Well, that's done.
Decent grades, graduated with slightly over a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The kick is finding work. I've already worked as a PA on two microbudget indies, getting "associate producer" credit for one of them.

The debate becomes: Do I move to LA? Do I move to NYC? How? Or do I just go back to the local rat race?

So, it's my last semester. Six weeks, four days - not that I'm counting. There's so much to do, and I don't know how I'll manage.

Sleep. Sleep would help.

(no subject)
I should be sleeping. Instead, I'm wondering how the hell to remodel my life.

It started when I quit the rat race two years ago. I had a decently-paying job, recession-proof, and I hated it. HATED IT. So I told the higher-ups why I was unhappy and gave my two weeks' notice. I was unceremoniously escorted out of the building within 48 hours. Fuck 'em if they don't like the truth. I'd been going to school part-time for two semesters, and now had the chance to go back full-time and finally finish my degree. The one that I started in 1995.

Here I am, less than a year away from finally graduating. Now, I want to change more. Little changes have crept in - I joined an organic CSA, and have been weeding out the crap from the pantry. I quit smoking after 16 years. I cook more, much to the delight of my SO. But there are so many more changes that I need to make that I just don't quite know where to start. Like kicking my caffeine addiction. Like finding the motivation to work out. Like trying to figure out how the hell I'm going to beat the curve and actually USE my degree.

Ah, fuck it. I need some sleep.

Just watched an episode of The West Wing on Bravo that I'd never seen before. It focuses on Josh Lyman and how he deals with having been shot. At the end, he walks past a choir singing "The Carol of the Bells", a song that I've loved since I was little. And I lost it.

I don't want to hate Christmas music forever. I don't want to hate the holidays. But today marks 18 months since Claire and Ryan were stillborn, and Sunday will mark 18 months since Shawna's life support was turned off. And I can still see Mom unwrapping ornaments and Kat decorating the tree when I stopped by after leaving Micky's house, after getting the call from Mike, and collapsing into near-hysterics.

So tired of crying.

(no subject)
I knew there was a reason I don't miss high school. Tried to be helpful, tagged a photo on Facebook - and got nothing but snark and grief about it. Thanks, guys. Still miserable little bastards after all these years, now you're just bitter too.

Might as well cop to it now.

I'm afraid of damn near everything. Success. Being out in public. Change. Being stuck. Being in a bad relationship. Being alone.

Which is why I go years between haircuts, why I vent while I'm alone but won't say a peep to the people who piss me off constantly, why I'm in a relationship that is not exactly healthy, why I won't move out, why I'm afraid of graduation.

A biggie is my weight. I probably hide behind it - not easy to hide when you're 5'9" and 240#. I'm terrified of going to a gym because I've been judged my whole fucking life, and yet I hate looking in the mirror.

NJ Schools
There are at least 40 more districts than there are municipalities in New Jersey. Why?

There are at least 20 districts that do not have schools or students. Why?

There are districts where the superintendents and other top brass each make more than $200K, about 4 times more than the average teacher. Why?

Quite a few people that I grew up with have become teachers. They're all good people who work their asses off for their students. Why should they have to suffer the heaviest of the cuts when the top brass isn't sweating?

I felt my heart break at 12:46 AM.

A year ago this very early morning, two beautiful tiny angels came into my life, and vanished as quickly as they appeared. I don't know why it happened, and I don't know how their parents have survived. I've never felt so helpless in my life.

I'm still at a loss, can't understand why or how the hell this happened. All she wants is one healthy child. She's lost nine, and had to bury two of them. Those gorgeous two were my beloved Claire Elizabeth and Ryan Patrick - each barely a pound, too tiny to stay in this world on their own. She arrived first at 12:46, a perfect little duplicate of her mother. He arrived at 3:00 sharp, after the doctors tried in vain to keep him safe. He's the image of his father.

I remember being so excited to find out that finally, my twin sister was going to have the child she's dreamed of. Double that excitement when we were told there were two little "beans" in the sonogram. Double THAT excitement when it was announced that there would be a boy and a girl. Take that excitement, and smash it into a million pieces. Those would be the pieces of the hearts that shattered in Kennedy Hospital 365 days ago. Two sets of grandparents, three aunts and an uncle, a father and a mother.

My mother once made a cross-stitched sampler that hung on the wall between my room and my sister's. I feel the need to modify it now.

You entered the world two hours apart,
Two dreams in the night, two beats of the heart.
With love I'll recall the moment we knew,
And gladly thank God, thank God you were two.

Normally - well, the new normal, anyway - I spend September 11 remembering, crying, praying, reflecting on the events of 2001, generally while listening to Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. This year, I couldn't bring myself to do that. Instead, I stood in a church to bid farewell to a beautiful, talented, funny, sweet woman who died suddenly at the age of 37. Her sister and brother-in-law are two of my closest friends, and they needed support as much as I felt the need to do something.

I did go to my college campus after departing the repast, though. There's a small memorial under a young oak tree near the library, to remember those lost on 9/11/01 - two were alumni, one of whom is a beloved friend of my parents. I collected my Mom and sister and we went to place flowers and say prayers. It doesn't get easier.

So today, after being emotionally wrought out for the last 48 hours, I'm taking the time to listen to the record, and remember people whose voices were in my head yesterday. My "fairy-god-grandmother", my best friend from high school, a mother of three whose personality always shone through even in the hard times.

Waiting on the other shoe
Mama wasn't kidding when she said "when it rains, it pours".

Major dental problem? Check.
Major car problem? Check.
Still can't find a job? Check.

I think I'll just go to bed. Wake me when the world ends - it should be a better day than the last few.


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