Oh my. I can not believe it has been a full seven days since I last posted. I never go that long without a post!
Things have been a little bit crazy (and crazy making) as I’m trying to balance adult responsibility with childlike wishful thinking. Not to mention, trying to throw a little hope in the mix.
Recently I posted about my plans to study to become a Certified Personal Trainer and the program I was going to embark upon in fairly short order. Then, more recently I mentioned that I was investigating funding options for education. For the first time since graduating high school, I have a clear understanding of what I want to do with my life and I understand, at least in broad strokes, what I need to do to get there.
After greater consideration, I determined that the certifying program I found may not be sufficient for my needs. You see, I do not know much of anything at all about proper strategies and form for exercising and I know very little about proper nutrition and I felt that a handful of short classes may not be enough to ensure my success in this field. In addition, I do not have a college degree and if I have learned anything in the 16 years since I graduated from High School, it is that having a Bachelor’s Degree in a field that has nothing whatsoever to do with your current profession, is better than not having a Bachelor’s degree at all. I have concluded that what I really want to do right now is to go back to college and get an actual college degree in Kinesiology, or Exercise Science or something (seems every school calls it something different.)
I’ve come to believe that it will be possible for me to get enough financial aid to be able to attend college full time, and not have to work (or at least not work much). Previous experience has taught me that I am not equipped to work and go to school, so it is very important that I be able to get enough financial assistance to cover my living expenses.
This is all well and good, but I’ve determined that in order to do this, living where I currently live, I would need roughly $3000 a month to cover my living expenses. Logically it would seem that the thing to do is find a way to reduce my living expenses and the best way I could think to do that would be to move in with someone who would be willing to support and encourage my endeavor and therefore be willing to bear the burden of the bulk of the expenses.
I spent six years living with Michelle, my only friend locally with whom I could live and only just regained my independence… Well, I guess it’s really been nearly two years, but it doesn’t seem like it. I could cut back on one or two of my utilities (but how would I live without DirecTV?) and I could try to find a cheaper apartment to live in (although would I be able to get cheap enough rent to justify the moving expenses?) but for the most part $3000 a month is the figure and that’s over and above the cost of Tuition. Here in California the tuition would only be about $4500.
So my next best option is to move in with a family member who is more invested in seeing me succeed at my goal than in having me alleviate their potentially over-taxed pocket book. Well, this is a swell idea, but the options are very limited! The only thing less desirable than living with my mother is living in a cardboard box under a bridge somewhere and even that I would have to give some serious thought to. At least the troll could keep me company and watch my stuff while I’m in class. I am fond of running water, however, and ultimately, I suppose I’d have to choose living with my mother.
My Dad and his wife are utterly and completely out of the question. I can’t live with that woman and I’d sooner jump off the bridge, waiving at the troll on the way down of course, than move in with them.
My brother is in no position to help me with this and even if I thought I could handle living with him for four years, I wouldn’t put him in that position.
This leaves me with my Sister and her husband and children. Honestly, it seems perfect (or as close as I can get to perfect.) They have a room with its own bathroom that I could use. They’re amenable to the idea of charging a minimal amount of rent which is really only to cover the additional burden of utility costs and my sister is the only member of my family ever to graduate from college so she’s been through it all before and would be in a position to help me tread through “the system.” And to top it all off, my sister is a CPA and I am mathematically retarded. I would hope to be able to test out of having to fulfill some of the math requirements based on my probable (but currently undiagnosed) learning disability, but whatever I do have to take she could help me with if need be.
The major drawback to this plan is none of my family knows I’m gay and though I wish I could comfortably and confidently tell them, I really can’t. If it looked like I definitely was going to move in with my sister I would tell her the truth, because it’s the best thing for me, but I do not know how she and her husband would react and I don’t know if that would jeopardize the whole situation or not. IF I move with them I WILL tell them, but I’m not going to tell them if I don’t have to and that is heaping massive amounts of stress on top of an already stressful situation.
I found a school that would be nearly ideal (except for the cost of the tuition, almost $30,000 a year and based on my guestimations, it would be about $4000 cheaper (for tuition and living expenses) if I moved to live with my sister despite the higher tuition costs at this school.) The drawback is that I really enjoy living in California and my sister lives in New York so it’d be a major change for me.
I filled out the Federal Financial Aid Application (still waiting for results) and was about to begin the application process for the school when, completely on a whim, I clicked on an “about” link. Lo and behold, this college is a women’s college. I am not a women. The college’s “sister” campus, which is co-educational, doesn’t offer the program. Now, understand me here. I have spent literally hours pouring over this website, learning about the program and the cost and the financial aid options and at no point during that process did I happen across anything that told me that this was a strictly X chromosome school. No Y’s allowed. This is the only school I could find in the immediate area of my sister’s home which offered the program I want, and I’m not allowed in because I have a Y.
I could go on and get bogged down in the details, and I’m sure I will at a later date, but for now I need to move on.
I’m frustrated. I’ve worked for just over seven years in a job I truly detest. I hardly work when I’m in my office (hell, I’m here now and I’m writing to you fine people and not doing my work). I can’t get to work on time and I’m constantly stressed out about it because I just never know when is the day that my boss will morph from Dr. Jekyll who has no concern about my arrival time, to Mr. Hyde who makes mountains out of mole hills. I do not like my co-workers and I’m at whit’s end with the environment. I must find a way out.
Last week I called my therapist, Deb, to reestablish my appointments. I stopped seeing her in December because I needed to gain control of my finances and I wanted to get out of debt. Things had gotten out of control financially and I couldn’t stand to continue the way things were. I have made major strides in learning to better manage my finances. I have not however, been able to pay off my credit cards. I’ve made decent progress, but I still owe $300 – $400 on each of three cards. I expected to have them paid off by now, and so even though I’m no longer robbing Peter to pay Paul and even though I haven’t bounced a check in months I’m frustrated and afraid I haven’t really learned as much as I thought I had and that is causing me stress.
With everything else that’s going on I felt it was important to get back in to see Deb and get her help in sorting out my feelings about it all. Initially at least, I’m only going to go every other week while I get reacclimated to the additional expense and try to continue to pay off my credit cards. Naturally, while I was on “hiatus” she raised her rate and since I pay her out of pocket, this is disturbing to me. I can handle the increase, but it felt like really bad timing.
Anyway, with all the various things going on in my brain, I’ve been trying to settle some of them out and I haven’t had much time for writing, even my novel has gone untouched for a couple weeks. I’m running out of time to make anything happen for the fall semester and I’m desperate to make something happen so I can get out of this awful situation I’m in and all the clarity I started out with has become very cloudy and now I’m not so sure what direction to go in next. It’s making me crazy.