Time To Fly

For those of you that have been steady readers here at all things Ridiculous, you know that the last few years have been chock full of change for me. Personally, getting out of a toxic relationship with an alcoholic, moving to the Frontier, buying my own house, dealing with said house, deciding on That Grad School Thing, the plan for That Grad School Thing, the falling apart of That Grad School thing and the realization that what I thought I wanted…I did not. The understanding that my reasons for pursuing these goals, were no longer the driving force in my life. Finding a partner to share my life with. All of these things…

All of these things have been a portion of my journey, my quest as it were, to find the place where I can be of use in this world. There has been much gnashing of the teeth and pulling of the hair. But in the final analysis, I realized that I was searching for a particular place. I thought it might be a classroom…the traditional classroom that resides inside a school with a chalk board (dry erase/smart board/whatever) and a teachers lounge. I have discovered that I was thinking too small.

I began to really meditate on this place, and what I would do in it. It would be a place where I can affect change, where I can be of service, where I can leave a place better than I found it. There would be a call for my entire skill set. Those things I’ve learned on this quest.  It would be able to fully integrate with my focus of helping women find their voice, promoting and developing programs that will facilitate the empowerment and personal growth of girls. Advocating for education and literacy. Maybe a puppet show thrown in for good measure. I would use the skills I learned onstage, back stage, on the road touring and directing and producing. The connections that I’ve made in the 8 years behind the chair, learning about my clients, investing and connecting with them on multiple levels, that comes naturally to me, but I know that it is also a skill.

I began to really pray about this a few months ago. I wrote to you about it after the comprehensive exam disaster and that blow to my plan and self confidence. I began to do what I always do…talk to my people.

Things happened.

As of Saturday, May 4th, I will officially terminate my position with Salon W, and with hairstyling completely. If you are one of my clients, please do not panic. I have a plan for you. I’ll get to it in a bit.

As of May 14th, I will begin my new position as a Community Development Executive for the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, overseeing District 4  where I eventually will office. District 4 was initially a part time position. It became a full time position and was offered to me in place of the one I had initially interviewed for which would’ve covered my hometown, and surrounding counties. District 4, in a serendipitous twist of fate, includes Norman, Chickasha, Shawnee and surrounding cities and towns. I will office in OKC at first, but eventually will be moved to office out of Norman.

This is an exciting new opportunity for me that will include benefits such as health, vision, dental, retirement. I will work with a group of people who are committed to seeing this project through successfully, and are committed to helping develop strong, mindful and brave girls in this world. I cannot wait to join them.

The bittersweet portion of the program comes in saying goodbye to my faithful and beloved clients. I know that this is painful.  I know that your first instinct will be, “but you can still do me, right?” and my instinct will be to say, “umm sure let’s just…”

But I’m not going to do that.

I have been working on this in my head for awhile now, and I know where I think you should land, and what stylist is going to work the best with you. We will connect and get that worked out. I know that you support me in this next chapter, and that means more than you can imagine.

Meanwhile, I’ve got two weeks in the salon. For those of you wishing to get in one last hurrah!!! LETS DO IT!!! Get on the phone, and get your time.

Change is always…a thing. Sometimes I do it well. Sometimes I am ever so reluctant. I have great faith in this next phase of my life. I have no idea where it is going to lead me…but I do have faith.

 

Faith
When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
you must believe that one of two things will happen:
There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
or, you will be taught how to fly

© Patrick Overton
The Leaning Tree, 1975
Rebuilding the Front Porch of America, 1997

Dearly Beloved…

So remember when I told ya’ll that my Pseudo Sis 3 got engaged? Remember? It was the perfect engagement that involved all of our favorite people (lots of people)and places (the Wormy Dog during daylight hours) and things! (All things icy, shots, beers, diamonds!)

Well I had dinner/drinks with Maggie and Shiny (Chris) on Friday night in Norman. It was so fun to have friends IN Norman!!! I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but really it is. I miss my social life here in OKC and wish for it to be the same down in Norman. I want people to Sunday Funday with, to sit and listen to music with at the concerts that Mark helps produce. I miss MY friends. So this was a real treat.

During our meal and beers and laughing and kind of tip-toeing around PseudoSis1’s. . . fierce arrival. . . Maggie finally broke the news and spilled the real reason for our gathering.

She and Chris asked me if I would get ordained and along with Michelle (PS1) would we officiate the wedding ceremony!

WHAT!!!!!

I started laughing and crying and I was still chewing my bite of nacho and it was a messy, hysterical glob of family love. At this point Maggie handed us both hand stitched handkerchiefs that said NO UGLY CRYING. Michelle’s in orange. Mine in Fuschia.

Such a nice touch. Sweet Sweet Sweet.

Of course I accepted the honor and my brain immediately started racing, going through the files of quotes, passages, special writings that I love about love, movie quotes, song lyrics.

