The Metamorphosis

Headhunted

I got a call from a recruiter from a temp agency I used to work with. The interview went well until I told him I was a full-time student. In this interview, I managed to smile and stay cool. Although I wasn’t chosen for a position, I was glad I was headhunted for one. This setback did not made me feel down or shake-up my abilities as a potential employee. I was actually able to see and accept that I was not what they were looking for at the moment.  The fact that I was able to view this experience in a positive manner is one of the first dramatic changes I am experiencing in the metamorphosis.

Growing Fashion Sense

This is a weird process. Before I felt like I didn’t deserve anything nice or “feminine” until I got a job. But after I have gotten gift cards from my family, I was able to shop and enjoy buying articles of clothing for myself. My tastes are evolving, but there are certain elements I couldn’t shake off, such as the affinity for the color black and skulls:

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This was the best Hot Topic could come up with: White Skull Cardigan

My first nice work flats in ages:

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Michael Kors Ballet Flats in women’s size 🙂

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                   Couldn’t resist this kitty purse! BG® Women Cute Cat Leatherette Crossbody Bag

But other strange habits emerge…

Not wanting to leave my bedroom before taking my medication is starting to become a habit. I wake up feeling all dumpy (in spite of having a good-night’s sleep), develop this fear of facing the day (or anyone) until I take my medication. In order for it to kick in, I have wait 30 minutes or so, then when that dumpy feeling goes away, I leave the room. This is causing me to get a later start in the day, so I am currently training myself to wake up earlier everyday before classes start.

The side effects when the medication kicks in full-swing is making me:

-more hug gable

-actually happy to be alive

-less hungry ( a plus?)

-go fully Julie Andrews on a sunny hill.

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     This wasn’t listed on the list of possible side effects leaflet 😦

Facing people while in this mode is better than when I would face people while on my old self. I would treat people better and vice-versa. The reality of taking medication is sinking in: it is not as much as to treat the illness, but to allow other people around you to 1) tolerate you better and 2) not to get worse, even though some people deserve to be treated horribly due to their actions. “Not getting worse” is as vague of a definition as that blurry line between losing control and having a backbone.

Have any of you gone through a metamorphosis? If so, how long has it lasted?

The Awakening

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It has been a rough semester. My grades weren’t decent and because of that, I had a nervous breakdown. The possibility of losing my financial aid hit me so hard that I was a mess. Cutie helped me come to my senses, and I realized that at my age, I should know better. My mind and body were reacting to a doomsday scenario created by my insecurities and fears. Not doing well wasn’t the end of the world when Cutie (who survived A GODAMMED WAR ZONE) wasn’t worried. More like upset on how I handled a setback. That is when I decided enough was enough.

Hello Doctor
I wasn’t sure if my PCP would prescribe something to help me deal with my anxiety (and the beginning of a relapse of my depression) but he did! Armed with a prescription and getting a new therapist is what gave me the strength to try meeeeeee……dd…..ssss so that I can deal with the crap life gives me without falling apart. My old therapist did not take my concerns about my increased anxiety seriously, which goes to show that you don’t need an MSW to be dismissive.

The Half White Pill
So damn tiny. And since I was flying to visit my family, I thought why the hell not try it out? The first few days on it were weird: I would caffeine crash faster during the day, lose some focus but I was feeling overall mellow and relaxed. I was overjoyed with that feeling. I felt (and still feel) that I can handle whatever crap life gives me. That feeling is liberating because it is the same feeling of hope. And hope is that drive that I need to keep moving on while entering in a tough field. The half of that white pill was put to the test while driving to my parents’ house from the damn airport. The roads were SHITTY (almost busted a tire twice with those potholes) and cursed halfway through rush hour traffic. But I got a grip on the situation and I handled it pretty well, making it to the house exhausted and with an undamaged rental car.

Not looking to get high
I feel as mellow as Tommy Chong (without the weed). My perspective on how I see the same places and people are changing. I can handle my mom’s b.s. better. But half of that white pill does not prevent conflict and I have to keep as alert as possible. Overall, my mood is being content with life in general. Which is something I have spent YEARS searching for. If things don’t work out for me, I could convince Cutie to live in the country somewhere, far away from the assholes in the city. Where its nice and quiet. I think the hippies were on to something.

Rocky Roads Ahead

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Part of the process of changing careers when you are not an impressionable 18-year-old involves a lot of adjustments, especially:

-Steep learning curves

-Getting rejected by recruiters

-Going broke faster

-Less energy to study and learn.

The university I am currently attending has an office that tried to tend to the needs non-traditional students, but misses the mark. This is because the university was not designed for non-traditional students (that is what community college is for). If it weren’t for the fact that there would be a huge pay gap, I wouldn’t have chosen to go to a traditional university. I used Payscale to estimate my market worth between a 4 year degree versus a 2 year degree from a community college. The results were depressing.

