Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Life is like a movie

So, I have been thinking for awhile, especially when I was watching Grey's Anatomy all the time... until I finished the series (sigh), that television shows/books/movies etc. are actually pretty accurate portrayals of real life, with entertainment value added, of course.  When I say accurate, I don't mean the actual ACTIVITIES; for example, everyone I know would say that Grey's is not accurate, or in my case, I was in the Glee Club at West Point.... yeahhh.... we definitely weren't dancing around on stage... Just singing in front of large audiences.  But, the things that the characters actually deal with (except I didn't spend a lot of time watching Glee, so I don't know all the characters)m.  Unless someone only sits at home watching movies all day without emotions, everybody's life can be pretty interesting.  I decided a long time ago that normal just does not exist.  Actually, sitting at home ALL the time doing nothing without emotions does not qualify as normal either, and it would make a really terrible plot... like one of those live cameras, but without cute animals or nice scenery.  The only thing that sucks about real life is that despite the similar plot, there are no predictable endings like there are in the movies.

Anyways, I really like writing (as evidenced by my blog), and I haven't done any creative writing in quite some time.  I have been thinking it might be fun to start writing again (as I have spoken with someone else about - you know who you are!) in my free time.  I am going to try to spend less time on social media - well, besides blogger!  I think it isn't so good for myself, or anyone for that matter!  Okay, I will TRY to spend less time on social media.  And in the mean time, I think I will try writing more again, and of course reading...  I was once a very avid reader, but I have been struggling in that area for a bit of time.  The problem with reading is that when I spend time reading for fun, I feel like I am avoiding school work... BUT, I do that when I am wasting time scrolling through my "newsfeed" as well.  It just feels less that way because I am usually on my computer doing schoolwork... Facebook is just sort of a distraction.  However, when I have breaks from school, I actually do spend a decent amount of time going through several books. 

SO, moral of the story here:  Life is kind of like movies, TV shows, novels, and any other type of entertainment that does not include science fiction or scary movies, and I want to start writing about it again (I used to do several types of writing).  Social media is bad for emotional well-being - for almost everyone -  so I am going to spend less time on things such as Facebook, and I shall start spending more time reading for pleasure, and not just for classes.  Oh, and of course there is my flute and my guitar... and with winter, I can start skiing again!  It has been too long since I my last ski session! 

Alas, I shall finish some of my classwork so I actually have free time for all of those other things I just spent thirty minutes writing (well, off and on... in between work text messages). 

Until next time,


Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn and why I love it

I have,  obviously,  decided to write this post about my favorite season: autumn. 

To begin,  tonight. I went for a run through some of my favorite trails on post.  For the entire day I was thinking about how much I wanted to run.  Naturally,  by the time I actually get to the end of the day,  I am not feeling it... especially because the temps had dropped,  the sun was starting to go down,  and... well... I rarely feel like doing much of anything after work besides vegging out and watching some show on Netflix (lately it has been the entire Greg's Anatomy series), having a glass of wine,  and contemplating the universe.  Well,  okay,  usually I do homework,  but I rarely ever WANT to open my books and sit in front of my computer after I have been doing that the entire day (even now I am in bed writing with my tablet).  I prefer this type of writing :)

So,  back on topic.  I didn't feel like running, but I was lazy yesterday and ended up NOT running,  and anyone who know me knows I don't like taking more than one day off of running in a row.  I told myself just a short run as we have a 9 - 10 mile tempo run in the morning (ugghhh)  for the ten miler team. It is probably good I started a bit late, otherwise my short run would have turned much longer.  Not only did I feel AMAZING and I had that floating feeling I get sometimes during runs (unfortunately that usually means I forgot my seizure meds which was the case today,  but the feeling was still pretty awesome) , but the scenery was beautiful.  Since it gets quite chilly in the North Country early in the year,  we get awesome foliage quickly.

