Wednesday, May 31, 2017

4 Things I Learned from Dropping out of University

As it turns out, this post that I had scheduled to be posted yesterday didn't go through on time. So, now it looks like I have taken an extended hibernation over the weekend. But, besides my break from nail art, I'm heading back on track and this post is here for you today!


As most of you know, if you've been here since the beginning of this blog, I dropped out of university in the third week in. It was the Fall of 2015, I had just turned 18-years-old two and a half months prior, and I was out of my parents' houses for the first time. I was starting a prestigious program at Carleton University in Ottawa, and I thought it was going to be a great time. I had done well throughout all of high school, and I couldn't think of why it wouldn't be similar in university.

Well, as it turns out, it was much different than what I expected. I went to all of my classes, did whatever assignments I was given, and I talked to the people in my class. I was actually very lucky, because I was living with my uncle rent free, I enjoy cooking, and I got my textbooks secondhand for cheap. I was even luckier, because a few of my classmates and friends from high school were in the same city.

Friday, May 26, 2017

My Current Top 7 Guilty Pleasures

Usually, I post my second blog of the week on Thursdays, but this week I wasn't able to. Why not?

Because I finally had my orientation at Walmart so I can start working! It was a quick orientation, only lasting just around two hours instead of the suggested length of three hours or even longer. There were about sixteen of us going through orientation, and though the majority was cashiers, there were a lot of different positions represented. As far as I know, I was the only dairy and frozen food associate, though.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dirt Track State of Mind

If you follow me on Instagram, you're going to have an idea of what this post is about. If you don't follow me on Instagram, you should head over and follow me @ CreativeCleverBeautiful. That way you'll be able to keep up to date too!

Despite the fact that I was supposed to be resting this week, I've spent three out of four nights over the long weekend out. And, we were out last Tuesday, too. Where could we possibly be going that Matt could drag me out of bed with my back pain? The dirt track. Or, more correctly, the dirt tracks.

Last Tuesday, we headed out to the Merritville Speedway to watch the Go Kart races. It was fairly uneventful, because the Go Karts are on the small track, and it's really only fairly young kids up to teenagers. But, our friend Kat was racing, and we had yet to see her race, and it was nice to be out of the house.

It was really starting to feel like summer, but that may have been because it was a shorter night than the weekend races and it didn't really get dark while we were there. Unfortunately, I was unprepared to go out, and my phone was dying so I couldn't really take any photos while I was there.

The photo I did get was a rather concerning one though:

While we were sitting in the grandstands, Matt reached down and said "huh".

When I asked him what was wrong, he pulled his hand back to reveal a random nut. Because, you know, that's always what you want to see while sitting in a contraption of metal and wood more than just a few feet off the ground.

The good news is that we did not experience the collapse of the grandstands, and we were able to see the races finished.

However, that helped Matt get it into his head that we needed to head out to Oshweken Speedway on Friday night. We left as soon as we could after Matt got home from work on Friday night, to make the hour and a bit drive out to Oshweken. One of the great things about Oshweken is that the regular admission is the same as it is for Merritville, but with better facilities and a little more excitement.

We were a little late to the show, but we made it just in time to see Dan McKay (#13) in his mini-stock heat. Dan is Matt's friend from college, they're in the same program, and definitely united for the love of cars and redneck car-based sports. Matt's been helping Dan get his car up to racing condition, and helping after the various issues that have come up since then.

Monday, May 22, 2017

This Week in Nail Art: Inspiration

If you read my post on Thursday this week, you'll know that I spent an evening at Urgent Care and ended up with some pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and a recommendation of almost-bed-rest. As a result, I have gotten absolutely nothing done this week. I didn't even get anything done for my nails this week. I didn't even paint my nails a single colour at any time this week, so I can't show you anything. But, I have been working on some ideas for what I'd like to try in the coming weeks.

Over the past few weeks, I've spent a lot of time going through various stores. Whenever Matt's at work and I need to go somewhere, I have to leave early in the morning with him and spent the rest of the day doing something else. I'll wander around whatever stores are nearby, even though I don't have money to buy anything. I've found a few things that have appealed to me, especially some nail art stuff because I'm trying to expand my collection so I can try more different styles and designs.

I'm going to interject right here to say that I started writing this yesterday, on Sunday, but this long weekend has really slid past me. I thought I had time to get it done, and then all of a sudden it was 1:00 am, and I needed to get to bed. Instead, I'm finishing the post now.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Adventures in Health Care

Last night, I had another adventure with health care in the Niagara Region.

