Actions Speak Louder than Words

Hi folks,

Actions speak louder and than words. A phrase that annoys the hell out of me, but it is true. We (mostly myself) tend to talk and plan alot but we do not follow through. However, this time I am. If I really want to see a change in my life from now on, this is the time to do it. Since, I royally fucked up in the past.

I will follow through:

  • Credit card debt– the action plan for this is to budget, stop using my credit cards, and plan out how to tackle down my credit card payments.
  • Student loans– the action plan for this is to pay more than the minimum.
  • Find a better paying job– the action for this is obvious, I need to do more job searching and I need to find a part time job.
    • I’ve already updated my resume and CV, and so far, I already have 1 major interview lined up. If I get that job, I should be set and be able to help out more.
  • Mental and physical health– the action plan for this is to:
    • Going to church during lunch time has helped me reflect about the past, present, and future. A block away from my job, there is a church, and just walking into the church, gives me a sense of reality relief and helps me reflect on myself. I recommend doing this. It gives you some peace of mind.
    • Eating healthier and going to the gym is the obvious action plan for physical health.
      • since, I’m budgeting, I’m bring lunch to work and staying away from starbucks : (

Funny how I always include my family in my list, but this time I am not. I can’t help them if I cannot help myself. This time I will follow through with this. My anxiety was out of control last week, it was really really bad due to credit card debt, student loans, and rent payments. So, I literally grabbed a book and wrote down all of my credit card balances and when I get a paycheck. I will explain my game plan on this in another blog, because I want to test it out first, and if it works then I will share it.

Honestly, I tell myself things could be alot worse than it is now. Just because I do not have a PhD, does not mean life stops. Yes, I didn’t get it, now I have to move on, and folks I am. I’m trying really hard, but sometimes I look back and say to myself, “you screwed up so bad and look at you now?! What makes you think you will do better?!” Again, I will explain in another blog, about what really happened and how I faced my department about my experiences with my advisor.

Anyways, I’m trying.

2017 Updates

Hi Folks,

Sorry to deliver some bad news, but I didn’t pass my dissertation defense and ended up dropping out of graduate school. All of this happened about 7 or 8 months ago. I didn’t even have the courage to even write about all of this because I was in denial and in a really bad place, physically and emotionally. I let down alot of people, most importantly, I let down my family. I didn’t say anything to anyone, like friends, co-workers, and family outside my immediate family (aunts, uncles, and cousins). The only people who knew were my parents and my boss. I thought it would be tough writing this blog, but so far, I’m not crying or not as angry.

I was angry and ashamed of myself when all of this unfolded. Between dealing with issues at the home front (please read this blog: Updates) which included the following:

  1. My dad getting fired (please read: Angry  & To my father)
  2. My dad getting a hip surgery (which is a good thing, because it was a long time coming)
  3. Finding a new home for myself and my parents (since my dad was a building superintendent, we lived in an apartment for free, but when he got fired we had to move out immediately).
  4. My brother’s addiction to pills (please read: Surviving Through Family Issues 
  5. Preparing my dissertation defense
  6. Fighting for another chance for another dissertation defense with my department
  7. Work life

Thinking back, I don’t even think my mental state was good. Everything was a fog, I felt like I was fighting with life everyday but I kept telling myself ‘I will get through this…just defend the dissertation and everything will be ok.’ I was 100% sure that I was going to pass and graduate. I imagined myself walking down the aisle with my PhD robe and see my parents all dolled up and proud of their daughter. BUT I was was wrong, completely wrong. Between October 2016 through January 2017, I was living day by day, trying to survive my own life. I was constantly worried between my own problems with school and family issues. I was literally in the eye of the storm, every fucking day, between October 2016 and January 2017.

I want to believe that everything happens for a reason. I want to truly believe that something good is going to come out of all this.

I’m currently dealing with the following:

  1. credit card debt
  2. student loans
  3. my mental and physical health
  4. trying to find part-time jobs for more income
  5. trying to find a better full time job for more income

I promise, I will try to write more, but this blog was my first step to tell the world that I do not have a PhD.

Thank you for reading.

 

Updates

Hi Folks,

Again, I’m sorry for not writing frequently. At this point, I should perhaps think about writing a book about my freaking life. I have both good and bad updates (mostly bad).

Let’s start off with the bad (let’s rip that band-aid):

  • Three months ago, my father got fired from his job. A total of 22 years of being a building superintendent. I will explain this in another blog. But we are OK. I can tell you that it was HELL. We went to court and had to find a place to live quick, despite the holidays.
  • My brother, went back to his old habits (addiction).
  • Grad school stuff was been the worse.
  • Job is ok, but I need the fucking degree to get promoted.

Good stuff:

  • My parents and I found a nice place to live. We are much happier.
  • I keep praying and my faith has really gotten me through the darkest days of my life.

Although my life of bad updates/stuff is longer than the good, all I can say that things could be worse. Financially, things are a bit tight, but I have faith my family and I will get through this.

2017, I really hope you can treat my family and I better. 2016 can kiss my ass!

I will try to write something tomorrow. But I really hope you guys/gals had a happy new year. Despite all these life setbacks, the only thing we can do is to move forward! As my parents say “tenemos que siguer adelante!”

