reflections, week 19

a day late because of permanent residency interview shenanigans with my husband (please send your thoughts, prayers, and offerings so he gets approved!!!), but here are some thoughts on my goals for the year:

write something every day (except Shabbat). I’ve done some really good writing lately—but there hasn’t been a lot of time to write. a part of that is that my final course for my doctoral program (!!!!!) ended last Sunday and I was focused on it, and part is just that things have been wild both on a personal and professional level. the thing that most shows how little time I’ve dedicated to this is that I’ve really fallen behind on my bullet journal. if I can’t find the time to sit down and update my bullet journal for a few minutes every day, then I’m definitely struggling to find time to write with any sort of intentionality. that said, I do have some voice recordings from my commute to and from job #2 that I’m hoping to type up this week to get myself in more of a writing groove.

be better about money. this took a bit of a hit this past week because I’m using some of my summer money to take care of some things that needed replacing at home as well as requesting a new passport which my married name (yes, almost a whole year later, I just didn’t want to be passport-less during the immigration evidence review process). I’m still in a better place for the summer than I was last year—but the bar is pretty low, as I had zero savings last year because I’d spent most of it on the wedding and his immigration paperwork. I’m hoping that, now that I’m caught up on bills and have taken care of the replacements and the like, I’ll be able to do some more saving in these last few paychecks before summer shenanigans hit. fingers crossed!

self-validate more. this remains the one where I feel like I really maxed out early and I’ve been working on maintaining it—which is hilarious because, when I added it to this year’s goals, I 100% did not expect that I would ever really be able to say that I had succeeded in this. it has been a mark of how much I have grown in my understanding of myself and in my coping mechanisms that I am able to pull myself out of self-loathing puddles before beginning to spiral and that I can separate myself and my worth from mistakes that I’ve made. I’ve got my very last therapy appointment with Dr. S next week, though—so only time will tell if I can keep this up once I’m flying solo.

until the next time, y’all!

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thirty, treinta, trente.

a week ago yesterday, I headed out to afternoon tea at The Drake to celebrate my thirtieth birthday with my girls—the same amazing women who helped my wedding happen (with the exception of A, who had to work during our tea time). we had a chance to dress up and just relax with some tea and some treats, and then we went shopping and just had… a chill day, which is something I rarely have a chance to do.

I didn’t want to do anything big or flashy, you see—for a long time, I didn’t even think I would make it to 25, let alone 30.

for most of you, I don’t need to rehash what it’s like to live with mental illness, to wonder whether you’re going to make it through the next fifteen minutes, to try and figure out what the hell is wrong with you that you can’t seem to be an actual human being like everyone else. I was undiagnosed for so long that I managed to convince myself that I was just a complete disaster of a person—and trying to pretend otherwise felt really pointless.

but somehow, between therapy, my friends’ support, and sheer stubbornness? I’ve made it to my 30s, and I’m actually excited to see what happens next!

so, like any other self-respecting millennial, I came with a bucket list of sorts: my 30 for my 30s. I don’t know how this is going to go, seeing as I’m not great at long-term goals like that… but I figure, if there’s ever a time to try, it’s now. 🙂

we’ll see how it goes!

reflections, week 18

it has been a wild time around here, seeing as I’m officially in my thirties! also, this is the last week of my last class for my doctoral program—next up is the comprehensive exam this summer and then it’s dissertation time!

write something every day (except Shabbat). this was not amazing this past week, but the days I did write were really good! I wrote a fair amount and I am excited about the projects I’ve been working on, so I’m hoping this will be better next month!

be better about money. this continues to be pretty decent right now because I have a cushion thanks to that tax refund—I just need to keep a cushion so that things remain this easy moving forward! I will try to keep it together throughout May, but we’ll see how the summer goes…

self-validate more. having my work wife out on field trips and other meetings meant that I have had to do more stuff independently and validate my own work this past week—so I’m still doing well with this so far! recognizing that ADHD is a thing in my life and dealing with the things that are due to ADHD but I had previously considered personal failures has also gone a long way in this department. 🙂

until the next time, when things are hopefully less wild and I don’t have to be oh-so-brief!