Right now we are only in the beginning, but I am already excited. During my run some of the trails were ready softer due to fallen leaves,  and in some spots the leaves were quite colorful.  At the end of the run I stopped and stretched near the water,  which was awesome.  The sun was setting,  the water was clear,  and the reflection from the sunset and colorful leaves was absolutely gorgeous.  A beautiful way to end the day!  I got to follow that by some wine,  naturally. ;)

That whole narrative was just to demonstrate some of the many things I adore about fall.  Crisp weather that isn't quite cold,  hot apple cider,  colorful leaves... oh,  and let's not forget how much I love fall fashions.  Sweater dresses and fall colors are probably my favorite things to wear.  And somehow it always seems there is a feeling of... how do I say this... newness?  I know  that is supposed to be spring,  and maybe I feel this way because when I was I school fall was always associated with the newness of a new school year.  I wrote a poem about this once,  and maybe I will post it when I am not on my tablet. 

Anyways, these are a few reasons why I always look forward to this change of season.... now... I do NOT like the NEXT change of season around here... but I am sure all my readers will hear about that one during another post!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I Love Running - especially long distances (even though I'm not super fast)

Yay, another post in two days!  I used to write a lot, and it would seem I am in one of my writing phases, so don't be surprised if you see quite a few of these... at least... for the next week or two :)  I guess it also doesn't help that I finally had a couple of regular cups of coffee, which is the most coffee I have had in awhile.  Most mornings I haven't even been finishing a cup, or I've been drinking some half-caff.  It would seem I am sort of weaning myself off of caffeine!!!  I never thought that would happen, and this wasn't even on purpose... anyway, it has left me in a state of being a bit hyper - mostly in a good way.  Mostly. 

Anyways, onto my main topic... As I was on my run this morning, I started thinking about why I love running so much... I know, who thinks about running while running, right?!?  Totally just kidding, but anyway...  I think it is really the mental aspect of running that I like, because let's be honest here, I have a lot of crappy runs, and at those times I wonder why I am running. Honestly, before I took pretty much all of last week off, I was questioning my love of running.  I mean... I wasn't trained for that ultra at all, and had never in my entire live done something that far, nonetheless doing it for around eight hours (yes, I was very slow - my goal was only to finish!)  The hardest part was the mental aspect of the last seven miles, which were pretty much all uphill, with some rocky portions, and stream crossings, and it was all cool, but it seemed to go on FOREVER.  Now, once I've had time to recover, all of my runs have been pretty much awesome... well, all two of them :)  My five miles fast yesterday felt amazing, and my run today felt pretty darn good.   I think it kind of goes to show how good it can feel to see hard work pay off.  I even look at myself now versus two months ago, and I have already improved quite a bit.  Granted, I was still kind of getting back in shape from my stress fracture - and any other number of random things that were popping up at that time, so I was sort of in the getting back to where I was phase.  But with speed work and tempo runs, and some longer runs (or races!), I have definitely improved beyond where I was.  I actually think I'm probably in the best running shape ever, and that's a good feeling... assuming I don't jinx myself and hurt myself again.

I think the above mental challenge is also why I like distance running so much.  It really is quite a bit mental as opposed to just physical.  Physically, I think we are capable of quite a bit if we don't let our minds give out.  For example, that last part of that 50k was terrible mentally.  I just wanted it to be OVER... it felt as if it would never end.  And while it takes mental strength to keep running fast for a 5k or 10k, the physical definitely limits you more than the mental.  Your mental has to say keep fighting and don't give up, but when you are running fast, your legs can only handle so much... or your whole system, in my case, where I either a) feel like I am going to vomit, or b) do vomit.. distance is more strategy.  Perhaps because I am not a world class athlete who is accustomed to running long distances at an all-out paced, I have to figure out when to start speeding up and when to back off... and how to know the difference between my body hurting and my brain giving out.  I guess that is why I got so addicted to distance running; the whole feel of knowing that I pushed myself past the point where I didn't think I could keep going.  Of being tired and sore, but still going.

Of course, there is also the aspect of just the feeling of a nice run, particularly in the woods.  Even if it is a bit brisk outside, I love the rhythm of my feet and a light breeze.  It is meditative, and it makes you realize how little all of your problems are in the big picture. 

