Where is my life going?

Two weeks ago I had a chance to attend a book signing/talk that should have inspired me to be a better me.  Instead I left needing time to reflect.  And now, after a few days I feel lower than usual.   I feel at nearly 40, I’m an absolute failure.


When I was 16 and working at Filene’s Basement, I worked with a few women who were in their early 20′s and I thought they were so glamorous and lived such exciting lives.  I couldn’t wait to be 21.

When I was 21 I was still an undergrad.  I was still trying to figure out my life.  I certainly wasn’t going out to clubs and bars and having a good time.  I was completely screwed up emotionally.

I wanted more; I wanted stability and love and marriage.  I figured by the time I was 25 I’d have it all wrapped up.

When I was 25 I was dating (someone I now refer to as) “the one who got away.”  I thought he was the one.  I thought we were going to be together.  We had been living together (until he asked me to move out) and I hoped we could reconcile and make it work out.  I wanted to be engaged and married and start a family; we already had 2 cats together.  I figured by the time I was 30, I would have it all figured out.  I’d have a a husband and a career and kids.  I’d have amazing mom friends and a perfect house.

By the time I was 30, I was an absolute mess.  I had ended the relationship with the one who got away and dated and got engaged to someone else.  I spent 4 years trying to fix him, to make him the man I thought he could be.  I was an idiot.  You can’t fix hate that’s been learned (at least I couldn’t do it).

I had gained back all the weight I worked hard to lose.  I was fat (again) and hated myself (still).

I was single, living in my childhood bedroom in my parents house with my cat.  I was single, miserable, and on the verge of bankruptcy.  I didn’t have many friends.  And despite having earned my first Masters degree the year before, I had a crummy job and could hardly support myself.  I figured by the time I was 35, I would have to have it figured out.

By the time I was 35, my life had taken a major turn.  I moved to Scotland to pursue my second Masters degree since I still had been unable to find a full time teaching job.  It was an amazing decision and I don’t regret it, but I was lonely.  I didn’t make any friends, and the stresses of the year were overwhelming.

I was still fat and frustrated and wishing I had made better food choices; I felt like I had let my body down after (cosmetic) surgery.

Right now at 38 and change?  Well, I’m going to be 40 in a little more than a year and I am not happy with my life.  I say I am happy with who I am (and in some ways I am) but I’m sad overall.  I haven’t really made friends here (my own fault), I’ve been single for over a decade.  I haven’t had sex in over a decade and I think it’s starting to get to me (you think?)!

I’ve had a rough few years here in Scotland; I’ve lost both my parents and a beloved pet.  I’ve lost weight, gained weight, had the never ending headache issue.  I’ve struggled with my thesis, with motivation, with getting out of bed.

The PhD has been one issue after another.  I’ve contemplated a break; taking a holiday or leaving flat out.  I am sticking with it right now, but there are days when I want to run away.

And with all of that, I have no idea how I am supposed to go about getting the life I want.  I know what I want for the future and where I want to be when I am done with my PhD.  I am just not sure I will be able to do and go where I want to (live in London and live a glamorous life).  I’ve accepted the fact that I will most likely be alone and will not have a family of my own.  Accepting that has been hard, but it is probably for the best.  I think that the amount of baggage I carry would be a major issue and in regards to having children, time has pretty much run out.  It’s time to accept this.



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Headache update

It’s been 8 years having a headache pretty much constantly.  If this is news to you, I will give you a brief synopsis.

I’ve had a headache for 8 years.  I’ve seen 7 (I think now) neurologists, I’ve had a CT scan, MRI, 2 spinal taps (one failed), tests for pseudo tumor cerebri, and taken countless medications, some of which have caused serious issues like Topomax (ended up losing a job) and Lyrica (made me incredibly stupid and I still have issues with aphasia to date). (I’ve tried every OTC med, herbal supplements, yoga, massage, PT, oxygen, steroid infusions, food restrictions, etc.)

The last neurologist I saw told me I was fat (while true, not relevant to having a headache) and told me to lose weight (working on it, it’s not an overnight process, sorry) and when I explained I *was,* told me to work harder.  I filed a complaint.

My GP referred me to a pain clinic.  This was my 3rd appointment.  The doctor was very nice, but sadly I have pretty much exhausted all my options when it comes to medications and treatments.  (I’m assuming he means on the NHS?) He suggested a course of acupuncture and seemed to think it would happen rather quickly.  Yeah.  About that.  The first available appointment is December.  Yes, December.

So I’m pretty much resigned to a life of either pain or pain meds, at least at this point.  I’m pretty frustrated that there is nothing else that can be done, and that no doctors seem willing to investigate the actual cause of the never ending headache.  I understand the limited resources the NHS has, and I am totally ok with that, but I did see many doctors in the US as well, and I still got no answers.

It’s still frustrating after all these years, and it is even more frustrating to be told you are out of options.

