June 19, 2012 Comments Off on [ Back to Normal – June 19th, 2012 ]
Hello lovelies! I know I promise I wouldn’t be gone from my usual postings this long, but life happens! Between getting down to my Mom’s in Florida and having over a weeks worth of stuff to do since we’re both out of school, Father’s Day, graduations, and my ridiculous bout with final papers I just needed a break from just about everything that required more effort then just sitting up.
Florida’s been pretty great so far. Its always nice, as a college student, ya know to eat for free for a month! I’m doing my fair share of stressing out though, since I take the GRE on the 3rd over in Orlando (thankfully it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg to move my test down here) so the next two weeks of my life will be spent crying over math I haven’t done in 4-7 years.
This summer will be pretty busy school wise too! In an effort to just graduate on time I decided taking four classes over the summer was worth it, plus this way I can keep busy instead of just being bored! I’ll actually only have one class left for my minor after this, which I’m taking in fall and I’ll be pretty much (beside sophomore seminar UGH) done with my core classes as well! It feels so weird to be this close to graduating, especially knowing I’m not just going to be done and moving on to adult life and jobs. I’ve got a good few more years of school infront of me and then probably a life time of teaching gigs at various universities if things go my way; so I guess I’m never really escaping it!
As much as I like living in Chicago, and dread even the thought of permanently living in Florida again, its nice to be back home with my parents for a few weeks – getting to see and talk to both of them without playing phone tag. Plus, the weather has been gorgeous this year! Its only been ridiculously hot one or two days, instead of just being… ya know 110 after humidity the whole time I’m here. Its a nice change up from the last few times I was here when it was just too hot to even sit outside for a bit. I’ve actually been trying to get into the habit of exercising while I’m here – me and my Mom have been going for a walk every morning and next week I’m going to start running in the AM so I can get my body back into a little bit of shape, plus its also important for my FibroMyalgia (per recommendation of all of my doctors) so I’m trying to make that bit of a lifestyle change again.
Right now I’m actually also considering cutting pork and beef back out of my life because I definitely weighed less before I brought pork back since now its got me in the habit of eating big breakfasts again; something that seems to just stick to my body with no remorse.
Back to the important stuff before I disappear off to go get my car fixed and have lunch with my Dad on the river (stoked! love eating on the river here). Fashion Friday posts will return as well so be looking out!
January 18, 2012 § 1 Comment
Sometimes you have to come to little realizations in life, mine was that I was not happy. I don’t mean I didn’t enjoy living or that I don’t love my friends and my puppy, nor that I’m depressed. But something was missing, ya know? Something wasn’t there, I wasn’t doing anything I was passionate about or that challenged me, everything was just… neutral. I needed to do something in my life that was going to challenge me, that was going to be something I could do for the rest of my life and love it and enjoy it and not be bored by the mundane aspects. That is what doing PR was for me, it wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t challenging me, it just felt like something I was good at and could succeed at but wouldn’t fulfill me. I needed something that was going to fufill me.
I was already going to graduate with 4 degrees… what else could I really want? I realize though, that after all this time I could not continue with my Public Relations degree so over my time in England I really had to think about what I was going to do, if I was going to switch anything it needed to be immediate upon my return to Chicago. It put me in a hard situation, I didn’t want to lose all the work I’d done in my Public Relations degree, I didn’t want to lose the classes and have them be worthless from my Journalism minor either and I certainly didn’t want to go back to majoring in Journalism…
When I was a little girl, maybe as young as 7 or 8 I wasn’t that girl who played with barbies (though there’s NOTHING wrong with that), I played sports and I preferred being outside and I had an intense obsession with dinosaurs, that was when my interest in history really routed from. Around 9 or 10 this transitioned into an intense interest in Egyptology. By the time I was 12 this has transitioned into my fascination with reading about World War II and Eastern European/Russian history, something that has stuck with me to this day. The thing is, I made a stupid decision when I started college, mostly influenced by the type of people I was hanging out with at the time. I wanted to live a glamourous life, I wanted to wear pretty clothes and go to fun parties and I wanted to be one of those girls who everyone envied. I was already starting school 2 years late and I didn’t want to graduate at 30 with my PhD just to be a teacher… I didn’t want that.
