Transition

Aug. 30th, 2016 09:54 am
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
 Ah yes! Student loan disbursement day! The day when I simultaneously feel relieved that some money will be put into my banking account, and also hella nervous about just how much of that money I need to pay back.

Tra la la it's a student's life I guess.

In all seriousness, I've been thinking a lot about money issues lately. I was hanging out with a friend, and I kept mentioning money and how stressed I am about money and she stopped me. She asked if I had read "The Art of Money." Then she promptly found the book and lent it to me. 

This book has the potential to radically change my life. 

It's about not just how to be "better with money," but about confronting your emotions and shame around money. It gives a script for talking about money in new ways, and understanding the roots of our kneejerk reactions about money. It's about thinking of investments, what you spend money on, how you save, etc. as a part of a values system. I also am really appreciating that the author is a money therapist, and she's worked with people at all income levels and talks specifically to vastly different experiences with money. So no matter where you're at, there is something for you in this book. 

So ... that's a cool way I'm spending this transition time.

My interview went ... pretty well last week. I'm feeling less confident about the second round interview than I did about the first round interview. Which is ok. 

This job would mean so many things for me. It would mean that I could finally - FINALLY - move to the northwoods. It would mean that I wouldn't have to worry about finding a job after I'm done with school. 

It would also mean making some sacrifices. There are certain classes I wouldn't be able to take. It would definitely take time away from Northern Lights Witch, and change my business strategy dramatically. But this job? It's something I've been working towards for years. 

I do have other opportunities. I have a job interview scheduled for Friday, and another job was recently posted that I plan on applying to. And ... I do have the student loans. I could always fall back on those while I try to scale up Northern Lights Witch. Which is a very exciting possibility, to be honest. 

Mostly this week I feel like I'm being held in suspension. I can't really dig in to much, and I also don't want to waste the time. So I'm reading, exercising, catching up with friends. I never do well with waiting periods, so I'm trying to be good to myself. Was super anxious yesterday, but I practiced some self care and reminded myself that relaxing is ok. 

Such a workaholic. I don't always need to be working. 

But I'm also ready to get back to it. Back to school, back to work, back to life. 

Whatever that looks like. 
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
 My cat is definitely punishing me for being gone. Mr. Wednesday is doing that thing where you try to reach out and cuddle him, but he keeps moving *just* out of reach. But then he does get very affectionate in the morning, so there's that. He's getting over it honestly faster than I thought he would. 

Just updated my google calendar with my class schedule! I don't start the next semester until September 7, which is nice because I could use the time to get some other life things in order. The time will go super fast, I know that too.

Here's what this semester looks like for me:

1. Economics for Public Policy 1 (3 credits)
2. Management of Organizations (3 credits)
3. Material and Energy Flows in Society (3 credits)
4. Climate Change Policy (3 credits)

I'm not sure, but I think it will be more relaxed than my last semesters. It's a bit econ-heavy (Material and Energy Flows is a lot of economics as well), but it will be good I think. I've heard Management of Organizations is a good class, and not too difficult. NO idea how Climate Change Policy will be, because it's the first year it's offered. But I've heard good things about the professor.

I have an interview for my dream job on Wednesday. If I get that job, I'll be shifting my schedule around substantially. I'll probably drop Management of Organizations (to take it next semester), and may drop Material and Energy Flows. It's an extra class that I'm taking to get a better understanding of energy economics. 

If I took the job, it would likely mean one more semester in this city, and then I would be moving to the North woods and finishing grad school remotely. Eeeee! I've been trying to move North for a good ten years, so this would really be a dream. 

Trying not to get my hopes too sky-high. Whatever happens will be ok. If I don't get this job, I will apply for other part-time jobs for while I'm finishing graduate school. If I don't get any of those, I'll try to scale up Northern Lights Witch so it's an actual income. I've got fallbacks, but this job is the one I really want.

Whew, anyway. I'm gonna get back to my very busy day of job hunting/cleaning/reading.
 


vintagewitch: (Default)
OH HEY SEMESTER.

Semester started last week. Between feelings and hard work, it's been kind of hard to keep up on dreamwidth. Know that I am every once in a while checking in! Just ... things and stuff.

Started out a bit behind on my semester, trying to catch up. Still trying to keep up work with Northern Lights Witch. Definitely need to figure out what block of time makes most sense to work on it during the week. I'm also realizing just how ambitious my original timeline for the project was, and scaling it back in my head before I over commit. 