All of this is part of the rocky road that lies ahead.

It doesn’t make sense to go through this whole process again unless you want to go back to work. Employers don’t want to spend a lot of money training new employees, so it is up to the potential candidate to train themselves. But it is a game of hit and run where you can guess the market’s needs versus what you can offer. No wonder so many people hate to job hunt ( I also hate the hunt). This is like dating, but you are risking your wallet instead of your heart.

I love computers more.

I work with them longer, trying to learn C++. It is like trying to write a book, but one error and the whole program goes to hell. Mind-bending linguistics that you cannot speak with, is what a programming language is.  The more I try to learn from my professors, the less I trust them. They really CAN’T TEACH ANYTHING and I question why the university should keep these professors. YouTube does a better job than these professors.

Everyone has lost their minds and I am waiting them out

I got invited to go protest the current elections but declined. I did my civic duty and that was the end of it. My priorities, on a-day-to-day basis consisted of survival and school work. I have been living like a student for so long that my views have changed. I am used to being the underdog, the unimportant and ignored that when a bad situation occurs, I have a backup plan in my head. My friends are shocked about this viewpoint, but they know little of how hard life used to be and how hard life is for those who don’t live in the U.S.  I am glad to be alive now than in anytime in history. And living here in the US.

 

 

Reaching for high-rung ladders

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Job hunting in the tech industry sucks.

Seriously, it does.

I went to an open house for this FABULOUS company in town.

I was greeted by the company’s VP. The company was looking for “genius” and “amazing” software developers. The place was open, with WINDOWS that allowed you to see the outside. Open communication was encouraged and so were telecommuting and flexible hours. Small staff with multiple locations.  Then one of the members of their staff showed up.

He was dressed like a bum, wearing gym pants, a t-shirt and a long, untamed beard, greasy hair. His boss told us that was his way of dressing up.  His boss was wearing a company t-shirt, cargo pants and at least his hair and long beard were neat.

Somehow this experience felt self-defeating. You show up with over a $100 worth of makeup on your face, nice clothes, resume in hand and researched the company’s history enough to show the VP that you have done your homework. And all of that gets trumped by whether you can magically conjure code while neglecting personal hygiene. And, if you’re male.

Someday I will get to magically conjure code as fast as humanly possible. But the crap spewed by the career development center at the university is pissing me off. I can’t find the right combination of a) competency and b) not looking like a bag lady, but “cool”. Dying my hair blue or getting  tattoos are out of the question for me. My hair can’t handle that abuse and my skin would flare up (psoriasis).

So for now, I have to stick with wearing my black t-shirts, jeans and bright sneakers and hope I look cool enough to a recruiter to notice. On campus.

 

 

Screaming in the Closet-Rants

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This anxiety thing is starting to mess with my head.

I woke up yesterday wanting to get rid of some of my belongings by donating them to the Salvation Army. I finally did that and I felt so much better.

But after I felt that “release”, every time I looked at my closet, I just wanted to scream. Scream at it because there is so much stuff in there. It is like I have forgotten how much crap I own and the sight of it hits my face, whip-lash style.

I have been getting these “screaming moments” more and more. Cutie has had to convince me for the 11th time that I don’t have a lot of stuff and there is no need to donate anything. He said this is what is called “general anxiety”. Which is a bummer.

None of if makes sense

It doesn’t make sense. I would be fine, then I would see something or be around someone and it would set me off into this “screaming moment”. I already asked my therapist to put in a request for me to see an actual psychiatrist for medication, but she warned me it could take months. It would be quicker for me to go to my General Practitioner and ask for meds, but the danger in that is 1) high possibility of over-medication and 2) high possibility of being prescribed the wrong medication because he is not a specialist. If I wanted to be a medical guinea pig, I can go to the university and sign up as one. At least the university would pay me (sorta?).

The Work Fairy/Luck/Whatever Has Blessed Everyone Except Me

This may sound ridiculous, but there has to be more than luck and hard work that is needed to land a job in this area.

Seriously. A friend of mine got FIRED a month ago because he asked his supervisor why she was being a bitch.  This has happened in spite of him consuming these like Skittles:

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The following month, he decided to enroll in university, then got a job at the university’s bookstore, in spite of last month’s fiasco. In a perfect world, a lack of professionalism and decor would have buried this man’s job prospects in the entire state. But this isn’t a perfect world or even a perfect state. Hell this has happened in spite of living in a state that is allergic to unionization. So he must have blown the Work Fairy for that job because I certainly would not have hired him for anything, in spite of him being a “hard-worker”.

I have been torn between getting a part time job (and risk lowering my GPA) or just to focus on raising my GPA so that I can get an internship somewhere. Whether I can get an internship this semester, it will depend on this year’s career fair.

