So I promised that I would give an update of what happened while I was not here. And a number of things did happen.
In November, I applied to my first grad school. This I announced in my last post before I came back. I did not apply for another one until December. The problem? Money. With it being the holiday season, and I having only been at my job for a few months, I had not the savings that I needed to be able to pay for a) application fees and b) transcript processing. The drive to work was killing my gas tank and I wasn’t able to save much money for anything I did. So the second place I applied was the school I graduated from, Arizona State University. The defeated feeling I felt from having to do this was strong and likely kept me from being social for a while. I probably hedged out friendships and pushed people away, some of whom aren’t going to come back. At the time I couldn’t help it, but it didn’t make anything better. So, December was a slow spiral for me. December was also when I abandoned my attempt at making a very good writing sample for my applications, and instead revamped an old paper into a much better paper [You can read it here!]. This was still a lot of work, mind you, but it means that I still have not written my paper on player styles. It will probably become one of my seminar papers.
If you interpreted that last line right, then you might surmize that I eventually got accepted to a grad program. No, not at Madison like I wanted, but here at ASU. I eventually realized that this was a good place for me for my Masters degree. I have misgivings about how little I know about the art of writing and conducting research. As such, I feel that honing those skills where I have friends and where the environment is familiar will benefit me overall. Besides, there are still things for me in Arizona. I did not find out about the acceptance until March and I have yet to find out if there will be anything like a loan coming my way from financial aid. Nevertheless, I have accepted and registered for classes.
Another thing that happened in March was that I got hired. Finally. I had been a temp at my job since mid-July. They promised month after month that I would be hired, and it finally happened. Not only that, but it came with a big raise, along with increased responsibility. I am now a salaryman, which can make things tough after so much of the weekly paycheck. My salary is shocking to me. I never thought I’d make as much as I do. It’s still small in comparison to some people, true, but I definitely am feeling the new income.
So much so that I bought a “new” car, and I moved into a new apartment. I no longer have to drive 36 miles one way to work. Now it is 8 miles. And the traffic is better. I can make it in 20 minutes if I try hard. My car is brand new. I just bought it. It’s a 2006 Mazda 3 Hatchback. I am currently under the pressure of car payments and other such things. I have, therefore, started doing something like budgeting (I use an online budgeting service to keep track of things now). It’s scary. Especially since my current roommate has decided to move to the Northwest, back to her home, and I’m looking at the potential of swinging an $800 two-bedroom apartment by myself. I know I won’t be able to do it for too long, though, so here’s hoping that a new roommate is on the way.
Another note, in January I first started talking to someone who has fast become one of my best friends. Never have I known someone who made me as comfortable as he does, which is a great quality for friends. It’s too bad he’s taken, but there are other prospects on the horizon there. This new friend of mine holds the accolade of being the first person to get me to feel comfortable enough to drink, and he managed to get me a little bit drunk, even. This is a major life event as I’d never touched the stuff my entire life. So far, though, my thoughts are that I haven’t found a drink that actually tastes any good to me. I also haven’t tried many. I didn’t suddenly lush up overnight, after all.
Overall, I was pretty down in the dumps until sometime in February or March, when I finally started feeling happy again. And these days I’m pretty happy with my life, if not at all still wishing I could chase some of the dreams I still have. So that was the last six months, done very briefly. The next six months are going to be an interesting ride.