Thursday, October 30, 2014

How bout them apples?!

I don't remember exactly how, but apples have sort of become a running theme/joke in my Civil War class. I randomly asked my professor what her favorite kind of apple was a few weeks ago and made a note of it. This week, I showed up with a bag of 7 of her favorite apples, red delicious. Because there are 7 students in the class. She loved it. And I love giving gifts to people, especially cheap ones that make them that happy. And really, the timing worked out perfect because she said she hadn't been able to eat that day. I really like her and this class, so it was an easy way to say thank you.

Today's class was so much fun, too. We spent like 30 minutes debating Syria, ISIS, the US response to it all, how the UN plays into it, and the domestic response to international problems. It's so fun to be surrounded by people who are at least as smart as I am.

Tonight, I took it easy. It's been a long and busy week, and I've been way more in pain than usual.

And then, there was a major glitch with our TV/cable box that took 45 minutes to fix. And it ended up deleting some stuff off our DVR without being asked to. Technology is really not my friend this week.

But then, at the end of tonight, I got to spend two hours and fifteen minutes on FaceTime with Clayton (I know, such a shame we don't have anything to say to each other), and that canceled out all the negative and stressful stuff that has happened this week. He makes me feel sane when I feel crazy and gets me to stop beating myself up when I really need to give myself a break. We spent a good chunk of time reminiscing about Reformation and how the bonds of that whole class family really formed and they took me in. And I got to talking about how much they changed me by the way they loved me so well. And really, all of it just made me so thankful for the fact that God orchestrated our paths crossing, because Clayton in particular continues to change me every time we get to talk. Screw the distance.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Genius Bar. What an appropriate name.

So approximately two hours after I posted my blog last night, I was trying to get my music synced to my iPhone. I was at close to max storage on my iPhone so I had been trying to delete stuff to make space for my new Taylor Swift album (because let's face it, that is all I will be listening to for several days). I plugged my iPhone into the USB port on my Mac and BOOM! Total blackness. The computer completely shut off and would not turn back on. The power cord would not even light up.

Cue utter panic. It's silly, I know, but all I could think about was how I need this for school and that I had no money for repairs or replacement. And really, I've just been so at my max lately that it felt like one more thing going wrong was just more than I could deal with.

Of course all this happened after customer service hours closed, so there was literally nothing I could do until this morning. Luckily my roommate was here to tell me to basically CALM THE HECK DOWN and that it probably wasn't as bad as I thought. But I was freaked at the idea of having no money for computer repairs let alone a new computer, and since this is my first Mac and I bought it in a rush off the Apple website, I couldn't for the life of me remember how Apple warranties worked. All I knew is that I hadn't bought one.

I found the customer service number and their hours and found the nearest Apple store (because thankfully I live near an Apple store now) and texted a few friends to ask them to pray, too, and laid there just praying and waiting to fall asleep. That came around 1:30.

I got up and got ready at 7:00. Right on the dot at 8:00, I called customer service and that guy gave me some serious peace of mind because he told me that since I just got this in March, I was still under Apple's automatic one-year warranty that covers absolutely everything, so even if I needed a whole new computer, it wouldn't cost me a dime. HUGE sigh of relief. He also told me that people generally make appointments at Apple stores, but if I walk in first thing the wait probably wouldn't be too bad.

I got to the Apple store just before the doors opened at 9:00, and by the size of the crowd that was outside the doors waiting for the opening, you'd think it was Black Friday or something. Geez. Well, I got to the Genius Bar (appropriate name) upstairs and a guy checked me in and said the first appointment they had open was 9:45. Sure, I was willing to be late to class to get this figured out. And 45 minutes in a store that packed seemed like a good deal to me. So I sat down in front of the Genius Bar and waited.

At about 9:40, a guy was helping a lady next to me, but started talking to me and basically started helping us at the same time. She was working on something and so he asked me, "So your computer won't turn on at all? And the power cord won't light up?" I said that's correct, and he pressed a few buttons and then said, "I just need to do a SMC reset, which is a system reset." He took my computer off to a back room, and brought it back like five minutes later (if that) and voila! It was back up and running! He explained that there was a small power surge in my USB port when I plugged my phone in and so it shut the whole thing down. Go figure.

Frankly, I didn't care a bit about the explanation because I was just so freaking happy my computer was back to normal. I felt pretty darn giddy. Like, I was so happy I kind of wanted to reach across the Genius Bar and plant a kiss on Sean's scruffy cheek.

