The Scamp Whats and Ifs

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. I have been off for 6 weeks, and I am not sure that I am ready for the vacation to end. The last 6 weeks have been tough. Since I cut ties with the EDD program, I have been trying to figure out what is next for me. The community college Gods are smiling on me and there are an abundance of full time English positions opening for the fall of 2015. There are 250 people applying for each of these positions, but I am hopeful that my application will stick out to someone on one of the hiring committees at one of these community colleges.

Of course, talking to a lot of my friends who are also applying for these positions, I am starting to worry a bit. A lot of them have great relationships with  their professors and with the people that they teach for now. I do not have this. I have a very strained relationship with the college I last attended, and I am too new in my job for anyone to really know my name. I’d much rather that my application was judged based on my skills, qualifications, and relevant teaching experience, rather than what someone who I worked for a couple of years ago. This further showed me that I am not good at the game of politics that exists in the field of higher education. I just want to be in a room teaching students how to write and help them progress in their academic career. The application process, the way I have to “sell” myself is very hard for me.

This whole process, and the last 6 weeks has caused me to utter two words over and over: What if?

As Romcom Letters to Juliet notes:

“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?”

what
(h)wət
pronoun
  1. 1.
    asking for information specifying something.
    “what is your name?”
  2. 2.
    the thing or things that (used in specifying something).
    “what we need is a commitment”
determiner
  1. 1.
    asking for information specifying something.
    “what time is it?”
  2. 2.
    (referring to the whole of an amount) whatever.
    “he had been robbed of what little money he had”
adverb
  1. 1.
    to what extent?
    “what does it matter?”
  2. 2.
    used to indicate an estimate or approximation.
    “see you, what, about four?”
if
if/
conjunction
  1. 1.
    introducing a conditional clause.
    synonyms: on (the) condition that,provided (that),providing (that),presuming (that),supposing (that),assuming (that),as long as,given that,in the event that

    “if the rain holds out, we can walk”
  2. 2.
    despite the possibility that; no matter whether.
    “if it takes me seven years, I shall do it”
 Noun
1.
a condition or supposition.
“there are so many ifs and buts in the policy”
What if I do not get one of the full time positions? What if I do not get a position in Scotland? What if I never get to finish my PhD? What if I do not make enough money each month to pay all my student loan payments? What if I can’t find full time work and have to live with my parents for the foreseeable future?
These what ifs are starting to stress me out. They are keeping me up at night, making me doubt myself, and keep me in the doom and gloom that I have been trying so hard to get myself out of for the last two years.
Tomorrow I get to go back to the job that I love. I’m excited that I get to spend another semester doing what I love, and once the papers start coming in, I know that it will keep me from all the crazy “what ifs?” that are floating around in my head.
One thing that I would like to note: I was able to take the countdown of my time in the program off of my phone. I feel like I’ve been released from prison, or that I have been rescued from a deserted island. Deleting that countdown from my phone allows me to put countdowns for fun things, like my upcoming trip to Boston and the summer trip to Spain.
Celebrating the little things.

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge Week 4

I’ve got a nasty flu that seems to be going around, so my want to do anything other than lay in bed with DayQuil, tissues, and Netflix has been next to nil.

The theme for the gratitude challenge this week is a family member. I have decided that this coveted honor (okay, I am pretending that all of my family and friends would like a mention on my blog of awesomeness) is going to my sister-cousin, Mckenna.

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This 20 year old stunner is my oldest cousin on my dad’s side of the family. I remember when she was born. My aunt and uncle lived down the street from my dad, so my sister and I used to go over to their house and play Barbies or run around outside. When they moved to a bigger house, I remember playing in the yard, and playing hide and seek in the house while babysitting. As long as I can remember, Kenna wanted to ride horses. My aunt and uncle paid for lessons, leased a horse for her, and drove her all over the place for horse shows.

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When she was getting ready to apply to college, she asked me to help her with her admission essays. She got into the school of her dreams, and moved 3,000 miles away on her own to pursue her riding career and study business. She is getting ready to graduate soon, and I cannot wait to see what she decides to do after college.

