Thursday, May 19, 2011

So Unmotivated

I'm in that phase when I've worked really hard for a long time and accomplished one major component of my work. What happens in this phase is that I get really sleep 10 hours a day lazy. Like spend hours on my computer and only have the discovery of a funny YouTube animator to show for it lazy. Like knowing all the plot lines of "All My Children" lazy.

To some, this break seems well deserved. You spend days staying up very late and not eating well and of course you are going to crash when it's all over. However, to others...namely me...what I am doing is postponing other work. Because of course there is other work. Work that is major and a component as well. Postponing this work means I end up creating the same conditions that caused me to exhaust myself in the first place. A vicious cycle I tell you. VICIOUS!

This week I have a bit of an out. I just spent 48 hours with an EEG attached to my head. Goodness gracious, that took a lot out of me. But the electrodes are gone, my hair is clean. And now it's time to buckle down. I gotta get out of Harvard...I feel like my life has stopped and won't move forward until I graduate. That's for another post.

Here's to a kick in the pants!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

About to talk about HeLa

This month's book club book is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Tonight is our meeting. I loved this book so much, I can't stand it. It has changed my view of so many's hard to explain. I've been anxious to talk about this book for weeks. Finally, finally, it's going to be discussed.

But now I'm getting scared. On the Meetup page, people are jokingly talking about bringing sangria because it's blood-like. Bringing cheese because it's "live cultures." I am so afraid that people are going to avoid the real issues of this book: racism, medical ethics, ignorance born of poverty, business manipulation. I'm also afraid because I'm the only black person in the group...which is nothing new.

I really hope people will be respectful. That they will not say stupid things. That they won't avoid the uncomfortable feelings by crude jokes.

I may sit near the door, just in case.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Not All About Him

I've realized that I've been writing a lot about my man and his woes. As with any personal writing, the writer's truth is the most subjective thing ever. I haven't really been using this blog to help me process my own stuff or share other, more positive news. I don't really know why. Perhaps I come here when I feel impotent to handle an issue on my own. When I don't know what action to take.

I guess I could mention that I'm joining Weight Watchers. I need to lose 10 pounds and it was a very useful tool a couple of summers ago.

I have so much grading to's insane. It's the end of the semester, so everything is due. I'm so sick of dealing with people's crap through their papers.

My family is going through some serious stuff right now...yet another situation I can do nothing about.

I just saw on the news the nuclear disaster in Japan has been rated as dangerous as the Chernobyl disaster. I have no words about how horrible that is.

Ella is good. She is a constant good. I can never forget that.

I am so incredibly in love to one of the best men I have ever known. He is a good his soul he is good. Despite what is happening right now, I am so lucky to have him in my life.

I have realized that I can't grade tonight. They are due tomorrow morning, but I can't do it. The students will live.

Oh! There is a crazy bag lady that lives in my building and camps out in mailbox alcove, which happens to be right across the hall from my front door. She actually deserves her own post, so I'll write about her soon.

I Don't Know How to Help Him

I have so many papers to grade, but I'm so tired I can't even think about helping students write better...which is ironic because I'm very upset I can't help someone I care about more than anything.

My guy is going through some serious problems at work. This doesn't bode well...first financial woes, now this. Part of me is thinking...what have I gotten myself into? But most of me wants to make it better I just don't know how. As far as I can figure, there are several factors at play.
  1. I know nothing about his field. I have no connections to anyone who might be able to offer him another position.
  2. He is a fiercely proud man. I think he'd be open to an opportunity I presented, but he'd be sensitive about me talking about his woes to someone else. Thank goodness he has no access to this blog.
  3. His relationship to work is so very different than mine. He really enjoys what he does, but he is not passionate about it. He works to live, not lives to work. I'm used to dealing with people who have that type of relationship to their jobs. I'm surrounded by people who are getting doctorate degrees to further their careers, for goodness' sake!
  4. He's been having a lot of trouble at his current job...a dictatorial boss, reduced responsibilities. I asked if there could possibly be any justification for his treatment; he always explains it away. He's not a man to shirk his responsibility for his mistakes, but honestly, I have the hardest time believing that he has not done anything to bring this about. I have worked in extremely toxic places, but I can't wrap my brain around this. I wish he would be completely honest with me, but I'm not sure he's being completely honest with himself.
It breaks my heart to hear such defeat in his voice. He told me that he almost up and quit today...I know the only reason he didn't was because of me. That he wanted to be responsible. Which I appreciate so much. But I don't want him to be unhappy because of me.

