Advent.

As far as I’m concerned, there should be severe penalties for anyone even glancing in the direction of the Christmas decorations before the start of Advent/ December. I can’t cope with the way the “holiday season” seems to start earlier and earlier each year. Decorations on the shop shelves in November I can tolerate, but this year my earliest recorded sighting was in August. AUGUST?  You can’t be serious! Radio stations making the switch over to Christmas music in the first week of November… no no no. Every year I try to ignore anything vaguely Christmassy until my self imposed first of December marker. You’ll recall from this post that KM is not of this opinion. He’s been talking about xmas and the shopping lists, when we can put up the tree and all that pretty much daily since then. He is still so excited by Christmas it’s childlike and kind of cute. It’s so important to him to give us a good Christmas that it’s unfortunate that this year his excitement has not been as infectious as previous years.

I’m so Bah Humbug this year, I depress myself lol. I think it has to do with college – with studying, volunteering, reading everything I can related to midwifery and the dreaded university application, Christmas hasn’t really been high on my list of priorities. I hadn’t thought about it. Well, that’s my excuse I’m using anyway.

Today I caved. We went to the local garden center and are now the proud owners of a Serbian Spruce, still alive and growing in its pot, destined to be decorated as the official 2009 Christmas tree of our household. We have all the ingredients: the sparkly lights, pretty pretty glittery baubles and even a small Santa Claus. Oh and the Chrstimas Elephant – a feature of our tree since we first celebrated the season together. KM is bursting with excitement now that we’re staying home and spending Christmas together for only the fourth time in our 8 years together. Benji was even joining in the fun “helping” to decorate the tree.

I’m just…  meh… not feeling it. Maybe KM has enough excitement for the both of us right now… hoping my dose of festive cheer turns up soon though.

Ali xX

The path that lies ahead..

I could live here !

I am amazed and actually quite chuffed that I came back from my mum’s feeling not only ok about the whole weekend but actually quite happy! I promise it had noting to do with the visit to IKEA as soon as I stepped off the bus. Man, I love that store but its rather hard to get to without a car and a tad pointless if you don’t  have a house in need of furniture. Still, the apple cake went down a treat hehe…

We got on well the whole time I was there. No fighting, no arguing, no yelling between my mother and I. This is “stop the press” front page news. Mum actually admits that I’m looking a lot better (as in happier) these days which just made me smile because I feel a lot better. Even the few little snide remarks kind of just roll off me much easier than they ever used to.

Even when the university visit didn’t go as planned, we somehow managed to not end up with my mother blaming me. I was amazed. I mean, we were both frustrated having driven all that way (about 4 and a half hours) and not being able to actually see the uni because of a mix up with open day dates. I was able to get an idea of what the town itself is like and I’m so excited that I may be living there next year if all goes to plan. I know it’s a REALLY BIG IF but still I’m excited thinking it might happen, which is ground breaking new optimism from me. Usually I’m a glass half empty kind of girl.

Sunday came – departure day   and here I was thinking I actually could happily stay another few days, feelings that were refreshing to say the least. Then something happened. Have you ever wound up in the middle of a really deep conversation unsure where it’s going or even how you got there? Suddenly I’m aware me mum and I are talking about dad: something we haven’t done in years, certainly not since her divorce came through.

It felt slightly like opening a really old closet and being taken aback as a flurry of moths and musty odor hit you in the face. But rather than slamming the doors shut in disgust and vowing never to open that thing again, we were able to have a calm discussion on the subject to sort of let the dust settle.  I have to admit I was surprised – shocked even – by what I saw when the air had cleared. I felt sorry for her. She seems to be living with some guilt over what happened. She has this sadness when she talks about it that really touched me. I just wanted to hug her. Whatever has happened in the past… this felt like a break through… even just a small one. We have a lot of things to get over, but perhaps because of the time that’s past or because I am getting stronger, I wasn’t feeling the weight of all this anger in the same way I have before. It has always been so raw almost like a suppressed rage. In truth, that Sunday morning I don’t recall feeling angry at all. Upset maybe and definitely so very sad.  I feel like I can see a pathway to forgiveness now and that’s amazing. The thing is, I’m not sure who forgiveness will help more: me or my mum. It definitely felt like a weight off my shoulders. I’m getting through this and for the first time. I actually believe I will get past it. Someday what happened won’t dominate my life.  I will beat it. I won’t let it tear me apart.  These are no longer the words of a desperate woman clinging to hope.  I know I can do it. It’s even better than that. I am doing it.

