Week of January 14th 2019- Food Service Week 1 (I Moved out on a Thursday Night.)

Monday, January 14th- Our Preceptor Didn’t Answer our Phone Calls, so We Just Showed Up. She Kept Us Waiting for Three Hours

First day at food service! The hospital my internship partner and I are completing this rotation at is in a familiar neighborhood for me. When my dad and I stayed two or so nights back in May last year for the first meeting of my nutrition internship, we stayed at an Airbnb in that neighborhood. So, naturally, my dad thinks he’s super cool because he kind of knows where I’m rotating at.

I know I always repeat myself, but in case I have any new readers. I’m from Texas, but I took a crazy leap of faith or maybe just a crazy leap and applied to do my nutrition internship (in order to become a licensed dietitian) in Puerto Rico. I’ve been living here for the last 6 months (minus a two week winter break where I returned to my parents house in Texas to celebrate the holidays). For my internship we go to different locations to observe and participate in a dietitian’s work in each area. The dietitian we follow in each rotation is called our preceptor. For 98% of those rotations we go with an assigned partner. The same partner all year long. My partner’s (pseudo) name is Gia.

Alright, and we are back! This rotation was the first one where the preceptor did not even answer our phone calls or emails. Gia and I just showed up on the first day and hoped for the best. Well, we knocked on the office door in the diet department of the hospital and were told by someone in the office that she’d let our preceptor know and to wait in the dining room.

We waited until 11am. We didn’t even know if our preceptor had arrived. No word. We would periodically check, but kept being told she was still in a meeting. Once we finally were able to speak to her, she apologized and told us that isn’t typical; it was just an emergency meeting. Also, she apologized for not answering our email or calling us back. She’d been busy. So, really, I mostly sat around this day. I wrote the Telemedicine rotation post I’m going to publish on Friday from rotations last year that I fell behind on. So, I suppose it was semi-productive.

Tuesday, January 15th- Walking to the Rotation with Gia

Who knows? Seriously, I don’t remember. I guess we just sat around a lot again. Oh! You know what’s cool about this rotation? It’s only about 30 minutes away walking from my apartment. Since Gia lives in the same apartment complex, we walk together. It’s nice not having to rely on the train or busses for once. And, the route over there is through the bank/ business area so it’s pretty.

Wednesday, January 16th- Axyl moved out

I wrote a post explaining why I am not going to go into detail about the situation between my roommates. Axyl, Robin, and Karen are in a legal type situation and during an intervention meeting with the director of our internship program last Friday Robin (with Karen in agreement) told Axyl and me to get out. To move out of the apartment we shared. My first reaction was to exclaim, “What did I do?!”, since their beef was with Axyl, not me. Axyl, who shared a room with me, reacted by looking for apartments. There was no reasoning with them, so he did the best thing he could have done: removed himself from the situation.

Thursday, January 17th- I Moved Out.

The next day, I moved out. No more walking to the rotation with Gia. I struggled with how much to reveal, since I know Karen and Robin (and Gia) have access to my blog. I don’t doubt they are reading this very sentence. However, enough of my life here in Puerto Rico has been tainted by fear of what others think/ think they know about me. Whether that’s been my apartment-mates or even the preceptors or the director of the program, it’s enough. Yeah, ex-roomies (and Gia) I live with Axyl. I moved out and now share an apartment with Axyl. It’s not like you guys didn’t see that coming.

I packed my stuff on Wednesday night and rushed back to the apartment after my rotation today. I knew no one would be home as early as me, so I called Axyl to help me with my stuff. The apartment was on the third floor. Robin heard Axyl and got riled up. He said Axyl wasn’t stepping in the apartment and that the guard wasn’t even supposed to have allowed him to enter the complex. He left to alert the guard to kick him out. So, I proceeded to carry my stuff downstairs and tell Axyl what was going on. When Robin came back, he let me know he’d also told the guard I wouldn’t be allowed in after this month.

That’s fine. I’d had a short conversation with him moments before Axyl arrived about wanting to stay on decent terms with him and that if I forgot anything that I wanted to feel free to come back this month to get anything. He agreed. Didn’t seem like it when he came back from speaking with the guard, but I understand he was affected by knowing Axyl was there. Robin asked me if I was moving in with Axyl. I said no. He asked if I was going to live with Gia for a while. I said I would rather not say. However, now you know Robin, I am living with Axyl. I didn’t want to tell you at the time though. Really, I won’t ever tell you unless you bring up already knowing by reading this post. It’s not information you need to know. But like I said, this is my blog, so I’m taking that risk.

Just like I took all my stuff down two stories by myself as Robin watched.

