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    ANNEX

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Silly Karen….

So I switched blogs and just realized i never really told anyone that may have been following this one that I moved! Well, if you’d like to keep reading here’s the link:

http://holidayfromreal.com/

 

I would appreciate you following me over there! I moved because I wanted my blog to not be focused all on the health/fitness stuff. So it’s more of a personal blog  and includes post on stuff I’m doing, goals, recipes, books, and faith.

 

A new chapter?

In the last week or so, when people ask the typical small talk questions (What’s up? What’s new? How’s it going? etc.), I don’t really have much to say. In July I let myself spin out of control and crash on the pavement a bit. And now. Well. I’m over it. Every so often I let a couple things cross my mind and let myself feel a temporary jolt of jealousy, anger, or fear. But, for the most part, yes, I’m over it. And being over it feels kind of “blank”. I feel like I don’t have many feelings right now. It’s like I’m in the boring exposition of a new story. Sometimes in these cases, I have some idea of where I want this new chapter (or book? I don’t know how exactly my life is organized in book metaphor world) to go. In this case however, I don’t even have the makings of a book jacket figured out. I’m just kind of  hovering, waiting around for some stimulus to start some kind of reaction or direction in me.

I find these times are good for really working on self improvement and going after goals that have been on the back burner for a while. And I’m tentatively starting that journey. Or, at least thinking about it ;). I want something to happen. But, I think I have to start doing stuff and stop waiting. Waiting feels so empty.

Some things that are crossing my mind are going ‘balls to the walls’ on the whole triathlon goal. I keep going in spurts of discipline and indifference. Imagine what I could do if this became a real priority instead of a pipe dream?

Another goal is to get better at being a host and planning fun-tivities. I’m starting that one tonight by having people over for a little wine/painting party. I’ve decided to call this event “A Night of Pretention.” There will even be people around to jam on their guitars.

Another goal (or dream because it seems so impossible) is to reduce my caffeine dependence. During my qualifying exam period I let myself fall a little deeper in this addiction, and even know my head is ouchy and cloudy from wanting more than I let myself have. It’s so hard to quit when I feel like this. But, I want it….I just don’t want the weeks of zombie bitch Karen that will come with it.

I guess, this is a start. But even this doesn’t leave me feeling super perky and excited. Meh. Hopefully this ‘story’ picks up soon : ).

On July

There’s no real delicate way to put this: July has been a pretty shitty month for the Karen. Lots of small things, a couple medium things. Disappointments. I feel like I had a pretty delusional idea of where things were headed in my life and then a lot of those things got shaken up. I’m trying to cling to my faith, and take comfort in the fact that there’s a better plan (ie God’s plan) that will make the things I wanted seem uber lame years from now. I’m trying to act like a lady who has  faith and not let fears and doubts bubble up to the surface of  my mind. I know I have more than everything I need to deal right now and be happy. I hate when I get in these seasons where I just feel like stuff is screwed up and I have a hard time accepting it. I keep looking back. I keep picking the scab. Insert more metaphors.

I think it’s human nature to do these things. Even so, I am mad at myself for not totally just accepting the peace my faith can give me/has given me. I feel that peace for a while and then just decide that … peace is boring, I guess, and lose it for a bit. I let myself sink into a negative emotion because part of me just…doesn’t want to move on? It doesn’t make sense, but I can feel it happening.

My professional life is going pretty awesomely right now actually. It’s the other things that have some bumps in the road. I have lots of great friends who I don’t think I deserve half the time. I just want more. And, I consciously know it’s dumb and I should just relax and live in the moment. But, I want more just the same. I want to flip a few chapters in my story to double check that this new path I’m on is pretty good. Unfortunately, that’s not what faith is. I have to slowly read this story line by line and believe that the ending will be worth the chapter of conflict I’m in right now.

My past has taught me that this is generally the case. But all the same – when you are in these chapters it’s hard to ride it out. I feel restless. I feel impatient. I feel disappointed.

And…I feel bad for feeling bad. I really am blessed. A homeless guy on my street has asked me to give him something to eat a couple times this past week. How can I feel so bummed when I have more than enough to eat all the time? I mean, my apartment is burning up right now, but all in all my life is pretty friggin comfortable.

I try to avoid posts like this here in my happy blog space. But, I think I just want to start being totally real, and use this blog to be whatever I want it to be. And right now I just need to vent a bit and just be human. I know things will get better.

An interlude at home

So, I’m back in WV for a few days, and honestly, I’m quite bored at the moment. That’s the con to being an extrovert. I really thrive by being around people. And, there’s not a whole lot of that right now. Most of my home town peeps are elsewhere at the moment. I usually try to plan my trips home to get me the most bang and see lot of people, but that didn’t work out so well this time. I have a wedding to go to tomorrow, which should be fun. It’s actually been 6 months to the day since I’ve last made the trip home. I’m pretty sure this is the longest period of time to date that I’ve stayed away. I actually think this is a really good sign. I’m laying down roots, enjoying my new life in C-ville, and feeling less need to escape to the familiar.

My parents are good people, but we don’t really have much in common. Sometimes that feels isolating. But, I’ve learned in the last year or so to really manage my expectations and not get too worked up about not having the same kind of familial relationships other people have. My relationship with my mom has slowly gotten better over the last several years and my relationship with my dad will probably never be fully what I want. I used to think he didn’t care, but I think he just shows it in different, non-obvious ways like…washing my car this morning!

My parents will likely never get me. Never get why I want to spend so many years in school, why I want to be a vegetarian, or work out so much, or keep myself so busy, or run off to live in cities. But, I appreciate all they gave me to get me here to the person I am today. While I feel like I have pretty much nothing in common with most of my family, I know they gave me a lot, and always have my back. This is a lot more than most people can say. So I guess I’ll get over the fact we are not going to hang out much or talk every day on the phone about personal things in my life.