I didn't, I do have some standards. ;)

But I wanted to.

Instead, I settled for telling every Apple store employee I saw that they just made my entire day. That seemed like a way less creepy option.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All I know is that you drove us off the road.

Taylor Swift's new album arrived in my mailbox today. I've been anxiously awaiting it since the day I pre-ordered it. Judge if you must, but I love Taylor Swift and I am not ashamed.

I put it in as soon as I got up to my room and immediately started jamming out like you do to T-Swift when she's gone full-blown pop star.

Now, I've got to give Ms. Swift credit. There's not a single song on 1989 that I don't really, really like. The number of albums about which I can say that is quite small.

But seriously, darn her for pulling back every feeling of my recent heartbreak and putting it to a tune I can't help but want to listen to over and over again, thus turning me into a teary masochist.

Of course, this whole situation is absolutely not helped by the fact that he texted me yet again today, this time telling me how much he misses me. I wanted to tell him exactly why I can't talk to him anymore, but I know that that would just suck me right back in like it always does. So I didn't. It took every ounce of self-control I have in me, but I didn't. So there's progress.

Will I ever be able to think of him and not ache to the very center of my being? Will I ever be able to see his phone number pop up on my screen and not have my heart feel like it plummets to my stomach? Will I ever not want to go back to the time when I believed he was good and I was right for loving him? I don't know. I hope so.

What I do know is that he broke us, he broke this, and I can't fool myself into continuing to pretend he is the person I thought he was. And this time, I'm not going to be crawling back to him begging for us to go back to the toxic cycle we spent years in. I have to deal with this pain in the hopes that it will one day ease, and thank God for the fact that I have people in my life who love me just as I am and want the best for me.

Taylor Swift "All You Had to Do was Stay"

People like you always want back
the love they gave away.
People like me want to believe you
when you say you've changed.
The more I think about it now,
the less I know.
All I know is that you drove us off the road.

Hey, all you had to do was stay.
Had me in the palm of your hand.
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out
when I let you in?
Hey, now you say you want it back
now that it's just too late.
Well, it could've been easy.
All you had to do was stay.

Here you are now, 
calling me up,
but I don't know what to say.
I've been picking up the pieces
of the mess you made.
People like you always want back 
the love they pushed aside,
but people like me are gone forever
when you say goodbye.

Hey, all you had to do was stay.
Had me in the palm of your hand.
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out
when I let you in?
Hey, now you say you want it back
now that it's just too late.
Well, it could've been easy.
All you had to do was stay.

Let me remind you...
This was what you wanted.
You ended it.
You were all I wanted,
but not like this...

Hey, all you had to do was stay.
Had me in the palm of your hand.
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out
when I let you in?
Hey, now you say you want it back
now that it's just too late.
Well, it could've been easy.
All you had to do was stay.

Seriously, I love Taylor Swift. 1989 is a great album, even if it does rip open some fresh scars.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

The low and high of Monday.

Low: Okay, remember that neurologist that postponed my surgery? Well, today, I opened up a $700 bill from him...Yeah, because nobody at any point bothered to tell me that he doesn't take my insurance. As if I ever would have taken the appointment if I had known that! Especially because the surgeon's assistant called me as I was heading to that appointment with another doctor who was willing to do the clearance for me. And now my surgeon's assistant was all "Well I don't know if anyone else is going to be able to clear you now because he's the only one that has seen you at this point." Well, too freaking bad because I don't have $700 to pay this bill, let alone another $700 for a second appointment. At least this time we have two weeks to figure it out, instead of two days. I just have to have this neurology clearance before I have the full physical pre-surgery clearance on November 12.

High: But I have a good update in regard to my loan problem! I got an email from someone I had contacted for help, and she sent me a link for a page on the NYU website that has a whole list of private loan websites. So there are a lot of options still open for me and a whole lot of possibility! Seeing that made me feel a whole lot better.

The rest of the day? Meh. Same old. Class, food, reading, doctor appointment, trying to stay awake.

On to tomorrow.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ain't nobody got time for this.

I went to church.

Ate lunch.

Hung out with Dana and talked for almost two hours.

And then slept from 4:30 pm until 7:00 the next morning.

The only thing that I can think of is that this is a side effect from the neurologist upping my seizure meds, because upping my thyroid meds has never made me THIS tired before.

But maybe it'll balance out soon?

Because seriously, I'm a grad student. Ain't nobody got time for that.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Migraine day.

