graduate school, sober lifestyle

Performance

Imagine a precocious little girl in a homemade, red plaid dress with matching ribbons in her shoulder-length, sandy-blonde hair (she has bangs, so clearly this is a flashback from long, long ago), and white anklet socks and brown top-siders on her feet. She is marching in the door with a good — in fact, near-perfect — report card, her whole body tingling in anticipation of that intoxicating hit of parental approval she knows is forthcoming.

That girl is me. Did you guess? It’s funny I chose to paint that exact picture, because the outfit was from first grade, when I had…let’s just say, “social adjustment issues,” that led to regular trips to the principal’s office and my teacher installing a special study carrel in the corner of the classroom to keep me from being disruptive.

Legend has it I was doing somersaults one day on the carpet in the back of the room that was supposed to be for, like, naps and storytime and docile 💩 like that. 😳

Explains a lot, right?

I ended up killing it in all the academic subjects, to the point they put me in the “gifted” —sorry, “enrichment” — program, but my conduct left something to be desired. Read on to see just how much has changed! 🤣

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graduate school, sober lifestyle

Compensation

This week has been all about making up for lost time. I don’t know if one can actually do that, without injuring themselves…but dadgummit, I’m trying!

It’s like every moment I’m awake, I want to cram it to the brim with activities I enjoy. I want to take full advantage of my freedom and experience life on my terms!

So, I’ve basically been walking/running around Bucks County like a madwoman for days on end.

When I entered Tyler State Park on foot Friday afternoon, eyes fixed upward at the pure blue sky (when they should’ve been checking the path for those little round ankle-killers that fall from the trees 😬), I’d already run from Washington Crossing to Bowman’s Hill Tower on the canal path earlier that morning, then flowed through my usual yoga program on my deck shortly after breakfast. On Thursday, I walked in the park twice, in addition to working out in my basement and doing another hour of yoga. On Wednesday…

OK, Jen; they get the point. 🤐

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sober lifestyle

Separation

The start of a weekend of indeterminate length…😍

Is it just me, or do humans have the amazing capacity to disengage, reorient and start over, full speed ahead, with no strings attached?

You might not have discovered this capacity within yourself, if you’ve been living in the same place all your life or doing the same job for more than…oh, I dunno, 3/4 of a year…or if you’re the type of person who tends to form a lot of close, long-term relationships. But I suspect some of you understand what it’s like to look at your life as a series of books, rather than chapters, with quite a few common themes but not too many connected threads.

It’s a particular form of compartmentalization that’s both a product of circumstances and an evolutionary survival skill. I would liken it to a turtle’s protective shell, but (*checks Google*) apparently they’re all born with those. 🐢

Mine definitely was acquired in transit, formed while fighting off the Apex predator called emotional pain as I roamed from place to place. I have lived in three different states and worked in everything from newspaper writing to pop culture blogging (yes, I once was paid to blog) to video reporting to farm market clerking to SEO content development to social media marketing…and I did three of those jobs within the span of three years.

In my personal life, I was a rec softball enthusiast, then an avid runner, then a competitive CrossFitter repping three different gyms, and finally, an AA member and psychology grad student who’s standing, right now, at yet another crossroads.

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