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I love that song. Shit has been pretty serious these last few posts about all the changes I’ve made. But I am so not a serious person so I’m going to try to lighten up this “what’s next” post.

How I See School Panning Out

I’m taking Chem I and Psychology 101 now. I hate them. But that’s ok. Chemistry I think I could actually like, but the professor is terrible. Also, it’s a 16-week course in 8-weeks which is really overwhelming. I’m glad I didn’t know how intense it would be going in. I don’t care what anyone else says Psychology is the world’s most boring subject. I actually took psychology as an undergrad and failed. And it is not easy to fail a class at Mt. Holyoke, it’s a tough school, but they love padding people’s grades (see: my GPA). So I’m stuck taking it again. Online. Which is marginally better. Because I can just look everything up on the quizzes. But it’s still boring as boring can be.

Once classes end this summer (July 18th, aka 25 days from now, but who’s counting?) I will start studying for the GRE. I will take the GRE in September or October. I need to research that.

This fall I’m registered for Chem II and Anatomy and Physiology. It’s like really crazy how difficult it’s been for me to register for classes. Brooklyn College, once I figured out how to navigate their ridiculous bureaucracy was fine. The community college where I’m taking classes now? Getting permission to register for a class is like trying to get the nuclear codes or something. I HAVE A BACHELOR’S DEGREE! From a very good college. I shouldn’t have to fight tooth and nail to take Anatomy and Physiology.

Also this fall? I WILL APPLY TO GRAD SCHOOL. Crazytown! I have some ideas of where I want to go and we’ll see how that all pans out as we get closer.

Winter semester: Possibly take Biochemistry, we’ll see.

Spring 2014: Take Organic Chemistry and Microbiology. I’m nervous about Orgo, there’s only 2 sections of Organic Chemistry I in the spring where I’m taking classes. I am filled with a crazy amount of anxiety about whether I will get into one of them. And what happens if I don’t get into one. I’m making myself sick typing this. I am trying not to think about.

Summer 2014: If I don’t take Biochemistry during the winter semester class I have to take it during the summer. If I don’t get into Orgo in the spring I have to take two summer classes. Please god do not let me have to take two summer classes again.

How I See My Life Panning Out

Just kidding! (Not really.)

I see myself being happy. That’s what I want. But, in the less abstract, I see myself going somewhere outside of the northeast for grad school. I grew up on Long Island, I went to college in Massachusetts, I lived in Brooklyn after college; I want something different.

I think I would like to be a dietitian in a hospital. I’ve always been interested by hospitals (you get a lab coat with your name on it! you get to wear comfortable shoes!), but my Human Nutrition professor was a pediatric RD and I found all her stories and cases so fascinating. I’d like to not move back to the NY area.

I would love to meet a nice man while at grad school. Once I finish and pass the RD exam we can get married. Possibly have children.

But what is that saying? You make plans and god shits on them? Is that not a saying? So we’ll see where things actually go from here.

The How

So I’ve outlined the basic changes that have happened in my life over the last year or so. But how did I get here?

The short answer? I got here by being proactive and going after what I wanted. On the macro level it’s really that simple.

On the micro level it’s a hell of a lot more complicated. Because nothing ever goes along like it should. Let’s break it down:

May 2012: I made the decision to do this. I had zero idea what I was doing.

June 2012: I requested my undergraduate transcript (in my mind this was a big road block). I had a big heart-to-heart with my very good friend Amy about how exactly I was going to make this happen. The more research I do the more it seems I’m going to have to take at least some of the classes during the day which makes me think I might not be able to keep working full-time while doing the prereqs. Start seriously considering quitting my job in the spring of 2013 and moving back home with my parents.

August 2012: I apply to Brooklyn College. I am accepted. After lots of red tape I figure out how to register. I have a serious panic attack at work while registering. I wanted to take Chem I, but it’s full. Instead I decide to take Bio I. I visit Brooklyn College the Sunday before classes start with my roommate/friend Grace and figure out where I’m going. Things like getting an ID card and going to the bookstore prove very difficult when you work full-time. Classes start! I was enrolled in Bio I Tuesday and Thursday nights with a lab on Thursday nights. It sucked being at school until 10:45 Thursday nights. The second night of class shit with my brother hit the fan. From the end of August until around Thanksgiving he was in and out of the hospital and the stress and anxiety I felt about him, combined with the stress and anxiety I felt about school, I was pretty damn overwhelming.

How Bio went: It was a definite shock to my system to be back in school. The first day sitting in class I almost cried out of happiness. Also, taking notes is really painful when you barely do any writing and you had hand surgery a few months before. It was a hard secret to keep. Two friends at work knew and most of my other friends knew, but it was definitely stressful. I liked my professor a lot, I hated my lab instructor. It was strange to be around so many college-aged kids, it was strange to be in such a diverse classroom, and it was strange to see so many people taking notes on iPads (god, I’m old). I started out doing well, I ended up doing less well. I got a B overall. I was happy.

