Burst Bubbles

My grades have been posted, and I have all A’s again this quarter!  I honestly don’t know how that happened.  I feel that I slacked off like crazy the entire last half of the quarter.  I had a major project (the only thing that was really graded) in one class, and I left it until the morning it was due to do any real work on it.  I had filled out all the forms and things but hadn’t written up my business plan or done any kind of floor plan or really any research at all.  How I still got an A is a mystery, but I’ll take it!  Half of the time I spend in class, I can be found wandering around the halls and generally not doing anything.  I’m sure it’s frustrating for my group members, and I do feel a little bad about it, but I get bored and antsy.  I can’t stand still.  And, when there’s only so much to actually do, it’s hard for me to focus my attention on the task at hand.  Still, I got all A’s, so I’ve made the Dean’s list for the 3rd quarter in a row.  I joke with my mom that it’s probably worse NOT to make the Dean’s list at Hocker College than it is to make the Dean’s list.

I’ve got one more week of utter freedom from academic cares until my summer classes start.  I’m taking Hospitality Supervision (online – yikes!); Salads, Sandwiches, and Eggs; Beginning Swimming (fun!); and Baking Lab III.  It’s a lighter load than in past quarters, so maybe it will be a little easier.  I somehow doubt it, but we’ll see how things pan out.  I would love it to be a lighter quarter!  That would really help me achieve the summer of fun!

I’ve also decided that this summer is going to be the summer of jello shots.  I found a web site that has tons of recipes for jello shot versions of all sorts of cocktails.  I’d like to try a new one each week.  We’ll see how that works out for me!  The first one I want to try is a watermelon basil concoction.  It sounds so delightful and refreshing.

I’ve noticed lately that my attitude has become a little pessimistic.  I try very hard to be positive and up-beat, but I also tend to be a realist in that I never allow my expectations to get out of control.  I fear that this is seen as pessimism and negativity.  I also fear that it’s creeping into my psyche as pessimism and negativity.  I have a bad habit of letting my expectations run wild, and when I’m inevitably disappointed, it’s crushing.  I hate to be sad, and I hate that things that should give me joy are instead a source of pain for me because I have let myself get my hopes up far too high.  I allow the image I have of what a perfect X, Y, or Z should be ruin my experience of the actual X, Y, or Z.  I haven’t fully learned how to live in the moment.  I can pull it off occasionally, but I cannot sustain it with any regularity or consistency.  Perhaps my best bet is to go into all situations with no expectations of how things will resolve or end.  Maybe then, I’ll be able to enjoy myself more fully.

–Casey, spaced-out and disappointed

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Break it Down

I’ve been out of school for less than a week.  But, this break is exactly what I’ve been needing.  It is going to be a short one, though.  I have this week and next off before my summer quarter classes start.  This week, I’m working 16 hours for my uncle and generally fooling around, staying up till all hours, and sleeping in.  I’m also finishing up my garden.  I just got everything but the cantaloupe planted yesterday.  I’m doing beans, red and yellow beets, tomatoes, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, basil, cilantro, and pickling cucumbers.  I’m going to try to grow some carrots in a couple of pots because my grandpa said our soil has too much clay to allow the carrots to grow the way they should.  Next week, my uncle’s normal assistant is on vacation so I’m going to be working 40 hours for him.  The money is going to be really nice!  I’ve been just scraping by (or not – I have a $0 balance at any given point in time right now), and this is going to make things so much easier for a little while.

On June 27, the summer quarter starts.  I’m doing a few required classes, but I’m also taking Beginning Swimming.  I sort of know how to swim now, but I don’t know proper technique or anything of that kind.  In the fall, I’m hoping I can take Swim for Fitness.  It will give me an additional way to exercise, which I like.  I haven’t been running, mostly because I’ve been lazy but also because I hurt my knee a couple weeks ago.  Basically, I was doing something dumb, and I hurt myself.  It’s getting better every day, but now I’ve got some really sore hamstrings from gardening, so no running for me for a little while longer.