Friday, January 18th- Friday Horror Movie Night! 😀

At the rotation Gia and I gave patients questionnaires and were assigned to make a powerpoint on the acceptability of the food at the hospital according to those surveys. Gia and I were also each assigned a topic and told to make a powerpoint presentation and education plan for it. I got safety rules in an industrial/ hospital kitchen. Oh, and a two week menu was given a due date for Monday. Gosh, the preceptor is cool and all, but she gives a lot of work. Ooh! Also we were assigned to summarize a sustainability article. Yeah.

At home! It felt so good to get home. I can’t explain how peaceful it feels. Axyl and I are really good friends. Anyone that isn’t automatically off put by me is a good friend, but one that seeks to understand me and DOES. That’s a gold star. So, yes, Axyl is one of those few gold stars. I feel fortunate to have clicked with someone as well as we have. Very helpful when moving not even two weeks after returning to Puerto Rico. Ha!

Now, Axyl had proposed a Friday movie night. For two reasons, to celebrate our move and because he’s a horror movie fanatic and I grew up with a religious mother who would not let me watch anything that would “invite spirits into our home”. She seriously told me I couldn’t watch a horror movie in her house unless I had some holy water. That’s my mom for ya!

Anyway, Axyl chose a horror movie. I overnarrated on how dumb it is to have blood or other gross things spewing into the protagonist’s mouth with her opening her mouth screaming like a banshee giving all that gross stuff prime access down her throat! That was the movie Drag Me to Hell (link to trailer on YouTube here). Then he put on another horror movie. I obliged him and stayed quiet during the whole thing. That made it that much more idiotic and uninteresting though. Also, since Axyl fell asleep by the time we got through half of it. That movie was called Evil Dead. (Link to YouTube trailer here)

The last movie we watched that night (yes, Axyl awoke by the end of the last one and had enough energy to put on one more) was Black Swan. (Link to trailer on YouTube here) Well, I essentially watched that one by myself, since Axyl dozed off again after a few minutes in. It was the best one of the night. It addresses the dilemma of perfection. I feel as if I need to watch it several times to be able to fully understand it. Best way to celebrate our new apartment!

Saturday, January 19th- No- Thing Day!

Lazy Day. Today was a complete lazy day. I don’t even remember what I did. Axyl and I had planned to run some errands, but when we decided they could wait until tomorrow, I took the day off. The most exciting thing that happened today was that I got back in contact with an old friend. If you guys are early readers of my blog you’ll know him as Richard from when I was in university. (Post involving him here)

Sunday, January 20th- First Errands in Our New Apartment

Errands! Axyl and I went grocery shopping today. It was cool to go out and explore our new area. After that, I started working on the survey assignment due tomorrow that I had to do with Gia. I did the data entry and she did the analysis. The best part of today was that I finally organized my stuff and am now happily unpacked! 😀

***

It’s been an eventful week. Next week, I’m still going to be in the same food service rotation. I’ll be there for four weeks total. Other than that, I can’t wait for our next movie Friday! 😀 Things are better here. I’m glad I moved out.

Note:
Featured picture is of where I used to live.

Beautiful Male Characterization

Originally Published February 18, 2018

His goal in life is to cause chaos in mine.

He succeeded.

Inspired by one of my university roommates, Richard. The line came to me back in February when he came to distract me from writing or some other work I was doing at the time. Sounds like something out of a teen novel.

Submission

Originally Published January 23rd 2018

I’ve beat myself into a dull submission. I don’t feel the motivation to read or write or breathe. Nah, I’m just feeling melancholy and poetic. It’s only the first full week of classes and I feel overwhelmed. It is like most things in my life. As soon as I get close to a tangible end I sever the rope. Maybe I’m afraid of progress and the outcome of opportunity. There are too many thoughts. One says, “talk about how you rely too much on people and always have”. Another whispers, “tell about how you drive people away with anger and cruelty”. A third screams, “none of it matters, so why are you still typing?”. I don’t hear voices. They are simply my inner thoughts. Sometimes I think the voices, external voices that is, would be comforting. Though abusive, I’d finally feel like a true victim. For now though, the thoughts are just that, intangible and taunting, with my own voice.

Where do they come from? From me? My environment? That old question of nature and nurture. I just hope it’s not me. I don’t like the me that snaps on a dime or can’t talk to her roommates for fear of saying something overly cruel. They are beginning to become scared of me. Not in an intimidating way. The three of us know my limitations. Oh, recap, I have two roommates at this time in my life. One tall ex-football player and the another, a feisty woman. Richard and Mariah. What a pair! I could write about them forever. However, I have a larger concern at the moment. I don’t pretend that they are afraid I could overpower either of them. It is not a physical danger they wince at. They begin that treacherous walk on the eggshells of my unpredictability. For at any moment, my mood can go from sunshine to electric storms.

