Thursday, April 28, 2011

Been a while

This has not been the easiest of winter/springs. Certainly not rough on the scale of Meggies, I know, but rough all the same. Battling depression, ADHD (without meds), and low-self-esteem is no joke. The upshot is........i tend to lie. Why? because I can't face the truth, since what I desperately WANT to be true and what is actually true seem so far apart to me, I tend to try to go with what I wish were true. And those that i could probably most gain support from are the same people I most am terrified to "let down" - so i freeze up. And when I freeze up, I pretend nothing at all is wrong, even when others probably know I am lying through my teeth. But most of all, I lie to myself. I act as if my life were just like I perceive everyone else's to be - i.e. not always on the edge of disaster.

Unfortunately, that sort of thinking eventually catches up with one. And if it were the first time, it would be a case of "live and learn". But this is far from the first time that i have been caught in the same trap. It doesn't matter that the economy over the past 4 years has exacerbated the problem, that I chose the exact wrong time to abandon one career and attempt to embark on a new one (one that was ill-chosen, no less. ask ANYBODY who really knows me, and they will tell you i am not lawyer-material. advocate? yes. "counselor"? definitely. Lawyer? no way - and then there is that little "sit-and-pass-the-bar" hurdle that i can't get past for at least 3 reasons i can think of and probably several more to boot.)

right now, i am working two part-time jobs. one I love. I just started teaching as a paralegal instructor based on my law degree. it is low-pay and a tremendous amount of work - 4-week concentrated classes involving 12-teaching-hours per week and a tremendous amount of material to cover in that time, but I love it. I just wish it paid better, so that i could concentrate solely on it. The other problem with it is that i am contracted month-by-month, and there is never any guarantee that I will be teaching every month (I got the month of April "off" for example, when the course I was going to teach was cancelled.)

The other part-time job is in my "old" profession - the one that I originally pursued and from which I burnt out not once but THREE times before I finally said "enough" and tried to burn all my bridges to it by going to law school.....but when i graduated and failed the bar, nobody would hire me. I tried for over a year, and then tried to go back to my old profession: school psychology. don't get me wrong. i was honestly good at what i did. i consider myself a "diagnostician" - i honestly love kids, i ADORE testing them and trying to figure out how their brains work and what sorts of learning difficulties they are running up against. i love testing them, talking with them, working with them. i even like the part where i talk with their parents about what I found out about their child (generally things they already intuitively knew) but in terms that might help them understand and be able to work with their kid at home a bit better.

what burnt me out about school psych? 1) administration(s). my view of my role and their number-crunching often clashed. not only that, but never was there any sort of realistic support; nobody ever had my back. ever. not in the school setting. and even when i worked clinical, the demands finally outweighed what i had tried to do and overwhelmed me so that i once again felt isolated and alienated.

regardless, in the past 3 years since leaving law school, i have once again attempted to return to school psych. the first attempts, granted, was a disaster. a company for whom i had worked in the past and vowed to never again work for. the second try was for a school district, and i signed on with the understanding that it was only until the end of the year. i had hoped to parlay that into something more permanent, but - despite the very positive feedback i got from the high school principal and assistant principal both - my actual boss found sufficient flaws to not recommend me for the upcoming part-time position. Ironic, really, since she had seen less of me in action than the principals had - but that is what i mean by politics. However, if i had stayed there, i would never had been able to teach paralegal - and that WOULD have been a shame.

Currently, i am working for a smaller independent company that supplies psychs and speech paths to charter schools in the area. This, too, has been not without its challenges. I was placed in a school that was already behind right from the get-go, and given less than sufficient time to fully meet the legal timeline demands placed on me. I screwed up several months in by not requesting assistance when i should have. when it came out, i apologized and did my level best to not only correct the problem (while working the second job that i'd picked up in december) - but to communicate better. despite these efforts, several other things out of my control occurred and .........long story short? the principal finally revealed her true identity as Dolores Umbridge. She managed to get my boss (a Cornelius Fudge type if ever there was one) to pull me from the school as a scape-goat. the problem was.......i WASN'T the problem. However - it matters not to her. I was convenient, I had admittedly screwed up before, and she needed someone that wasn't her - or someone she'd personally hired - to blame.

Miss Cornelius, however, wants desperately to believe she can save that school for her company (despite the solid rumors going around that it is my COMPANY they want gone, not me personally). Therefore, she's torn between giving me other assignments and believing Dolores. Upshot? I have in effect lost that part-time job.

Why am I spilling all this out on a knitting-project blog, you ask? Well, ok - the vodka might have something to do with it. But the truth is.......the troubles I am going through - work, financial, personal (and yeah - there is more to the story than i have told here) - they all get poured into my knitting. I think about the "troubles" that have plagued Ireland for so long. my own struggles are nothing compared to that. yet there is a similar longing for freedom, for peace. for a sense of belonging. these are going into my next part of my shawl, as I start on "Part 3" (picked up the stitches tonight.)

wish me luck.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Imperfections or creativity.....or both

I had a really rough month of January on the work front. Even as I am embracing a new venture, both my old profession and all of my "lovely" baggage has reared up to haunt me.