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togever…Yeah. You know I said that about a million times. The scenario of Michelle and I at the end of the aisle, both nonchalantly sucking at our custom designed Xanax Necklace (patent pending) was enough to send us all into a tizzy. I at one point said that at the end of the ceremony,  instead of a nice presentation of the couple I was just going to clap my hands and exclaim:

“BOOM. MARRIED.”

and walk away.

I’ve also got a puppet just dying to do some interpretive readings of some Journey lyrics. Do not tempt me.

Do. Not.

All kidding aside, I don’t know if I can express what an honor this is. To be a part of this relationship, to be a witness to the life they are building, to be a part of the foundation of family and friends and love that they’re building it on…

This is what it’s all about ya’ll.

This day has given us some pretty devastating news. People near and far are hurting and experiencing profound loss.

Tonight, as I sit here and watch The Voice and sip a little jelly jar of $3 wine and proof my final research paper for That Grad School Thing, I choose to focus on this.

This life.

This love.

That’s what sustains.

 

Air Bubbles

My new committee has all agreed and been formed for my Fall comps exam. This is a great source of relief and all due to the work of my advisor who is leading the charge and the committee.

I should note, *this advisor, only came on board in that capacity for my program in January . Previously, in all of the semesters previous, I had the same woman. She is notorious for not communicating, for not answering or even acknowledging emails. Do you remember the trouble I had first enrolling, right? Remember how she was impossible to get through to, to get a response from or ANY kind of enrolling advise for that matter. The tiny bit she DID give me? Completely wrong, in hindsight. The moment’s we did have scheduled for face to face visits were spent talking about what did I think about her hair. SO. This guy? This new advisor? Rest assured he is just as frustrated about how all of this went down as I am. And he is working his arse off, with emails way past office hours, to help me through this.

I still have a list of things to do to clean up this mess. But the mess in my head is so much better. Thanks to all of you and your support and comments and commiseration. There is also another idea that is forming from all the muck and mire. . . I’ll tell you about it soon.

In the meantime, New Thoughts.

Thoughts become Things.

I must remember that.

Change the language, quit talking to myself in such a way that…if I saw someone talking to YOU like that? I’d karate chop their windpipe.

Be nicer to myself.

Understand that love is not contingent on a master’s degree, or any inanimate thing in this world.

Tell those voices, They Were Wrong. (thanks for that, Spence. You always know what to say)

Thank you.

Words are powerful. Believe you me. Each one was an airbubble, that you so delicately shoved down my throat and allowed me one more breath. One more breath to get to today. One more breath.

I’m working on tomorrows Shakespeare readings this morning. Then I’m going into the salon for some good hair banging and business strategery with a little LTYM business sponsorship work thrown in between.

This is perhaps the first day that I don’t feel like Pigpen with the cloud of funk swirling about.

Chin up, boobs out. peanuts-dancing

Let’s dance!

 

 

Spectacular Fail.

So. Here’s the gist of it.

I failed my comps.

I won’t graduate in the Spring.

*They don’t give the exams in the Summer like previously advised.

It will have to be the Fall.

I found all of this out Friday afternoon. That morning I received my official rejection letter from OU. I knew that was happening, and really after hearing what I’d already heard about that department, and visiting the building that stank of armpit hair, I was okay with it.

Then I got the email saying I’d failed my comps.

My advisor was and has been really supportive. He sees that while it was MY lack of thesis writing that caused all of this to happen, the really awesome lack of advisement on any of it, writing a thesis, guideline/timelines, the comprehensive exams as another option, criteria for those, the building of a committee all played a major role. My advisement to take the comps this semester, when they were 9 days away and knowing I was at a conference presenting a paper was also poor advise.  My third committee member, whom I’ve had for a class before and made an A, is known for failing students on their comps and for some reason refuses to answer/acknowledge any of my emails this semester.

I was never going to pass this. Ever. This was a perfect storm for guaranteed failure.

I had a tiny bit of hope, though.

The buck still lands with me. My thesis wasn’t happening. I wasn’t happy with my topic, not finding much in terms of research and certainly not writing. I should have done something different.

I’m going to always maintain that I’VE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE so completely and utterly trust those with the letters by their name and take their advise anytime it’s given. But that is neither here nor there.

The bottom line is this: no graduation for at least another nine months. Student loans and financial aid are factors that are becoming dire. I meditated on that all weekend, and then yesterday I got the email saying this:

WELCOME TO OSU! WE ARE ADMITTING YOU TO THE PROGRAM AND HERE’S YOUR T.A. OFFER!

It’s like the bleach in the paper cut.

