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I am very bad at updating this, but it is difficult to write about the same things all the time. I mean, it’s not like my past two months have been uneventful, there are just so few big things happening.

So, let’s see, where have I been?

After my last post in December, things were pretty good. I still had my crappy job, but I was riding high on the holiday festivities. Goodies to bake, presents to buy and make, presents to wrap, things to plan. Alex and I went on our first big date in a while and went to Basbeaux’s pizza and then the zoo, where we got to admire the pretty Christmas lights and see what little animals were out.

Then, there was Christmas. Mom flew down to Texas to visit her side of the family because for the first time ever, they had everyone down in Texas for Christmas – except for me. I had to work on the night of the 23rd. I got off work at 5:00 in the morning on Christmas Eve and drove the three hours down to my dad’s house. I nearly passed out on the front porch because I was so tired. When I went upstairs to sleep, however, that didn’t go over so well. I felt bad because my brothers and my youngest cousin were playing and they had to be told multiple times to be quiet because I was trying to sleep. Of course, with fifteen other people, two dogs, and two cats in a house, sleeping during the day just doesn’t work. I somehow made it through Christmas Eve without passing out, though.

Christmas overall was good. I wished that it had lasted a little longer, as the day after, everyone left my dad’s house – including my brothers. I had originally wanted to stay and hang out with them, but with that news, I decided to leave as well. Presents were fine, though sometimes I wish my family understood me more. I’m not the kind of girl who needs or wants two televisions in her house, nor am I the type of girl who needs the newest and best everything. My phone isn’t a smartphone, my laptop is going on five years and it might be on its last legs, but I’m not rushing out to buy a new laptop…

Anyway, so yeah. There was some awkwardness, to say the least. After leaving my dad’s, I drove up to Alex’s house and celebrated Christmas with him and his parents. I had to go back to work on that Tuesday night, so it was quite the whirlwind Christmas visit and it hurt. Yes, I know I’m a young adult and this is a part of growing up, but still. I don’t want to be lonely.

I was actually lucky to get the night off for my own birthday party. Two weeks beforehand, she had put me on the schedule for the 31st when I had been planning this party a month beforehand. I know that bosses don’t have to ask to schedule your times, but when I had previously been under the impression that I would have that night off (it was a voluntary sign-up sheet and I hadn’t signed it), I was greatly annoyed to see that I was scheduled. Lucky for me, the part-time guy wasn’t a jerk (for once) and took over for my shift. I was so happy. I didn’t have to ring in the New Year and my birthday in a place I hated with all my being, and I had one awesome party. It was such a good night, even though the oven went out the night before and I had to run over to Nick’s house and bake my birthday cupcakes at his house. Yeah, that was a fun story. Our garage door and the opener went kaput the day before that, too.

Anyway, so January was okay. My birthday was fun, we finally had our Secret Santa exchange, I got sick with what I am pretty sure was the flu, and Mom and I went over to Ohio to see my grandparents. That was a fun visit, let me tell you. I got home at 6:00 in the morning and we had to leave two and a half hours later. I basically went for twenty-seven hours on two hours of sleep. However, it was actually a great time. We went to an art museum and saw a huge exhibit on Norman Rockwell, and then ate dinner at an Irish pub where I had the best beef stew in a bread bowl. I seriously wish that place wasn’t hours away, it was so good.

This month is shaping up to be pretty good so far. We watched the Super Bowl and bored the crap out of my boyfriend. We ate good food, though! I’m reading more, writing, working out. I’m happier. I can breathe easier. I can’t remember the last time I cried. Seriously. It’s been so long since I had that uncontrollable wave of sadness.

You know why?

Because I left that horrible job.

No, I don’t have another job lined up, but I’m searching. There was only so much I could take. Driving for one and a half hours a night, paying at least fifty bucks, if not more, a week for my gas (and that’s only if I drove to work), and a few other factors worked into my decision. My family and friends have been pretty supportive about it, except for my grandpa. I mean, I know where he is coming from, but he doesn’t understand the magnitude of anguish I had been going through these past few months. He was there for Thanksgiving, he should have had some idea.

Sure, I wish I had some form of income right now, but my mental and physical health is not worth ten dollars an hour. Either that job had to go, or I am pretty sure I would eventually have had either an aneurysm or a heart attack at the age of 23. I know it was a risk to leave, but I am confident I will find something better.

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It has been eight days since my last bout of uncontrollable crying. So… progress! I am also happy to report that this is not the result of any prescription, but is completely natural. I have not felt sad. I’ve felt a little angry because of some things that are happening at my job, but not sad.

It has been a good past week. Last Sunday, I got to visit with Jennifer and her newly adopted kitty, Sadie, before Jennifer had to return to school. It was so great to see her, because I hadn’t since my Labor Day party. We just sat and talked for a few hours (and I fawned over her Sadie because I really wish I was in the position where I could adopt an animal right now), and I think that’s some of what I needed – just some social interaction.

Alex came up last Monday after he got off work and stayed the night. I made turkey broccoli fettuccine and garlic bread, we watched television together, played Words with Friends on his phone, and ran out to get Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I accidentally fell asleep on the couch with him, and I ended up going to bed at 10:00. Again, I was sort of lame and we didn’t do much, but all I needed was to be around him, and I felt better.

Tuesday, my day was pretty normal. I hung out in my pajamas, watched television, and knitted. I laid down for a nap around1:30, aiming to sleep until 4:30. I woke up at 5:00 when Mom came home. I had enough time, though, to take my shower and get dressed.

We had dinner at IHOP, where I had pumpkin praline pancakes with eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Then, Mom and I went to the movie theater to see The Muppets. The clerk said we had missed the first twelve minutes because there is a discrepancy between the times on the mall website and a normal Google search, apparently. We still took the chance (and got a discount on our tickets), and it was perfect. We didn’t miss any of the movie, just the previews and the Pixar short before it. There were only two other people in the theater. And the movie? It was magical. I would say that if you are a person who has ever enjoyed the Muppets, you would enjoy the new movie. They’ve done a wonderful job of mixing the old material with the new, the cameos were great (Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Alda, and Jim Parsons FTW) and there were several times where I was in a laughing fit. I am certain that I was grinning from ear to ear the entire film.

At the end of the movie, there’s a bit that might make you tear up a little. Not because it’s sad, but because it’s such a display of how the Muppets will always be in the hearts of those who grew up with them in their households (like my mom and myself), and there is room for them in the hearts of generations to come. I could hear my mom sniffling next to me, and I reached out to pat her leg, as I understood what she was feeling. Then I shed a few tears myself, because I felt like it was okay to. These weren’t tears of frustration, pain, and sorrow like they have been, but tears of love, for beloved characters I was glad to welcome back

The rest of my week has been pretty decent. I’ve wrapped the majority of my presents and put them under the tree (why yes, I am an overachiever), Mom and I have figured out what Christmas goodies we are making, and then we took our Christmas card picture. Yes, that’s right. We have a bunch of Christmas cards with photo frames, and since this might be the last Christmas my mom and I have while living under the same roof (as I’m hoping to move out next year), we took a Christmas picture together to put in our cards for the first time EVER. Yeah, this Christmas season has been full of weird twists this year, and it’s not over yet.