I have an internship interview tomorrow. I've been waiting to really plan out Northern Lights Witch until I know if I have this internship. If I get it, I'll be lucky if I can maintain a blog post on a weekly basis and a twitter presence. If I don't, then I'm planning on pouring energy into this project in my free time, probably around 15 hrs a week. We'll see. This is a PAID internship, which would be amazing. 

That feel.

Dec. 13th, 2015 08:24 pm
vintagewitch: (writer between drafts)
 That feeling when your 9-page policy brief already has over 115 endnotes/citations and there's still a critical area in which you need to gather research. 

I will come back to Dreamwidth and my real life on Friday. That is when I will be DONE with this semester.

Still here

Dec. 8th, 2015 02:44 pm
vintagewitch: (tea)
 Managed to move almost all my things to the new place on Saturday. I left a few random things behind and will be going to get them and dropping off my keys later this evening. 

Matt and I said formal goodbyes. He gave me a big (consensual) hug. I might see him again tonight when I pick up the last of my stuff. Bracing myself.

I have exactly one week left of classes, and then just three more days of finals. I'm feeling a bit buried, but after I turn in my stats report on Thursday it will be a huge weight off my shoulders. 

Need to get back to it. Just thought I'd shoot off a quick update to show you all that I'm still here.
vintagewitch: (fuck it button)
 Dude in my stats group was really frustrating me yesterday. Super condescending (although that was both to me and my other male group member), and then when I opened our group report I found that he had put the tables into our word doc as jpegs, and they were so small they were illegible. LIKE WHAT EVEN.

So I spent three hours this afternoon RE-DOING them by hand.

Then I went to my energy policy class where we were presenting our video project drafts today. There's this one really infuriating dude in my class who always talks over people, always has a quip handy, and is in general extremely condescending and infuriating. He and his group presented a video on trains carrying explosive gas - bomb trains. Probably 4 out of 6 minutes was footage stolen from other sources, all images of explosions, no information, and it was extremely inflammatory.

Naturally, my professor was extremely critical.

Then, he said something that was totally off-base about policy. Specifically, that no legislation had been passed. And, of course, because I was commissioned to write an informational briefing about this this last summer, I raised my hand to politely correct him. He talked over me, continuing to assert wrong information. So I snapped a little to finish my sentence, and after I was done made eye contact with a friend of mine in the class.

I may have sworn a little under my breath. I'm hoping the professor didn't hear me. I was just so done with cis white men harassing me, insisting they were right when they're wrong, taking over group projects, being condescending ... just no. No. There is only so much of that bullshit I can take in 48 hours.

There was a great post on Captain Awkward about dealing with this exact issue last week. So ... I'm gonna reread that and try to take some advice. 

I'm thinking today will be better. I ended up with a migraine last night, so I went to bed super early. So tonight ... mostly about self care. There's a Keystone XL rejection party that I sort of want to go to, but transportation is complicated and I don't think I have energy for it. I need a serious cave night at home. I'm thinking wine and Netflix and tarot.
vintagewitch: (Default)
 I had assignments due for all of my classes last week, and have been attempting to get ahead in my current courses before I add a class that starts halfway through the semester: Intro to Public Policy Analysis.

But this week, nothing's due, one of my professors is out of town so that class is really relaxed, and while my reading load is a little intense, I'm allowing myself some time to just relax and recuperate from some of the stress of the last several weeks. 

So far, I think I'm off to a pretty good start:

1. Met up with the lovely [personal profile] syntaxofthings for coffee yesterday. We talked school, starting a business, and witchy things!
2. Managed to clean my apartment on Sunday night, AND I cooked a full crockpot of soup. 
3. Came home after class yesterday to find that Matt had cooked up a pot of delicious tofu yellow curry. Our leftover game is on point this week.
4. I actually put yoga on my calendar and have actually done yoga a couple of times. I think this is essential - now that I'm in grad school, if there isn't a specific time that I'm supposed to do things I put off the doing of them. And also yoga makes my body feel more alive and my mind more relaxed, so overall very good thing.
5. Looking forward to a potluck + showing of It Follows on Friday. Spooky movies + friend time in October? More of that, please.
6. This is a very auspicious time to do some self-reflection and divination. I did a tarot reading this weekend that really helped put some things into focus that needed to be in focus. I'll be conscious this week of taking time specifically to relax.
7. Have started rereading Sandman! I may not have time for reading novels while I'm in school, but I certainly have time for comics. And also Sandman is amazing and I love it and I need more of it in my life.

