I didn’t realize it’s been so long since I posted here. It’s been tough to even catch my breath with everything going on in my life right now. So what’s been going on?
Well, I’m officially half way through the semester. I’m pretty burned out with writing and such. I’m really quite ready to be done, and I have a six week summer course to do. Unfortunately, I found out that the summer course is in Session B, which runs July 7 to August 15; instead of the preferred Session A, which runs May 19 to June 27. This is apparently going to delay the date in which I can find out about my student loan payment plan and then make plans to either thru-hike the Appalachian Trail next year or start looking for a job.
My internship is nearly done. I have a month and a half left, but out of that month and a half, I only have approximately 16 days of actual interning left. Today I transitioned from Family Services to Permanency, which is my final transition. Before Family Services, I did Assessments. The internship has been great, and I sort of feel bittersweet about actually leaving the agency, now that it’s so close to being over. I got used to getting up in the morning and going there, but it’s all part of changes in life.
I’ve been keeping busy in my personal life, as well. I’ve got quite a bit going on, and that’s OK, but it’s nice to be able to get a breather once in a while too. My goal to walk more in 2014 has been pretty shoddy due to the relentless New England winter. Too cold. Too icy. Snowing. It’s ridiculous. I know it is what it is, but tomorrow is the first day of March!
My mind has been running non-stop with thoughts of grad school coming to a close, interning coming to a close, the terrifying thought of being up to my eyeballs in student loan debt, worries about finding a job, worries about my car lasting until I get a job…I’m trying to train my brain to not worry about stuff that I have no control over. In the meantime, I’m walking the trail to where I want to go both personally and professionally. I’ll do my part and give my 100%. The rest will be what it will be.
I made a “New Year’s Resolution”, of sorts, to walk more in 2014. In 2013, I walked 222.8 miles. So far, 2014 has been brutally cold (below-zero temps) and dangerously icy, so I haven’t been able to walk! In four days, I’ll be heading back to Portland for classes. I’m pretty excited to get this degree done and be able to focus on other things in my life. I’m especially looking forward to finding a way to make a 2015 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (AT) a reality.
Some of you may recall that I was going to do this hike back in 2012. For a variety of reasons, primarily self-doubt due to medical issues, I backed out at the last minute. While I have since been cleared of the then-unknown (now stress-related) medical issues, I still have medical issues that I have to contend with on a chronic basis: migraines and stage IV endometriosis. I currently manage my conditions through medications, but I am experimenting with other ways to manage these chronic conditions. For more information on endometriosis, check out my other blog at endojourney.wordpress.com.
My other main issue (which is why I have yet to make any official announcement regarding plans to hike the AT) is my student loans, of course. I have to wait and see what kind of payment plan I can make with my lender(s). If my payment plan is too high, I won’t be able to hike. If it’s affordable…WOO-HOO!
While I wait, everything else is going well. I’m keeping busy interning, being given more responsibilities and projects and essentially just enjoying the whole experience. I finally did some major work on my LinkedIn profile in preparation for the big job hunt after I’m done with school (and hopefully the AT!) and am always looking for folks to network with there (hint, hint!). I’m back in the saddle, riding into a brighter future!
These past two weeks mark a couple of important milestones for me. As of last Friday, the Fall semester ended. I’m on Winter Break! As of tomorrow, I will interview my first client and officially be halfway through my internship! Also, as of tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be on vacation for two weeks, which will be pretty great.
So, what does this all mean? First, it means I have one and a half semesters left of grad school. I got registered for the Spring semester, and I’ll be taking the last half of my Seminar that goes with my internship as well as Advanced Trauma-Based Practice and Grief, Loss, Death, & Dying. I’ll be graduating on May 17th, but have a six-week accelerated Summer elective to take.
During this Winter Break, which lasts until January 15th, I still have to intern, except for the next two weeks. During those two weeks, I don’t have any plans yet. We have a winter storm coming this weekend, but I was thinking that a road trip may be in order. I don’t know where to, or if it’ll even happen, but it’s a thought.
This has also been a time of great thought for me. For those who know me well, I’m in thought 24/7/365…but nearing the end of my graduate degree has me somewhat panicky. I live in my hometown and I love it here, but there is really no money to be made here and no jobs that pay well in my field. I do have a “dream job”, which I don’t care to disclose because I’m a bit superstitious about that kind of thing. I think that with the right time in the field and experience, I could get a job at my dream employer. I’m still considering a 2015 run for a northbound Appalachian Trail thru-hike, as well. A lot of thoughts in my head, but instead of “waiting and seeing”, I will be working toward my goals.
The Fall semester and first half of my internship are speeding right along, which is pretty awesome. I’m over half-way done with classes, and a quarter of the way through my internship as of tomorrow! I still have weekend stuff going on…helping out an elderly friend, sometimes farm stuff, etc.
My car is not in the best of shape. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in a previous post, but my car is ten years old. It’s been a great car, I’ve really got no complaints, but it’s showing it’s age. We’ve been through a lot together…long commutes, hitting a deer and a fox, two exhaust changes, an oil pan change, and most recently, running over a skateboard that was left in the middle of the highway. As is typical here in New England, road salt from ten winters has finally caught up to the undercarriage, and it’s pretty much rotting out under there. My car is belligerent to start after I fuel up, and the fuel filter is inside the gas tank, so it’s non-serviceable. Hitting the skateboard screwed up one of my solenoids. I’m getting that replaced soon and my check engine light turned off so my car will pass inspection next month.
I’m doing fine health-wise. The endometriosis has it’s usual flares, as does the migraines, but I cope as I must. My cat Goldie is well, she had to have her torso shaved recently due to what I think may be seasonal matting, so my poor baby girl currently looks like a redheaded Eskimo wearing leg warmers. Since she’s a ginger, she’s pretty much always cold, but she’s a strictly indoor cat so she’ll be fine. I catch her sitting by the heater all the time.
My Red Sox are in the World Series (going for the “Cup”, as Boston Mayor Thomas Menino so embarrassingly put it). My Patriots’ defense, however, needs to wake up. And…I may have just found a way to be able to do a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2015 after all! I’m still looking at the logistics on that one. The big holdup is being able to discuss loan payment amounts with my lenders. There will be updates on that, of course!