The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 42

Ten weeks left in the year 2016. I for one can’t say that I will be sad to see it go.

I spent a majority of this week on the bus commuting between the campuses to see the students I tutor, so I am a little grumpy about the lack of my own work that got done, a little tired from all the time on the bus, and now that the weather is getting colder, I am finding it hard to get out of the house without a few layers.

But, I’m trying to stay positive, and trying to see the good in things, so I will not get bogged down in some of those things. The challenge for this week is to describe my day in five words. Because Sunday is the day I don’t get out of bed until I absolutely have to, and then clean my flat from top to bottom, I will write about my Friday….I meant to write this on Friday anyway.

Frustrating. I was supposed to have a meeting Friday morning, and after waiting for a week and a half for confirmation on the meeting time, I heard nothing until the moment we were supposed to meet. The email asked if we were still meeting, and said sorry if you were waiting for me to confirm…..thanks. I also got several emails from the office about my impending move into the storage closet. I’ve spent the whole week off campus, so I packed everything on Monday since I knew I wouldn’t be in. I then got an email about the fact that I still needed to pack my desk. Really it meant I had to travel an hour one way on a Saturday to create a cardboard box for my computer. It took me longer to walk up the stairs to my office than it did to do anything else. I’ve still never been told I was moving. I just got the paper that you have to fill out when you move. It really does not make me want to go into the office at all. I already know that I am not a part of the office, but the lack of communication and respect is starting to make me feel bad about myself.

Confusing. I blame the boy. He fucks with me on so many levels that running into him on my way to therapy left me confused about how I feel about him. I’ve been struggling to get out of the relationship, and making good strides to not keep getting sucked into his emotionless selfish life, but when he kissed me hello and waited for the bus with me and mentioned going on a date to the Royal Botanics like we did last year, I saw that little glimmer of hope that he could be the boyfriend I wanted, even though I know that is not true.

Emotional. I see my therapist every Friday, and the sessions always leave me feeling emotionally wiped out. I also blame the boy for this.

Unexpected. While waiting for the bus, I ran into a friend of mine who was also on his way home. We were able to ride the bus home together and trade tales of our PhD life. I don’t mind riding the bus home by myself, but it was nice to run into a friendly face. It makes me feel like I really live in the city now.

Social. I know, me, social. Crazy. One of the most lovely humans I know was celebrating her birthday. She organized a group to meet at the Royal Botanic Gardens to see the annual light show followed by drinks and dancing. I love spending time with the special special unicorn, so a chance to celebrate her birth seemed like a great idea to me. I was not disappointed. I worried a little because I am not good in social situations when I don’t know anyone, but all of the people I met on Friday night were wonderful creatures. I had a lovely chat with a police officer who let me try and convince people he was a small animal masseuse, met sweet couples, and found a partner in sarcasm. There was no awkward moments, no feelings of being an outsider, and only a little teasing when I refused to go dancing at the end of the night. It was absolutely wonderful.

I was able to end the day on a good note, able to forget about the struggles from the missed meetings, the encounter with the boy, the emotional hour in therapy.  It reminded me that I am not completely hopeless at making friends and enjoying an evening around other people, and that there is hope for me to get a handle on my depression and go back to being my lovely little flamingo in a flock of pigeons.

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge:Week 18

The weather forecast for the weekend promises warm weather for the weekend.

Well, 53 degrees, which is warm for Scotland. I am working all day Saturday, but you can bet your butt that I will be spending a part of my Sunday outside enjoying the warm weather. I might even wear leggings that end just below the knee (although that might scare people, so I may have to reconsider that option).

I’ve been in a serious funk for the last few weeks, and today I finally get to see the therapist and get back to feeling better. That makes this week’s writing challenge all the more fun. Week 18 is dedicated to something that I like I about myself. While I tempted to say I like my sarcasm and call it a day, there is actually a lot I like about myself.

I think the one trait or feature that I like most about myself is my self-awareness. It took a lot of therapy, and a long time to develop, but now that it is a part of me, I am grateful for it. While I do not always focus on the things that I know, and deal with the problems or the issues that I recognize in a timely manner, I am glad that I can at least spot them. I made the mistake of letting my depression go unchecked here for almost a year, and while I pretended it wasn’t that bad, in the back of my mind I knew that it was something that I needed to take care of.

I would have to say that another thing that I like about myself is that no matter how bad I get, how negative, how sick, or how sad, I seemed to have found a way to make some really strong connections with people. I have some really amazing friends and family that make me own my shit, that sit with me when I cry, and tell me that I don’t have to do anything by myself. My mom is helping me pay for therapy (seriously, my one complaint with health insurance is that it is hard to get mental health covered, and see a doc is expensive), my sister sends me baby pictures and videos everyday, and I get Skype dates as often as I can. I know that says more about them than it does about me, but I like that I was able to make those connections, and that there is something about me that keeps those people from throwing in the towel when I get to be a pain in the ass.

