Monday, April 27, 2015

Fun Facts, Fifth Edition

Previous installments:

And now, ladies and gents, I bring you Fun Facts #5:

- In many ways, I am remarkably reliable. But in others....let's just say, I have lost or broken three water bottles, two travel mugs, three umbrellas, and a cell phone in the past two years.

- My bedtime routine is: glass of wine while watching TV, brush teeth, read a few chapters in bed, lights out.

- Right now I'm reading a novel about the Nigerian civil war...which I never would've picked up if I hadn't read this author's most recent book Americanah and been totally mesmerized.

check her out

- I have major puppy fever and major baby fever. Not sure which one is worse.

- My boss was sick today so I sneaked out 20 min early. SHHHH.

- I'm allergic to penicillin, but no foods as far as I'm aware.

- Still randomly a huge soccer fan. It's kind of amazing how quickly I adopted a team (Barcelona) and almost instantly, genuinely started hating their rivals (Real Madrid - they are literally horrible and don't deserve your support). Some of the psychologists out there will have theories to explain this. Whatever. Go Neymar! Go Messi! And go Luis Suarez, as long as you aren't biting people!

An unfortunate habit.
I think half the reason I like watching soccer games (or "football matches," as folks across the pond would say) is because the commentators usually have fantastic British accents and I'm totally charmed.

- The background picture on my laptop is the view from my dad's office.

- The three songs that currently get me up and bopping no matter where I am: Uptown Funk, Honey I'm Good, and GDFR. Sorry, I'm basic.

- I hate Sam Smith. How did he win so many Grammys?

- I love jewelry but the only piece I wear every single day is my watch. Earrings, rings, and bracelets rotate.

- My hair is long long long and super thick and is by far my favorite (physical) part of myself.

- My fingernails are currently painted Optimistic. They're starting to chip pretty badly, but it feels like tempting fate to take it off.

- On average, I probably only wear makeup three out of seven days. And typically only eyeliner, maybe mascara if I'm feeling ambitious or #fancy. I suck at putting it on.

- My only social media presence is Facebook because I am stuck in 2005. Should I get a Twitter? Instagram? Why? I don't really do anything exciting that merits photographs. Oh I also have Snapchat if that counts, but I only use it with like three people.

- My favorite holiday used to be Thanksgiving, but now I think it might be Easter.

- I would consider myself relatively far along in my ED recovery. Yet sometimes, still, I decide to eat an apple for dinner and get a sick rush from it.

- For the first time in about ten years, I think I can genuinely say I don't know my weight. I have a pretty good idea, but the actual number could be anywhere from XXX to XXX +/- 5-8lbs. And I am okay with it.

- My front teeth are crooked. Never had braces.

- I have never smoked a cigarette, but I have smoked weed. Not a fan.

- My drinks of choice are rum and Coke or wine. No beer, please. And I am too old to do shots.


- Can't believe I'm going to be 25 this year.

- By the time I'm 28, I will have only ever lived in two different states. Unfortunate consequence of staying at the same university for a bachelors, masters, and doctorate.

- In four years, you guys have to start calling me Dr. Kaylee. YOU HAVE TO.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Almost Summer Days

With my internship done and classes winding down, I almost don't know what to do with myself these days!! Not really, since I still have a fair amount of non-school research of my own to be doing, but it's nice to not be on such a rigid schedule packed to the brim with classes, work shifts, meetings, and deadlines.

I had a nice Friday - work for a bit, lunch with a friend, and putting together an abstract due next week. A good chunk of Saturday was spent at the Apple Store; my beloved Macbook Pro finally kicked the bucket after five good years together. He had been gradually going downhill for a while (running slower, freezing up a lot, trackpad got less sensitive, etc.) but did not become truly unusable until the other day when half the keys stopped working. So I took him in and discovered that he would probably need a new track pad, keyboard, logic board, and hard drive... My appointed Genius offered to send him out for a full workup and new parts, but ultimately we decided that pouring $700 into a five-year-old laptop was probably not worth it. YAY NEW COMPUTER!! Except that has anyone bought a new Mac recently? Jesus Christ. Let's just say my tax refund is now gone. I got a beautiful Macbook Air that is super sleek and hot and fly and fresh, and way cheaper than Pros (my dad bought my last computer so cost was not on my mind, apparently). And although I am not fully recovered from the trauma of seeing my checking account drop that many hundreds of dollars in one fell swoop, I do love her.

I love you already!

Obviously the rest of my Saturday was spent downloading various software packages and playing around with my new toy. I went out with a friend later but it was pretty low key, and I was home by 11ish. Somehow still stayed up until 2am though....

