I’ve been in a mess, lately. That includes the Aunty Red kind. I’m going through a ton, and I mean it feels like a ton, of changes and upheavals. I realized I missed my blogsite’s anniversary. I need to get more iron and do more medical tests. Here’s a quickie of some pitfalls this year:
- Uprooted three times in a single semester.
- Health problems, ahoy!
- Worst visitation during this summer, ever.
- Almost struck in a traffic accident. Every time I see that light post at a certain intersection, I remember that light post could’ve been me. I was standing right by it waiting for the pedestrian signal. Starting to shiver now. Yeah, gonna stop rambling about this now. tremors aren’t pleasant. Nightmares are worse.
- Feeling helpless as my academic plans crash in front of me.
What do these have to do with your site’s belated anniversary?
I missed writing casual posts. My world’s been so serious lately. It’s 2am when I started this post, ahahaha. I can’t sleep. My left eye went completely pink this afternoon, turned back white before Mass. Whew! Aunty Red won’t leave me alone yet. My fears for the future are worse. You see, dear reader, I changed over to my new Masters program with specific intentions. I knew that lack of support, mercurial health (side effect from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, I’m going to say), and incredible stubbornness puts a huge chip on my shoulders. I look back and reflect a lot, thinking of friendships and others gone to me, pondering if I could’ve done differently. That chip becomes a block. I know how to do the sacrificial love thing. But receiving it, sometimes – gasp – without asking? Harder. Incredibly harder.
Life, and more importantly, what I chose to do with myself, drove me to a point where there’s little else to do when faced with a hard decision that isn’t so hard.
My body can’t handle this pace in academic studies. I should’ve understood this in 2014, post-SJS (Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, first episode). Instead, I was so excited about surviving that ordeal and jumped into even more challenging obstacles and plans than before. I haven’t read Pope St. John Paul II’s work on theology of the body, and while I’m not married, I can guess my body needs me to slow down. Not speed up and shoot for more. You don’t speed up after being that close with death. Okay, maybe in some cases, but not this one.
So in fewer words (Turtle would call this the TL;DR or whatever that acronym is), I’m going through a lot of shifts in my life. At thirty-one, I guess it’s high time. Suddenly, I won’t have another decade of schooling to look forward to. But here’s some (trying to see these as good) things looming past this liminality:
- I can start working after graduation. It’s a pleasant thought. I look forward to it.
- Writing. Fiction brews in my head, and I want to do them a better service unlike the disasters that I consider Ladenflight and Forever’s Interval (dear readers, don’t let others push you into publishing earlier than your work should be. Please. And definitely not when you’re stuck in a ward, desperate for a world beyond hospital doors). I won’t attempt NaNoWriMo this year, and it hurts, because I had a potential novella I keep dreaming scenes for. It helps that two characters are duking it out in my head for the coveted position of Main Character. At least the Protagonist’s throne was settled. I missed my previous crew and looked forward to this city’s writing shenanigans.
- Less OSAP loans. That scares me, to be honest. What would my student loans look like after a doctorate? Academia isn’t a cushy career, you know, and getting into teaching isn’t cakewalk. A shame, because I really like cake. I swore that banana-pineapple upside-down is easier to bake than red velvet. Then the former coordinator at Force locals asked if I included applesauce in the recipe. I haven’t gotten over this. Applesauce. Are you serious? Why didn’t the pastry chef, who was instructing me on cake making and decorating, tell me? My red velvet always came out like pound cake! POUND CAKE! That’s embarrassing! I could make everything in those classes except for that forsaken red. velvet. CAKE.
It’s 4:20am and you’re still awake. Is Jolly Young Welser still watching you?
- Maybe housing will be affordable one day. I want a mortgage. It’d give me opportunities to boost my credit rating past the cap I can’t break as a non-homeowner.
- A home, one day I’ll have a home. YAY!
- I pledge my love and devotion to my birdchild, who is cute and fluffy and hopping around his cage and probably about to fire some melody at me (his way of saying, “Kari, go to sleep. Now.”) again, any moment now…
But more relevant to you, dear reader, is what I do with The Vinyl Tower. I’ve been bemoaning to my therapist and Andrei that I want to do more here. Engage you, talk to followers and commenters more, be involved in community. Cristian Mihai, for example, has a helpful site that inspired me to remodel SNOWBUNNY. I recommend you check it out. Although not all the guides and tips were appropriate for my purpose (until health crashed my studies), there’s a lot that I found useful and workable. For sure, I’ll need to return to reading The Art of Blogging because this site won’t be able to keep up on the “academic-in-training talking about life with theology” presence.
Things are moving at a fogged pace. I have more tests to get done at labs, am running out of steam, but darn it, I missed writing informally in The Vinyl Tower. I’m still sick and Aunty Red is a snarky lady.
But I want to say, SNOWBUNNY’s anniversary had some real and huge valleys. I’m not completely clear what a vision for this site will look like in the coming months. It’s strange that I won’t be doing a thesis, and discomforting that what jeopardized my continuing studies are things not easily controlled. Most of it wasn’t controllable. Put a person in upheaval and massive change over the long term, she starts developing habits and patterns that she too, finds alienating from herself. I insist that this world, too, is still beautiful. And perhaps I’ll focus my blogsite on that, in an upcoming present.
It’s an odd feeling, knowing that I’m coming out of my vinyl tower with these circumstances. But I know there’s life still, more to ponder and wonder and write to you, dear readers, onward. It’s 6:36am. I got more blood tests, more ultrasounds and tests that nauseate me further to think about. It’s Sunday morning now, and if nothing else, my life hasn’t ended. A huge part of my built identity is crumbling, like many other things in my life these past years.
Happy anniversary, SNOWBUNNY!
Let’s have another one, you and I. Let’s trust that God will open another door, now that He’s closing this one. And may I enjoy the rest of my remaining time in graduate school, enjoy it past our voyage here.
If You wanted me for elsewhere, I’d be gone long ago.
What can I do? How may I serve?
A lamp to my feet, show me my footsteps, time by Time.