It has been a year since I have updated this page. Many things have happened. I am still in the thesis phrase of my Masters and really trying to finish it this year. It has been an arduous journey.
It started with illness in which I was very sick and got vertigo twice in a month. I suffered from anxiety and depression and then my health began to decline. I took a break from school to deal with my health, in which I subsequently change jobs and careers. This saved my life and I was rejuvenated and ready to finish this program. Then, my mother suffered a stroke in August 2015. I had already delayed school and thought I would be able to handle taking care of her and completing school. I managed to finish two quarters; however, struggled with the last quarter, prompting a withdrawal from the quarter. It had become overwhelming. On top of my other illnesses, my sister (younger) suffers from a sevevre mental illness. I have committed her to hospitals during manic episodes and have tried to get her into rehabs (she self-medicates through drugs and alcohol) and programs to stabilize her. My grandparents were helping; however, began to have relationship problems resulting in my grandmother leaving my grandfather in June 2016.
My life has always had some family drama but this was a breaking point and I just couldn’t hold it together. Working full time, going to school, maintaining my relationship, and taking care my crazy family, was just too much!
My grandmother took my mother with her to Florida to visit relatives, after she left my grandfather. A part of me was relieved because I would finally have help and would be able to complete school, thus having the focus to properly take care of my sister; however, this was not the case. My mother and grandmother got in a terrible car accident in Florence, South Carolina. This all happened in June 2016.
Eventually, they ended up completing their journey to Florida to stay with relatives. However, these relatives did not have the best intentions. I flew to Florida several times to check on my grandmother and mother. Navigating through Medicare, Medicaid, insurance, attorneys, and maintaining complicating relationships in order to protect my grandmother and mother, I was exhausted and unable to focus on myself. I gave up on trying to complete school and my dreams.
While in Flordia my mother suffered a seizure and my grandmother broke her hip. My cousin had been manipulative and withholding information causing more problems and tensions. Eventually, I flew down in December 2016 and flew back with both my mother and grandmother. It was a crazy day because I flew 3600 miles in one day. It was the first time my grandmother and mother have ever been on a plane but I was so happy to finally have them back but I knew my life was going to be harder.
It is still hard… but things are better, I was able to get services and my mother in a facility. I also recognized that my mother has mental health and brain injuries due to the accident and the stroke; It is hard because it is just me.
Meanwhile, I am trying to finish school and move forward in my career. I realized that shit will always be there and always happen. There is no perfect time and I can’t keep delaying my dreams. It is hard because I will be 32 next week (I know I started this blog when I was 25) and I feel like I have not moved in the past 5 years. It plays on the insecurities I have and the feeling a being a failure. I know I am not a failure and I know that society cannot dictate the “right time” where I should be in my life…but it is still there. That feeling of you could and should do better. One day, this inner voice won’t be so loud and I will be able to enjoy where I am in life.
Despite the setbacks, the family, and my own mental health, I am hopeful for 2018! I have already reached out to my academic advisor and know that I can finish by March 2018. It is just a matter of staying focus and motivated! Although I feel I have struggled over the past 5 years, I had done a lot to increase my reputation in the art world and found other arts administrators like myself to look up too. I am back! I will continue to write for this blog because I hope it will help someone and provide encouragement when everything seems to fall apart. I am not perfect nor will I ever be, but I am determined! Thank you for sticking with on this crazy journey!