December: I wanted to take Chem I in the spring, but there weren’t any night sections. Even though I didn’t have the appropriate pre-reqs for Human Nutrition I was able to sign up (probably one of the only registration things that went in my favor throughout this whole process).

January: I started my Human Nutrition class. It was one day a week, Mondays, from 6:30-9:45. I was in love from the beginning.

How Human Nutrition went: Great! I can’t even describe how much I loved the class. It was probably the most interesting class I ever took. I got a perfect score on the first exam. I got an A in the class overall. I left with no doubt that I was making the right career change.

Throughout the process: I was saving money like a lunatic. I was staying home and studying a lot. I was ending friendships that weren’t healthy. I was preparing to wrap things up at my job. I seriously thought I might lose my mind.

April: I gave my notice at work. I was petrified, but I think they expected it. I booked movers. I registered for summer and fall classes! I finished things up at work. I cleaned out my office. I purged my belongings. I packed up my apartment. I did the NYC things that I love. I moved back in with my parents.

May: I tried to fashion a new life for myself. I set up my childhood bedroom in a way that makes me feel like a somewhat adult. I got a part-time job! At the end of the month I started classes: Chemistry I and Psychology 101.

I’ll write more about my current classes and where I go from here, but, for now, that’s how I got here.

What’s New

Let’s take a trip back in time. To another time in my life, let’s call that time the end of 2012. We could also call it the last time I regularly blogged here.

All during 2012 I had made vague references to something big happening. I was saving money, I was going out less, I was gearing up for something. But, annoyingly, I never said what it was. I hate when bloggers do that. But I had a good reason. The fall of 2012 also emotionally kicked my butt. My brother was very sick, I never elaborated on that and I’m still not going to because frankly it’s not my business to elaborate on. But his illness, combined with the stress of laying the groundwork for a new venture, totally turned my life inside out.

And then in April of this year I made a decision that turned my life inside out. I quit my job. I moved out of my apartment in NYC. I moved back in with my parents. And I made public the decision I had been keeping private for a long time: I am going back to school to be a registered dietitian.

What?

Since at one time I would classified my blog as a “healthy living blog” I feel like I need to address the RD-fad with healthy living blogs. In that sense I feel like I’m doing something that’s been done before. That I’ve seen other bloggers do or talk about doing.

But that’s clearly not why I’m doing it. The idea had been in my head for a long time. I’ve always been interested in food and nutrition. I think it developed into something I enjoyed learning about and reading about while I was in college. But I was an American studies major in college. I took one science class (History of the Earth) and one math class (Calculus) because that’s what the college mandated I take. So going back to school, and spending the money to go back to school, for eight classes BEFORE I even started grad school seemed terrifying. And expensive.

I emailed Brooklyn College for the first time in December 2010 asking how I could take classes with the purpose of doing pre-reqs for grad school. They said be a non-degree student. Fine, I said. But I didn’t do anything. I was intimidated. By spending the money. By shaking up my life. By having to figure out how to navigate the admission and registration system. By having to figure out how to request a transcript from my undergraduate college.

So I didn’t do it. And honestly, looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do it. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready intellectually. I wasn’t ready financially. And I wasn’t ready emotionally.

In July of 2011 I got promoted at work. I can’t clearly remember if I was seriously considering going back to school at that point, but being promoted, being paid more, and having my superiors believe in me kind of made me think that that’s what I should be doing. So that’s what I kept doing.

But by the spring of 2012 I knew something had to change. I wasn’t happy at work and I wasn’t happy living in NYC and I didn’t think staying in my same field and moving somewhere else was going to fix that. I knew I had to do something more drastic.

Then I came across this quote:

Source: believe-toachieve.tumblr.com via Maggie on Pinterest

Pretty powerful, right? It’s kind of been my motto throughout this whole process. When I’ve doubted spending the money and the time and moving out of NYC and moving in with my parents and wondering if it will all be worth it I’ve tried to picture where I would be in January 2017 (when I plan on taking the RD exam) if I didn’t change the status quo. I’d still be in a dead-end job? I’d still be living in an apartment with three other people? I don’t know, but I think I definitely would have regretted not taking a chance. Not pursuing a dream.

So here I am. More details to come.

Am I Really Doing This?

I’ve kept this blog since July 2009. That’s almost four years of my life. I’ve done an amazing job (pats self on back) with this blog, I’ve ignored this blog (gives self dirty look), I’ve done a mediocre job at this blog (shurgs at self); but ultimately I keep coming back.

Why is that?

I honestly don’t know. I definitely find writing this blog to be a great outlet for my thoughts and feelings, it’s definitely something I do for me. I’ve never had a big readership or widely shared that I do this with friends or family. I’ve started other blogs that I never kept up with, but ultimately I keep coming back.

I don’t know why that is.

But I’m about to try again. Maybe a little bit differently than I’ve done in the past. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it forever, but I want some documentation of my life, especially at this time in my life because lots of things are changing.

