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It Me

My name is Madison. I’m just a girl from a small-ish mid-western town about to move to a city roughly 27 times the size of my hometown. Yikes.

I’m not moving to the Big Apple of the Midwest because it’s always been my dream, or because I got the world’s coolest job there

Out of all of the pharmacy schools I applied to, the location I least wanted to end up at was Chicago. And now I’m moving there in a week! Crazy how life works.

Now you might be thinking, “Well, why is she going to move to Chicago, a city she clearly doesn’t want to live in?”

Chicago was the best choice for me in the end because ya know, in state tuition, and it’s the closest I could stay to my family without still living with them.

Despite my hesitation to live in Chicago, I am genuinely excited to live in ‘the city.’ My reasons for excitement include:

  • Places of business open later than 9pm
  • Restaurants open later than 9pm
  • Things to do other than mini-golf or bowling (after 9pm)
  • Not having to drive 45 minutes to go to a decent mall
  • New places to run
  • I’m going to pharmacy school!!!

In the back of my mind, I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for a while, but without knowing that I actually wanted to start a blog. What I mean is, I’ve wanted to share my experiences about deciding to go to pharmacy school, taking a gap year, applying to pharmacy school, and ultimately going to pharmacy school but I didn’t know what platform to share my thoughts on.

I have an amazing old roommate and friend who does photography as a hobby and as a side gig to teaching. She uses Instagram and Facebook as her platforms of choice and keeps them updated with her goings-on, both personal and photography business wise. Watching her post all of this content and seeing the following she was gaining, the people she was reaching, inspiring, and helping, it triggered something in me, making me think that I wanted to do something like that. I’ve never felt incredibly comfortable taking pictures of myself or being the person behind a camera all the time, I personally find it distracting, but I’ve always been one to write out my thoughts.

I’m here to talk about balance. I like to think I have pretty good balance. I can stand on one foot, put my sock and shoe on without having to hold on to anything or falling over.

But in reality, I haven’t always had such great balance, and sometimes I still don’t. As an adult, hell, as a human being, we’re expected to balance all of these things going on in our lives. School, work, friends, family, exercise, hobbies, eating well, keeping your living space in order, not to mention self-care and actually living your life!

I want to talk about what works for me and what doesn’t. How I can balance a heavy school load while working part-time, while trying to have some semblance of a personal life, while keeping up my passion for running, while trying not to spend all of my money on food since I’ll be living in Chicago. I want to discuss what I struggle with, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and how I overcome those obstacles.

I hope to reach students. Undergrad, high-school, grad school students, professional students, you’re in school? Maybe I have some helpful tips. Maybe I don’t.

So here I am. It me. This is the story of a girl who navigated small-town living, worked full-time during undergrad, is taking out insane amounts of loans to follow her dream to become a pharmacist, and who runs to deal with the stress of it all and because sometimes running is fun.

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Back at it again / Here I go again

My mind alternates between two things when I hear these similar phrases. One, “Daaaaaamn Daniel, back at it again with the white vans.” Two, the intro to the song ‘Shoop’ by Salt-n-Pepa.

But I’m back. Back on whatever track. Track. Trains. Why don’t they say “All aboard!” when a train is taking passengers? Random guy on the elevator has a point. That phrase has a kind of welcoming nostalgia to it. “All aboard!” sounds like we’re about to go on an adventure, not the next boring old stop on the L. The overhead announcements go from “now boarding” to “doors closing” in about 0.3 seconds. I think it takes longer than 0.3 seconds to say “All aboard!” especially if you say it like Tom Hanks in the Polar Express. That’s probably why it isn’t said anymore. Takes too much time. What. a. shame.

I have a love/hate relationship with trains. They’re loud, dirty, oftentimes late or inconsistent. BUT, they provide inexpensive transportation, and that’s it. I can’t afford a car, so here I am. Spending three hours a day, five days a week taking two different train lines to and from work. I think that’s why I’m so stressed out.

Oh my god, have I been stress eating. Chocolate. I thought that was some dumb stereotype about women/people in general crave and binge on chocolate when stressed, but let me tell you, it is alive and real and has definitely caused me to gain between 5 and 10 lbs. Not that I’ve weighed myself in the last two months to verify since I don’t have a scale, but I can just tell.

I feel like I have no time to myself when I take the train. No alone time. There are always people on the train asking for money, talking loudly on the phone, to themselves, or trying to talk to you, let alone the sheer sound of the train. These are all noises that I have never had to deal with until moving to Chicago. Until a month ago, I could drive to work in 6 minutes flat if I hit all green lights, in total silence if I wanted to. No loud metal banging or unwanted talking. Now, I feel like that’s all I deal with.

I tried to listen to a podcast on the train the other day, but I literally could not hear the podcast, despite having the volume maxed, because of the damn noise of the train. I’m frustrated because I can’t do what I want, stressed because I always feel like I’m running late, and also in constant fear that the train is randomly going to break down or just stop for no reason, therefore causing me lateness!