In reality I just wasn’t mature enough to realize that I would be happy doing that, that I wouldn’t have a problem teaching and that that ‘glamourous’ life was just the brain of a 19 year old wanting to be the exact oppposite of what she had been in high school. But I realized at some point that there was ust so much more to life then this, why would I limit myself to what I was doing because of some ‘optimal’ idea of what I thought my life should be. I just wanted money and glamour, I never thought about if that would actually make me happy, if I could do that for the rest of my life. I’m a much different person then I was at 19 when I got accepted at DePaul, I’m almost entirely different in my own eyes. I hardly recognize myself some days, and that’s not just because I went back to my natural hair colour and am no longer platinum blonde.
So I made a choice. I knew what I wanted to do, what would make me happy. I knew that bringing challenge back into my every day life would keep me on my toes and excited for the rest of my life, doing something I’d always been passionate about would be better for me. The only downside is, well, my Dad didn’t exactly take me telling him well. My Dad is unfortunately one of those people that when it comes to money, that’s sort of all that matters. He can ice the cake however he wants, but money is in many ways more important then happiness to him, because he thinks that money is what is going to bring happiness, when for me money has caused way more problems then happiness. I’d rather struggle a bit but not dread getting up and going to work every day then be living in fantastic means but hating what I do. Going to grad school and getting my MA, hopefully eventually my PhD in Anthropology is what I’m going to do. I don’t care if my parents support me or not, all I was ever promised was my undergraduate education and that’s all I would ask them for. I am on my own so I will do what is going to make -me- happy not them.
So I threw out my PR major, condenscend my classes in Communications into a generic Communications minor, kept the Media Arts degree (three classes from completion!) and am going for it, I’m going to graduate with my BA in Anthropology and get my butt into a damn good grad school and be happy with my life if it kills me (it might, GRE books are scary). But its going to make me happy, I haven’t been this excited about post-graduation from my undergraduate degree in a really long time, I was always aprehensive and skiddish about it, but now I feel an odd content feeling.
That feeling is called happiness, and its amazing.
January 11, 2012 Comments Off on [ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]
I guess this post has been quite a long time in the making. I haven’t made a full out personal update since June 10th and I haven’t updated at all since my last article in September for my old internship. There’s been a lot of reasons for this, most of it being the fact that while I find it cathartic in some way to vent on the internet and write things out, even if no one reads them, just to get things off of my chest, I’ve been unwilling to speak about the events of this summer and how things got so bad and really went down hill. Some pretty huge things have happened in not only my life but the lives of both of my parents that made the second half of the year (and continuing into the new one) fairly stressful and on some level, well on all levels, rather upsetting.
I’ll start with my Dad as its the shortest and simplest story. In May, actually while he was visiting me he got the call literally as he got off of his plane, he found out he’d gotten accepted to work overseas. Work overseas? What does that mean? That means my Dad got hired as a contractor to do supervisor work over in Afghanistan on military compounds. This was both amazing and horrible at the same time. This caused a lot of strain in our relationship both financially and other wise, but for him it was great. It finally got him up and working and making money again instead of feeding into a business that was quite a bit of money in debt after the economy crashed, that’s sort of the problem with being in construction. I’m so proud of him for going for it and taking the opportunity even though he’s doing a job at 60 that a lot of men at 40 wouldn’t even be willing to do. He’s hit another rough patch (after his second trip out from December to March he will no longer have work unless he finds something within the next month) and unfortunately we are no longer on speaking terms for now, but as everything usually does I’m sure once the stressors are down and he’s back in the clear things’ll get better between us.
This next paragraph is more difficult for me to write as it involves my Mom and a life treatening illness, and should explain why I’m a bit disinterested and meh about talking about me and my Dad’s issues, as they are pretty much non-issues in comparison.
In June I got a phone call from my Mom telling me she’d gotten some weird blood work back and been told she needed to see an Oncologist. I knew what this meant immediately but decided I just would push it to the back of my mind and not stress myself sick over it until we knew for sure. While I was visiting her in the beginning of August, what was suppose to only be a 2 week trip down, she sat me down one night and told me the truth: she had lymphoma. For those who don’t know, lymphoma is cancer. Not only did she have lymphoma in her bone marrow but her spleen was where the majority of it was an, well, by this point in time it was already rather enlarged in risk of rupture which would be, well, incredibly deadly.
