Colorado · Facebook · finances · goals · Portland · resolve · seizures · writing

First Step

After months of being unsure about what to do with the next in my life, a Facebook post on conversation with an old friend has clarified some things. I know what I’m doing next. Kind of.

Yesterday, my friend Elissa, who I’ve known since wee both were students at what was then Mesa College in our hometown of Grand Junction,  posted that she’s thinking of opening a school. After five years of saying no to God’s prodding, she’s saying yes. She called, and we talked about it, and about the possibilities of my joining her in this venture (along with the reasons for the school, which I won’t get into, because that’s her story, not mine), and somehow, we got into a discussion about my returning to school for my Master’s degree.

I have a BA in English, and a few years ago, right after my divorce, I began classes for the graduate program in Early Childhood Education at Portland State University. I enjoyed the classes, but I was very nervous about taking the test required for actual admittance, and my financial aid was shaky. So I quit. (I’ve quit a lot of things in my life; it’s a pattern I’m not proud of, one I’m trying to change.)

I always loved being in school, and I miss it. If you look at my college transcripts, that’s obvious: I studied at three different schools, changed my major a number of times, and took ten years to finally graduate! Then I took courses at two community colleges later!  Up until the last four years, I’d spent most of my life in a classroom of some sorts, either as a student or a teacher. No wonder I’ve felt so lost these last few years; I’ve away from my native soil!

With a Master’s degree in ECE, and all my years of teaching experience, I could qualify as a Director of a preschool, which would be pretty nifty. I’ve not made a decision yet what degree to pursue, just that I’m going to do it.It’s at least the beginning of a plan. Taking a step forward in my life, even if it’s a baby step.And oddly enough, I’m not scared at all this time.

God will put me where He wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do. I’ve always believed He had a plan for me, that He was watching over me for some reason, and I’m pretty sure that sitting in this chair watching Golden Girls reruns isn’t it. He kept me safe – well, alive, anyway – through all those seizures, and accidents caused by seizures – car accidents, falls in the shower, tumbles down stairs,  all that crap –  and I don’t think it was so I could end up sitting around, doing nothing, wishing for a different life, making no impact on the world around me, or even the world within me. He didn’t create me to be this barren landscape.

breast cancer · change · finances · home · Jolene · kitty · Michele · moving · Portland · transition

I’m BAA-ACK!

I know, you missed me. Now you can rejoice, because I won’t go away again–I promise! Lots has changed since I last posted, including location, obviously.

The last few months have been a time of many changes in my life, and the changes just keep on coming. (I feel like a David Bowie song…) A psychologist I spoke  with ( I’m seeing a psychologist. Big surprise there.) said that I’m in a “time of transition.”

Transition. Oh, yeah. BIG TIME.

In March, about two weeks before my 44th birthday, I left the relationship I’d been in since 2009, and moved from Vancouver back to Portland. It was a very difficult thing to do, but one that had been a long time coming. Making that decision set me free, in many ways; don’t misunderstand me, I wasn’t being help prisoner or anything, but emotionally, I felt trapped. And financially, there was no way out. So I’m back in my parents house, where my money is mine, and I have my freedom while I’m waiting for my disability appeal hearing. That part of my life is up in the air: I don’t know how long it’ll be until the hearing, or what they’ll decide. So my life is definitely in transition.

The largest change was also the worst, and has knocked me off my feet, broken my heart. On April 12, my best friend, Michele Miller Mahmood, died. The breast cancer she’d been fighting took her, and the world lost one of the best people ever created.  I’ll write more about this later, because Shel deserves an entire post, and entire blog, all her own.

I’m struggling to find my way in this new world, to transition into a life where I am on my own. I’ve always treasured my family, but suddenly, they seem so much more precious. My sister, Jolene, is going through her own transitions, yet has given her time to help me when ever I need her. She’s wonderful, and I am so thankful for her.

People keep asking what I’m going to do now. That’s the million dollar question, folks! Let’s figure it out together, shall we?

books · crap · crowded · epiphany · finances · hoarders · home · moving · rummage sale · selfish · Steven · stuff · tears · tiny flat · tools · understanding

This Isn’t a Home, It’s A Rummage Sale!

In the last month my entire life has shifted, not just physically, but in a rather spooky spiritual sense. Some background: it’s been a very rough year for us, as the gods of finances seem to be conspiring against us. Steven lost his job, and my itsy-bitsy monthly disability stipend just barely covers the rent. We decided to move to a smaller apartment in the same building in order to have enough to cover utilities, too.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, and a few days after, we moved the contents of our two-bedroom flat into a one-bedroom down the hall. a few things went into storage at my parents place, and more will go there eventually, I hope. More things must go. This place is tiny, and every bit of space is taken up with stuff–his desks & computer stuff, the amazing television & the sofa Dad gave us, my bookshelves & books, his tools, and boxes of stuff neither of us has been wiling to sort through or part with yet.

As we moved, I discovered three drawers full of my clothes that I’d forgotten about in the dresser I couldn’t get to in the closet. Now these are piled in the bedroom, waiting to be sorted. I must sort, because until I do, I cannot get to the other clothes! I was so angry at Steven when we moved, simply because I stood in the center of all this stuff, feeling like one of those people on “Hoarders.” All I could see were these endless stacks of crap, and I would start to cry & whine. Scared that I’d get crushed under a pile of old magazines & Philips head screwdrivers, I was tearful & not very nice to him. Looking back, I was being incredibly selfish, especially since he did 80% of the work for our move, including moving full bookshelves all by himself !

Fortunately, he is not only eternally understanding, he didn’t like the mess, either. After a day of rest, he began putting up shelves, and finding places for things, just so I’d be happy. We’re slowly settling in, and sorting out. I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter where we are, as long as were together; I also have to remind him of that, since he’s not real thrilled with many things right now.

The whole purpose of this move was to save money, and that isn’t going to happen. Yes, our landlord screwed us with extra fees and took all but three dollars of our damage deposit! So even though I’m happy here in our rummage sale home, I’m pretty ticked off. And crowded. But happy. And home. Oh, and as for my big spiritual epiphany, there wasn’t one. But it sure got ya reading, didn’t it?