I just don't know what to do. Especially if what I should do is let him do it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I think I mentioned in a previous post how my boyfriend and I both have money issues...that is, we are bad with it.

So right now, my boyfriend is going through some times and has to borrow money from me. Him: a working professional with benefits and a 401(k). Me: a grad student whose W-2 said she made $23,000 in 2010.

I'm not upset that I am loaning him money. Because I love him and I want to do whatever I can to support him. But I am upset about something.

One part of me is pissed off. For several reasons:
  1. He doesn't seem to want to change his ways. He's always figured out a way out of no way, so why not enjoy life? At least this is what I perceive. The truth is he feels horrible about asking me for help.
  2. He wasn't honest with me about how far in the hole he was...and how bad the consequences were. I know all of that is about shame, to which I can relate.
  3. His financial life now greatly influences mine. We have plans, but they can't happen if he doesn't change his relationship with finances.
  4. I don't know if he understands of #3.
Then there is the other part of me that says...Who the hell are you to be pissed? Have you not done the exact same thing, perhaps more than once? Stole from Peter to pay Paul? Buried your head in the sand when the bills come? Avoided collection calls?

I want to believe what makes me different from my boyfriend is I am not content with living this way. Living paycheck to paycheck is tired. And honestly, I am too old for that shyt. So, as hard as it is, I am trying to keep track of my expenses. Trying to not eat out just because I'm too tired to cook. Not use Zipcar when a bus will go to the same place.

The thing is, I know he wants to live differently. He is actually not content with living the way he is. We want to change, we don't know how. We are definitely on the same page with that.

So, I am really torn between being mad and feeling guilty...and it upsets me that I'm torn...which then makes me feel guiltier.

But most of all, this whole situation makes me doubt...everything. This is the man I want to spend my life with, but not at the expense of my financial well-being. I may not have made a lot of progress, but I haven't gotten a collection call in years. I've not had any of my services turned off for lack of payment. I refuse to go back to that anxiety in my life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Through my mental health challenges and my love/hate relationship with Harvard, I have learned to build a strong support system. I've got a therapist, a psychopharmacologist, and an academic therapist. I've got a writing group and a committee of professors to move my work forward.

Though my life has been amazingly wonderful and wonderfully amazing in the past few weeks, I've learned the hard way I cannot put all my happy eggs in one basket. I have to take care of all parts of me to feel self-assured and independent.

The truth is, I didn't accomplish all I wanted to during this break in terms of my academic work. I am so close to completing a major milestone in my program, but I keep getting blocked. It's my usual mind-f*cking cocktail of procrastination, an unrealistic need for perfection, and the "significance" of this milestone I self-impose. Add to this feelings of failure and inadequacy because I'm not doing all I want to do and I get paralyzed in front of my computer.

So I met with my academic counselor yesterday. She reminded me of how I work best, the strategies I've used in the past to successfully manage my time, and how to reframe my thinking so I'm not so hard on myself. She also introduced to me a way to think about my goal setting that is not so hung up on a due date, and more attached to a daily time commitment. It's not that crazy a concept, but it's new to me, so I'm excited to try it.

One of the things we discussed is how I see myself in relation to other people at Harvard. At Harvard, I think if myself as an average student, at best. I am very smart, but I'm not producing work that knock professors out of their seats. However, when I talk to other people about what I've accomplished, I realize I have done some great sh*t. It's not that I've done better stuff than the non-Harvard people in my's just not average, you know? It's far from average as a matter of fact.

You know what else I realized while talking to my counselor? At Harvard, average equals mediocre in my mind. Even in my program where we profess to be all about support and never about competition, the hidden curriculum says otherwise. With every success a colleague celebrates, we all feel a little worse because we're not there yet. So to just be just be moving along, is actually to be less than average.

It was a powerful realization because it helped me understand why I'm so adverse to being average. Average in a doctoral program at Harvard is no joke. I should be proud...especially since this program hardly ever gives out "C"s, so average is an "A-." And if I can make all other parts of my life extraordinary while being here, then I'm doing a damn good job.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lessons from Our First Fight?

My guy and I had our first unpleasant conversation this evening. Boy, did I learn a ton. I also need to come up with a good pseudonym for him.