Sometimes it is best to ignore a problem than to confront it. They do it very well. I’m surprised by two things. One, that I held out for so long. So long in fact, that I almost believed my cruelty to be false. Who would be so cruel anyway? I am. Two, I am surprised that they tolerate it. Yet, I am not surprised by that. Like I said, sometimes ignorance and denial seem like the easiest solution. It is not, by the way. Ignorance makes pain fester; and pain, in my case, makes a snappy and paranoid Lizzie. That’s the other thing. I don’t know if I truly believe in truth. How can we be real when this society values reputation and achievement which is often facilitated by charm and the social graces, while simultaneously destroyed by those magical factors. I’m sleepy. Finally. Look at that. Another cesspool of regurgitated thoughts. I’m sorry for the stream of consciousness. Again, that is not my intended method, but sad women will do what they will.

Mis Miedos

Originalmente Publicado 10 diciembre 2017

<< ¿A que le tienes tanto miedo? >>, él preguntó.

Mi ex novio, mis padres, y recientemente, mi compañero de cuarto me han preguntado esto. Los ignoré a todos. Excepto a Richard.

Mi compañero de cuarto (lo llamaremos Richard) me convenció ir a caminar con él una noche. Me sentía reluctante por la hora tarde, pero fui de todos modos. Él caminaba calmadamente por lo mientras que yo casi corría por la paranoia que sentía. Eso es cuando preguntó la pregunta crucial: << ¿A que le tienes tanto miedo? >>. Al no contestarle, él sugirió << ¿Asesinos? ¿Violadores? >>. Negué con la cabeza y respondí débilmente, << No violadores, pero sí, rateros y asesinos.>>.

Silencio una vez más. Nada excepto el sonido de carros zumbando al pasarnos y nuestros pasos ocasionalmente crujiendo sobre hojas de otoño muertas y secas. Después de varios momentos, con un aliento amable y curioso, preguntó, << ¿Por qué? ¿Te ha pasado algo?>>.

Lo dijo tan sinceramente, sin ni una huella de malicia en su voz. Entonces, lo consideré.  Por la primera vez, no descarté esa pregunta desgraciada con una actitud arrogante. Pero antes de poder colectar mis pensamientos, él compartió sus propias experiencias. << Me han atropellado carros. Me han disparado. Me han perseguido perros y gente. Por eso no le tengo miedo a nada.>>.

Lo confesó con tanta casualidad. Era como si me dijera el tiempo de día en vez de situaciones profundas y personales de su vida. Consideré sus palabras unos momentos más. <<Estaba en un carro que se salió girando de la carretera. Esa es mi única experiencia cercana a la muerte.>>.

 Continuamos caminando con crujidos callados a nuestros pies y ráfagas de viento pasándonos detrás de la docena de carros todavía en las calles a las 10 pm entre semana. Ocasionalmente yo rompía el trance para añadir, << Pues, un conocido mío pretendió raptarme una vez. Aunque, por supuesto, yo no sabía que él estaba pretendiendo cuando lo hizo.>> o << Fui muy amparada de niña. En verdad, nada tan malo pasó.>>

Eso hace sentido, ¿no? Si no has estado expuesto a peligro o trauma, cuando algo nuevo o inesperado pasa que amenaza tu seguridad, tu cuerpo empieza a temblar con miedo y anticipación. Después te quiebras.

No siempre.

A veces sientes ese revoltijo de trepidación tantas veces que se empieza a sentir normal. Es como hacer pesas. Tal vez empiezas con dos kilos como un cerdo fuera de estado y se siente como la montaña Everest en tus brazos flácidos y temblorosos. Pero después de semanas, meses, o años de esos mismos dos kilos se sienten como nada.

¿Por qué? Porque lo haz hecho antes. Nuestros cuerpos les encanta aprender por experiencias y son expertos en hacerlo. ¿Nunca haz cuidado un bebé? Diviértete cuando se mie en ti. ¿Creciste con media docena de hermanitos y tuviste cinco propios? La gente te lanzará bebés berrinchudos para que los cuides.

Lo mismo aplica con experiencias negativas. Después de suficientes encuentros con hombres raros haciéndome ojitos he aprendido que la bondad sólo los motiva. Aun si es una bondad fuera de cortesía. También he aprendido que cualquier persona que te enseña su colección de cuchillos antes de un mes de conocerlos o antes de que les des alguna pista que eres aficionado de cuchillos, es mejor despedirse de él con rapidez. Haber dicho eso, no tengo miedo de tipos raros pidiendo mi numero por lo mientras que intento comprar dulces en la tienda. Esto me ha pasado. Después de esa y otras situaciones, yo sé como tratar tipos raros.

