So…

Hello dear internet (yes, the internet itself, not people on the internet), it’s been a while, hasn’t it.

Periodically since the last time I posted here (over three years ago), I’ve thought about returning, wondering what my internet friends have been doing (though most of them disappeared before the migration to wordpress) and thinking about sharing my marvelous thoughts on life. There sure is enough going on to talk about, and I always have the best insights.

But I never actually did anything about it. Until…today! My internet friend DoryPanda posted an update to her blog for the first time in years, and I’m going to do the same, now that I’ve reset my password and can once again access the site. Then, well, I don’t know what comes next.

Summary: Psych much better, sleep disorders are a thing, 3 car accidents in less than 18 months=bad, currently unemployed and unschooled but working on it a bit, had some cool jobs, people are still annoying when they stop being kids, Pokemon is still awesome

Previously on this blog:
My last post was as I was finishing my first year at a new college, getting a second degree (1st was art therapy, 2nd would be art education). I was struggling with depression and anxiety and stuff. My psychiatrist was closing his practice to recover from a car accident. I was about to start working at summer camp for the fourth summer (and was planning on continuing until I finished my 2nd degree). I was volunteering with an adult day center doing art with their clients because they couldn’t afford an actual art therapist. I was volunteering at my church, teaching preschool. I was babysitting sporadically (for a family I’d worked for almost 10 years–the kids were growing out of babysitting age). I wrote about social justice issues, things that annoyed me, and frustrations with school/people/life.

A brief overview of the time between then and now:
The center I volunteered at merged with another and no longer needed me, though I could have kept doing art with them if not for some of the things to follow.

I worked at camp that summer, had a few more issues than the past (actually missing one of my arts & crafts sessions completely), but was still good enough that they were going to hire me to work during the school year (mostly housekeeping and leading small groups), providing me housing much closer to school. I was going to continue doing arts & crafts there for at least another summer. But I didn’t.

My psychiatrist actually died, from brain and spinal cord tumors discovered after his accident. I found a nurse practitioner to do my meds and therapy, she changed my meds with varying results and she suggested a sleep study. Turns out, I have a lot of sleep disorders (before the test, I was sleeping 20/24 hours for a bit). Getting them under control really helped the psych symptoms, which was good considering that, after spending time in an outpatient program because my new meds caused a manic episode (note no prior history or subsequent issues) and kept me from working at camp during the off season, continuing much of my volunteering, and continuing at school (which was also worsened by poor school organization), and doing a test that was not supposed to be sent for analysis without insurance approval (which she ignored and almost cost me thousands of dollars), she stopped responding to my calls for an appointment. She also ignored the pharmacy’s requests about my meds, so good thing completely stopping them didn’t make things worse. I now am treated for sleep disorders, pain (explained below), and dermatological issues, but not the psych. It’s not too bad, actually, and I lost weight/got healthier (amazing what stopping meds that cause weight gain and actually being awake/moving around can do). My psych issues, though still icky, are much better now. Actually, reading through some of my older posts, the feelings they mention, though I remember them well, seem a bit foreign. I suppose that’s good.

I spent several months getting the sleep worked out, though still have some issues to work on. I started volunteering at a new place, an afterschool art program for middle schoolers. It was great, though they definitely lacked some of the experience and knowledge needed to run it well (I filled in some of that, like doing head counts to make sure kids weren’t left behind). One of the other volunteers gave me a photo enlarger & other darkroom equipment, which is super great though I haven’t been able to use it yet. After a year of volunteering, they hired me. Then, after a few months, they fired me. Turns out, they didn’t have the money for two paid positions, and the other woman being paid, though no where near qualified and actually detrimental to some of their work (acknowledged by the director), was a single mother who they felt sorry for even though her circumstances were actually pretty decent. I haven’t been back, other than a short visit while dropping my dog off at grooming, mostly because I can’t drive right now…

Shortly before being hired there, I was rear-ended while turning into my driveway. It could have been much worse, but I had a concussion that went untreated for a while (apparently asymmetrically dilated pupils and saying “banana” instead of “wallpaper” is a neurologist’s idea of stress at work, even if the patient is currently unemployed) and lots of other symptoms that weren’t completely resolved by the time I was in another accident while turning into my driveway 11 months later. More treatment…and another accident seven months after that (just a few weeks ago, but not while turning into my driveway), though recovery to “normal” was less than a day instead of over a year (still not back to actual normal). I’m not driving because of physical and vision issues from the accidents, plus the three totaled cars means I have nothing to drive (I was a passenger with family for the 2nd and 3rd accidents, so can’t share those cars). I’m thinking about going back to therapy because being so restricted in life (job choices, socializing, living alone, etc.) is hard, but am reluctant because I’ve had many not good experiences with treatment providers and still do have anxiety that makes starting things hard. I did have one therapist I liked who I might try to set up an appointment with, but this isn’t her specialty and getting to her office would be hard with limited transportation.