I really missed blogging and I will try to this more frequently. Bye folks!

Grad school Friends

One of my best friends from grad school visited me yesterday and to be honest with you I’m the worse person to ever keep in touch with friends. It’s not because I’m selfish or I don’t care, but for some odd reason, I’m just bad a keeping in touch. I’ve lost many friends because of that. Life gets in the way. I think if I had more close friends, I wouldn’t blog my problems with graduate school and family. But in a way, this (blogging) is like an outlet for me. It’s hard to tell my friends my problems or issues I’m facing because sometimes I feel like I’m boring them or they just want me to shut up. That’s why I keep my problems/issues all to myself, which is also not good. I just deal with it or completely ignore it and move on.

However, I have a few people in my life that I can really call ‘friends.’ I’m really not a girls girl, however, the few girl friends that I have are the relationship that I care the most about. No offense ladies, it is really hard to be friends with girls. I get along better with guys because there are ‘drama free’. I have girl cousins and it’s hard for me to be really close to them because I feel like they are judgmental and always criticizing about everything little thing. I only have 2 really close girl friends : (  I know that is sad, but its the truth.

Well, it was very refreshing to see my friend. It’s almost as if we were each others therapist. Also, it is nice to pick up where we left off with life. It kinda puts everything into perspective when we start talking about each others lives, or what has happened since the last time we saw each other.

I really missed my friend, she has been there for me throughout grad school. I had to really great friends in grad school, her and a guy friend. We were each others ‘safe space’ in our department. I was very luck to have them. I even dedicated a whole paragraph to them in my dissertation acknowledgements.

Reading

Reading for pleasure has anyone tried?? I love to read! there is something about being transported away to a different place, time, and meeting different people.

Even when I was a kid, I use to collect the Bernstein bear books, babysitter clubs, ect. OMG, I use to be obsessed with those books.

What I do now is borrow books from my local library. I used to read from my kindle but it was getting a little costly after awhile.

Also aside from reading journal articles or books related to your research, it is always best to mix it up a bit.

Perhaps, not similarly going to gym, but I tried to read a book on a daily basis. Obviously, it has be to be something interesting. Also, my commute time is about an hour, so reading kills time on the train.

Click on this link and it explains ‘reasons why we should read’: http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/benefits-of-reading-real-books

So far I’ve read the following books:

  • The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah (I’m currently reading this)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (OMG- this is a must!!!)
  • When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker
  • Our souls at night  (this is ok)
  • The Piano teacher (this is ok)
  • The expatriates (good book)
  • All the light we cannot see (a must read!)
  • The Girl on the Train (OMG!)

 

Working Out

So, it’s going to be two weeks now since I’ve been going to the gym. I’m going to try to stick with it, but I’ve made it a part of my daily routine. In other words, just like I how I eat dinner everyday, I go to the gym everyday. I’m going at my own pace, in terms of not getting all nuts. After the 4th or 5th day, I felt a difference in myself, not physical, but mentally. I felt a bit calmer and not as anxious.

I think going to the gym or at least doing some type of physical activity (besides walking to your car, or commuting home) should be a part of our day. I can see how people get really obsessed going to the gym because you are dealing with yourself and listening to your favorite music. Nothing else matters, but you and the great music.

Do I see a change? NOPE…lol. I really don’t see a change in my body but I do see a change in my attitude and state of mind.

I do the following at the gym: 

  • 30 minutes on the treadmill 
    • 5 minutes warmup
    • 10 minutes incline and power walk
    • 15 minutes incline and jogging
  • 10 minutes on the Arc Trainer machine 
  • 10 minutes on elipitical 
  • 15 minutes of weights 

So, bottom line, go out and do some exercise. Go out and enjoy some great music.

Getting back to ‘Work Mode’…..

Hi Folks,

The purpose of this particular blog is to ‘getting back to work mode‘. In the past couple of week or months, I’ve totally wasted time on not doing anything productive. I would work on something for an hour and next thing you know I’m thinking about my family, future, logging on to facebook, and just stupid stuff. My head was literally in the clouds.

However, when it came to work (for my job), I would be on top of whatever project, I was working on. Finish it to the end. However, academia-related projects for my future (ie. writing article, looking of assistant professor jobs, writing a research statement, updating my CV) has been in the back burner in past couple of months. I feel like I have no energy or just not compelled to do anything related to that. Let’s take a step back, my current job is academia related- I am a researcher but working on my director’s projects. I supervise other research assistants.

Well, I made the good old ‘check list’ and notice a few things.

  1. I am not realistic.
  2. I need to break down my ‘tasks’ into smaller ‘tasks’ to accomplish the ‘end product.’
  3. Need to set due dates for myself to ensure that I complete each task at a timely manner.

 

To my father

Hello papi

I wish I can say the following, personally to you, but I know I do not have the nerve to do so, because we will probably start crying.

I promise that we, you mom and I will be living in a nice home. One day, you will no longer carry that God forsaken phone of yours, and will not have to answer to a bunch of white, young, entitled, assholes.