Lesson #1: I know what he sounds like when he's mad. I should clarify...he wasn't mad at me. He had a horrible day at work and needed to vent about corporate culture and his boss. He is a passionate man, so he really vented.

Lesson #2: I have more testosterone than I thought. I fancy myself quite empathic and touchy-feely. I'm a listener, for goodness' sake! That's like the highest compliment for a woman, is it not? Kidding! However, some of my first responses were questions like: "What's the next step?" "What can I do to help you?" Basically, I turned into a dude and tried to fix it.

Lesson #3: He has more. It was kind of amazing how respectfully yet firmly he told me what he needed. It definitely wasn't me telling him what to do...not at that moment.

Lesson #4: I am not used to healthy disagreement. I've heard stories of what it's supposed to look like. I've studied it in the context of organizational behavior. But it is clear I will have to practice listening without taking it all personally. I will have to practice arguing the issues and not the person.

I think the most important lesson is how invested I am in him. I want him to be happy, really happy. I also want him to be employed, really employed. When he spoke of his urge to just walk out of the building and never look back, I was torn between empathy and fear. I felt bad for him, but also felt quitting was not an option.

The last lesson is ultimately about me projecting my own fears and lack of trust, along with my distorted views of money and work and self-esteem. He and I have plans as a couple, but they are in their infancy...we are in our infancy. It is unhealthy and unwise to hold onto them so tight. I know I am important to him...I know our goals are important to him. I have to trust he won't jeopardize them, just like I won't.

As I write this, I'm also thinking investment is not all bad. He even acknowledged that I had a right to get pissed if he up and quit his job. I have to figure out for myself what makes sense at this point in our relationship.

I have more to write, but I have to go to bed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Love as Money Saver

Since this post, my conflicting feelings have subsided and it is with a clarity I have never known that I know this is the man for my life. We tell each things we have never told another person; we are planning for a future neither of us had imagined. I don't just feel love from him...I feel support, passion, interest, awe, respect. I adore getting to know him...even the parts that annoy me. It is like reading the most fantastic book ever...where you are hungry for more but you don't want it to end.

But that is not the point of this post.

I already sense a shift in my thinking, especially financially. We've spoken of our lack of money management skills. He's told me he's quite content having me control the finances. Though I first balked at the idea, I'm growing more excited by it. Money management has a different level of responsibility now; I'm kinda digging it. We want to travel. We will probably have to finance our own wedding since we're both of a certain age. We don't want our children to feel the stress that comes from struggling. I don't mind taking more control. It perfectly aligns with my personal goal for 2011.

So, I've become quite a creative tightwad. We go out for drinks, but we cook at home more. We find cheap ways to go skiing/snowboarding. We are establishing vacation funds. Saving money has never been so much fun.

It could be argued I should have had these clear goals before...and I did. But they weren't as exciting as they are now. I am creating an emergency fund so we can afford time off if I have to move for a job. I am saving for a Caribbean vacation to an island neither of us has ever been.

One would think getting in a relationship means that you spend more money. Perhaps the difference is our age...we're both in our mid- to late-30s, so our priorities have shifted. And we already know that our lives are intertwined; my decisions affect him and vice versa.

What a wonderful feeling.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome Back?

I had a wonderful conversation with my friend last weekend. Not only did we catch up on each other's...I wonder where one puts the apostrophe in this situation...lives, we talked things regarding our friendship and communication. I'm a big fan of doing that...sometimes I do it too much.

This conversation was initiated by the discovery that she had read a previous blog post. Since it had been months since I last posted, I figured people had forgotten about this blog. Apparently, RSS feeds never die...I'd forgotten about that. So she saw I had written and read.

I don't regret what I wrote. It's my blog after all, though I do wish I'd had the wherewithal to tell my friend in person what I was feeling. A personal blog, more than any other use of the internet, really brings to the fore the tension between public and private, the responsibility of the anonymous.

I say this to say that if anyone has an RSS feed on this blog and has returned to it, then welcome back.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Conflicted, Conflicting

I didn't have any high expectations for the holiday weekend. I was doing something I'd never done: snowboarding. And I was spending it with someone I'd never imagine I would: a new friend whom I've known since high school. I was looking forward to linking my turns, getting a good buzz on, and meeting some new people. That's about it.