Not only that, but spending nearly 3 hours per day on public transit leaves very little time outside of work and transit. If I get off work at 6:30pm, I don’t get home until nearly 8. By this time, I’m hungry, frustrated, and it’s almost dark out. I don’t feel like exercising before I eat because I’m hungry, and after I eat, it’s too late! It’s already dark outside, or it would be 10pm before my food is digested enough to want to work out.

Don’t even get me started about trying to work out before work. I recognize that this is probably the more reasonable option, I really just want to get my grievances off my chest. If I want to make it to my 10am shift ON TIME, I have to leave my apartment by 8:45. Which means I would have to wake up at 7:30 if I want to shower, but if I want to shower and work out, that means waking up around 6, giving me enough time to become coherent and also to cool off after a workout.

Damn, I know I just wanted to complain, but that actually sounds completely doable, and I’m kind of mad at myself for not realizing it before. If I go to bed by 10, wake up at 6, that’s a whole 8 hours of sleep my dude! SHit, I need to get my head out of my *ss, as my mom would say. But to be fair, sometimes you have to write stuff out, or say it out loud for it to really make sense. Now, to find the internal motivation to make this happen.

Diabetes. I wonder if I’m going to get diabetes. Maybe.

My brain is so sleepy right now, I have been awake for too many hours. Somewhere around the 20 hour mark. I don’t think I have diabetes. Good ni ght.

lolz

I’m not really sure why I made this blog when I honestly don’t even write in it that much. Maybe with the slightest small-ish hope that I’ll be discovered and develop a cult following without really doing anything? To that I respond: lolz. As if.

I’ve come back to this blog for the third(?) time ever because I need to vent. I need to type out some random thoughts and here I am to do so.

My roommate just up and left to go somewhere without saying anything and I can’t help but think it’s because I kept trying to talk to her and she got annoyed so she left? But in all reality, she probably just went to hang out with one of her many friends because she doesn’t have to work until 2pm tomorrow. Logic and common sense is telling me this, but anxiety and the fear of how other people see me is telling me it is my former thought, not the latter.

To be perfectly candid, not that there is anyone reading this to be candid with but more the fact that I have to be candid with myself, I am feeling lonely. Am I alone? No. But I certainly feel alone. I don’t know anybody in this big ole city except for my roommates and the people I work with. I haven’t explored the areas around which I live and work except for running the few blocks around my apartment, and the Target across the street from my work.

A lady and her daughter came into my work the other day and notified me that there is an Anthropology literally down the street from where I work and I never knew that. Another customer, a man, told me that there is a cafe down the street that sometimes offers free muffins and half-priced coffee. Amazing. Free food and cheap caffeine. That is the height of luxury.

All told, I miss my friends from home and I feel like I haven’t really made any new friends because I haven’t. School doesn’t start until the last week of August, and I don’t know anybody who lives in the city. Also I work a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I’ll be working every. single. damn. weekend in the month of August. And my birthday.

But it’s fine! This has become my mantra. Everything is Fine. With a capital F. *deep breath*

Exercise. I would like to exercise more than I currently am, but I am just so tired and Oreos taste so good. Also I am very hungry when I come home from work and it is almost impossible for me to run with a full-ish stomach without wanting to vomit. EXCUSES. I don’t work until 10:30 tomorrow morning. I could EASILY wake up at 7am, go for a brisk run, come home, shower, make coffee, eat breakfast, and make it to work on time. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Easier said than done though.

I feel like I have a lot of half-finished thoughts in my brain. I’m bored. I want to date without having to go out and meet someone. I keep thinking about my ex since we haven’t spoken since I broke up with him. It’s been almost two months since we broke up. “We broke up” sounds WAY nicer than “I broke up with him.” But the latter is more accurate. He didn’t have much of a say in it considering how it went down is I told him I didn’t want to date him anymore. RIP. But I still think about him. I also think about how I never really felt like I was in a relationship when I was with him. Not meaning I cheated on him, was talking to other guys, or was thinking about talking to other guys, but like, he never met my friends. I only met his roommate and one of his friends. We never posted on social media about each other, or even tagged each other on facebook. Not that either of us are religious updaters of social media, but still.

I have also come to realize (finally) that there were things that I was not happy about in the relationship that I never vocalized. These were not major things, they were small things that were important to me, but I never said anything about them. He doesn’t know that these things bother me because I never told him. COMMUNICATION. That was the biggest thing lacking in our relationship. Both ways. We made plans, we talked on the phone or went out daily, but we never really communicated, ya know?