I promise you will finally rest and do your favorite hobbies such as fixing things around the house, organizing your boxes, or preparing for the weekend markets.

I promise you won’t have to worry about tenants complaining about stupid shit, but I will always come to your rescue when they disrespect you.

I promise that we will all be sitting in our front porch drinking coffee or your favorite flavored waters and talk about how we survived the past and how this was all we ever wanted, a nice home.

I promise you will be happier with my mom and I when we get the hell out of this building and you will no longer be a superintendent to a bunch of assholes.

Don’t worry papi, just give me some time, and I will whisk you and mom away to a new a home. This I promise you.Thank you for your hard work and for your patience, papi.

love always.

Tu hija!

 

Can’t give up on myself….

Hi Folks,

I had a reflection earlier today, that I must not let life bring me down. God gave us a gift of life and sometimes things happen for a reason. I cannot let this bring me down. Alot of awful stuff happened throughout my adulthood and think it just never ends. Sometimes, I want to give up and just leave. I gained weight because when I depressed I tend to eat alot. I stopped going to the gym and I gave up life and began to keep going and going because I just have to. I feel like I lost myself. I see some of close friend’s success or pinnacle times of their lives (for example: finishing up articles, going to conferences, getting grants, or a tenure tracked position). Believe me, I do feel happy for them, but I can’t help to think of myself. I know it sounds selfish but I keep thinking “you have such a shitty life” or “your not good enough to make it”- I think this way because I gave up and I let myself go. I’m mad at myself because when I turn 35 or 40 or 50, I will look back and say “what the fuck did I do?”I can stop the cycle of self hatred now, but I feel like there is always something that will come along and create another hump.

I need to get a grip of my life and have that drive that I had before. The drive of accomplishing my goals of obtaining a PhD. I want to finish. I want to know how it feels like I accomplished something. I cannot be scared and I must face my fears along with all the bullshit that comes along with me and just keep going for the right reasons. I need ME to come back because I cannot allow my life to pass me by anymore. I need to take control of myself and of goals and dreams. I cannot let myself down.

There is nothing that I cannot deal with, I’ve been through hell and back. This should be no sweat? right? I need to do this.

Surviving Through Family Issues

Hi Folks,

I do not have surviving tips going through family issues, but I have experiences, and at this point, I think I may become a pro at this.

I do not know if this is a Latin/Hispanic culture (although I think it is) but family is overwhelming. Especially my family and mix that with trying to get your phd degree or going through college, becomes very stressful. I wish there would be a study about that. I believe my experiences between family issues and pursuing a phd degree has gotten to a point where I’m so overwhelmed and I’m so sick and tired of talking about it to my close friends and boyfriend. I am not sure if I am clear here, but I have gone through so much bullshit with my family and with my fucking degree, that at times, I think, why does this happen to me? Why must I deal with this? Why can’t things be as simple as this other person in my graduate program, who is married and is about to pop a kid? why can’t I  have great experiences as others do? I’m so tired of this.

Currently, my brother is an addict (prescription drugs and I wouldn’t be surprised with other stuff) and two days ago we found out that he stole some stuff from my parents bedroom. He was caught red handed through security cameras throughout our building. When I watched the cameras (yesterday) I couldn’t believe I was watching my brother carrying a bag filled with my parents things. The issue here, is that he has gotten to this very low point. I never thought my brother would steal, the stuff he stole is the least of things, but he must have been very desperate to do this. I’m not sure if I more mad that he denies all of this or that he is getting worse. We (my brother and I) stopped talking, because again, he was using my mom’s credit cards without her permission. I want to make something very clear, I PAY my mom’s credit cards because she is not working as much (she cleans houses for a living)- so she is only cleaning one house. My brother is living  in a very beautiful apartment, which I think he can no longer afford.

Anyways, what I am trying to get at, is why does this happen to me?? I have to deal with my mom, because of my brother’s actions, and she is emotionally draining me. She randomly cries, and I feel for her. That is her son and she suffers. We tried to help my brother, but it has gotten nowhere. He constantly lies but that is normal for an addict.

Now, tell me this, when do I have time to do something related to my dissertation or pursing my degree. I wish I had the means to move out, but that does not resolve the issues because I did that (when I did my master’s degree) and the same bullshit family problems follow me.

I have grown a thick skin, to a point where I do not care anymore. It is not fair that everyone else in my family had a great time when they were in their 30s and yet I have to have such a shitty life. This is not fair. why doesn’t anybody ask me how am I doing? I’m done trying to resolve my family’s problems, I love my parents but sometimes, I just need to take a break. So, what do I do? I just mentally and emotionally check out. I do not get involved anymore, and I’m doing this now with my brother. I probably regret it, because God forbid something happens, and I will look back and say “why didn’t do anything?” but if that happens, I cannot be held responsible for his actions. I do not mean to be selfish but sometimes you must to survive all of this.

Right now, I am sitting at my office on a Saturday trying to complete some revisions, because I cannot stand being at home. I will do this and I will get my phd degree, no matter what. I need to be stronger and get to my goal, because neither my parents or my brother are going to do that for me. I have to do it and I will.

Anyways, I hope I can write a better and positive blog next time.