In a Constant State of Wait

I don’t think I’ve felt this down in a while. Never felt this discouraged, this lost, this confused…. It’s miserable….

Husband and I spent the weekend with my dad and his family for Memorial Weekend. It was spent with a lot of questions like, “so what are you guys up to now” and “So are you gonna go back to school?” and “What’s up with the Peace Corps?” Answering those was a combination of misery and embarrassment!

I don’t have the answers.

Course registration opened up May 20 and I haven’t been able to register because of the financial hold on my account. WHERE the fuck am I supposed to come up with $2000? So, no, I don’t know if I’m going back to school. At this rate, NYU has made the decision for us. Husband and I are barely scraping by as it is, living paycheck to paycheck, with NO room for a $2000 bill. The worst part is, if I’m not registered by a certain date than my financial aid will fall through. We’ve tried everything at this point to get that bill paid, to no avail of course….

… And I’m so sick and tired of people addressing Husband and I as if we’re two bums just trying to live off of love, just mooching around at our parent’s homes. I had to take a medical leave dammit!! I didn’t have a choice! I am JUST now starting to feel good enough to attempt to work, and at this point, there’s still no way we can come up with $2000 by June. I really hate that NYU isn’t making more of an effort to work WITH me, considering my financial aid payout was about $12,000 for housing and expenses. You’d think they’d just let me register and just deduct the hold the financial aid package right? Nope. Fuckers.

And no, I still don’t know what’s happening with the Peace Corps, they haven’t nominated us yet. We can either go work full time on a farm somewhere or gain some health education experience, at a hospice for example. There is no way in hell, I am volunteering at a hospice. For 1) I can’t handle it. I’m too emotionally fragile with all my own personal shit and the thought of hospice makes me uncomfortable and 2) that’s not what I wanted to do in the Peace Corps anyways. I want to be an educator. That’s about it.

I am like a walking depression ad. One minute, I am an enraged lunatic and the next I am a sobbing, crying, puffy-eyed, why-is-this-happening-to-me pile of mess!

All I want to do… is make a difference…. Change the world… do some good…

…and the universe won’t stop shitting on me…

And I swear to god, the next person who says, “good things come to those who wait,” will probably get smacked, stabbed, or both.

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Another Nomination Bites The Dust

Husband and I finally got an update from our recruiter Jai about our Peace Corps application. When we interviewed back in April, she told us she’d be nominating us later on that day and that we should be expecting an official nomination via email within the following 24 hours. When that fell through and we lost our nomination, Jai told us that she’d be looking for a new program for us once the new quarter opened up mid-may.

Today, we received an email. She’s sorry to inform us that there were no programs available that we both qualified for. We must wait until August when more programs become available to see if we’ll have any luck. In the meantime, however, we could do a few things to help our chances of becoming nominated sometime before 2099:

1. One or both of us could gain 30 hours of health education experience, which is stuff life HIV/AIDS outreach & education, nutrition, hospice, etc…
2. One or both of us could gain three months, or a grand total of 480 hours of farming or gardening on ¼ acre.
3. Having Tommy learn Spanish and passing the Spanish test would open up another realm of countries that we could qualify for within my medical restrictions.

So there you have it, another disappointment. The phrase, “the Peace Corps is a really LONG waiting process,” is nothing but the goddamn truth.

Thank you, Universe, thank you very much.

Life: 6 Jenn&Tommy: 0

My Husband and I must have been some horribly shitty people in our past lives because when I say that we cannot seem to catch a break, there is absolutely no exaggeration in those words, whatsoever!

It hadn’t even been 24 hours since our PC advisor Jai told us that she was nominating us for a program leaving in January, when we experienced our first real heartbreak. She informed me before we left her office that I would be hearing from the Medical Officers the very next day to expedite my medical forms for pre-clearance. Sure enough, by noon the next day I received the email. “Congrats on your nomination…” it started, and went on to include the EIGHT separate forms I’d need to have filled out and instructions on what materials to include.

It was official. My application status had been changed to “Nominated” and I was BEAMING with excitement. I called right away to my doctors and surgeons in Statesboro to make a day trip, three hours away, to personally drop off the forms and explain the importance of abiding by the instructions and meeting the deadlines. I have less than a month to submit the forms to the Medical Officers online. Jai also told me to be expecting an official nomination by that same morning, but it never came.

