tropiavera: (my blood is radioactive)
So last night around 2 in the morning, I went in to the hospital because I was having severe abdominal pain and was worried it might be my appendix. It turned out to be a badly pulled oblique, which is less dramatic, but still painful, it turns out!

I'm not afraid of hospitals. I've been to a lot of them in my life, because I have a terrible immune system and tend to have weird medical issues, and I can always answer the nurses' questions with medical jargon, but I still always try to weigh the costs of going in vs can I just deal with it. I'm glad I went in.

Now: I'm going to go lie on the couch for a while.
tropiavera: a woman x-rays her chest to display a heart ([❣] the heart is not coal)
Happy birthday, Future Self. You're 26 now! Holy shit! That feels waaay older than 25, right? It's scary, mostly because you are now the age of the bloggers you used to read in high school, right? That's pretty weird. But you do grown-up stuff now, too! Stuff like drinking wine and owning your own coffee maker, and having multiple degrees! MULTIPLE DEGREES! That took you almost seven years to accrue, because, as I might have mentioned earlier, you are a grown-up now. And what do grown-ups do? That's correct, they write vaguely self-indulgent letters in the form of lists.

1. Did Mom send you a cake? I bet she did. Hey, this year, remember to light the back candles first.

2. Hey Future Self, I know you're probably unemployed, extrapolating from the three rejection notices Current Self got this week, but that's okay. You remember how you haven't actually had a significant break since you started grad school, right? Three years ago? It's okay.

3. I don't know if you have a diploma, yet, Future Self, but I hope if you do you still pet it reverently every couple hours, because that's what I'd do.

4. I mean, in the sense that I don't know when they are mailed out, not in the sense that I don't know if you passed all your classes. I hope you did.

5. Even if that literature review was shaaaky, I'm still confident you passed. (Most of the time.)

6. So go and pet your diploma for me. Or if not your diploma, AT LEAST your progress report.

7. Have you started going to yoga yet? Your joints are probably losing flexibility or whatever as you read this, so I hope that Bikram trial you and K signed up is working out well. PS: Future Self, you're doing couples yoga. If that doesn't make you grown-up, I don't know what does. (Dentures.)

8. I hope all of your miscellaneous injuries have healed. Between the chunk missing from your index finger, the burn on your arm, and the scratch across your nose, I think people were starting to get a little concerned.

9. In general, though, this has been like the healthiest year ever! AN ENTIRE FALL WITHOUT GETTING SICK, whaaat. It's kind of sad that all it took was drinking more water and taking your vitamins, but on the other hand, at least it worked. +10 self-care points.

10. Speaking of self-care, I'm serious about that whole taking a break thing. Go to a movie or something. Remember movies? Remember going out to movies? Try that. Go on a self-date.

11. Self-dates are important for self-care as well!

12. Okay, Future Self, I know that's starting to sound awfully euphemistic, but I hope you know where I'm going with this. I mean, yes, that other thing is important too, but so is taking yourself out to a movie or dinner or a hilarious jazz performance of a ballet you like.

13. Remember how awful fall semesters always are? They are terrible! I kind of don't know how you managed it three times!

14. Other than with the support of your family and your wonderful amazing loving friends.

15. Seriously. I don't believe that friendship is transactional, but it's a good thing I don't because I WOULD NEVER BE ABLE TO REPAY all of the incredible support over the last couple years. Being able to look at my twitter replies, or responses to the holiday meme, in the wee small hours of academic desperation has made all the difference.

16. On that note, Future Self, you should probably also thank your parents. I mean, they'll probably demur, but it's still important.

17. Also: that goofball who left Skype on all night on Wednesday so you wouldn't be by yourself while finishing your paper.

18. What I'm getting at, Future Self, is that I'm glad you have the support system that you do today, especially since that was part of what made undergrad so difficult, feeling isolated so much of the time. So I'm glad you've found this for yourself.

