Jingle Bells and Psychotic Breaks

Monday, 10 January 2011

Here I am again.  It feels like weeks since I've posted.  Oh wait, it has been weeks!  So, a lot has happened.  Let me fill you in...

First there was Christmas.  I pitched a fit just before hanging the first tree decoration about how I hated our old, cheap decorations (mostly bought at the pound shop during our first few 'poor years').  So I went out and bought all new decorations.  I went with a red and white theme.  I found various glass balls (one of which was smashed before it even made it in the house), red and white jingle bells, and hung candy canes.  Let me be the first to warn you-- jingle bells and candy canes do not mix well with three year old boys and big dogs.   Fa la la la la....

Next came New Years.  We went to my mother-in-laws for a lovely, quiet New Years.  Just the MIL, hubby, monster, and dog.  It was nice, it was quite, but something in me snapped sometime around midnight.  I had what I am jokingly referring to as a psychotic break.  My best friend is a 5th year med student and she tells me something probably did snap.  Whoopsies! 

I always cry on NYE, but I don't think much of it.  This year it hit me hard, real hard.  Maybe it something to do with the fact that I'm 35.  Hell, it probably has a lot to do with that.  Anyway, I obsessed for the next few days over why I cry at NYE when everyone around me is cheering.  And the most horrible thing occurred to me.  The last 35 years have gone so fast and let's face it, the next 35 will, too.  And there went 2010.  Another year in which I feel like I've accomplished nothing.  Damn.

I don't want to bore you, but you're gonna need a little back story here.  I have always written.  I wrote my first 'book' when I was 6-- I even bound it!  And I read.  Constantly.  Everywhere.  I even read in the truck on the way to my MIL's even though it made me feel like dying (motion sickness). 

I decided at an early age that I wanted to be a writer.  I knew it was a tough career to break into, but I also loved to teach, so i figured on teaching literature and creative writing while I slogged away at manuscripts at night.  When I told my dad I wanted to be a writer he laughed.  'You'll never make a living writing.  Do science instead, you're good at that.'

And so I set off to be a doctor.  It never happened, of course.  I couldn't really afford an undergrad let alone med school.  I started college in 1993 and I'm not proud of it, but I still haven't finished my bachelor's.  Instead, I worked full time and took classes here and there when I could afford to.  Now I am in a job that isn't bad and gives me time to study and write and allows me the luxury of taking a degree with the Open University. 

I sent my transcripts in to OU and for 3 1/2 years worth of classes (taken over 11 years) they offered me 20 points at Level 1.  I was going to have to start over.

I decided to do an open degree and take mainly science courses.  I figured they'd be easy A's.  And the first few have been.  What I didn't count on was the fact that I would hate every minute of it.  Sure, the assignments are easy, but I can't bring myself to do them!  The only course I have enjoyed is the fiction writing course which I took because it would mean I HAD to write.  I didn't have to sneak around and feel guilty when I should have been cleaning the kitchen. 

On 6th January-- the last day to register for courses starting in February-- I had my 'break'.  I looked at the books sent to me for my up-coming Infectious Diseases course and thought about the Molecular & Cellular Biology books which hadn't come yet.  And I cried.  I started to surf the OU web site looking at courses I wished I could take instead.  Approaching Literature required that you read Pride and Prejudice and The Color Purple.  I couldn't think of a more delicious way to earn points.

On a whim, I called OU.  I cancelled my 2 science courses started in February.  I withdrew from the Psychology course I was a few months into and hated.  And I enrolled in Approaching Literature and The Arts Past & Present.  I even changed my goal from Open Degree to BA (Honors) English Literature.  For the next hour I was certain I'd be sick.  I was terrified. 

Once I got past the shock of what I had done.  I went on Kindle and downloaded all of the set books which are classics for free.  I couldn't wait to start reading!  For the first time in I don't know how many years, I was excited!

So, yeah.  In the space of about 2 hours I chucked nearly 20 years of education and experience in the medical field to start over.  But hey, I'm 35.  If I don't do what I want now, I never will.


  1. I always cry at New Year too. I'm a glass half empty kinda girl and I always see another year left behind rather than a new one to start. I think of all the things that have happened in that year to make it special. Daft really as the things still happened, the date is just a bunch of numbers, moving into the next year doesn't wipe out the last. But anyhoo, I'm glad you had a bit of a "moment", as unpleasant as it was at the time, as it led to your epiphany and ultimately onto your new life! Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. Take care xx

  2. Thanks Lisa-Jane for your kind comments. I have posted a couple of links to my work on here and am trying desperately to keep up with works, school, chils, AND blogging, but you can tell by how late this comment is that it's rather diffiicult. I'll keep plugging along :)


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