I waited and waited for the nomination email, but what I got instead nearly knocked me off my feet:

Caption via email

Caption via email

I was devastated. I cried as soon as I exited the email. I called Husband right away, and the first thing out of his mouth was, “I’m so sorry babe, this is all my fault.” I went from sad to livid in 2 seconds flat.

“No, it’s not your fault Husband. It’s HER fault. How could she miss something like that! You don’t go telling someone that you’re nominating them for a program and then say Ha just kidding your GPA isn’t high enough!! How did she miss that? That’s one of the first things she should have seen!”

At this point, I’m just over it. I’m over LIFE just shitting on us every chance it gets. Maybe Placement will consider letting us into the next program, if not, who knows when a program will pop up for the two of us. I simply responded to Jai letting her know that I am open to doing whatever it is that I can to open up our eligibility for programs. I’ll learn whatever skill, trade, or language is necessary to make sure we can get placed somewhere to serve sooner rather than later.

Jai dropped the ball with this one, but hopefully she’ll figure something out to make up for it.

The Wait is Over

We can finally breathe a little easier. We can breathe a lot easier actually, now that we have a direction. We don’t have to spend anymore time worrying and stressing about what is going to happen next for us, because now we know!!

I finally found out when registration starts for me back at NYU. I knew that general registration began April 22, so I assumed I was included because I am technically enrolled as a student. I have a $1,900 financial hold on my account and was told that if I could pay it within $1,000 then they’d work with me and let me register. I was able to go into the registration website and add my classes into a shopping cart until I was eligible to register officially. I was told last week MY registration date isn’t until May 20, which is awesome because that gives me a lot more time to pay on the amount. My OB/GYN is also still working on my letter to get me off the medical leave. Things are working out slowly in that department….

However,

Our Peace Corps interviews were yesterday.

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Our interviews were scheduled at 1:00, and we were there by 12:15!! From what we understood, we’d both have an individual interview, which lasts about 60-90 minutes, and then an interview together. Totaling 3 hours.

At one exactly, our advisor Jai walks over with a laptop in hand, and I go first. I am so nervous my stomach hurts! She asks me 18 questions, then we have a conversation about 8 topics, then the floor is open for questions. As soon as I begin answering her, she’s typing my every word, which makes me so nervous! I feel like a total idiot as I speak. An hour later, it’s Tommy’s turn. He’s not even a bit nervous. He’s as cool as ice.

As I sit in the lobby, surrounded by maps and volunteer photos, I’m watching the clock like a hawk. I hear so much laughing coming from the interview room. She didn’t laugh that much when I was in there. It’s past an hour now, and he’s still in there. Oh God, what is he saying to her! He must be stumbling. I bet she’s throwing trick questions as him….

75 minutes later, Husband comes to get me for the couple portion, and as I take a seat beside him I notice immediately that him and Jai are laughing and joking around. Wait… she LOVES him. He’s so comfortable, spitting out answers with little thought and all honesty, and here I am with nerves that are completely shot! Go figure. Husband just cannot meet a stranger.

Our couples interview was short, just a few joint questions and then lots of free time for us to address our own questions and concerns.

Well,

WE GOT NOMINATED!!!!!

I have no idea where we’re going yet, but Jai said she had NEVER nominated a couple right after interviewing them before. She told us she was working on something super specific for us, but the program is actually contingent upon my medical clearance. Husband won’t be bothered about medical stuff until later on in the summer, but I, on the other hand am supposed to be hearing from the Medical Office within 48 hours! This puts the pressure on me, because I am currently having some issues with/within my body and I’m very afraid I’ll ruin everything.

She says I have up until September to be completely medically cleared, which both IS and ISN’T a lot of time. If I am not medically cleared by September, then we could miss the program she’s working on! I was told that because of my medical history, my options for places to serve are limited. If I am not medically cleared, then I will just have to wait for the next round of nominations, which means a country within my restrictions, with spots for a couple, and with our specific skill needs, and who knows how long that could take.

It was all God in this! “It just so happened that with your regional limitations, that I have two spots open in a place you can serve, with both of your skillsets, that leave in JANUARY.” HOLY SHIT!!! January!!!!!! Husband and I have been thoroughly convinced that IF we’d get a nomination, it would be to leave in FALL of 2014…. January is practically tomorrow.

