Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming

I'm feeling a more hopeful today. The benefit of my short attention span is that I don't stay upset for too awfully long.  I get distracted too easily by all of life's possibilities.

After wallowing in self-pity for a few days, shedding a few 'poor me' tears, and a lot of support from my friends and family, I feel better. Much better.

I'm going to go with option two - the much more affordable community college route - for nursing school. There's a wait list, so I'm having my test results sent over, I'll fill out my application packet and get it all turned in, and wait. When my turn comes up, I'll see where life is at that point and go from there. Nursing may never be my future, but I'm not ready to give it up yet.

In the meantime, I'm finishing up my associates degree this next semester, and moving on to ASU. For what, I'm not totally sure yet, but I have a semester to decide. I'm thinking of something along the lines of Organizational Behavior, which looks somewhat interesting, is on the list of degrees my employer will pay for and would be of use both as a nurse or at my current job. As much as I LOVE my history classes, I don't know that I want a degree in that field. I'll see how I feel in a month or two, when I actually have to make a decision.

Now, I'm off to fold a ton of laundry in preparation for my birthday trip with my mama Thursday and my root canal tomorrow.  :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Post in Which I Feel Sorry for Myself

You've been warned. Feel free to move along if you want to skip this one.

I went to the financial aid meeting for the nursing school I've been accepted to, and after it was all said and done, I'd owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $80k in student loans. That's with what I've already borrowed, plus, the exorbitant cost of the school added in. This, coupled with the fact that I'm losing my insurance and the pay I currently receive (couldn't keep my current job and do this), and the fact that my husband's job isn't reliable enough to support us completely...well, all this basically made going to this particular school impossible for me.

So, my options are to change my degree and incur no further student loans, as my current employer will foot the bill (who I love, by the way, absolutely a great company, but let's just say that being a banker/customer service rep is not what I wanted to be when I grew up); go to a community college and finish nursing school at a much lower cost (still trying to make the no insurance and loss or substantial decrease in my income work); or, say fuck it, I'm tired of all this, and quit school altogether.

Right now, I'm feeling rather sorry for myself and am leaning towards option three.

I feel like MM's job situation is not going to change anytime soon. We're thankful that we're both even working right now. AZ's unemployment rate is crazy high. I'm not sure we'll ever be in a position where I can not work again, especially long enough for me to finish two more years of school.

Which leads me to my other current issues: I feel like I've lost all the things that really mattered to me when MM was laid off in Texas. I had to go back to work and lose time with BW, home schooling went out the window when I wasn't there to facilitate it, and the nursing/ultrasound tech degree I'd been working towards in Texas now looks impossible to finish.

My employer wants me to come back to work full-time in order to change departments. My only option to get out of the department I'm in right now (which, quite frankly, I'm ready to do) is to go back to full-time. If I don't quit to finish school, I feel like my options are pretty limited there unless I'm willing to work more, and since BW opted to go back to school, I might as well.

BW is happy at school, but, he is already expressing a desire to come back home. I know if I were available to make homeschooling work, he'd be all over it. And I truly believe it would be the best option for our family. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of control over even my part-time schedule, so I'm not clear on how we'd make that work.

I'm feeling like working hard for a goal isn't enough - and we're in that place where we're not making enough money to truly be comfortable, but we make too much to qualify for any help in the way of grants and aid for me to finish school.

I'm also feeling like a complete fuck up, because if I would have finished school when I was fresh outta high school, the VA and my mom would have paid for it. Since I spent five or six years drifting, and then spent another five or six years recovering from my misspent youth and getting my act together, I'm screwed now. The VA (and my mom) are no longer willing to pitch in. This is the culmination of all my previous bad life decisions, as well as the good ones. If I were a single parent and not making the salary I make, I'd have all sorts of help.

The hard part is, MM is truly relieved that I'm not going. He's upset that I'm upset, but, relieved he won't have the burden of supporting us. And I get that, but it still sucks. He's promised he'll work two jobs, do whatever it takes to get me through school - and he would if I told him I was going to finish - but then he tells me how sick he is at the thought of not being able to make it. And how much it bothers him that I'd be leaving the job I have now.

I can't do it to him. He's not totally on board, and I don't feel like I can do it without 100% of his support. Even if I were to choose the community college route, I don't think he'll ever be comfortable with me leaving the job I'm at. He's looking for a better job, so maybe there's a chance, but I'm not all that hopeful.The job he's out now he enjoys, and the pay is OK, but it's construction-y, so there aren't reliable hours.

I'm at the point now where the life I live is completely opposite from the life I dream of. I really thought nursing would be the key to making it happen, and I feel that I'm not only giving up my career aspirations, but I'm losing the life that that career would have allowed me have. I have to get past that, and figure out how to do the things I want within our current reality.

I'm sure it's possible, but I'm not feeling very hopeful right now.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Said Good Day!

Wow. I have been neglecting this blog something fierce lately. Not only have I not been writing, I've not been reading either - I just spent the last hour catching up on a month's worth of blogs I like to follow. I kinda feel like I just spent my morning drinking coffee with a couple of good friends, which was nice!

A lot has been happening this last month. We've had some personal drama here in our house with our adopted family member. I'm not going to go into it all, but, it's filled up a lot of our time.

I was in training for a month at work, so I had was doing a full-time Monday through Friday shift that had me up early each day. Between that and the gym, my days we're pretty full.

Hubby has been working out of town for the last several weeks. Usually he's home on weekends, but hasn't been able to come home the last few weeks. He's been popping in and out on the odd day on his way through town, but, needless to say, we haven't been seeing a whole lot of him. We miss him!

BW decided that he wanted to return to public school again. I'm not even sure what to say about that. He decided a week before school started. I'm completely depressed over the whole thing, but, we've always said it would be his choice, so we enrolled him. Hopefully it won't be like a repeat of last year. It's a different school, so, we'll see. He gets to join band this year, which seems to be the main reason he wants to go. I'll have my very own band geek.

BW had his braces put on this month. He's got this retainer thing on the roof of his mouth, and now he can barely talk. Which is just the tiniest bit awesome, because anything that slows down that kid's talking is a benefit, let me tell you. My ears get tired just listening to him on some days. I'll post a picture of him getting his teeth pulled, with the gas mask thingy and cotton rolls sticking out of his mouth, he looks like a little piggy.

I was asked if I wanted to go back to full-time at work and start doing mortgage origination. I'm torn, because I really don't want to work full-time right now, but if I want to learn this, part-time isn't an option. It'd give me a chance to possibly get into underwriting, which I think I'd like.

The day after I found out about the mortgage thing at work, I learned I was accepted to the nursing program I applied to. Now I have to make a decision, and I have no clue what to do. I've been working so hard towards school, but, I don't know if we can afford for me to go. I'd be losing our health insurance, and the income I bring in. And I LOVE the company I work for, I just don't love exactly what I'm doing right now, though that can change as time passes.

I kind of feel like I'd be on my own if I go back to school. Well, that's not quite accurate, it's just that my family isn't 100% supportive - they don't quite get why I'd leave a perfectly good job to go back to school. They aren't really negative about it, just not really positive either. When I thought I might not go, I got a lot of relieved sighs and "I know you're disappointed, but, this is probably for the best" type comments.

I'll be spending the next several days writing a pros/cons list, I guess. I am starting to feel that little bud of excitement about maybe being a real, live, actual nurse. I'll be sure to put that in the pro section of my list. :)