Los que no sé tratar son rateros y asesinos. Violadores también supongo. Nunca he estado en una situación en donde me ha perseguido un perro o me han disparado. ¡Ni con una pistola de agua! No tengo experiencia en mi pasado en cual depender y no tengo entrenamiento de defensa propia o cualquier otro tipo de estrategia de prevención. No temo ataques de perros porque crecí con perros y sé como comportarme cerca de un perro agresivo. tengo miedo de asesinos paseándose por las calles buscando una victima al lazar porque no he tratado con gente enojada, mucho menos con gente homicida.

Lo desconocido y impredecible. Caos y impotencia. Eso es a lo que le tengo tanto miedo.

¿Pero como te preparas para lo desconocido e impredecible? Haz lo que puedas ahora y confía o ten esperanza que serás lo suficientemente astuto y fuerte para sobrepasar el resto.

En el tiempo que llegué a estas conclusiones, Richard y yo estábamos a un par de pasos de nuestro apartamento. No habíamos dicho ni una palabra por mucho tiempo y no empezamos a ese momento. En vez de eso, subimos las escaleras en silencio. Él sin enterarse de mis revelaciones que cambiarían mi vida y yo con una sonrisa leve en mis labios.  

 

Why I am Self Conscious of my Belly

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ

May 26, 2018

I need to stop talking to this friend of mine. He can be really invasive. And I like that. It’s nice when someone wants to get to know you better. It’s even nicer when they want to know about the ugly, damaged parts of you too. It means they want to understand you. They care about you enough to want to know more than just the good things about you. So, I welcome probing questions from friends. I take it as an honor to be asked.

He thought I would be upset with him for asking. But he asked anyway. He asked, “why are you self conscious of your belly?”. “Because I have gigantic scar”, I should have said. But this wasn’t the first time he’d asked. No point shrugging his question off. I gave my typical answer first about societal pressures to be thin and beautiful. He asked for more. So I thought a bit more about it. In my mind, I usually stop at the society reason. I think it’s more than enough reason to be unsatisfied with my body. But it wasn’t enough for him.

After a few moments, I pull a slimy, repressed memory from its hiding place. It wasn’t even terribly hidden. Imagine a ratty stuffed animal poking it’s ears out from behind a dingy pillow in a corner of a room.  When I was young, I was skinny and beautiful. I was even popular in school, imagine that! Everybody loved me. Or so, that’s the way my mother tells this story. Though she just uses the word pretty (not skinny) to describe me back then.

However, the fact remains that once I was not skinny, I began to dress myself in slouchy too-big shirts and muck colored clothes to hide my outwardly growing body. This is when my mother would reminisce. She’d say it with a yearning as she tried to motivate me to do something about my appearance. What she refused to understand is that I would not dress any nicer unless I was comfortable in my body. And to be comfortable in my body, I believed I needed to lose weight.

My dad isn’t completely devoid of involvement either. He used to tease my brother for being overweight when I was young and thin. I saw that and partook. I still feel bad about it, though I understand that I was only mirroring the behavior around me. That’s when I learned that fat isn’t favorable. I also learned through the media, through T.V. shows and books, that fat people get bullied. I was only attempted to be bullied on once. Because of my freckles, someone called me a cheetah in second grade or so. I smiled real big and thanked the kid who made this clever observation. I used to love running around and my dad affectionately called me cheetah. And I’m so glad for the coincidence. No one ever tried to bully me again.

…Well, there’s the guy that would spit at me on the bus in middle school, but he was just weird. It wasn’t personal. Thanks Dad, for sparing me the cycle of bullying. In my later years I reflected back on the cheetah moment and some helpful tips on T.V. and books that recommended laughing in the face of bullies. The sources said bullies seek a reaction. You don’t give it to them and they won’t want to mess with you. You won’t be fun for them. Somehow, this worked.

What I mean by this long, rambley post is that I learned at a young age, through various sources that thin=success. It equals happiness. My mom would talk about her weight regretfully. Say my dad prefers thin people. As if the T.V. screens weren’t screaming this preference of thinness loud enough at me. At the same time she and countless others sang me praises when I did lose weight in high school (only to gain it back the summer before college). So, it became something to resent, my belly. It became a sign of my failures. What is keeping me from success. Because it’s much easier to think “all I have to do is lose this weight and then my life will fall into place” than the reality, which is that life is multifaceted.