Being at home makes me realize how much I miss living in such a nice house. I forgot water pressure could be so intense and amazing. And air conditioning…ohhhhh air conditioning! Ice machines. and Washer and drier on site. So good.

Being in Charleston makes me miss Charlottesville. I love how health conscious the city is. Charleston is bigger and also surrounded by mountains, but Charlottesville is more full of life and vim. I’m so glad I live there. Being away this time makes me realize that somewhere in the last 6 months it really became my home and a part of me. I love it.

Well, tomorrow is a wedding of a friend from high school! Man, we are totally old enough for these adult things. I guess I feel that way, but at the same time I still feel like a kid :).

June Happenings

The moment I had been dreading for months has come and gone, and I’m still here. It’s funny how it usually works out that way. I know this too…and I try to use that to make the freak out attenuate, with often minimal results.

So, June 13 was my qualifying exam, or comprehensive exam, or comps, or quals…whatever name you call it, just as ‘fun.’ The basic premise is that a week before the ‘exam’ I get a few questions that I have to spend a week preparing answers to. Then on the actual day I give the answers orally to 4-5 faculty members (my committee!) and they ask me lots of follow up questions trying to shake me. The idea is to see if you’re “capable of independent research.” Honestly, it feels more like a hazing ritual, with faculty trying to put you in your place. At least, that’s kind of how I thought it would go down.

That week, I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life. We’re talking like 12-15 hour days for 7 days straight. That’s something I never thought I would have the mental discipline to do. But, I learned fear is a surprisingly good motivator :). I rocked my little nook in the libary.

My exam went better than my wildest dreams. I felt really good about how I did, and I passed with no real critiques. I think God totally just took over once I entered that room. I was so nervous I thought I was going to pass out or vomit…or some disgusting mixture of the two. But, as soon as I entered the room, it all just went away and I did my thang. And yeah, it went so well. I can’t believe it. But I feel good. The thing I was most worried about was letting my advisor down, and I think he was proud of my ‘performance.’ : )

My desk after the test. My labmate and roommate were sweet :)

A surprising thing was how long it took me to get over that week. I think I was running on adrenaline and shotty sleep, and once a day had passed, and the hormones went away, I felt like a zombie. And it took a while for me to be able to sleep in and recover. But I think I’m finally there. I just had to summon the energy to kick my ass in the gym until I passed out :P.

But there you go, I’m a Ph.D. Candidate officially now. Holla?!

My first photo as an official Ph.D. candidate. This is the face of a girl who after 20 years is done with classes for ever!

The beginning of the stress relief/celebration process!

Now a new journey of getting lots of research done that will make a thesis for me begins!

Saturday musings of the concussed

Being alone drives me crazy.

I’m a total extrovert. I don’t know how obvious it is, because I’m a shy extrovert, but I thrive when people surround me.

After spending 3 days in ‘captivity’ in my room, I’m slowly going insane. I feel restless. I feel like I’m wasting my life. I know this is totally an over reaction, but, ALAS! Here we are.

Sometimes I also struggle with the fact that this blog is not anonymous. It makes me bite my tongue (or fingertips?) in a lot of instances. It makes me be vague when I don’t want to be. While maybe it makes me less entertaining, it’s probably good I only write things that are fit for the world to see. I can’t really think of that reason right now, but it’s a general feeling I have. I do think it makes me be less emo (more sunny) to have my identity stamped to my ramblings.

I have a total crush on this guy, ya know. He keeps intruding my thoughts today. I keep thinking of the last time I saw him and he hugged me, and I wish it could have lasted longer. I’m REALLY not a huggy person, but I could get used to his. I keep thinking about how he is a genuinely nice guy…how I notice sweet things about him that I wish I could tell him without sounding like a blubbering idiot. I love how he makes an effort to connect to new people even though sometimes I have a tiny pang of jealousy when he does. I love when he smiles at me, or laughs at me from across the room when I have a clumsy/awkward moment. Yes, I have a crush, and I think he does too…I just wish something would start happening there. Maybe it has, and in a few months I’ll read this post again and laugh to myself. I just get frustrated sometimes not being able to see inside his head. And, I guess I’m scared too.

I wish I could dance tonight, but I should do the smart thing and continue to rest and protect my brain. God knows I have few physical talents to offer to the job market. I plan on breaking bank with my brain, so I should take care of her. Ahhh, responsibility!

Hope you are are having exciting memorial day weekends :P

Yours,

Restless in C-ville.

Concussed again?

Yep. Here I am in my bed chilling out with another concussion. It’s more mild than last time, but it was weird because the symptoms had pretty delayed onset or something. I hit my head pretty hard on Tuesday night before I went to bed, felt pretty fine yesterday, and this morning felt really nauseated and disoriented. Also, my head hurt. Having gone through this before, and feeling a bump on my head, I was kind of paranoid and decided to get checked out for peace of mind (and student health is free for grad students, woo! not even a co-pay!). The doctor gave me a neuro exam, made me feel like less of an idiot for coming in, but gave me some peace of mind that I was ok…probably just some kind of second concussion syndrome type thing, where since I’ve had a recent concussion it’s easier for me to get another one. Fun right? I was instructed to take a mental and physical break, and “not think too hard about anything.” It’s a little boring to be honest.

I feel ok – just tired, and kind of dizzy and shaky when i stand up. My head hurts, but it’s not as bad as last time. I’m confident I should bounce back pretty fast. It’ll be hard not working out! I really planned on getting some stress relief sprints today : /.

Today in my boredom I watched the movie “eat pray love.” Do yourself a favor and DONT watch it if you haven’t. So boring. I’m disappointed in Julie – I expect better from her.

But yeah. I’m just chilling. And bored!

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