In the midst of this, I started the hood.

I loved the cable pattern for the facing. Even though I don't have a heart-sister, I look at it as a reminder that I am loved; that there are those whose hearts touch mine: a very real and needed reminder in the past couple of weeks, especially.

One of my hearts isn't perfect. Last post, I called it a "mairflaw." At that point, I had already frogged back to the beginning after having done one entire repeat of the pattern and noticed that something had gone terribly amiss. This second time, I was almost completely done with the facing when I noticed the error. I decided to leave it - after all, my heart isn't perfect either, but it is surrounded by much love.

I wanted to do both the Red Riding Hood pattern and the angels. After having read others mulling over this, I decided to try for a fade-out of the boxes. While the boxes have a different meaning for me than for Meggie, they do have meaning.

In our house, growing up, as kids, we wanted "big" presents, like all kids do. But sometimes, presents are big in heart rather than size. So sometimes my dad would take a tiny (but meaningful/wanted/precious) gift, such as a necklace or a favorite small toy, and put it in a box. And wrap the box. And put that box in another box. And wrap the box. And put that in ANOTHER box......until the tiny gift was one of the largest presents there. He didn't do it always, but when he did, both my brother and I would get excited, partly for the fun of unwrapping all those boxes, and partly because we knew that the payoff would be something worth the wait.

So, for me, these boxes "wrap" me.

The angels were surprisingly fun to do! They brought back memories of my grandparents. I only ever had one set; both my dad's parents died before I was born. Mom's folks were wonderful, tho. Even though for most of my life, they lived a nation away in Arizona, we still saw them at least once a year, and sometimes twice, and when they came, they stayed for a week, sometimes two. Occasionally, we even got to go visit them.

I was particularly close with my grandpa. He died just shy of 98 4 years ago. I have no doubt he is watching over all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren (not to mention his two girls!) and I know just which one of the angels is his. Grandpa was always looking down at his lists - so the one of my angels with its head bobbing down more than the other? that is Grandpa!

Here's a bit of what it looks like altogether. I was really excited about grafting the angels onto the hood, because i used a variation of a three-needle bindoff to do it - one that called for only two needles, as the angel piece was not on needles at that point. I'm thrilled at the way it came out, despite some clear imperfections in centering the angel piece and making the grafting perfectly neat. I prefer to think of it as creative - and as long as it is functional, I'm thrilled.

I've cast on the hat next - in a contrasting yarn color, just for fun.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

steady but slow

i knitted almost all day on Saturday and got the facing done. It is a little hard to see the cabling pattern clearly because of the shade of the yarn, I think, but I am pleased. I made a cable-mistake very early on but didn't notice it until I was almost done with the 27-inch strip. So I decided just to leave it as a little mair-flaw. I have a little mair-flaw like that in almost every cabling piece I have done. Hopefully, that will be the only one! I liken it to that artist that writes NINA in his pics - something for others to have fun looking for.

It was wonderful to have an entire day just to knit. It has been a VERY long time since that happened - since I picked up this second job, actually. But with the long weekend and the fact that I didn't have any overdue reports (for once), I was able to take the day and enjoy the cabling. Although - somebody posted that cables done without cable needles actually come out somewhat differently than those done with them. And here i was all proud of the fact that I have finally learned how to cable without needing the special needle! Maybe for the next spate of cabling, I'll dredge up my Harmony cable needle (wish they still made those!) and use it.

I've started on the hood proper. I'm doing the "boxes" for I love the symbolism and I appreciate the weave pattern as I am not a huge fan of long stretches of purling, which you get with stockinette stitch. However, I am still considering ways of being able to do the special back part of the hood. LOL - that is me, wanting to do it all!

Now, if only I can convince both my jobs that really, my time is better spent knitting....

Pics have been taken. They will be posted as soon as I find that bloody cord (or get out to Walmart for an SD card reader).

Friday, January 28, 2011

Finally Starting!

I'm quite excited - my yarn and needles from Knitpicks finally came! Not that Knitpicks was overly long in shipping; I have just been excited (and finally had a bit of extra money to be able to get the yarn).

I"ve gotten 48 skeins of Wool Of The Andes in cobblestone heather.

I'm quite excited to finally begin! This month has been long, hard, and grueling, with almost no knitting as a result. To have a lovely Irish cape to start with good wool and my favorite sorts of needles is such a treat!

I'm choosing to go with the checkered hood. Not only do I like the look of it, but I love the story behind it.

Ireland has been near and dear to my heart since I was 4 years old and spent 6 weeks there. Not that I remember THAT much of it, but enough! It doesn't hurt that I am Scotch/Irish on both sides of my family (rounding that out with German and a bit of English as well)

I'll post pics when I can, but I wanted to start my blog NOW *grin*