My plans for today got upended by the fact that I couldn't do anything but sleep.

Thanks, migraine.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Thank the Lord, I am here and now.

Today was a long afternoon and evening but it was such a good one.

First thing in the afternoon, I had my first physical therapy session. It was good, I guess, pretty much what you'd expect from physical therapy. I'm pretty much only doing this before surgery to appease the insurance company, but whatever.

The one cool/weird thing about it was that my therapist, Laura, had me end the session with the largest ice pack I've ever seen. This thing went from the top of my ribs all the way up over my shoulder to the back of my shoulder blade and then had a side piece that went down my arm all the way to my elbow.


It felt AWESOME. Too bad the numbness only lasted about 20 minutes. I'm gonna look and see how much one of these costs before my surgery.

In the evening, I got to make my first trip to Brooklyn. Pastor Ben and his wife Christy had some of the grad students over to their apartment for dinner and fellowship.

We had Chinese Hot Pot, which was...interesting.


Basically, it's this pot of broth, Ben's was divided into a super spicy side and a neutral side, and you toss a bunch of raw stuff into it like dumplings and meat and bok choy, and then as it cooks you fish out what you want and put it on some rice and then either dip in some dipping sauce which you can create your own mix of or pour the dipping sauce over it. It was really delicious. I wasn't brave enough to try the super spicy stuff. It was even making the couple whose families are from India sweat. :p I did learn that I don't like tofu. It tastes like sponges!


The conversation was the best part, though. There was some really funny, random stuff, like about candy from around the world, but then there was some really deep conversation about our fields and how we can God's grace in them and the people we work with and the jobs we want to do and how we as Christians can glorify God and show people Jesus in what we do. We also got into this really interesting discussion about Christians and politics (which may or may not have been partially my fault :p). I really appreciated it, not just because it was an interesting conversation, but also because it was really clear that I can speak my mind with them without fear of judgment. And it's such a cool thing to be able to learn from so many different cultures without even having to seek the experience out.

The night was when it got...interesting. Everyone left Ben and Christy's around 10:00, and Isis, Gui, and Leonidas (the 3 Brazilians to my left at the end of the group photo) were all heading to the same subway station as I was. I was taking a different route home than I had taken to get there, so they offered to make sure I didn't get lost in Brooklyn alone on a Friday night. We had to stop a few times on the way there because my legs had been hurting since my hour-long trek on the way to the dinner, but they were very kind and didn't mind at all stopping with me. Originally, they were going to be taking a different train, but at the last second, they decided to make sure I got home safe since it wasn't far from my apartment to where they needed to go. So sweet. Well my plan was originally to take a B train to Broadway Lafayette and then transfer to the F and go one stop to my apartment. Well, we waited for a B to come...and waited...and waited...and WAITED. For almost 45 minutes.

I felt so bad that they were stuck there with me, so I tried to figure out another way home. So we did, we got on another train and went one stop where we could transfer to the F (which we didn't know about at first, because the maps we had didn't say the lines offered at our station would even GO to the station one over that had F lines, but whatever). My legs were getting weaker by the minute, but we made it up to the F platform....and got stuck waiting. We had seen signs about detours over the weekend for the F line, so Leonidas and I were both a bit panicked about missing the last train, but we made it up there before the time the detours were supposed to start, and a guy explained to me that the detours wouldn't even affect us because of the stop we were going to. But still, an F train would not come. We were there for another 20 minutes or so before an F train showed up.

FINALLY, we managed to get to my station, but I could barely walk. Sweet Gui held my hand and helped me up the stairs one by one, down the block to my apartment, and then one by one up the stairs into my apartment. It took us almost two hours from the time we left Ben and Christy's to the time we got in my place. I felt SO bad because they could have been home a long time before that, but they could not have been nicer because, as Isis said, at least I didn't have to wait in those stations alone and they were there to help me walk home because the pain was really bad.

A lot of my walls got broken down by God tonight. I feel more like I can trust my church family with the hard, and sometimes embarrassing stuff now. And that's a really good feeling.

My church family, and the fact that I found them so quickly, that's just another reason why I really believe that God brought me to New York for a reason, and it's not just all going to be snatched away from me.

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saved by the Bell

Or in this case, the alarm.

I was having nightmares all night that someone was trying to kill me, and like, I was just about to be caught by the killer when my alarm went off. Whew. It startled me and relieved me at the same time.