Sooo... these are the reasons I love running, though I'm not sure I can actually put it all into words.  There are too many reasons!  Alas, I think my coffee is wearing off and now I am starting to feel sleepy :( 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Updates and Random Thoughts

I know I have not written in a very long time, but I can't find my journal and I have all sorts of thoughts! Which is actually kind of normal; hence, why I have a journal!  So for those of you who are not my Facebook friends, here is a very quick rundown on my life from the past... uh... four months? Or something along those lines.  Well, I started doubling up on my graduate classes, so I should be graduating two terms early: spring of 2014 instead of Fall term 2015. I will admit I am looking forward to graduating. I am actually kind of wanting to take some mote self development classes at the community college just to obtain some additional skill, or perhaps a certificate or to to make me more marketable, seeing that I have no medical experience, and I am getting my Masters in Health Administration.   I am looking to find a job close to home in the generous Portland area,  AND there are several health facilities in the area, so I think my chances are high. I spoke to my mom about it and she is confident, as she put it: " I have never met an Ivy league graduate who couldn't get a job." I suppose West Point qualifies and I shouldn't have issues getting a job; however, the trick lies in finding one I like!

So why am I talking so much about this? Well, my medical board paperwork was approved... but... I'm still waiting for the process to even begin. And on a positive note related to this whole epilepsy thing: I can drive again! For those of you who did NOT know, I have been unable to drive for the seventeen months. I finally got cleared the week before last, and it was such a great feeling. I also ran my first ultra Marathon, made the army ten miler team for this post, so I think running is going pretty well! I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

So, anyways, I completely ended up missing the whole reason I wanted to write, and writing about it now would make this post far too long. So I may need to save it for another day. As a preview, it was going to be a bit morbid.

 Something along the lines of would you rather die knowing you were going to die so you could do what you have wanted to do and have avoided doing it - to tell your loved ones what you have wanted to say.... or would you rather not know and die suddenly- quickly (well ... that might depend) but not be thinking about it before it happens. I won't go too deep into the inner workings of my brain, but I suppose I am interested to see what others think.

Alas, I will keep it at that for the evening.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Updates and Thoughts

Well it has been quite some time since I've written a post.  I've actually written a couple, but never finished/published them.  I guess because it's a Saturday of a four-day weekend and I'm not really doing much I have been sitting here with my thoughts - which is pretty typical during long weekends when I'm not doing much.

Currently in the midst of a lot of possible changes.  Maybe there will be - maybe there won't - still some questions regarding it all.  This, of course, contributes to me sitting here in thought.  Fortunately, it would appear that some semblance of Spring has shown its face outside my window, so it will be an excellent day to do a little jog on some of the nearby trails.

I am curious who else experiences this... like, you can see, smell, almost completely feel how you felt in a distant memory, even though everything else around you is completely different from where it was.  I suppose I was experiencing that yesterday, but I was thinking back to being seventeen, which is really weird, because there is very little that is the same between now and ten years ago. I know, that seems completely random, but it sometimes happens to me - and I'm sure others as well.  I know it's not completely uncommon for this to take place with more emotionally linked memories, but these are not emotional memories, they're just... well... memories.

Now onto other topics.  I'm finishing up my third term for my master's program, so that means 4-5 terms (depending on if I choose to double up - which I think I'm going to do for next term).  So far I'm at a 4.0, and I guess we'll see if I can maintain that.  Once again there is the question of whether I'll be getting out of the military.  I'm leaning toward yes, I would rather get out than stay.  Sadly, this is a hard decision because a) I like my job, b) I've worked really hard to get here, and c) the economy sucks.  Buuuttt... there are so many things I DON'T like, and I know it would be better for ME if I got out.  On the economy side... I think with a bachelor's from a good school, a master's, and experience in both the IT field and financial management I should be able to find a decent job - even if I'm getting my master's in health administration.  There are also technology related jobs in that area (maybe even a step in the door since I don't have health care experience).  Actually I'm taking a health informatics class, and with everything that we're learning right now, I have experience with database design, SQL, and then the networking stuff that I worked while I was enlisted.  Sooo... if I can't get directly into administration, I'm sure I could get a couple of certificates and do well.  So I guess that isn't as big of a hurdle as I've been concerned with.

