Looking back on this year, I was unable to find a post related to goals or resolutions for 2016.  I figured that my main goal was to finish my thesis and pass my Viva, and anything else in addition would be great.  I finished my thesis and passed my Viva, so I consider that a win.

Goals for 2017

  1. Find a job. This is pretty much the first and most immediate goal apart from my thesis corrections.  It’s rather intimidating as I’m not entirely confident in the search so far.  I have always struggled when job searching, to the point where I’d send out 300-500 resumes in a summer and not hear anything back from anyone.  I hope that it’s not like that this time around.
  2. Journal every day.  Last Christmas, Steph got me a daily journal where you record your thoughts every day and it records them for 5 years.  It’s like a paper Timehop.  Theres’s only a few lines for each day in each year, however.  This year I’d like to spend a little more time writing about my day, what’s gone on, and how I’m feeling.
  3. Run a sub 30 minute 5K.  You’d think that for someone who has been running for as long as I have, that this would have been crossed off my list by now.  But it hasn’t.  I struggle with running faster as I am afraid I will make myself sick (I’m a paranoid emetophobe, what I can I tell you?).  My current fastest time is 31:57 and that was on the treadmill. Even if it takes me until the 31 December 2017 to get to 29:59, I’ll be happy.
  4. Run another half-marathon (and not get injured). I’ve run 2 half-marathons so far and I’d like to run another.  I ended up pulling my leg/knee about halfway through my last half, so I’d like to train and run another without any issues or incident. The key to that is. . .
  5. Stretch and strength train more consistently.  I know why I struggled towards the end of my half training last year, and that was my lack of consistency.  Granted, part of that was due to the fact I was trying to finish my thesis, but spending 10-20 minutes stretching isn’t exactly a hardship.
  6. Lose the last 30 or so pounds I need to.  If nothing else this year has shown that I need to make my health a priority and getting to a healthy weight is important.

    Any goals or resolutions you’d like to share?  Leave ’em in the comments!  Happy New Year!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately.  Mostly, these thoughts are fleeting worries, like passing ships in the night.  But these thoughts have a theme; transitions.

I’ve gone through several major transitions in life, and I find my thoughts going back to the earliest of transitions for some reason lately.  Perhaps it’s sentiment.  Nostalgia.  I have been listening to a lot of 80’s music.  However, I do feel that it was triggered by the writing of my acknowledgements for my thesis.  I did a lot of thinking about the people in my life and the people who have left a mark on my life at some point. Perhaps they encouraged me.  Or, on a more sinister note, maybe they were a deep rooted and fundamental reason as to why I chose this research topic.

My thoughts find me back to this first transition.  I can feel the crunch of leaves underfoot and there is a scent of Aussie Sprunch spray in the air.  With these reminders, I’m back wandering the halls, head down. It’s like that nightmare that I have when I’ve forgotten my locker combination or my gym clothes. I’ve been out of school for over 20 years and I still have these dreams.  It’s a hard time for me, so alone.  Still, I have the music I enjoy and my treasured favourite old books, and the one person who I could talk to.  This, in turn, drags emotions long repressed and avoided bubbling to the surface and I feel like I’m drowning.  (One would think I’d have moved past this, but I can’t let things go. There was no closure, so. . . ) 

Deep breaths and I’ve moved on to the next transition.  It’s hot and sunny and I’m sitting on the green at Clark University. I tip my head back to look up at the blue sky and I smile broadly.  I’ve done it.  I’m in college on my own.  The absolute joy that I feel at that moment is joined by a twinge of homesickness. I push it off and try to look forward.  I haven’t really met anyone yet, so that excitement is still there.  I have no idea what’s going to happen: those moments before I meet my roommate and my hallmates, long before J. coined the phrase about how I analyse everything like I live in a fishbowl (see my blog tagline), before I met people who changed my life.

