When sound sensitivity disturbs sleep

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It happened again. In the pitch blackness of my room I am now awake. Whereas a second ago I was immersed in a deep sleep, now I’m jolted awake.

My heart rate takes off, pounding against my chest. That panicked feeling of everyone has begun working on a project but you got caught in a daydream when you snap to attention and realize you’re behind and better start working right now. That kind of panic sets in.

So I’m awake. My heart’s beating super fast. And then I hear it. The thumping sound that somehow matches my heart beat. A sound that I can feel reverberating in my chest, right alongside my heart. But this sound isn’t in my bedroom. It’s coming from overhead. It’s the reason I’m now alert. My neighbor is awake.

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Poem: Road Ahead is Closed (revisited)

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Are there any girls who didn’t pretend to be a mermaid in the swimming pool?

This was the first poem that I shared on this blog. It was written during the fall semester of my junior year in college. I decided to share it since it had to deal with swimming, and I had finished describing various types of therapy and sports I had tried. All of those were attempts to find something to engage my body and work on the physical skills I needed to improve.

Before I go any further, are there people who didn’t make up scenarios when they were swimming in the pool? Role play various problems with a group of friends? Is that a girl thing or just me?

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Learning through example of family life

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As junior year began, I no longer had 8 am classes yet I wanted to continue going to daily mass. There was some relief. The time was changed to 7, so I could sleep in some!

The later time brought in a new demographic of the parish. No longer solely retirees and individuals rushing off to work, now there were also mothers with children. The home schooling crowd.

There was a wide range in ages. I was impressed by their reverence, how serious they were about being there. The younger ones weren’t always cooperative; they are human of course. Generally speaking, though, they seemed to have a greater sense of awareness of what was going on than I did at that age.

Introductions were made. Though life was busy and chaotic for them, I was fortunate to meet women who had found a sense of calm within their routines so they could be open to welcoming a stranger.

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Talking back to the doubts and the inner critic

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I recently addressed the topic of self-worth here  and It got me thinking of other doubts I allow to roam freely in my mind. I decided to lasso up as many as I could and confront them directly.

In no particular order, these relate to personal matters as well as with my writing.

Accusation: You’re not good enough.

TRUTH: This pops up under a variety of circumstances. Every time it’s clearly untrue: I’m competent at my job. I have friends and family who love and care about me. And the only real way people have asked me to change is to embrace and love myself more.

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Night of glory on the basketball court

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As I mentioned before, “D” and I spent a lot of time during the fall semester of junior year meeting up to play basketball. I also continued with my running routine.

To celebrate “D’s” birthday, he gathered 10 friends together to play basketball in the coliseum where our school team played. It was the closest I’d get to playing for college. It was a big court and completely intimidating to walk on that court. While it wasn’t filled with spectators, I was amazed to find that all those empty seats eventually faded into the background and it became like playing on any other court.

I was the only female. It was cool to have a chance to play with the guys. Before we got started, though, I’m sure some of them wondered what I was doing there. Possibly thinking I was intruding on their boys’ night.

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Life is more than drafting a hypothesis

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I love these images! They’re relevant for illustrating the idea of sitting with questions and letting them almost hold you hostage, rather than as a starting point for consideration and then action.

At the start of junior year, I continued going to daily Mass, even though I no longer had 8 a.m. classes. I had come to appreciate the benefits of beginning my day in this way.

On my birthday, I remember contemplating once again if I was being called to religious life. With a brother in seminary, that question popped up more frequently.

In the middle of this internal questioning, a religious sister walked in the chapel. I had never seen her before. What does this mean? And then another entered. And another. Maybe seven total. Ok, God, is this a coincidence or are you trying to give me an answer? I was always questioning. There was no sense of being at peace and allowing things to unfold. I obsessed about wanting clear answers.

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Depression and boosting self-confidence: Extreme efforts don’t last

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At the end of sophomore year, I started running near campus. I had gained weight at college. Somehow I forgot that my eating habits needed to change from high school. Those two hours of basketball practice every day, five days a week really made a difference! Imagine that. My interest in that fall semester basketball course was an effort to help me regain focus of being physically active.

I had never been interested in running as its own activity; I hated it as a form of conditioning in high school. But I gave it a chance anyway. Somehow, I came to enjoy the rush of adrenaline, well, after the “I hate myself for doing this” wave passed.

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Poem: 5 o’clock on Eden Terrace

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I spent a lot of time on the weekends at the lake. Well, what passed for a lake during college. The sports complex included the coliseum for basketball and volleyball games, a baseball field and many other facilities. There was also a lake surrounded with plenty of grassy spots and trees for shade. I brought a blanket, some snacks and my books and attempted to get some studying done outside. I was never as productive as I hoped to be, usually distracted by the passing ducks, but at least I got out of my dorm room.

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When you get friend-zoned (with poem)

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To recap: I had an experience in college where a guy showed interest in me but I didn’t feel the same way. Then there was an experience where positive things were happening on both sides (at the very least they were some indicators of potential), but nothing developed. So it’s fitting to have a third kind of relationship, the unrequited type.

I met “D” in an intermediate basketball class. I wanted something fun and active for the semester. Honestly it should have been considered a beginner’s course, considering how much time was spent on the history of the game and other theoretical information and how little was actually played on the court.

After that class ended, I started seeing “D” more frequently on campus. Instead of exchanging phone numbers, he asked for my screen name because AOL instant messaging (AIM) was the popular mode for online communication.

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Brotherly advice wins out

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My brother Andrew is two years older than me, but he was three grade levels ahead because I repeated 4K.

He finished two years of college before deciding he felt called to be a priest. He made the decision to continue that discernment process by entering the seminary. So as I began my senior year of high school, he started seminary.

My parents and I had some indication this might be the right direction for him, so it wasn’t a total shock. But he was dating someone at the time, so he had to break that off.

I was very proud of my brother. Proud of him for taking such a big leap and giving himself a chance to see if this was the right path. I was proud of him for going through formation and receiving a proper education, more relevant for priestly responsibilities than what he would receive at a public university.

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