This story is not all bad, August was also a good month for my Mother. In December of 2010 she compelted her General Education BA with a specilization in ESE education and from February until the end of May was a substitute teacher, unfortunately as is a rule in Florida she did not get the permanent hire for the position because a teacher who lost her job applied, however, in August she was offered a 2 month substituting position from a teacher that they knew would not be returning even when her maternity leave was over. In November, my Mother was called into the Principle’s office and officially hired as a teacher, less then two semesters of substituting and she’d reached her goal — this also meant that she now had insurance that would cover her cancer care, which was the most important and amazing news she got out of the experience.
Her doctor’s allowed her to wait until winter break to remove the cancerous spleen. On December 21st she went in to have the bloodflow cut off from the organ (procedure 1) on the 22nd the spleen was removed (procedure 2). Just to put into perspective to everyone how inflamed and enlarged the spleen was… your spleen is suppose to be about the size of an orange. After the spleen had decreased in size (they guess around a third) with the blood flow cut off (thusly feeding off of itself) it was still so large that the doctor said it reached from her rib cage to almost her pelvic bones, yes, that is a spleen that is about the size of the watermelon slice this woman is holding. She was in the hospital for a week and unfortunately had to go back in on the 28th to drain fluid that was collecting in her torso, however now she has had the drain remove and seems to recovering well. She’ll be allowed to return back to work but of course has to be very careful, something worrying since she works with ESE children (children with severe emotional and behaviourial issues). But we’re just glad the worst is over and hopefully she can put off chemo until next summer when it won’t jepordize the job she worked so hard to get.
Some of you may know but some of you may not but I’ve been struggling with my own health issues for about 2 and a half years now without having the slightest clue what was wrong with me. I was too dizzy to function some days. I was getting really achey and in March I fainted at the Glassjaw show after just 1 beer because I was standing on a balcony and had a vertigo fit (for lack of a better way of saying it).
Unfortunately my symptoms got much more severe about half way through May. I was sitting at my computer and I got up to go try and get Pickles out of the window (I do not condone yapping at midnight!) and about halfway there I lost all feeling in my legs after a brief moment where I felt like -every- nerve in them had gone off. I couldn’t get up off of the ground immediately and it took me about 3 minutes until I could get back to my chair. For the next two weeks I was in so much pain that I really didn’t leave my house and certainly could not make it to class. My regular doctor finally admited that since it wasn’t MS (which we had found out officially 2 weeks earlier) that with the new severe pain that she should have me tested for fibro myalgia. Why is this significant information? Because I’d been calling on and off for 2 weeks trying to get her to give me a recommendation for a rhumetologist so I could see if it was Fibro in the first place but she was insisting this was all being caused by a mixture of carpal tunnel (in my hands, which only hand minor numbness and weariness at this point, and certainly nothing comparative to the numbness and weariness in my legs even post collapsing). I was finally put on painkillers to control the pain and after a few days of being a bit loopy was able to return to school, unfortunately I had another pain episode that was, honestly quite a bit worse a month later that caused a devistating blow to my summer classes participation grade, because apparently two doctor’s notes, an e-mail from the school, proof I’m on painkillers, and not being able to walk is not a good enough excuse to miss a freshmen level course that I still got an 88% in based off my exams/papers (I however recieved a C+ because my attendence grade was dropped a full letter for missing 3 classes).
Unfortunately no matter how many places I looked for and called in the Chicago area, no one could see me prior to September 16th. For awhile it looked like I wasn’t going to get diagnosed until I returned from London, thankfully though after I returned to spend the remained of my summer with my Mother at the end of August a doctor in Daytona Beach was able to fit me in.
Diagnosis: Fibro Myalgia and a slight allergy to milk that I was previously unaware of but apparently that’s why it was making me a bit phlegmy.
I can’t not express enough how relieving it is to have a diagnosis, now I can go to my school and officially get academic consideration and assistance because of it and no longer just simply be at the mercy of whether a teacher wants to be understanding or think I’m a liar who is just hungover (yes, I’ve had that said to me over the course of this by a professor).
Well, I think that’s enough for today. In the next few days you’ll get a 100% good post, promise! I have loads of updates about what I’m doing in school now that I’m dying to share with everyone but I thought I at least owed the people who read my blog and follow my tumblr an explaining of why I mostly disappeared off of the face of the Earth.