I allow myself a few more moments on Clark’s green before I’m in Glasgow, 6 years ago.  It’s sunny and mild and I’m wearing my Ortiz t-shirt (Boston represent!). I have absolutely no idea where I am (grad school has not improved my ability to read a map) and I can’t be bothered to care.  It’s a gorgeous day and the leaves are just starting to change colour and the few that have fallen crunch underfoot. I find myself in Kelvingrove Park and everything seems bright and larger than life.  I treasure this moment, it’s precious. It’s before. . .  .

Now, I’m in the after.  Approaching the end of another chapter of my life and I’m not quite sure how to close the book on it.  There is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty in this transition.  And if there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s not knowing what’s going to happen.  Right now, I feel like I’m about to jump into the void, feet first, and it’s terrifying.

For now, I’m just trying to breathe.

This year has been filled with the lowest of lows, and highest of highs; a mixed bag if you will.  It was a horrible year for blogging, and I am hoping I can be more consistent in 2016.

 

January 2015

January started off horrible.  I was ill, I had no money, I felt hopeless.  Nothing was going right and my future here was in jeopardy.  I was injured and I couldn’t run to alleviate the stress.  Finally, everything got resolved (at least financially) and that made a huge difference.

February 2015

In February I did my first Whole 30.  That is pretty much all I can say about February.

This picture pretty much sums up the first 2 months of 2015.

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March 2015

March can be summed up by this picture.

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I saw Ian Hallard in Lovesong of the Electric Bear (twice!).  This play literally saved my life in so many ways.

 

April 2015

Despite the brief reprieve of March, I struggled through the rest of the spring.  I struggled academically and emotionally.  I cried a lot.  I ran a lot too, but finally, I was very, very lucky and once again I managed to survive.

May 2015

In May I was lucky enough to have got into the ballot to see the Vote!  Which meant this happened!

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June 2015

In June, we celebrated a year of having Bailey!

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July 2015

In July, Steph and I went to London.  We visited the Doctor Who store, I saw Robert Sean Leonard in To Kill a Mockingbird, and I took a walk past the Diogenes.

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August 2015

The beginning of August was pretty awesome; guess where I was?

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The rest of the month was spent working on three chapters that needed to be completed by September.

September 2015

In September I got the all clear to continue on working on my thesis.  It was such a relief to not have to worry about my status here anymore.

I also went to see the premiere of Doctor Who Season 9!

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October 2015

October was a huge month.  Not only did I run a half-marathon, but I went to London (again!) and had Mark Gatiss wish me a happy 40th birthday.  Pretty much perfection right there.  Definitely the moment of the year!

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Me and Steph moments after the birthday wishes!

Me and Steph moments after the birthday wishes!

Hamlet wasn’t half bad either!

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November 2015

The majority of November was spent working on my thesis and struggling mentally.  I took an overnight trip to see Lovesong of the Electric Bear in its West End debut, but the remainder of the month was spent close to home.

December 2015

I’ve really struggled this month both mentally and pain wise with NDPH.  It’s been really, really hard.  Steph and I went to London; it was for her birthday as she wanted to do the Harry Potter studio tour all done up for Christmas.  It was gorgeous!

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Overall, it was a pretty good year (at times).  I didn’t really get into a lot of the things that went on this year, and this isn’t the place for it.  Perhaps, soon, I will discuss it publicly.  A lot of it was mental for me.  Some of it was physical.  I lost some friends and made some new.  Things weren’t easy with academics and I have a lot of work to do over the next few months.  Hopefully I will come out of this with my PhD!  🙂

So many things are ahead in 2016.  Finishing up this thesis, finding a job, and figuring out the rest of my life.  Pretty scary stuff!  Hopefully, I’m ready for it.

 

 

After we pet the kitties, we walked to the St. Paul’s area for lunch at Hush Brasserie.  I had a wine spritzer and a chicken Caesar salad, and Steph and I shared truffle fries with parmesan.

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Afterwards, I took a few pictures before we headed back to the hotel so I could get ready for Hamlet.

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Once I got to the Barbican, I got myself a water, a snack, and a program and sat down to people watch.  I missed breaking my drink tradition before the play but I was still worried with the random allergic reactions and the fact that I knew there was a long way to go before the interval, and booze wouldn’t help that.  I made sure to take a dorky pre-theatre selfie.

