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Sometimes you have to say “screw it” and go to bed without accomplishing anything all day. This is one of those times, and man, my bed is comfy.

Also, took a few days off from NaBloPoMo by accident….life got away from me for a bit.

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Aside

I love my daddy…

“When people ask me how I keep going, I tell them to go to the children’s floor of a hospital where you see all those kids, and some of them probably won’t live to see their 10th birthday, but they’ve all got smiles on their faces. When you see that…how can you not feel lucky? You’ve got to.”

Almost

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I’m almost caught up with all my work. I have my last exam to make up tomorrow. I’m so glad I’ve almost made it through this week. Now I just really hope that I studied enough…I got very sleepy and a bad headache came on so I cut studying short.

I guess we’ll see!

Coffee Spoons

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In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

If I could, I would take snapshots of different moments in my life and frame them. There are so many fleeting moments that are so raw and real that words just can’t ever do them justice. They’re the simple things that, if you aren’t paying attention, you might miss. The best comparison I can think of is the “Infinite Scene” from The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A heightened sense of self and observation of the world around you brings a profound new meaning to ordinary happenings. I wish I could put that feeling into words. It’s like falling in love and breaking your heart in one fell swoop. It’s so heartbreakingly surreal.

I get that feeling every time I read The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. I first read the poem for a college English Lit class I took while I was in high school. I wrote an eight page paper analyzing Prufrock the poem and Prufrock the man. It has always been a favorite for me. And in the past 2 1/2 years it has garnered an even more profound significance to me. When I met my ex boyfriend (Let’s call him Michelangelo for the sake of staying within T.S Eliot’s world), we started a courtship. It was a summer love. We would stay up all night on the phone, getting to know each other, and talking about anything and everything. Conversation for us was easy. One of us could talk for half an hour while the other sat silently, genuinely happy to be on the other end of the phone line. One night, Michelangelo brought up Prufrock and I expressed that it was my favorite poem, rivaled only by works by Poe. As we gushed about Eliot and Prufrock, we came to the realization that the likelihood of not only both of us knowing this poem but it being a favorite for each was slim. Maybe it was then that I knew Michelangelo was different and I wanted to keep him around for as long as possible.

Summer came and went and so did our romance. Michelangelo would disappear on me, sometimes for a few days, and sometimes I wouldn’t hear from him for a month. And then he’d call, and I’d go running back. I tried to convince everyone that I was cool with just being friends, that I didn’t want anything more from him after our summer romance didn’t lead to anything more. When I would see him, he would usually end up kissing me, but our relationship never progressed past that. And then one night, after having too much to drink, I called Michelangelo in a panic, deserted by my friends and having no where to stay for the night. After that, everything changed. I didn’t realize it at first, but Michelangelo stopped disappearing. We’d talk every day, and we were spending more and more of our time together. I was thrilled. Our summer love was reinvented.

One night, we were in his room, and I told him I was going to clean it. He and his friends would spend night after night writing music, playing video games, and drinking in his room. There would be empty beer bottles and clothes everywhere. He told me not to, that he would do it. He didn’t like me cleaning up his messes but I genuinely didn’t mind. It just seemed like the natural thing to do. There was a mess, I spent the majority of my time there, and I wanted to do something nice for him.

I started cleaning, and he kept protesting. I didn’t listen, of course, so in retaliation, he laid down in the middle of the floor on top of the whole mess and stretched out so I couldn’t pick up around him. He reached over and grabbed his book of works by T.S. Eliot and started reading. I gave up on cleaning and curled up alongside him. I always fit so perfectly in the crook of his arm and his arms would rest effortlessly around me. I looked up at him and asked him to read for me. He protested and I whined. He skimmed through the pages and started reading Prufrock to me. I had never heard the poem read outloud, but I can’t imagine how anyone else would have made that poem sound so perfect. I started reading along with him, and when we finished the stanza, he said “That’s my favorite stanza out of the whole thing.” “…me too.” Neither of us were surprised.

From that point, Prufrock has taken on a different meaning to us. Michelangelo was stuck at work late one night and I couldn’t stay out until the bar closed. When I left, I grabbed a notebook from my car and scrawled, “In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo.” I signed it with a heart and stuck it under his windshield.

If I could take a snapshot of moments in my life and frame them…the first one would be of Michelangelo and me laying together amongst piles of dirty laundry and scattered beer bottles: My head on his chest, him reading me The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

Confidence vs. Ability

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I’ve trained in the martial art of Tang Soo Do for the past 13 years. After trying sports, dance, swimming, you name it, my mom mentioned Tang Soo Do to me. Both my brothers were martial artists, and I had ALWAYS wanted to do Tae Kwon Do with the brother in the middle of the 3 of us. My mom took me for my first class and I fell in love. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve stumbled, faltered, and flat out fallen on my face (literally and figuratively) along the way, but I’ve kept going.My Sah Bum Nim (that’s the Korean term for master…like “Sensei” for karate) always told me that when life started to get hard, I could always come back to my roots. All through high school, I would do that. I’d stop training for a few months and life would start to get the best of me. I’d go back to class and order would slowly be restored.

My Kwan Jang Nim (he’s the grand master – our head honcho) always says “you’ve got to have a Tang Soo attitude.” He always pushes us on being strong, confident, and humble. That’s what makes a good warrior. And we always have our Tang Soo Do family to help us. Sah Bum Nim often says, “Blood is thicker than water…but so is sweat.” It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s true. It’s amazing the relationships I’ve built with these people. To have SBN, someone who has known me since I was 11 years old in my life as a mentor is such a valuable asset. He calls me his adopted daughter because he’s literally watched me grow up. He’s met boyfriends, helped me through breakups, and seen me through a lot of rough times. And he’s never hesitated to yell at me or give me unsolicited advice…much like most parents haha.