We were not very good at saying what bothered us, or how we really felt about certain things. It always felt like we stopped ourselves before going much deeper than surface level. I think this also came from the fact that neither of us knew what we wanted. Like, we wanted someone, but the full commitment of a relationship? Ehhh, maybe not. But like we almost tried to force it, and it felt kind of forced. We never had dinner together with either of our families. He met everyone in my immediate family, at least in passing several times, but I never met anyone in his family. Maybe he was embarrassed? Entirely possible know the limited information that I know. I thought for a while that breaking it off with him was the wrong decision. My mom and my aunt (both of whom I go to advice when it comes to this sort of thing) told me not to break up with him, even though I was feeling uneasy about the relationship for a couple of weeks. Granted, we only dated for a total of 3 months, and knew each other for 4. (Feb-June)

I have also come to realize that a lot of my deep-seated uneasiness about this relationship was the fact that we met through a dating app. In the back of my mind, this made me feel like I was too socially inept to meet someone in person and go out on dates that way, that I had to meet someone online to get a date. I really hate this stigma. A LOT of people meet there S/O’s online. It is not embarrassing, it comes with the modern age. Besides, going out to bars and meeting a guy there is SO not my scene. Although, I wouldn’t mind going out a weeeeee bit more now that I live in the city.

*sigh*

To continue my loneliness rant, I miss having someone. Someone to hold, make out with, make fun of movies with, go rock climbing with, and who would point out dogs on the sidewalk for me.

But I also know that he was not the one. He had many of the qualities I would like in a future partner, but he was not the partner for me. This makes me sad because I did not reciprocate the feelings that he had for me. HOWEVER, this does not make me wish I was still in a relationship WITH HIM, I don’t pity him, but this is the first time I have turned down someone that has unrequited love for me. AND HE TOOK IT SO WELL. I guess this just means he isn’t a shitty person though lol. He was very understanding and has given me the space I need.

I still can’t help but think if I should reach out to him. See how he’s doing. I haven’t talked to him since the breakup, and it’s not that I don’t care about him anymore, but I don’t know how it would feel hearing from someone that you were going to confess your love for, just to have them say that they don’t want to see you anymore. RIP. fuck.

ALSO, this was my first relationship. Ever. Like, I’ve been on dates before, homecoming, prom, blah blah blah, but never had an official boyfriend. damn. gah. Idk fam. If anybody read all of this pointless rambling, please help a girl out and let me know if I should reach out to my ex. (even asking that sounds dumb? ugh. i dunno.)

Six Days Later…

It’s already been six days since my first post! Oops.

I originally, in my mind, thought this was going to be a daily, if not every other day kind of deal, but that clearly did not work out. That just means I have more to write about in this post!

So much has happened in the past six days, I’m not surprised I haven’t had the mental energy to write again. I’ve been channeling all of my motivation into packing boxes because I’m moving to the Windy City in TWO DAYS. That’s right folks, two days from now I will be an official resident of Chicago. Chi-town. The citayyy.

But I’ve been running around like a crazy person, trying to fit in all of the things that I felt like I didn’t have time for when I was working full-time. How do real adults do it?? Honestly! I spent a solid three days cleaning, organizing, and boxing up all of my worldly possessions and I realized a few things:

  1. I have a LOT of stuff. Just stuff. Not even things that I use on a daily basis, just a lot of things. Some of it is pictures, old cards, keepsakes, etc. But a lot of it is STUFF. (more on stuff in a minute)
  2. I was (am) a wildly disorganized person. I think about 75% of my stress about moving stemmed from the fact that my aforementioned stuff was severely disorganized. I came up with a new mantra during my packing marathon. WWMKD. What would Marie Kondo do? This honestly saved my life and sanity a little bit. Instead of caving into the urge to just throw random things into boxes and making myself figure it out later, I took the time, money, and effort to organize my belongings into categorized boxes that will last.
  3. I’m scared and I’m moving out of my comfort zone. I consider myself to be confident, adventurous, and willing to try new things. However, when that involves moving away from the town that I’ve called home for the last 20-some years, my anxiety sets in. Since graduating high-school, I have wanted nothing more than to leave central Illinois and explore the world, my oyster. As fate would have it, I was not born into a financially advantageous situation, nor did I happen upon adequate wealth to fuel my dream adventure. So, I stayed in my home-town for another five years. I worked a lot. A lot, a lot. I went to school. I did what needed to be done but at long last, I am FREE.

Point number three may seem dramatic, I’m told I’ve had a flair for it my entire life but I don’t see it. I feel like this post got away from me a bit, but that’s what happens when you don’t brain dump anything for SIX DAYS. Ha.

In the last six days I have taken a round-trip train ride, gotten maybe a little too drunk on July 4th, gone to a wedding, visited old friends, made new friends, and re-painted an old desk. This is honestly the most productive and content I’ve felt in a while and I’m digging it. I had lunch with one of my favorite people today and not only did we eat delicious food, but I left her company feeling uplifted, empowered, and loved. For a period in my life, I never thought I would have a friend, let alone several friends that made me feel this way, and for that I am truly grateful.

Ugh. I’m going to call it quits on this post, but stay tuned for tomorrow’s post (hopefully) covering topics not mentioned in today’s post including but not limited to:

  • Exercise (or my current lack thereof)
  • Stuff and things
  • Mental health??
  • Food