What I’m Listening To

Florence and the Machine – “Only For a Night”

Florence and the Machine – “Spectrum”

Florence and the Machine – “All This and Heaven Too”

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy second day of 2013! I know everyone says this at the beginning of every year, but I can’t believe that when I write “2013” that’s actually the current year. But this year I really can’t believe it. I’ve spent so much of the last year planning and laying the ground work for things I want to do in 2013 that I can’t believe it’s finally here. It’s both exciting and terrifying.

I haven’t done one of these What I Ate Wednesday posts in a while. Since I eat so many of the same foods (overnight oats for breakfast, granola bar for a morning snack, piece of chocolate after lunch, fruit as an afternoon snack, fruit after dinner, and a small piece of dessert after dinner) every single day (which I love) I think posting a full-day of eats is boring. Which is why I’m posting the recipes I’ve made this week.

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First up How Sweet Eats’ Super Easy Creamy Tomato and Chicken Baked Penne. I am really enjoying this. It was super easy to make and has a great flavor. I will say I wish I had cut the chicken into smaller pieces. And it is kind of watery, I left the mixture simmering in the skillet for a minute or two in hopes of thickening it up, but no luck. That said, it still tastes good and it reheated fairly well.

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Next up is Nutritionella’s BBQ Black Bean & Brown Rice Burgers. These are seriously amazing. Hands down my favorite bean burger I’ve ever made. I put my burger on a Trader Joe’s bun (I love their buns and they’re only about 110 calories each) and topped it with spinach, cheddar cheese, onion, ketchup, and jalapenos. Really delicious. For lunch today I’m having the burger on top of a salad and hopefully that will be equally delicious.

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Finally is The Pioneer Woman’s Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip. Last year I made Hoppin’ John, my first ever black-eyed pea recipe. I thought I’d keep the black-eyed pea tradition alive this year, but go for something a little different. This dip was good, but not really what I wanted it to be. I thought it was kind of more heat than taste and it was also very dry. I think I might have overcooked it and put it in too big of a pan, but still, I wasn’t too impressed.

It’s that time again. New Year’s resolutions time! I am a huge, huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, I’m actually a huge fan of New Years in general. I know it’s arbitrary, but I like to use it as a way to evaluate my life and make goals from there.

Let’s revisit the goals I outlined at the beginning of 2012:

1. Lose the 10lbs I’ve gained since I was at my lowest weight. I will do this by continue going to kickboxing classes, going running, committing to working out while traveling, and by making smarter choices about what I eat.

HOW’D I DO: I didn’t lose 10lbs, but I lost a few pounds and I’ve definitely slimmed out due to kickboxing. I went to about 120 kickboxing classes this year, that’s once every 3 days. Considering I couldn’t go for 4.5 months when I hurt my wrist I think that’s pretty damn good. I pretty much stopped running, but I’m ok with that. I definitely did better about working out when traveling (although that’s fallen off towards the end of this year) and I think my food choices have been satisfactory.

2. Save money. I will reopen a separate savings account, stop using my credit card so much, and cut back on spending money on food and drinks.

HOW’D I DO: I really committed to this goal in the middle of 2012 with my austerity measures. That is still going well.

And repeat and add some smaller goals:

- Continue to regularly donate blood (did ok with this one, could have done better)
– Wear my contacts more often (I really want to do this, but they’re so painful!)
– Become a bone marrow donor (fail)
– Learn to knit a sweater (fail, but I couldn’t knit for so long due to my wrist injury so I’m giving myself an excemption)
– Clean out my purse and wallet each week (I actually forgot I made this a goal, so fail)
– Either take or plan a vacation (I didn’t, but I found a better use for my money)

Let’s move on to 2013!

1. Stop binging on food. Rather than making losing weight my goal I’m going to give myself one goal that’s tangible. I think I did pretty well on this for much of 2012, but in the fall, when I started seriously dropping weight, I started eating peanut butter M&M’s by the giant bagful. No more of that in 2013.

2. Keep up with my austerity measures. They’ve worked really well for me so far and I need to save, save, save in 2013 so why change what’s working?

3. Go to kickboxing 4-5 times per week. This is pretty much what I’ve been doing and I would just like to keep it up. It’s a great work out in addition to being a stress reliever and an outlet for all sorts of energy. When I’m away and can’t go to kickboxing I will bring workout clothes and do something, even if it’s just walking.

4. Get less annoyed at stupid strangers. I had stupid people so, so, so much. Unfortunately living in NYC I come across people I find to be stupid all the time (mostly on the subway). I have these crazy laws of etiquette in my mind and I get so annoyed when other people don’t follow them. But I don’t want to spend so much time annoyed. So I want to just take a deep breath and remember it’s better to be happy than right.

And I’m going to add in some smaller goals again:

- Donate blood regularly
– Get a new pair of glasses
– Become a bone marrow donor
– Learn to knit a sweater
– Clean out my purse and wallet each week
– Read at least 100 books

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