And so the rest of the day, I kept thinking about that. Not that I could remember details of the dream, but I could remember the feelings of fear. Isn't it crazy how bad feelings can haunt you, even if you don't remember the details about what made you feel that way?

I really like having only one class a day. It makes my days feel short. But man, these two hour classes feel so long. I remember when I thought the 80 minute classes at Campbell felt long. Now, those 50 minute classes would probably feel lightning fast.

There's a huge knot in the back of my right shoulder. Most of the day, I thought I was just tense from stress, but no, you can feel the whole muscle raised up it's so tight. Come on heating pad, work your magic. Also, my mom is an angel for giving me her good heating pad. I haven't been able to find one like it anywhere and it is so awesome. I hope she found one in NC.

I really miss my mom. And my brothers. I wish I didn't miss them so much. I know I've said that before, but yeah.

How to Get Away with Murder. Watch it.

I have 3 more episodes of Criminal Minds to get through. I'm going to be sad when they're over. This show is good. But at least new episodes are still airing, so I have that to look forward to.

It's 2 am and I'm beat. I shouldn't be, considering the sleep I got this evening while Holly was doing the laundry and going to the grocery store (she won't even let me strain myself to come help her, so sweet) and how much I slept last night, but I am. But I have to wait for Holly to come help me make my bed. So....I'll watch Criminal Minds. There's a shocker.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The curse of the broken umbrella.

Seriously.

No matter what umbrella I use, what brand it is, how much it cost, I can't use any umbrella more than two or three times without it breaking. Without fail. So I jokingly tell people I have a curse of broken umbrellas.

The umbrella I had today broke in the pouring rain on the first time I used it. And it was an umbrella Holly gave me because she had two and my last one broke the last rainstorm we had. So that was fun.

And it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow. I have things to do. Woo.

Today was a blah today.  My migraine was so bad that I started throwing up.

I did get to go on a sister date with Holly to this restaurant she found a Groupon for, so there was that highlight.

But seriously, it's been a long day, so I just want to go to bed.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

He's still God.

So, I slept. A lot. And it was awesome.

And then I woke up to an email stating that my big spring loan got denied for bad credit due to medical debt. I thought the credit check would be for the whole school year, but nope. Now there's almost $8000 keeping me from being able to easily pay for grad school. And now Uncle Ed is dead, so he can't help me.

So as you can imagine, I spent about two solid hours sobbing this afternoon. The only thing federal aid people could tell me was find an endorser or talk to my university. NYU financial aid doesn't help grad students. They told me to check with my department and see if they had any scholarships available. I sent my adviser/the director an email, but I can't foresee them being able to make up the $25,000 that this federal aid was for (assuming they would it down like they did this semester). I was already planning on getting a job at a Walgreens or Duane Reade after I got past this surgery, so even if they could help with the other $10,000 or so I would need for tuition, I could work for living expenses...One other option I have to look into is this America's Christian Credit Union that I found online that does loans for students and they have the same deferment thing that federal aid does so I wouldn't have to worry about it until after graduation, but I'm going to wait on that until after I hear back from my department, so I know exactly how much I need to look for.

I panicked. I called Pastor Ben and Dana and Betsy and got them praying, and called Mom as soon as I thought she'd be free from work. Betsy called me back while I was on the phone with Mom and sent me a very kind text when I didn't answer. Dana called me, too, while I was on the phone with Mom and so I called her back and she talked to me for about 20 minutes. She and Mom both helped me calm down, which is exactly what I needed because crying does nothing except make my headache worse.

I know in my heart this is where I'm supposed to be. And I believe that God wouldn't have worked out all the details this summer, between all the financial stuff and finding the apartment in two days and managing to afford to buy everything we needed and Mom's boyfriend's help and everything, if I wasn't supposed to get here in the first place. God is not a mean God; He wouldn't have made this dream of mine come true just to snatch it away from me over something like money. And like Mom said, there have been plenty of times in my life where we didn't know how we were going to make ends meet and come up with money that we needed, and it always showed up - even in mysterious checks we didn't know were supposed to be there eight months prior. It'll work out, it always does. I have to believe that. We have a couple of months to figure things out, which is more time than we had this summer, and I'm not out of options yet.

I said something to Dana on the phone tonight and it was really a spur of the moment kind of thing, but it's really stuck with me.

God can sometimes be a God of the last second, but that doesn't mean He's not still God. He stays the same. He is a provider. All will be well.

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