Brace Yourselves, Here Comes Finals…

Greetings, squadlings!

Apologies for the lack of posts. I really don’t have anything interesting to say.

We’re coming to the end of my first semester at a four-year university. All I can say is YIKES.

Saying I got my ass kicked this semester would be an understatement. Saying that this semester beat the living hell out of me and then threw my lifeless carcass into the engine of a plane would be more like it.

This was my first semester away from home, EVER. This was my first time being away from home for more than two days, EVER. Were there good parts? Sure. Were there parts that made me want to slam my head in a car door? Absolutely.

That being said, finals week is approaching.

 

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My schedule for finals isn’t too bad, but that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. My last day of finals is Friday, May 19th, and mark my words, I will be hauling ass to get home. I have no way of getting home for the next three weeks, meaning I WON’T SEE MY DOGS FOR THREE WEEKS. I know, I’m sure Montee wouldn’t even recognize me at this point.

So, yes, I have 22 days left until I go home and work my ass off for three months.

Apologies for the lack of posts these next few weeks, squadlings. I’ll try my best.

Here’s That D.C. Story I Promised

Greetings, squadlings!

As I mentioned in my last post, I did end up going to D.C. to my mother’s friend’s memorial service. Let’s talk about that, shall we?

The memorial was last Friday. Up until last Tuesday, my mom and I had pretty much accepted the fact that we weren’t going to make it to D.C. in time for the memorial. Then, Tuesday night, I get a text from my mom… unnamed.jpg

Yep, that’s the ACTUAL message from my mom, received at 5:12pm on Tuesday night.

As you all know, I go to school three hours from home. If we were going to D.C., that meant I would need to catch a bus to Minneapolis (an hour and a half from my school), find a place to stay, and fly out to Chicago the next morning…AKA I had less than 24 hours to get my shit together.

Wednesday rolls around, and my mom and I have been going crazy trying to get everything together. I keep telling my mom “I need an answer here.” If I was going to catch a bus to Minneapolis, the bus leaves from my school at 3:30pm. As you all know, I’ve been staying with my grandmother, meaning I would have to find a way to get back to my grandma’s house, pack, find a way back to school, catch the bus, get to Minneapolis, and find a place to stay within the next six hours. So, of course, I’m freaking out and calling my mom, trying to figure out what the hell to do. Then, I get this: FullSizeRender.jpg

Again, the actual text from my mom. Yes, I call my mother “Woman” and her name in my phone is “Birthgiver.” Don’t judge me.

So, starting at 11AM, I went into frenzy-mode. I booked a one-way bus ticket from my college town to Minneapolis, a one-way ticket for a 5:00am Thursday morning flight from Minneapolis to Chicago, I called my aunt and uncle who live in Minneapolis, as well as my friend who goes to school there in an attempt to figure out where to stay, then called an Uber and took off towards my grandma’s house.

I managed to pack all my stuff and get back to campus in time to catch the bus. I actually emailed my teachers WHILE on the bus to tell them I wouldn’t be in my Wednesday afternoon or Friday classes (occasionally, I won’t have class on Thursdays, and luckily this was one of those weeks). 

I made it to Minneapolis in one piece, though I must admit, I almost got off the bus at the wrong stop, but I didn’t!

I should mention, my Pillow Pet giraffe, Gary, came along for the ride and his travel saga was documented on my SnapChat.

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Believe me, there are at least 20 more of those, but you get the point.

So, Gary and I spent the night at my aunt and uncle’s house. Can we get a round of applause for my aunt for driving me to the airport at 3:30 in the morning?

My aunt dropped me off outside the airport, and I went in by myself.

I’ve flown on planes a million times, but I have never bought a ticket, made it to the airport, and gone through the whole process all by myself before. It was slightly terrifying, but eventually, I made it past security and to my gate.

I had a window seat on the way to Chicago–behold:

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The second picture is Chicago (if you look closely, you can see the skyline in the background), and that first picture is probably somewhere over Wisconsin.

ANYWAY, Gary and I got to Chicago around 7am and were stuck there until my mom showed up for our 11:50AM flight to Washington D.C.. Being in an airport with only the company of a Pillow Pet for four hours is very boring.

Eventually, my mom arrived, and OUR FREAKIN’ FLIGHT WAS DELAYED TWICE. There were some thunderstorms in D.C. that day, and the D.C. airport grounded all planes.

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Eventually, three hours behind schedule, my mom, Gary and I made it to D.C.. We didn’t have much to do the first day, because it was already almost 8PM when we got there, but if you’ve ever wanted to see what I look like running on four hours of sleep, having been awake for almost 24 hours, while eating a french fries in Washington D.C., here you go:

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Stunning.