I am just so excited to have gotten nominated! I am BEYOND proud of us! It feels so good to be that much closer to achieving one of my ultimate life goals, and to be able to do this with Husband is a DREAM!! Of course, Husband is completely convinced that his charm alone got us in, but whatever, I’ll take it!! I was shouting from excitement the minute we hit the elevator!

We have a plan! We know what we’re working towards! It feels so amazing to have this huge burden lifted off of our shoulders. Granted, all of this is contingent on my medical clearance, but WE GOT IN!! WE GOT IN! WE GOT IN!!

Left Behind

It’s finally hit me: The thought of going away to the Peace Corps with Husband and leaving Apollo behind. I can’t imagine being away from him for two years; I can hardly tolerate a weekend away without him. He’s such a huge part of my life. I was very skeptical of even having him join our family, but he’s become something so precious to me. He’s become a symbol of hope. He’s like a little person with a huge personality! He’s everything I could have ever wanted in a companion. (Besides my Husband) He’s always by my side, he loves me unconditionally, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to just leave him behind.

I never understood how people could get so overly attached to their pets, or why they’d want to, but in this one short year, it all makes sense to me. It’s not about it being a human to pet relationship, or obedience vs submission, it’s about falling in love with a creature who loves you with all of their might, feeling needed and responsible for a life other than your own, it’s about knowing that no matter what you did, or who you are, or what bad shit you’re into, that creature will never judge you, never disappoint you, and never let you down.

Our Peace Corps interviews are now THREE days away, and although I’ve been struggling about this bit the entire time, it’s hitting me pretty hard now, especially when I think about the circumstances I’d be leaving him in. No matter how much I daydream about life in the Peace Corps, I have those moments where I have to ask myself whether or not I’d be able to leave Apollo behind. Here’s why I don’t think I can:

1. Apollo is my son. I say this all the time; I’ve even mentioned it in this post. He’s my Husband’s dog, but he’s my son. Apollo came into our home before I knew of our infertility troubles. We got him at just a few weeks old, so it’s safe to say I raised him. I endured that very frustrating puppy-crying-at-night phase, that god awful potty training phase, the sit-down-stay phase, and the “I am the boss of you” phase. All in all, Husband and I molded him into a very well behaved puppy, and when I got sick my love for him grew stronger. I’d come to terms in the depths of my mind that regardless of what the doctors said, I’d never be able to have kids. Apollo became that substitute for me. He’s a little spoiled because of that, but he’s a good baby. He’s the little child that, in my mind, I’ll never be able to have.

2. When I move, he moves. No matter where I go, there’s Apollo. I like it that way. I can always know what he’s into. He’s so inquisitive and he eats everything he can mouth! I don’t even like him being outside where I can’t see him. I feel so overwhelmed when Apollo isn’t around. On the rare occasion we go out of town without Apollo, I miss him with every inch of my being. I feel so disconnected. I feel naked almost. We’re a trio: Husband, Apollo and I, and when we’re separated, it’s as is our chemistry is off. How am I supposed to manage being away for 27 months?

3. Mom’s irresponsible. With Apollo at least. He came back from the doctor with very strict dietary guidelines. She’s got two dogs of her own, and honestly, I don’t trust her to be able to give Apollo the necessary attention he needs. One of the foods his vet recommended costs 20 bucks, and the bag isn’t even that big. But, it’s what will make him better so I buy it. She’s the type of parent, and I see this happening with our future children pending God’s approval, who will give him something against my specific instructions, saying “Shhh, don’t tell your mommy. This is yours and grandma’s secret” and then end up with the “Oh shit” face when he ends up having an allergic reaction to whatever it was. Unfortunately, unlike children, he’s reactions aren’t hives. He ends up with the worst runny eyes, exploding bowels, and terribly severe ear infections. She doesn’t know him like I do, she’s not every aware of his behaviors. I ALWAYS know when something isn’t right with him.