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Summer of ’89

The summer of ’89 was when it all went wrong for her.  The adults in her life were making decisions that she wouldn’t understand at 13, at 17, never mind at 38.

The summer was ok though, because she didn’t know what was coming.  The summer was spent tanning in the backyard and instructing her innocent, younger sister in the brilliance of the Beatles, Tom Petty, and the Traveling Wilburys.  One would think the music coming from her room would have been from a 40′s something yuppie, not a 13 year old girl.

And then it happened, the walls came crashing down.  She heard the rumours, of course.  It wasn’t hard to not hear them.  In the end people were bold enough to come up to her and ask if it was her, if she was the one.   She heard other rumours too of course, that it was retaliation, jealousy, that it was all lies.

She tried to find out the truth of course, but who talks to a now 14 year old girl?  She wasn’t exactly Sherlock Holmes, you see.  She wasn’t even Trixie Belden.  She tried to find the newspaper articles, but they seemed to have disappeared from the library.  Strange, that.

She didn’t understand until she was much older, and sitting in a similar position herself.  Jealousy is such a vicious motivator.  History repeating itself yet again.

She tried to solve the mystery many years later, but was unable to make any headway.  Too bad the internet was not around back then, she thought.  There might have been answers to questions she shouldn’t ask.  Especially now.

Maybe she should let sleeping dogs lie.

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Meet Bailey!

After 5 months, I decided it was time.

2014-06-01 22.02.10

He’s a Russian Blue and he is gorgeous.  He is still a little anxious about his new home, but I have been able to pet him and he seems content to nap and explore.

I was really glad we were able to bring Bailey into our home.  The woman who owned Bailey had fallen on some hard times recently; a lot of things I could totally relate to.  I am glad to be able to help someone out and give a cat a good and loving home.

2014-06-02 15.48.05

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Juneathon day 1

I wasn’t planning on doing Juneathon this year, but I sort of just decided to do it at the last minute.  Today I walked for 6km and cleaned my entire flat like a crazy person for a total distance of nearly 6 miles (according to my fitbit).

I have lots to update on here, and I promise an actual real update update in the next few days, along with some good news.

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A long overdue update

It’s funny how time slips away from you while you’re not looking.  Or perhaps it is because my perception is off right now.  I’m not quite sure anymore.  It’s like when you wake up from a dream and you aren’t sure what time it is, whether it’s day or night.  Life in slow motion.

I’ve obviously not been myself lately.  I don’t usually go so long in between blog posts.  I usually even manage to start posting something and finish where I left off, and I didn’t even manage that with my Oxford trip.  (Oops.)

I didn’t realise how far I had fallen, until I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get back up or not.

I’m hoping with time, it will get better.




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I’ve always dreamed extremely vividly.  Colours, sounds, images, scenes; all accurate down to buttons on shirts.

When I get stressed out, I dream of a place I felt safe, valued, and loved.  The people are exactly as I remember them. The layout of the store is always accurate to details long forgotten.


The other night I dreamt of someone from my past; someone I haven’t seen in nearly 25 years.  But the details, feelings, and emotions that I felt were so real, that I actually expected it to be 1989 when I woke up.  Sometimes I think my brain plays out my own Life on Mars fantasies.

I honestly have no idea why *now.*  Why at this moment he was on my mind.  I don’t remember actively thinking about him, but I was thinking about one of the reasons I spent so much time with him.   There was a connection made in my subconscious, then.

I know that my thesis topic can bring me back to this particular time in my life, and I shouldn’t be surprised that I had this dream.  I was reading stories that reminded me of my own; stories of pain and sadness and anguish.  Stories that make up the sad statistics and reality of the current climate and reality of young people around the world.

I could have been a statistic.

Some days that frightens me.

I was lucky.

Despite the self-destructive path I was on then, I came out the other side.  Battered and bruised, but I made it out.  And it was down to him.  It honestly was.  He saved me.

He saved a silly girl who just wanted to have friends and her first boyfriend.  He saved a girl who loved science fiction, INXS, the Weather Channel, and detective stories.  He saved a girl who didn’t know how to ask for help; a girl who hid for months at lunch because she didn’t know how to stand up for herself or ask why.  He saved a girl who was (and still is) flawed, goofy, says ridiculous things, is a complete spaz from time to time, has no filter, and is pretty damned self-absorbed when she wants to be.


He saved a girl who went on to become a teacher so she could do the saving.

I wish I had said thank you enough.


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An Oxford Adventure- part 1

When I was a kid, my dad bought me a Oxford sweatshirt, probably from Spag’s.  (OMG remember Spag’s?)  I used to say that some day I would go there.  I don’t think I actually ever believed it, until last week, when I did go, and presented at an academic symposium.




On three hours of sleep, I got up and took the bus to the airport.  I’m not kidding when I say that it took longer to go from the west end of Glasgow to the airport than it did to fly to Heathrow.

