5th Year Fall

Time often feels as if it is just slipping away from me.

I’m at the end of the Fall semester of my 5th year in this program. I can hardly believe that I’m at this point. I chose to extend my program a year in the attempts to have my dissertation completed when I go on internship.

And this year has been good. I was talking to a friend the other day about confidence. This year I have felt more confident then I can ever recall feeling in my life. I feel grounded in my work. I can discuss counseling and clients and research and psychology in a way that makes me proud.

That’s certainly not to say that I’m not also tired and worn down. I’ve decided that graduate school and the feeling of exhaustion go hand in hand. And that’s why you make sure you’re in school for something that you love. I think it would be incredibly hard to continue to do this if I didn’t love it.

So that’s where I am friends. I’m confident and full, I’m pulled in lots of directions but I’m happy. <3

Back to Work and Desks

I started work again. They are preparing for me to “phase out” (what an off-putting phrase, right?) when I leave for internship. Part of this involves my now keeping track of how I spend my time. Which amuses me to no end.

It feels somewhat like a cross between a survivor diary and a joke.

Day 1: I spent my first 20 minutes chatting with a coworker. Then, I tried to get my email to work. It’s only 9:30. HOW IS IT ONLY 9:30?? I checked pintrest, facebook, and reader. I have decided I need more friends, blogs, and craft time. I will continue to do this until 5PM.

Oh boy.

Truthfully, this is a good idea. I started this position as the first person who had run this part of the program, officially. That means there really was little to no direction provided for me, which is scary. My higher-ups don’t want the same thing to happen to my predecessor, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

In other news, I decorated my cubicle (as seen above). The corkboard, or whatever that is, was depressing, so I bought some fabric to cover it (4.98 for two yards!) and make my space more happy. My supervisor noticed it*, chuckled and said that everyone would know where I sit now.  I think he questions my sanity sometimes.

*how could you not notice it? 

Happy Thursday Folks!

Tell me, what does your desk spaces look like?

Performance and Anxiety and My Reaction

So, as you may or may not know, I am doing a Mondo Beyondo Dream Lab. I was drawn to this Dream Lab because Brene Brown is leading it, and we all know that I have a researcher crush on her. 
Anyway, she does audios twice a week and most of them are amazing. And sometimes, they just knock me off my feet. Especially, one she did last week which I have been mulling around in my head since. It’s about how we react to anxiety. 
She describes two kinds of people: Over-performers and Under-performers. 
The Over-Performers are the ones who take control. They make lists, are 15 minutes early to everything, and become super focused. 
You know where I’m going with this. 
The Under-Performers, they’re the ones who freeze. They start losing the lists, they numb, they don’t quite make it. 
Now, society values over-performers much more than under-performers, but both are not good place to be. Both afford us serious problems.
And, I have come to the realization that I am an under-performer. When I find myself in a high-stress, high-anxiety situation, I totally freeze up. Like, you know, with Comps. I find anything that I can do to not do what I need to do. I lose the lists I make and I clam up.I think about twitter posts, even though I don’t have a twitter. And facebook. Hello procrastination.

It’s a problem, but it’s me. Maybe this comps studying will put me in a better place.

Probably not.

But cupcakes help.

Surprise! Comps.

Yesterday I got a surprise. 
And not really one that I wanted. I figured out (found out) that I have to take comps on March 4th if I want my Masters to be able to be considered to teach next year.
Yikes. I mean, big yikes. The hyperventilating-panic inducing-chest pain-yikes.
See,  I knew comps were around the corner. But, I planned on taking them in June. However, when I went to check on dates, I saw that the June comps are during the time we will be in Texas for my brother-in-law’s graduation. Exciting? Yes. A pain in my plans? Yes, too. 
For those who aren’t sure, comps (at the Masters level) is a test which will determine if I can graduate or not. If I have enough knowledge to be eligible. I’ve decided to take three: The Counseling, The Cognition, and The Basic Statistics. 
But, I’m still hyperventilating, panicking, and all around freaked out. 
And while I’m doing this, I have people from my program and others who reached out and helped me calm down, told me I could do this, and offered their knowledge, kind words, and hugs. 
And that’s when I’m reminded how amazing this program is, how wonderful the people who are here are, and how lucky I am. 
Being in a graduate program can be isolating. Not a lot of people really get what it takes to be here or how much work there is or how much a person can sacrifice to make it happen. 
And, there’s not a lot of balance afforded. If I want to do things outside of this program, then I have to let go of some things in the program. If I want to do something inside of the program, I have to let go of some thing outside of it. Not to mention the faults which programs have. 
And this program isn’t different. Balance feels unattainable, I put pressure on myself to be perfect, I don’t have a lot of friends outside of the program, and it has its faults. 
But the support here? That’s incredible. The fact that people step forward and say, “Breathe. I have this book, and this book, and this book. I’ll help you find what you need.” That’s beautiful. 
And everyday, I try to count my blessings to be here.
Besides, now all of this:
will pay off. 


The cursor is blinking at me as I try to figure out what to write.

I’m tired. I’m stretched too thin.  I did too much, volunteered for too much, and there’s so much more I want to do.  I haven’t had a good nights sleep in I don’t know how long.  Apartment is too cold.  One of our pets died. There’s so much going on.

Tonight, we’re hosting Belated Thanksgiving at our apartment.  It’s not cleaned. It’s not dirty, but since the husband and I are “setter downers” (according to him), it’s cluttered with papers. We’re not unpacked.

I have a meeting at 2:30 and another at 6:30.  The dinner begins at 7. 

I have homework to do. Lots of it because I fell behind.  I have two tests to prepare for.  I have two papers to write, and 5 chapters to read, mostly buy tomorrow.

I’m stretched too thin and that makes it hard to write, even though it’s what I love doing.

For now, I’ll do as Dori does and just keep going, hoping for a respite soon.