19. Future Self, this is a really long list. I don't know if I have that many more things to say, especially since despite sleeping for ten hours last night and then taking a nap, I'm still kind of tired.

20. I hope you're back to a reasonable sleep schedule and consuming things other than caffeine now, though.

21. Like, I'm glad you were able to conduct your pioneering research into what happens if you only drink coffee for days at a stretch for the benefit of future generations, but the personal cost in nausea was pretty high, was it not?

22. It was.

23. So even though this wasn't where you thought you would be in high school, or where you thought college would take you, Future Self, I'm glad you have found the success and happiness you have.

24. Especially because there have been times when you thought you would have neither.

25. I am so proud of you, Future Self. Even if you convince yourself that you are a terrible and irresponsible student and/or person, you have accomplished a lot of excellent things so far.

26. Don't forget about 16-year-old self or 22-year-old self. They're in there too.
tropiavera: karen eiffel ([✍] once upon a time)
School is a thing, huh? IS IT EVER! It turns out that a semester in which you are looking for work + taking two classes is quite a bit different than a semester in which you are working + taking three classes (+ planning a wedding)! This is brand new information, I am sure!

Ugh. I have been feeling the burn this last month, and I think it's been taking its toll, emotionally speaking! It doesn't help that most of my classmates have graduates, so the people I see in class and around campus are largely strangers, on top of K being gone on research semester most of the time. I've been trying to push myself to go out with people a couple times a week, but that's, you know, exhausting, particularly since I usually feel like I am not someone who gets much past acquaintance very easily. You know? Whatever the opposite of growing on people is.

Anyway. I tried out Pan-Am and thought it was campy but fun, behind on Fringe/Nikita/Downton Abbey, and some goofy looking British sci-fi (I guess?) thing, The Fades (The Faces) that [identity profile] and I are partaking of, as soon as I stop being an antisocial study mess.

P.S. Self! Finish this season's Pretty Little Liars ladyedit already, Jesus. This is embarrassing.
tropiavera: a woman x-rays her chest to display a heart ([❣] the heart is not coal)
When I was in 6th grade, several things of note occurred. I mean, I'm sure there were a lot of them for me-at-11, like TAKING MY OWN SELF TO SCHOOL every day and whatever, but we're talking in the thematic-long-view sense. I and something like 10 or 15 other 6th-graders sat out a day of classes to take the SATs, and I participated in the production of the musical "The Wiz". I got a 1230, incidentally, a number that is meaningless to future generations since they changed the scoring, but proof of which was initially framed on my desk and later crumpled in a drawer and possibly thrown away. "The Wiz" wasn't a particularly great performance or anything, and in fact I only did crew (which in a middle school production means essentially roaming around aimlessly in a black shirt), but our drama teacher gave an opening night speech that I desperately needed to hear at that age, and of which I seem to be more frequently reminding myself the older I get.

In all likelihood her speech lasted a few minutes, but I only really remember how it ended. After going over all the hard work we had put into the show and telling us to have fun with the performance, Stacy concluded by telling us No matter how this goes tonight, I will still love you. I won't love you any less if you fail or any more if you succeed. My school was extremely small and Stacy had known all of us for three or four years at this point, if not longer, so it wasn't unusual for her to express affection like that. I remember being so stunned, though, by the second half of that - obviously adults still had to love you even if you fucked up, but equally obviously, if you did better, then they would love you more.

My craving for validation has lessened as I've gotten older (or, equally as likely, I have just gotten better at managing it myself), but as I enter my last semester of grad school and start looking for jobs, I feel the need to remind myself again. It doesn't matter if I'm hired somewhere prestigious, because I won't be anymore me if I am, and that's why anyone who really loves me does, anyway.
tropiavera: Margaret Olson (at first i was like)
About a week ago I decided to do 12/12 for April, despite being chained to the desk because it's two weeks from the end of the semester, because I like doing 12/12s and it's a fun (note: it is not fun) look at the terrible life of a graduate student, and why I have been only sporadically around for the last ever.

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