4. Mom’s house is a zoo. She’s got a yappy Yorkie who’s about 4 years old now, so spoiled and untrained. She wears dresses, and basically runs the house. She’s the pack leader in their dynamics. She still shits/pisses in the house for god’s sake. She’s also got a young golden retriever, who spends most of her time with nothing to do in the backyard or shoved into a kennel that is two sizes too small. She’s so unruly; she’s eating all of my mom’s light fixtures in the backyard!! Her and Apollo play so roughly. She’s a big dog and Apollo’s a miniature. She knocks him down the stairs all the time. When I’m here I keep those two separated, who is to say she’ll continue to do that with me gone for two years. She thinks their roughhousing is cute! Honestly, Husband and I say quite often that if my mom’s choice of dog food doesn’t kill him first, then her dog will!

5. Apollo’s coat mats so easily. Apollo is a miniature schnauzer, which means he’s a hypoallergenic breed, which also means he doesn’t shed. Because he doesn’t shed, his hair grows really long, really fast. If we miss ONE day of brushing him, he’s all matted up! He gets these big huge mats under his chest, on his legs, around his neck, and in the pockets of his hind legs. We shave his coat down ourselves to keep costs down. I have absolutely no faith in the thought or idea that my mother would get him groomed, or groom him herself. The mats hurt him, and he’s gets very angry when they’re touched. Rightfully so. We’d go to the Peace Corps, and come back to see our dog looking like some homeless stray and would have to shave him bald. I just don’t trust that he’d be very well taken care of.

6. My sister is a total bitch and I don’t want her touching my dog. I don’t even want to get into the logistics of the lack of relationships we have, nor the lack of shits I give about it, but I don’t want her touching my dog. I want his shots, his updated medical exams, whatever, done by a fucking professional. I am not, and have never been, one of those people who do that shit on my own. I will not ever administer shots to Apollo alone, nor will Husband. I will never DIY immunizations or boosters, or any of that shit. I don’t want her bullshitting around and giving Apollo a shot and having to receive a phone call about the consequences of her incompetence. I hate her, I hate seeing her, I hate the thought of Apollo being anywhere near her when I’m not around.

I don’t think I can leave him here for two years, let alone in the care of my mother, but she’s our only choice. I couldn’t ask anyone to take him for two years, because having a dog is a really big responsibility. At least with my mother, I know she loves him. She sucks at taking care of him, but she does love him, and he loves her. So, although I’m technically not leaving a child behind, that’s exactly what it feels like.

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You Can’t Take a Baby to the Peace Corps Jenn!!!

With our Peace Corps interviews just 10 days away… I should be spending this time going over questions with Husband, and tweaking our answers to make sure we sound intelligent by limiting the “uhm’s” in case a question catches us off guard. I don’t want us to be ill prepared, but let’s face it, I’ve wanted to join the Peace Corps since HIGH SCHOOL, and Husband’s only recently learned of the Peace Corps, thanks to yours truly.

We should be spending this time shooting off any range of questions we can think of at each other and brushing up on our international affairs; the “goings-on’s” of the world… yet and still, with our Peace Corps interviews just 10 days away, there is only one thing on my mind….

…I want to have a baby…

Yea, talk about a wrench in the plans, huh!

I am not sure if it’s the hormonal surge because of my cycle this week, or if it’s because of the baby fever I cannot seem to shake. Whatever it is, the want, the desire, is so strong and so real, it’s almost annoying.

The Peace Corps is a two-year commitment, and for a normal woman, that’s not a big deal. For me, for someone with Endo & PCOS, it’s a very long, very big gamble.
What also sucks, is that most days, I can’t decide which want outweighs the other. The pros/cons are equal. Of course on a super emotional day, babies win. But on those days where I’m fed up with my parents or America, for that matter, Peace Corps takes the cake.

Husband is so lovingly unhelpful. “Whatever you want to do babe, I’m right with you.” “I want a baby too, but I would also love to do the Peace Corps, it’s so noble.” “I don’t know babe, it’s your decision.”

Thanks.

One of my sorority sisters is having a baby and although I am OVERJOYED for her, I’m a little jealous. She’s shopping for baby furniture and posting them on Instagram, and every time I run across a photo, it’s like a jab in the heart. I’m not saying she’s purposely doing this to me, I’ve never even shared my infertility troubles with her, but I want a baby! Well, maybe even more than wanting a baby, in the flesh, right now… I want TO BE ABLE to have a baby. Whenever that time comes, I want to be able to give my husband a child.

