Sunday, March 30, 2014

Finding Kickass Kathy to get rid of the funk

Yesterday I was in a terrible funk.  There were two things on my mind that just brought me down.

First, I received some pretty bad news about my graduate program the day before and it just carried over into yesterday.  The program that I'm planning on starting in the fall, hopefully after my surgery, is a master's in education program leading towards a credential to do counseling at the high school or college levels.  I currently work in the counseling department of a high school, but not as a counselor.  My official role is as a guidance technician.  I do a lot of the same work, I just don't handle certain things and, of course, do not receive near the same pay.  I had decided, though, that it was the next thing I wanted to do.  I believe so strongly in continuing to learn and grow in my profession.  The program itself is actually not the problem.  It's the interning part that is.  My district has a rule that you must intern three full days a week and take a cut in pay to do so.  I don't necessarily have to intern in my district, it would just be easier.  However, I figured that if I could somehow swing going part-time and maybe live on loans for a few months, then that's the sacrifice I would have to make.  I work for an excellent district, one of the top ranked districts in California.  I happened to talk to a person who is in my job at another high school in my district and she is doing the same sort of program.  In talking to her about it, she shared with me that not only did she have to go to 40% of her full-time contract, but, by doing so, she lost her benefits.  I was not prepared for that, not at all.

I have to give some back story on this.  I have worked for my district since I was seventeen years old.  I have worked my way up through entry level work to where I am now.  Prior to working at my current high school, I was located at the district office.  I have now been at the high school, in the counseling department for the last nine years.  Trust me, I am very close to our counselors and am a big part of the team that is the counseling department.  I couldn't be any closer to being an official counselor than I am now.  I answer many of the same questions and help many of the same students.  This is not to minimize the job of a counselor at all.  It is a very difficult profession, requiring a person to have a tremendous knowledge base and certain level of intellect.  People who do not work in the field might think a counselor's job is very easy but I can attest to the fact that it really is not a cakewalk.  In fact, I would say it's opposite.  Many students do come to me for counseling advice and guidance, along with my regular job duties that deal with college and career related issues.  I have the same knowledge base as well as, I hope, that certain level of intellect.  I am very respectful of the different roles and will send a child to their counselor when appropriate.  Yet, my goal has been to study more to meet the requirements for someday being hired as a counselor.  Now that my district insists on the three full days of interning (rationalizing that it is impossible to experience everything a counselor does on a part-time basis), it is no longer an option for me.  I can somehow swallow the idea of going very part-time, but I cannot give up my benefits.  Good Lord, I have diabetes and am about to go into major surgery.  I can't toy with losing my insurance.  Granted, the internship is not until next year but I can't go into a program and take out more student loans if it's not going to work out.  At this point, I have contacted the director of my master's program to see if I have other options, such as interning in another district.  The news was a blow to me, though.  More than being angry, my heart was just broken.  This is something I want so badly and I pray it will work out.

The second issue that was difficult yesterday was that I just felt tremendously lonely.  I am not in a relationship right now and haven't been for the last two years.  I was deeply in love with my ex-boyfriend and he ended up hurting me in a way that I can't even describe in words.  It wasn't physical abuse and it wasn't another woman, but it hurt far worse.  We were together off and on for years.  I met him, first as a friend, when I was 25 years old and now I'm 42, so it's a good chunk of time that I knew this man.  It took quite a bit of time to get over the hurt and to realize he was a real bastard for what he did to me.  Maybe someday I'll tell the story of all that, but suffice it to say that I had a hard time even breathing when it happened.  I just was shattered.  Lately I've been having these really vivid dreams of meeting someone else.  Actually, not just one person but a series of people.  Then, when I wake up, I remember that I'm all alone.  I feel like an ugly duckling so often and wonder if there will ever be someone else in my life again.  When I look in the mirror, I just don't see what other people see.  Some have called me pretty and beautiful, but I just don't see it.  All I can focus on is being overweight.  Most of the people in my life have a significant other except maybe one or two of my girlfriends.  It makes sense that I would question myself if most everyone else is with someone else and I'm not.  It really got to me yesterday.  Nothing happened necessarily, just that I guess it was a culmination of many Friday nights feeling all alone.  We ended up having an earthquake nearby and I was reading on my couch when it happened.  And, when it was over, I was all alone.  I think I'm a good person on the whole, but I just wonder if God has decided I will be one of those people who He deems to be single for a purpose.  It's really difficult for me.  I do not like being alone.  In fact, if I'm being really honest, I hate it.

With all of this said, I went to bed last night mighty feeling sorry for myself.  When I woke up this morning, I walked down the hallway to the living room where I was greeted with the sun shining in through the windows as I opened the blinds.  It hit me that this was a new day and I needed to let the sadness of yesterday go.  What better way for me to do that than to go out for a walk.  I had a really fantastic breakfast to get my energy ready and knew I needed to be out there in the sunshine.  More than that, I wanted it.  I needed to find Kickass Kathy.

Me trying to give a tough face before exercising ;-)
So I got out my earbuds, threw my iPhone onto my hip and started to stretch for a long walk.  My intention was to go on my usual route around my house, but go a longer way.  So I started to stroll down the road only to spot two really big stray dogs in the distance.  I didn't see an owner around and they looked a little too much for me, so I hightailed it in the other direction.  I went a way I have never gone before and walked against traffic.  In the part of town I was in, that's what I needed to do.  There are great areas were I live and some equally not so great areas.  It was actually a good thing for the chronic pain I have in my leg because, even though I still had pain, I did not have to deal with a lot of hills, which seems to hurt so much more.  I noticed the pain start in my hip and radiate down to my knee.  While it still hurt a lot, it was something I could manage.

So above is the route I took. It ended up being 3.45 miles, which was a 1118 calorie burn for me because of my current weight.  What I thought was really great was seeing different people on the walk and really checking out some of the businesses that are located near me but I never really notice because I'm too busy trying to pay attention to the road when I'm driving.  When I got back home, I was definitely glad the walk was over but I was also very proud of myself for going such a long distance, even with the pain in my leg, and not giving up.  I sat down, drank some water and stood in the moment.  The funk that I felt yesterday was completely gone and I was incredibly grateful for that.  I pray for continued strength to deal with the difficult days as well as rejoicing with the good ones.

Water Challenge Day 66:  Drank 48 of 179 ounces
(horrible, but I more than met it for today)


Beth Ann said...

I love the tough face!!!

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