July 8, 2012

Get Rhythm When You Get the Blues

A sunset during my time away

"Now begins to rise in me the familiar rhythm; words that have lain dormant 
now lift, now toss their crests, and fall and rise, and falls again." — Virginia Woolf 
If this were third grade, I'd be writing you a short story on blue lined and dotted paper about what I did on my summer vacation. But this record heatwave of summer isn't over, and I didn't exactly go on a vacation. I was fortunate enough to host a group of some of my most favorite bloggers, and you've been able to read their posts these past few weeks. Meanwhile, I just stopped. I didn't do anything mind blowing to clear my head, nor am I sure it's completely clear just yet. There was no solo retreat to a cabin in the woods, no massive, cathartic shopping spree, and no major self-realizations (although some minor ones).

But I wrote a couple poems. It had been a few years since the last time I wrote one. It felt so good.

I tried a new kind of cofffee. I don't even remember the name, but it was smooth and decadent.

Sky and I went over a major life choice, agreed on it, rehashed it, went back to the indecision we started from, and finally made a lot of almost-decisions- and I'm okay with that.

Millie learned new words and phrases every day. I love hearing her say, "It's funny!", "Ready? Okay! Here we go! Hold on tight!", and asking Daddy "Piggybank ride?" She announces we're on our way home now at the same bend in the road, right on cue. I heard her sing most of the words to "Jesus Loves Me", and it  warmed my heart more than I can say. I'm not the type of mom to write a potty training post, but we're in the midst of it/maybe towards the end of it, and she's just about got it at not even 2 years old, which makes for one happy mama.

I learned things about myself, like finally realizing I seem to get depressed on every holiday (and my birthday) like clockwork and I'm not really sure why. That it's okay if I don't agree with someone's political/religious/etc. posts on Facebook, but when they consistently attack my values/morals, it's probably best to click 'unfriend'- and that protecting my heart is better than a bad relationship anyway. (Also- definitely time to keep Facebook surfing to a minimum.) And I learned just how human I am , and how much my actions can affect others both in negative and positive ways (that post to come).

A tooth that's been hurting began to hurt even more. I'm going in for a root canal tomorrow. (Feel free to pray!) Most people dread them- I'm not only thankful that the pain will go away (I hope!), but grateful that this particular dentist has ways to make the cost a bit lower, and that my mom is helping with the payments. At over $1,000, usually the only option for someone like me is getting teeth pulled, and I'm so glad I don't have to do that.

As you probably all knew, I was ready to sign up for summer college classes, then told I missed the deadline by a half hour. I was crushed. After all the energy and angst I've thrown into it over the course of my life (it's been 10 years since I took my first college class), I decided to officially give up on school. I called my mom in hot, angry tears, and she decided to talk to someone (yes, on behalf her 27 year old daughter), and though summer classes still weren't an option, fall classes are. I'm signed up for 13 hours this coming semester, thanks to the Pell Grant and my mama's perseverance when my own failed. It's the first time I've ever gone full time to school in my life. I'm both embarrassed by that and incredibly proud that I'm finally going. I've already told everyone that if all I end up getting is an associate degree, I still plan on renting that cap and gown and walking proudly across that tiny college's stage, because it will be monumental to me. And in case you're dying of curiosity, my classes are English 102 (easy), Biology (hard), Intro to Cultural Anthropology (not sure what to expect- I keep picturing anthropology class from Community) and Intro to Advertising (Mad Men). It's an associate of liberal arts I'm aiming for; journalism has always been goal numero uno, but psychology and advertising are right after it, interest-wise- psychology because it's fascinating to me, and advertising because it's the perfect mix of journalism and psychology, really.

As for military news, Sky still practices for his upcoming PT test that will determine whether he stays in the Reserves or not (as well as the chance to pay off the Army debt). We also signed up for another Strong Bonds weekend (since the one last year was less than stellar), which means he'll also need to pass the PT test if we're going to be able to go. The conference is held in Seattle, and that's a big deal for us- we've never been on a plane or went on any sort of honeymoon, let alone out of state together (unless you count St. Louis a couple hours away), so it's not only a chance to reconnect and make up for last year, but a quite possibly once-in-a-lifetime vacation. My mom lives in Oregon, and plans to drive up to see us when we have free time. I haven't seen her for a year and a half, and Sky's only met her once, so that opportunity is wonderful, too.

It's hard being married to someone who gets depressed. I would imagine so anyway- Sky could tell you firsthand. During a particularly rough night, I told him, "I feel this way now. I know I'll get over it, but I also know I will feel it again. You need to understand that I don't enjoy it any more than you do. I hate it and I don't choose it."

And somehow, he did understand a little, I think. I'll never in my life forget the night he curled up next to me in bed, the ceiling fan circling above us, trying to calm my tears. He assured me that Millie loves me with or without a college degree, that I can write, and that he didn't marry me for a profession I might have but for me. I needed to hear it, and know I'll probably need to hear it again. Am I happier and back to feeling fine? I don't know, which probably means I'm not. Time always gets me there eventually, though.

