28.) Survival. Rebirth.

Soooo, yeah. As you can see by the date of my last entry and the date of my current entry, I took a few months off from blogging. The reason was the same one it has always been for gaps in my grad school journals: lack of time. However, this time it was beyond any time crunch I ever could have expected.

Christmas break was quite enjoyable. I kicked it off with the NSA Christmas Party and the Creepy Moustache Party (an epic house party hosted by local friends, held the Saturday after finals) on the same night. Shortly after that were several babysitting gigs to make some extra cash, and then oodles of traveling. I love to travel. I love to visit new places, feel out new cities, explore the cuisine – and combined with my…hmm…”wily”…travel luck it’s always an escapade! I went home to PA to visit my fam for Christmas, drove out to NJ to see more fam while there, drove out to NY to visit even more fam (love the big Irish/Italian fam <3), flew out to Indianapolis to visit T’s fam, drove with T to Chicago for a wedding, spent several (awesome!!!) days in Chicago with some of the most amazing friends I know, flew to Austin (and got stuck without food/sleep in Memphis for the night along the way), had enough time in Austin to do laundry and repack and left 18 hours later for Seattle to visit one of my bff’s. Bff and I took a train to Vancouver and toured Seattle and Tacoma (AMAZING salmon, oysters, and sushi, along with gorgeous mountain scenery!), and then flew back to Austin just in time for grad school to gear back up.

This semester, in short, has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to go through. I was lucky enough to land an amazing and demanding internship working at a local hospital doing acute inpatient care (MWF, 10 hour shifts). I was also taking an Advanced Dx clinical rotation, which is an incredible amount of paperwork, session preparation, and data analysis. I was taking a night class on Mondays and a perceptual neuro class on Tues/Thurs. Oh, and analyzing my thesis data and writing my thesis? Looking for a job? Studying for interviews? Preparing to take the Praxis exam? Running the NSA Youth Group? In shorts, I was working 14-19 hours a day, 6-7 days a week for the first two months of the semester. I never thought I’d ever say this but after 4.5 years of grad school, this semester nearly broke me. I entertained the thought of quitting, and the weekend of my birthday actually very seriously considered it. With my hours-per-day-needed greatly exceeding the hours-per-day-allotted, I stopped working out completely, stopped cooking, stopped sleeping properly, stopped reading for pleasure, stopped blogging (obviously), for the most part I stopped seeing my friends. Unless it was during a study date.

However, things are starting to lighten. My Monday night class is complete and finished for the semester. My hospital rotation was reduced from 3 days a week to 2. My thesis is fully written and formatted, and nearing its final stage. As of today, I’m essentially done with the Advanced Dx rotation. I got a job offer. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s such a bizarre and surreal feeling.

I liken it to times when I was little at home in PA, and we would get these horrible thunderstorms. Like really bad, tear the trees out by their roots, house-shaking, tornado-warning laden thunderstorms. As a girl, I had this crazy phobia of tornadoes…maybe I watched Twister too many times, I don’t know – but I would feel physically ill as we camped out in the bathroom, crying and pale with hands trembling. After it would pass, the sun would come out, and I’d feel kind of numb. I’d feel anesthetized, zombie-esque, somewhat in disbelief of what we had just “survived.” That’s kind of how I feel now. It hasn’t really hit me because I’m still kind of in shock. I feel like I’m crawling out of a car wreck, beaten and exhausted. But alive. And with perhaps a brand-spankin’ new appreciation for life.

28.) The worst of the semester is behind me. And I somehow survived it. I’m alive!!!!!! With a brand new appreciation for things I missed: my family, my friends, being outside, cooking, working out, reading books for fun. I have a beautiful new sunny perspective that I will happily share more about next time. My stunned little self doesn’t really have much more to say about this. So I will just say it with a smile. *SMILE*

😀 !!!!!!!

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