Those things did indeed happen. But something much more took place. I met a guy...more than a guy. We were compatible from the moment we started dancing together. Not only does he say the right things, he does the right things. He is perfect for me in his imperfections. We are as different as we are similar and we don't seem to mind.

And he really likes me.

I mean shut-down-his-eHarmony-profile, have-closing-conversations-with-women-he-was-seeing-before, make-my-picture-the-wallpaper-on-his-phone, introduce-me-to-his-best-friend likes me.

When I just relax and enjoy it, it's wonderful. Full of laughter and conversation and passion. I don't tell many people when I'm dating someone, because it usually blows up in my face and I don't like dealing with the subsequent questions. I have no problem actually lying to my friends when they ask about my love life. But when I am relaxing and enjoying, I want to scream about this from the rooftops. I want to introduce him to everyone.

Then there are many times when I question. Think about how easy it is to say and do all he as said and done. Wonder what it is he isn't telling me, even as he shares things he hardly tells anyone. Realize how stupid it is to be so into a man I've known less than a week. It is then I bite my tongue when I think about telling anyone.

I mean it is really silly for us to feel like teenagers when we're well into our 30s (he's one year older than me). And yet...we feel like teenagers when we're well into our 30s, you know? I haven't felt this mutual giddiness in a very long while. I think about him all the you know how long it's been since I've thought about any man all the time?

Right now, I'm conflicted between staying in the moment and being "realistic." Because for some reason, those two things are not the same. Even though this is my reality. It seems as though staying in the moment equals losing myself. I wonder why I can't feel blissful without feeling a bit untethered.

We'll see...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How I Am

I'm having a great holiday season. Tons of parties, tons of food, tons of drinking...luckily all in potluck form so I'm not spending any money. Laughter, stories, bonding. For instance, I had one of the best days of my life with my friend: A day of skiing, two bottles of wine, Indian food, and talking into the night by the fire.

And my sister had another MRI yesterday. This time it was to take a picture of her spine to establish a you understand what that means? That means they expect her spine to deteriorate and they need a "before" picture so they can see how bad the "afters" get. That idea twists my heart.

So though I'm having a good time, I talk about my sister's disease a lot. People know about it. They ask me about it. Even the one friend who still checks in on this blog (Thanks, darlin'), she checks in on me.

But there is one person in particular that I haven't heard from at all. She was the first person I called, sobbing uncontrollably. And all I've gotten is a Merry Christmas voicemail last week...which I returned and she hasn't.

This is something I've always wondered...does my strength and joviality imply I don't need support? I would think old friends, who have seen me at my weakest, would know I am not always that way. I would also think that even if they thought I was doing okay, they would check in to find out anyway.

Lessons #1-25 babillion: one can't control the actions of others; one can only control oneself. So I want to figure out how I can get the support from people that's right for me. I could just ask, but having a "conversation" about how I'm not getting what I need makes the issue about my friend should be about me. There have been so many conversations we've had for hours where we've just talked about her job/life/boy situations. Don't get me wrong, I love those talks, and it's not like it's the only type of conversations we have.

She does call me when she wants to talk, so in a way she is asking for help. But I don't know if I need to talk about my sister's MS per say. I guess I just need to know that my friends are thinking of me and care about how I'm doing.

But that's not very much to need. Maybe I shouldn't be that upset over the absence of a phone call or two. Or maybe I do need to talk it out and I just don't know it. Perhaps a well-placed phone call would release a floodgates of emotions that would stop the achy, twisted feeling in my heart. I mean, I'm reusing this old ass blog no one reads anymore, so I must have something to say.

I don't know...perhaps this whole idea exhausts me. Sometimes I get tired being proactive, of being the person to say what everyone is thinking but no one is willing to say. That's probably not going to stop, though, so what changes should I make?

I just want someone to read my mind every once in a while....I just read that sentence and it cracked me up!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My Sister's Disease... always on my mind. Always.

Don't get me wrong, my family and I are definitely living our lives. I'm overeating and overdrinking as I celebrate the holidays with friends. I'm writing up my research in my office every day. My mom is prepping the house for Christmas, my stepdad is working too much, and my other sister is wrapping up another semester of teaching.

But it is still there: my sister has MS.

Whenever I pause and contemplate it, I cry. On the spot. I talked to the other sister about it, and she says the same thing happens to her.

