Monthly Archives: September 2016

Strategic disengagement

Today I quit.

It’s not a territory I am all that familiar with.

Sure, a couple years ago I quit a career, but that was with a new one in the foreground.

A few years ago I quit a race, but that was the act of Dear Diabetes, completely out of my control.

Speaking of Dear Diabetes, I quit her once too, but my brain wasn’t fully developed so I can’t really be blamed for that.

I’ve had thoughts of quitting other things: my first marathon I had visions of running in front of the tram; my first time up the Grouse Grind, I had urges to hurl myself over the side of the cliff. Chemistry, I thought for sure I’d blow up the lab and be done with it. But never, never, never was there the option of stopping and turning around.

Today I stopped.

But I didn’t turn around.

Today I quit physics.

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Two weeks of physics and this is what I got out of it: a tutorial on how to make paper airplanes, and I didn’t even do those that well! (Little Ring loves them!)

After four straight semesters of chemistry, I thought for sure I was primed for physics (okay, I didn’t really think that), but nope, that was not the case. By second class I could feel the sweat building up in my underarms; I could feel the heat in my face, the shaking of my limbs.

Panic.

I got a tutor, he’s a great tutor, a phenomenal tutor, a tutor that worked so thoroughly with me to understand the concepts, in a really cool way, and at such a shockingly low wage. If I could learn this course through him, I would excel. If I could be one-on-one with the prof, I would excel. But in a class of 300 x 3, I am but a bug on the wall.

Panic.

I went into physics with an open mind. I had no idea what to expect, I don’t recall ever doing physics, but then again I don’t recall much of math, and I shut my ears to anyone who told me it was tough as hell. This past weekend I had two assignments due plus a lab. I spent all night Friday, well into the morning hours, all afternoon and evening Saturday, and all morning Sunday. There were a lot of eff bombs, a lot of distressed exclamations “I don’t understand what it’s asking me!!!” and a lot of unreasonable, I feel cruddy as hell outbursts towards the most I love.

Panic.

This course is not a priority course.

This course is a course that I potentially need, but a course that’s ultimately not going to get me into the program I desire.

When I get into dietetics, there is a core course that requires the foundations of physics, but for those in the dietetics program the prerequisite is waived. Most who don’t have physics struggle.

I was trying to be proactive.

I am taking four courses this semester, three of which are priority courses. I was spending way too much energy, both mentally and emotionally, on a non-priority. A course that if I struggle all the way through who’s to say any of it will take hold in my brain and carry over to that core course? And who’s to say I won’t completely mess up the priority courses that I should actually do quite well in?

There was a lot of soul searching, a lot of weighing the pros and cons, going back and forth, a lot of outside guidance. I don’t like to quit, but it didn’t make sense to disregard the priorities in favour of a non.

So, today I quit.

I quit for the betterment of my goal; the betterment of my grades; the betterment of my mental state; the betterment of my family.

To quote a friend: It as a matter of strategic disengagement.

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Dreaming for the glory of glasses

Alright eyes, we got this. Don’t let me down, eyes. This year is our year. Got it. Alright, let’s DO this.

That was the pep talk my lovely, grey eyes got yesterday morning all through breakfast, all through transit, all through the rainy walk, and every step up the five flights of stairs to my opthalmologist’s office.

Yesterday was my annual eye appointment.

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This appointment I dream of for 365 days, hoping, praying, begging for my eyes to finally falter in the presence of my opthalmologist.

I am obsessed with glasses, been so ever since one of my elementary school besties showed up to class in an oversized pair of pink specs. I loved them! I had to have them!

When I was diagnosed with Dear Diabetes shortly after and told my diabetic eyes could be a thing of concern, I swear to you that was one of the happiest days of my life. My parents were near tears and I’m practically jumping for joy. (I was nine, what can I say, glass half full girl!)

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Friends know if they wear glasses, I’ll be trying them. I mean seriously, how could this face NOT be granted the glory of glasses???

But noooooo, year after year, blinding appointment after blinding appointment, they keep regaling the perfection of my eyes, exclaiming they’re getting better with age, no diabetic spots, and that once, majorly noticeable wandering eye, it’s majorly dissipated.

They wait for me to smile, but instead get a grimace.

I. Want. Glasses.

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These eyes NEED glasses!

So yesterday, I’m sitting in the office noticing every seat filled with someone in glasses. Could this be my year, I thought. Surely, everyone in glasses is a sign, I thought. I am getting older, after all. Eyes fail with age, right? Right???

My eyes are dilated. The room starts to blur. One word fills my head over and over: Please. Please. Please. Please. Pleeeeeeeeeeease.

I’m in the office. I see an information placard on age-related macular degeneration. Symptoms include yellow-white deposits that mess with photoreceptors causing impaired vision.

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Hmm…

I’ve been experiencing major eye irritation for months. Lots of thin eye goop that causes a burning sensation. I thought it was the circulating dust, or allergies, but maybe it’s AMD.

Squinting my eyes, I put my face right close to the sign, practically nose touching it, and read further.

Oh crud.

This is NOT good.

Abnormal blood vessels growing in my macula!

Leaking blood and other fluids!

Complete vision loss!

Oh crud! Oh crud! Oh crud!

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Found this pic on How the Light Gets In blog. The whole post had me giggling…I could totally relate!

I want glasses. I don’t want diseased eyes.

My specialist walks in, sticks a blinding light through my dead eyes. Looking good, she says.

Erm, I stutter.

Yes??? she waits.

Erm, you don’t see leaking blood?

Noooo??? she queries.

I start talking a mile a minute, telling her about the burning sensation in my eyes, how they get real itchy, and painful, how I’m sticking my fingers in there trying to get what’s causing the pain out practically every minute, and that I think it might be age-related macular degeneration, and that my eyes are gonna fall out, all the while my stomach fluttering with opposing excitement and fear. Hoorah to glasses. Eek to dead eyes.

She pauses. I swear to stop from bursting out laughing. (Note: she knows my great desire for glasses). You have dry eyes, she said. That’s all. They’re not dying. They’re atypical diabetic eyes. She hands me a sample of gel drops.

No glasses for you!

Once again spurned by damn perfect eyesight.

Sigh.