The next day, Friday, we spent the morning at my mom’s friend’s memorial service. It only lasted about an hour, and since there were so many people at the reception afterward, we decided to go for a walk around Georgetown University’s campus because it was right up the street. Behold, Hogwarts’ baby: IMG_6353.JPG

After we walked around Georgetown (and had a very brief run-in with my friend who goes there), we went back to the memorial service, where we talked to the family of my mom’s friend.

After that, we went sightseeing. It was freezing and raining for part of it, but it was still cool!IMG_6360.JPG

We walked so much, I thought I was going to die. We also didn’t have lunch that day, and we were starving, but there are NO FREAKING RESTAURANTS IN WASHINGTON D.C.. SERIOUSLY, DO YOU PEOPLE NOT EAT?

Eventually we went back to our hotel for the night. I love sleeping.

The next day, our last day in D.C. (yes, I’m serious, we were there for less than 48 hours), the weather was great! IMG_6376.JPG

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We also went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, which was really cool! I won’t post all the pictures, because of course I took a ton:

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Abraham Lincoln’s famous top hat. He was wearing this the night he was assassinated.

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Archie and Edith Bunker’s chairs from the show All In The Family, the main reason I wanted to go to this museum.

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You already know I had to take a picture of the first teddy bear.

After the Smithsonian, more sightseeing, and walking around D.C. with my friend from Georgetown that I mentioned earlier (we have a picture together, but I won’t post it because I don’t know if she wants her picture posted), we headed back to the airport for a 7:30pm flight back to Chicago. IMG_6400.JPG

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I apologize for that second picture being blurry, I took it as we were landing.

We got back to my hometown at around 11:00pm, and then at 1:00pm the next day, I was on a bus back to my college town.

So, yes, I embarked on possibly the world’s shortest Washington D.C. trip ever. It was good! If I could do it again, I’d want to stay in D.C. longer. I didn’t get to the Lincoln Memorial or Arlington Cemetery, two places I’ve wanted to go to, but there’s always next time.

Other than the memorial, it was a swell time.

Thanks for reading, squadlings. Be well.

Inside My Mental Breakdown

Greetings, squadlings.

This past week has been…interesting, to say the least.

You may remember my last post mentioned that my mother’s friend’s memorial service was in Washington D.C. last Friday, and my mom and I couldn’t find a way to go.

Long story short, we did. But more on that later.

Let’s start with Monday.

Monday night, I had class. Every Monday and Wednesday, I have class from 5:00-5:50pm. This particular Monday, my professor asked us to do something a bit odd: He wanted us to draw how we were feeling. Why? He said he wanted to show us that most of us were in the same boat. So, I drew how I felt.

I drew a person with an anvil falling on their head.

As my professor went through our drawings, I realized something. I realized that I was miserable. 

I stood up and walked out of class, sitting in my own thoughts for a minute before calling my mom. Before my mom got two words in, I was sobbing and said, “I want to go home.” 

It’s true: I want to go home. I never thought I’d be saying those words, after I worked my ass off to get to where I am, but it’s true. I want to go home.

I actually spent my time out of class in a computer lab, looking up the application process for the giant university in my hometown. In that moment, I was 100% convinced that I was going home.

I don’t know what made me hit that point. Was it that three people I know had passed away in the past week? Was it because I was PMSing (sorry if there are any dudes who read this shit)? Was it that I was fed up with school? Why was I so suddenly desperate to get out of my school?

I ended up spending the night at my grandmother’s house. I couldn’t stay in my dorm. I don’t know why. I just couldn’t. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything involving my college at that point.

To make a long story short, since that night, I have barely set foot in my dorm room (although, I must admit, I’m sitting on my beanbag chair in my dorm room as I write this). I’ve been staying with my grandmother, ten minutes from campus. She drops me off at school in the morning and picks me up at the end of the day. WHY have I been staying at her house?

There is something comforting, in the midst of a mental breakdown, to be away from the place that is causing said breakdown. I feel more relaxed at my grandmother’s house. Yes, I’m living with a 78-year-old woman instead of my friends, but I actually like staying at her house. I get good food, I can shower without wearing shoes, I get to sleep on a mattress that’s not made of plastic…I don’t know how long I’ll stay with my grandmother, honestly. Probably until she kicks me out.

Nothing interesting happened on Tuesday, so let’s skip ahead to Wednesday.

Wednesday morning: The day before my mother and I would have had to leave for Washington D.C. if we were going to her friend’s memorial. I get a text from my mother around 9am: Thinking about D.C. again. 

WHAT? 