If I want to be successful, I have to go to the dentist, continue learning everyday, brush my hair, spend time with friends, and a billion other things than just diet and exercise. There are so many parts to life. While it is important to health, why should weight loss be (ironically) such a huge part? It’s usually my first item on goals I want to accomplish. It’s not that I don’t know how to lose weight. I practically have a Bachelor’s degree in that. (My Bachelor’s is in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics.) There’s other personal factors in the way, like the fact that I put thinness on the pedestal of success. If it’s so important, it’s also very intimidating to work on.

I don’t know what is best: working on the underlying issues or the problem itself. I am medically obese. I know, doesn’t help my credibility to admit that. Who believes fat people? They’re just lazy bums. (<– A half joke.) I don’t know if I should work on changing the way I think or pushing forward and adopting a healthier lifestyle. I’m afraid that by focusing on my thoughts I’ll only come to accept what can actually be adverse to my health (mainly being overweight and having a sedentary lifestyle).

Obesity is a precursor for many diseases like heart disease and diabetes and puts you at higher risk for certain cancers like breast cancer. I don’t want to be comfortable in my excessive weight. But, I also fear changing my life to a healthier one where I am within the normal parameters of weight for me and am physically active. I fear looking successful, but still being broken in my beliefs. I don’t want to change my outside if my inside doesn’t change too.

So, I am at an impasse. The solution, as I see it, is to work on both my faulty beliefs that thinness equals success and on my unhealthy habits like not exercising. If only it were that easy. Thank you. I sincerely thank you Richard for asking that invasive question. By answering you I find the answers to my indecision. I’ve been stuck in this place of wanting to do something about my weight and not wanting to do anything without knowing why for years. I see now that it is a matter of opposing factors (my perception of thinness, what it means to me, and the reality of weight as a factor in correlation to health).

Now I just have to convince myself to start. Maybe I’ll go on a run and then compliment myself for taking the initiative. After all, progress (not thinness) is success.

My Fears

VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL AQUÍ

Originally Posted December 10, 2017

“What are you so afraid of?” he asked.

My ex, my parents, and most recently my roommate have asked me this. I shrugged them all off. Except Richard.

My roommate (whom we will call Richard) convinced me to go on a walk with him one night. I was reluctant due to the late hour, but I went anyway. As he walked calmly while I, in a paranoid tizzy, nearly sprinted, he asked the pivotal question. “What are you so afraid of?” Upon my silence, he suggested “Murderers? Rapists?”. I shook my head and answered blandly, “Not rapists, but yes, thieves and murderers.”

Silence once again. Nothing but the sound of cars humming by and our footsteps occasionally crunching over dead, dry autumn leaves. After a few moments, with a kind and curious breath, he asked “Why? Has anything ever happened to you?”

He said it so sincerely, without a hint of malice in his voice, so I considered it. For the first time, I did not dismiss that wretched question with a haughty attitude. Before I could gather my thoughts though, he shared his own experiences. “I’ve been run over by cars. I’ve been shot at. Chased by dogs and people. That’s why I ain’t afraid of anything.”

He was so causal in the way he confessed this. It was as if he’d told me the time of day rather than deep personal situations from his life. I considered his words for a few moments more. “I was in a car that spun off the highway once. That’s my only near death experience.”

We continued walking with soft crunches at our feet and gusts of wind breezing past us in the wake of the dozen or so cars still on the road at 10 pm on a weekday night. Occasionally, I broke the trance to add, “Well, an acquaintance of mine once pretended to kidnap me. Though, of course, I didn’t know he was pretending at the time.” or “I was pretty sheltered growing up. Nothing really terrible happened.”.

That makes sense doesn’t it? If you haven’t been exposed to danger or trauma, when something new and unexpected happens that threatens your safety, your body will begin to shake with fear and anticipation. Then you break.

Not always.

Sometimes, you feel that shaky mess of trepidation so many times that it begins to feel normal. It’s like lifting weights. Maybe you start with five pound shoulder presses as an out of shape slob and it feels like Mount Everest on your trembling, flabby arms, but after weeks, months, or years of that same five pounds it feels as if you have no weight on your shoulders at all.

Why? Because you’ve done this before. Our bodies love to learn through experiences and they are experts at it. Never cared for a baby before? Have fun getting peed on. Grew up with half a dozen younger siblings and raised five of your own? People will be throwing fussy babies at you to deal with.

The same goes for negative experiences. After enough encounters being hit on by creepy men, I’ve learned that kindness only encourages them, even if it is a polite kindness. I’ve also learned that anyone who shows you their knife collection before you’ve known them for at least a month or before you drop any hint that pegs you as a knife aficionado is best given a swift goodbye. That being said, I am not afraid of creepy guys asking for my number as I try to pick out some skittles at the store. This has happened before. After this and other situations, I know how to deal with creepy men.