Today a friend from out of town was visiting College City, so we got lunch and went to this street festival downtown. It was PERFECT weather and mostly we just played with the puppies from the Humane Society rather than doing any of the artsy cultural stuff. Then I got coffee and spent the rest of the afternoon in the computer lab tearing my hair out trying to figure out why I can't make my data do anything it is supposed to do.

Looking forward to NOT having class tomorrow and NOT having to go downtown for a shift at my internship afterward! Hope everyone's having a swell weekend, love to you all.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eat Up

Because apparently, you'll be happier.

 “...eating does not have the sole purpose of nourishing the biological body but also and above all of nourishing the social bond...”

Kind of a nice way to reframe things. Anyone been to France? Is this true?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Life Cliffs Notes

- Finished my internship hours today. Hallelujah, thank you lord. My department took me out to lunch and they gave me the choice of where to go... which should have made things simple and easy. But somehow, mostly due to me being indecisive and noncommittal and wanting to be accommodating and please everyone, we ended up at a Mexican restaurant which is like the hardest, least-safe cuisine EVER. Like, there is no way to find something safe when the menu sections are called "Enchiladas," "Burritos," "Tamales," and "Flautas." No. Way. But I survived. I have assigned that meal a calorie count in my head (which may or may not be accurate, but it makes me feel better to give it a number, which helps me put it in perspective and organize the rest of my day) and am mostly moving on unscathed. Oh, and also it was sweet of them to take me out to lunch and I actually did have a nice time. So there's that.

- Followed up with a meeting with my advisor. Basically I was a little in over my head with my analyses and just needed someone to sit down and walk me through it. Feeling much better about it all, but somehow my to-do list has doubled.

- Presenting at a conference tomorrow. Not prepared. Nothing to wear.

- Also have class presentations next Tuesday and Thursday, and then all of my academic obligations for my masters will be officially fulfilled. *fist bumps all around*

- I've spent the past couple days cobbling together work to get me through the summer until my PhD funding kicks in. I can stay at my current job at the research center through July, and my advisor can probably get me on a grant. Fingers crossed this all pans out and provides enough money to keep me from becoming homeless before August.

- Mama Bear and I are trying to plan a trip somewhere this summer - ideally somewhere out west that is not too hot and sticky and involves beautiful hiking and maybe some historical stuff. My first thought was to pull a Bachelor and do the Badlands but I worry it'll be super duper kitsch and touristy. Anyone been there? Any other suggestions?

- Otherwise my summer plans are totally scattered. I'll obviously need to be here to work for a while, but a lot of my work I can do from home (or anywhere, as long as I have my laptop) and I want to take advantage of having a relatively open few months until the PhD gauntlet begins. One project I want to tackle is decorating my apartment, like really setting down some roots and make the place feel like home rather than another temporary stop on the never-ending education journey.

- I bought a new nail polish color today called Optimism. Seems promising, right?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Post-Decision Anxiety

Whew, sorry to be quiet lately. Weird life phase right now. As you all know I've been grappling with this grad school decision. I finally made it official last weekend: I'll be doing the program here at Current University. My mind went through so many sea changes over the past few weeks; first I was sure I'd stay here, then got really excited by New University and convinced myself I'd go there, then slooowwwwly settled back on Current U. I sort of eased myself into it - told my mom first, then my advisor, then New U professors, then New U program head, then another Current U professor I'm close with here, then Current U program head, then my friends and everyone else.

I'd been agonizing for so long and had been so genuinely unsure of where I'd end up that I had expected to PANIC after making it official, and somehow discover I'd chosen "wrong." Instead I just felt kind of settled but sad, if that makes sense. I know it was the right decision academically, and would set me up better professionally in 4-5 years when I head out on the job market. And personally it was the safer, less risky option. But there were pros and cons about each, obviously, and I truly loved my two would-be advisors at New U. So I was sad about giving up those relationships. But I love my advisor at Current U, he's doing lots of crazy exciting stuff and I know he cares about me and has my back no matter what. So, it was right. And it feels more right as time passes, which seems like a good indicator.

Anyway, I had about three weeks of total agony—constant butterflies in my stomach, feeling absolutely sick over this decision—during which ED stuff and other typical Kaylee Issues were near non-existent. I was fully snowed under with big life questions and had no energy or brain space for dumb minute garbage like "was that a large apple or a medium apple?" or "how many walnuts in an ounce, again??" Then as soon as the decision was over and done with, I got hit with anxiety hard. Not necessarily ED stuff, just random germaphobia (washing my hands 30 times a day) and hypochondria ("do I feel an eye infection coming on???") and other ridiculous OCD shit that spikes when I'm being totally insane and irrational.

