Surviving life, work, school, & everything in between


(instagram.com/annawatsoncarl)

A friend I made in grad school shared something with me, and I want to share it with you guys as it perfectly describes what I’m going through right now. To give a little context to her situation, she is a wife, mother, grad student, and works full time. She is also a beautiful writer.

“When I get discouraged because the volume of work seems too much, the competing demands too many, my resources too low, I remember that this is what growing and succeeding looks like at points. It’s messy. It’s imperfect. It’s fighting through, identifying what actually needs to be done, under the pressure, with competing demands, finding and building networks, asking for help, negotiating and making compromises to creatively get to the finish line. And some days it just sucks. But in the end, it is a privilege to have such problems in the first place. And it will be over soon enough. And it will be worth it. And the first friend who points out that proper sentences don’t start with And or But are getting whip cream pies in the face.” – KN

For those in a similar boat, I hope you find comfort and encouragement in her words as I certainly did.

C.

And I am done with my graceless heart

- Florence + the Machine


It’s always darkest before the dawn

On the home front, things are improving. I totally burned Jon out while I was recovering from my own burnout, which he briefly wrote about here. Our marriage has been put through the wringer since I quit my job, and while we’re not out of the woods just yet, I think the worst is behind us.

My new schedule these days is pretty jam packed. I’m working full-time during the day, which is a refreshing change from working a couple evenings a week for the past four years. I much prefer the 9 to 5 lifestyle. Thus it’s kind paradoxical that I’m also working part-time in the evenings doing counselling work. It’s a casual position that’s flexible, and it allows me to pick up shifts as I choose. In addition, it’s close to home, pays really well, and I’m able to continue practicing counselling.

As for school, I’m taking two courses, which people like to think is equivalent to two undergraduate courses. I’m here to tell you that it’s actually more like four. Even though the program is part-time, I’m pretty much a semi full-time student. Basically, I’m working full-time and part-time, and schooling more or less full-time. It’s crazy, but fortunately, my day job allows me to do school work when it’s slow. Hence, the sole reason I accepted the position, despite compromise in salary and location.

I’m also using public transit to commute to work. As a grad school, I have full-time status, so I was able to opt in for the UPass. I love driving everywhere, but economically, the UPass makes transit way more affordable than paying for parking, gas, and insurance. Although there’s a lot of little annoyances like delays and standing/sitting close to people, it’s actually not that bad.

And that’s my life update for now. I write so much for school that writing leisurely is impossible. Nonetheless, I felt the need to catch you guys up on current events. I’ll return in December to breathe life back into this blog and hopefully finish writing about Europe.

C.

The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go

- Dr. Seuss


coffee & psychotherapies

In case you’ve been wondering, school is going really well. First month was crazy, though. We had an assignment due the first week of school, and since then, it’s been nonstop reading and paper writing.

I didn’t always love learning growing up, but I always tried to do well in school. It wasn’t until I got to university that I actually started to enjoy learning. Traditional subjects like math and science were never my strong point, so getting to pick the courses that I wanted to study during my undergrad allowed me to really explore and learn what I was interested in. Thus, my time in university ignited my passion for learning.

On the other hand, working is great, especially getting paid. Plus, school is incredibly stressful and costly, so when you finish, you never want to think about going back. Although there are other means of learning that don’t involve school, I believe school is great for learning when you’re truly passionate about the subject. I also acknowledge that it’s not for everyone.

Admittedly, I applied for grad school for professional reasons and not because I actually want to be in school; I really like working and making an income. However, two pages into my first reading assignment, I realized that school isn’t all about obtaining the necessary credentials. At the very heart of why I’m in school is my love for learning, which runs deeper than anyone will truly ever know.

That said, I am really enjoying my program thus far, and I know I made the right choice, although there was never any doubt. However, it’s been a huge learning curve. Switching to a graduate level of schooling has been an adjustment. At an undergraduate level, you only skim the surface of major theories and concepts, whereas at a graduate level, you have to learn to analyze and critique readings and research literature, as well as apply theories and models to clinical practice. It’s definitely intense and there’s a lot of pressure to perform.

I have my days where I feel confident that I can do this and days where I feel crippled by inadequacy and doubt. By no means is school easy for me, and I actually have to try at it. I was never one to brag about getting an A on an exam I didn’t study for. I struggle everyday with the belief that I can do anything and the fear that I’m going to fail. Nothing in life has ever come easy for me, and I have had to work hard at everything, especially school.

Now that it’s mid-November, I’m approaching final projects and papers, so it’s going to be a busy month. Got one more post to share with you guys tomorrow so check back.

C.

Where I feel every moment go by


ASOS cropped top; H&M faux leather skirt; Yves Saint Laurent tribute sandals

While everyone was getting out of town and savouring every last bit of summer, Jon and I hung around town and just did whatever. Friday night, he went out for drinks while I stayed home to write. Saturday morning, I slept in while he had brunch with a couple of friends. We also went to church, and hung out with our good friend, Andy, and his girlfriend. Sunday, we picked up croissants at Yann Haute in Mission and strolled over to Phil’s for coffee where we spent the afternoon working on our laptops. Then dinner with family. Monday consisted of lazing around, watching season one of Happy Endings, afternoon catnaps, and Chinese takeout.

It seems as though we wasted away the last summer long weekend, but trust me, we’ve made the most of summer with bike rides, walks, ice cream at Village, patio drinks with friends, brunch with friends, dinner with friends, music festivals, Stampede, cabin getaways, road trips, and EUROPE. We are all summered out.

School officially started today, but lectures start next Monday. I’m gonna tour campus tomorrow, and then I have a graduate orientation to attend on Friday. I’ve been looking forward to this moment ever since I started my undergrad, and I still can’t believe this day has finally come. I’m nervous, excited, but most of all, ready.

As for funemployment, let me tell you there’s nothing fun about being unemployed. I have my good days where I’m hopeful and determined. But there are other days, many in fact, where I feel completely scared and desperate. Will share more in a separate post.

I’m also finally getting around to writing about Europe. In case you’re wondering, I’m back dating the posts for archiving reasons. Keep an eye out for our last three destinations. I have a lot of other things I want to write about, so between starting school and writing cover letters, if time permits, I will do my best to actually follow through.

Here’s to my favourite month of the year and to September babies everywhere!

C.

Let me be empty and weightless


Tommy Hilfiger dress shirt; J Brand jeggings; Joe Fresh belt; Daniel Wellington classic watch; vintage Coach court bag; Yves Saint Laurent tribute sandals

Now that I’m back, I hope to bring everyone up to speed with what’s been going on in my life since the end of April. So everything was going well. I was studying for my cognitive psychology final, and despite attending a training the day before that exhausted me to no end, I was able to pull it together and I did well on my exam. Then came home and quickly packed our bags for a weekend in Edmonton to celebrate Jon’s birthday. It was a blast.

Slept in the next morning, and then had lunch with family. Sunday evening plans fell through, so we left the city early instead of staying until Monday, which was the original plan. Plus, we missed our bed. Came home and spent the rest of the evening watching TV. It was bliss.

Next day, I took a personal day to work on my term paper. It was also Jon’s week off in-between jobs. Long story short, I couldn’t figure out how to do the assignment. In a panic, I emailed my tutor to ask for an extension as it was due in a few short days. I barely slept that night. I kept worrying that I would fail the course and that I fucked up my admission to grad school. I thought my life was over. Next morning, my tutor emailed me back and approved the extension. I ultimately finished the paper, got an “A,” and passed the course.

But when I went into work the next day, I was faced with another reality. For those interested in reading more, send me a message as my next couple of posts will be password protected.

C.