An Amelie Memory and What Does it Mean to Take the Hit As a Gift

Missing Paris, and I decided to pop in Amelie for a little reminder of a beautiful, brief respite of solitude and beauty in an otherwise emotionally tumultuous time in my life, and one of the last points in time I ever felt wholly optimistic. Soon after, a fated meeting with someone resulted in a sequence of events, after which, I have been holding onto a certain amount of cynicism.

I’m not happy about it, and not resigned to an indefinite state, but right now, it is what it is. There is a limited, stunted, amount of vulnerability and how much of myself I will open up to others. I miss the me who wasn’t so suspicious and guarded. I miss the me who was optimistic and hopeful when meeting someone new.

Paris Eiffel Tower Take the hit as a gift

A quote from the movie said by Monsieur Dufayel (Glass Man) “So, my little Amélie, you don’t have bones of glass. You can take life’s knocks. If you let this chance pass, eventually, your heart will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton. So, go get him, for Pete’s sake!

To me, this sweet little gem of a film illustrates vulnerability, taking risks, and putting one’s self out in the world, even if that means uncertainty and the unknown. Last week, somewhere I heard “take the hit as a gift.” I really cannot remember where, and it’s entirely possible this was a line from one of the movies I half consciously watched while trying to sleep on my flight from CDG to PHL…. Maybe I hallucinated it in my sleep deprived state during the 48 hours I subsisted on about five hours of sleep and the kind of jet lag that makes a person see triple.

Follow:

The Sweet Solitude of House Sitting

 

I love house sitting. It feels much less mooch-like. I can wake up, resume former underwear wearing uniform, and stream music as loud as I want. This morning’s pick is the rather dreamy, streamy, and somewhat steamy, beats of Lost Frequencies ~ Are You With Me. Love it! When house sitting, I have a purpose, here, instead of merely occupying breakfast nook space with stacks of papers, books, computers, a screeching printer, and Edie barking. At. Every. Thing. Incessant barking.

I’m, essentially, living with a second set of parents. Might as well be, for I’ve known them since I was 13. While that was sufficient for me for the anticipated month it would take me to finish my data collection, I’m feeling the stress of how much longer I’m living here than was originally expected. I cannot accurately – sufficiently – express the deep, deep, gratitude and love I feel for being allowed to spend my final weeks in Phoenix in such a positive and supportive space…. But — I am ready to goooooo………..

Doctoral Writing research draft house sitting

I managed to condense six banker’s boxes’ worth of documents, software, and random papers into two. Which is progress I’m rather satisfied with for the morning. This afternoon, after drafting entries for my data collection journal to submit to my dissertation chair for review, I am hosting a shredding party. Party of two. Edie and me.
Why did I make the symbolic sacrifice of no wine until my data collection is complete? Well, with more luck than I seem to be due, I hope to have the focus group completed August 6. While I do not want to make the hard – and $$$ expensive $$$ choice it will be to get the focus group done. If I manage to facilitate a successful focus group, I can at least pack up and head to Alabama. The last focus group attempt did not go so well.
Follow:

This morning is another one of those mornings. Up at 4. Not by choice. Laid in bed until about a quarter to 5, then decided to make an effort to capitalize on the early day. A few cups of coffee on the patio and several mosquito bites later, Edie and I are taking refuge in the air conditioning, listening to the din of the washing machine and dryer with laundry loads # 2 and 3 complementing Matt Simons streaming on the iPad. Grading is already complete for the week, I checked in with my class and all is seemingly well with my students; I will check on them again tonight, but for the day, my work is mostly done. Well, of course there is more dissertation editing. I know, right?! ALWAYS dissertation editing. It’s a grind, my friends! If I cannot interview, I can edit. I can transcribe I can work more on building the database to prepare for analysis. Seriously, only mega jerks get their PhDs! I swear it!
 manchester terrier mix, Oh edie
I have the house to myself for a couple of weeks and am celebrating my reunion with my solitude in rather appropriate fashion: underwear and a too-small tank top, the back of which is completely damp from my hair. Even though I aim to have no interpersonal interactions today and intend to not dress for anything other than the walk to the mailbox to send off a consent form for another participant for a skype interview, I  was overdue for a hair wash, so in the spirit of the early day, I even already managed to shower. If I were willing to face people, I almost might be adultable, today.
But I’m not.

I’m tired. Restless and agitated. Emotional. Tired. Too long spent, too much trying to do too many things at the same time. It’s possible multi-tasking will be the death of me.