I had a therapy session of sorts with my doctor. She assured me I don't have MS and what I'm doing is mourning...mourning the death of the future I envisioned for my sister. Not to say that she won't conquer the world (you will totally know her name), but it won't be a completely healthy future. She might have a flare up and temporarily go blind, or lose feeling in her limbs.

You know how with some diseases there is a possibility of a worst case scenario, but it's always a slight one? With MS, temporary blindness isn't even the worst case scenario; neither is loss of mobility. They are just par for the course. In fact, my sister's specialist said that the eye problems that led to her diagnosis will probably come back. It's possible that it might be worse. It is also possible that her flare-ups will be few and far between; and one might never know if one spends any time with my sister.

But that's the sucky part...all of it is possible.

Except for her not having MS...

Friday, December 17, 2010

To Thine Own Self Be True?

I wonder...if I am already a "type" of person - especially when in a relationship - should I try and buck the trend?

Ultimately this is a futile question...of course I'm going to if I'm not happy. I guess the real question becomes: can I be happy as a different "type?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My Financial Rock Bottom

So this semester I didn't make enough money. It's true that I spent too much, but it is also true that I didn't make enough. I moved into an apartment that was $400 more a month than before, the rent I am charging for the apartment I own stopped covering its costs, and my social life exploded. So now I'm doing more than living paycheck to paycheck...I'm paycheck to before paycheck. I honestly don't know how I'm going to make it until the last two weeks of January when my student loans kick in. Combine this with the fact that I am solidly in my 30s and I am thoroughly done.

My relationship with money has always been fucked up, but that can no longer be an excuse. There wasn't much beneficial about being with Ex, but he made me hardcore about money. I was actually saving! So 2011 is the year I face my fears. I may even bring this up with my therapist. I've added another job and I'm going to budget my ass off. It's going to make me feel inadequate and unpopular and lonely and scared, but I'm going to have a bank account that's not always going down.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hate to Be That Person

I've recently discovered I'm becoming that woman who is so afraid of becoming involved with someone that I am rationalizing my fear by coming up with excuses to avoid putting myself out there..."I'm too busy." "It's exhausting." "They're all idiots."

I am also repeating my pattern of trying to maintain a friendship to a man who is unworthy. I can let him go, but I don't think I want to let him off the hook. And so, I cut off my nose to spite my face. Why?

Monday, September 20, 2010

I've Been Thinking About You...

I haven't had the urge to write on this blog in months and months, but I discovered today that someone else has a private which I cannot ask to read. So maybe I'm jealous...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

People Got Me Thinking

I just got an email from a friend of mine where she talked about major shifts happening in her life. It was inspirational, really. And I could relate to a lot of it, which made me feel validated somehow.

Anyhow, as I've pointed out on this blog before, I've been trying to be more private in order to learn how to take care of my thoughts and feelings by myself. I feel more independent, more alive when I am successful at it. And it occurred to me that having a blog on the World Wide Web where I post said thoughts and feelings was antithetical to my mission.

I've been thinking about shutting down this blog for a while now. I guess before now my approach was like a cowardly, loser male: just stop calling and eventually she'll get the hint. But I'd like to believe I'm braver than that, so I want to officially end this part of my life.

My other friend told me that "God puts people in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime." I don't dig the God part, but the rest of it has been pretty freeing for me in regards to letting go of stuff. So I'm saying goodbye.

Thanks to all those who supported this venture, either through comments or just by reading.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm Moving...Again

Guess what? I'm moving again. This will be the third apartment since I've moved back to Boston. Yes, that's right...third. One would think that I would be fazed by this development. Surprisingly I'm not. 

Perhaps it's because of the reasons behind this move. They are as follows:

1. My landlord is going to increase the rent. It's not by much, but it's enough to push it past the tipping point of "not worth it." 

2. The apartment has been having some issues as of late. Mold on the bathroom ceiling, kitchen sink plumbing on its last leg, basement overflowing with years of tenants' junk. The problem is that my landlord has said that she was going to fix these things for months and never has. Annoying.

3. Finally, I found out last week that this house is in preforeclosure. The process began in February. The thing is, I didn't find out via our landlord; I found out on the internet. Not cool. Not cool at all.