My nights at work have been okay. We haven’t been too busy. I loathe Thursdays and Fridays, but once I get over that little hump, I only have to work Saturday night until I’m free. This past Saturday night was a nightmare. We were not only full, but a lot of my co-workers on other shifts neglect to pass messages on to other shifts, or they don’t pay attention and it trickles down to our shift. I was so glad when my relief came in on Sunday morning. It was one of those mornings I was surprised I made it home because I was so tired, and I’m surprised I just didn’t lose control of myself because it was just such a long night.

When I came home, Mom just pulled monkey bread muffins out of the oven. Even though I probably shouldn’t have, I ate three and then went to bed. I woke up in the afternoon, got ready, and Alex showed up. We ran to Goodwill because I was trying to find something for a project with no success, and when we returned to my house, we had dinner. We didn’t do much, but I did have him try on the sock that I’ve been knitting for him and finally figured out how I can make them fit him. I will try finishing that up today so maybe I can actually finish the pair of socks before our anniversary – or, even better, before the end of this year!

Alex and I cuddled and played one of the games we used to play when we were first dating – a line of questions. We went camping once and walked around in the woods, just tossing questions back and forth about our favorite childhood memories and books and Thanksgiving traditions. This time, we asked Christmas-themed questions, even though we knew some of the answers already. However, I think we were meant to be when I asked him what his favorite Christmas movie was and he said that it was Love, Actually though he also likes the original animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sentiments exactly.

In the past few years, Christmas has made me miserable with everything we’ve had to do and all the presents I’ve had to make, but this year, I think it has brought me a sense of comfort that I’ve needed for a while. I look forward to the next few weeks full of Secret Santa trades (OMG SOCIALIZING WITH MY FRIENDS!), actually allowing Christmas music in my car, holiday baking, and finishing up the rest of my gift buying/making and wrapping. Before I know it, I will hopefully be in Lexington, celebrating with my family.

This girl’s not a Scrooge this year, that’s for sure.

The day before Thanksgiving, I had an invitation to a party. I wanted to go, I really did. But because I had so little time on Thanksgiving Day to make my pumpkin soup appetizer and my double chocolate pecan pie, I had to do them the night before. I got stressed out about the crust on the pie. It shouldn’t have made me freak out, but I did when I realized I had to redo the crust or else I wouldn’t be able to put the filling in. My inherent need for perfectionism made me lose it. I cried. Mom tried to console me, said she would bake the pie and make the soup while I should go to the party. But I knew she had so much cooking and cleaning to do for the event, and I should help her.

I didn’t finish the soup and pie until 9:00. If I had gone to the party, I might have had an hour to socialize before I had to leave for work, and that wasn’t going to work. I hadn’t seen the people I knew would be at the party for months, and I would want to be there for longer than an hour. So I didn’t go, and I drove to work with a lonely heart.

I would say Thanksgiving was nice. Not the best, but all right. Mom was cleaning when I got home that morning, I ate, crawled into bed, and I didn’t wake up again until a little after 2:00 when I got a text. I tried to go back to sleep, but then I started having hunger pangs. I rolled out of bed. Grandma and Grandpa had arrived,, and they were all very apologetic because they thought they were being loud. I had to explain, “No, it’s not that. I’m just hungry.” Luckily for me, they were snacking. I had some sweet pickles, black olives, crackers, and cheese. Then, since I figured I wasn’t going back to sleep any time soon, I took my shower. After that, I hung around for a bit.

We ate dinner around 5:30 – curried pumpkin soup, stuffing, turkey breast, carrots and parsnips, and mashed potatoes that Mom made (though I hate to tell her that mine are much better and don’t have to have all the onions, bacon, and garlic that she threw into hers). Everything was going well until the first words out of my grandpa’s mouth as soon as the blessing finished was not, “Please pass the turkey,” but rather, “I bet Sam is glad she has a job.”

I have no doubt in my mind my mother briefed my grandparents on what has been going on. I hear her whispering sometimes about me to them when they visit. I figured that, in their hours before my awakening, they heard the truth about how I feel about my job, and how I have not been myself at all. That remark really put a sour taste in my mouth. I just simply replied, “No, I’m not thankful for my job. I’d rather be spending time with my family and friends.” My mouth was shut for the remainder of dinner, for fear that if I opened it for even the slightest response, I’d bust and the well of emotions would come out again. I only ate single helpings of everything but the cranberry relish, because even though I like cranberries, I just really didn’t feel like having it. I excused myself from the table early because I was feeling tired, and I crawled back into bed for another hour. A call from my dad wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving awoke me. I just wish I could have a conversation bearing happy or good news, rather than the, “I’ve got work. There’s nothing else going on in my life right now because I have no life.” answer I seem to give every time we talk anymore.

We finished the evening with a viewing of Up, and even though I like the movie, it was difficult to keep my composure while watching it. The opening gets me every time.

Friday was worse. I came home after my nine-hour shift (that was actually a little longer because my relief came in ten minutes late. Apparently being punctual doesn’t extend to all employees). My mom had made me a breakfast sandwich, which I ate while crying. I went to bed shortly afterward. I woke up and started to cry, so I ducked into the shower to disguise it.

Mom and I had already put the Christmas tree up, but she got the ornaments and other decorations out while I was sleeping.  We ordered pizza and decked the halls while waiting for the delivery guy. Our tree looks lovely.

Before we ate dinner, Mom told me she had a surprise for me. I was led out to the outside of our house, where Christmas lights lined the roof of our house. For the record, I cannot remember the last time we had Christmas lights on our house. My dad and mom did it at least once when they were married, but that was over seventeen years ago. Mom and Paul never decorated the two houses we lived in, and we’ve been in this house for seven years and never put lights on it. We’ve always been so busy, or Mom knows how much work it is to put them up there. I’ve looked at other decorated houses with envy for years, and now, even though it is quite simple, I have Christmas lights on my house.

“We just wanted to make you happy, baby,” my mom said. It did. I mean, I was incredibly grateful for the time and thought that my mom and grandparents put into decorating our house. That was the problem, though. It just made me want to stay at home with them even more.

We ate dinner and watched Tangled, and everything was good. But after the movie ended, Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa played a game of Rummikub while I had an hour before I had to leave for work. I was going to have a slice of my chocolate pecan pie, but after I got the plate and the pie out, I started crying. I lost my appetite and put them back. I just went ahead and put my uniform on, and tried not to say anything.

My mom stopped me by the door before I was to go. She asked if I was okay, and I lost it. I couldn’t stop sobbing. She pulled me close to her and let me cry. For the first time in a long time, she didn’t yell at me or make me feel like a failure. I barely made it out of the house, for I was overcome with so much emotion and pain.

I don’t even know how I made it to work because my eyes were so blurry with tears. There was a moment when I looked up and realized, with a little confusion, that I was already at my exit and hadn’t noticed how close I was to it. When I thought I had cried so much that nothing else would come out, there were fresh wet spots on my green scarf. If the police had pulled me over, they would have thought someone had died.

I don’t know how I made it through work, either. Thankfully, it was a night I was able to leave early.