reflections, week 17

we’re back at it, folks—trying to get this done early today so I can keep working on the old to-do list…

write something every day (except Shabbat). this has been a massive issue this month, for some reason—I know it’s been a really busy month but I really had dreams of catching up during spring break and it just did not happen. I did better at writing this past week than I have throughout this month, but it still is not where I want it to be. I also went the longest I’ve gone not working on my bullet journal so far (about 10 days!!!!), so I’m trying to come up with some ideas to do better next month.

be better about money. this has been pretty steady so far—I think getting that big tax refund really made a difference in letting me get caught up and then ahead on some payments, so I’m finally in a comfortable place. also, my husband is now working, and I’m actually going to have summer savings to supplement my summer job money—so I might be able to stay caught-up/ahead for the first summer in a long time.

self-validate more. my therapist and I have been having some wind-down sessions (she’s retiring and we think I might be able to fly solo!), and she remarked on how different my self-talk is during sessions. she specifically pointed out that she has not had to correct any negative self-talk in over a year because, whenever it slips out, I have corrected myself. it was so exciting and validating to hear it from her because she has seen my journey very closely and understands better than anyone how much growth this entails!

until next time, y’all!

getting tasks done with adhd

something that has always bothered me about my executive dysfunction—and which preventing me from accepting that there was an issue rather than just laziness on my part—is that I do not often struggle to complete tasks, no matter how difficult… but I always struggle to start them. (this is especially the case during bipolar downswings, where motivation is at its lowest and nothing seems rewarding enough to bribe myself with.)

my struggle with task initiation is not unique among fellow ADHD peeps, I have learned; in fact, there are many articles describing it and giving tips. however, I have found that years of maladaptive behaviors on my part mean that some of those tips do not work for me—so I figured I would share what does work! while I used my personal examples for each of these, I have also seen some of my students be successful with these… but, as with everything, YMMV!

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reflections, week 16

we’re back on the saddle after a week off from updates, y’all! it’s honestly been absolutely wild over the past two weeks, between SAT and PSAT and a paper due for my grad class and my husband’s 30th birthday and then preparing for Passover since I’m hosting seder for the first time this Friday… but I’m taking a minute in the middle of my spring break to breathe and reflect.

write something every day (except Shabbat). this definitely hasn’t happened in the last couple of weeks, as might be expected according to the aforementioned wilderness. I even missed my weekly updates for the first time! I had a lot of dreams of getting caught up over spring break that haven’t panned out, particularly since I’m now sick (as is the case every time we have a school break)! I’m not super convinced that things will be very different over the next week or two, since I’ve got another paper and then it’s my 30th birthday, but maybe things will even out again in May?

be better about money. this has remained pretty steady—that tax refund was really life-changing because I’m finally caught up on payments and I have a little rainy day fund. I worry that the rainy day fund will just be a summer fund, as it often happens… but J is finally employed and I think this summer might be a little easier than usual… fingers crossed!

self-validate more. this was harder to do when I lost my writing momentum, but I’ve been trying to be kind to myself and just remember that I’m doing so much stuff and I’ve got mental illnesses and it’s honestly a miracle I find enough time to do the essential, let alone the extra stuff. I just think I need to rethink my priorities for this next quarter a little bit.

fingers crossed I’m back here soon—I did miss the chance for reflection last week! 🙂

on touch and boundaries after trauma

(cw: sexual assault, PTSD, complex PTSD, trigger responses, dissociation, emotional abuse, relationship violence)

the last couple of weeks have been, to be frank, an absolute mess. the stress at work was beyond wild because of this past Monday’s site visit, the results of which will determine whether we get funding to continue our personalized learning journey—and then I had an interesting conversation with a colleague on Thursday the 30th that left me too shaken to write about until, well, now.

it started out innocently enough. we were discussing something unrelated and I mentioned to my colleague that I missed seeing them around, as we just have not coincided in a while. they breathlessly revealed that they have been taking some time off because they were sexually assaulted and are trying to recover from the experience. they then went on to describe the situation in pretty specific detail—and, as (bad) luck would have it, it was really close to my own experiences with assault.

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