As of 11:40 a.m., Friday, July 30, 2010, I'm Labradoris, Ph.D.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you hear that?  That was the sound of me emitting a giant exhale.

-The motorcycle course wrapped successfully, with me emerging hand-in-hand with a passing score and a certificate that I can use to obtain the "M" classification on my license.  While I am FAR from being comfortable on a bike, I'm at least not afraid anymore.  Taking the class made me a better driver, too.  I had never operated a manual in my life, so getting used to a clutch was a big step.  But, I did okay and actually liked going "fast" - we never got up above 25 mph on the course, but it felt fast to me initially.  I'm a master corner-er too.  I can corner, swerve, lean, and do a perfect double U-turn (a serpentine in dressage horse language).  I'm not wanting to go out and buy a motorcycle right now, but it's definitely more possible now.

-My dissertation edits are done and it is in my committee's hands.  I will DEFEND MY DISSERTATION next Friday (July 30)!  It feels weird to even say that!  But, I am very excited and very happy to be approaching the finish line -- it's been a long three years.

-The big news is:  I've decided to move!  Joel and I will be moving to his new job, which is in a smaller town outside of The Big City.  I'm going to spend the first two months closing up my life here, unpacking there, and settling in to a life outside of graduate school.  I'm going to be job searching in The Big City, and I'm really hoping I will land something nice - not just something to get by on.

-We've found a very cute rental house with a great, laid-back landlord that (1) has a black Lab, but (2) LOVES that we will be bringing our two Labs!!  Can you believe it?  She wants us to have our dogs there!  It's almost too good to be true - we had to pinch ourselves.  The dogs will even have a doggy door in the back door to go out into the FENCED BACKYARD!!!!  I'm so excited!  The past three years, Cosette (and more recently, Trooper) have had to wear their leashes everytime we go outside.  Now, they can go out and play in the backyard without having me go out there too (I'm most excited about this during the winter).  It's a small backyard, but it's big enough for them.  Plus, we got $100 knocked off our rent by agreeing to take care of the lawn and garden maintenance!  Score!

-My time with the winery is coming to a close, although I'm not looking forward to leaving.  It's been a great job and something that I've really cherished doing.  I will probably stay in contact for the next few months, just helping out and letting them transition to a full-time person that can take care of wholesale distribution. 

-So, the next few weeks will be spent cleaning, packing, teaching, defending, graduating (Joel, not me - I have to graduate in December), moving, working, and job searching!  Should be a really fun time in its own little way. 

Just breathe...
Just breathe...

Things are looking up, but I'm still holding my breath over a couple of things.  I'm so nervous.  Hopefully I'll be able to share the news soon, and it will be news I want to share.  I don't know why I'm so nervous.  My stomach is in knots, even though what I'm planning is going to be a good thing.  There's just a lot of angles involved.

Meanwhile, I'll keep snuggling the dogs.  They're good companions.  =)
Someone Like Me by Royksopp

Someone like me
With someone like you
How unlikely
Too good to be true

Someone like me
With someone like you
How unlikey
Too Good to be true

Something's be trying to hold me down
And leave me no hope on the battleground
I'm knocking on doors, "Come on", let me in
Desperatly craving the feminine
Then you came to me
How could I get lucky like this
What have I done

This type of thing's just a fantasy
The story is laid out so wretchedly
Like out of a film or a magazine
Appeal to the classical masculine
But gradually
It's dawning on me
This isn't like in a dream
This is for real

Being yourself
What does that mean
Seeing yourself is the hardest thing

Someone like me
With someone like you
How unlikely
Too good to be true

Timing your movements so accurately
Hearing you breathing so musically
Unity strengthening rapidly
Knowing you'll always come back to me
You're never to close
Or far away
Perfect somewhere inbetween
Vintage machine

Seeing it's already time to leave
I got to go out, I need space to breathe
Go before everything's caving in
Understand that, oh my heroine
But someone like you
So hard to believe
Sure this is not just a dream
Wake up and see

Being yourself is a lonely thing
If you never pick it up and just let it ring

Someone like me
(It's what i've always dreamed of)
With someone like you
(More than satisfactory)
How unlikely
(It's real you're here beside me)
Too good to be true
Come on, let's share this moment
i like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. this is the night, what it does to you. i had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” – jack kerouac

I saw this quote on another person's blog entry, and it very much spoke to me right now.

