It has been over a year since my last blog post, which I find dismal (to put it nicely).
Looking back on the past year, I realize that if there were a mental image were to accurately portray my life it would look like someone accidentally setting off an overzealous party popper. Pull the string a little too hard, and BOOM – a huge cloud of glitter and confetti exploding everywhere, with the unfortunate person scrambling to try to clean it up. In many ways, it seems like my personal windfall of glitter-confetti is never-ending.
My last update on life left off with me having just left the University of Michigan’s ELMAC program. Truly, that was the right decision. However much I loved my cohort, my classwork, and the children in my student teaching classroom, the program was too intense for my mental state at the time. I didn’t realize this until later, but choosing to leave in the midst of nearly all my friends and family telling me to stick it out – that was the first, most memorable time that I made a decision for myself in spite of what everyone else said. It was the first decision of my adult life where I alone knew what was best for me, and I did it anyway.
Leaving ELMAC, of course, meant that there were new problems to face. My student debt doubled just from the semester and a half that I spent in the program, which is proving to be quite the Hydra to defeat. I suddenly was out of school and in need of a full-time job, in order to both pay the bills and continue seeing my counselor (not to mention, save for my upcoming wedding). I think I’ve forgotten what it’s like to live without seemingly insurmountable quantities of stress.
I went back to working at Michigan Dining, which I enjoyed, and was eventually offered a position as a temporary Assistant Manager. When that position came to an end, I applied for and was offered a position as an Administrative Assistant at a small law firm. And here I have stayed since then.
Right around that same time, I joined Mary Kay Cosmetics as a consultant. I’ve had my fair share of direct sales flops in the past couple years, but I can say without a doubt that this was a good move to make. Because of Mary Kay, I’ve met some amazing new friends and my skin has improved drastically; I’ve seen that I can make an addition $30/hour just doing one party a week; my confidence has had a tremendous boost; and I’ve discovered a makeup brand that I wish I had known about when I was still a competitive Irish dancer (seriously, it stays through anything).
At the end of July 2016, I married my best friend. Our wedding went better than either of us imagined; it was beautiful. We left for our honeymoon a few days later, driving down to Oklahoma to spend a week in the guest cabin that belonged to a Benedictine Monastery. It was like escaping to another world for a while, where it was finally just the two of us. Although, it wasn’t just the two of us for very long.
We had decided prior to the wedding that we weren’t going to actively postpone getting pregnant, so I knew that there was a chance that we could have a baby right away. It didn’t really sink in that that possibility was a reality until the unbearable “morning sickness” began. I was utterly unprepared for how intense it would be; my first pregnancy was five years ago, and was far from a normal pregnancy, yet that was what I expected it to be like. Unlike my first pregnancy, where I felt queasy sometimes and was sensitive to a few smells here and there, I was perpetually holding back the urge to vomit right then and there. Any strong smells at all would cause me to gag and clutch my tiny wastebasket to me. The thought of eating most foods – including some of my pre-pregnancy favorites – was disgusting. I became an unwilling vegetarian, and my poor new husband suffered along with me (the sight of raw meat, and the smell of cooking meat, was a death sentence). And the reason I put “morning sickness” in quotes is this: it lasted all day, every day. For two months. I am so grateful that I’m starting to feel more like a normal Maria now that I’m in the beginning of the second trimester.
So, to bring back the fabulous mental image of a party popper. Half of the confetti-splosion has settled enough for me to attempt to clean some of it up, while quite a bit of it is either still in the air or clinging to my hair and clothes. But eventually it will settle. Maybe it will be cleaned up, maybe not. And then there will be a brand new party popper set off once the baby arrives.