For the past few weeks, I've been dealing with pretty strong back pain. In fact, it's been about four or maybe even five weeks since it started. It's bad enough pain that it hurts to bend over, pick stuff up, twist, walk up/down stairs, jump, reach, sit up, stand up, and pretty much anything else. You can imagine how difficult that makes it for me to do my daily activities. I've been trying to rest and let it get better, because I didn't specifically injure it at any point in time.

But, as the weeks go by, it wasn't getting any better, and for most of yesterday, it was extremely painful and worse than it had been. Normally, I would go to my family doctor, but the only doctor I have down here at the moment is the school clinic doctor who I can't see right now because I'm between schools. I also would have chosen a walk-in clinic as my next option, but I don't drive and Matt was at work, which meant I wouldn't be able to get a drive to the next town over for the walk-in clinics before they closed. So, when Matt did get home that meant I'd have to go to the Urgent Care Center.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Big News!

If you've been around for the past week, you probably remember that I mentioned I had some big news coming, but that you'd have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to find out what. Well, guess what? Tuesday is finally here!

So, what's the big news?

Well, I'm sitting out here in Matt's car in the Walmart parking lot, because I had a meeting with the store manager at 12:15 pm, and I got a job offer!

Unless something crazy happens with my background check, I'll be starting soon as a Dairy and Frozen Food Associate. Walmart Canada offers a competitive wage to all staff, so I actually will be making above minimum wage for the first time in my life. It's pretty exciting, and I'm happy it only took me this long to find a job.

The best part about being offered a job at Walmart, though, is that it's not just a summer job, it's a part-time permanent position!

That means I'll be able to keep working here in the fall, when I'm in school, and have less financial stress.

It's an all around great day, and now I've just got to wait for background check to go through and then orientation will start.

And today, I'll be waiting for Matt to get off work and we'll be getting lunch together on his break.

One of my favorites today, Quesada burritos. We haven't had them in months and I needed something special today!

I hope you're all having a great week so far! More posts upcoming this week!

-Erika Elise

Sunday, May 14, 2017

This Week In Nail Art: What Am I Wearing?

This week's nail art post is going to be short and sweet. All I've got for you today is the photos of what I had on my nails this week.

I've got Nicole by OPI's The Next CEO, and my brand new CND Creative Play polish in Cherry Glo Round. They look really cool in all different lights, and I'm super happy with the results.

It's a really fun colour, and I like it enough that I'm planning on using it again this week to put on my nails before I head in for my third interview! Oh wait, you don't know about that yet... You'll have to come back Tuesday afternoon to hear about what I'm talking about. It's still a little secret for now!

I hope you're all having a wonderful Mother's Day with those you love. It's a busy weekend for sure.

-Erika Elise

Friday, May 12, 2017

Life With Chronic Illness: Doctors Everywhere

In the past two weeks, I've had more doctor's appointments than I have had in a long time. I was lucky enough to see a whole bunch of specialists and get tests that I haven't had the chance to before. Nothing has really been too conclusive yet, but they're all steps along the way.

The first appointment I had last week was a consult with a non-invasive cardiologist, who also has credentials in internal medicine and gerontology. In fact, when I first found out what doctor I was going to see and looked him up, I was a little taken aback by the fact that I was referred to a gerontologist. After all, I'm not even twenty yet!

That appointment went pretty well. The doctor I saw was older than any of my previous doctors, but he seemed to be very up to date on new medicine. That made me very happy, because living with chronic illness means that there often isn't a lot of information out there, and the information there is available is often very new. It can be hard to find a doctor who is even willing to read the newer studies, let alone one who is already caught up.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Catch Up & Pinterest Dump #2

Now that I'm back to writing for the blog, I've got to get you all caught up on what's been going on in my life lately. It's been pretty busy, and it actually seems to have made it harder to write, because it's overwhelming. There's just so much to choose from, and so many things to tell.

While I've been hiding from responsibility, I've been on Pinterest. It's just such a great way for me to avoid stress, and not have to deal with my problem of getting back to the blog.

So, today, I'm going to give you a list of what posts will be coming up soon, and then I'm going to show you some more Pinterest recipes and posts that I've been looking at.