So I'm out. Even if the process takes a while, I just don't want to be anywhere near this because I'm at the bottom of the housing totem pole, which means I'll get shafted. I've already found a great apartment in my same neighborhood. It's $75/month cheaper with a fabulous kitchen, a huge room, and only one additional roommate. And it has a dishwasher! I'll be living with a dishwasher for the first time in my life!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Never Mind

So I found out later that day that my grandma is fine. She gained movement on her right side and she can talk and eat on her own. Why am I surprised? Like I mentioned before, she's as strong as an ox. She's recovered from other strokes, I don't know why I would think she wouldn't recover from this one. Did I mention she's 93? So it's all good now. I'm making plans to visit her in a couple of weeks. 

Goodness gracious, I'm going to live to be 105.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Space Cadet

These have not been the best of times for me. Granted, these aren't the worst I've seen, but they have been pretty rough. I'm feeling relatively good emotionally, though physically I've been plagued with some vague but real symptoms. I'm thinking they are due to the stress of the end of the semester, but I'm seeing a doctor just in case.

Today, however, I'm completely out of it. I found out that my grandmother had a massive stroke yesterday. She's had a bunch in her life, but this one was the most severe: she is paralyzed on one full side of her body. She can't eat on her own because the thing in the throat that moves over to let food go down the wrong pipe isn't working. She is breathing on her own, however. 

The worst part about it is that she is fully alert, even though she can't move and can't talk. This is very bad for her because she has always been a fiercely independent woman; she's also extremely stubborn. My dad says that she keeps trying to talk and trying to move and is getting very frustrated with her inability to do so. I'm very upset by this news. This should be expected, I know, but it surprises me.

We knew this was going to happen. After her first stroke about four years ago, the doctors told my dad that it was the beginning of the end. Her brain and her body were shutting down. She would slowing stop remembering words, faces. Then her brain would stop remembering how to take care of itself. At the time, we thought that whole process would happen quickly. Four years later, she's still here. Which made me think that she would be here for quite a while longer.

I've never been very close to my grandma. I know she loves me, but every time I saw her, she criticized me. Getting to know each other wasn't really high on our priority list. I don't feel guilty about that, but right now, I am aching for her. That she is aware of her inability to move or talk must be torturous for her. The woman has been incredibly strong for more than 90 years; now her body has stopped cooperating.

I'm spending the afternoon staring at my computer screen, trying to do work, and talking on the phone. What I really want to do is take a nap.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't Tell Anyone

I feel comfortable saying this here because few of my friends from school know about this blog. Those that do know will probably agree with me! I've been feeling this way for some time, but it really came to a head this a nutshell, my Harvard friends are boring!

I know, I know, I shouldn't be surprised. It is Harvard after all, mecca to the academic nerd. But last year, when we were all starting out, we partied like rock stars! Our weekends started on Thursdays: we went to happy hours, went dancing, saw plays and concerts, saw friends do improv, hosted parties, went to parties.

But something has changed. This year, we barely see each other. A person will throw a party...on Saturday night, mind you...and people will bail because "they have too much work." Now, I go to the same school they do and I can't imagine having so much work that you can't go to a party on a Saturday night!

I didn't realize how strong my feelings were around this issue until this weekend. Friday was a beautiful day; Friday night was a beautiful night. I wanted to go out, but decided to stay in to catch up on some personal stuff. I did this specifically thinking that Saturday night there will be a bunch of people wanting to rock the casbah. Saturday night, my friend performed in a concert and invited me to meet up with some people at a bar. Perfect! I'll catch up with friends, we'll enjoy the night by going bar hopping in Harvard Square...very easy to do on a warm Saturday night

What happened?  Absolutely nothing! We sat in a very lame bar...which did have $3 glasses of wine...talking shop and then everyone left at 11pm. I couldn't believe it! Boston has had miserable weather since forever. This is the first time in months when it's been warm for more than 12 hours, and everyone is tired?!?

What really drove it home was I went to a bbq this afternoon at the home of a very old friend of mine. He and his family had about 20 people over: couples, single folk, kids, everybody. I met some really cool and funny people. As the night wore on and the families went home, there were about 10 people who still wanted to stay up talking and drinking and enjoying the fact that we were outside. After 7 hours, I finally left. You see? That's what I'm talking about. People who can put all this schoolwork shit in perspective and realize life is too short not to honor Mother Nature for granting us this great weekend. 

I have to say, I don't miss living in NYC in the least. It's far too crowded and fast and jaded for me at this point in my life. But I will say that New Yorkers know how to enjoy good weather. If I were back in the city, I know I would be out with old friends and/or meeting new ones.