Truth be told, I feel like I am walking through deep mud. I’m trudging, but with an exhaustive effort. Unable to make the progress and distance I aim for, and the exertion… well, without muck boots, it’s even more… muckier. I understand, now, why so many people leave their PhDs when they are so near the end. Before, I couldn’t understand how on Earth someone could make all the way through the pain of the course work, the heinous torture of comprehensive exams (that is time and energy in my life I will never get back and I am certain the stress I experienced during that two week period of time took years off the end of my expiration date), and walk away. Now, though, I can get it. Obstacle after obstacle after obstacle. Roadblock, puzzle, solve, solve, endure, patience, patience, perseverance, obstacle, regroup, redirect, over and over and over. It’s exhausting. I cried again, last night. From the emotional and mental fatigue. Perpetual disappointments. I’ll have a breakthrough and success, then another complication. A PhD is not for the weak or wearisome, I tell you, that much. I have been broken so many times throughout – and by – this damn degree… there’s a cargo ship’s volume of irony I see, right now, in reference to a PhD being a “terminal” degree.
Follow:

Some mornings require dance parties to get the day started. Monday mornings, especially. For me, “Monday” is only a concept, as I now have been unemployed for coming up on three months. I was not supposed to still be in Phoenix, by now, but few things in my PhD process have gone easily, including the latest quandary.

When you’re unemployed but still “working” – attempting order, focus, and optimism – but failing at most of those attempts because the data collection process is even more mind f-erry-ing than the darned proposal, forcing oneself to not give up on life and lay in bed crying a better part of the day has to be a conscious action. This morning’s conscious action is this little number, here, thanks to the ultra cute JT.

…if nothing else, if I ever get my final three participant interviews completed — THREE! That’s all I need THREE! If I ever get those completed, my dissertation will be the best personally edited publication, ever.

venn diagram phd proposal dissertation

Follow:

What’s So Wrong with Being Basic?
Yeah, I like things that are pretty and pleasant. So what’s wrong – and why is that “basic?” I don’t get this obsession with women tearing down other women just for the sake of “because.” I discover new music through sites such as Pandora and Spotify. I’m generally going to have to Google an acronym or meme, after which I’ll probably adopt it for a wee spell. I stalk Anthropologie’s tag sales and have my eBay search filters to isolate the Anthro brands I love… and I go into bid frenzy when the $298 dress is listed for $80. Sometimes, in moments of weakness, I purchase full price, then admonish myself for the splurge. I snap with filters; I even Snap filter my poor dog. #OhEdie. Yep, I made a hashtag for my dog. I “F”ing love this little monster – a rescue, and because that is, IMOO (in my opinion, only) THE BEST way to bring a little furbutt into a family. Particularly so in Maricopa County, which is so overridden with homeless, heartbroken, pets.

Oh Edie, Snapchat goddess filter, basic, pink

I go on Tinder and Coffee Meets Bagel dates, and swipe right far too happily on the former app after three glasses of wine. Colors as follows: red in the winter, rose in the spring, and alternating that pink and whites when it’s stupidly sweaty hot in the summer.  I dance and twirl in my living room listening to found-on-Spotify songs and while drinking that wine (pre, during, or post swipes) while Edie alternately watches in horror or goes to hide under the bed. My hair is ridiculously long; I like Essie’s nude/pink nail laquers; I live and die by my Urban Decay under eye concealer;  I dream about DryBar blowouts that make my hair so big, curly, and bouncy; and I rejoiced when my Yelp profile was upgraded to “elite.”

Fact is, I can go on and on about so many insignificant things about me that someone can choose to cut down for my lack of ambition to be cutting edge and bold. Oh… I didn’t even go to what would be considered impressive schools. But, these are my happiness and bank withdrawals, so where’s the harm and foul? I’m not smug, and I’m not intentionally tangential.

I say bring it on, and while I’m allowing myself the carbs, how about I have some white bread on the side, too? You got me, there, I ALWAYS let myself have carbs (cellulite is out of control)! On that note, I need to go back to grading some papers. Oh, my MacBook is probably an indictment, too, but I’ll put on record I’ve been an Apple gal since my folks bought me a IIC in 1985/6 so I think I have a pass to have my Apple obsession without a side of snark. :o)

Seriously, let’s all just lay down some of the snark – my Lord knows I am guilty, there, too. We have so much rage, sadness, fear, and chaotic confusion happening right now, adopting a PSL philosophy to life might not be a bad thing (but I do draw the line at actually ordering PSLs – I think it’s entirely a thing to do with it still being over a 100F when PSL season comes about and I cannot reconcile the two).

Follow: