16 September 2012

A little better, maybe. Taking credit.

I talked to my college advisor via email today-- the information I received this week that talking to my advisor and getting enrolled again was incorrect. I have to apply for readmission first, after which I have to talk to both a dean and an advisor in my field of study. I hadn’t let myself get too excited, although I did sketch out a class schedule. It was worth a try, I suppose. I know at this point some people would be angry at “the system”, but I’m not. Looking back over the past year or so at how I’ve been feeling and functioning, I don’t believe that not being able to enroll is the university’s fault. Being pissed off at the situation does not fix the situation.

My situation is not all bad, either. Being without a home for a month, I’ve had to be outside and around other people. There have been a few interesting moments, including the time I got a bit anxious while walking in the middle of a crowd-- I had to tell myself that this was okay, that I’d be okay. I was able to make it to the lecture (given by a professor whose class I failed miserably) I was walking towards, and I was able to concentrate pretty well on the lecture.

I have also needed a place to be when I’m not working or sleeping. Fortunately, a campus is a perfect place when all you need is a chair, a desk, electricity, and wireless internet. So I’ve been spending a good amount of time working on personal projects in the union, in one of the libraries, and in the building I’m in now. The same availability of places to study quietly also makes it easy to isolate myself, but I’m getting closer to going back to places where I’ll interact with peers.

Having several hours a day with no responsibilities also means I can get a whole lot of shit done. Being in a quiet room all day with no distractions is nirvana when you’re writing code. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a computer science major. Put me in front of a computer and let me work on whatever I want, and I’m good for quite a while.

Still, sometimes, you can’t get there from here.

It may well be that I need a semester when I’m feeling a little better to be able to prepare for a full on semester. When I wake up in the morning, I grab my backpack and head out for breakfast and whereever I’m going to work on stuff that day. It feels normal to do that. There are still some issues I need to resolve, shame and guilt I need to let slide away, memories that will still need time to soften.

I can move around campus and actually study and write code that works. I can find small projects to do, projects that I can complete, and release them into the world. I can attend lectures, which are always free and sometimes include cookies. I can practice taking notes. I can read-- as a student employee I have access to the libraries, which in turn gives me access to research tools. Reading and breathing are of equal importance in my world, by the way.

The time between now and spring semester will be longer on some days than it is on others. The onset of winter, especially the daylight savings time change, always affects me. Not being in classes is isolating sometimes. Money is very tight, and best case is that I’ll be in the transitional housing program I applied for. Worst case is I’ll still be calling my car home when it starts getting cold.

I’m pretty tough when it comes to surviving-- goodness knows I’ve taken enough direct hits in my life-- so I’ll figure something out.

Yes, this post is more positive than many have been lately.  I’m feeling very cautiously better, feeling like maybe I’m just past the top of the mountain, but it’s foggy in the valley so I can’t see what’s down below. Very possible I’ll get down this side of the mountain sliding on my ass with a small avalanche of rocks following. Yeeeeee haww!

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