Ah is the choice I made. I'm thinking however, as I enter my third year of my doctoral program next fall, and don't have as many classes to tie me to the campus, that I'm going to really branch out and find friends with whom I connect on more than just the Harvard level...because that level is pretty uneven.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Something I Love...

I am slowly but surely falling in love with keeping things to myself. I have to say it's very fun to be my own confidant. It also makes me feel stronger.

I can't say more because I'm keeping it to myself! So fun!

On a random note: I was thinking back on all the guys I dated in my life...and goodness gracious, some of them were losers! I wonder what I was thinking back then. Being single is SO much better than hanging out with those wackos.

Oh yeah...did I mention I'm doing pretty well with my year of being single? I had a close call in February and March...Murphy's Law kicking in...but it's not going to work out. I am actually coming to enjoy enjoying singledom. I'm discovering that I spent SO much energy searching...just looking for that someone, that something that would supposedly make me whole. I didn't realized how tired I was until I stopped doing it. I'm still flirting and having crushes, but they serve as pure entertainment.

Good times!

Monday, April 13, 2009


...I've got to get my financial house in order. I feel like I'm moving eight steps back than where I was two years ago. True, I had a full time job then, but still! There are still steps I can take to get on track. I'm getting too old for this shyt.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday, April 06, 2009

Change of Plans

I woke up today with a specific plan. Much of that plan had to do with tricking myself to get things accomplished...something I learned last week when I had my first appointment with my new academic advisor/therapist...long story that I'll explain later. I was going to put on my gym clothes before I went to my office hours so that I could head straight to the gym. I was going to spend my time during a meeting working on another paper.

But all that has very good friend is having a baby today, so all I have to do is be there for her. Simple, to the point, no tricks involved. Wish her luck!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

One More Day

The house guest is here for only one more day...SO excited. I'm also dealing with some personal and personnel issues so I have to remind myself of the decisions I made earlier in the year. I need to trust myself more than I doubt myself.

I must say I am proud of myself. Last night was a bad one, but instead of moping in my sweats, I dressed up and went to my school's semi-formal dance. It ended up being a really good time and it meant a lot to the organizers that I was there, since I worked with them during the academic conference I helped organize. I think it made all the difference in my mood for the rest of the weekend.

Right now, I'm watching Key Largo (1948) on TV. I want to be better than it is...there's just a lot of speechifying going on. I'm not complaining however; there is no one in the apartment right now except for Ella and me. Wheuheu!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Yup...Still Here

At this point, I'm seeing the dude more than I see my roommate! I sent an email to her letting her know that I want the living room this Friday night. I was so passive aggressive that I'm a bit ashamed. I said that I know her man like to "veg out" in the living room and so I asked that he not be there. How sad that I have to reserve time in my own living room...

ADDENDUM: It's done! He broke an antique glass jar that I've owned for like 5 years. It was the perfect place to store sugar because it's airtight. This dude needs to go!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sound Advice

For those of you with roommates - regardless if you get along with him/her or not - hosting a house guest for a week and a half is TOO LONG!!! Especially if that house guest is your boy/girlfriend. Especially if that house guest is a complete slug on vacation who barely leaves the house.

Your roommate will feel like he/she is intruding no matter how often you say, "No! It's fine!" Your roommate will only feel comfortable in his/her room and will resent you for it. Not to say that you are responsible for the feelings of your roommate, but I'm just letting you know.

Worst off, your roommate will feel like he/she is living in the kitchen of the McDonald's of your relationship. He/She will see and hear things that make him/her sick, and can't do anything about it. He/She will notice how your girl/boyfriend is a complete baby who can barely do anything without you. Your roommate will get first hand experience with how grumpy your girl/boyfriend is in the morning. Your roommate isn't sleeping with your houseguest...he/she shouldn't have to deal with a pissy person that's not you.

So, next time you present the idea to your roommate that you want someone to stay with you for a long time, be aware that he/she will say, "Of course, it's fine!" But your roommate will really mean, "Oh God, no!"

If you cannot do anything about the extended visit, make it clear to your guest that he/she must try to get the hell out of the house every once in a while. That your roommate doesn't want to see your guest's face EVERY time your roommate comes home, no matter what time of the day or night.

Feel free to ignore this advice...but at your own peril.

