Lately, life around here has been interesting, to say the least. It has certainly been busy since last October and a season of slowing down is desperately needed. Here's a run down of all the things that happened in my world October-March....
> Go to Arizona to see family.
> Come home, realize my cat is sick, take him to the vet, rush him to the emergency pet hospital where he stays for 36 hours, and cry a lot when he is diagnosed with kidney disease and the vet thinks he may not make it a few more days.
> Spend $2,000 on the above cat/pet situation and all the medical bills.
> Pray a lot, cry a lot, do hours upon hours of research on kidney disease, treatment, medicines, join a support group, buy all the things that may help Oreo (my cat.)
> Start cooking my cats meals (roughly 5 hours a week,) and try to convince him to eat 20 times a day (roughly 2.5 hours of each day.)
> Learn how to give him under the skin fluids on a bidaily basis with my boyfriend's help.
> Go to California for a wedding that was already scheduled and paid for before I found out Oreo was sick. Worry about him the whole time we are out of town, but fall in love with San Francisco in the 2 days I was there.
> Return home to find that Oreo is a picky cat and doesn't eat enough when I'm not home.
> Decide that applying to grad school isn't the right path for me right now because Oreo is taking up so much of my time and I don't want to sacrifice his last days/weeks/ or months being distracted somewhere else when he needs me.
> End of semester projects and reports are due and take several weeks and a lot of work to finish.
> Work a lot because of how expensive it is to take care of a sick/dying pet.
> Do a lot of memory keeping, journaling, and praying to work through Oreo's terminal illness and my new role as a full time care taker for him.
> Go to therapy more than usual because of all the feelings.
> Realize that if my cat dies and I have nothing to do after I graduate school in May, that it'll probably make me focus on the fact that I don't have him to take care of anymore. And realize that I can't throw away my future because of my cat's present situation. And decide that I need to apply to grad school after all, just a month before the application deadline.
> Figure out everything I need to do to apply to grad school. Schedule and pay for the MAT, study for the MAT (which is an insane test by the way,) and take the MAT. Ask for letters of recommendation. Order all my transcripts from previous universities.
> Write my letter of intent and academic resume and apply to grad school.
> Have my 28th birthday.
> Cry a lot about my cat, some more.
> Take end of semester finals.
> Stress a lot about all of my transcripts and letters of rec. making it into the grad school in time for the application deadline.
> Cater to how needy my cat is when he is stressed. (Moving the litter box up to our bathroom and feeding him alone up there because he was too afraid to go downstairs when other people were staying with us over Christmas and started peeing in our closet. Relevant- research neural degeneration in cats and how paranoid cats can get when they have kidney disease.)
> Worry a lot because Oreo lost a lot of weigh and was eating very little over Christmas break.
> Celebrate Christmas and New Year's Eve and thank all of my lucky stars that I didn't have to go through the grief of losing my cat at Christmas. (Though processing his condition and deterioration and grieving through that was still very present throughout the month.)
> Wait to hear back about grad school.
> Figure out my 2018 direction and goals and get everything written down on paper so I can start making things happen for the year.
> Resume making my Body Love Art Journal Class which got put on the back burner when Oreo got sick in the fall.
> Finish recording and editing all videos for my class, uploading them and all other class content, making freebies, and schedule blog posts announcing the class.
> Instagram daily, blog a couple times a week, post YouTube videos 3xs a week (which all required a lot of time editing photos, recording videos, editing videos, uploading, sharing, etc.)
> Worry a lot about if I got into grad school. Waiting to hear back was excruciating. Like a game of "Will the last 2.5 years of crazy hard work pay off?"
> Oreo gains back a little of the weight he lost over Christmas and I realize he goes through periods of time where he will not eat for several days, and then he will eat a lot for a week, etc.
> Freak out because Oreo refuses to eat my home cooked meals anymore, even though I've tried crock-pot chicken, fried chicken, baked chicken, baked pork, and more.
>Freak out because Oreo refuses to take any of his medicine which was previously mixed in with his food.
> Concede to the fact that I can't control everything and I just have to do what Oreo will accept. So prescription canned cat food for kidney disease it is.
> Find out I am invited to interview at the university for the graduate school program I applied for.
> Pay off all my credit card debt and plan for how I can pay off my car by the end of the year. Work a lot to make all of that happen.
> Launch and promote the Body Love Art Journal Class.
> Continue blogging, posting on instagram, and sharing YouTube videos like crazy.
> Focus on bible journaling and growing in my relationship with God.
> Interview for graduate school.
> Worry and wait to hear back about graduate school. Previous year's students heard back the same day and they told us we would hear back in one week. Big surprise here- it would be more than a month before I heard back. That's a lot of worrying and waiting.
> Start a craft room makeover because I have gotten into minimalism in the last few years and I have way too much storage and no longer have a crazy large stash to utilize all that storage. I need to rework the room, the furniture in it, and my storage, and get rid of a lot of stuff that I'm no longer using because I've gotten rid of so many craft supplies in the last couple of years.
> Email the grad program director about why I haven't heard back and it's been 2 weeks since the interview.
> Find out I was waitlisted for the program and the only reason I know is because I emailed the director, I never got an email or letter from the school, and my application status was never updated online.