My Saturday was relatively good. I came home early, ate breakfast, and crawled into bed. Mom woke me up around 11:30, which mean I got about five hours of sleep. I felt pretty good. I got ready and we were out the door and down at the shopping center by 1:00. We ate at McAllister’s Deli, and then we walked around and went into stores. Mom and Grandma wanted to hit nearly every women’s clothing store. Grandpa stood outside. I felt bad for the guy.

I did buy something, but it was technically Mom’s purchase before I decided I’d pay for it so she didn’t have to put it on her credit card. It has gone from an immediate gratification purchase to being her birthday present. However, I didn’t buy anything for myself, nor did anyone buy anything for me. In the stores, Mom and Grandma would say, “Isn’t that nice? What do you think about this?” and I had to tell the truth: “It’s nice, I like it, but I can’t justify having it. I would have no place to wear it to, or I might wear it once.” I know this job isn’t permanent, that I’m not going to work here forever, but it feels like I will. When I have two pairs of work pants (which are technically my two pairs of nice khaki pants that are getting stains on them because my manager still hasn’t ordered my work pants) and three shirts, why bother? I spent so much money last year on professional clothes to use for teaching or a nice little office job, and I hardly wear any of it. I looked at so many nice items while shopping, but I knew that it would all be money wasted.

I tried to find a few gifts to complete my Christmas shopping list, but I didn’t succeed at that, either. For the most part, though, the gifts I need to make or buy are done. Why yes, I am an overachiever.

After walking around in the open air (and in the air of the stores), we went to Orange Leaf. Grandma and Grandpa had never heard of it, and since a new store opened in Noblesville a few weeks ago, we went. It was good, as always. Then we came home and I took a two-hour nap, which refreshed me just enough. We had little snacks and watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I had been wanting to watch for a few days. The DVD skipped a little, but it still worked, and it was a nice night.

Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa played a game while I did some knitting. I had some coffee and a slice of my double chocolate pecan pie before I had to get into my uniform and go to work. Everything, for the most part, went well. I was only a little upset when I had to leave, and then when I got to work I sat in the parking lot and cried a little bit, but I pulled myself together and came in. It was a fairly uneventful night, thank goodness. I did cry a little, though I think I hid it well from my co-worker.

All in all, if it hadn’t been for my job and all the crying, it would have been such a wonderful Thanksgiving…

I’m in the doldrums. Not that I got far out of them before I fell back in.

I’m here at my dad’s house, watching my brothers. David goes back to school tomorrow. He’s in sixth grade, at a special advanced school. He’ll be taking algebra I and Latin. My eleven-year-old brother is going to know Latin, and by the time he gets in high school, he’ll probably take more math than I ever did. Man, that just makes me feel stupid. At least I can make my own peanut butter and jelly sandwich and can remember to flush the toilet, but that’s not saying much. We don’t get along like we used to, and I feel bad about that, but David has had this recent habit of acting like a teenager and thinking the world revolves around him and he can do no wrong. He doesn’t listen. This morning, I told him to take the dog out front so he could relieve himself while I was getting breakfast together. When it was ready, I thought, “Well, it doesn’t take the dog that long, so I wonder how things are going.” I looked out the front door and couldn’t find David and Jock. I panicked. I ran out to the driveway and saw that David was a few houses down, near the bus stop. I yelled for him to come back. He said that he thought the dog could use a walk. That might have been a good idea, but only with someone else to accompany him. He has no concept of “Stranger Danger,” and that’s worrisome.

I want to get along with David, but sometimes it is hard. We still have some good moments, though. The other day, I went upstairs and couldn’t find him anywhere. I called his name, and he didn’t answer. I eventually found him sitting in the empty master bathroom tub, reading the iPad, and listening to the radio with the door shut. Kids are so odd sometimes.

Alex is going to be in third grade. He doesn’t start until next Wednesday, though. He’s very into Harry Potter now, which I like, but it’s more of the movie and Lego ties that he likes, not the books – which makes me sad. Oh well. He’s still freakin’ adorable. The other night, we were watching the end of Spaceballs before bed, and he was wearing Harry Potter robes. I went upstairs to get my laptop, and he said, “When you come downstairs and my hood is up, pretend I’m invisible!” It made me laugh so much.

Besides watching my brothers, I’ve been reading, exercising, writing, knitting, and job searching. Basically, the same things I do when I live with Mom. I have been exercising more, though, and it makes me feel good. I’ll probably do it after I finish writing this. With reading, I recently finished Bel Canto, which I think is probably my new favorite book (My apologies to The Historian – You can be my runner-up, though!). I finished it on Sunday, and there was this deep sadness within me; I wanted to read more, and yet, I knew that there was no more. I felt for the characters, and I was moved by the beautiful writing. I wish I could write like that. I’m re-reading The Sparrow now. I read it back in high school, a while ago. I don’t remember much of it, except for little parts. I found a copy of the book when I visited Jennifer in Bloomington once. There was a cool used bookstore there. Anyway, it’s interesting, but I think it’s harder to get into than the last book.

I’m currently knitting a pair of socks right now for the boy. It’s a easy, beautiful pattern, and I love the yarn, but I think I’m going to run out. I should probably buy some more. I might just get some more for myself. Books and yarn – those are my biggest vices.

As for job searching, it’s a bust. I got a call Friday about a position I applied to two months ago. I happened to be driving to my grandparents’ house at the time. I called back and left a message for the woman, but she was out of the office for the weekend. She called on Monday, completely ignoring the fact that I had stated in the message that I wouldn’t be back until the 17th. She wanted me to set up an interview for Tuesday. When I explained that I was out of state, she immediately said, “Well, it’s been nice speaking to you.” I understand that most people prefer an in-person interview to a phone interview, and for good reason. I just wish that I could have been given a chance. What if this was a family emergency? I hate that so many recruiters/employers want people to be so desperate that they’ll drop everything for an interview. Yes, I want a job, I really need one, but sometimes there are circumstances beyond my control.

Additionally, last week I had an preliminary interview for a teaching position in Japan. Because of my hellish student teaching experience, I would rather teach in a country that respects education and educators instead of America. I was worried, though, about going abroad for a year, being completely alone in a foreign country.  I know that I would miss Alex and my family considerably. I also wasn’t sure if the start-up costs (I would have to pay for my own flight over to Japan, my background check, and some other things before I actually received a stipend.). Well, now I don’t have to choose. I got an e-mail last night. They don’t want me.

Nobody wants me. It feels like the time before I found my job at the library, only worse. I have little experience, I have little references, and who really wants an English major, anymore? I keep seeing and hearing about my friends who are getting jobs or, in the case of my teaching friends, getting ready to teach their first class. My other friends still in school are getting their schedules, moving back to the dorms, or starting grad school. I just feel like everyone knows what they’re doing with their life but me.

It’s August. I can’t believe it’s already August. Of course, time flies when you think you have all the time in the world. Three months ago – hell, it’s more like five months ago, I thought, “I’ll take a year off, get some work, and then go to grad school!” Now? Well, my notices for student loan payments are coming in. I’m still unemployed. I feel my dreams of getting my masters in library science are slipping away. Mom and I fight at least once or twice a week, when we rarely fought once we moved here six years ago.