The Farmer’s Market is still going well.  I like the people I’m doing it with, and we have a good time while we’re there.  We don’t make a whole lot of money, but it’s still pretty early in the season.  There isn’t much fresh produce out yet, but I expect that it will pick up once there’s more produce available.

I’m going to make this the most fun summer I’ve ever had.  I thought about it recently, and this summer will be the first summer since the one between junior and senior years in high school that I wasn’t romantically attached.  I plan on hanging out at friends’ pools, going bowling, partying as much as my funds will allow, and generally having as much fun as humanly possible!

The divorce is on the brink of being finalized.  I’m frustrated that a decision in which I wasn’t involved is having the most impact on me, emotionally, financially, socially.  I haven’t seen my therapist in over a month because I have been too busy with school stuff, but I have an appointment with her the Tuesday that summer classes start.  I have a lot to talk to her about, and I have missed having someone outside my immediate circle of family and close friends to talk to about how crappy some things feel right now.  Kathleen is always sensible and helps me get outside myself.  Being busy has helped, but it’s no substitute for a good therapist!

So, here’s to a summer of healing and fun!  I miss you all and wish I could share more time with you than by just posting to this silly little blog.

–Casey, break-dancing since 1992

All Funned Out

Apparently, last quarter was NOT the busiest quarter ever.  That honor falls to this quarter.  However, it’s almost over!  I have one week to go, and it’s going to breeze by because it’s finals week.  Classes will (mostly) be shorter, which means I’ll have more free time.  At least that’s what will happen in theory.  My guess is that while my classes will be shorter, there will be other things to occupy my time and make me feel like 24 hours in a day are simply not enough.

I feel like such a slouch because I haven’t been able to post much this quarter!  The quarter started off okay.  I was depressed about life stuff, but I still managed the occasional post.  Things devolved quickly, though, as they are wont to do.  I had a goal of at least posting weekly, like I did the first quarter.  You see how that turned out.

Going back over old posts, I noticed that I never mentioned one of my biggest time-sucks!  Two school friends and I bought a space at the Lancaster Farmer’s Market.  We’re there every Saturday (those of you on Facebook have probably seen me mention this), and when the quarter is over, we may be there on Wednesdays too.  It’s kind of slow right now, but as the summer progresses, I’m sure it will pick up.  We’re called Two Chicks and a Dude Pastries.  We just did a graduation party for one of my cousins.  It was a ton of work, but once the table was all set up and looking pretty, I was very pleased with how it all turned out.  Best of all, my aunt was extremely happy with everything, and that’s really all that matters.

The Chicago trip was eventful, though not always in a good way.  There was some drama, mostly surrounding the guy I had been hanging out with from a few posts ago.  I felt like I was making every effort to be inclusive and nice and friendly with everyone.  Apparently, though, my sarcasm was not fully understood by some, and I was seen as thinking I’m better than everyone else.  My reaction was to sob for 2 hours and feel like these people have never actually met me if they think I really believe I’m better than ANYONE.  If anything, I’m overly down on myself and can’t understand why anyone would even want to be around me because I’m only okay.  It was baffling.  We got past that, and things were fun again, but it really ruined that day.  I made some new friends there, as well, which was great.  They are people from school that I’d never really talked to but who were so incredibly sweet to me on that awful day.  All-in-all, I had fun.