> Have a lot of sad/disappointed feelings about getting waitlisted.
> One of my best friend's has a baby shower. YAY!
> Travel to Florida the following weekend for my sister's baby shower. YAY!
> Worry about my cat the whole time I'm gone because he hardly eats when I'm not home. Check in with my boyfriend approximately 3 times a day on how my cat is doing every day that I'm gone. I'm not sure how long I'm going to be in Florida, I have 12 days for spring break but it's a play-by-ear situation to see if I need to go home earlier for Oreo which I anticipate I will have to do. Be eternally grateful for my boyfriend doing Oreo's under the skin fluid therapy every day by himself while I'm out of town. Stay in Florida 3.5 days and then head home.
> Put out a call for beta testers for my Body Love Art Journal Class.
> Deal with self-doubt because no one bought the class the month it launched (February.) Worry that I put in all that work for nothing and that no one would take the class and benefit from it, therefore I'm not helping women live their best lives like my visionary role is to do this year. (Slight panic, a lot of self-doubt, and disappointment. Real life, real talk.)
> Try cooking pulled pork for my cat and buying him bad, non-prescription cat food because he has refused to eat all home cooked meals, lunch meat, and prescription canned cat food he was eating before.
> Worry a lot because the deadline to apply for grants to pay for grad school next year is March 15th and I still haven't heard back if I got in or not and if I don't hear back before the 14th, I will lose out on more than ten thousand dollars to help pay for school.
> Email the program director again about the grant deadlines and my application status. Hear back that they aren't making any decisions on waitlisted people yet and I will not be able to apply for any of the scholarships or grants because they aren't letting us know if we are in or not yet.
> Try, yet again, to go with the flow regarding Oreo's care and the fact that he will only eat crap food, will only eat sometimes, and hasn't taken any medicine in months now. It's not good for him or his kidneys, but there's nothing I can do about it. I've tried my very best, spent a lot of time, energy, and money to do everything for him, and I can only do what he allows me. If he will only eat crap food, I will have to feed him crap food. Get a lot more relaxed about his status and his care. Start daily fluids instead of every other day to help deal with the building toxins in his body since he won't eat homemade food or take medicine.
> Find out that I did not get into grad school. (More on this in a later post, probably.)
> Have a few weeks of sadness/depression because I did not get into grad school with over 200 hours of community service, and a high gpa, and all the work and money I put into trying to go to grad school. Think about what I will do next since my only plan was getting into grad school and I worked so hard to make it happen, I didn't create a plan for if I didn't get in.
> Find out I'm graduating magna cum laude in May and laugh at all the hard work I did and how even graduating with honors, I didn't get into grad school. Laugh and cry at different times, over the same fact. Feel some resentment that I worked so hard, and worried so much throughout undergrad, for honors that I did earn but that didn't get me into grad school.
So that's an overview of the last 6 months of my life. And after all that, I'm feeling the desperate need to hit the reset button. To slow down, not worry so much, not work so hard, and not be so invested in external measures of success. It's been a crazy 6 months and it's still not quite over. I have my last set of finals in undergrad coming up next month, as well as graduation in May, and a baby niece coming. All within the same 12 days. That's a lot of stuff haha.
But I'm hoping that this summer and for the rest of this year I can take some time to slow down once I'm out of school. Work on paying off my car and some of the student loans I have from undergrad, and just learning how to enjoy life again. I'm hoping to travel a little, take a few trips out of state, go to a few new places to reinvigorate me and inspire me to be passionate about life again.
Sometimes we go through tough stuff and it can leave us feeling worn down, defeated, with nothing left to give, and nowhere worthwhile to go to or to works towards. I'm trying to combat those feelings and plan a few things that will get me excited again and inspire me again. Most of all, I'm hoping to have a period of time where I can slow down and just enjoy life. I've been working so hard for so long the last few years in undergrad, plus releasing online classes of my own, and running my blog, instagram, and youtube channel. It's all been a lot of work and lately it's felt like it has been a failure. So I want to get re-inspired to do what I want in these spaces to share not just with the purpose of reaching some external measure of success (selling x number of class seats, or getting into grad school, etc.) I want to share who I am, what I love, what I'm going through, and have a strong community of a few people who I can rely on and they can rely on me to inspire and encourage one another as we go through life together.
So I'll be sharing more personal stories in the foreseeable future. I remember in the days when I used to blog regularly about my infertility and personal journey, the engagement was so much higher. As much as I love all the crafty projects I share here, people just aren't engaging with me over it, and it's left me feeling flat the last year or two. So I will still be sharing them as I wish, but no longer feeling the need to only be a crafty blog with that one purpose. I'm excited to be inspired about what I'm sharing again, to write more, and to do some cool stuff this year as I try and get my passion for the future back. Life is hard sometimes. But how we react is everything. And me, I'm trying to get back up and still create a beautiful life that I love despite all the failures and hardships that have happened and will inevitably happen in the future.
I would love to hear from you. Send me a message or comment down below with something you've been struggling with if you need some community or encouragement. Or share something you're really excited about as I plan a few things that will get me excited and passionate about life in the next year. Thanks for reading.