I’m sad. Others who have recently graduated, like myself, are finding jobs. Alex finally got something after what seems like two years of searching, which I’m happy about. If my peers aren’t getting employed, they’re going back to school – grad school, another year of undergrad; some people, like my friend Jennifer, have both work and school to look forward to. There are so many other milestones people are hitting in their own lives, and what do I have to show?

Nothing.

I don’t have much to say as of late. What’s new to talk about, really? Yes, I’m utilizing the time I have by searching for a job, exercising, writing, reading, and doing crafty things, but I really can’t be too excited when it’s the same thing, day after day. I’m going to a family reunion this weekend, and people are going to ask me what I’m up to, and I truly won’t have anything to note. I can sum up my life in a few words. No one’s going to care. I’m not interesting.

I often wonder why I keep this blog around. I originally intended to use it as a book review blog. I did it once. Although I can say that I’ve read enough books in the past five months that could last several posts if I wanted to pick that up again. Then, this became a somewhat outlet for my crafty ventures. Now, it’s a sad mess.

I just feel like life is passing me by, time is passing me by. I think I’m just going to get pushed to the side and disappear, like, if I don’t do something with my life, I don’t exist.

I mean, I know I do stuff other than write, read, craft, and mope. In the past weeks I honestly haven’t done much besides that, though. I look back on this whole summer, which was full of opportunity and excitement, and I feel like I have just wasted it.

Alex’s car is still in the shop, so I’ve come down and visited him a few times, and he’s been able to get a ride up to my house at other times. Our visits are sparse and public. Once he starts working, I’ll probably only see him on the weekends, like it was when I was at school last year, only I’m living at home. I hope his car is repaired soon, though. I know how much he loves driving and he loves his car. Plus, if I drive him, he’ll get motion sick, and I always feel bad about that.

We went up to Muncie with Scott this past Sunday for Scott’s birthday. It was a small gathering, but nice. I brought brownies I had made late night before. We chatted and I knit, and I ended up being the designated driver for the night. What I didn’t foresee was when we went out to the Locker Room, we were having a great time until I had an allergic reaction. For dinner that night, Alex and I cooked up what was on the menu – salmon, green beans, and cheesy garlic biscuits. It was all delicious. I had only had salmon once before, and I had a reaction that time, but I thought I was in the clear this time. I felt great, but then suddenly, I found myself sneezing, itching, swelling, and wheezing, among some other symptoms. I am now, without a doubt, allergic to salmon. There’s something in it that, when in my digestive system and it’s being broken down, it causes my body to react. It’s so strange, though, since it isn’t immediate – it takes about six hours for the reaction to kick in.

Nothing’s scarier than having to drive home while your face is swelling and every breath you take is a ghastly wheeze. I stayed calm and we got back to Krista’s apartment safely, but every time we stopped at a stop sign and no one was around, I’d have to scratch my back and arms. I was miserable. When we got back, everyone was really helpful. I could barely get out of the driver’s seat because I was weak, and Alex helped me out. Krista and Derek ran up and got the Benedryl I luckily had in my backpack, and Nick held open the doors for us. I am lucky to have such good friends. It took a while to recover, and everyone went to bed, but Alex stayed with me on the couch until I was comfortable enough to sleep. Being with him was probably the best part of that weekend.

Anyway, like I said, nothing much else has been going on. I attempted and succeeded in my first embroidery project. I’ll share it when it’s framed, and possibly after Alex’s birthday, since it’s for him and I want it to be a surprise. As I also stated before, I’m going to a family reunion this weekend. Something to keep me busy while my friends and boyfriend are having a great time at GenCon. I wanted to go last year, but didn’t have transportation. This year, I thought I would have a job that would prevent me from going, though I didn’t really have the money to go, either. Oh well. The only consolation I have is that I’m not missing Wil Wheaton this year, since he’s not visiting, though I missed meeting him last year. It just makes me feel even more sucky, since I’m not getting out and doing anything interesting. The State Fair is starting this weekend, too, and I’m going to miss most of it because I’ll be out of state.

The reunion should be… interesting. I guess. I don’t know. I feel weird about going, but I feel that it would be a good alternative to staying home and getting into an argument with my mom. On Sunday, I’ll be driving down to Lexington. I’ll be watching my brothers for the next week and a half because they’ll be starting school soon. David starts sixth grade on Wednesday, and Alex will be in third grade, I do believe. That doesn’t start until the following week. It’ll be good to see them.

Until next time.

I guess it’s been a busy week or so. On Tuesday ( the 12th), I packed the car, did some errands, and then drove to Cincinnati to visit my aunt Jo and uncle Dave. The drive was not bad. I listened to Yelle and Madonna, and I tried to not get killed by stupid people on the roadways. One person tried to merge while I was right beside him, and he honked his horn. I checked my other side, moved over, and sped up. Then, he followed me closely, tail-gating me. I was super uncomfortable and wished I could punch this person in the face because whatever rush he was in, no matter what it was for, it did not matter compared to my LIFE.

I arrived there a little bit before dinner, which was a black bean /avocado/poblano wrap and I helped Aunt Jo prepare it. When Uncle Dave came home, she left to go to a meeting, and Uncle Dave and I had dinner together. It was tasty. Then, I went downstairs to get some work done, trying to take the flowers off these purple velvet drapes Aunt Jo had made. I listened to Soma.fm while doing it, and got almost two hours of work done. When Aunt Jo came home, I stopped and we had ice cream.

I went up to bed around 10:00 and talked to Alex. Then, I read some of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, which was my aunt’s and I had never read it before. I only got through one story and fell asleep. I was very tired from the drive and the work.

Wednesday, I did some more flower removal and business card sorting. I did that for a total of eight hours or so. Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave also got Stella on that day. She is a retired racing greyhound, and she is very shy since she does not know how to be a pet yet, but she is adorable. I think she is a big sweetheart, and Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave finally have a “child” of their own to take care of, since I have been the baby of the family for the past twenty-two years.

I also finished reading The Tales of Beedle the Bard that evening. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I miss so much about Harry Potter. I wish I could have gone to the midnight showing of the last film Thursday evening, but I could not. Plus, I would not want to be in a packed theater like the time I went to see Goblet of Fire during opening weekend.

Thursday, I woke up around 7:00 and had a breakfast of turkey sausage and chocolate chunk scones that I had helped Aunt Jo make. Iwas busy all day doing business card stuff. I scanned them and sorted them in Aunt Jo’s database, I took all the bookmarks and labels out of her books, and together, we finally got the last of the flowers removed from the purple velvet drapes.

We also spent a lot of time trying to get Stella acclimated to her new home. She seemed to have taken a shine to me, and liked it when I pet her. She wouldn’t eat that much, which was worrisome. Stella’s funny, though. I went upstairs to talk to Aunt Jo, and when I turned around, Stella was at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at me. She also stood on the newspaper while Aunt Jo was trying to read it.

I worked a total of nineteen hours while I was visiting, and I also helped Aunt Jo with one of her projects for school before I left on Friday morning. I drove out of Cincinnati to Fairborn, and let me just say, I hate, hate, HATE driving in Cincinnati. Coming in was not so bad, but when I was going north out of the city, it felt like I was having an ulcer and a heart attack. My hands were shaking. I felt sick. I was so glad to be out of it.