The one thing I’ll really be glad to have a break from when this quarter is over is the gossip.  I am very out-going and talk to everyone (you guys know that!).  My friends in the Baking program joke that I’m the prom queen because everyone knows me and wants to talk to me.  It’s the way it was at UMUC, too.  I prefer to say that it’s like I’m the most popular girl at the prom, but my friend E decided prom queen was shorter and funnier.  Lately, my friendliness has been a source of gossip for people at school.  It’s frustrating because I am not doing anything that hurts anyone or that is really anyone’s problem.  The latest rumor is that I’m sleeping with a guy (D) in one of my classes.  D and I talk at school, and we hang out with the same group of people on Tuesday nights after class.  I have had very little interaction with him beyond that, and on Tuesday nights, we don’t really even talk to each other.  (As a side note, this rumor is a false one, but I think D would like it if we could make it a true one.  Eesh.)  It frustrates me.  Apparently, I can’t talk to people without some assumption being made.  It’s just all so junior high.  I’m tired of people feeling like they have some right to know all my business and gossip about things that aren’t true.  But, as one of my chefs said the other day when I was expressing this frustration to him “Fuck ’em.  It’s not their business.”

Today, I’m going shopping with my mom at Easton.  I have some left-over gift card money at Sur la Table from Christmas, and I want to get a bathing suit.  And, maybe she’ll even buy us lunch.  It should be a fun day!  I also have some school work that I need to finish up, but I’m not really worried about it.  Mostly because I’ve reached the point in the quarter where I couldn’t give less of a crap about much of anything and just want this shit to be over.  Though I know I’ll probably not be able to, I’m going to try to post more over the summer.  I am taking classes, and I’m doing the farmer’s market.  I want to fit in some visits around the state of Ohio, and I’m really hoping I can make it to Maryland at some point in the next couple months.  I’m also going to be working for my uncle still, so it probably will be no less busy than the last two quarters.  But, busy is good, especially when I’m trying hard not to think about my divorce and the other life crap that could really bring a girl down if I let it.

–Casey, prom queen of Hocker College

All Geeked Out

Yesterday was Star Wars day!  Many of you know of my love for Star Wars, and I think you all know of my love for puns.  It was the perfect day for those two loves to combine!  I could walk around and say “May the 4th be with you!” to people!  Total nerd heaven!

Today, I have a meeting about the trip the college is putting on for the NRA Food Show in Chicago.  I have bought my pass to the show, and I’ve expressed interest in going.  But, now that it’s time to turn in some money, I’m not so sure.  The guy that I had been kind of seeing is going.  He dumped me a few weeks back, and I’m not sure I want to spend that much time in a vehicle/hotel/convention hall with him.  There’s too much drama.  He’s the cause of about 99 percent of the drama surrounding the two of us.  He doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut and even shows his one friend my text messages.  I haven’t really been talking to him because I don’t trust him not to go running to other people right away.  Burned once, never again.

I’m also thinking of staying home because I kind of can’t afford to go.  I have a little bit of money in the bank (enough to cover the trip), and I get paid for my one-day-a-week job every two weeks, but I had to give my entire tax refund check to my lawyer for the divorce.  It was a painful, panic-attack-inducing day.  To basically drain my entire checking account in one fell swoop and not even get anything material to take home with me was dizzying.  I know it’s a necessary expense, but with how little I make and how expensive gas is right now, it’s sickening that something I didn’t want and the paperwork I didn’t want to file are continuing to cost me everything.

All that said, as my friend Emily reminded me, I have my health, and I have good friends and a good family, all of whom are healthy.  That’s really what’s important.  Not the rest of the bullshit.  It’s hard to put the drama at school and my painful divorce situation out of my head some days, but I have to keep reminding myself of the important things.  And it helps to demand hugs of people.

Burrito that Baby!

Something I forgot to post about in the last me-centric post:  my little sister had her baby!  His name is Samuel Hennessey.  Every time I’ve told someone his name, I get “Hennessey?!  Like the…?” to which I smile and politely say no, not like the cognac.  It’s a family name on my dad’s side.  My parents made an effort to name each of us after a relative (dead or alive).  I’m named after a distant ancestor (Casey is a last name on my dad’s side).  My brother Joe’s middle name was my paternal grandmother’s maiden name.  My brother Richie is named after my paternal grandfather.  My sister Clara is named after my maternal grandmother.  And, my brother Terry (middle name also Hennessey) is named for one of my dad’s brothers and his favorite aunt – Florence Hennessey.  The way Clara tells it, they wanted to continue that tradition, and Brian (her fiance) latched onto Hennessey right away and insisted it be little Sam’s middle name.