I'm still awaiting the freedom to drive.  Not being able to drive has been driving me utterly insane.  Okay, maybe not insane, but it's been probably my biggest source of stress at the moment.  Normally on a day like this I might go drive somewhere nice and do a nice long trail run... Good thing there are trails nearby, but nonetheless, I really miss driving.  Getting to and from work is almost always a question.  Well, getting to morning formations is pretty easy because it's a mile away, and with the weather better I can just run or ride my bike.  But for everything else where the weather sucks, or I have to get somewhere else, it's a bit frustrating.  I have some more testing to do before my neurologist will allow me to drive.  I honestly feel like I could drive no problems, but I gotta listen to the doc, right?

I guess that's a broad overview of life right now.  I'm just glad the sun is sorta starting to show it's face again. I think sometimes grey weather exaggerates any type of negative emotions.  Sunshine does the opposite :)

Until next time...


Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to work for me! But not back to driving :(

Well, the past week has been interesting to say the least.  And frustrating.  I had orders to report back to my old unit on Tuesday, and I was supposed to report on Friday, but fortunately my commander and others helped push it back, seeing as I didn't even have a place to live, and have to rely on others to move with the no-driving issue.  I'm being removed from my medical unit because the doctor who makes determinations as to whether we stay in this unit or go back to duty says I am fine since I had a normal EEG (measuring my brain waves), but my neurologist still won't clear me to drive because I said I was still experiencing partial seizures... grrrr.  I honestly feel fine to drive/go back to my regular job, but my neurologist says otherwise (not about my job, but about driving).  Very frustrating.  Anyway, I'll be doing a more accurate test and if THAT one comes back normal, then I'll be cleared.  I am HOPING it does.

Anyway, this means I'll be reporting back to my old unit in a week or so.  It will be nice to get back to working a regular job, though I'm a bit worried about this whole no driving thing and getting around to/from work and appointments (which I'll still have a decent amount).  FORTUNATELY I'll be living less than two miles from work.  Definitely in cycling distance. I chose to live there for the sole reason that if this no driving thing continues (or happens again), it won't be hard to get rides (hopefully), oh, and the apartments are really nice.  UNfortunately, the weather here is NOT cycling weather - even if just for a couple of miles.  Lots of snow and ice covering the shoulders, so I'll need to find rides most days.  It's extremely frustrating being an officer and being unable to even drive myself to work.  If I was married/had a significant other here, it would be a lot easier, but alas, I am one of the few people I know who is not married, and my significant other is in another continent.  Ah the joys of the military.

I am trying very hard to maintain a positive attitude.  When I first got my orders to return, I was a bit shocked, as I knew I was still awaiting testing.  Especially when they originally gave me three days to report (not usually an issue if you're going to be resuming work in the same military facility, but with no place to live, and no driving to find one, it was a bit of a shock).  I'm doing better now, and again, I am looking forward to getting back into a normal routine and feeling useful again :)  I am wondering what my new position will be, as there are all ready too many officers, and I won't be able to deploy.  We shall see I suppose!

Anyway, just an update on what has been on my mind for the past week!  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life update, medical purgatory, and fitting in (regular college/vs. West Point)

Well, it has been some time since my last update, so my thoughts/ideas might be a bit scattered.  I've been busy!  First, I visited my boyfriend in Europe, then I ran the Philadelphia marathon a couple of days later, and most recently, I visited my boyfriend AGAIN, this time in Spain.  Such a lovely country :)

