.  We have an idea about what we want, and our bodies have a great way of letting us know if we’re interested within a few minutes of getting to know a man.  We look for chemistry, stability, and comfort.  Sometimes that chemistry ends up being very strong with some of the most unstable of men.  And sometimes, we think we’ve hit the jackpot, only to realize weeks, months, or years later that we’ve been wrong all along.

This dating business is so damn tricky.  I just don’t understand why I keep hearing the same story from girls… “he left me for some broad… I wasn’t enough for him… one day it was great, the next day he was gone.”  Why is this becoming an epidemic?  Or maybe I’m just noticing it more?  Either way, why does it suddenly seem socially acceptable?

So, besides the fact that DG was doing his drunken sexy on this girl, I really related to her, especially when she told me what a sociopath her ex was.  So very familiar.

DG got wind of this and yelled at me for discussing my former relationship with her and told me I needed to get over it and find a boy toy.  Not a boyfriend, but a boy toy.  What DG doesn’t get is that most girls even have standards for boy toys.  He tried to set me up with several “winners” over the evening, one trying to seduce me with his Red Bull/vodka breath and talks of fraternity days and dropping X.  Winner winner, chicken dinner, clearly.  Thanks, DG.  Good try.

Conclusion?  Not much has changed since I locked myself to work and the books and neglected the social outings.  I’m just… perplexed.  Any wisdom from the bloggies out there?

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Filed under Life, The Ex Files