May 20, 2011 Comments Off on [ i know, i know – 05.20.11 ]
I know, I know. I keep saying I’m going to update more and get back on track with taking care of my blog beyond promoting my College Fashionista articles, but I’ve had a lot going on in my life, some of it great some of it not so great. I have a more narrow idea of what might becausing all of my health issues, none of the options are really that great but at least I’m closer to being diagnosed with something so I can start properly dealing with it and taking care of myself in the right way for whatever it might be. Thankfully I was put on some pain medication which is helping a lot to make me function better! (it helps with the aches and the headaches, which means less dizziness which is a god send!).
The weirdest thing going on in my life right now is my Dad… he’s leaving on Saturday to go over seas to do some work in the Middle East. Its an incredibly weird thought for me, my Dad being half way around the world. Its going to be good for him though. He’s had a rough time the last few years being a Gereral Contractor in this economy and this is putting him back in a place of constant work and almost back up to the financial bracket he was in before (which means less stress about how to pay for my schooling and medical bills, which takes a lot of guilt and stress off of me as well). I’m so proud of him for taking the opportunity and putting himself out there and taking this risk. Its going to be weird though that I can’t just call and talk to him if I want to, and this certainly cuts down my reasons to ever go back to Florida. I dunno, I’m a bit rambly on the subject because I don’t quite have my head wrapped around it yet! He’ll be in Afghanistan and I’ll be in London! How odd.
Delayed, but as promised, my book project! I wish I could post the book up here for you all to see because I’m really excited about how it came out and I’ll be ordering a copy so I can have one to possibly try and take this idea farther… I really, really would like to! I wanted to do something fashion and style based and I got a great idea from surfing the internet while I was writing my article for College Fashionista. Why not do a style dictionary! No, no, not like the other ones that are out there, I went a little farther in my idea than the conventional idea you’d like comes from that.
I formatted the book to be a two page spread for each photo. On the left page is a definition and on the right page is a photo. I wanted to take it a little further than just street style type of photos so that I could have a wider range of things to do with the definitions. I wanted the definitions to make the person who might read the book think about the photo. For example; create. This photo is of a girl in my 3D foundations class from when we were doing our cardboard chair project. She made a chair out of cardboard that was built for holding crafting supplies while you sat on it to craft! I’m really proud of how it came out for my first attempt at a photo book, and it is definitely an idea (like I said above) that I’d love to explore and really make into a publishable book.
I wish the pink had shown better in photos in my hair! It looked so brilliant at first but it faded rather quickly (of no surprise to me, my stylist even admitted she took it off too soon and we’d just lifted my hair back to platinum so it wasn’t in the best shape to hold a fun colour anyways). But, I’m going to call her later so I can hopefully get it toned again today or tomorrow since I have some fun and exciting photos to take for College Fashionista on Monday… stay tuned for more details about that! Its a pretty big thing and I’m shocked and honoured that Amy asked me to be included! Hopefully my health and the weather cooporate on Monday!
Summer is coming up and I’m pretty stoked for it, except for the little fact that I still haven’t finished that last Intermediate photo project, but I’m determined to do so this weekend so I’m not stressing about it all summer! (We’re suppose to have 2 quarters to finish ‘Incomplete’ classes but I’ll be in England so… I don’t know how that’d work!) As long as I get the shooting done this weekend after I fix my hair and print all next weekend I should be fine (since I have until June 10th or so in reality). After that, wow, I can’t believe its almost finals! Its a little ridiculous, these last two quarters have been so stressful that I’m beyond glad for summer. I am taking two classes, and while one is a stupid 101 Communications class I’ve been putting off, I’m actually really excited about my Sophomore Seminar that I’ll be taking, its on Middle Eastern Communities around the world and its making me no longer dread and want to keep putting off taking a Sophomore Seminar because… honestly most of the other topics are rather drab sounding.
Well I think that’s about it for right now! I’ve got so much to do today so I should be off! I hope everyone is lovely and enjoying being on summer break or not stressing too hard over impending graduations and finals!