I drove up through Dayton, about forty miles all the way. I thought of my childhood while listening to the Juno soundtrack and David Bowie. I was born in Dayton, and so even though I have not lived there in over seventeen years, it still has a special place in my heart. I remember the Air Force Museum, which Alex and I visited on a camping trip once. There were just so many familiar things to me as I was driving, and I missed it a little bit. My life is good now, and I do not think the life I have now would be anything like the life that I would have lived had my parents actually stayed together. So in a way, everything works out.

Anyway, I made it to my grandparents’ house. Grandpa was at the festival already, so Grandma and I had lunch. She was baking bread, and then she took a nap later. I tried to take a nap. It didn’t work. I sat out on the back patio, mooching their neighbor’s wireless and surfed the Internet until she woke up. We did have coffee, though. I had so much coffee.

We left around 5:30 and dropped some books and movies off at the library, then we went to the festival run by their church, which started at 6:00. Grandma and Grandpa have worked at every festival for the last thirty-five years, and Grandpa used to be one of the head workers there. He stepped down a few years ago, but he is still very active in it. I have been to the festival since I was very young. Mom used to take me and put me on the kiddie rides, or get my face painted. My attendance, however, had been sporadic. I can’t remember the last time I went to one of them – probably when I was a sullen teenager, since I know it wasn’t in the last four years.

Now, since I am an adult, I don’t go for the kiddie rides or the games or the face painting. There’s crafts and a flea market to look at, and a book booth that has always been a hit for my family. I browsed the selection and didn’t see anything I really wanted, but I did keep tabs on a few books, though in the end, I didn’t buy anything.

On Friday evening, we ate with Ed and Mary and I had a pulled pork sandwich with French fries. It was a good choice. I spent the most of the night chatting and counting money in the air-conditioned office. It was my second time doing it, and it was a lot of fun. It was even more fun to come across people who have known me since I was small, and gasping at the young woman I am now. It makes me laugh. I also like seeing the different generations. For instance, if my mom could have made it, we would have three generations at the festival this year. As it stands, another family had the grandmother, the mother, and her son in his first year as a counter. It’s very interesting, but it does go to show how big this festival is for some people.

Grandma sent me down for a funnel cake, and we shared that. It was good, though rather pricey. I also got to talk to Alex, though that wasn’t until midnight, and we were still at the festival. I went out into the hall, and I noticed they were filing out with the money and they started turning the lights out in the hallway. I thought they were going to leave me! They were just going to the bank, though, and I stayed in the office until Grandma and Grandpa came back.

We got home around 1:00, and then we had ice cream. Yeah, I kid you not. My grandparents are awesome. They also gave me a belated graduation present.

I finally had the chance to sleep in on Saturday morning. I needed it, for sure. I got up and sat out on the back patio again, and I ended up talking to Teddy. He got a job near Lafayette, so he cut his trip out West short.

I helped my grandma bake lemon coconut bars and two batches of brownies for the festival. She took a nap afterward, but I have trouble taking naps, so I just stayed awake and knitted and watched television. Grandpa was already at the festival, he was there all day. We went around 5:30 and looked through the vendors’ tent, the book booth, and Bars & Bells. Grandma and I played some Bars & Bells – it was my first time, and I won twenty-five dollars! I was super excited about that.

I had a meatball sandwich for dinner – my favorite festival fare. I hung out in the office for a while, knitting, talking, counting money, whatever. It was hot and muggy outside, so the air conditioned office was a haven. I met Joe and Ben, who’s grandparents are part of the festival like mine. They’re nice guys.

Later, Grandma and I grabbed some pie and coffee. I spilled hot coffee on my hand and part of my shirt, so that was embarrassing, but the sugar cream pie I got was good. We did some more time in the office, and I was just going to hang in there and knit, but Joe, Ben, and Courtney invited me to join them. They were meeting a friend and going on a ride. I decided to join them. We all pitched in four dollars and bought a sheet of tickets, though between the five of us (including the friend, Mary), we could only ride one ride, the Sizzler (“The Scrambler” everywhere else). I crammed into a car with Joe and Courtney, and I felt embarrassed about my big hips. We could barely squeeze in together. I was so much bigger than Courtney and Mary, and about as tall as the boys. Then, I thought about my age. Joe would be eighteen, Courtney, seventeen. Ben is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, and so that would probably make him nineteen. I’m twenty-two, old enough to drink and at least three years older than all of them. I felt awkward. They didn’t treat me as so, but I felt self-conscious, like I needed my own kind. I invited Alex to come to the festival next year so maybe I won’t feel that way again. Hopefully, that’s a possibility.

After the ride and splitting off from the others, I joined Grandpa on a run. I picked up money from the booths and ran it over, escorted by a deputy. It was my first time and I felt very important! I also passed out bags before the last hour of the festival, also a first. I spent the rest of the evening counting, though I took a break to call Alex. After midnight, I went with Grandpa, Kim, and a deputy to the bank to deposit money. I felt even more important! I was super giddy because I had never done anything like that before.

 

We got home a little earlier than the previous night, and then we had ice cream. I had a hard time falling asleep and had “The Name Game” going on in my head. Crazy. I did sleep, though it was hard to get up at 7:00 in the morning after a late night. I went with Grandma and Grandpa to church, and then helped get some things together for the festival. I said goodbye to Grandpa, and Grandma and I went back home. I had some coffee and read some of the newspaper. Then, I packed up my car and drove to Richmond, where I met up with my paternal grandparents.

Grandma and Grandpa treated me to lunch at Applebee’s, which I requested because I knew I could get a nice salad there. We came back home, did some visiting, and had some ice cream. I was going to head to Muncie, but I realized how tired I was. I took a nap because I thought I would be at Muncie late. It was interrupted because Alex texted me. His car overheated in Fortville, so he couldn’t make it to Muncie. Another one of our meetings thwarted.

I spent some more time with Grandma and Grandpa, and around 4:00 I headed off towards Muncie. It took me about an hour to get to Krista’s apartment, and we talked and watched the first episode of the new season of True Blood, since she hadn’t seen it. Robin came up to visit, too, and we went to Wal-Mart and got pizzas. It was tasty, and nice because I really didn’t feel like doing any tough cooking tonight. We watched The Birdcage, and after that, I decided it was time to come home.

Overall, I’d say it was a great trip. I saw and experienced a lot of different things, and came home with brownies, scones, zucchini, green peppers, rhubarb, yellow squash, storage containers, three knitting books, and a small sum of cash. Most of all, though, I got to spend some time with my family. And a deputy. And I got to sing in my car at the top of my lungs.

More car problems plagued us, though. Mom’s clutch went out, and so I had to drive her to work on Monday and Tuesday and pick her up, which I wasn’t too pleased about. At least not on Monday, since I was exhausted from my trip.

The good news is that got fixed, and hopefully, in a few weeks, Alex’s car will be fixed, too. I got to see him on Wednesday, and we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and had dinner with his parents. I also got to see him this weekend. That was pretty much the only notable thing this past week, besides seeing my girls for So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday as well. Anyway, though we didn’t do anything too interesting, it was just nice to be with him. I took him home this morning, and I miss him already.

