Wednesday! Time for the big Mardi Gras/Lunar New Year/Valentine’s Day celebration to commence in the Horton household. If anyone needs me, which they probably won’t, I will not be available again until next Friday when my hangover is hopefully gone. Just kidding, of course.
I’m just going to be watching the OFFICIAL Mardi Gras Parade Livestream every night for the next 7 days. Our Yote Marching Band is rolling with Endymion on Saturday and Orpheus on Monday (WHICH IS LITERALLY THE COOLEST THING OF ALL TIME) so I will be probably be seen in public wearing an evening gown and beads on one of those two nights. I think I will probably go out for Lundi Gras and spend Saturday night at home in a lime green wig with a plate of Chinese food and a rum-spiked smoothie in a plastic go-cup. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. As for Valentine’s Day, well, what can I say? I love Me. <3 My plan is to eat chocolate and take a bubble bath. What else did you expect? Another trip to the Island of Lost Guys? No thank you!
Superb Owl? What is a Superb Owl? It’s Mardi Gras, ya’ll! Nothing else matters! And we are ringing in the Year of the Wood Dragon, aka a new 12-year cycle in my life, in the most exciting way possible! With beads and feathers and masks and jazz! Joy and happiness and fun! Life at its fullest! May every year of my next cycle be filled with the spirit of Carnival!
This is how I make my dreary, sad, meaningless life more interesting. And it works!
Otherwise, how is the routine going? Oy, well, it’s been interesting. My little sister has taken it upon herself to hold me accountable to my job hunt, so she spent some time with my resume last night in an effort to talk me up. That’s quite nice to have for once. I literally spend 90% of my time alone staring at a screen. The only time I have any real, actual human interaction outside of my brother is when I go downtown. As we all know, that type of interaction is usually either transactional, fake, hostile, and/or ridiculous. Not for real. None of those people actually care about me. They’re all talking shit as soon as I turn my back! So, yeah, it’s nice to have someone checking in to hold me accountable. That’s actually really helpful and motivating. Who knew the secret to success is real human connection?
I wasn’t sure how today was going to be when I designed my routine for the week. I left it blank at first so it could be a “check in on how you feel” type of day. I’ve been so exhausted all week and couldn’t figure out why. Today I discovered it’s because of my Moon. It has arrived three days earlier than the day I predicted The PMS Meltdown. Strange. Had to go back and ask my brother if I had an angry meltdowns last week. He said no, but I was *way* more depressed than usual. Okay, so it’s manifesting like that now. That’s… a good thing? Maybe? Anything is better than anger. Anything. Hmm. And here I thought I was just disappointed about latest shipwreck on the Island. Guess it was just hormones. Noted.
My sleep was disrupted again, so I decided to lay in bed doing Yoga Nidra instead of getting up and going to a yoga class. Felt like that was what I needed more at that moment. When I finally got up, I looked at my planner to figure out the easy tasks I can take care of while I’m in First Day of Moon Mode. I shouldn’t be doing anything, but I have to do something to stay accountable to this routine, so I will clean my kitchen and fold laundry. All day, just folding laundry. Folding laundry and reciting mantras. So exciting. I know the Positivity Mantra thing is cheesy, but it really does work. If you tell yourself you’re awesome for XYZ reasons over and over without any interruption, you start to believe it. That’s really helpful when you’re staring down the total and complete douchebaggery that is LinkedIn.
I also did an activity yesterday that made me feel surprisingly confident. I took a shortened practice test version of the Foreign Service Exam. This is a test that 4 out of 5 people fail miserably. I am one of those people, lol. I took it once in college and left the room with my tail between my legs. This time, I was just kinda curious, so I decided to see how I would do with it a decade or so later. I only failed with a 51%! That’s without studying or prepping or anything. 51%! The glass is literally half full. I already know half of what I need to know to pass that exam. That’s awesome. Some of those questions felt like I would have known that had I studied first. I should study and take it for real and see how much I fail by.
Keep in mind, this was a random practice test, so the questions were centered on History, Economics, and Management. The idea was to take this test and examine your weakest areas so you know what to study when you’re prepping for the real test. I wasn’t taking it very seriously. It was some random thing I found on Google. I was in bed wearing my pajamas. I just wanted to see where I stand.
First they hit me with a bunch of hardball questions about South America. This was frustrating because I have only recently started studying the history of South America and there’s a pretty big gap between the Pre-Colombian Era, the Age of Exploration, the Treaty of Tordesillas, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Operation Condor. So, yeah, that was annoying but it didn’t intimidate me because I’m just not there yet in my studies. Then they asked about Asia, which is like… hit or miss. I knew what the capital of China was in 1923, but couldn’t remember how many countries border it. Lesson learned on that one! Next time just look at a map! Then they hit me with a bunch of questions about Ancient History, which were a piece of cake. My US History knowledge is SOLID, but I’m definitely getting some of my Presidents mixed up. I mean, what do you want from me? It’s a bunch of rich, white, landowning males. After awhile, they all kinda start to look the same. US Geography and Civics were also a piece of cake.
The other two sections from this practice test were Economics and Management. As far as Economics goes, I’ve dabbled in it once or twice. I’m not a stranger to it. As I recall, I found it quite stimulating when it came up in class because it’s just the Philosophy of Money. It’s more about ideas and concepts than actual numbers. It’s just been so long since I’ve taken that class that I couldn’t remember most of the acronyms. Felt like, okay, I just need a refresher course on this and I’ll be fine.
The Management questions are what got me. I was surprised at the fact that I had an extreme reaction to some of the questions asked. Basically, they give you a scenario and ask what you would do in that situation as the leader in charge. Some of them gave me flashbacks to terrible, terrible management decisions I witnessed while working in retail/bars/restaurants/cafes/Starbucks. It was very much a, “I *KNEW* what they did was WRONG and the MF’ing US Foreign Service Exam is here to confirm it! SO THERE! SUCK ON THAT, YOU WANNABE DESPOT!” type of situation. Some of the questions I had no idea how to answer simply because I have no experience as a leader, or I had only seen poor examples of leadership set by others. I simply haven’t been given a chance to learn the right way to do things. That was when I realized… hmm… maybe I really do want to go to graduate school in France after all.
Might as well. Isn’t that the dream, Betsey? Hasn’t that been the dream all along? To live and work and study in Paris? What are you waiting for? Now is the time! Go and live your dream! You could totally get into graduate school there! You have a B1 level of French! Why? Because you studied your ass off and never gave up on it even when you struggled and some French people were kinda mean to you for no reason. Stop waffling over it and just doooo ittttt alreadyyyyy!
Okay, I will, but I also have current bills to pay and need to save up a certain amount of money to pay for my tuition, apartment, and living expenses. Right now, getting a job that pays $$$ is my my priority. Getting my financial house in order so I will be eligible for a visa and can afford a nice apartment is my priority. Being healthy is my priority. I can wait another year to apply for school. For now, I’m very focused on the short-term priorities. Then once all of these basic things are in order, I can go back to school. Seems fairly reasonable to me.
So basically, yeah, turns out taking that practice test for the Foreign Service Exam was exactly what I needed to do to motivate me. I bet I could pass it in a few more years. Once I get some proper work experience and grad school under my belt. Travel more. Keep up my languages. Make the right connections. Doesn’t feel like that far of a stretch to me. So I smoked some weed to help me manage my depression and anxiety. I applied for a medical card. It’s gonna be legal soon anyway. It’s not like I’m a criminal, you guys. It’s like a Michael Phelps-type of situation. If he can win all those Olympic medals and smoke a bong, I think he’s doing just fine.
Back to my regularly-scheduled programming now. I think I will rewatch Treme again to help me get in the mood for the season. Something fun to have on as background noise while I fold laundry, aka the most boring chore of all time. Then I can feel like I’m actually at Mardi Gras! Yayyyyyyy!
*sings* It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiime of the yearrrrr!