I got to meet him this past weekend.  He’s at the lump-of-flesh stage, where all he does is eat, sleep, and fill his diaper.  I’m excited for him to get bigger and be a little more interactive.  He’s wonderful now – all sweet and soft and warm – but I can’t wait to watch him grow up and see how he interacts with the world around him.

Those of you who are looking for a picture here are going to be disappointed.  Clara and Brian made the decision to keep his web presence as low as possible.  They are not posting him on Facebook for that reason.  They want it to be his decision later on in life.  I’m willing to respect that decision, so I won’t be putting up any pictures of Sam the Baby Burrito.  (Any parents out there may get my reference, but for the non-parents – or non-child-initiated – when I call him a baby burrito, I’m talking about how he looks when he’s swaddled.  You basically wrap the kid up like a burrito.  It mimics the womb and comforts them.)

So, exciting but early days.  Clara’s exhausted because she’s trying to finish up her semester and take care of a newborn.  I know it’s stressful for her, but I think she’s always wanted a family.  This one has come a little sooner than she may have liked, but she seems to be happy about being a mother.  It’s still a little surreal for me, though.  I half expect them to be giving him back sometime soon!

Roller Coaster Sue

Things have been really up and down lately.  It’s been exhausting!  I’m finally starting to feel better about my life.  It only took me a few weeks, lots of crying in my therapist’s office, and some honesty with people that have been having a negative impact on my mood to get here.

I was a little too casual and passive with my lawyer at first.  I met with her on March 8 (my birthday!), and she sent an e-mail to my soon-to-be-ex-husband (I’ll call him EH from here on out for brevity’s sake).  It would seem he ignored it because I got a letter from a lawyer in Pickerington asking for information from me to get the dissolution process rolling.  Confusing, to say the least, since I had actually started the process with my attorney a full month prior to receiving this letter.  I had to make clear to my attorney that this is my show, not EH’s.  I hadn’t stated this clearly to her at that point, so I understand why she seemed to be letting the other lawyer handle the paperwork.  It was difficult for me, but she was very kind and understanding, as she has been throughout this entire process.  I couldn’t ask for a better attorney to handle the paperwork for me.  She’s wonderful.  She’s not the one I started with in December, but I think I made the right choice in switching.  She puts me at ease that things are in good hands.

I had been hanging out with a guy that I met at school.  I thought I had been clear that I didn’t want any kind of serious entanglement – I only wanted to have fun since I’m still married and I’m just not ready to jump back into a relationship yet.  He’s nice, and we had some fun, but he suddenly decided he didn’t want a relationship so we couldn’t see each other anymore.  This was rather confusing because he kept accusing me of “getting too serious” and “letting my emotions come into it.”  I think he was projecting, honestly.  I tried really hard to be as light and casual when we hung out as I possibly could be.  He was acting pretty skittish, to say the least, and it hurt my feelings.  I had been trying to be cool about it, but it was hard because he did upset me and he made me a little angry with his shenanigans.  This hot-and-cold crap isn’t what I want, so I told him that he’d hurt me and made me mad.  I told him how rejected I felt, especially in light of the crushing life-change I’m going through and the fact that I’ve been saying all along I don’t want anything serious.  It felt good to get it out, no matter how difficult it was to say it.

My parents made me sit down and talk to them about why I’ve been acting so distant with them.  It was helpful to finally get out that I’ve been feeling smothered and checked on and babied.  I know it can’t be easy to have one of their kids move back home when they’ve finally gotten the house back to themselves.  But, they assured me that they love having me in the house and want me to stay as long as I need to.  They also told me that if I need any help financially, they are willing and eager to help.  I don’t want to ask them for any more than they’ve already given me at this point, but it’s good to know that if I need it, they’re willing to help out.