First things first, here are the posts that I will be writing soon:

Sunday, May 07, 2017

This Week in Nail Art: CND Vinylux

This week, I got my package in the mail from ChickAdvisor Premium! Matt bought me the subscription for our anniversary back in March, and I've been waiting to receive it. It was full of all sorts of goodies, and I was excited to finally get it.

I actually got three bottles of nail polish in it, but this week I'm sharing two of them with you:

The CND Vinylux Weekly Polish and Weekly Topcoat. The polish is in the shade Blush Teddy, which I already absolutely adore.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

A Moment of Honesty

I know that I said I would be back after this Wednesday to my regular blogging schedule, but unfortunately, things didn't go how I expected them to.

Wednesday was the exam for my upgrading math course.

It was a self-learning course that I started in February. I meant to get more of the work done ahead of time, but I ended up finishing thirteen lessons within the 20 days leading up to the exam. It was going pretty well, and the first thirteen lessons were marked before I started the exam, with an average of 92%. It should have gone well.

It really should have. But, it didn't.

I should have put more time during the college semester working on it gradually, and I probably should have focused more in the last week of the course. I should have spent time reviewing my past lessons, and making sure I remembered all of the lessons.

I was overwhelmed. I was really, really overwhelmed. I was more overwhelmed than I was with the entire school year.

In the past two weeks, I have had worse anxiety than I can every remember having. Usually, I can just work through it and I'll be alright, but that didn't happen this time. I was stressed and upset quite a bit, and the day of my exam things went even worse.

I woke up, and when I went to walk down the stairs to go shower and have something to eat, I hit my head on the ceiling of the staircase. Not only did I hit my head, but I hit a nail in the ceiling and split my scalp open. I thought I was alright at first, but then I reached up to touch my hair and it was wet. I was bleeding, fairly badly. I actually had blood pouring down my face.

I had to hold pressure on it for ten minutes before it would stop, and I couldn't stop panicking, because I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital to get stitches. I was panicking about it because not only did I have my exam at 6:00 pm, but I had a doctor's appointment that afternoon. Cancelling the doctor's appointment would have cost me $75.00. I knew by then that it wasn't going to be a good day.

But, the bleeding stopped. So, I took a shower, and I started working on the last lesson for my math class. I didn't get it finished, but I figured I would have three hours after my doctor's appointment to finish it and finish studying.

Matt's stepdad drove me to my appointment and I arrived fifteen minutes early, and I waited. I waited, and I waited, and I waited. My appointment time came, and then it went by. I waited more, and more. Other people came and went, and I was still waiting.

I finally got called in half an hour after my appointment time. The appointment went pretty well, and I got some options and next steps, but that's not the point of this story. I didn't get out of the appointment until more than an hour and a half after my intended appointment time. So, I didn't get home until after 4:00 pm.

I tried to finish my math lesson quickly, but before I knew it, it was time to drive to school where my exam was taking place.

On the drive there, I managed to get another cut that bled quite a bit. I thought maybe I would luck out because that was the third bad thing to happen to me that day, and we always hear that bad things come in threes.

Finally, we got there and I got to my exam. There was one other person who was writing an exam that day, and we were both writing the same Advanced Functions exam.

It was only three pages long, just seventeen questions. The problem was that as I looked at these questions, my mind was almost completely blank. I couldn't remember how to solve any of the problems.

And, there was no happy ending here. I could barely finish the exam, but I tried to write something down for each of the questions. It was horrible and embarrassing. It absolutely killed me to hand it in like that.

I don't know if I even made the 50% I need to have passed the whole course. I have no idea. All of that work may have been for nothing. And, if it was for nothing, then I am no longer eligible for admission to the program I was supposed to start in the fall.

And, there's nothing left for me to do about it. Wednesday was the last day of the program for this year, and there are no retakes.

I am left here waiting for the answer, to find out if I can continue into the Medical Sciences program or if I need to find something new to do in September.

It sucks. It hurts a lot. I don't really know what to do.

So, I took a few more days off. I needed time to recoup and work on my mental health. It hasn't been great, and it's important to take time to take care of ourselves. I'm working on getting back on schedule now, but I needed some more days of quiet. I hope you can understand that. There's lots for me to talk about now, and I hope you'll keep coming back over the summer as things will pick up on the blog!

I've missed writing for it here, so there's lots yet to come.

Here's to being honest, and the uncertainty of what's yet to come.

-Erika Elise