I know I have so much strength inside me. I survived. I’m here… and I keep fighting when I finally get to grips with all this. There will be no stopping me.

I almost feel like I should add and evil laugh after that spiel “Mwuahahahahaha”

Ali xX

Dumb.

“I’m sorry. I can’t translate it into dumb.”  KM told me as I complained that the redraft he had written of my supporting statement sounded too much like him and not enough like me.  It hurt me to hear him say that even though I know he was only joking. I’m over sensitive to these things particularly at the moment given how much STRESS I feel to get this statement perfect. After trying to explain why I was so upset he compounded the problem by telling me I aught to grow a sense of humor. I have a sense of humor – I just didn’t find it funny.

Is this just me?  Possibly. I know now that as a consequence of my past I have real trouble with people poking at me. I can laugh at myself, sure. The problem comes when you attack my intellect, my ability to understand something or my sense of self worth.  The simple way of explaining it is I don’t have to much confidence or self esteem left,  so I don’t appreciate anyone trying to take some of  what I have  from me even if they are joking.  But the real explanation is I can’t register sarcasm when you’re insulting me. I simply can’t tell if you’re joking and my default setting is to assume you mean what you say.  The nasty stuff is easier to believe – especially when those a young person trusts are reinforcing their judgment by yelling it in your face, driving it home with their fists or worse. If I’m not sure what you think of me, I’ll assume you think the worst.  It’s just the way I’ve been wired.

I’m not dumb. Just because I want MY statement to sound different than how you would write it does not mean I’m stupid.

It’s not that he doesn’t support me. He’s not some evil guy. He’d helped me redraft this darn thing three times already. Overall he’s nothing but encouraging of me at college. Potentially, he’s agreed to move anywhere in the country that will let me in to study midwifery next year. That’s a big deal.

Practically he’s doing everything I could ask and more.

It still doesn’t change that this one throw away remark really bothered me….

Ali xX

Fail.

Failed as expected. Damn, but I am not as cut-up about it as I thought I would be. I think it has something to do with the fact that most other people also failed. If less than 10% of a year group actually passes the exam I’m thinking something isn’t right and apparently college agrees with me, I will not have to take a killer resit YAY. Instead I will have to submit a work sheet covering the areas I messed up on the exam paper to prove that I have learned from my mistakes. A work sheet – I can handle.

The time has come to be decisive. I’m drawing a line in the sand and deciding that my application form HAS to be submitted, so I’ve completed my final draft of my supporting statement this afternoon. I’m happy with it. I won’t be getting feedback from my tutor but instead I’m taking it to student service for the college careers people to look over. I’ve sent it to a couple of current student midwives and they’ve approved so hopefully my gamble will pay off. I neeeeeeeed to get this form sent its causing me so much stress. Fingers crossed, I can get an appointment tomorrow and it will be done… sent… out of my hands.

Moving on to the next step: I had totally forgotten that I’m going to visit my mum this weekend. I mean totally-need-to-rush-out-and-buy-my-travel-ticket-in-the-morning forgot. We’re going to visit one of my university choices on Saturday.  This place could be my first choice and I’m excited to see it even if spending time alone with mum makes me nervous. I don’t need to feel small around her now, right?  I have direction and commitment and some things to be proud of… at least there’s a time limit on the trip. I have to be back for an interview and college Monday. 4 days.  I can handle 4 days. Uggh wish me luck.

Ali xX

Spaceman.

What do you think of when you’re lying in bed at night trying to sleep? Counting sheep is the cliché but it’s just not my style. Instead I take a trip around the world. I have Wander Lust… it really troubles me how little travel I’ve been able to accomplish in the past few years. I grew up as an expat – a Brit living abroad – and oddly I actually feel more comfortable in that position than I do living back at “home” in the UK. The opportunities I had to be immersed in other cultures, even languages, is something I am so grateful to have expirenced in my childhood, but it has resulted in an endless curiosity about foreign places and people who think and live there lives differently than myself. I want to experience everything, to see and try to understand the world. I guess the downside is I find it hard to settle and stay someplace and nowhere really feels like my “home”.  I’d almost snatch your arm off if you were offering me a plane ticket. So, at night, I try to figure out the places I would refuse to go to if you offered me the chance right now. There’s not many of them.  I think of all the places on my travel wish list and what I would love to do when I got there.