May 1, 2011 Comments Off on [ daddy’s girl – 5.01.11 ]
It was so great to have my Dad here for a few days. I really do miss him having close because I truly am a Daddy’s Girl at heart. We get along and mesh together at a level that I could never put into words how thankful I am for. Friday and Saturday nights we went out for pizza and beers at Piece in Wicker Park and it was just perfect. Extremely relaxed and just a really chill time, which we both need right now. It was the first time I’d drank in a fair bit and I was very glad that I was left feeling well and not ill like the last time I drank!
We went to the Field Museum and it was brilliant! I’d gone during fall 2009 with my Mom but its so different doing things with my Dad. We have a nice, calm, relationship that lacks the stress and pressure of me and my Mother’s. It really is entirely different. We had such a great time. We didn’t finish the entire museum but we just had the time floor left so it’ll only be like $10 for us to go back and finish next time he’s in town. The Horse exhibit was BRILLIANT! We both really loved it because I rode for a number of years and my Papa did it professionally before WWII. I almost buckled and bought this $18 real leather pouch but… held myself back because I know its best to save my money right now!
There aren’t words for me to say how thankful I am for my Dad. Over the weekend he’s bought me a lot of things I needed in the apartment (just little things, new towels and sheets and stuff) but because my laptop has crashed three times this year and just almost crashed again… he bought me a new desktop computer because I paid to fix my laptop last week. It really is so nice. I mean beyond the fact that I feel guilty he spent so much money buying me things I needed on this trip, having a desktop is much better for what I do (especially with all the issues I’ve been having on my laptop…). Having a computer with proper Adobe Design Suite and a good sized monitor and triple the harddrive space… it really does make sense now that I’m really getting into the digital portion of my degree, plus that’s where I want to end up profession wise.
I’m pretty excited that its starting to warm up! Even if its just getting to a mangeable temperature for dressing nicely and wearing all of my heels and flats! I so excited to be able to wear my maxi dress too! I bought in on sale back in March and I haven’t been able to wear it yet because of the weather, but it fits perfectly! If I could put mu frustration into words of finding one that wasn’t like 6 inches too long I would…
I’ll update Tuesday or Wednesday about my photobook project for class because I’m hoping to get some more people involved! I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!
April 27, 2011 § 1 Comment
This is far, far over due. I’m actually writing this on my phone because I doubt I’ll find the energy when I get home from class unfortunately. I ended up having a really awful reaction to my MRI and the contrast dye they inject into you. I’m talking I could barely walk out of the place, was nauseas, and couldn’t move from bed for 3 days. It really messed me up. I’ve only just gotten back to a normal sleeping pattern and am starting to actually feel a bit better. This has unfortunately taken 3 weeks. I’ll be honest, the first week I didn’t even bother I felt so awful and the second I put minimal effort into fixing things because I was just happy to find time to sleep. A lot of drama has also happened in the last few weeks and I’d rather move on from talking about my stupid whateverrthehelliswrongwithme illness.
I no longer work for SPACE, won’t be talking about that either as it is not in my nature to slander people whether they are unprofessional and bordering on rude or not. Things with CollgeFashionista are still going great though! I’m going to be continuing on for the summer internship and I’m hoping to continue on for fall, though I haven’t decided if I’ll be writing an abroad column for DePaul or a regular one for the University of Westminster, me and Amy both agreed it was better to wait and make that decision.
Oh and guess what that means? I got the loan! So now I am officially officially going. I had already been accepted by DePaul, as of yesterday I was accepted by the host program, and getting the loan makes it for sure. The last step school wise is getting accepted as a photography student, but even if they don’t accept me as that I can finish out some core liberal arts classes and it won’t make any difference really (thankfully I have a few left to fall back on just in case! I actually signed up for a history class anyway haha). I’m so excited, I just hope it doesn’t get messed up by it-that-shall-not-be-talked-about-for-the-rest-of-the-post.
I’m really excited to go and live in London, I wish I could intern while I’m over there, like proper intern, but at least I’ll still be writing for College Fashionista! So I can at least bump my resume up nicely with doing some over seas work for the site!
Lots of awesome stuff is happening in the next week and a half! My Dad flies in tomorrow and will be here until Sunday night and I’m so excited. I’m totally a Daddy’s girl and I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him when I was in Florida because of my car issues, plus, he’s been working so hard he needs a little vacation. I also have a really exciting project for Advanced Photo coming up, its a Photo Book and I’m going to make a post probably next Tuesday really talking about it indepth!
Hope everyone had a lovely holiday, religious or not!