I guess I’m not so bad after all.

The Scamp and the Writing Challenge: Week 3

Week 3 and I have managed to get everything written on during the week it was meant to be written….there is hope for me yet. Week 3 is dedicated to the little things that make me happy.

Honestly, this list is endless. I really enjoy the little things.

I had a minor PhD setback last week, and it really threw me. I have been working really hard to try and get myself out of my dark and twisty, and thought I was making it work…kinda. I feel like the last two months have been consumed by my depression. I’ve been spiraling down into the dark and twisty, and because it is always a thing, I feel like it has dominated my life. It permeates everything  from my work, to my friendships and relationships, and even my sleep patterns. My work, while it has been getting done (Well, minus the two week break I took at Christmas) it has not been getting done very well.

Last week it all caught up to me. I applied for a research position on campus that would allow me to quit the tutoring center and pay off my loan faster. Because people in the office were so excited about it, I had gotten very excited by the idea of having the job. My supervisor pulled me into his office though and ripped the skin off my hide for not telling him that I had applied for the job, and for the fact that working part time would take away from my PhD and I would not become an expert in my field if I was not devoting 100% to my work. He questioned me about my financial situation, and I was forced to admit that I need the job to pay my loan payment. I do not like admitting that I am in debt.

I also hate the feeling of failure that I left that meeting with. I do not like to fail at anything….especially when I know that I have been putting in a lot of effort, and trying my damnedest to produce something that will make people proud. I’ve already been stressed about the work that I am doing, and already feeling down, so when I cried in the break room over a cup of tea last week, no one was surprised (okay, so my colleague who had to deliver the bad news that I wasn’t eligible for the job was surprised, but she was really really lovely about it).

I wanted to curl up in bed and just call it a day.

I wanted to sign up for and find some rich old man to pay my bills.

I wanted someone to give me a hug and tell me everything would be alright.

I wanted someone to make it alright.

So this is where the challenge comes in. The little things that make me happy.

Hot chocolate. Hot chocolate makes me happy. A little cup of hot chocolate makes me everything better. I had a small cup today while I had my PhD supervisory meeting, and even though I had to rehash the job situation again, I managed to do it without crying this time.

I like that my friends and family check up on me. I get texts and messages asking after me, or sending me funny pictures. I love that. It makes me feel appreciated, and it makes me laugh.

I like it when my favorite song comes on my ipod. In the same line, I love finding Spotify playlists  that have songs I loved when I was younger, or ones that relax me while I am trying to do yoga.

I love puppy and kitten videos. Seriously, that is the only reason that the internet was invented as far as I am concerned.

I like that I have moments when I forget to be sad. I’ll laugh at a joke, watch a dumb movie, or read a trashy romance novel and not get stuck in the dark and twisty.

I like dinners out with my friends. I may not want to share my tacos with you, but I want to share my bubble.

I like that when I do posts like this, I laugh a little, and remember that all in all, things in my life are pretty freaking fantastic.

That makes everything worth it.

The Scamp and a Bon Voyage

Yesterday I made the second round of goodbyes. I invited friends and family to come hang out with me at a little brewery by my parent’s house. I honestly thought no one would show up. I’m not sure why, but I have a strong desire to be missed by the people here, and I had a feeling my piss poor attitude for the last two years put a damper on people who would be sad to see me go.

Boy was I wrong. 30 people came to see me off, and those that couldn’t make it called, texted, or made some time to see me in the next four days. I am truly humbled by all the love that I got. I keep telling everyone to come and visit, and I sincerely mean it. I hope they all get a chance at some point to come see me in natural habitat, super happy and thriving. In the meantime, I have all of their addresses, so I can send snarky postcards, hot kilted men with beards, shortbread cookies, and fine wool accessories. There is still time to get on the list, so anyone who wants on it, shoot me a message, and consider it done.

Here are a few snaps from the day. Please ignore my horribly sunburned neck. In an attempt to be the most tan person in Scotland, I got a little crispy.

My "little" cousin. He loves me....sometimes

My “little” cousin. He loves me….sometimes

This is my favorite picture of the day. My meow let me help build a tower.

This is my favorite picture of the day. My meow let me help build a tower.



I've known the Zavala family for a long time. I was honored that they came to see me off.

I’ve known the Zavala family for a long time. I was honored that they came to see me off.

My cousin Katy made the best card ever for me, and we even got Beans to smile

My cousin Katy made the best card ever for me, and we even got Beans to smile

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Sassy best friend

Sassy best friend

All my college buddies

All my college buddies

Poor Joe.  He has known us since we were 5

Poor Joe. He has known us since we were 5


Even one of my favorite people from the CSUF program came. I may have squealed in delight when she walked up

Even one of my favorite people from the CSUF program came. I may have squealed in delight when she walked up

The Scamp and a Day Off

I feel very guilty about having the day off today. Veteran’s Day is an important (and often overlooked) holiday, and while I like having the day off, I have done nothing to deserve it. I know a lot of people who have served in the military in some form or another, and I am extremely grateful to all of them.