If only I could sleep well, that would be great. Gonna try actually sleeping tonight and sleeping in tomorrow.

... speaking of some tarot things, there's a new community! If you're interested in studying tarot, discussing the cards, and in general  learning, [personal profile] syntaxofthings put together a wonderful group called [community profile] tarotstudies. Join the discussion! I personally haven't been doing all that much tarot these days, but it's interesting to follow and comment. I like the dreamwidth community format better than a forum, so this has been a wonderful way of learning from others.

And it's time for statistics. I'm off. 
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
 Thank you all so much for the advice/encouragement on the last couple of posts! I've been slow to respond to comments, but it's been really great to hear from you all during this stressful week!

On Thursday, while I was sitting there trying to do my readings, and my heart was beating like crazy and I could just feel the panic building, I decided that no, I don't want to start things off this way and I took the evening off. I finished the second of my pair of armwarmers, and I finally let myself relax. 

I also decided to drop one of my 1.5 credit classes. It was a night class, and I can take it in a different semester. At my school, you pay extra for credits after 15, and so this put me back under 15 - so I'll get some money back too! (Definitely needed - I didn't budget my loan for taking the extra class.)

I also have decided that it's imperative for me to get back on my anxiety meds. I've woken up, panicked, several times every night this week, and I've been getting terrible tension headaches, stomachaches, shortness of breath, etc. I just feel like I can't figure out what end is up. I'm overwhelmed, and need a little extra help dealing with things. So on Monday, I'm going to see if I can get my old prescription from my (retired) psychiatrist's office, and get my GP to prescribe it for the time being. I think it will make things a lot easier if my brain isn't on hyper-overdrive.

Yes - I also want to figure out a therapist (the last TWO haven't worked out, ugh) but for financial reasons that might have to wait until the new year. 
vintagewitch: (Rory Reading)
I'm almost done with my first week of graduate school. And my life is totally different now, again. This particular transition has hit me like a ton of bricks.

Things, overall, are very good. My classes are engaging, and hard as hell, and I'm meeting amazing new people, and I feel like I'm on a really good trajectory for my career now. It feels like things are finally moving, like there's a lot coming my way, and I can almost taste the opportunity.

I'm not going to lie, my anxiety has been through the roof. On Tuesday (first day of classes), I discovered that there were online sites for (about half) of my classes that weren't showing up in my student account. Which also, incidentally, meant that I'm behind in terms of readings. I'm estimating I'm about 100 pages behind in my reading because of this, and most of the last two days have been spent trying to catch up in time for certain classes, while trying to sort out some financial/other logistics, and manage to feed myself and function on a basic level.

It occurs to me now that going from unemployed to taking 16 credits of graduate-level work is an extremely difficult transition, but it's made even more so because I'm taking classes that are outside my undergraduate studies. My Environment and Energy Policy class is designed to be interdisciplinary, and there are a bunch of master's level mechanical engineering students, some physicists, as well as other policy students. So ... y'know, with my BA in English and Social Justice I'm feeling a little intellectually intimidated.

But here's the thing: I've been able to grasp the basic concepts presented in all my classes. I'm not totally stumped. 

Yes, I'm going to have to work damn hard, I'm going to force myself to go through extra problem sets and really work on the material. I'm going to have to seek out extra resources, and probably work more than other students with more relevant training and experience. But I was admitted to this program, and my adviser was very encouraging when I met with her.

So ... *deep breaths*
vintagewitch: (UP Coast Perhaps)
 I've been meaning to write a sort-of retrospective on the year since my birthday, and haven't gotten around to it because summer is Crazy. (I'm 27, y'all, when did that happen?!)

I spent all last weekend at or traveling to the Remember the Kalamazoo event. Five years ago in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, the largest inland oil spill in US History happened, and because it was tar sands oil it sank to the bottom of the river, where it still sits. In order to get it out of the river, they need to dredge it, and even that isn't working.

So it was a weekend of sitting with allies in Michigan as they remember what was once here, fight to stop the pipelines and to stop this from happening again, and looking forward to a future. We also took a toxic tour of the BP-Whiting refinery on our way home, led by the only activist in the small company town. It was horrific - to see what refinery communities have to deal with, have to live with. I stepped off the bus and could barely breathe because of the particulate matter in the air. There's an oil spill that's been sitting there for basically five years, with no real clean-up efforts because it's on industrial land. 