 

So yeah, lots of stuff going on, that’s why I haven’t been here that much (that, and utter laziness). That’s all.

Well, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted here, so I figured it was about time. It’s been an interesting time between then and now – okay, not all of it, but some of it. The weekend following the post I wrote was really good. My grandparents showed up on the 23rd and spent the weekend with us. There was a Half-Price Books Clearance Sale at the State Fairgrounds, so we went. I shouldn’t have bought any books, but not a single item was over $3, so I took that opportunity. I bought fifteen books – about $180 at new retail price – for $19. So it was a great deal… and now I have about thirty books I own that I have never read. I’m working on it. After the book sale, we went to Monical’s Pizza for lunch and then took a tour of my mom’s work. She’s been there a year and they had an open house. It was nice to finally see the inside.

On that Sunday, my grandparents left and Alex, Scott, and I went up to Muncie for Thom’s birthday. Alex made falafel and I made jalapeno poppers and sangria. Of course, the sangria was solely for me. It was really good for a first-time recipe. It was a real good time, and I was glad to see everyone.

I’m trying to think about everything else that’s gone on, but it’s hard. I spend a lot of time around the house – reading, knitting, writing, watching television, avoiding things that I actually want and need to do, like clean my room, because I’m not motivated. I’ve read quite a few books lately, like I said before. I most recently finished The Awakening, and today I hope to finish Mrs. Dalloway. I’ve started knitting my final charity blanket, I finished a second pair of socks and have been working on two stuffed elephants for two babies.

The Fourth of July was good. Mom and I watched movies all weekend, and Alex came up and we played Frisbee and ate dinner with my mom. We drove to Anderson and sat in an empty parking lot watching the fireworks from my car and eating Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream. I’ve had some pretty good days. On Wednesday nights, I go over to Jennifer’s and we watch So You Think You Can Dance. This past Wednesday, we swam at her grandparents’ house, ate pizza for dinner, and had Good’s ice cream for dessert.

Not too much more happening, I’m afraid, unless you were to ask my brain. My brain would tell you that it is tired of this shit. It’s hard to sleep anymore because even though I’m tired, my mind still won’t stop working.

Lately, I’ve been conflicted with things. Things I want, things I don’t want, things that I should do, things that are rational. A job that will pay me a lot, or a job that will satisfy me in every way but paying me a lot, to stay local or to abandon my sane, rational inclinations and go out west to meet a friend. I attribute my confusion to my long-term bad habit of not being able to decide. It started as a child because I never wanted to rock the boat, to be demanding, and now it’s developed into, “Well, I’m really comfortable with really any outcome, so I don’t know what to decide.” It happens with food to eat, places to go, movies to watch. I want to experience everything, and I don’t care in what order I do it. It will all happen eventually. Or at least, most of the time, that’s how it seems. But with these huge decisions, I just get freaked out. I look at the pros and the cons, and I know in my heart what I really want (I refer to it as my “McCoy”), but my brain always seems to chip in with its ideas of what would be better in the long-run (my “Spock.”). It sucks. Sometimes I try to stick out a bad situation, thinking that once I get through it, everything will be fine. That’s why I tried to stay in student teaching and work it out. I thought that if I just got through it, I’d graduate and be a better person and have more options for career choices and I wouldn’t have to do teaching if I didn’t want to. I didn’t have a choice in the end. After working in a harsh environment with an abusive supervising teacher, angry teenagers who hated on me every day, and a university supervisor who ignored the warning signs, I caved. I couldn’t do it.

I didn’t really want to do student teaching, and in a roundabout way, I didn’t have to do it anymore, though it wasn’t necessarily my choice to go how I did. I was kicked out (though they won’t use that term, it’s basically what happened). I wasted time, a lot of money, and I withstood psychological abuse to get where I am now, which isn’t even that glamorous.

And it’s only getting worse.

I mentioned before that I was having a hard time deciding between a job that would pay me money and a job that would make me happy. I consulted friends and family members for advice, and everyone had good points – and points that I had made in my own deductions. I know that no one else can make a decision for me, and that I am solely responsible for my own decisions. Well, anyway, I was worrying about this decision so much that it was making me sick. It was harder to sleep, I was worried. I went to go meet Alex in Greenfield on Thursday, and I would normally be excited, but I just felt so dead inside. He had brought Scott along as a surprise, which was nice, but I only got to spend an hour with them, when I had expected more. I don’t even know how I drove home, to be honest. I was so upset. I spent the rest of the evening in a funk. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t even want to talk to Alex. I felt so miserable and full of self-loathing. I thought of how worthless I was, how I had to go to this job because no one else would hire me and I was a total loser. I think it is the worst I’ve felt in a long time.

I did call Alex, though. It was 11:00 at night, and he had just woken up after an unexpected nap and had missed dinner. We ended up spontaneously meeting up at the same place we had met earlier, but at midnight. We had dinner together, a chance to redo our date. We talked and I felt a lot better, lighter. I drove home happy in the pouring rain, blasting LCD Soundsystem while going through sleepy little towns.

On Friday, I went to orientation for the high-paying job that I waited three months for. Yeah, that’s right. The testing and interview process was swift. They said they wanted me. But then they made me wait three months. It was so they could get a “class” of what seemed to be about fifteen people for orientation. I went up to the place last Friday for orientation, and within the first twenty minutes, while we were listening to the guy talk while we followed along on our own handout, I realized that this job would be horrible for me. Yeah, I know, you have to start somewhere, but I could see no way how I would actually be able to get out of this place if I wanted to. I don’t even know how long my assignment would last. They could have brought me in for training, and then let me go after the first week. I would hate to wait three months only to work a week.

I sat through over an hour of this orientation when I finally saw a break and was able to get the supervisor aside and tell him I didn’t want the job. He wanted to know why, and I said, “Well, I thought I wanted it, but I really didn’t.” I actually felt quite at peace with my decision.

I may be too prideful, or delusional, or I don’t know. I know, it’s crazy. But I believe that I will find something better, one day. Someday, I will earn the exact same amount of money – or more – in a job that I enjoy, rather than one would make me hate myself every day.

In the meantime while I find a job, I’m trying to keep myself busy – again. Today, Alex and I went to Petsmart and looked at the kitties (SO CUTE!), went bowling, and had ice cream cones at Good’s before he left about two hours ago. I’m leaving tomorrow for Cincinnati. My aunt Jo was bugging me to come visit her. She’ll pay me if I clean and organize her sewing studio (and there’s a bonus if I find her stereo remote!). Stella, the dog that she and Uncle Dave adopted, will be coming home on Wednesday, so I’ll be the first to meet her. I’ll be in Cincy until Friday, and then I’m going to visit my (maternal) grandparents and see if I can keep myself busy at their church festival until Sunday morning. I’ll stop at my (paternal) grandparents’ house on Sunday for a short visit and lunch on my way to Muncie, where I’ll be hanging out with friends, a full loop.