This is the disjointed catch up post to what's been happening in my absence. Now, it's back to real blogging, which is a love near and dear to my heart. Johnny Cash advised to "get rhythm when you get the blues." And maybe I'll never find my rhythm with depression and all its ins and outs, ups and downs, and spirals. Maybe I won't find it with school, and it'll take me another ten years before I graduate. Maybe a lot of things will be off beat.

But all I can hope is to find a little music in the back and forths of life, the sways towards happiness or sadness, and people who dance along with me. That would be enough.

21 kind comments from you:

Birdie said...

I'm finally going back after almost 2 yrs off this Fall and I'm so excited :) I'm so glad you're finally registered and you will do great! Cultural Anthro.
is easy & interesting!

Our Little Fam said...

You will do great in school, proud of you!

Dani said...

congrats on getting classes figured out- and best of luck on them once they start! Welcome back to bloggy land, and fingers crossed for the PT test and retreat.

Chantal said...

Welcome back! I did Cultural Anthropology too and it was interesting!

Deanna said...

I'm so glad to hear your catch up. I'm so glad that you have a husband who knows the right thing to say to encourage and comfort you even when things go badly. My fingers are crossed for you with the whole school thing. I have ultimate faith in you. I think you are a talented, amazing writer that can accomplish whatever you want. I can't wait to hear all about your success along the way, and even if you decide that particular path is not for you- I too will continue to love you just for being you. Because no amount of education will make you a better person. It'll just be letters to put after the name of an already awesome lady.

Dilan Dilir said...

beautiful sunset :) and congrats :D

Anonymous said...

It's really tough to understand things like depression, panic attacks, etc. for those who've never experienced anything like that. I sometimes wonder why my husband doesn't see how serious my panic attacks are sometimes, but he just can't. It's good to have others who understand.
Sounds like you have had a peaceful time, though, and accomplished a lot mentally. That's great! Good luck as you keep pressing forward!

Sarah said...

This is beautiful. The whole thing. But I just want to say, we never stop needing a mama in our lives to come out and stick up for us. :) I love that part of your story. :)

Michelle said...

You have NO idea how happy I am to read your words again :) And I'm so excited for you and school!! There is no shame in having your mom pull some strings. I've had to do it too, and sometimes you just have to do what it takes.

On a sidenote, I can totally see you in advertising! You would rock that career. Journalism too, of course :)

Anonymous said...

Cultural Anthropology should be interesting. I've loved my anthro classes.

I hope he passes his PT test, I know how much you both want this.

Sidenote - if you wind up in Seattle, you MUST meet me for coffee. I'll totally drive an hour to meet you :P

Erinn said...

I'm super glad you're back to blogging. I love being twitter homies but there's something special about your writing for me.
A couple of things...Woo Hoo Cultural Anthropology! That's my major! I can totally help you with things if you ever need it :) Intro to cultural anth is hopefully a great class for you!
And I hope everything works out for Sky to stay in the reserves. It would make things so much less stressful for you guys. And you would get to come to Seattle!
Keep on truckin, you're awesome.

Cat said...

After all these cultural anthro comments, I just wanted to say woohoo Advertising! That was my major, and I hope you love it :) I'm glad you're back.

Fran said...

Girl, don't even give up. If you need to talk I'm a phone call away! Sometimes I feel like the college lawyer, no don't give up, it IS worth it! haha but seriously... don't give up. It IS worth it. ;)

Can't tell you much about Anthro - never taken one of those classes but I've heard good things. Biology just requires doing the readings and don't be afraid to ask questions. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not going to office hours - they HAVE to hold office hours, don't waste them ;)

The New Normal said...

I'm so glad to see you back. I know it's been rough, but then again, I'm sure I don't really know. Will continue to keep you (and Sky and Millie!) in my prayers.
I'm so glad to hear that you are taking classes in the Fall. It doesn't matter how long it takes you to get some sort of degree, just don't even give up. You'll get there, just keep pushing :) And you'll do great!!

____j said...

I, for one, am glad you're back! I'm glad that your mother fought for you to get your spot. I know how frustrating it can be when colleges always seem to be so disorganized. I'm so, so happy that you will be able to do something that you've been wanting to do for so long!

Jen said...

Congrats!! You will do great!

Mel said...

I'm proud of you. That is all.

Taylor said...

So glad that you are back-I've missed your posts. Thank you for your honesty.

Anonymous said...

My darling Chiky - you are always okay, and you are always enough, just as you are. The things you "do" and "achieve" are extras. And you know I believe we can do and achieve whatever we want - it just doesn't always seem that way. But we carry on and keep going, knowing that it is okay (if not vital!) to stop every now and again, rest and breathe, and recalibrate. :)
Love you lots

QuilledtoQuell said...

Your posts are so encouraging. I don't feel so bad that I'm not the only one who gets depressed on my boyfriend. And you will love Journalism if you love writing (which I think you do :P) I got my degree in journalism. I'm a page designer/copy editor at the moment for a paper in Texas. Feel free to shoot questions my way about the journalism world.

ginanorma said...

Probably one of my favorite posts of all time--not that that is what it's about--i'm just basically saying, this was amazingly written from an amazing woman, with an amazing seeking, faithful heart. You go girl.

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