So now I have a list of things to do:

un-apply for graduation.

drop the one hour of comp exam that I enrolled in at last minute.

talk to financial aid and see where I stand with repayment.

build a new committee.

call OSU and regretfully decline their offer of the assistantship and ask about possible deferment of admission and really decide if that is what I want at all.

write an official petition to the department asking to re-take the comps in the Fall.

 

In juggling all of this, I’ve let my Shakespeare class slide. I got re-focused and caught up this weekend but not before two really spectacular failures in that class as well. I sent an email to my professor owning that and promising better.

This has just been a really awful rollar coaster of a thing. I’m angry, and embarrassed, and exhausted and defeated and angry again. But the extra time is what I know I needed. . . I just didn’t know I needed that much. I understand that there is a lesson here. Several in fact. But really…I just want it to be over. I just want it all to be over.

I don’t know when I’ll be solid with this turn of events. Right now I’m very mercurial. I’m stuck somewhere between “this is what I needed and I’m good enough to figure it all out” and swimming in a pool of self doubt that is reinforced by every single detail of this debacle.

It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok. It’ll be ok.

 

 

***some of you have text/emailed regarding yesterdays post. no. no one is talking about marriage. everybody calm down. that is not this…and really, after all of this word vomit today who’d want to. 😉 it’s not a prophetic dream. just a dream where solace was found at a train depot. 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Grace…and a Little Forward Motion

Today was a day full of progress.

Forward Motion at it’s finest.

I finished all the bits and pieces of my ph.d program applications. I refined, and tuned, I printed and printed again. I put everything in nice little manilla envelopes and took them to the sending place and paid some money so that both packages will be delivered to the Graduate School Offices by 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

The final bits that are out of my control such as official transcript requests, letters of recommendation, GRE scores have been requested, have been sent, are in the process of…It’s finished.

As I walked out of the sending place, leaving what was essentially two envelopes of my soul, …it was all very Julia Roberts in Notting Hill…

I’m just a girl.

Standing in front of a ph.d program.

Asking them to love her.

…as I walked back to my car I was overcome by a profound sense of peace. Ok. Here we go. If they don’t want me, if neither program admits me…we will know that it’s not time for me to do this…yet…if ever. And I will get on with figuring out what I’m supposed to be doing. I felt a sense of calm, and a dissipation of this, this…presence that had been with me since I began This Grad School Thing.

Ok. Well…then okay.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts, a lot of words whirling around in my head. Combined with the questions that I’m fielding from everyone else…it’s been kind of cluttered. So much of this part of this year is up in the air for me. For a person that craves stability…it’s not comfortable. However…I realized that I’ve been focused on the endgame. The unknown place where I’ll wind up. How will I get there? When will I know? I realized today, that my focus has solely been on getting to the finish line with so many of these things…and I mean to change that. I think by sending off those manilla envelopes that weighed less than half a pound each, that I began the process. I could have really missed out on the joy that’s becoming self evident every day had I not had the realization.

I wasn’t just doing this with the ph.d program. I was doing it with everything. I was focused on my relationship and the endgame and listening to all the questions about “when are you moving in together…are you going to move to Norman…are you going to get married…what will you do when…what would you do if…” I know these are posed with the best of intentions. It’s a good thing that’s happening here. I don’t know the answers to these questions, and though I come from a long line of women who fall under the category of “when you know, you know, so why wait” this is my thing. It’s Our thing. And we’ll let you know as soon as there’s anything to tell. In the meantime…I’m happy. I’m not going to spend my minutes focused on the what if, and when. Life is good. Here. Now. Right now. And that’s enough.

I wasn’t just doing it with the ph.d. program and my relationship either…LTYM:OKC has been weighing on my heart since I got word that we were selected to produce a show. I’ve been working and muddling and worrying and trying…and really the endgame is going to be amazing. But this journey is going to be an experience that I know…I KNOW will be forever changing. I don’t want to miss out on any part of it. I don’t want to get mired down in the muck and forget why we are doing this.

Finding your voice. Finding the empowerment that comes with your voice. Our voice. It may well be my life’s work. Helping others to find their voice. Empowering those voices. Giving them a platform and the cheers and the courage necessary to share that voice. I believe in this. From the bottom of my heart I believe in this.

Getting permission, getting validation, seeking comfort and sharing your story…that’s what this experience is about. And the opportunity to be changed, to be moved, to experience grace…that doesn’t only happen the day of the performance. There is possibility in every day.

Everyday grace.

That’s what it is.

Today I secured the venue and set the date for our LTYM:OKC production. 

Mark your calendars for Sunday, May 5th, 2013. We’ll see you at Will Rogers Theatre, here in the heart of my hood, in OKC. We finalized the details for our local charity that is Infant Crisis Services. I cannot tell you how much love I have for this organization.

Everyday Grace.

That’s what happens there. It’s what happened today. I won’t be surprised at all if we see a little tomorrow, too.