The whole experience was chilling. Some might even say Orwellian.

But that all deserves its own post!

There's an all-day climate change solutions visioning workshop today that I RSVPd for when I got back from Kalamazoo, but now that I've gone through a week of intense stress about grad school logistics, I'm feeling like I really just need to have a quiet morning with my coffee, my computer, my notebooks, and my plans. I feel more like reflecting, and then getting a ton of job applications done, some of my commissioned research, and maybe even writing.

Great Things About This Last Year:
  • Took a couple of great vacations with Matt - to the UP, and again to Lutsen Lodge
  • Applied to and got in to grad school
  • Deepened some friendships, let go of one particularly toxic friendship
  • Quit the horrible, soul-sucking job back in January
  • Was extremely productive with my writing - I am >thisclose< to finishing my first novel!
  • Got much more involved in environmental activism again - finding my place in the movement, after I was forced out by my previous job
  • Committed in a new way to my spiritual practice, with rituals almost every month. It feels like I'm really taking charge of life through spirituality.
  • Got commissioned to work on a huge march, which was really gratifying - yes, I have worth and am offering something to the movement.
  • Found out about Dreamwidth! This has been fantastic - and has also kicked my butt to journal a whole lot more.
  • I've seen some GREAT music live this year.
  • Women's weekend was fantastic - spending time with family was definitely a priority last year.
  • Figuring out that I need to cut dairy out of my life, and committing to being a healthier person physically, mentally, and emotionally. This has become more of a constant in my life, and I'm so thankful for that.
Challenges From This Last Year (OR: Why I'm a Much Stronger Person Now):
  • The parts of this year when I was working at Horrible Job were horrible. Dealing with constant ageist microaggressions, trying to change my boss' racist ways, feeling completely controlled and helpless, trying to work toward justice with people I was organizing with but being undermined by my boss and my organization's goals ... all bad news that meant almost daily anxiety attacks. That was hard, y'all.
  • It was really, really hard to break up with my old friend, but it had to be done. I'm still feeling really emotional about this in some ways, but it's getting easier.
  • This year, Matt and I went through a streak of being either apart or having tension in our relationship for 5 months. I think we've rounded the bend, have had some deep and open conversation, and things feel like they're finally coming back to a normal place.
  • MONEY. I had saved enough to cover a couple of months before I quit the job, but finding money and making ends meet has been a near-constant problem.
  • Depression has reared its ugly head, but I continue to work through it.
Looking FORWARD: The Year To Come
  • HOLY SHIT Y'ALL I START GRAD SCHOOL IN A MONTH.
  • Trying to find a balance with grad school and my volunteer work - which, while stressful, really gives me a sense of purpose.
  • Unforeseen opportunities: internships, research assistantships, meeting new people, building my network, all those great things
  • Finishing my novel! And starting the editing process.
  • Continuing my spiritual practice. I'm particularly excited to start in on the Alternative Tarot Course by Beth Maiden.
  • Matt and I are going to try to fit in some awesome backpacking trips! We're probably going to do an overnight this coming week, and will be doing a section of the Superior Hiking Trail. More camping and nature in general!
  • More live music, travel, festivals, play with friends, good times yay!
  • More writing - I want to write more about things like climate change, spirituality, feminism, anti-oppression work, my experiences as a queer woman, etc. Not only that, but I want to write more short stories - I'm not ready to dive into another novel, but I want to keep my chops up
Whew! What a year it's been, what a year it will be! I'm so excited for the things that I don't know about, and I'm so grateful for all the experiences of the last year. I'm a much stronger person now than I was before, and I look forward to this next year.

Thank you, everyone who's had a part in this, and to the Dreamwidth community! You're wonderful, and supportive, and this site has been a truly fantastic discovery.

Peace and love and kindness to all of you!
vintagewitch: (Default)
 I got my classes all sorted out today - and I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled at how my first semester is shaping up.

Here's what's on the docket:

Economics for Policy Analysis 1
Introduction to Financial Analysis
Empirical Analysis (+lab)
Science and Technology Policy

I'm on the wait list for Intro to Policy Analysis. That and Intro to Financial Analysis are both half-semester classes, and the particular session I'm on the waitlist for would start mid-October, and I think I'm number two on the waitlist. Which means that it's actually pretty likely I'll get added to Intro to Policy Analysis, which would be GREAT.