Believe me, I didn’t mind the thought of going to D.C.. What I minded was the fact that, if we were going to D.C., I needed to know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I would have to buy a one-way plane ticket from Minneapolis to Chicago (my school is closer to Minneapolis and I would have no other way to get to Chicago on time), buy a bus ticket to GET TO MINNEAPOLIS, get back to my grandmother’s and pack, and get back to school to catch the bus, all before the bus left for Minneapolis at 3:30pm.

Long story short, I did it.

I spent the night at my aunt and uncle’s house in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and, at 5:00 the next morning, caught a one-way flight from Minneapolis to Chicago. I landed in Chicago around 7am, and waited for my mother to arrive for our 11:50am flight to Washington D.C.. My mom showed up four hours after I did, and OUR FLIGHT TO WASHINGTON D.C. WAS DELAYED THREE HOURS. 

Eventually, some time on Thursday evening, we made it to D.C.

D.C. was really cool! We saw the White House, Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museum of American History, the U.S. Capitol building…I’d always wanted to go to D.C., and though I wasn’t there for a good reason, we still made the most of the trip, just me and my mom. I was glad my mom was able to go to her friend’s memorial and speak to some people from her childhood. (I’ll post the full story in another post soon, I promise). 

When we arrived back to my hometown, BOOM CUE MENTAL BREAKDOWN ROUND 2.

On Sunday, I had to catch yet another bus to get back to the town where my school is. Before I caught the bus, I had the world’s most obnoxious mental breakdown.

I started sobbing, screaming that I didn’t want to go back to school. I was telling my stepdad how much I hate my school (I don’t) and how I didn’t want to go back (that part was true). 

Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have a choice: I had to go back. So, tears and all, I climbed onto the bus and went back to my school. When I got off the bus, as the driver handed me my suitcase, he smiled at me and said “Hang in there.” 

So, here we are: Tuesday night, sitting in my dark dorm room alone, wondering what the hell is up. Am I going to transfer home? I haven’t decided. Am I thinking about it? I hate myself for saying this, but…yes.

When I came up here, I never once considered that I would be thinking about going home. I do like my school. Do I love it? No. Was moving up here easy? No. It’s three hours away–for me, that was a big leap. It’s far, and I hate that. That’s truly the only part of it that I hate about it.

I’ll give you updates as they come.

Wish me luck, squadlings.

 

When You Want To Be There, But Just Can’t.

Greetings squadlings.

If you remember, last week I posted about how a childhood friend of my mother passed away. In said post, I mentioned that, while my mother was too sick (sinus infection, rip) to go to her funeral, there is a memorial taking place in Washington D.C. this Friday, and my mother and I wanted to go.

Plot twist, squadlings: We can’t. 

We tried, we really did. I spent hours upon hours sitting in front of my laptop, scrolling through every possible travel website, websites I haven’t even HEARD OF, to try to find a flight. I failed.

There were flights, lots of them. The problem was they were at least $500 a person. That’s $1,000 for flights alone, not to mention hotel, food, and transportation fees for a two-day trip to D.C.. I checked every nearby airport. Nothing. It just wasn’t possible.

I kept trying, spending at least four hours a day sitting in front of my laptop, desperately trying to find a way to get us to the memorial service. My mother used to have a job that required us to travel, and she had leftover frequent flyer miles…that expired in 2014. That would be a $600 bill just to get those miles back, not to mention 30,000 miles PER PERSON ONE WAY to get us to D.C.. It wasn’t going to work. I sat on the phone with that airline for over an hour, begging them to find some way to get us to D.C.. I messaged the airline on Twitter. I was desperate to find a way to get us there, and I failed.

In the midst of my desperation to get us to D.C., another family friend passed away unexpectedly on Thursday morning.

I’m not going to share who that person is, as their family are quite private, but when I got that news, more than anything, I wanted to go home. 

I wanted to go to D.C.. Not because my friend goes to Georgetown. I wanted to go to D.C. for my mom. For her friend. For her friend’s family. I wanted to get us there. I desperately wanted to get us there. Many frustrated tears, curse words, and harsh insults directed at many a different airline, I had to give up. I had to accept defeat–there was just no possible way I could get us there.

I wanted to go home. I wanted to drop everything and find a way to get home. I couldn’t. I have school. As shitty as that is, I have school. I can’t just up and leave, no matter how badly I want to. No matter what happens, I can’t just up and leave. And it sucks.

I guess I’m not used to being away when bad things happen yet. Maybe I never will be.

I still feel sick when I think of the fact that my mom and I won’t be able to be in D.C. on Friday. This morning, I checked flights, secretly hoping they had gone down at least $200 overnight. They hadn’t. They had gone up. If we couldn’t get there before, we’re sure as hell not gonna get there now.

Excuse me while I just….giphy

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Be well, squadlings.