So, this is my third summer not at camp, and I’ve not gone back to school yet, because of health issues over and over. I also can’t take many jobs I’m qualified for because there’s no way I can play with toddlers for six hours a day right now.

After losing that job, I got a pretty awesome job, thanks to staying in touch with one of my middle/high school teachers. The school was being stupid and mean to her, but she got them to hire a paraprofessional (basically an assistant teacher in my case) to help with her fashion/interior design class (which should be two classes, especially considering the id was a complete semester-long college class for early college credit if high schoolers filled out paperwork, and most students were only freshmen or sophomores). It was fabulous and I was wonderful and the students were great and the content and the lesson planning and even the cleaning and organizing were fun. The contract was for only that year, and the class does not exist this year, and that teacher retired, so I have no job for the fall. But, it was great. It was also the first time ever that I have had perfect attendance for anything. I guess I would have done better with school attendance if I only did 10, 20, or 28 hours per week (started working 10, then got more ’cause I’m good at what I do and the teacher really needed help) and they paid me.

I’m still volunteering at church, teaching preschool, helping with older kids/teens, and running a story time without enough volunteers. Mostly, I do it because it gives me something to do, I think kids are way cooler than adults (they actually understand that part of the Good Samaritan story is that the “hero” was unexpected by the listeners because he was part of an oppressed group and that might transfer to contemporary issues, plus they think the donkey can teach us something), and a dozen years of consistent work is nice for a resume, especially considering my somewhat spotty paid work.

Camp has an opening for a job this fall/winter, maybe longer. I’m thinking about applying to it, as well as some jobs similar to what I did this past year. I also need to get back into school, but the admissions/checking transcripts/everything else that’s part of that isn’t fun or easy. Neither is applying to jobs. Playing Pokemon Go is fun, though it would be better if I lived in a bigger/busier area and could actually go places or do things more.

 

Sorry, that was much more tl;dr than I was expecting, and much less organized or concise than I would have planned. I guess that’s what trying to write three years in one post can lead to. I probably should have added bullet points, numbered lists, more helpful formatting…but…meh

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I’m so lucky

I just don’t feel it.  I know I am.  I just don’t express it.  Even if I do express it, I don’t feel it.  I feel horrible.  I feel like my life is crashing around me, even though I know it’s not.  And I can’t make it feel better.

It’s a difficult thing, having feelings and thoughts not match.  I often wonder how other people think and feel.  I know I’m not the only one to experience this, but what about those people whose thoughts and feelings match?  How do they function?  Much better than me, I suppose.  Not having to constantly remind themselves that the world is not, in fact, coming to an end.  That everyone doesn’t hate them.  To just wake up not even having to think about whether you’ll be able to make it through the day without wanting to cry for no reason.  To just wake up and not have to think about things you don’t want to think about.  It must be nice.

I had two papers due for two classes taught by the same professor yesterday.  I have a poorly written paragraph done for one.  That’s all.  I was able to write my teacher an email explaining the circumstances, and she’s agreed to accept the papers late.  Not everyone who doesn’t finish their papers get to turn them in late.  I’m lucky.  I suppose I’m happy that I have another chance, but I still feel bad.  I don’t feel relieved.

I have so much to do before the end of the semester in two weeks.  I have papers and projects and lots of stuff, plus my house is a mess and I really should clean up my stuff.  I would feel better if I did.  Maybe.  And I’d be able to work better.  Maybe.  But it’s just so hard.

I think I’m going to go to my volunteer position now.  I’ll be early, but I guess that’s better than sitting here complaining.  I don’t know what art project we’ll do today.  I have lots of ideas, so I guess I’ll see if they got any new supplies and then decide.

After volunteering, I’ll Skype with my cousins for their art lesson.  That will be good.  I like them.  Then, I’ll have to do homework, because there’s so much of it to do.  It will never be done, it seems.  I should probably just give up.  But apparently I’m not allowed to do that, according to my mother.  Giving up is not an option.  Fine.  Be that way.  See if I care.  I do care.  I care too much.  It hurts.

I guess I’ll go now.  Hopefully, I feel better later.  But probably not.  That’s just how it is.

I already wrote this

but it wouldn’t let me post (“unauthorized”), so I copied and pasted into a new window, published, closed the tab…and then realized that it only posted the first paragraph.  Now, I get to rewrite everything.  Oh joy.

It’s okay though, because I realized my computer needs to charge and the spot next to the outlet was open, so I took advantage of that.  Now, I need to wait for it to charge so that I can go to advising and show them what classes I want to take.  I should have gone an hour ago (it’s walk-in, so I don’t have a specific appointment time), but I didn’t.  Hopefully, there isn’t too long of a line and I’m able to get through it quickly and get to my volunteering position on time.