She is the focus of my gratitude this week because she is like a second little sister to me. We text and laugh, and Skype, and when I was living in Scotland we talked a lot. When David and I broke up and I was miserable, she let me cry to her on Skype and made me laugh with pictures of her pup. We share the common plight of the single gal, and she has already pledged to be a cat lady with me. She makes me laugh, she’s fun to hang out with, and I know that she is destined for great things.

I am one lucky sister-cousin.

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I go back to work next week, and while I am ready for that, it feels strange to no longer be a student. As happy as I am to be free of the misery that was the EDD program at Cal State Fullerton, it is a bit strange to have all of this free time. I feel like I should reading more, or doing more research, or working on applying to the large number of full time jobs that have suddenly presented themselves to me. Instead, I am watching bad reality TV, and trying to find pictures of my family that are suitable for the internet. I’m hoping that once I get back into work mode things will settle into a routine, but in the meantime, there are so many options for bad reality TV, I can keep myself pretty busy.

The Scamp and the Gratitude Challenge: Week 3

Week 3 of the gratitude challenge is one that I can write pages and pages and pages about: my family.

I make no secret that my favorite people in the entire world is my family. It is the easiest thing in the world for my to be grateful for them. For the last two years I have been struggling at California State University, Fullerton. The program has worn me down, and as of yesterday, I am no longer a part of the program. While I was in meeting after meeting listening to how I was academically dishonest and emotionally unstable, my family was there to make me laugh and remind me that they loved me whether I was a cheater or not.

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My brother eloquently reminded me that sometimes in life you have to have to play the game to survive. He told me:

“Sometimes in life you have to suck a dick. You don’t have to like it, and you sure as hell don’t have to swallow, but sometimes you just have to suck a dick.”

My sister and brother-in-law took me out, sent me cat pictures, and reminded me that the people in the program are the misguided racist people, and that what I put up with in their presence is not the real world. They joke with me, and don’t let me wallow in my misery. We talk, text and hang out with each other all the time, and although they usually have to drag me out kicking and screaming, it is always a good time.

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The rest of my family has been equally as supportive of my journey. My aunt, uncle, and cousins have been  outraged on my behalf and supportive of my journey. We are lucky enough to get to spend a lot of time together, and I love hanging out with them.

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I know that everyone says that they have the best family, but I honestly believe that my family is the best, We laugh, we joke, we support each other, and we are lucky enough to live near each other.

This week the gratitude for my family goes a little bit deeper. Today is the anniversary of my grandma’s death. This is a hard day for my mom. She has spent the last 19 years without her mother. I think of all the times I have cried on my mom’s shoulder, gone out to dinner with her, watched movies with her, cooked dinner, gone on vacation with her, and driven her crazy. I have the luxury of always having her in my corner.

My mom does not. She doesn’t get to cry to her mom when she has a bad day, or go out to dinner, or even just have phone conversations. I know that my mom misses my grandma every day. Their relationship was far from perfect, and my grandma had a lot of daemons, but she loved my mom, and I know that she loved us too.

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My grammy was a stunner. She was born March 19, 1938 in New York. She was a lover of big hair, big glasses, and big purses. I remember the crazy large glasses, the outrageous purses, and the long painted nails. She was killed in a car accident January 16, 1996 because she refused to wear her seat belt. For a woman who wouldn’t put her key in the ignition if one of us was not belted in, she was careless about her own safety. Having only been able to spend a limited amount of time with my grammy makes me appreciate my mom that much more. I’m grateful for all the time that I get with my family, but a little extra grateful today that I still have my mommy around.

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The Scamp Without a Catchy Title

Hello, my name is Kim and I am addicted to Eos and yoga leggings.

Today all six of the Eos that I have somehow made it into my purse with me.

Today I bought another pair of yoga pants. I resisted the urge to buy neon print (you’re welcome world), but settled for a black leopard print.

Today I drank a beer that was as big as my head.