What I don’t know how to deal with are thieves and murderers. Rapists too I suppose. I have never been in a situation where I have been chased by a dog or shot at, even with a water pistol. I have no prior experience to rely on and no self defense training or other prevention strategy to depend on. I’m not scared of random dog attacks because I grew up with dogs and I know how to behave around aggressive dogs. I am scared of random murderers roaming the streets looking for a thrill because I’ve hardly dealt with angry people, let alone murderous ones.

The unknown and unpredictable. Chaos and helplessness. That’s what I’m so afraid of.

But how to prepare for the unknown and unpredictable? Do what you can now and trust or hope that you will be astute and strong enough to endure the rest.

By the time I came to these conclusions, Richard and I were a couple paces from our apartment. We hadn’t spoken a word for a long while and we didn’t start then. Instead, we went up the stairs in silence, him none the wiser of my life changing revelations.

Week of May 14th 2018- Graduation!

Woot! First weekly blog post! I am very excited to begin a new form of blogging. Like I said in my Thoughts and the Past section, I’m used to blogging as if I am journaling. It’s going to take some getting used to showing more than telling. Anyway, with that being said, let’s get into it. Hmm, I’m sure the format will change, but how about we go day by day for now?

Monday, May 14th- Impromptu Breakfast and SnapChat

After a few weeks of not seeing my friend Sherri, we met up for breakfast. Or that was the plan. Instead of going out to eat though, we went to the store and bought eggs, sausage, and other breakfast-y items and made food at my apartment. I live with a couple: Richard and Mariah. This morning Richard was out presenting a final project for the semester, but Mariah was home to have our impromptu breakfast with us. We made eggs, sausage, potatoes, and a nice blenderful of berry smoothie. I think we were all aware this would be one of the last times we would be able to do something last minute like this. I didn’t ruin the moment by taking pictures.

The other “big” thing that happened this day was that I got a SnapChat account. Ha! My best friend had been begging me to make one for ages! I know I now have this blog, but that desire to stay in touch is strong. Especially with friends I’m so close to now. I can’t bare to let them drift away even faster than time already will provoke simply because I’m not well versed in social media. Soo, yeah. That’s been a ridiculously fun learning experience.

Monday, May 14th Part 2- Dress Shopping and Nutrition Counseling

… because I am losing my days and somehow thought the following events took place on Tuesday… which doesn’t make sense because it is Tuesday night as I write the following day’s events. Monday! This section is still Monday.

The girls and I went dress shopping today. Remember that my graduating wasn’t guaranteed? I was doing very poorly in one class which may have been a motivating factor in deciding to attend as many little graduation ceremonies as I can if I did end up graduating. Well, I roped Mariah into this. I convinced her to attend a Hispanic Convocation on campus so that we could be in the same ceremony. (She studies Natural Resource Management and I study Nutrition Dietetics, so our official graduation will be at different times.)

Anyway, with another ceremony, we went in search of a dress to wear. We went to the mall and a small secondhand shop. No dice. So, we got a bite to eat and called it a day. Sherri went home and I bugged Mariah and Richard for the rest of the day. I feel bad nowadays to spend too much time alone. I feel like every moment I’m not spending with the two of them is a moment lost. Like I said, hanging out won’t be as easy once we graduate. Life is going to change. A lot.

The last eventful thing that happened today was that I began nutrition counseling Mariah. Background on that: I took a nutrition counseling class this semester and I loved being in the position to teach someone about nutrition. I have a passion for education and I thoroughly enjoyed doing it on an individual basis. It was so satisfying to see my client for the semester take in the information I gave them and apply it. I was so proud of our work and look forward to being able to help someone out this way again.

Thence comes Mariah. She and Richard have been together about four years. They have a wedding date set within the next two years. Hmm, someone wanting to lose weight and someone about to graduate in nutrition. Like I said, I loved the counseling experience. One small problem though. I am not a licensed dietitian yet. Despite this, I offered my help to Mariah. I let her know, I am not an official dietitian and that other than that brief class experience, I am a complete novice in counseling someone. With the promise not to sue me for malpractice or anything else, she took me on. I am grateful for the practice and, of course, to help her achieve some of her health goals. We had our intake session this night which left me wanting to join in on the fun by focusing more on my own health journey.

Tuesday, May 15th- Graduation Photos and Last Hiking Trip

…Now it’s Tuesday. How is it only Tuesday? I thought it was Wednesday!