Just tonight, Gadget Guy forced me through his sheer enthusiasm when recounting the history of the space program to add “space” on my list of possible travel destinations. Something I had never really done before…

Isn’t it cool listening to someone talk about something they really care about – the thing they have a real passion for – that place where they feel comfortable… where they realize that they know what they are talking about  and they know they have things to teach you  if you would only listen. Being in their element makes people come alive somehow. Perhaps it’s just confidence that has this effect. Space does this to my friend. He’s the one who had me reading from the Adult Space Camp website at stoopid o’clock in the morning… and actually wanting to go… you can wear heels with a flight suit right? LMAO.  He’s rolling his eyes at that comment for sure 😛

Ali xX

How are we talking of Christmans already !???

Overdosing on stress and frustration. No, really… it’s making me a horrible person.  That, and my frame of mind is taking a dive. I slept for 10 hours last night. 10. Usually I would be happy that I got such a large amount of continuous sleep but it wasn’t the first time this week and it’s starting to become a worrying pattern. You see, previously, this inability to get out of bed and achieve anything constructive has been the first indication of the onset of depression. I do not want to slide back there again. It scares me half to death that I might fall back to that place I can’t pull myself out of on my own. So, any sign I’m sliding back in that direction is NOT Good.

College is pretty much the root of my woes. Our first assessment did not go well at all. I’m counting on a fail grade landing on my desk when we get our results back tomorrow and trying to gear myself up for a make or break resit (We only get 1 resit – its pass or go home).  Out of the 20 people in the other class who took this paper the week before us a grand total of 4 passed. 4.  Youch. I’ll admit that my revision regime was less than perfect being away from home and staying with a two year old who wants to help you color in your special book or read you a story from the dictionary. lol Bless.  Time with Pinkie’s daughter N is good for my soul. She makes me giggle and smile everyday without fail but she does not help me to study.  I will do better…

University application. OMG NIGHTMARE. I’ve done everything I can so far. I’m waiting on my tutor to feed back about my personal statement so I can redraft it. E-mailed it a couple of weeks ago and asked about it last week… and I’m still waiting. Waiting is hard. It’s difficult because this form is so important; so much is depending on it. I want to get it right. I need help, advice… guidance. I’m worried about it only because I care about it more than I did last time.  I’m honest enough to admit that at 18 I applied because it was the next step everyone at school was applying. But this time I’m not doing it because it’s the done thing. I’m doing it because I WANT it. Oh so bad. Right now, it feels like that form won’t even get sent, never mind actually persuade admissions to give me an interview.  Waiting is hard. It’s sooo much harder, given the sheer number of applicants for this course.. Added to that is the form is due at universities… that are already making decisions… sending out dates for interviews… and my form is effectively still on my desk. Waiting is hard… it’s driving me insane.  Oh how I long to press that send button… BUT I know then the waiting to hear back will drive me just as crazy. Why did I decide to do this a second time again? *Breathes* Because I believe I would make a good midwife, that’s why… because I am chasing my dream, that’s why…  because in the end it could make me happier than I’ve been in years… because I believe nobody should feel unsupported on their journey to parenthood however long and complicated that path may be… but most of all because I am praying that someone will see the passion that I have, make the choice to give me the chance to make a difference to women’s experience of pregnancy and birth. Hoping for progress soon and trying to learn to be patient at the same time.

Why am I a horrible person? KM is getting excited about Christmas already. It’s the middle of November people. Anyways, this year my mother invited BOTH of us for Christmas. I was surprised. She’s making an effort and I appreciate that. We’re also broke and I have to admit planning anything for the festivities wasn’t even on my radar. It seemed easier just to go to mums and let her take care of it. Annnyway… KM wants Christmas at home… like REALLY wants Christmas for us. He promised to make it a good one and EVEN wants to visit mum at New Year as a compromise. I just couldn’t/can’t think past getting this form sent of and my possible resit passed. Let’s just say I was rather short with him yesterday.

Today I woke up to find he’s prepared our Christmas menu. Complete with a list of all the shopping we would need and a budget for how we are going to afford it. With an added note:  the jist of which was … I know the last 6 months have been hard I promise to give you a nice Christmas. Please let me……… oh my god … I’m a  B.I.T.C.H. !

Patience is a virtue and listening is a skill. I clearly need to practice both.

Ali xX