I’ve been a little more assertive with people lately, and it’s been good for me.  In the past, I’ve been so concerned about the feelings and expectations of everyone else that I’ve neglected the most important person in my life:  me.  My therapist and I are working on the idea that it’s okay for me to put myself first.  She also told me that I should listen to my instincts a little more closely than I have been.  I told her that I hate most people when I first meet them, but I make myself give them a second chance because it could be that I’m just cranky or being unreasonable.  There have been a few people with whom I’ve instantly connected, but they’re few and far between, so I give people the benefit of the doubt and try to put aside that first impression.  She told me that I don’t give my instincts enough credit and that I should learn to tell myself that it’s okay not to like someone.  It’s a hard thing to do, though.  I’m pretty judgmental and mean by default.

So, I’m having an “up” week so far.  My flat iron caught on fire this morning, but it was a good day other than that little snag.  School has been fun, and I’m enjoying my freedom.  I can flirt and laugh and joke and be as loud as I want. I don’t have anyone telling me that I’m an embarrassment or that I should be anything other than me.  I don’t have anyone who is disappointed in knowing the real me.  I’m cutting people out of my life that are too negative because I can’t afford to lose the tenuous hold I have on good mental health.

Blue Bird

I’ve allowed my posting to drop off again.  I had hoped that I would turn over a new leaf with the new quarter because I have a little more free time than I did last quarter.  I’ve realized, though, that the problem isn’t time.  The problem is me.  I do not have anything all that positive to report, and any of who know me to any real degree know that I prefer to be positive.  I’m not a complainer by nature.  I make every attempt to be positive and up-beat, regardless of what else is going on in my life.  Lately, that has been an extremely difficult endeavor.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been struggling with some depression.  Nothing hospital- or watch-list-worthy but it’s certainly been difficult for me to go about my normal day-to-day activities.  All I really want to do is curl up in bed and cry.  I haven’t felt this miserable since I first moved back to Lancaster, and I honestly hate it.  I hate this feeling, and I hate myself a little for feeling this way.  You, dear readers, deserve better than sad-sack Casey.  You deserve happy Casey.  Happy Casey hasn’t been making her presence known as often lately, though, and I haven’t been able to muster the emotional energy to be the version of Casey you know and love.

I will, eventually, feel better.  I will, eventually, go back to seeing life as a source of joy.  I will, eventually, pull myself together and get on with things.  Until then, I will probably not be posting much that is not, admittedly, kind of whiny.  I won’t blame you for taking a break from me.  I would!

School has been going well so far this quarter, despite my sucky emotional state.  I’ve at least got most of the assigned reading done for this week, which is something.  I would not have thought there would be so much reading in culinary school!  I’ve talked to the advisors at school, and they have confirmed that the only general ed class I really have to take is accounting.  I never took that class, and they aren’t going to let me substitute one of my other math classes for it, which is a bit of a bummer.  I’d rather not have to take ANY general ed classes, but if it’s only this one, I suppose I can suck it up and take it.

I’m still living with my parents, and it’s still difficult.  They still see me as requiring management.  I do not see things that way, which makes my current living situation stressful.  I don’t want to be required to clear with them the times/days I am out of the house and where I will be going.  That’s dumb to me, especially at 31 years old.  They couch it in a concern over whether or not to prepare an extra portion of dinner for me, but it sure feels like checking-up.  I’m having a hard time taking it.

Right now, I just feel like a child, and I don’t see an end in sight.  Much of my crisis over school right now (whether or not I’ll actually finish, that is) comes from a desire to be independent and self-sufficient again.  I have no control over my life or its course, it seems.  For a Type-A control-freak like me, that’s probably the worst feeling in the world.  So, in a couple of weeks, don’t be surprised if I announce that I’m going to quit school and will now be pursuing a career as a flight attendant!

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