So when I was supposed to be testing for my 3rd Dan (3rd degree) black belt in October, I was frustrated. A college degree had set me back several years behind schedule, and a car accident had set me back further. Now I was in grad school, trying to balance a full caseload, classes, summer social life, and training at least 2 (sometimes 3 or 4) nights a week. My training was inconsistent and I was struggling to learn all my new material, as well as recall, and in some cases, relearn, my old material in preparation for the test. Three days before the test, I was learning some last minute defenses. I was feeling shaky about all of my forms (I really did not know them as well as I should have – I couldn’t do them alone, I needed someone along side me who knew them) and I just truly didn’t think I was prepared enough for the test. I had a complete meltdown in class. The messy kind of crying where you’re sobbing and your chest is heaving and you just can’t breathe. Sah Bum Nim stood right in front of me while I cried and demanded I look him in the eyes. I was so embarrassed and frustrated, the last thing I wanted to do was to look my instructor in the eyes and have him see me so defeated. But he wouldn’t quit. So I looked up at him, and all he said was, “You’re having a crisis of confidence, not a crisis of ability.” For the rest of the night, whenever my tears would start up again, that was all he would say to me. We ended the night with him telling me that if I wasn’t ready he would tell me. And then he repeated “Crisis of confidence, not crisis of ability,” once more time. I passed my test. I didn’t do great, and it was definitely my worst one yet, but I did it.

Tonight he sent me a text to try and entice me to get back to class. I haven’t been in probably a month, between illness, school, and my migraines. So I told him that I’m really struggling with my life right now and I just need to get myself back in order before I can throw one more thing back on my plate. We sent some texts back and forth, a mix of sarcasm & lecturing from him, defeat & defiance from me, and dry humor from both of us. The last text he sent me said, “Just remember who you are and what you’re made of…the will of a Tang Soo Black Belt can shatter stars!”

I can always count on him to believe in me when the last thing I can do is believe in myself.

I will get through this week, and I know that. I’m just having a crisis of confidence.

Sah Bum Nim & Me, right after my test for 3rd Dan

Sah Bum Nim & Me, right after my test for 3rd Dan

Today.

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Today was bad. There’s no way around that unfortunately. I definitely got the lowest grade I ever have on my exam and I have a headache that just won’t quit. I wish I knew why they were happened. I really don’t want to end up back in the ER.

I wish I had something more to post for today, but I’m really just forcing myself to do this for NaBloPoMo. If I really got into it, this post would be too negative and I’d get myself upset all over again. I cried enough today.

I’ll try really hard to have a better post for tomorrow.

Attitude (and Frustration)

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This will be a short post, because I have a massive exam tomorrow that I need to cram for.

I was driving home from an awesomely nostalgic day with some of my radio friends (more on that another time) earlier this evening and starting thinking about the week ahead of me.

I’ve been out of school for basically 2 full weeks, in and out of the ER with a migraine that just wouldn’t quit. In that time, I’ve missed all of my lectures (the migraine didn’t allow for me to deal with technology for extended periods of time, so Skype wasn’t an option), 4 hours of client sessions, 3 assignments, 3 progress reports, one exam for pediatric dysphagia, and one final for orofacial anomalies. Tomorrow there’s an exam for my preschool literacy class that I haven’t been to in two weeks. That class isn’t structured like most of the classes with that professor, so I have a hard time following along with the organization and flow of the lectures.

Anyway. I’m driving home and start reflecting on a conversation I had with my dad at 1am when I got home from work last night. We talked about school and the fact that my time at the university are drawing to a close, my desire to get out of the classroom and into the workplace, and my starting this blog and the whole Impostor’s Syndrome that led us here. The overall theme of the conversation was that attitude really is everything. If I start feeling sorry for myself, my insecurities and negativity are going to eat me alive. I pride myself on my ability to appear confident, even when I’m not. I need to start embracing that again, and feed off of it to make it a reality. I don’t want to appear confident, I want to be confident.

I was feeling really positive until I got home and saw that a test grade that had been entered online went from being a 92% to…significantly lower. I figured out that the professor at put the actual percentage as the total number of points, which made my grade much higher since the exam was out of less than 100 points. I guess the professor noticed that when she went back in and changed it, which is obviously the correct thing to do. But how devastating it is to think you got an A…and then it gets taken away from you. And it was the first exam for the class in which I’m taking the second exam tomorrow and am studying for tonight. So…confidence deflated, frustration initiated.

But attitude is everything. There is nothing I can do about that grade right now but everything I can do about the grade on the exam tomorrow. I can’t let poor results cloud the rest of my week. And it’s already 9pm, so I need to get this done with, get on with studying, and get to bed at a decent hour.

So my plan for this week (pending acceptance from all the professors involved) is to:

  • study my butt off tonight for this exam tomorrow and take it as it comes.
  • have killer sessions with my clients (my lesson plans before I was out with my migraine were awesome and I was really looking forward to my materials – I love teacherspayteachers.com)
  • make up some of my missed client time tomorrow & possibly Tuesday.
  • hand in my 3 assignments by Tuesday
  • write one progress report Tuesday
  • Make up my pediatric dysphagia exam Wednesday
  • Take my CPR practicum course Wednesday
  • Make up my orofacial anomalies final on Thursday
  • write one progress report Thursday/Friday

By the end of the week I’ll still have client time to make up, and that awful exam grade to deal with, but I really want to get back on track this week. I’m just scared of exhausting myself and bringing this migraine back on, so I need to make sure I pace myself, focus, and get enough sleep.

My friend (and biggest cheerleader/advocate for me right now) reminded me that I have 5 weeks to go in this semester. Then it’s on to externships. Wow.

Alright, guys. Positivity & focus. Let’s do this.