I'm not sure why, but I feel like my life is just completely out of control right now.  Nothing is wrong per se, but it feels wrong.  And it's unlike the feeling of good stress - that feeling where you are justatinybitaboveyourthreshold for work, but not overly so.  I enjoy that feeling.  I like having just a little, teensy, itty bitty too much work to do.  The kind that will keep you up just an extra 10 minutes, just 10 more minutes until you are done.  That kind.

This kind, though, feels overwhelming and completely dissatisfying.  I love all the pieces of what I'm doing, but each piece right now does not feel okay together.  I'm no longer living in the present moment, and it makes me sad.  While I'm waiting on a winery customer, my thoughts dash to the night's motorcycle course that I can't be late for.  When I'm on the motorcycle waiting my turn for an exercise, my thoughts are on the class I'm teaching for the next day.  While I'm in class and trying to gather my thoughts on a particular topic, I'm not thinking about anything else except the class, but I'm distracted if that makes sense.  My mind is not necessarily on anything else, but I'm not 100% focused. 

I'm not sure if it is the level of committment required of each piece, or the time, or the responsibility of each piece, but I'm starting to feel very overwhelmed and strung-out. 

Poor Joel and LG, too.  Little Guy has felt the snap of my voice, the strain in my face.  Joel is a saint and delivers nothing but patience and understanding.  But they, too, are pieces of my life and they aren't going very well with the rest of the pieces (hello, work/family balance). 

I cried as I was driving from one location to the other yesterday, in my rush to switch which piece I was paying attention to.  I'm not talking soft sniffles, I'm talking loud, racking sobs.  I wasn't really upset at anything - although I gave myself reason to be upset at certain things - almost as if I'm giving myself an excuse of what to get mad at, just so I can get mad.

It doesn't make sense to me, either.

But, the motorcycle course only lasts until Friday evening.  I will have time this weekend to work on prepping my class for the next few weeks.  My class, too, is only four weeks long.  My poor, neglected dissertation is almost ready to be pulled across the finish line.  And there's some decisions, too, that I'm desperately trying to sort out in my head.  And I know that it doesn't sound like a lot - and maybe that's the thing - there's not a LOT that I'm doing, but each piece requires a LOT of time from me.  And I think the absence of free time (just 30 minutes!  just 30 minutes!  somewhere!  where is it?) is making me high-strung and horrible to be around.  I so desperately need, crave, desire, HAVETOHAVE my downtime.  I'm a high-performance individual, but I have to have time to myself every day.  I don't think I really realized it before.  It's always been there, and I've always done it, but now that I'm craving it, I'm thinking it may be exactly what's bothering me.

I'm looking forward to just being able to breathe calmly and start being more collected.  I can really feel my stress taking a toll on my body, and that's completely unhealthy and unaccepatble.  Where is this calm, yogafied person I once was?  Where has she gone?

Hopefully I'll be back with a better blog entry next week.  This weekend I'm aiming with some quality time with the dogs.  And Joel and LG.  They deserve it from me.
angry at herself
hurt.  on the inside.
so desperately wanting to please
with no idea how to do it.
good moods, happy, dashed in a second
with a girl that's quick to anger
she's lost her yoga self.
no longer flexible in body or mind,
but mostly mind.
so quick to overheat, so quick to misunderstand.
this girl has lost her mind's flexibility. and it hurts.  it hurts.
this isn't who I am,
she says,
but the crowd turns their back to watch
the next incoming act
the act that's so much flashier and prettier, and calm and elemental.
they turn their back on the girl that is sitting
in the mud
trying to figure out
how it all went wrong.

the tears flow down, but they just step over her
careful to avoid her
not wanting to ask what's wrong
to find out that it's not the situation.
it's not what made her angry.
she's lost her oars to her
coconut canoe
the canoe that is supposed to guide her
show her, carry her, work with her.
her oars are lost and she is directionless.
come over to the shore, they say.  
she tries to paddle with her hands but she doesn't get very far
and the sun feels so hot on her face.
on her very hot face.
she weeps in the middle of the coconut canoe,
and when she sits back up,
she discovers she's no longer there
she's sitting in the mud
while everyone else
to the jobs they are supposed to be doing
but her legs are covered in mud
and she can't find
her coconut canoe.