Life Update October 2018

The last time I published an entry was Aug 2018 and I was a few days to unemployment and waiting for my scholarship results.

It turns out, the scholarship people never got back to me and I’ve emailed them asking them what the issue was and they still didn’t reply. I thought it was pretty cruel to not tell me, especially because there is no doubt in my mind I was a great candidate. But you know what? In life you have to take what you get and move on .. so I did.

I left my old workplace anyway even if they asked me to reconsider twice. I asked myself what I would do after the PhD anyway and it would have been most probably consulting… So a week after my last day of work, I was already a registered consultant.

I spent the first month learning what I needed to do. I didn’t have clients and no money but the good thing is that I had my website and I was already up in no time.

There are many consultancies being advertised on many websites but sadly, I realized in no time that I will be competing with many of my Consultant friends who have tons of work experience and a PhD!

After much trial and error, I decided to spend a weekend working on a brochure type of thing- digital because my capital was zero. I introduced myself in that brochure, put a professional photo to make it more personal, and gave them a one pager on why they need my services and products. Another page were on the products I recommended they consider.

I emailed them my business proposal and addressed the email to their head (head’s name has to be on the email heading or no one will take your email as anything more than spam).

For the first round, I emailed about 10 businesses and didn’t hear back from any. Two weeks later I sent them a follow-up email, reiterating the importance of my products and informing them that I only had a few slots left (as in I can only do so much in a year)…. In no time, 2 businesses asked to set up meetings and one told me they will revert.

It’s not going to be easy in the beginning more than any other but those businesses being interested for me means that I just need to keep reaching out!

I’ve ordered business cards and will print out hard copy brochures and circulate those with my new prices for 2019!

Wish me luck!

Looming Unemployment and PhD Scholarship Results

Good evening friends! It’s been insane these last few weeks. I’ve gone off the pill after one year of taking it and I’ve been having weird side-effects. For now, it’s mainly the fact that I’ve been bleeding for just about 3 weeks now and have a rash on my left breast. I’ve not had them checked yet because I read that when you get off the pill, your body goes out of whack (which is why I got on them in the first place).

Perhaps another positive (maybe) side-effect if you can call it that, is that my libido is back… Not completely and on average it is still low compared to many people but ever since I got on the pill, I’ve had no interest in anyone and orgasms seem to be weak. I’m giving this another week and then I’m going to get checked before I start looking like a vampire!

On to less serious stuff… I’ve resigned and my last day is this week! I’ve taken a risk for once in my life, to give up my job for nothing concrete but I felt it was time. I’m waiting for scholarship results that should have been out by now and waiting on a few consultancies… One offer in particular. Basically, it’s one of those jobs where if the team who submitted their application (and mine as part of the team) gets it, then I get it. Otherwise, no can do. I’ve also been asked to send my CV out to a regional organization but I haven’t had the chance and I think it is better if I do after I leave the office for good.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep you updated on what happens with the whole scholarship thing. The Masters list is out already but PhD names aren’t out yet!

The Supposed 7 Stages of Grief and Me, Me, Me.

Tomorrow is the funeral of my mother’s best friend… Or one of her best friends rather. My mother’s reaction to her friend’s death has made me consider a few things about a lot of things… My anhedonia and whether this has been trickled down to me genetically (my father seems to be pretty “emotionless” as well). My self-centeredness (if I should call it that! How people react to death.

I don’t mean that I have no emotions and care about nothing but the older I get, the harder it is to reach my emotional side it seems.

Instead of mourning the loss of her friend, my mother has been talking about her own possibility of dying. She has a sore throat, chest pains etc. and has said things in the line of “maybe I’m dying” these past few days.

I understand that there are stages of grief:

I want to support my mother in less direct ways and ensuring that I pay attention to these stages of grief. When we heard that her friend was not going to make it, I think my mother went into shock and then denial quickly. If the process of grief begins upon notification that the person is going to die, then that would make sense.

In my case, I’ve made a donation to the kids (once again when I say “kids” the youngest one is around 17 and the oldest is a year older than I am). I also hugged one of the kids who passed by my house but have not yet seen the others.

I’m one of those people who do not know how to react to the living and therefore just avoid them because if it were me I would like to be left alone. I know the average person might want people to show their love and support but my reaction is based on what I would prefer and I know this is a less common reaction one would expect. But how do I know what the kids would want and need? Or how they would prefer we react? I am sure they are overwhelmed and would want time to think instead if being bombarded with hypocrisy. And let’s be honest, most people are hypocrites when people die. They mourn the loss of their own loved ones, they grieve their own losses and they cry in fear of their own lives. The only people who really care about a that specific descedning casket, are generally blood relatives and close friends.

RIP: The Ovarian Cancer Death Sentence

If you’ve been following my blog, you might have read my writing about my mother’s best friend who was diagnosed with over an cancer 3 weeks ago. The doctor’s gave her 3 months and she barely had 3 weeks. She’s gone.

This morning the lady’s kids called my mother who went rushing to the hospital. They said she was dying. My mother returned saying that the lady was “stable”. Something to note, we were told that the kids had never told her she was dying and she eventually never knew (supposedly). We don’t understand why the doctor did not tell her first and to make it her choice to tell the kids but she was (supposedly) of sound mind and the first week, she was (again, supposedly) telling her visitors at the hospital that it was just a cyst and she was going to be fine.

My younger brother had accompanied my mother and told me that compared to previous days, her breathing today in particular was rather laboured.

A little past 5 pm when we went to drop my neice at my older brother’s place, my sister and I remained in the car and my mother went it to drop my neice. My younger brother called me (he had been trying to reach my mother), telling me that the lady passed away.

My mother came back into the car smiling about something and I had the misfortune of breaking the news to her. I told her that my younger brother had been trying to reach her like crazy and then my mother said “don’t tell me…”.

So there it is. A battle we thought would have lasted 3 months never even started. I think we are still in shock. At this point, we just want to be there for the kids (all are adults now). She was 58 years old.



Be Human

My boss said something this morning that really resonates with me and I would like to share it, in hopes that maybe it allows us all to appreciate others more.

My mother is retired and earns a disability allowance from government. She has her house but of course, on the money she earns and to fix an old house, it is tedious, disheartening work- typically the type of house where you fix one thing and something else breaks, and the cycle never ends.

My siblings and I do support my mother when and where we can but we each have our own responsibilities and expenses. We live in a country where life is hard for most people and none of us are involved in corruption so life is extra tough!

Anyway, my boss advised my colleagues and I today, to ensure that when we carry out site visits in people’s homes (I do not go to homes etc. but some officers do), to not judge people, do not laugh at what we see, do not look down at people, because what we might see as garbage- an old toy, a broken fence etc. might mean the world to them, it might have taken them ages to purchase… respect everyone and everything in people’s homes.

We know this. Do we practice it? A good reminder I think… to be human.