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Leveled up

Another justified hiatus, spurned by necessity. The necessity to learn more than I thought I could.

An Unexpected Triumph:

I survived university level Calculus. This is the kind of math that will make you cry or quit. 8 weeks of classes combined with 8 hours of daily, frustrating homework, tests, tutoring, etc. The only skills I was able to leave with was the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and how to take the area of my cat.

The Costs of Leveling Up

So this is how much the nightmare cost:

Summer School Ouch

I think I overpaid for a class that was HELL to take. It was taught by a nearly senile old man who 1) stank like dirty diapers 2) would constantly forget what he was writing on the board and 3) did not correct anything on time. Visiting him during office hours was HELL because the stench would make you forget all of your questions. I was SO thankful that I did not had to re-take that class.

Learning How to Make My Own Kitch

Cutie introduced me to this program called Blender. This program will enable you to do 3D animation, 3D modeling and 3D printing. I am using it to learn how to make my own 3D models, then print them into game pieces for my board games or how to make my own kitch. There aren’t enough cat themed kitchen items so I’ve decided to start by making my own PLA wine charms:

NappingKittyWineGlassCharm1

Best part about this program: It’s FREE!!

The Worst Part: Not easy to use. You can’t directly 3d print from Blender. But you can use a slicing program that is also FREE called Slic3r (which requires a lot of tweaking!).

I have no clue if this type of skill set will be useful in the Computer Science field. But I am going to add it as part of my skill set because it is satisfying to design and print out your own prototypes.

Grinding Teeth

In order to become a better person, I’ve been going to therapy and following the advice from my therapist. It has been a mixed bag. Not impressed. I am still trying to control my anxiety. My depression has improved since I finished that god-awful class. The fact that I am in school is giving me hope for the future.  I also did not quit coffee because it is my elixir used to reboot my brain in the mornings. I do not feel ashamed about admitting this. My mood would be sour ALL DAY LONG and I would be sapped of energy if I do not drink coffee in the morning.

 

 

 

Hindsight and Numbers

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This is what most people in the U.S. know about handling money.

 

I think there is a DIRE, no HUGE NEED to include a basic Financial Literacy Class in every high school in the U.S. It is unfortunate that within the current educational system you’d have to be a business major while attending university in order to have access to a Financial Literary class (or classes).  Hell, the university I am currently attending should get rid of that stupid “Welcome to College” 1-credit class and replace it with that.

Head Explode

My friend made the huge mistake of trusting her then-fiance enough to sell her car in order to help him buy a new car and share ownership of such vehicle. After the engagement ended, both her and her ex-fiance are trying to see who will buy the other out from the car. NOTE: The car is not-fully paid, so they are both still on the hook for the monthly payments.

Why is this making my head explode? Because:

1- I advised her NOT to sell her car in order to help her ex-fiance out. This is taking into account her current financial situation, mobility issues and the fact that access to public transportation is a pain-in-the-ass.

2- The ex-fiance has a 30 minute commute and works full time. My friend is a full-time student with no part time job. Guess who will need a car the most?

3-They both had cars that STILL WORKED. His car was fully-functional (but a few years old). His car was the same model as my current 10-year-old car that has NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER. Her car was able to take her from point A to B but not able to endure longer drives. Her car was able to take her to school and back because she lives 10 minutes away from campus. I use the past-tense because they both sold their cars to buy a new Hybrid car they are forced to share (for now) with shitty car payments because they both have shitty credit.

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Pictured above: A an upcoming custody battle

 

Helping pick up the pieces

So far, I am helping her the best way I can:

-Helped her apply for food stamps (she won’t hear anything about it until JULY 😦 ).

-In case she can’t go to where she needs to go, I can give her a lift (within reason). I can’t skip any Calculus classes for her sake. Because it’s UNIVERSITY LEVEL CALCULUS!

-Helping her find part time work. The irony is too bitter and not worth repeating.

-She has access to the university’s food pantry offered to students. As least she won’t starve ( I hope).

What I CAN’T DO:

-Lend money. It’s more like GIVING MONEY in her case. Yes this is harsh but there is a reason why she has shitty credit. Not to mention Cutie would crucify me for it.

-She can ask her parents for money. Whether they will help her out (again) is up to them.

Love is trusting someone, but be aware of your own footing

This sounds harsh, but as I have stated before, we women have the HUGE luck of outliving the men in our lives and our current situations. I am conflicted about my friend’s situation because I also know women who completely trusted the men in their lives and such trust has paid off for them. But even so, having a backup plan (or even playing Devil’s Advocate) may label someone as  paranoid and selfish but it is part of human nature to try to look before jumping into ANYTHING. I know for a fact that someday, the unexpected can happen to me and to all of those women and we would find ourselves trying to swim to some nearby shore. The unexpected has happened to my friend and I am bitter about it.