While I feel guilty about my day off, I made sure to make the most of it. I met with my study group this morning, and then parked myself at my desk to do homework and work on my philosophy paper. The last week or so has been tough in the academic sphere. The history class on Tuesday started off with a very defeatist speech by the professor about the need for balance in our lives. One of the women in my cohort mentioned that she is having a hard time balancing school, work and her social life. She missed her friends and family, but felt that she constantly had to forego time with them to get all of her work done. The professor told her there was no need for balance. Everything had to take a backseat to this program. Family could wait, and if we were in relationships that required attention, then we should end them because they were just a distraction. I get that this program is serious, but I also like being able to see my family, and occasionally see my boyfriend. I made the joke in class that I was the one that needed the TLC, and I was the one that occasionally needed a little love, and she told me that I didn’t need that for the next three years.

I’m not really okay with that. I am extremely lucky that the people that love me understand what I am doing and are very supportive of me. The problem is, I don’t think I am doing a very good job. I have gotten very selfish and needy lately. I feel like I need the social interaction, but I also don’t want to be the one that has to seek it out. I want people to call me, or text me and tell me they miss me. I want to wallow.

In short, I am selfish. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in me and my expectations, that I forgot about the people around me who do make the effort. I’ve completely taken advantage of the people around me. I haven’t asked any of them how they are doing and how they are feeling, and I certainly haven’t called any of them to hang out. I haven’t been a good friend, girlfriend, daughter or sister. I finally got to see one of my good friends from San Diego this weekend, and it was so nice to sit in the sunshine, play with her adorable son and listen to her tales of mommyhood. She reminded me to call her anytime, and that she was willing to come to me to hang out. She reminded me that it takes very little effort to pick up a phone and meet someone for lunch. It also helps that her son is a built in happiness maker. An hour with them made me feel a lot less like grumpy cat.

I can’t say that I will stop being this way overnight. I might even need a few more kicks in the ass to be reminded that I am not in fact the center of the universe. In two weeks I will be on a plane to Scotland for my graduation. I need it. I need to recharge, see some of my friends, and introduce my sister to my favorite place in the whole world (besides my bed that is). I hope that recharge will help me move into finals and end my first semester in the doctoral program on a high note.

In an order to not waste my day off, I am going to finish plugging along with the edits on my paper and finish some other little homework tasks for school. Maybe if I feel less behind with my work, I will feel less guilty about wanting to see my friends and get a little TLC.

The Scamp Re-formats

I am just about done with the final edits (cue video)

Along with the editing, I was forced to reformat the paper using a referencing system I know nothing about. Thanks to Google, and a line by line reading of all 16,667 words, the paper now reads like a Harvard referenced dream (If you don’t know what the Harvard system for citations is, don’t you fret…I can now tell you all about it). I spent a good portion of the day working on it, and by tomorrow, the goal is to be completely done.

My paper is not the only thing that is getting reformatted.


For the last couple of weeks I have felt like I have been wearing a “Kick me” sign. Yesterday I hit my breaking point, complete with a hysterical sobbing fit in the middle of the 25 Hour Fitness parking lot in La Mirada (I know I hurt my mom’s feelings when I said that I hate here and all I want to do is go back to Scotland, but I seriously mean it in terms of going back to my happy place).  I have done nothing but work on my paper for months. I haven’t seen or chatted with my friends as often as I would like, and some days I don’t even leave the house. In my cabin fevered state I was starting to resent the people around me. No one was calling to ask me how I was feeling or how my paper was going, or they were calling me to complain about mundane problems or self created drama. I was being lied to by people my friends, or complained about for not being around. My supervisor cancelled a meeting with me half an hour after it was supposed to take place…generally, I was just feeling like my time wasn’t valuable, and my feelings didn’t matter.

It hurt. It hurt a lot, and admitting that it hurt, and that I let someone else hurt my feelings is hard (although, a very wise friend brought it to my attention that the fact that I can admit that, and acknowledge that shows great growth and maturity on my part.).

I wallowed. A lot. Yesterday was a pity party of poor mes and why am I the bad guys. Today though, I made a choice. I could continue to have a friendship with a self-serving person, or I could move on and rid myself of the stress and drama.  I reformatted my criteria for who qualified as a friend, emailed my supervisor all of the questions that I had for the meeting along with times when it was convenient for me to meet, and decided that I am going to have to make a little extra effort to reconnect and foster friendships with people who I know will not bring unnecessary drama into my life.

I know my therapist would be shaking her head at me for falling back into old ways, so I am going to try and take a more active role in keeping myself from any more meltdowns….if for nothing else than the fact that I am an ugly crier. My face gets blotchy, I oooze snot (which is not fun to deal with in regards to a fresh nose piercing) and I usually give myself the hiccups.

It is not a pretty picture….