The only thing that isn't nailed down: I would LOVE to pick up another language. I particularly want to learn Spanish (I have regretted not learning Spanish for years), but there aren't any sections of Spanish that are offered when I can take it around my degree courses.

I could always start that up next semester, but languages really aren't my strong suit so it would be best for me to go for as many semesters as possible while I'm a full-time student. I've found it's incredibly difficult to audit classes when I'm working full-time, besides, I don't know where I'll be after grad school is done - I might be moving to another city/state.

The way I see it, I have three options:

Option 1: Audit Spanish next semester
Option 2: Audit a French course this semester
Option 3: Audit a different language (options: Hindi (I've already had one semester ages ago) or Swedish)

Also to keep in mind: I don't yet know how intense grad school will be. Adding language studies on top of a master's that doesn't explicitly require language studies might be Very Bad Thing. But for now, while I feel like I don't have enough going on, I like to entertain possibilities.

This will take some more thought ... 

vintagewitch: (UP Coast Perhaps)
Today was the kind of morning where I didn't feel like a person until I had my coffee. Now, coffee in hand, I'm getting to writing this journal entry.

NaNoWriMo was a bit of a bust this year. I never did get back into the habit. But I got 25,000 new words, so that's good I suppose. I'm not really beating myself up about that at all. This was just a very busy year to do that, and grad school comes first.

The Thanksgiving weekend has been fantastic for me. Of course, Thanksgiving day is always amazing, and having an extra day out at the farm was wonderful. I played games with Matt, talked with my parents, went on a hike in the woods with dad, ate good food, and got some good peace and quiet.

I'm really excited for a time when I live in a rural area. It's in my bones - I miss the quiet, solitude, the woods ... I've wanted to for so long, and I finally have a plan for doing that - and a partner who's also interested in it. I'm making connections again in the environmental movement, and starting to edge my way into potential contracted positions. I have a limited amount of time every week that I can currently dedicate to the movement, but I'll have more time once I have my application complete and I'm waiting to hear back. And in the mean time, I need to save as much as possible.

Things with Matt have been fantastic lately. We've been doing a lot of movie nights, and yesterday we had an unexpectedly romantic day. We were both getting sick of sitting around working on things, and decided to grab some lunch out and go for a walk. It was a beautiful day, so we ended up walking all the way down West 7th looking for that good Chow Mein place I remember. It ended up being too far, so we ate out at a nice Italian restaurant. We headed back, and I worked on things for a bit, then we watched The Maltese Falcon.

Laughing, happy, fun. It's been like that constantly in our relationship. Pretty much since the decision that I would only apply for the U of MN, and our conversations at Lutsen about moving North together, it's been good. It's been better than good - it's been a dream.

This has been a very strange week. I'm not sure how I feel about going back to work tomorrowRead more... )

No one who's reading this will recognize the userpics that I'll start using, but it's pretty fabulous. My dad got my old (very first, giant 17" Toshiba) laptop working, and asked me to pull any files I might want. Well, let me tell you - it was definitely a trip down memory lane! I found all my old LJ userpics - so of course THOSE will now be a part of the rotation here.

Seriously, they bring back so many memories. I'm glad that even if I can't access my old journal entries, I can still see the images that accompanied them.
vintagewitch: (Default)
I've really lost momentum on NaNo, mostly due to the fact that Matt and I opened a whole can of worms with the whole "moving up North" thing.

On the one hand, it's a very natural conversation for the two of us. On the other, it's something I never really considered possible. Now that we've talked about a 5- or 10-year plan, I'm more excited than ever to get on with the next part of my life.

Yesterday I the train I rewrote my entire Stayement of Purpose - and you know what, it's better. I'm eager to get in to school, to get started on research that will place me up there. Work is hard, in the meantime.

I'm trying not to get worker up about it. Yesterday was Marian's first day back, and I was expecting her to be a really anxious micromanager, but she wasn't as bad as I expected.

There's a part of me that feels bad, because I'm not that interested. I'm not the right girl for the job, my heart isn't in it, and I just don't want to damage the organization with my presence.

This is crazy. Why do I feel such loyalty? I was put through so much this year. There are some really backwards practices at work. ... But the organization is necessary.

Right? It must be.

I'll figure it out. I'm having dinner with a very good friend on Friday, and she's got s good head for this stuff.

In the meantime, it's a very good thing I'm so excited for school.

Now ... Need to get some writing done tonight. Not giving up on NaNo yet!

Can I count this toward my word count? Jk. But no really.

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