Perhaps that’s why this upcoming interview is freaking me out a bit. I am just worried that two years after service, my body isn’t going to cooperate. Hell, it isn’t cooperating now.

Then again, I’ve been reading and following so many Peace Corps blogs and with each post, I get more excited to go! I am just so excited to be interviewing with the man of my dreams. Can you imagine it? Living out one of my childhood “Save The World” dreams with my main man, Husband?! I can’t wait. Living in a mud hut, shitting in a hole, teaching students, being immersed in culture and language… what a magnificently, life-changing opportunity.

Yea, see. I want each one just as bad as the other.

How would you choose?

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The Rejection

Every morning I spring right out of my sleep and reach right for the phone to check my email. I wait patiently as my iphone loads and cringe when I see I’ve received nothing from UW’s School of Social Work. I do and have done this every morning since February.

Today was no different. I’m getting really frustrated. I applied for the early decision deadline and was supposed to hear back a month ago. It’s making me paranoid. I want to know something!! Actually, I NEED to know something. There are so many other things Husband and I have floating out in the universe that need decisions and we haven’t been able to make them because so much is pending.

At this point, I’m feeling like I didn’t get in, so as I check my phone this morning, I don’t even feel excited when I see, “SSW Admissions: A response…” in the subject line in my inbox. My eyes dart right past the frill and straight to the “Unfortunately we cannot offer you admission…”

I’m not shocked. I’m not surprised. I’m not sad. I don’t even really care anymore. Maybe a month ago I’d be disappointed because this is now my second UW rejection. Maybe a month ago I’d be devastated because we want to move back to Seattle SOOOO badly and this was the perfect plan. But today, as I’m sitting here tired, worn, and stoic. I don’t care.

Frankly, that’s one less choice we’d have to sort through by summer. Now, it’s between returning to NYU and the Peace Corps (if and when that ever moves along). So far, I’ve got a huge financial hold on my account that is about to be sent to collections because they over-refunded me before my medical leave, which means I cannot register for classes next month. Thanks NYU. Husband is pretty confident that the Peace Corps will actually work out, but the catch is the application process is SOOOOO…..LOOOOOONG. We have an interview on April 18th but between waiting for medical clearances, nominations, and placements for not one but TWO people, we could be waiting around all year, and that’s if they even like us.

UGH.

How exhausting my life has turned out to be. I don’t even want to get started on how Husband and I are feeling about our current living situation. That’s a whole ‘nother post for a whole ‘nother day.

Fucking UW…. Jerks.

*Then Walks Away*

*Then Walks Away*

-Jenn

One Step Closer

Husband woke me up like an excited little kid on Christmas morning! “Babe, Babe!! She emailed us back. We get to schedule an interview!!” It took me a few seconds for it to hit me. I grabbed my phone to check my email; we’ve been getting the exact same emails separately even though we’ve applied as a couple. Sure enough, there it was: Subject: “Scheduling Interview.”

It took us just a few minutes to choose one of the three listed dates and times and respond back to our regional recruiter. She then informed us that interviews would be around 3 hours long. We’d have an hour each for individual interviews with the final hour dedicated to our couple interview. She also included some questions we should consider and reflect upon prior to our interviews.

So it’s settled, on April 18th Husband and I will have our Peace Corps interviews!!

Husband’s Take:

“I’m very excited for the opportunity we may have to serve in another country for people who actually need help; kids who actually need help learning. It’ll be good to spend a little time away. I’ve got a little bit of an advantage, I’ve been out in the elements before in the military, but now I may get a little more freedom because I won’t be confined to a base. I’m excited. I think we’ll do great in the interviews. I’m a little worried about the individual interview though. I mean, I know why I want to serve so I’m not worried about those questions, but I am worried about the wife questions. I’m really overprotective of you. If they ask me, ‘Hey, let’s say something-something happened to your wife, what would be your response?’ I’ll say something crazy, then I’d blow the interview and we can’t go because they think I’m actually crazy. I might go into combat mode over you! I’m not really worried about shitting outside because I’ve been there done that. I’m just worried about you. Other than that, I know we’ll kill the couple interview. Honestly, my real concern is the medical portion. We just have to get past the medical exams.”

Agreed Husband. Agreed.

-Jenn

Happy Dance

Happy Dance