Today, we’re going to print tulips with forks.  I found it on the internet and it’s springy and at the clients’ level, so that’s what I’m doing.  After I’m done there, I’m going home.  And then, the fun starts.  I’ll be Skyping with my cousin and some amount of her five kids for our first virtual art lesson (she homeschools, I help).  I’ve made a website and everything.  It’s going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!  I’m a little bit excited; can you tell?

It’s really sunny in this spot next to the outlet.  That makes it difficult to see the screen.  Oh well, that’s what I get for being an art major in an art building that doesn’t have a lot of outlets, I guess.  ‘Cause, you know, I totally choose my schools based on electricity accessibility.

I’ve already forgotten most of what I wrote about earlier.  Oh well.  I think I’ll record thoughts on my drive home (by talking to a recorder) and then type them up later.  I do that now.  It’s helpful for homework, I’ve discovered.  I’ve written two things that way, and it makes it way easier for me.  Who knew driving could be so productive?

I guess I’ll be done here for now.  Maybe I’ll write more later, about my application to the college of education and my interesting class discussions.  Or maybe I won’t.  I don’t know yet.

A Runny Nose

I am not feeling well.  Yesterday, I did not go to classes.  I’m feeling a bit better today, but my nose is icky and my throat hurts, especially when I yawn.

I realized I haven’t posted in 10 days, so I figured I’d post an update now.  However, there are only 15 minutes left before class begins, so it might be a bit short.  Also, I don’t really have anything in particular to write about.

Let’s see…I have homework to do…that’s pretty much all that I do.  Tonight, my educational philosophy is due.  Next week, I have my drawing midterm portfolio review and a contemporary art museum presentation.  I also have notes and things like that, field work at a high school, a video to work on, and lots of other stuff.  Should be fun.

This weekend, I’m doing the children’s sermon at my church, which I’m looking forward to.  I’m giving all the kids friendship bracelets.  I’ll also be teaching Sunday school to my preschool class.  We’re starting a new unit on creation, which I think they’ll enjoy.  That’s what we’re talking about for the rest of the school year, so I hope they like it.  The last few weeks are going to be different activity things with the whole church, but the first five will be regular classes.  This week, I think we’ll read the creation story from our story Bible and play with playdough and maybe do a game or song or something, depending on their interest levels and which kids show up.

Tomorrow, I’m going to Goodwill again.  I think we’ll do a painting of a snowstorm.  They’ll like that.  I’m still struggling to find ideas for appropriate activities for them online, but toddler sites seem to be applicable.  I think this is sad.  Adults are not children, even if they have the “same” cognitive functioning.  Also, adults with sensory issues do not generally want to be covered in paint, something many toddler activities encourage.  Plus, cleaning paint off a large adult’s feet is difficult and unnecessarily messy.  I think I may need to start a site of ideas and resources, but I don’t know that I really have the time to keep that up, or even start.  So, for now, I have a Pinterest board with a few toddler activities that might work.

Well, class is about to start, so I’ll post later.

Those sesame things

You know Gardetto’s?  That yummy snack mixture with pretzels and chips and things?  Does anybody like the sesame seed breadsticks?  They just don’t go with the flavor of the rest of the mix.  And they’re icky.  But even if you don’t think they’re icky, they don’t match.  I always try to eat them at the same time as a rye chip so that the icky flavor is kind of hidden.

The vacuuming guy almost knocked over my pile of stuff with the weird double vacuum.  That’s annoying.

Did I mention I’m once again at a point in the day where I have quite a long break and nothing to do besides homework?  ‘Cause that’s the current situation.

The roads were bad (snowy, not naughty) on Friday, so I didn’t go to class or Goodwill.  I need to come up with some new ideas for Goodwill.  It seems that everything I find online is either similar to something we’ve already done or just stupid.  You’d think I’d have a pocket full of ideas for just this situation, seeing as I have a degree in art therapy, but no.  Let’s not get into how my four years and thousands of dollars were apparently wasted on learning nothing about my major that I couldn’t have figured out myself.

 

Oh look, it’s not Monday anymore.  It’s now Tuesday.  I started typing this yesterday, but I got bored and did some homework and my battery was getting deadish and I forgot the cord at home, so I went to Wal Mart and got some string and stuff for bracelets.  Now I will never be bored again!  Muahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

I’m tired.  I have 15 minutes before class starts.  Maybe I could just lay down on the floor and rest…no, that’d be weird…and then I wouldn’t want to get up when it was time.

I don’t really have anything to write about…and I’m too tired to come up with something…so I won’t even try.