Today I quit grad school.

The Scamp and Gratitude Challenge Week 1 and 2

gratitude-is-the-key

2014 was a rough year for me. It was so rough on me that I have become an ungrateful person. I became so consumed with the program and all the shit that happened every Tuesday night, that it consumed my life. I posted 89 entries last year, and only 6 of them were happy or positive. I was hoping having survived 2014 that 2015 would bring some good karma, but it looks like it will be slow going. I’m in for quite a fight, and I am trying to do all that I can to avoid getting sucked into the dark twisty any farther than I am now. To help me accomplish this, I have decided to take part in a gratitude challenge. 52 weeks of sharing things I am grateful for. 52 weeks to make sure that at least one post is happy, and 52 weeks of reminding myself that even though one aspect of my life may be a bit of a mess, all of the other areas are pretty dang great. Here is the list of topics that I will be covering each week:

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Since it is the start of week 3, I am going to cover week 1 and 2 in this post. Week 2 is about a spouse/significant other, and since I do not have either one of those, I am choosing to instead write about a very important man in my life: Odin. Odin is a 12 year old tomcat that my brother saved from the parking lot of a Mexican restaurant near our home. Odie has had quite the life. He spent most of his early days gallivanting around the neighborhood. He got in fights, came home with battle wounds, and I’m sure got more than one girl kitty preggers. When he was about 5 years old, someone cat-napped him and fed him anitfreeze. He crawled his way home, and all but died in my mom’s arms as she rushed him to the vet. He survived the week at the vet’s office, and then came home to be spoiled by my mom. I remember seeing him shortly after he came home. He was skinny and frail. He didn’t move out of the chair, and my mom hand fed him lunch meat and kept a water bowl near him.

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He eventually got fixed, and turned into a lazy boy who slept all day and never went outside. The good thing about him loosing his balls was that he stopped drooling as much. In the last few years, he has really become my cat. He hangs out with me, sleeps on my bed every night, and serves as my research assistant when I am working from home.

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He makes me feel better when I am sad, he cuddles when I need it, and now that he is getting up there in years, I am not sure that he will be able to make the return trip to Scotland with me. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my time with my little smooshie, and be grateful that I am enjoyed 12 years with him.

The Scamp Ends Her Summer

Tomorrow I will spend my day at orientation. All day. I will have my picture taken for the website (oh goody, just what I want), listen to people in the program now tell me how they are getting through it (coffee and crack….how else does one get through grad school?), and spend a good portion of the meetings either looking out the window or if there is no window, wishing for one.

 

In other words….I’m not looking forward to it. I sat through summer school, I don’t know if I need to sit through this too.

 

It’s not all bad though. I get to see the people that I met at the beginning of summer, all of whom I enjoyed, and I get to busy myself with reading, writing, and the long days that come with being in school. I need the routine and the busy schedule so I don’t focus on the fact that despite my best efforts, I still do not have a job. It has been over a year now, and unemployment stopped being fun months ago.

Sugardaddies.com isn’t looking so bad to me right now….

It isn’t a bad thing that summer is ending since I spent most of it writing my dissertation anyway. I have spent the last few days being very lazy and trying to take advantage of having nowhere to go and nothing to do. I’m anxious to be on a schedule again. I find myself a little out of sorts these last few weeks not spending all of my time writing or editing. There is only so much Project Runway I can watch and so many hours I can spend in the gym before I get restless.

 

 

A Dancing Scamp

Everyone who knows me well knows that I hate to dance. I have no rhythm, I hate to look stupid in public, and I look like a flailing monkey when I make an attempt to dance. That being said, every now and then I forget that I hate dancing and allow myself a moment of foolishness in the privacy of my room. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I always seem to feel better.