Today was a good day. Tomorrow I’m back in class. Tomorrow I tackle the big things like initial Thesis research and readings.

But you know what? That’s ok.

Because I cleared some space today. I put away a few things, I made some room for new. Forward motion, ya’ll…

It’s just a car length ahead…just a mile or two faster.

 

The Long Night’s Moon

I’m home. It’s been a week, whirlwind, stuffed full of fun and emotion and family and friends and weather and food and drink and love. I can’t remember the last night I spent here, I think it was perhaps last Sunday night. Time is, once again if not still, playing with me.

The holidays are what they are for people. I’ve never been one to stand firmly in any camp. I love the holidays. I abhor the holidays. Most of the time it depended on where I was in my own life, and what was shaking down from my family life as to how I was going to approach this time of year.

Some years, especially after my parents divorced, were as miserable as a burn. It was a pain that had no simple solution nor any end in sight. . . until all of a sudden. . . it was gone. There were especially good years, during my early relationships, after my family seemed to heal a bit, those firsts with the babies that bring out the excitement and love…and then that went away and I was miserable again. Depression a few years ago struck so hard that I didn’t even put up a tree.

I. didn’t. even. put. up. a. tree.

It’s hard for as many reasons as it is special to people. I chose not to dwell on the misery. I really do love the lights. I love my house decorated and homey. I love the tree and the smell and the ornaments that I recall from years past. I push the little red ball with Wonderboy’s picture and his voice recorded and I think…”that was when he loved us all more than the computer.” But it can be wonky, to be sure.

Navigating this season, coming off of the most intense semester to date, really trying to be sure of my next steps, professionally, juggling the financial pressures, the time off and scheduling as well as maneuvering it all with a new relationship and trying not to trip and fall…

Well I didn’t do it this year.

This year, I tripped.

I’m learning, though. I’m learning to vocalize what I want and need, even though it may not coincide with what I’ve always done, where I’ve always been. Understanding that communication is the most important item on the list, and checking it twice is a lesson I’ve learned again this season.

It hasn’t been time without hurt feelings, or shitty behavior. I will learn to be better at the gift buying and giving. I will not screw up the buttermilk pie because I’m DrunkBaking.

I think for the most part, this Christmas was a success. His family liked the roasted vegetables and the cranberry salsa/creme cheese appetizer. My dad met Mark, and we all spent some time laughing together as a family. I was astounded more than once at the awesome things I got. Three Le Creuset cookware pieces, a new NorthFace and some gloves that I can use with my iPhone and a pen carved out of the ugly tree that used to live in front of my house (remember my wine glasses from last year?) I’m using it to take notes for next year. I’m figuring it out. I’m not convinced that my big gifts were the WOW that I thought they would be…Who knows. I’ll keep a better list this next year, make some mental notes…who knows where we’ll all be in 12 months, right?

Tonight, I’m about to go make chili and get some cleaning done for my holiday party here tomorrow night. Talaura, Cindy and our friends will all gather round and have a drink and a nosh and just enjoy the time before it all winds down. Sunday is my first meeting for our Listen To Your Mother Show, and I’ve got to start making some notes for that. It’s cold and brisk outside, the cats are all snuggly and happy to have me home.

All in all, on this night of the final full moon of 2012, I have to say I think we did our first couple Christmas well. I’m excited for the next few days that are minimal obligations. And like most of you, I’m looking forward to putting a tag on this year. The Long Night’s Moon is what they call it tonight…I think I’ll go howl one last time.

Love Thursday

There’s a lot going on. A lot.

Haiti…heartbreak. Devistation. In the blink of an eye. It certainly brings perspective on life, does it not?

I’m totally reevaluating my eating. Watched Food, Inc. Bought Omnivore’s Delimma, just trying to get the information in my brain…eating clean…hitting the gym…it’s a lot. I’m tired this week.

Rehearsals began so that makes the days super long, but so far so good! My director has worked around my work schedule, so I don’t have to take off work early until the week that we open. Bless her heart. This is going to be such a great show…I’m excited about it.

I’m staying positive about work and clients. I picked up a bartending  shift on Saturday so that helps. POSITIVE!!!

In trying new things, I went to sushi with Darci and Mark last night and I tried Sashimi!!! Yellowtail! It was GOOOOOOOD!!! I was proud of myself.

Friday is ReatRoaf night with Chris and Cindy and LT, we’ll have another “try new things” feast with the meatloaf from the Field Roast brand

.

I’m excited. And tired. And happy. And loving Thursday…hope you are too…

I leave you with my note from the Universe today:

Misti, in case you were wondering what might happen next – how this week will unfold, who you will become tomorrow – it all boils down to one thing…

Expectation.

Yours.

Now, to be crystal clear, Misti: Expectation that’s not followed by action is not expectation… it’s just hoping; and hoping has never achieved very much.

Whoohoo,
The Universe