May 1, 2008

Reflecting on April

It's been a month since I was dismissed from vet school, and a year since my house burned down and my cats died. In this last month, I've moved down to Kentucky where I've been enjoying the beautiful, petal/pollen/leaf/bud-laden spring, and living with Ben full-time; but I've also been more sunk in a pit than I've ever felt before. This post is an attempt to let you know how I've been doing, explore my feelings and experiences and get them down 'on paper', so to speak, for myself (it's definitely not a cry for sympathy).

I have always bounced back pretty easily, and as this very interesting discussion presents,my inner resources should be boundless by this point, since I've exercised using them so much in the past four insanely difficult years. But I don't really feel like it--my inner resources feel pretty dried up. I feel pretty tweaked. I spent the majority of the month feeling very hermitic, scared to go out and see people for fear of having them ask the inevitable questions, "So, you're back for spring break? no? You're back for good--so you graduated? no!? Oh." *awkward moment for them, terribly uncomfortable and depressing situation for me* Similarly, I have talked to virtually no one from MA or vet school since I left. (strangely, my most constant telephone buddy has been an unwelcome, harassing, blocked-number that calls me 5-10x/day and hangs up or sits silently on the other line before hanging up. I have reported it to the police, after 4 weeks of this, and am working on getting a subpoena to get the number unblocked....arggh.) As I've gotten a little more bold in the past week or so, I've seen more familiar faces here, and have run into the terrible questions more often--and I've been surprised. Most people in Lexington shrug off my having been dismissed with a simple "Oh well, some great people have failed out of school, " or "well, we're glad to have you back here". In MA people were much more likely to gasp and exclaim with dropped-jaws and wide-eyes just how *awful* this must be, how they *could not believe* that school would do that to me, how *unfair* the situation was, and *eek* what was I ever going to do now!? The Lexingtonian response has been very calming to me for the most part--I know I'm welcome and loved here, phew!, and it gives no energy to the anxiety I feel so often--but there's certainly a part of me that wishes they'd acknowledge the hell I've gone through, and the utterfucking life-altering disappointment that I'm going through. But there's no reference point here for them to know about, which is precisely what I love about Ky in the first place. No hyperstressed New Englanders or Vet Schools for hundreds of miles! (That being said, my friends that I have back in MA were there with me during the stress! Bless them for UNDERSTANDING on a personal level what my past four years have been like, and caring about me anyways. I love you!).

Ben has been working hard on his project, but his hard work is much different and way more balanced than the hard work I put in at school. He has been encouraging me not only to work (that is, apply for jobs and work part time at the store my mom manages) but also to relax, sleep in, watch movies several times a week, go for walks for the heck of it, and generally just slow down. I have been increasingly successful at this and have enjoyed many 'fun' excursions since I've been here--going to the BeauxArts Ball and Keeneland, performing at Natasha's on student night and with Rakadu; performing at Al's Bar with Rakadu, the Swells, and The Mezmer Society (Onca and August from Asheville); performing at the WRFL FreeKY fest with Rakadu--but they seem temporary to me in a way that fun things never have. I mean, I very much have enjoyed them while I was there, but my roiled emotions/mentality get to me quickly thereafter, and I spend most of my time feeling defeated. Or confused. Or just sad. It's stressful to me to just sit back and listen to music! It means I'm not being 'productive', which is what the past four years have taught me I need to be, ALL OF THE TIME. It's really hard for me to relax. Not just because it's habit not to be relaxed, but because the last thing I need right now is more stress, but --how crazy and perfectly ironic-- relaxing causes me to be stressed out.

