March 2021 – Life Update

Alright. I realize that I owe you all some explanation as to where I have been, what I have been doing, or, at the very least, why I have fallen all the way off my New Year’s resolution to post weekly. The truth is fairly simple: I have been busy, tired, or wanting for a subject about which to write. More specifically…

1) Applying to medical school – Also in my New Year’s Day post, I announced that I was going to continue to move forward with my long deferred plan of applying to medical school. This is still happening. However, I am SO VERY BORED in my classes and almost failing. Of course by “almost failing” I mean getting a “B” in both physics and organic chemistry* but in the world of medical school applications the hyperbole is warranted. I am trying to engage my coursework with some level of intellectual curiosity, but on most days it just feels like hoops and busy work.

*Note: I might be less stressed if I has listened to C’s sage suggestion to just take one course. But of course I didn’t. Instead, I enrolled in two courses, each with their own separate in-person labs, with different instructors, which feels like four courses.

2) Dating – While dating during a pandemic is already pretty rough, it’s even rougher when you are back at home with your parents. While my parents are pretty darn awesome and have given me tons of space, I haven’t quite made peace with being a boomerang child (I prefer the U.N.’s “displaced person” due to natural disaster…I know); and, telling someone you just met that you are in your mid-thirties and staying with your parents is pretty much a red flag no matter how you spin it. I do have a guy that has been lurking in my life for some time now (years) but I am mostly trying to pretend I am no longer attracted to him. We will call him Dude Avery for future reference.

3) University B – I am a bit overwhelmed by work at University B at the moment; less overwhelmed by what needs to be done and more overwhelmed by my lack of real control over it. Unfortunately, when I was bored last semester, before I decided to chase my medical school dream, I allowed myself to become over involved at work. If I weren’t taking classes, it would be more than manageable, but at the moment, I am feeling tired and undervalued. My supervisor recognizes this and has given my team a couple of “comp/mental health” days that we have been able to use instead of vacation but the students still need a lot of attention at the moment and they have begun to significantly creep into my personal time. The advice I have received from mentors is to pull back, which makes sense, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet. For the moment, my plan is to let one or two things (committee assignments) to find their natural semester end, and to abstain from serving in the summer and next year.

4) Living at home – It has been pretty awesome. Unfortunately, my parents aren’t letting me pay for anything at the moment (I still forcibly buy groceries and other stuff for them), but as I have shared in the past, they are aware that I still have some student loan debt and want to support me in this way to help pay it off faster. Originally, the plan was to sign a new lease for June 1, 2021. However, now I am not so sure… (Note: My parents are very happy to have me at home and have encouraged me to stay for as long as I like.) Ultimately, I think this will be determined by the success or failure of my application to medical school. If I fail to gain acceptance to medical school, then I will certainly move out and move on with my life. However, if I am admitted somewhere, it will necessitate a move and it might make more sense to move then as opposed to moving for less than a year only to move again.

5) Consulting Work – So after I decided to apply to medical school and I moved in with my parents, I mostly set my New Year’s plans of aggressively chasing consulting work to the side. Applying to medical school meant I didn’t have the time and living with my parents meant I could achieve my immediate financial goals without it. But because life never cares, a good friend and mentor decided to open his own consulting firm and has been steadily tossing work my way. While I have helped him in the past, ad hoc, he has decided that he wants this to be his primary source of income and wants to step away from University B at some point in the near future. We had a meeting with a client this morning and later this afternoon he text me, “…There is actually a much longer year long engagement we are starting to talk about. I am pretty sure I will have (sic) an intellectually engaging opportunity for you that will help to chip [a]way at those student loans.” Yea. More on that later…

So that’s it. That is where my life stands at the moment. I have been making good progress on the financial front thanks to my new living arrangement, the ongoing pandemic, and fairly low spending. You will see this reflected in my April 2021 – Student Loan Balance(s) post.

That time my apartment flooded…

It’s 6:00AM…which is a perfectly normal time for someone to be awake. It is a terrible time to be awake if you are a night person…or if you were awakened at 3:00AM by the sound of thunder and lightening, followed swiftly by panic at the sound of water trickling into your apartment. Ugh.

By 4:00AM there was at least an inch of dirty, reddish water standing above the carpet, in the main living area, of my studio apartment. Unfortunately, the floor in my apartment has a slight slant (I don’t know the grade) which meant water made it’s way about six feet in, and trickled into my kitchen where there was about a half an inch of standing water on the vinyl floor. Ugh.

But wait, it gets at bit worse. I generally wear rubber house slippers around my apartment. It’s good for my feet, and I have always been suspicious as to the maintenance of carpets in apartments. However, as I was climbing onto my bed to write this post, I “accidentally” stepped on the rug in front of my bed to discover that even though the carpet looked dry, it was squishy and wet. I assume it is the padding underneath. Ugh.

So here I am, sitting on my bed, worried about how quickly my apartment complex will fix this and whether or not they are going to try and make me liable for anything. Also, they don’t do a great job of “fixing” anything so should I rent my own carpet fan/dehumidifier? Wet/dry vac? Pay for a carpet cleaner? Move? And how to pay for any of this? Should I try to pull it out of my meager miscellaneous budget for February? My emergency fund? Why didn’t I get renters insurance? None of my personal property was damaged, would this have been a good investment? Is this what being an adult is?

Yea, okay, so my thoughts spiraled there a bit. Ugh. Well, I am grateful to have the ability to post here. I can’t call my parents because their concern, thoughts about what I should do, and constant need to be updated would create anxiety for me as I try to think through things rationally. To be fair, my father is a pretty stoic and unflappable but my mother is…not. They have been married for more than forty years, and they tell each other everything, so if one knows, the other knows almost immediately. As a non-twenty something adult, I have learned that it is often better to tell them somewhat serious, but non-life threatening, things after the situation has passed.

As I finish writing this, I hear the sound of distant police and ambulance sirens. I am grateful all I have to worry about is a bit of water.

Update – Pictures since my early morning explanation wasn’t great…

My patio is enclosed and the water inside was about eight inches. The water that made it’s way into my apartment (the side where my poor succulent sits) was about half an inch high.
This photo was taken from the foot bridge that crosses to the right of my patio; the bridge is ground level with the front of the building and connects it to the courtyard in the back. Leaves and mud from the courtyard prevented the water from draining and water pouring down from the side of the foot bridge added to the flood.