Today I feel like crap. I’m tired, I had a rough pain day, and I think I am finally catching the flu that the freshers have been passing around. I skipped dinner, missed my little bit of social interaction with my friends, and have not been able to concentrate enough to write 500 measly words on an article that I not only understood, but feel like I can critique intelligently. The girls did stop by to see me, and that improved my mood a little, but I still feel icky, and despite it not being a very good idea, I thought maybe a little dance party would make it better. Now, there are many many many songs that I could have chosen for the occasion. My usual go-to song is the Glee version of P.Y.T. I like it, and it never fails to make me feel better. Another favorite is The Mighty Mighty BossTones cover of Simmer Down. It is my all-time favorite song, and I could listen to it on repeat all day long. I did not go for either of those songs though, instead I went for this little beauty:

Thinking about dancing makes me think of one of my favorite moments with David. It was a rare moment with just the two of us at home cooking a late dinner. We had been discussing Scotland, and for awhile, anytime the topic came up, I got sad and mopey. He found this song and played it off of his phone while we danced around his kitchen.

 

When this song ended he played my favorite love song and instead of dancing we just hugged each other and swayed to the music, me singing along to the words.

It is one of the most sappy things I have ever done (and I hate all things sappy and romantical, but it is one of the few times where I did not mind the dancing, or the sappiness. I don’t really like to admit that I did something like that because it ruins my street cred, but then I like to remind myself of all the freshers I have threatened to kick in the teeth and I know I haven’t quite lost my edge yet.

 

A Scamp on a Hike

or, A Scamp in the Rain

Today seemed like a good day for a hike. I wore a dress for the first time, was able to find a place to study in the library, and even found a job that I am qualified for and would make me enough money to live off of while I am here. All that good karma had me feeling good about myself, so when the girls asked if I wanted to go for a hike up Arthur’s Seat, I jumped  at the chance. The view from the top is supposedly amazing, and I thought it would be a great way to spend my last day before classes start.

The walk from the dorm to the base of the mountain is about three minutes, and it was windy, but only slightly overcast. The hike up the mountain is rocky steps and steep turns. It is medium to hard in some places, and if you are not ready for it, it can be quite difficult. About halfway through the hike it started to rain. Not just a light sprinkle, but a full rain. A proper Scottish rain. I got wet real quick, and suddenly my sweatshirt, leggings and trainers were not enough to keep me warm. The wind was blowing the rain sideways, so there was not much I could do to keep myself from getting drenched. Despite the wet and the cold, I enjoyed the climb. A year ago I would not have been able to make the trek. I didn’t weigh enough to support myself through the climb, and thanks to the Lupus, I probably would have died about a third of the way up. I am proud to say that had the weather not crapped out, I would have made it to the top of the mountain.

On my way up the mountain I was able to do a lot of thinking. I thought about the last hike I had been on. It was sometime in April. I was with a guy that I attempted to date the previous summer. He can be an asshole, and he tended to treat me like crap more often than not, but he was one of the easiest people to talk to, and he was also great for a deep and meaningful conversation. I thought a lot about that hike because their were two things that were very very wrong with it: 1. I was trying my damnedest to get back together with David. He wasn’t having it, but I had no business hanging out with a guy who only really wanted in my pants when I was fighting tooth and nail for a second chance with a boy who didn’t want a whole lot to do with me. I was using the boy to make myself feel better because I was not making any strides with David, and that wasn’t fair to anyone involved. 2. Dude knew how to get under my skin. He told me on this hike that my feelings of irrelevancy that I was starting to feel as my moved to Scotland became more real were completely justified. He told me that the world was going to go on without me, and that I made it almost impossible for being to want to love and connect to me so I would be gone and forgotten in no time.

Now, before you all start feeling sorry for me and thinking that I let his words have any effect on me, don’t worry, they didn’t. Everyone who I really care about has reached out to me at some point or another, and a few people that I know through school, but not quite on a personal level have reached out to me and offered me tips, hints, and a friendly ear with my woes of living abroad. I talk to my best friends everyday, and everyone keeps sending me fun cards and care packages. Granted, I have only been gone for about two weeks, but I feel loved and that is all I care about.

Tomorrow is my first day of school. It is strange to think these days were behind me, but I am excited to wear my new dress and awesome shoes and take on the world of academia yet again.