Sunday, October 21, 2012

An academic failure I am

Because I'm not a TOTAL absolute loser with no friends or social life, I went out this evening with a good friend of mine to celebrate one of his friends' recent engagement.  I got to talking with some new people I'd never met before, three young women who were all in the final months of their PhD programs in Neuroscience and Biology.  They were all my age, 27-28 years old.  I got to thinking about how different our lives are.

They are just graduating and are just now starting their journey into the professional field of working and doing the 'grind'.  At age 28.  Meanwhile, I've been working almost nonstop since graduating high school at 18 with a few temporary part-time jobs along the way, have been working in my industry of choice for 5 years now, and I'm basically at the peak of where I hoped I would end up someday.  While I'm thinking of things like job flexibility, maternity leave, buying a house, and the idea of having kids in the not-so-distant future, these women were just starting their lives.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's a bad thing.  I'm actually quite envious that they got to spend so much of their lives learning something that they're passionate about.  I'm jealous when I hear people talk about the groups they belonged to in college, or what they're planning to write their thesis about.  It all sounds so scholarly and fun compared to working full time and paying the bills.  I remember, looking back, how I was on a path to go to a four-year college and get my Bachelor's but it just didn't work out for me.  I started out trying to get a degree in Equine Industries Management and left that school after the first semester.  I moved on to Criminal Justice and couldn't even handle one class because of how sensitive I was.  I then did Nursing and ending up being kicked out of school for failing two dosage calculation classes in a row.  I moved to San Diego, got a job in the game industry, and found success.

I think I'm envious because for all the successes I've had in my career, I've had even more failings as a student.  I couldn't manage to get good grades in high school because my head was in the clouds and my priorities were all over the place.  Even after moving out here and paying my own way into a community college, I didn't finish my first semester of 3 classes.  Am I just not an academic person?   I don't know what's wrong with me.  Failing is not really something I've ever been satisfied with, and the only thing I have consistently failed in has been all efforts involving school.  Even if I were the CEO of a successful company, I'd still have this hole in my heart where all my academic failures taunt me.

If I could go back 15 years in my life, this is what I would do:

  • Apply myself in school, get great grades, take all the requisite classes to get into a good school.
  • Go to a great school for something like Computer Science or Veterinary Medicine.
  • Eaten more wholesome food, cared for what I was putting in my body.
  • Spend less time worrying about boys and more time studying.
  • Learn the concepts of feminism earlier so they can guide my life from an earlier age
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with myself and where I am.  I'm also proud of those girls I met tonight for sticking to their program for so long and coming out alive on the other end.  Life is short, and we only have so much time to spend doing the things we want.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Not a whole lot to update the blog on and haven't felt a huge need to post here lately, but I might as well check in just as a status update for the 0 people who read this blog.

Things are still progressing well on our new place on 36th Street in Normal Heights. It looks like our closing date is going to be November 15th, which gives us time over the Thanksgiving holiday to move, paint, clean, do little odds and ends.  I'm not freaking out yet, but I probably should.  We still have to get home insurance all lined up, pay the rest of our down payment, get the loan final, find new tenants for our current place...the list goes on.  Expect a stressed out version of me for the next couple of months.

We're also starting the early planning for our wedding.  So far we're trying to decide between a Vegas wedding at Mandalay Bay or a San Diego wedding.  Since it will be a destination wedding for our family and some of our friends anyway, San Diego kind of makes sense.  If we do it in Vegas, everyone will have to travel.  San Diego would mean more than half of the people won't have to travel at all.  It will all come down to costs essentially.  With the biggest purchase of our lives looming, I just don't want to drop $10,000 of our money on this.  I would like to have a simple and beautiful ceremony that people enjoy coming to.  Not sure if we want to do a beach wedding, or maybe a vineyard type setting in Temecula, or something in Balboa Park?  I can't decide.

I have been busy and haven't been able to ride my horse much lately, but when I do I love her more and more.  Her trainers are doing a great job with her.  She's quiet, responsive, and an absolute blast to ride.

All is mostly well over here.  I'm weaned off my Lexapro and I'm hoping that my anxiety issues don't return.  If they were planning to, now will be the time with all the incoming stress.  I'm looking forward to a couple weeks off work in December and a nice relaxing holiday in our new house.  Luke is on mandatory OT for the next couple of months and it's definitely stressing him out and me as a result, despite him doing all the hard work.

Things that are making me happy lately:

+ Discovery of polymer clay/Sculpey
+ Halloween decorations in my house
+ Halloween candy, yum!
+ xoJane and its awesome articles lately
+ Wine, particularly red wine of the malbec variety
+ League of Legends, Dishonored, and World of Warcraft's new expansion
+ Board game nights with friends

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Moving forward on Normal Heights

So, kind of a major life update here: We had our home inspection on the house in Normal Heights and it went well!  So we're now charging forward with purchasing this amazing place and there is even a chance we'll be in our new home by Halloween!  Well, close on it by then anyway -- we have a couple weeks worth of work we want to do before we move in our things (smaller stuff like painting mostly).  I am so incredibly excited.

I am so fortunate lately.  I keep wondering when bad things are going to start happening for Luke and I, because it seems like everything is going exactly as planned.  This house is something we never thought we'd end up purchasing.  Not only is it charming, older yet-upgraded-in-the-right-places, and walkable to everything on the awesome Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, it also has a good sized yard in a neighborhood that doesn't normally have yards, a detached studio with full kitchen and bath, off street parking for both of our cars, and curb appeal.  It's perfect.  It's a place that I could see us growing with over the next 5+ years, as it has room for us to have a baby.

We're still unsure what we're doing with the studio space. I'd love for my friend Caitlin to move into it and rent it from us, but that might not end up happening.  I've been researching Airbnb and it looks like we could rent it out for probably $80-100 night and that's an option I'm really attracted to.  We could keep it all nicely staged and clean, rent it out to people that we approve via the site, and block it off on Airbnb if we have family or friends who want to stay with us.  We could end up paying for a good chunk of our mortgage this way.

I've been reading a book lately called The $100 Startup, and it's very inspirational.  It makes me want to start my own business with minimal upfront cost and see what can come out of it.