Everything worked out with my middle child. His paternal grandparents brought him up from Texas and though it was hard- well, one day in and he’s already overwhelmed with my 5 year old’s attention. When you’re 12, having a 5 year old fascinated by everything you do can be mighty annoying. He is coping with the loss of his father and some huge changes fairly well- but, it’s a long road. We’re just trying to help him through it as best we can.
I didn’t mention this because I was irrationally ashamed: but, I think some people know I was incredibly excited to finally be getting off of Academic Probation. I decided to take summer courses because I thought, you know, keep pushing. Get it. Originally, I thought, I’d get everything squared away, CLEP out of a couple things and was looking at a couple of local schools. Currently, still doing Drury University’s online thing and I love it, however…boy, did I get the shitbaggiest of advisers, apparently.
So, here’s the set up: my ex died and there was all that stress. My almost Mother In Law is dying, and there is that stress. I am getting…my god, a lot of very happy emails from people who tried my nootropics/supplement protocol to help them through fertility treatments- and I am at the same time stoked but heartbroken because…well, I was going right on back to Cycle Day 1. Literally everything had gone absolutely perfect and
Perfect on his end of things, too: so…just…kinda..one of those things. A friend has this exciting project he’s filling me in on- and it’s funny as hell. My baby was coming home, albeit, you know, grieving the loss of his father. It’s all good, it’s all good…
So, whatever, I think. I’m trying to keep my chin up, but still fairly depressed. I spent a day feeling sorry for myself and then, I cleaned my house like a crazy person while reminding myself of my other goals. My cumulative is still shit, for me, for my standards but my Spring term GPA was more like it. More like what I know I am capable of, anyrate. More than that, I was no longer on academic probation.
So I thought.
I get up the morning I’m going to get all my books for my summer courses to an email that I am on academic suspension.
I threw up. I don’t have an eating disorder, I just felt sick and anxious to the point I threw up. I smoked like five cigarettes in a row because, fuck it, that’s why- and to be frank: I did not feel guilty at all about it. The fact that I hadn’t already had a heavy relapse yet was impressive, so, screw it.
(And oh that is so much fun now. Though I did find there’s this Juicy Drop Pop something or other abomination that satisfies the ritual hand shit and oral bits of smoking. Super, thanks for asking.)
So, my mantra is typically Calm The Fuck Down. I do. I email them back, the politest Excuse me, what the fuck?! I can muster.
You know, there are a couple of things I always tell my kids and my clients. The first is: Shit happens.
No, it doesn’t always have some deeper meaning, no, you cannot always find some way to make sense of it. Shit just happens. No karma, no fate, no glittering unicorn fart meaning- it just does.
Then, often, when shit just happens- you have to clean it up, even if it wasn’t your fault.
I was a very young drop out. As in, junior high drop out. One day, I just walked out and never went back. I got my GED at 23. I attempted to go to college when I was still in the thick of a remarkably abusive relationship. It didn’t work out. When I went back last fall I was on thin ice, as they say- and I knew it. I had to do things in a very calculated way and own a lot of shit.
So, when I went cross eyed at that first statistics course, I did own it. I hit up my academic adviser and I said: Hey, look, this is way over my head. I’d like to get a friend to tutor me in math. I have a 7th grade level math brain and frankly, even that’s shaky so if we can get me into the absolutely lowest level math course, that’d be awesome, too.
She didn’t. We decide the best course of action though was to swap out that stats course for something I could work with. Human Sexuality. (Are we shocked I did well with that? We are not shocked.) I specifically asked if it would hinder my everything. Big list of concerns. Everything was fine, she said.
It was not.
Turns out she was supposed to have redone my academic plan but didn’t. That’s what happened. So, here I am, still on freaking probation but at least not suspended. It’s policy, there’s nothing I can do about it but be pretty thrilled that my new adviser is awesome. She was giving me these forms I’d never seen. Essentially: because somebody couldn’t do her job, I got fucked. Now I have somebody else who does do her job: so, I go about unfucking.
I am okay with it, because I have to be.
And that’s something that happens quite a bit. I mean, sure, there are loads of things I can bitch about and feel sorry for myself about- but, the fact remains: it happened. There’s no changing that it did. The only thing that changes is how I look at it. How I deal with it.
I bawled, I ranted, I sat around binge watching American Horror Story. I dealt with it.
And now, I’m getting on with it.
Honestly, that’s all you really can do, much of the time and frankly it beats the alternative. Giving up is always an alternative, but it’s really not one I care to entertain.
One thing the past couple of years has really hammered home is that one day, there is no more “some day”. The regrets I know of those who died, the regrets I hear from the dying- they echo with a sorrow I’d just prefer to avoid. I look at the self pity they carried for so long grow into the resentment and regret they die with: and I am not interested in that, at all.