I had plenty of time to go through security and get a coffee before waiting for my flight to take off.  I did some reading.  And I pretty much fidgeted all the way to London.

Once arriving, I grabbed my bag and headed to M&S for a snack for the bus ride.  I had no idea how long it would take; the website said up to 90 minutes so I wanted to make sure I at least had some fruit.

When I got to the bus, I found that you needed cash, so I ran back into the terminal and took out money and quickly headed back.  The bus was loading up and I ran into 2 other people who were attending the conference.  The bus driver was pretty rude when he asked where I was going and I told him and he gave me a lecture about Oxford, which wasn’t really helpful (considering he had me get off at the wrong stop anyways).

The ride took maybe an hour or so, I didn’t really pay attention to the time.  From the bus station I made my way (using google maps) to St. Edmund Hall.  When I got there I was directed to the wrong conference and had NO idea where I was supposed to go, which made me really, really nervous.  I had not gotten any confirmation or anything so I was starting to freak out.

I went down the street a bit, and found a cafe on the corner.  I got some lunch and sent an email to the coordinator so I could find out where I was supposed to go.  At this point it was getting late in the afternoon and I was tired and wanted a nap desperately.  I still had some finishing touches to put on my presentation and wanted to get settled.

Finally I went back and asked the porter and then ran into someone involved in the conference itself and found I WAS in the right place, and I got my room key.  Horray!

I got settled in my small dorm room, checked my email, unpacked a few things and charged my phone a bit.  Then I went for a walk to the shopping centre area (because I had forgotten to grab my toothbrush) and I wanted to try to see what was around food-wise for dinner and for lunch the following days in case what was provided were things I couldn’t eat.

St. Mary's, Oxford University as seen on my walk

St. Mary’s, Oxford University as seen on my walk

I picked up the few things I needed and some water and made my way back to the room.  I started making notes, but I realised I was way too tired to make any sense of it, so I took a brief nap.

When I woke up I realised I was pretty hungry (I had a small salad for lunch) so I went to the cafe I had went to earlier as it was the cheapest/closest option and got a sandwich which was really good.

I settled myself back in my room after, went over my slides and finished my notes.  I knew I was speaking second on Thursday so I wanted to make sure I was ready, and also have gotten SOME sleep.

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Apparently March is the month I do all of my introspection.  It’s no mystery of course.  March is when everything has changed for me, several times in fact.  Funny, how even the knowledge of this has not prevented me from major cock-ups during this month.  But then, no one ever really knows how a seemingly innocuous comment could be taken (or taken out of context).  Or by my late 20′s and early 30′s perhaps I should have just known better. (and learned to keep my mouth shut)


I’m 38, and I don’t think I know any better now, than I did 14 years ago, or a decade ago, or in 2007.  I’m still the screwed up girl, who analyses everything like she lives in a fishbowl, who lives her life focused on the worst moments and biggest mistakes that she’s made.


Maybe it’s because I learned in the 8th grade that people who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  Maybe it’s because I am an old soul.  Or maybe it’s how my brain is wired.

Every year I swear I won’t write one of these posts, that this will be the year that everything changes.   And as much as things change, they remain the same.  I remain in this space, in this holding pattern, waiting to be saved from myself.


I’m not 13, and he’s not coming to save you from yourself again.  I’m not 24 and about to make the biggest mistake of my life.

24, holy hell.  I was 24.  I was stupid and immature and should have known better, yes.  I should have listened to the people who *really* knew me, not someone who was fooled by what was on the outside, not on the inside.    Perhaps that is what this is all about, some sort of warped penance for screwing up the best friendship in this world, and others that I had built along the way.  Even after all this time, even after forgiveness, it still eats at me to the core, my thoughtless words and actions.



Maybe this will be the year I finally forgive myself?





Previous March lamenting:
2012-Music and Lyrics

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Things I’m totally loving right now

I really should be working right now.  I’ve got so many tabs open on my laptop right now; it’s not even funny any more.  I’m working on my presentation for the end of the month and I am totally stressed.  So, obviously, I figured it was clearly the time for a quick blog post.

Things I’m totally loving now:

1.  Luke Sital-Singh

I saw his show last week and it was bloody amazing.  I literally can’t stop listening to his albums (can I still say that even though it’s all digital downloads now?)

from Luke’s tumblr


2. 10k training

I actually got all 3 runs in last week.  Probably a record.

Sunday runday

Sunday runday


3.  Good friends who bring you chocolate, send you gifts in the post as a thanks, and who write you delightful fics.  :)  You know who you are.


4.  Rupert Graves’ hair.  I could write an entire post about the texture and complexity of his gorgeous locks, but I will just let this picture say it all.


And on that final note, I need to get back to work.



I almost forgot!  I am totally addicted to this retirement!lock mix.  It’s gorgeous and heart breaking all at once.  The first time I listened to it I was sobbing as I walked down Byres Road.  Seriously.  It’s perfect.

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