The Flu

Last weekend, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was at camp.  It was a lovely time.  I held the camp baby, made a cookie with her three year old brother, failed at melty beads, watched toboggans, ate yummy food, and made friends with campers.  Then, I went home and taught Sunday school Sunday morning, took a nap, and probably did some other stuff, before waking up Monday with a cough.  It wasn’t too bad.  Until the afternoon.  By 4:37ish, I had a fever, lots of pain, bad coughs, headache, dizziness, and general ickiness.  I went to the doctor, where they x-rayed my chest to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia and stuck a giant Q-tip up my nose to confirm the flu.  The latter was positive.  I had influenza b.

Now, it’s been almost a week, and I feel a lot better, but I still have a cough, some aches and pains, and my front bottom teeth hurt.  I don’t know if that’s related, but I thought you’d like to know.  This flu is mean.  Last Tuesday, I was supposed to work at Goodwill, go to a knitting meeting, hang out with a friend, and go to the dentist.  My attendance at all of those, of course, was cancelled.  I was also planning on going to my cousin’s house to do art with her five kids, but now it’s too late and I’ll have to wait.  Hopefully, I can make it work for spring break, but I don’t know.

Also, school is being stupid.  My adviser knows nothing about the education program, and I can’t find anyone who does who will talk to me.  Now, with about a week left before school starts, I’m considering switching schools or taking a semester off.  This is not what I want to do, but if they’re going to be stupid about it, I don’t really have a more logical choice.

On the plus side of this flu, I’ve done some stuff out of boredom.  I made a few cards and wrote some letters in them, made a few macrame bracelets, started my brother’s Christmas present (a macrame necklace), played a bit of Pokemon and a bit of the Sims Medieval, did some word and logic puzzles, and watched hours of Ancient Alien Astronaut Theories on the History Channel (I may have been at least partially asleep through most of those, though, because, let’s face it, those shows are stupid and the narrator’s voice is sleepy).  I also managed to put some new podcasts and things on my iPod and have been listening to those the last couple days.  I quite enjoyed Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and This American Life.  There was also one that mentioned Little Free Library, which is a really awesome nonprofit you should probably check out by clicking the handy dandy little free link I provided.  That got me started, again, on thinking about the nonprofit I want to start and looking into things to do with that, like other organizations and how to start a business plan and all that jazz…but then I got bored and tired, so I rested and haven’t returned to that stuff yet this afternoon.

Well, I’m getting tired of this, so I think I’ll go find something else to do.

Christmas, Cookies, and Cleaning

Once again, it’s been a while since my last post.  I’ve been busy.  And maybe sleepy sometimes.  The 17th was my last day at school, although I did have to drive back on Friday to pick up some art projects.  I ended up with an A, A-, and a B, so that’s pretty good, although I wonder if I should have been less honest about what I thought my grade should be in ceramics and maybe I would have gotten something higher.  Oh well.  I also could have probably gotten an A in drawing, instead of an A-, but I just didn’t have time or want to put in that much effort.  The final project was enough work.  My ceramics professor felt that my final piece was too ambiguous.  Maybe I like ambiguity and am open to interpretation.  Maybe it doesn’t matter to me whether the viewer sees a blob of fat or something playful on that child’s chair.  I’ll take some pictures at some point, I suppose, and then you can see it yourselves.

I’m cleaning my room.  Really…I can clean and type at the same time…Actually, I’ve cleaned for a few hours now and I can finally sit comfortably on my bed, so I’m taking a break.  Granted, I don’t know where to find most of my clothes right now (they’re in trash bags instead of piles until I put them away), but I did make progress…at least on my sleeping area.  My grandma is coming to our house today, and staying for a few days, so the house needs to be presentable.  She doesn’t know we live in a mess every day, and my mom wants to keep up that illusion.  Whatever.

Christmas time was pretty fun.  Last Sunday, we had our Christmas program with Sunday school, and that was exciting since I’m one of the preschool teachers.  I gave the kids little goodie bags and the presents they made for their families, and they were all really excited.  A couple of kids also gave me gifts, which is always sweet.  I went to the Goodwill party last week and got to see Santa, and it was really cool seeing how excited all the clients were to see him.  Church on Sunday was pretty empty, but was overflowing on Christmas Eve.  After church on Monday, my grandparents came to our house for dinner and Christmas rice (which is delicious) and card games and conversation.  Then, on Christmas, we opened our presents, ate cinnamon rolls, and went to their house for Christmas with them and my aunt and uncle and two of his kids.  In the late afternoon, my great-aunt visited, and we had more delicious food.  Also, I ate Grandma’s cookies.  They are the best.  She makes about 20 kinds each year (she used to do about 40, and multiple batches of each), and they’re wonderful.  I decorated the sugar cookies this year and helped make a new kind with peppermint candies and colored sugar.  I love making cookies with Grandma.

I don’t really have much else to tell you right now, so I guess I’ll get back to cleaning or something.  I hope you’re having a lovely wintertime (or summer, if you’re in that hemisphere).