We took graduation photos. Well, as best as we could. Sherri, Mariah, and I headed to campus around midday to get this checked off the graduation to do list. Before snapping any pictures though, we stopped by our club’s office to visit the staff. I was a part of Mentor Tech (a mentoring organization on campus to help students transition into college life by providing them connections to people on campus such as professors or staff members [mentors] and undergraduate students [PAC Leaders]) my four years in university, but I must say that this year I finally let some walls down and got attached to the staff. I will truly miss them. I brought them thank you notes and an invitation to the Hispanic Convocation on Thursday. As a bonus, I also brought a flyer for my blog and a balloon dragonfly to promote my site. Ha, those management classes are coming in handy now!

After the visit, Mariah and I attempted to pose for our novice photographer (Sherri). I deliberately say attempted. Neither of us are decent enough to even be called armature models. We took photos at a couple of places on campus before getting hot and discouraged. To hydrate, we stopped by my old workplace for some water. We ran into my boss of three plus years and chatted a bit. After promising to return for one last visit with my family on Friday we left.

Later Mariah and Richard headed out to go on one last hiking trip. I went to give a friend a book that kept making me think about her then grabbed some food and went back to my lone apartment. Mariah and Richard are camping tonight and returning tomorrow which means I have the place to myself. I love being alone for a few hours at a time. I sing at the top of my lungs and watch all the T.V. I want! It’s been great! I’ll be glad when they get back though, but for now, no one can stop me from blogging at 1am while listening to Eye of the Tiger by Survivor!

Wednesday, May 16th- Road Trip Call and My Favorite Aunt

I was awoken by a phone call. Sherri has this habit of calling me when she goes on long road trips. I think it’s really sweet…when I’m awake. Well, I took her call and we chatted for little over two hours with a couple of disconnects as she drove through the towns with spottier cell service. We spoke about a party she had gone to with her classmates. First impressions? A ton of Chemical Engineers to be sitting in a room awkwardly not talking to each other. HA! Then we spoke a bit about boys as the topic tends to get derailed among girls. Who knows what else we talked about. I just know it ended with me giving my word I’d go check in on her cat.

My roommates still weren’t home so I sang some more songs with ridiculous high notes and belts. I called home and worked on this blog. Ordered some pizza, because cooking for one? Yeah, no. Soon after my roommates came back I got to talk to my favorite aunt. Her name is Melody. We each shared some life changing news. (I will announce mine soon. Her’s I will respectfully not share.) She’s the aunt who always has something positive to say, not matter what she is going through. I proudly seek to be like her in this way. She’s taught me to embrace change and keep living no matter the situation. And not only to live, but to enjoy life. I admire her so much.

Thursday May 17th- A Shower Serenade and Saying Goodbye

Mariah woke me up with news of a surprise party for a staff member from my club. It would be Rudy’s last day as he is moving across the country this weekend. Before even thinking about this, I goofed around for a bit then got ready. I picked some good belting songs and had a great last shower singing session. Tomorrow both Mariah’s and my family are coming for our graduations. This is the last day I have of my normal college life with her and Richard.

So, I serenaded them. A sort of goodbye and I hope you will miss my too confident cracking high notes. After my little concert, we left for the Mentor Tech office. There we had one last get together with fellow staff and PAC Leaders. We said goodbye to Rudy. Once everyone had left we took some stuff to storage one last time. So many lasts.

Finally, we attended the Hispanic Convocation. With Richard and Sherri in the audience we heard reminders to remember our roots and be proud of our culture and our accomplishments. After the event the four of us played a quick trivia board game then set to packing when Sherri left for her place. I’d been avoiding packing. If everything still looked normal, maybe I could convince myself that my college life isn’t about to end. But it is. No use denying it anymore.

Friday May 18th- Packing and Protege

Packing. That has been most of the day. Other than putting all of my belongings into boxes throughout the day, I went to say a final farewell to my boss. I was supposed to bring my family, but they hit traffic on the way and couldn’t make it on time.

Afterwards I had dinner with one of my freshman proteges from my club. It was so nice to be invited to meet up. We ate and had some delicious ice cream amongst delightful conversation. I can’t believe I only had them for a year. Some background: In Mentor Tech, participants (called proteges) are assigned a PAC Leader (or Protege Advisory Committee Leader who is an undergraduate student usually in the same or similar major). If available, they are also assigned a mentor who is a staff or faculty member at the university usually in the field the protege hopes to go into. This academic year I served as PAC Leader to five wonderful freshman. I hate goodbyes, but it was so nice to see Sue one last time. I am so proud of them all.

