Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm a new soul in this very strange world.

There are times when I really have to sit back and ask myself, what better moment to update the neglected blog than 3:21 a.m. when suffering from a bout of insomina, eh?

Here I am in Atlanta, nearly two months to the date since my cross-country, Eastward move, and boy, has life changed.

Which, of course, is to be expected.

I had been wanting to move back to Atlanta for so long, little else seemed as important goal wise (besides maybe thesis completion), and without realizing it, in my mind I think the move home took on this pedestal-ed, unparalleled solution to any kinds of problems or unhappiness I may have been experiencing in Washington.

Bad weather? The south has sun and heat! Need a hug? Atlanta has family and old friends! Miss city life? They don't call it Hot-lanta for nothin'!

I've been through enough major transitions to know that whatever you expect in your imagination when beginning a new path, you are probably about as close to what the reality will be as the 3000 miles between Washington and Georgia.

That being said, I am not ashamed to admit that I thought I had it all planned out and that this time, just maybe, I'd have a jump on life and have this incredibly smooth transition into a new place (that was kind of an old place for me). I mean, I had a job, I have family, I have friends, I have a new man, I have my thesis to motivate me and exciting career options...

Did you notice a few of those tenses? Yeah, let me explain that.

So, the disruption to the "plan" began with finding out, two days after arriving in Atlanta, that my long time job working from home, which so conveniently and fortunately had allowed me to move to Washington and attend grad school in the first place, due to several very valid and fair reason, had decided to end my contract.

Well damn. That sort of, kind of makes things different.

Begin job hunt now - not later, when I've actually completed and defended my thesis and received the piece of paper that will somehow unlock the key to my professional and financial success (or so I fantasize) - but now, right now, can't wait.

'Dem bills gots to be paid, yo.

This proved a very positive, albeit painful, wake up call. I managed to finally put together a decent resume and cover letter with the help of my amazing friends and family, something I had been shrugging off for too long. I also learned a little about going into a potential job with a much more critical eye as well as with a sense of what I was worth, after not doing either of those things and accepting a job (which lasted about one week) that turned out to be complete and utter bull crap. Most importantly, I realized that, even after two more years of debt building education, I still basically have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

Ah, life lessons, how fun you make the daily grind.

Added to the new job situation *cough* unemployment *cough*, is a brand spanking new respect for my body and health. The impromptu hospital visit before my trip was not the last I have seen of some issues with my digestive system and stomach. The solution, so far, has seemed to be an extremely strict diet of foods that do not irritate my probable correct high school diagnosis of IBS and intolerance for certain foods, particularly no gluten, no dairy, no coffee (this one sent me into a week long depression that anyone who knows me and my coffee consumption can probably sympathize with), and no egg yolks (thank god I didn't have to give up eggs completely - let's get real, if salmonella couldn't rid me of my love for non-fertilized baby chicken, than constant abdominal pain sure as hell won't). This, plus slowly getting back into a routine of PT for my knees, core workouts, cardio and rock climbing mean that, slowly but surely, I may just be getting into the best shape of my life.


The largest looming goal/expectation/deadline is of course the thesis, which my love so accurately describes as a noisy monkey jumping around in your peripheral vision whenever you try to do anything that is not your thesis (or something like that). Somewhere in the last two months I did manage to get a lot of work done on my thesis, quelling the monkey somewhat. Not enough, however, to finish it in time to graduate this Spring. Instead, the monkey will remain my companion for a few more months, I will continue writing and working and defend in the summer, thus receiving that sought after piece of paper in August 2013.

This change to the plans probably should have stressed me out more than it did. Actually, most of these happenings - along with all the monotonous, day to day craziness no one is interested in reading about - probably should have. I'm pretty proud of how well I handled everything in the beginning weeks of my new life in Atlanta. I thought often about sitting down to write how, despite it all, I was a rock star and taking it all on with a smile - but I never made the time. Then somewhere along the line I had a bad day, then I had two, then it started to be days where there was certainly good (because there are no days where something good doesn't happen) but I spent more time thinking about the bad and having trouble noticing those good things at all.

Yeah, apparently non-stop grey skies in Washington aren't the only cause of that downward spiral thought process.

I am a lucky, fortunate, blessed, whatever-you-want-to-call-it soul, so this attitude just doesn't sit well with me. It reminds me of emotional places I've been in the past that I don't really care to return to. Look above, look at my last post, look at my life. I know all the things I should be happy and grateful for. So, I've been doing some hard thinking about how to get back to that positive, let it all roll off your shoulders place...

Mostly, writing this already makes me feel better. So I should probably write more. I should write to myself. I should write about my trips and adventures here. I should write to my friends.

Should, should, should. Now that's my problem! I need to do! (Reminds me of my Sifu telling me, "Stop trying, just do it!")

So, I am. And I will.

I am set more or less for the next two months financially, so I can take my time to really make some smart decisions about work. I will finish my thesis ASAP so I can kick that nagging feeling of incompleteness out the door and know I've accomplished something. I am climbing, and well climb more, and somehow will find someone who can belay me and go outside in this glorious sun and heat the South provides. I will finally start actually calling my faraway friends - loneliness may be natural in a new(ish) city, but I've got no excuse for it when there are so many wonderful people to catch up with all over the world.

Everyone has trials, so much more difficult than mine, but I think its how you handle them that makes the difference. Somehow, though I am far from perfect, I feel like I am learning more about handling my trials and respecting myself for them than I ever have before. In a way, its as if I am falling, which I have before, but this time, I know (or am learning) how to catch myself instead of relying on someone or something else that is bad for me.

The truth is, both in general and here in Atlanta, life is really great. Though sometimes I am struggling to see it, when I stop to really think about it, even the craziness seems like one, big grand adventure I am happy to be experiencing.

Now I just need to write about it more.

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