So that’s how things go…

After I wrote that last blog post, i went off to my interview. I walked in, they gave me an application to fill out, and I was led to a room where three other people were filling out their applications. The two other girls were wearing power suits, and the guy was also wearing a suit. I immediately thought of my own outfit, which was a nice blouse and a skirt. I felt out of place immediately. As I filled out the application, I realized that I was not the person that they wanted. I was almost finished with the application when I just – stopped. I stood up and walked out into the lobby, and gave the man in charge back my application packet, explaining that I didn’t feel I was qualified enough. He tried to talk me out of leaving, but I was too upset. I thanked him for the opportunity, and then walked out. I was sobbing before I got back to my car in the parking lot. I sat in my car for a little bit. It was hot, and I was humiliated. It had been my third interview opportunity since graduation, and I just blew it. But I didn’t want to stay however long they needed me to and then wait around for them to say that I wasn’t right for the position, when I knew from the get-go that I wasn’t.

I didn’t want to go back home. I didn’t want to admit to my mom that I just blew it. So I called Alex. He was hanging out with Scott at his house since his car’s battery wasn’t yet replaced. He said I could come over. There was a horrendous mess of construction and accidents, so I ended up in my car for an hour in traffic, sweating, feeling a sense of shame and just being an absolute wreck. Yeah, that was awesome. I was so glad to finally get to Alex’s, though the back of my shirt was soaked with sweat by the time I got there – at least he gave me a shirt of his to wear instead. Scott was still there, and though I hadn’t originally intended on staying for dinner, I was invited to, so I did. It was really nice with Alex, his parents, and Scott there. It gave me a sense of a perfect family moment, and I don’t know when the last time I felt something like that.

I was able to calm down; I felt better when I told the truth about what had happened before I told my mom. It gave me a feeling of confidence when I was told that it was okay, and that everything will work out. After dinner, Alex, Scott, and I played a game of Torres, ate berries with whipped cream, and watched some E3 coverage before I went home. I felt better – not great, but better by the time I got home.

Nothing much else happened that week, though I have been trying to write and read every day, and I’ve been knitting like crazy. I finished a pair of socks, and I’m working on another one. I’ll probably have that second pair done by Thursday. I still sit on my ass a lot and watch Nip/Tuck and True Blood. I still haven’t had the motivation to work on moving all my stuff into a more permanent arrangement, but I know I need to do it.

Last Sunday, I went back up to Muncie. Alex had been there the night before, and the guys didn’t actually end up playing Dungeons and Dragons. It cramped mine and Krista’s girlie time, but we still made cottage pie, watched Juno, and played Mario Party with Alex and Tanner. Alex went home with me and stayed the night, which was a nice relief. Then, I had been invited to see Sarah and stay with her on Monday, so I kicked Alex out early and made it to Columbus by noon. Sarah and I ate Indian food (and had Indian food babies), walked around, went to the park and walked around, had a lot of good heart-to-heart time, had ice cream sodas, knit, played with her dogs (Her dogs were really cute and made me want to have a dog, but I know that I’m very much a cat person – I guess it’s the same way with other people’s kids.), ate artisan bread and had iced lattes while watching The Green Hornet. I know that’s a huge run-on sentence. No, I’m not going to correct it.

So yeah, I had a lovely time with my Sarah. It was unbelievable that we crammed all that into our time together, and that when I left it was actually Tuesday. Time is really strange when you don’t have any actual daily commitments like a job or school. You can have your weekend anytime, all the time…

I went back home and did some relaxing, but I also had to go buy another new phone because while I was at Sarah’s, I realized the screen on mine was broken. Since I like being able to know who I’m calling, who is calling me, and the ability to text, I went out and replaced it. I got the same model as the last, and the one before that (the one who’s fate ended up in toilet back in December), but this time with insurance. It needs it if I’m its owner.

Wednesday ended up being another mini-shopping day, and then on Thursday, Alex came over. We watched some more FLCL, had Sno-Castle, and made pork tacos for dinner.

Friday and Saturday were True Blood days with my mom. She hasn’t seen the third season yet, and we decided to rewatch the first two, which was probably a good idea since I forgot some of what happened, and we finished the second season on Saturday night. We’re rather crazy.

Yesterday was Father’s Day and I called my two grandpas and my dad. My maternal grandparents will be coming in on Thursday night and staying until Sunday afternoon, so it will be good to see them. Then I drove up to Krista’s and the guys weren’t playing D&D again this week, we had already arranged our hanging-out time. It was just me, Nick, and Krista there. We watched The Breakfast Club because Krista had never seen it before, and then Krista and I made enchiladas. Nick brought out his Dance Dance Revolution game, and we tried to play, but one pad was dead and the other one had a finicky back arrow that filled us with frustration. I left at about 9:00 and went home. Mom and I watched another episode of True Blood before she went to bed.

I woke up this morning around 7:30. The bedroom was orange because of the glow of the rising sun. It was sort of fantastical. I went back to sleep, though, and woke up to a huge, gray thunderstorm. I haven’t yet done anything of note today, but I’m excited for this evening because I get to see my boy. Hopefully the weather’s nice, because we were planning to walk around outside.

Well, after spending a week at home doing basically nothing, I have changed my surroundings… but have found myself doing pretty much the same thing.

I’m not exactly sad – definitely not like how I was before graduation, but I am in a slump. It’s hard to get motivated. I haven’t read or wrote anything in the past week, and I haven’t done much of anything. Well, that’s not entirely true, but if you were around me at all this past week, you would also say that I’m being a lazy bum. I haven’t even really unpacked, since I’ve been bouncing between Pendleton, Muncie, and on one occasion, Lexington. My clothes are in the dressers, but my toiletries are still in a travel bag, and I just haven’t had the motivation to unpack or sort through all my belongings. I’m hoping next week I will be able to pull myself together and get to work.

No word on my job. Well, I mean, I got it, it’s just that the training hasn’t started yet, and it’s been over a month since I had the interview and was told that the people want me. I’m not feeling totally optimistic. I really want to start working. I need the money, and I need some sort of structure or schedule to my day.

I got to see my boy on Wednesday. We watched FLCL (one of the gifts he got me for graduation), listened to LCD Soundsystem’s This is Happening (the other gift he got me for graduation), and went to Sno Castle and had our first snocones of the season. Yum.

Thursday was my mom’s birthday, and I made her a nice dinner and for dessert, margarita cupcakes. They’re pretty good cupcakes, though I messed up on the frosting and it was really drippy. I liked the lime flavor of the cupcakes, even though I feel like they ended up being too sweet for me. We also watched Red, which is full of awesome.

Friday was a good day. I got out of the house and met my mom during her break for lunch. We ate at Monical’s, a pizza place I had never been before. It was nice. Afterward, I spent some money. I ended up at Always in Stitches, a yarn store nearby that I had never been before, and fought my urge to buy really pretty, great, but expensive yarn. Maybe another day. Probably another day.

I stopped by Barnes and Noble, where I picked up The Call of Cthulhu, and Best Buy, where I bought Deadmau5’s 4×4=12. After that, I drove to Anderson and bought some yarn at Hobby Lobby. I know, I bought yarn anyway, but in my defense, it was for a current project (and a few future prospective projects…). I came back home and wrote fifteen thank-you notes in one sitting, which I’m pretty sure is a new record for me.