Relaxing isn't the only thing that stresses me out. I had the unfortunate experience a few nights ago of watching a movie that was so stressful that I had a physical reaction to it. The movie, Sunshine, was a science-fiction thriller about an astronaut mission to recharge the sun because it was dying (there was lots of flame and burning in the movie--ironically, it was the 1 year anniversary of my and Jess's housefire). I actually thought it was an interesting story and well done, but it was much too intense for me at this particular stage in my life where my adrenals are plum worn out. As I watched, I could feel my muscles tense up, and I had to tell myself to breathe and unlock. I felt like getting up and not watching the rest of the movie, but didn't want to make a scene. So I finished the movie, getting more and more tense and tight. As we finished the movie, I felt a tear on my cheek simply from being overwhelmed, and I sat there as my friends discussed the movie, just trying to swallow the stress. A few minutes later, my innards revolted, and I dashed to the bathroom to vomit. Oh. How. Embarrassing. So much for not making a scene. Ugh. ugh, ugh, ugh. My friends were very sweet, understanding, patient, and drove me home equipped with lavender oil and a dream pillow sachet. (thank you!)

Applying to jobs is particularly demoralizing as every job screening process looks at my 'credentials' (AKA I only have a BS) instead of my 'experience' (AKA I have successfully completed 3/4 of a medical education, even though I wasn't allowed to continue on. And what about all the motivation it takes to get there in the first place? Oh yeah, and the $$$$$ I have in loans that I now have to afford to pay off somehow). Going back to school seems too stressful to me right now, isn't an option until next year anyway because all the application deadlines have passed, and getting a masters or PhD seems like copping myself out of my dream. Going back to vet school is something I would love to do, but is not possible since transfers to other schools very often aren't considered at all, and if they are, you have to be a 1st year (sometimes they'll let a 2nd year transfer) student with residency in that state, and you have to have a letter from your current dean saying that you are in good academic standing. My only hope for going back to vet school would be in another country. But of course then I wouldn't be considered a full-time student and all my loans would default. All this makes me feel very defeated, very jaded, pretty quashed. It makes me very sad to think of my hopes and dreams that were set to be accomplished because I never let anything stand in my way--and then 'the system' gives up on me before I give up on myself. So now a goodhearted, intelligent, motivated person who wanted nothing more than to help change this world for the better will be stuck doing some stupid job that doesn't accomplish anything worthwhile except pay some exorbitant loans. As a kid, I was taught that I'd have to work hard, but that it was worth working hard to achieve good things in life. I never expected to work hard and have it backfire and set me BACK in life. It makes me feel indignant. But then I remember that I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work a job at all, and then I feel guilty for thinking such things. Sigh.

It's funny, I realized today that I seem most motivated to write when I'm unhappy, and most motivated to take pictures when I'm appreciating something. So, I'll attempt to balance this downer-sounding post with some pictures that I've taken during the past month here. They're of things I enjoy with all my heart. I'm so happy to have these things/people/places in my life.
[Me and Ben before Beaux Arts
Eileen and Sarah before Beaux Arts
Battleship rock=the view from my Dad's house
Dad’s farm
Me, T, Mel @ Al’s bar
Rakadu at the FreeKY fest
Branching out at the FreeKY fest
Dance rehearsal (T, mom, mel, me in the mirror)
Little Weesoe, my hamster
Dancing with Hadara at Natasha’s
Dancing at Natasha’s
Me and tiffanie]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I doubt anyone can tell you why and I know I can't tell you why that happened but for whatever the reason it may not have been meant for you to be a vet. But I bet money you will wind up doing something with more impact than you may ever know. Most of the time we never know the rest of the story as we take our journey in life but you always here other people tell stories of how their life was changed by someone taking time to ask how they were or someone just smiliing at them and that was all it took for them to want to keep on going. I hope that rambling made a little sense sense I am so tired right now. I have met a lot of people that relocate here to KY because they feel more at ease and at home and loved. People feel your pain more often than not when they learn of your story. Almost everyone has had a horrible struggle in their life and can relate to how you must feel to a certain degree. I will have to say you definitely have had a larger than normal setback and no one can feel the exact feelings you are going though but most of us know the painful sad times. From my own personal failures I think my brother described it best for me that "I had had the rug jerked out from under me". I never saw my pain coming and hit me like a train. I can not say this enough though "Positive thinking is the best way to handle those moments". Replace every sad thought that comes along with a positive one. It is like a habit, it eventually becomes automatic. I will be looking on here for how everything turns out. Be praying for you. Take care.