I am working really hard on staying in the moment and being mindful of the fact that I just went through one of the most personally stressful periods of my life and of course that has fucked with my brain and my thoughts and emotions. And not getting irrationally freaked out about teeny stuff that is not important. I keep trying to remind myself that exciting stuff is happening for me! In so many ways, things are really falling into place. I got recognized at a school event yesterday, won an award for a poster, and have gotten so much wonderful feedback from people about PhD stuff and my research etc. Hard to reconcile that image of myself with the one who freaks out—literally, shaking with panic—alone in my apartment at the thought of a skin rash or an eye infection or a toothache.

Not sure if any of this makes sense. I am about 80 percent fine. But the anxiety definitely has a hold on me.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Flying Time, Kicking a Habit, and Shenanigans

Can't believe how quickly time is going by. Is it April??? Doesn't it seem like I was just home for Christmas? Anyway, this just hit me because I have a Major Presentation coming up. I have been working on this for months and I'm so proud of how my research turned out, and now just have to make sure I don't make an idiot of myself trying to talk about it in front of a bunch of people.

I only have about a week or so left at my internship, hallelujah. And not sure how much time left at my other job, but depending on if/when I move (a whole other issue....the Decision is still not made....) I'll definitely be quitting by July at the latest.

You guys wanna hear something weird? Usually being stressed out and overwhelmed makes my weight- and food-related anxiety go through the roof, but over the past few weeks—during which I have been more stressed, overwhelmed, paralyzed with indecision, scared, etc. etc. etc.—I have had almost zero ED thoughts. Like, none. My body image isn't even just not bad, it's not even on my mind. And I have abruptly stopped writing down my daily intake (with calories, fats and carbs, and exercise). This is something I've been doing for YEARS. And I never planned to stop. But I just did.

Maybe this is all because I am suddenly being confronted with BIG questions that, like, actually matter. Like where I'm going to live for the next 4-5 years, how I'll fare in the big bad academic job market, what my life will look like at 30, and 40, and beyond. These are the times it really hits me that eating disorders SUCK and have no place in the life I want to live.

Other shenanigans:
- My friends and I had a picnic yesterday! It was amazing.
- I saw Insurgent the other night. Maybe this is because I never read the books, but does anyone else find the entire premise completely illogical? Not just because it's a made-up world, but because the premise literally does not make coherent sense? Other than that the movie was fine. Lots of running and climbing and shooting and such. And the girl has short hair now.
- My period is late again. Or maybe I should stop considering it "late" now, because 5-10 days late seems to be the new normal. #notpregnant
- I went on two impromptu shopping sprees last week that I could only afford thanks to my tax refund. Sometimes the thought of shopping for clothes is THE WORST THING EVER and sometimes I go on these tears. It can be hard with that pesky ED thing, but I actually adore clothes and jewelry and shoes and wish I had thousands more dollars to spare every month than I actually do.

Ugh well I have an exam tomorrow. So obviously, tonight was the perfect occasion to catch up on blogging for the first time in a week. Peace out, Girl Scouts.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Options

The decision is coming down to this:

(A) School and city I love, advisor I adore/worship, beautiful apartment with MY OWN WASHING MACHINE AND DRYER, generous funding package, no major lifestyle change other than a slight pay raise. Same school as undergrad and my masters, and is ranked #1 in the country for my field.

(B) Totally new school, new (big scary) city, major increase in cost of living with not a huge increase in funding, and the two potential advisors (both have said they are willing to work with me, but it wouldn't be decided officially until I get there) who are supposedly (according to former/current students) wonderfully supportive and responsive but very very busy. And sometimes a tad hard to access. The department is relatively new and not ranked, but the faculty is made up of super-celeb professors.

I had thought I'd be going to School A almost from the beginning. Then I got into School B and they offered me a fancy fellowship and I took a second look, and convinced myself I wanted to go there. Now I don't know.

School A feels safe. School B would mean living in a giant terrifying city, probably in a shitty apartment with roommates and rats and roaches. But something about School B feels so incredibly thrilling. I'm excited by the research happening there, and I've already found about 10 people I want to work with. But School A has my beloved advisor J, who has been so good to me and always has my back no matter what.

I worry that I'm setting myself up for trouble by uprooting my life just when things have started to settle. Do I really want to risk it?

But do I really want to give up on something just because I'm scared?

Part of me wishes I'd never even applied to School B. And part of me just wants a new university e-mail address and a different color college sweatshirt.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Coming Up For Air

Sorry to be quiet, folks - totally buried right now with work and traveling and decision making. I think I know in my heart where I will end up, and it's not where I had originally thought. And that change alone has me totally freaked out, but I think it's right for me. Sorry to be vague. I'm still processing all this myself. Even though this blog is anonymous, it feels important that certain significant people in my real life are in on the decision first.

So, I'm overwhelmed and stressed and terrified but so, so excited. All is good. Will update soon.