Saturday, May 19th- Graduation Day and People Invasion

I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Science today. Yay. I’m just glad it’s over. Maybe it’s the fact that my parents and Mariah’s parents both came into town yesterday. I don’t have a problem with any of them. My issue is forgotten social anxiety. Anyone else forget things are a problem for you until you are put in that situation? Like, I don’t know. Maybe you have a dog and he/she is a huge leash puller, but you’ve been letting them run around the yard for exercise and haven’t taken them on a walk in a while. I’ve done this. One day I get the brilliant idea to take my dog, Misty, on a walk because “you know, how bad can it be?”. Then…it’s bad. And I’m stupidly surprised by how bad, because it’s been too long for me to remember the last time. Yeahh. That’s my social anxiety.

So, my room has been invaded by my wonderful family. I love them, but they are in my room. They won’t leave. Part of the reason for that is that Mariah’s family has invaded the living room and common areas. My family, as a whole, is also socially awkward. So, my room is full of people, just like the rest of the apartment. Everywhere I turn: people! Aghhhh…

Anyway, on with my day. I woke up early to go to Mariah’s graduation at 9:30am. I was with her family and Richard until about an hour before my graduation where I switched people and was with my peers one last time sitting in an arena waiting to be called to graduate. Then I went out to dinner with my mom and brother. Then I escaped my family a bit by…. sitting in the living room with Mariah’s mom, sister, and nephew, in addition to Mariah and Richard. This was still stressful. Then I came back into my family-infested room and have been sitting in a corner singing to cope. *sighhhh* Why am I like this?

Sunday, May 20th- Goodbye College Town Hello Hometown!

It was a sad day of farewells. My family woke me around 5:30am. Looks like they were ready to go. We began taking stuff down to the vehicles alongside Mariah who also meant to leave this day. When it was her time to go, we stood awkwardly between her packed car and my semi-packed van. Then she hugged me tight and must have said some parting words. I couldn’t hear over a voice in my head screaming to break the hug. The tears were already forming. It was too much, too long. Too painful. So, I pushed her away. When she wouldn’t let go, I hugged her again then forced us apart and ran back up the stairs, my throat tight and tears streaming down. The last words I heard from her were “I’m so confused”.

My family continued packing. I did not want to participate. My life is ending. Well, my college life at this point has, indubitably, ended. It ended the moment our parents came into town. Then Mariah and I (and all the rest of my friend’s at university) weren’t each others. We were then at the mercy of our families. I love getting sidetracked on my musings, don’t I?

Back to the day’s events: my family continued packing. Sherri came to pick up her house key, so I was able to say goodbye to her. I think I was so emotionally drained by then that I could not mourn her. Then came the goodbye to Richard. My mom and I were taking the last of the stuff down to the cars when I told him this would be it. He just looked at me and said “What do I do now?” Ha! At this point I shooed my mom away and told him, “you mail anything I left behind to me.” He stood there a second then offered me a hug. I denied it.

Context: yesterday I’d requested a hug from him because I thought that’d be the last I’d see of him. I did not expect to get up so early. So, I denied him. Like he had offered to me the night before, I put my fist out for a fist bump. The perfect words danced in my head for this though I did not say them aloud. As our fists met, I wish I’d said, “None of that emotional crap. We’re bros, remember?”. He was always so chill with me and treated me like one of the guys. I miss him already.

The rest of the day was quite mundane. We drove about six hours back to my parents house where I’ll be staying while I work over the summer. I fought for my right to do my own laundry. (My dad insisted he’d wash it while I insisted I just lost my whole way of life and I wanted to be able to do something, anything for myself!) Then I began watching a new television series and went to sleep. I miss my old life.

 

Talking to myself…out loud blog version:

I want to post my whole week’s happenings at once, but I also want to write daily so I can remember the details. Seeing how I skipped a day in the middle of the week and managed to imagine an extra day, you can see how important daily blogging will be. Maybe I’ll post half of my week first then update on the same post when the rest of the week is over. Or I’ll post on a new “weekly” blog every Monday and update on the same post daily. It just seems like a waste to make a new blog post for every day! OR I could wait till Sunday to post it all at once. NAHH.

It’s a learning process.

 

Notes:

(1) Balloon design by Gustavo (Balloon twisting and photograph by me)

(2) As always, all names are pseudo names. (except Misty…That is actually my dog’s name.)

(3) I have gotten permission from the director of Mentor Tech to use the organization’s name. If you are thinking of going to university at Texas Tech, I highly recommend being a part of the organization and becoming a PAC Leader. The club helped me grow as a person and holds a special place in my heart.

(4) Next weekly post…expect it on Thursday or Friday…?