Strange things are afoot at the Circle K“, and I am just not in a great place right now.

I don’t get it – I was having the highest of highs today, and then while I was supposed to be relaxing/unwinding during American Idol, I just started crying and I have a feeling that is how the rest of the night is going to play out. I should have grabbed a box of tissues from my bathroom cupboard. I’ll go get that in a few minutes. I just need to type it out right now and then try and sleep.

So, I had my phone conference today for my thesis proposal defense. It was a 38 minute long conversation which ended pretty well, but I have so much to do now. I was downright queasy before I called my professors at 1:00. I suck at talking on the phone, and I was super worried about what they were going to say to me.

All three of my committee members made some critiques. Luckily their notes weren’t anything too dramatic. My biggest criticisms were that I was repetitious a bit with some of my information, and I made a few broad generalizations that I need to make more specific examples. Also, the title of my paper is horrendous (which I already knew) and my research questions need to be reworded (again, something I already knew). So, I took a bunch of notes and really listened to what everyone had to say. I was grateful for their input and I have completed this leg of the race, if you will.

I need to do a bit more research to get a few statistics about women in the workplace and some civil rights stuff, but on a whole, I think the direction I was headed in was pretty good. I also need to plow forward with fixing my research questions so that I may design the right kinds of charts to fit my needs.

I have a really small window to get all of this done. I have to basically be finished with my thesis on May 6th. This means, though, I have to have it done and sent to my thesis chair a couple weeks before that so he can look it over before the other members of the committee get it.

This all didn’t really sink in until during American Idol.

I mean, after I hung up from the phone conference, I knew I had a lot to do in a little amount of time if I wanted to graduate in June.

But, I was just on such a high from being done with the phone call and passing my proposal defense that for a couple hours, I felt invincible.

My proposal defense was done. Last night I found out about an event in May in my sister’s town and we made arrangements to go see it. I was going to see one of my favorite people perform twice in less than a month. I was on Cloud 9.

Then, during American Idol, reality hit me like a ton of bricks and I just lost it. My first realization was that the event in May that my sister and I made arrangements for… I’m scheduled to drive back from Kansas on May 9th. I only just remembered that my manager wanted me to go to a convention on that day with a colleague of mine to learn more about the products in our area.

I completely forgot about this when I went last night to request May 8th and 9th off from work. Now, I don’t want to piss off my boss. But I also don’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity I will have if I go to Kansas that weekend to see my sister.

It’s not that I don’t think my job is meaningless. I work really hard and I try to please the people I work with as well as the people I help out. However, I know that I am not going to have a career at this place. I really only planned on working there until this past January… it only has been longer than that b/c I hadn’t gotten my thesis done yet. I was not meant to work where I’m working – this has always just been temporary means to pay my bills. So really, if I was planning on quitting when I was ready to move away from here (which looks to be June or July…), then maybe I shouldn’t be the one going to this convention in the first place, because I don’t plan on sticking around for longer than I have to.

I know I will need to tell my manager that I can’t go to this convention. And I know she will be super pissed off at me. And she’ll probably throw in my face that she told me the date to mark on my calendar a couple weeks ago. But that completely slipped my mind last night when this opportunity arose. I have to go see my sister.

I also am going to have to take like, 4 or 5 days off when it comes time for me to defend my thesis, as I’m going to need to go to Ohio to do so. And my place of business has these stupid attendance rules and rules about how many days one is allowed to request off in a row. Well, sorry place of business, but my higher education is way more important than the $7 an hour I’m making to get treated poorly by entitled people. (I’m just venting… not everyone I help is snobby at me. For reals. Some of the people are downright delightful.)

So, I’m going to need those days off to go to Ohio so I can be gone with grad school and move on with my life.

I’m also pissed because I wish I could just devote the next few weeks to working on my paper. But I work 3-4 days a week. So, I have then 3-4 days to work on my paper a week, as well as a couple hours here and there on days where I do have to work. But I am so bad at writing papers, that I am worried I won’t be able to produce the quality of work that my committee is looking for in such a short amount of time.

I mean, I am going to finish. By hook or by crook, I will get this fucker done if it kills me. The thing is, I’m worried that it might.

Well, my thesis won’t kill me. But it is making me physically ill.

I don’t sleep much anymore because I’m too worried about not having enough time. And while I guess I could turn all my lights on at 4 in the morning when I can’t sleep and try to work on my stuff, but my head just hurts so bad and my thoughts are just racing so much that nothing I would write at that time of day would even be usable. (And here come the waterworks… pause break for tissues. God, where does all this snot come from?)

In high school, I was so stressed out that I got really bad tension headaches (like, my head hurt so much, it hurt to comb my hair or touch my head… kinda like now), my face broke out like whoa (also like now, though luckily not as bad as back then) and a stress-induced cyst formed inside of my eyelid so it looked like I had a Very Cherry Jelly Belly jellybean growing over my eye (fingers crossed that doesn’t happen again… let’s just say, I had the worst senior picture of all time).

I don’t deal with stress well. I’ve known this for many, many years. I can’t relax. I can’t not think about everything all the time. I can’t sleep. I get really emotional really quickly and at times can burst into tears at the drop of a dime. I’m not proud of any of this, and I can’t figure out how to make it stop. Hopefully the cyst thing won’t repeat itself. I had two of those removed in 2006-2007… I can’t handle that again. I’d describe the procedure, but you’d probably get sick to your stomach.

So, I have a feeling for the next few weeks I am going to be a mess and a half. And hopefully I will be able to ease myself out of this by getting a lot done on my paper sooner rather than later. I have to work a boat load this weekend, which is not ideal. But next week I have a couple days off and I will really just need to focus and get it done.

I need to sleep, but I don’t think that’s going to happen right now. So, I will read a couple blogs I’ve been trying to keep up with, and then read some Women in Film books to get my mind in a good place for tomorrow. I have off tomorrow, so I hope to address all of my professors’ notes from today, and then press forward with starting to make charts so I can work on my discussion section.

I just need to think happy thoughts. (P.S. Speaking of Hook, I totally named the new red squirrel who frequents our patio box Rufio because he has a bit of a mohawk and looks gangsta.)

Have a good one