Good Times, No Really

September 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’ve been accused of only making blog posts when things are bad, so I’ve been trying to update this blog with good times for the last week or so but I’ve been too busy to find time to do it. Well, I’m making some time. 

Things have been GREAT lately. The other interns still don’t seem to like me, but that’s okay since one of them does and that’s all I need. I’ve started my second job, a dog-walking/pet-sitting gig, and it’s going really well. It’s super easy money ($10/30 min) and the clients are always super happy and excited to see me! I was getting really sore legs and feet for the first couple of days but I bought amazinggggg Dr. Schol’s insoles that have completely alleviated that. I did SIX dog walks on Saturday AND went to Burgerfest AND tried out a new bar AND I liked it. I’m hoping all the extra exercise will help me shed the pounds I keep holding on to. This week I’ve been getting up extra early because I’ve been doing a dog walk in the morning and a dog walk in the evening. It’s a little bit of a pain, but the dog has completely warmed up to me so I enjoy it now. He’s a puppymill rescue so he’s pretty skittish but not aggressive at all, he just likes to bark his little head off at strangers in his house and then he’ll be really timid around them outside the house. He doesn’t bark at me anymore, so I’m feeling pretty good. 

Oh. 

And. 

Perhaps the biggest thing is… drum roll, please…drumdrumdrumrollrollroll… I’ve started taking sleeping pills! I was sleeping absolutely terribly for the last few weeks, tossing and turning all night and having really bad dreams. Now I don’t toss and turn at all, I fall asleep pretty quickly (I try to take my pill at 9 and am usually out by 10) and my dreams lately have been incredibly comforting. I’ve mostly been dreaming about Mark and Alec since I moved here, and my good dreams are no exceptions. My dream last night was really simple — I had met (or run into?) Mark somewhere and we sat and talked for a little while, then when it was time to go, he stood up and bent down so I could kiss him on the cheek, then he kissed my hand as he’s done one hundred times before. He walked to the door, turned around and gave me a smile, and then left. I woke up feeling really happy, feeling like our parting was so sweet and beautiful that it made okay that we were leaving each other once again and possibly for good. 

I don’t know if my dreams have done a 180 because I’ve started taking sleeping pills or if it’s a result of me being happier now that things are finally going well at work, but whatever the reason, I’m just glad my subconscious isn’t torturing me every night anymore. 

Things at work have been AWESOME lately. One of the curators is prepping for an exhibition that’s opening in late winter and she said I could write a little piece on a mystery painting. Now, give me a piece of art I actually know what to do with and I’ll run with it! I’ve completely blown up the project (in a good way!) in that I’ve found all this amazing stuff on the painting that completely changes how the curator originally viewed it. I’ve done such a badass job that she’s even expanded my essay in the catalogue to 1500 or so words, possibly longer. It’s SUPER DUPER exciting because I’m actually doing something that I’m good at — fucking researching and writing about art!! 

My other boss was out of town which was a nice break from his terse emails, though I will say we met this week and he was incredibly nice to me in our meeting, so that’s something. I don’t really feel comfortable with a lot of the assignments he gives me though because he’s not very approachable to ask for help and most of the things he assigns me I don’t know anything about or I don’t know how to do them. It can get very discouraging very quickly, so it’s nice having my other boss give me things I actually enjoy doing. It’s all a balancing act! 

I’ve also deleted my OKCupid profile because online dating is absolutely not for me, and on top of that, I DON’T WANT TO FUCKING DATE RIGHT NOW. I’ve spent the last 6 years wrapped up in relationships, it’s about damn time I focus on myself. I like being alone. I like having my apartment to myself and the entire bed to stretch out in (well, there is the dog…) at nighttime. I have some serious work to get done in the next year, so a relationship is just going to be a distraction and interference. I don’t need that right now. I need to focus on ME ME ME and I’ve got big plans for myself. See below. 

I’ve also come up with a VERY reasonable game plan for the next year, as follows:

1. Apply to UNC-Chapel Hill for PhD. I think I have a really good chance of getting in because both my grad advisors got their PhD’s there. I’ll be visiting the campus likely next month, and I am actually asking my parents to fund the trip because it’s crucial to me getting into the program and I can’t afford it on my own. Also, I think I may do better in the long-run at a school that isn’t at the tippy top of the top tier because I’ll have less competition to do more things at a school like Chapel Hill versus Yale, Princeton, etc. 

2. Apply to the Winterthur Program in American Material Arts (UDel). It’s another MA degree, but it’s fully-funded and considered more like a fellowship. It’s a very well-respected program, would offer me loads of professional development opportunities, would supplement my UAB MA degree, and would help me make connections at the tippy top tier schools so I might have a chance to apply to them after I complete the program. 

3. Apply to the National Gallery’s year-long internship. Why? Because it’s the fucking National Gallery. I would give anything to be back in that museum. And I’ve heard that internship is a really good stepping stone because it’s so prestigious. 

So, those applications are all due December/January and I’ll start hearing back in March I believe. Easy peasy! 

If I don’t get accepted to them, then I’ll just apply to random jobs like crazy next spring including AmeriCorps VISTA. There’s an opening here in Dallas, conveniently enough, working with sex-trafficking issues, raising awareness, helping victims, etc. so I’ll go for that if they have an opening next year. I’ll apply outside the state as well of course. Gotta cast a wide net! 

Besides traveling to visit the PhD and MA programs listed above, I’m also currently putting together my CV and trying to edit various chapters of my thesis to submit to different symposia and conferences coming up. Anything to get my work out there! I’m also submitting similar abstracts and manuscripts to journals to try to get published, but I can do that anytime, so right now I’m focusing more on the symposia/conferences since the deadlines are mostly in October and early November for ones that will fall within my internship contract which means I can get financial help for travel since there’s a little bit of money designated for professional development in the program. 

Woot! So that’s my plan. It’s a very solid, very practical plan in my opinion. Totally achievable. The only little thing that might be ridiculous is that I’d like to take the GRE, yes for the fifth time, to try to raise my score. I’d likely take it in November, but with all the craziness coming up at the museum in October, plus traveling to see those two schools, plus dog-walking gigs on top of my normal job, plus trying to manage a social life with the other interns, plus seeing my parents… not a lot of room for studying to take that stupid fucking test yet another time. BAH! But I should still try to get my score higher. 90th percentile is just scraping by. I’d like 95th at least. 

OH. AND. 

My parents got a beach house and are moving next week!!! Yupp. yupp. yupp. I am SUPER excited for them because they have lived in the country in Alabama for like ten years or more, so it’ll be a fantastic experience for them to get out of the country, back into civilization, and to get away from the craziness of the extended family. I’m planning on going down to see them in early November hopefully, but that’s still currently up in the air. Lots of things to try to plan and plan around. They’re going to come out to Dallas to see me as well, of course, but maybe in December for Christmas? I have zero interest in going back to Alabama for any reason, so I’m trying to force everyone to come see me. 

I’m feeling positive. I’m sleeping well. I’m getting lots of exercise without having to force myself to work out. I’m doing original scholarship at work. I’m loving living in Dallas. I’m alone, but I’ve got a great dog and a great apartment and there are great things coming my way. 

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