Rising Tides and Breathing Again

AWOL mama finally checking in here. Wow, so it’s been way too long, and I’ve been in water waaaay over my head. I need to breathe so badly- and while there is light on the surface of the water, it’s sometimes deceptive when you’re peering up into the glittering sunlight how far you actually have to go. My lungs are burning and I need to breathe.

First, thank you for all the emails of concern over my absence. I really am okay- just utterly worn out. The main reason I’m able to write right now is I’m flat-in-bed sick. My body just finally stomped its foot and sat down, refused to do another thing and let the cold take over. It was the only way I was gonna give myself over to rest, and my body knew it. Hence, I have the mother of all colds. It also means I’m laying in bed and resting for the first time in about two years. Evidently that’s what it takes.

Of course school is kicking my ass. I’m not sure my GPA is going to survive this quarter. Maybe 19 units was a mistake? Yeah, probably, but it’s way past the drop-by date, so I have to take it and own it- B’s and all. Oh well- hopefully I can still graduate cum laude. Sigma was out a while, Magna was still on the table, but maybe not now. Did I mention that? I petitioned and submitted and was signed off for graduation for June. Just over six more months, and I’ll have this degree and be headed to grad school. I can do this.

Which brings to me part of where I’ve been- I went to Washington DC to check out George Washington University for grad school. I know… who knows what will happen, but I’m considering throwing my hat in the ring and seeing what happens. There are still several other schools I’m looking at, and it will boil down to who a) accepts me, and b) makes me the best offer. I’m assuming someone will want me.

I had never been to DC, and fell immediately and hopelessly in love. I was able to crash at a friend’s house and jump the metro into the city and just wander. It was positively lovely- I was able to spend an entire day with my wonderful friend Heather O, and I was able to meet and spend some time with my friend Aileen, who is a marvelous DC area photographer and longtime friend. I ducked out of other commitments and just spent my days doing as I pleased, aside from school appointments.

(Incidentally gentlemen, the National Holocaust Museum is not the place to hit on a lone chick. Just so you know. *shaking head*)

Heather O and I were able to go to the Washington DC LDS temple one night, and it was a marvelous experience to be in the temple with such a dear friend. I don’t have any family members who belong to my church, so going with friends is the closest thing I have, and it means a lot to me. I found out several other people I know in the area were there the same day- Mormon world really is small. The truth is, though, I told almost no one that I was in the area. I knew my time was tight, and I was already stretched too thin.

I spent a whole morning before I left wandering around Arlington National Memorial. With a little help, I found my grandpa McKay’s marker and spent some time there visiting him. It was far more emotional than I expected it to be, and was quite overcome. When they say Arlington is hallowed ground, they really mean it. I wish I had had more time.

So while I don’t know if I’ll get into GW, it sure looks appealing, and I’m kind of of the mind “why not try?” right now. I know I’m not staying where I’m at, simply because there is no grad program here I want to be in, and it dawned on me that I can go anywhere. I’ve never lived off the west coast, and the idea of just tossing everything up in the air is more than a little appealing. I have friends all over the place, so why not give it a try?

Things at home have been solid, actually. I haven’t talked about it much, but the kids’ dad has had all restrictions released on his visitation, and has 22 months sober now. We’d been working towards this for a while and he watched them here at my house while I was in DC for the weekend; despite my nerves, it went very well. Everyone was happy and in good spirits when I returned, and as a retooled family, we turned a new corner. I am cautiously optimistic.

There are many other tides and waves swirling through my life, but I’m going to have to sit tight on many of them before I bring them to the surface to share with you. Things get born in their own time, and if the last few years have taught me anything, it’s that patience is, indeed, a virtue. It’s one I have to work at, but I’m realizing its worth it.

So, that’s pretty much that. Thanks for all the love. It matters to me. It really does.

15 thoughts on “Rising Tides and Breathing Again

  1. It’s good to read a new post. That’s all for now – except:

    Go for your dream. If it doesn’t happen, fine – no worse than before; if it does happen, Michelle and I will throw you a party when you stop by our house on the way to DC.

  2. I’m sorry you’re sick, but happy that you’re blogging again.

    Pursue your dreams! The worst that can happen is getting a bunch of “no” responses to your grad school applications – the best is receiving “yes” answers with amazing financial aid packages.

    Despite living far away from extended family and not being able to visit often, one of the best things we ever did was to move far away from familiarity to follow our dreams. Not all of them came true the way we wanted, but many of them exceeded our wildest expectations.

    I say go for it!

  3. Yeah, I liked it a whole lot too. If I can get in GW, I’m all over it. It’s a longshot, but what they heck, why not try.

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. I’m feeling better today, and had parent teacher conferences… a post is to follow.

  4. Tracy,
    If I have learned anything in life, is it often turns out much different than you expected, planned, even hoped for.
    Take a deep breath, jump in with both feet, and enjoy the ride. It will take you so many different places, some you never dreamed of being. But they will be a dream!
    Love you! K

  5. If it’s really true that great things come to those who wait, you should be getting that phone call from GW any minute now. Good luck!!

  6. I am so glad to see you back. I am with the others and say, you go for it, girl! Apply and see what happens. I am surprised you think that it is a long shot – you are amazing and they would be lucky to have you in their program.

  7. Long-time lurker. I love your blog and your general awesomeness around the ‘nacle. Your post made me homesick for DC, but also very excited for you. I’m a GW doc student currently living in Detroit, working on my dissertation from here. Just wanted to wish you the best of luck with admissions and getting a great funding package! Fingers are crossed for you!

    • Not sure what program/school you’re applying to, but if you have any questions or want opinions about GSEHD (GW’s School of Ed) please feel free to email. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time in the Elliott School (policy side).

      • Breena, thank you! I’m going to email you… I’m applying to the SpEd program, which if I’m informed correctly, is part of the school of education. I was to be a PhD candidate in autism studies, ultimately.

  8. Surely you will have had plenty of practical advice tossed your way about grad school, but as a fellow single mama student, I just have to add my two cents. Rather than focusing too much on location or overall programs, pay careful attention to how you connect with particular faculty members who would be advising you. Having a committee, or at least an advisor, who understands juggling parenthood with work can make a huge difference in how much help and support they can be. Beyond parenting, do your personalities mesh well? Does speaking with him/her make you feel excited, or intimidated? Does he/she take the time to talk with you about the program, or are you treated like an interruption? (Those patterns will likely continue!) Are there other “non-traditional” students in the grad program, or will you be the only parent? (I don’t think I could have made it through the last six years without fellow mama friends!)

    Best wishes!

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