I'm still in medical purgatory over here - not quite sure what will happen or what I want to do with myself.  I was supposed to be cleared to drive back in October, and then that didn't go through right away because I don't have a NY driver's license, so I had to wait for my state's forms, and when I gave them to the neurologist he decided that because I'm still having the partial seizures on a regular basis that he wants to wait until we do a three-day EEG (testing my brain waves for abnormalities, basically).  The criteria they were using over here to decide when to return me to duty was that I was able to drive again.  Well, now I will know the results in a few days.  But here's the kicker: now I'm questioning if I want to return to duty or not.  It's tricky.  On one hand, I worked hard through four years of college (and not your NORMAL college either) to commission.  I also enjoy putting on my uniform.  It's been a part of my identity since I was seventeen years old, and while I'm not afraid to leave, it's hard to just give that up.  Especially since I only graduated a little over a year and a half ago.  I guess I do have a choice with whether I want to stay in, as having seizures gives me the option (unless they can't be controlled, then I have no choice).  I wouldn't mind going into the national guard or reserves where I would have a bit less unpredictability, but being active duty, there are times when you have to be somewhere at three random times, sometimes with no warning.  You have to be ready to go.  Some units are different than others with more stability, but regardless of where you are, you're still a soldier, and the big Army doesn't assign people based on stability; though, if I were to go into another unit, I would be on the rear detachment - meaning no deployment.  But even then, you still need to be able to go at a moment's notice.  By go I don't necessarily mean deployment, but other important soldier skills.  Right now it's not so bad because I live where I "work."  I have no choice in driving, but even if I did, if I don't feel right I don't have to drive.  If I'm in a regular unit that wants me up and ready to go at random hours, and I'm not feeling right, what is going to happen?  How am I going to be able to do an officer's job if I have to constantly rely on others?  Now, granted, in the civilian world I'd still have to figure a way around possible transportation issues.  But I suspect with more normal hours and the ability to choose where I live (i.e., near SOME form of public transportation), it wouldn't be quite so difficult.  So I'm not sure.  I will probably just return to duty, as I did work so hard to make it this far.  It''s hard to give that up because some health issue pops up (that was all ready there for at least two years, just not as bad as it is now).

On another similar but different note, I just finished a book that has made me wish sometimes that I had chosen a regular college.  Not because I wanted to party all the time.  Rather, it has to do with the type of people or type of education from a regular school.  Now, don't get me wrong, I have realized since I started my master's program how much West Point's education really was good.  While I can't remember anything about physics (though I'm trying to correct that by using a teach yourself guide) or chemistry or other such areas, I did learn how to write a damn good paper and put my ideas into organized words in order to get my point across to my audience (my blog doesn't count!)  The big thing has to do with the type of free-thinking that I would get at a normal college and the variety in the types of people I might meet.  Don't get me wrong, I met a fabulous group of friends, and not everyone was the same.  However, because of the nature of a military academy, there was a similar type of personality that didn't fit me very well.  Actually, the military in general doesn't really fit my personality type very well, but sometimes that isn't bad.  As someone else told me when I was talking to him about getting out: "don't get out, we need officers like you.  You could actually make a difference."  That made me feel really good.  Granted, I am pretty competitive in areas that matter to me, and I like to perform at my best, so those are traits that help within the military, and they helped me get through West Point (though I was far from the top).

So what do I mean then?  Well, my love of music, for example.  Or rather, my former obsession with it, that moved to running, and then off and on with music.  My love of creative thinking, and looking at things in a different way.  Each of my close friends did not fall into the category "typical."  Most of them were artsy in some form - musical, artistic, and not afraid to be different.  All of us still had the competitive nature that was the trademark of West Point cadets, but perhaps thought differently.  I have no idea how to explain it, because I know that everyone is unique in their own way, and I didn't know every cadets dreams or hopes or how they thought outside of the classroom setting.  Just that I think I would have fit in better at a college where more students weren't afraid to express their eccentrities.  Where you blended in if you didn't fit into a certain mold.  Of course, this may be why I loved my major so much; while it was not artistic, it was very reflective and looked at different personality types, and how did one develop those types of personalities/thought processes/etc.  I am glad, however, that I found a group of close friends that have been accepting of the weirdest parts of my personalities (and my general klutziness, and occasional awkwardness).  I miss all of you like crazy :)