Saturday, Mom and I hung out the whole day. We both ran our own errands in the morning, and then watched movies on television for the the majority of the day. I finally convinced her that we should go to the library and get movies, so we did that and watched The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine. I got most of the way through knitting a hat, realized I messed it up, and had to restart it. By 8:30, we had finished both our movies and were incredibly bored. And that was the story of the night.

Yesterday, it took me forever to get motivated. I finished the hat I was knitting the night before, packed up my things (reluctantly, since I’m so sick and tired of moving around), and drove down to Lexington. Cindy is on a business trip this week, and Dad asked if I could help him out with the boys. Because I haven’t started working yet, I took up his offer. I didn’t have any problems on the drive, except it rained the whole time and I was bored because it was a three-hour trip and there was no one to talk to, unless you count talking to yourself.

I stayed up late last night, even though I shouldn’t have, and Dad woke me up at 5:30 before he left. He had done most of the preparation from last night, but I was very efficient at getting my brothers up, dressed, fed, hair fixed (you should see the bedheads on those kids) and at the bus stop, all while playing Pokemon Yellow on my Gameboy Color. Yes, I’m twenty-two. Don’t judge me.

I stayed up a little after the boys left, mostly because I had a cup of coffee, but I went back to bed around 8:00. I woke up two hours later, and lately, I’ve been doing a whole lot of nothing. I think I have three hours before the kids get home from school, so I should probably workout and take my shower. Tomorrow, the kids are off school, so I’ll be hanging out with them all day.

It’s been a refreshing change of environment, even if it is moving from one living room to another.

My last day as an undergraduate, Friday, had been a pretty good day. I walked to the Senior Party held at the Alumni Center, hung out with Geldes, Matt, and Thom, drank three rum and cokes, and ate some pizza and my (possibly) last Carter’s hot dog. I was pretty tipsy. That was fun. I went back to campus with the guys, and Nick and James found us. No one really seemed to be hanging out, though. James took me back to my apartment so I could finish some packing.

As soon as I walked in, one of my roommates was walking out. She didn’t say a word to me. I started working on things, and realized that she had taken stuff out of the cabinets (and thrown away the banana I was saving for Saturday morning). The fridge was full. I texted her to ask what was hers, and she told me to throw out everything. Let’s get this straight – I rarely saw her take out the trash the entire school year, never cleaned the bathroom she shared with another one of our roommates, cried at the beginning of the year when we confronted her about dish duty (and therefore, we all started washing our own dishes), and never seemed to vacuum – and then all she does to prepare our moving out is to put all her stuff in one corner and take everything out of the cabinets. That’s it. She didn’t vacuum, she didn’t clean out the fridge full of food that only two items were actually mine, and she certainly wasn’t one of the people cleaning the stove or moving the fridge to clean behind it. What a selfish, lazy child.

Anyway, my rage at her sobered me up rather quickly. I cleaned out the fridge and freezer, found an unopened pint of Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream I claimed as my reward, cleaned up my room, vacuumed that and the hall, wiped down the inside of all the cabinets, and then called Krista. Sarah had mentioned that she and Thom were hanging out at Krista’s new place, which I hadn’t seen yet. Besides, my roommates had taken or packed all their utensils away, so there were no spoons. I got directions, and drove over to Krista’s apartment, where James, Nick, Sarah, and Thom were as well. I ate my ice cream, and then we all played Telephone Pictionary.

I went back to my empty apartment near midnight. I played music on my computer and painted my nails purple, since that’s all I could do. The internet had been disconnected, and I had already finished reading The Glass Castle earlier that day. Then I tried to sleep, but I was too excited about Saturday, so I didn’t actually fall asleep until 2:00.

I woke up early and took a bath. We had no shower curtains, so that was pretty much my only option. I chugged a chocolate protein shake and ate a granola bar – like a boss – and fixed my hair and makeup. I packed my car, checked the apartment for any last items I may have forgotten, slipped into my cap and gown, and then headed to campus. Because of weather, the main ceremony was moved inside. I was a little early, but I was kept on my toes by phone calls from friends and family.

I decided to make my way inside to the seating, but there was no true organization for the first ceremony. Ball State hadn’t really prepared anyone – they had made the weather call near 8:00, when it was supposed to be announced at 7:00, and one of the most asked questions from graduates was, “What are we supposed to do?”

Anyway, I decided to go inside and wait for Sarah. I was wearing high heels, and the first steps inside Worthen Arena were slick concrete. Put one and one together, and what do you think happened? Suddenly, I took a tumble on the steps. I was in shock and embarrassed. Several people asked me if I was all right. One woman came up and helped me walk down the remaining steps. I was overwhelmed from the incident and the fact that I had no idea what I was doing, and started crying; I was able to regain my composure quickly, though. They asked me if I wanted a medic, and I declined. I had a bunch of scrapes and bruises, and I was limping a little, but overall, I was okay. I waited for Sarah, and I sat in between her and Brandon for the first commencement ceremony. It was boring and I was either almost falling asleep or making wisecracks with Sarah. There was even a moment where we were whispering the words to “Mulatto Butts” from Archer and giggling.

After that, we were able to track down our respective families. Pictures were taken, we waited for my grandparents, took more pictures, took me to return my apartment key, and then ate lunch. When we returned to campus, I was able to find my dad and his side of the family. They went to my cousin Brian’s graduation from the college of Telecommunications and needed to grab something to eat before going to the Sciences and Humanities one for me (and Brian, who had a double major) at 3:00.

Since I was in the English portion of the Sciences and Humanities graduation, I was able to sit near Laura, Brandon, and Missy. It was like a mini-reunion, and we were all happy. It wasn’t really that strange admitting what had happened to me in student teaching, and what my plans (though uncertain) I have for the future. Everyone seemed supportive and happy for me, though my circumstances were unfortunate.

The second ceremony went by with a woosh, and then I took some pictures with dad’s side of the family before it was time to go. I took off my cap, gown, and high heels to drive on the way home. Alex rode with me, though I felt bad because the stop-and-go traffic on our way out of Muncie made him a little ill.

We made it back to my house, I changed into comfortable clothes, and solicited my brothers in helping me unload my car. Then it was party time, full of friends, family, and others. It was nice, and we had the right amount of food for everyone. It was fun. I know I was hesitant about walking in graduation and about having my graduation party because of all that had happened, but I’m now really glad I did it.

It was quite a whirlwind day, and I opened my presents and cards after everyone left. Alex gave me FLCL on DVD and LCD Soundsystem’s last album, which makes me suspect that he’s been looking at my Amazon Wishlist. I was also pleasantly surprised because Aunt Jo and Uncle Dave gave me two books – one written by Katie Couric on the best advice compiled from famous people, and Tina Fey’s new book, which made me squeal with joy because Tina is definitely one of my favorite famous people ever.

So yeah… that’s all. I survived the past four years, and now I’m officially an alumnus of Ball State University.

Who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be graduating with my masters degree! (I can dream!)

By the way, my legs look beautiful now – they’re a palette of purple, blue, green, and yellow, I have a scrape on my right foot, and I think I twisted my left ankle. I’m still recuperating.