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Once we were allowed in the theatre, I went in and sat down.  I had been third row for Much Ado About Nothing, and maybe 8th row for To Kill A Mockingbird.  However, tonight, second row here felt, very, very close.  This was really emphasised once the screen went up and I could see the stage.  I was astonished.  It was the most elaborate stage I have ever seen.  I had a hard time taking it all in *and* watching Benedict, so I had to stop watching him and take a moment to take in everything I could.  Unfortunately from my seat, I couldn’t see the entire stage, especially the centre and where it went all the way back.  Luckily, this didn’t take away from the absolute brilliance of the performance.  I was completely transfixed and couldn’t believe how much time had passed once it was time for the interval.  I really hope that I get to see it in the encore performance in the cinema so I can get a different perspective.

After, I did go out for stage door, but I didn’t have any expectations (especially considering when I got there before the performance, people were already queuing up).  I did see Benedict as he signed for people across from us, but I was more shocked at some of the behaviours of the fans, to be honest.  I’m not going to talk about that here, but let’s just say I was not impressed by how some people were acting.

By that point, Steph had come to meet me and we walked back to the hotel.  She had gone to Whole Foods and got me sandwich fixings, which I hungrily ate as I checked my messages.  She got me this as part of my birthday present (so I had something to open).

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Friday was our last day in London.  I didn’t have any specific desires or plans, so we left our bags at the hotel and just walked around the Southbank area after getting another coffee at the Coffeeworks project.

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For lunch we went to Wahaca for fish tacos.  I had been craving them for days and I could have eaten twice the amount I had!

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After, we walked around a bit, poked a bit into Borough Market and then headed to Hummingbird Bakery for a birthday cupcake.

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My cupcake was delicious!  I wish I had taken a second one to bring home!

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After we went to pick up our bags before heading to Euston and the train home.

So, that’s it.  I wish the trip could have been a bit longer, so I could have done some things/seen some sights I have yet to see, but hopefully there will be time for that in the future.  I was so glad to have been able to spend my birthday this way.

In my last post, I was fairly sure my time here in Scotland was coming to an end.  It’s been a very stressful time here; I spent about a month staring alternately at the telly or reading copious amounts of Mystrade.  (My current coping mechanisms.)

Since I wrote that post, I have made my peace with the entire situation.  However, somehow, I was granted a miracle, and my funds were released today.

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I have a lot to say about that entire situation as well, but as this is a very public place, I find I need to keep my mouth shut about a lot of what went on in case it comes back and bites me in the arse.

That being said, it is not all sunshine and roses.  I have until September to make some serious improvements to my thesis.  If these improvements are not made, then I will be asked to withdraw.  Like I said above, I’ve made my peace with this situation.

At this point, I lack little confidence in addressing the issues with my thesis.  It’s not down to wanting it, it seems to be more along the lines that I seem to have reached the threshold of my intelligence.  I do not seem to be able to grasp what is being asked of me.  I am working to try to get some private assistance, but am unsure as to where to find such a thing/person.  I’m at the point where I can try all I want, and put in a lot of effort and not have anything to show for it.  Again, I’ve accepted this and to be honest I am ok with it either way.

If I finally “get it” and am able to continue on and finish, then that’s great.  If not, well, then it’s time to rejoin the working world.

So I will be spending this summer trying my hardest to do this, despite the fact that I still feel very unsure about what I am doing.

I am happy that I will have my 40th birthday in London either way.  I have that to look forward to at least.  🙂

 

On the running front, I’m injured right now, which is a bit frustrating as I seriously could run out my frustrations right now, but alas that isn’t going to happen right now.  My calf pull/pop is better than last week.  I did go out yesterday to see, and made it about 2 feet before noping back home.  I will try again later this week and see how it goes.  In the meantime, lifting and walking are my current workouts du jour.

 

And here’s a recent picture of Bailey.  We’ve had him for a year now.  🙂

 

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