Thank you.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I Gotta Tell Someone


So for the next week, my roommate's boyfriend is here visiting. He's not just any boyfriend. They have been together five years; he used to live in this apartment with my roommate when he was getting his Ph.D.; they have had a long distance relationship for the past two years while he's working on the West Coast. They see each other maybe once every two months. So I do not begrudge my roommate having some quality time with him.

This apartment is indeed spacious, but it is clearly a two-bedroom. When someone is sitting at the kitchen table, they are taking up a lot of space, not to mention the counter top since we have none. There is only one bathroom with two hooks for towels. There is one TV. You see what I mean.

Anyway, I can get anal about some things...I admit that. One of those things is putting objects back in their place. Especially when space is limited, I am a stickler for returning food back to the pantry, throwing away trash left on the table, putting dirty dishes in the sink and not leaving them on the coffee table. Granted, the dishes don't have to be washed for days, just as long as they are getting crusty and moldy in the sink. And I admit, I don't have much patience with regard to this. That is, I want things in their rightful place right away. 

The boyfriend is clearly not a stickler for these things. So last night, while they were out at dinner, I put things away: dishes, paper towels, food. This morning, I woke up, walked Ella and went back up to my room to do work. They woke up and he started bitching that he couldn't find his coffee that he left on our limited counter space and I returned to the pantry. They thought I was gone, so they were talking at a normal voice and I could hear ever word they were saying. And I very distinctly heard him call me a "psycho bitch." My roommate - always the compassionate one - said, "No, no. She's not a psycho bitch." That made me laugh.

I just went downstairs to get some cereal. My roommate was still home and expressed surprise that I was still in the house. I told her that I had been here the whole morning and had been wide awake the entire time. The song beneath my words said that I heard everything they said.

So now I don't have to be nice to him anymore. I won't be a "psycho bitch" or anything, but now I don't have to deal with him if I don't want to. I can enter my house and pretend he's not there. Which is what I wanted to do anyway, I just didn't want to be rude. Now I have an excuse. I am a psycho bitch after all. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Habits are Hard to Start

As I mentioned previously, I'm working on making some changes in my life. I don't mean to be cryptic, but honestly, I'm not clear about what those changes are. I'm not clear on where I'm going, but I do know where I don't want to be anymore. The thing is it's hard to break those habits; I find myself falling back into my old ways of being. They weren't dangerous or self-destructive, but they are not making me as happy as I thought they would. 

I just want to be quieter and simpler. I want to be more private and secretive. I want think more before I speak and think more without speaking. Whenever I am able to be this way, it feels wonderful. I just need to do it more often.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I know it's been quite a while since I've posted anything. Which is weird to me because the last time I went through a major depression, I wanted to tell the internet absolutely everything. This time, however, I'm working on making some changes in my life at the fundamental level, not just around the depression. I'm still sorting it out, but I think it has to do with keeping more things close to the vest. My new mantra is "I don't have to be 'on'." 

Another reason that I haven't posted is because I was incredibly busy this semester putting together an academic conference. This conference is one of two student-run conferences that my school sponsors. The focus is on issues of race and inequality in education. It happens every year and this year we had record turn-out with people coming from Jamaica, Canada, Kenya, Ethiopia and many other countries. I actually do wish I had documented that journey; it was the most important thing I've ever accomplished, second only to buying my apartment. This was bigger than actually getting into Harvard. The nadir of my depression fell right in the middle of the process, so that was a very interesting thing for me to maneuver as well.

Anyway, I would like to say that I will post more, but I don't know if I will. I'm not really into blogging right now, but I'm also not ready to shut this one down. I'm just going to wait and see.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

People are Strange

I've been avoiding people lately. I can't really deal with most of them in my current state. I'm spending a lot of time with my lovely Ella and watching movies. Every time I think about getting to know someone new, it backfires. Which only confirms my initial instinct to stay away from people.

In other news, I am officially a medication soup. I have a psycho-pharmacologist now and she is helping me find the right anti-depressant. I've decided that I want to take one for a while...not just until I'm "better." So the quest becomes that much more arduous because I have to find one that will do the job for the long-term and not give me bad side effects. Add to this the fact that you can't just stop one drug and start another cold turkey, and I am acting like an elderly person: take one pill at night, one pill in the morning, take one pill for two weeks then increase it to two pills for two weeks. Crazy!