Self-Doubt Monster

As most of you know, I moved from Arkansas to Arizona in December 2013.  I thought that they living with my mother I would be able to save up money, find gainful employment in my field, move out with my children on my own, and get back on my feet. I poorly managed my limited income while living in Arkansas to begin with, and I also panicked about the times when I would not be earning income because of the nature of my job. I know I know that had I stuck it out I would have done fine. Hindsight has x-ray vision, after all.

I did live with my mother all the way until July 2014. I did not post on this blog very often and my last post was in May. I did not share with my loyal fans the struggles that I was going through. I will not rehash everything on this blog, because some of that spilled into Facebook drama, and that was frustrating to deal with. I will boil it down to the simple statement that it did not work out.

I returns to Arkansas with the understanding that I have some friends who would be willing to take me in while I got back on my feet once again. I have been here a little over a month. I have not yet found gainful employment. I did have one job interview which I thought was successful but which resulted in them saying they were still interviewing other people and would get back with me eventually. I have my resume and applications in at multiple colleges in the state. When I have made contact with the people responsible for making decisions about whether or not I could work there I have been told that they do not yet have any openings but that they might keep me in mind. What frustrates me about that, is that I have friends who work at some of these colleges and are being given opportunities that I know they deserve but I wish that some of those opportunities would also have come my way.

I have started dating again. The man that I dated last year who I broke up with before I moved to Arizona is back in my life and we are enjoying each other’s company and love each other and I really think that this is a good thing for me and my children. He loves my children. He is willing to spend time with them; he is willing to meet us at the grocery store; he wants to have family meals with us; he randomly buys things for them even though I know that he doesn’t necessarily have the budget for it.

I titled this post self-doubt monster, because in spite of the good things that happen in my life I always still think of the bad things that have happened, the bad things that could happen, and the things that I want to do but don’t feel like I have the capability of doing.

I currently have a Masters degree. My course of study was English with the option to teach it as a second language. During the course of study I read literature of various genres, I wrote academic essays, I studied pedagogy specifically related to teaching English as a second language but also related to teaching English composition. I worked hard to complete the degree, in spite of all of the struggles that I went through my personal life. The same was true for my bachelors degree and my associates degree. During those courses of study I worked on English, creative writing, and rhetoric and writing, which gave me a background and more literature genres, technical writing, grant writing, and various creative genres.

Before I left for Arizona, I had actually started on the second Masters degree in multimedia journalism. Unfortunately, I let things in my personal life get in the way yet again, and my GPA is very low. Part of me would like to finish what I started with that degree, but it would require paying out-of-pocket for three classes for one semester to convince financial aid that I’m capable of earning proper grades. Even if I did not finish I still have a poor GPA hanging in the air which overshadows the GPA that I earned with my first Masters degree because I tried to earn them at the same institution.

Ever since I was a senior in my bachelors program, I have wanted to go to law school. Well, at least that’s what I tell most people. The real timeframe of how long I’ve wanted to JD is the first time that I saw “Legally Blonde.” #dontjudgeme And for as long as I could remember I have wanted to have a doctorate of some kind. Given my previous courses of study, a PhD in English literature, creative writing, or a rhetoric and composition track would be the most effective. I would become more marketable in my field, and potentially eventually be able to land that coveted full-time teaching position somewhere.

A Facebook friend of mine, who has a PhD that she worked hard for much later in life then I am currently struggling, one day told me that’s part of the reason why I might be having trouble finding jobs in my field with my masters degree is that I have not put the legwork in that a lot of other people put in. I have not presented at conferences. I have not published and academic journals or in the case of a creative writing in very many other journals. My four published books were all self published which is still an accomplishment, but isn’t always necessarily considered so by academic recruiters and hiring personnel.

When I go on the websites of other colleges and universities which offer doctoral programs in my current field of study, I am often very overwhelmed  by the requirements.

Some require a specific GPA, which is often higher than what I currently have. Some require three letters of recommendation from previous instructors, which bothers me because I have only been able to get one letter of recommendation. Some require a writing sample, which causes me to doubt my writing ability. Some require proficiency in one or two foreign languages–I studied French for one semester in high school, and I studied Spanish for three semesters in college, and I have learned little bits of various other languages over the course of my life, and yet I cannot sit here today and say that I even remotely bilingual let alone multilingual. Some require scores on the GRE Gen. test which I have taken but don’t know if my scores are adequate enough, and others require scores on the area specific tests which I have not taken and which cost money.

Even if I could somehow deal with all of those things that terrify me, all of these universities require some type of in residency, whether that’s coming to the university during summer workshops, or coming to University permanently full-time, or taking some classes online and some classes at the University. This is also overwhelming, because it requires me to think about cost-of-living around the university, childcare, and transportation.

When I think about all of these things, the self-doubt monster tells me that there’s no way that I could ever satisfy the entry requirements to any college or university, rather then allowing me to thoroughly search to find a university that would accept a student with my history and take a chance on my intelligence rather then on my tendency to allow my personal life to interfere with my education.

This far, I have been ranting about the frustrations and internal monologues I go through when thinking about trying to obtain a PhD in my current field of study. However, I also mentioned that I would like a JD. In order to get into a law school, I must take the LSAT. Beyond that, I must meet each specific law school’s entry requirements, which in most cases are letters of recommendation, writing samples, GPAs, etc. similar to what is required to get into PhD program.

Once in a JD program, I would have to of course take classes which would require a lot of hard work and dedication, but beyond that there would be internships and externships and various other requirements that would ultimately lead to me becoming a well rounded capable lawyer. And then of course there is the big scary bar exam. Self-doubt monster says I’m incapable of completing the requirements, and that I wouldn’t be able to pass the bar exam even if I did.

Self-doubt monster tells me that at some point my current boyfriend is going to grow tired of my emotional instability, and my irrational behavior, and my inability to budget properly, or any number of other flaws that I can point out about myself. Self-doubt monster tells me that I am not getting hired at these colleges and universities that I’m applying to, because I clearly show that I am incapable, incompetent. Self-doubt monster tells me that I am a terrible mother, that I have always been a terrible student, that I am a terrible friend, that I am a terrible person.

Rooney–I’m a terrible person. I’m a terrible person. I’m a terrible person, cause I’ve made up my mind.

PS–usually the above song “would be in italics, but for some strange reason, my Safari browser is refusing to put it in italics, and instead keeps jumping back up to random other text when I’m trying to copy it and highlight everything

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