Our Next Adventure

Good Grief! It has been a very long time since I last wrote for my own blog. I’m sensing a theme of “big announcements” on here. For most of my followers on the twitter-verse, you all probably know that I have been having a rough go around the past 6-8 months. I disappeared for awhile, then came back about a month ago with a roar!

Without going into too much detail, a little over a year ago my partner moved from Indiana to Maryland so we could stop the long-distance thing and really try out a relationship IRL. I was so ecstatic that I was building a life that I had worked for my entire life: a great job, a loving family and partner, with a great support network of friends around me. In April 2015, my new and happy life was pulled away from me unexpectedly. We had to find ways to pay bills, which meant my partner moving back to Indiana literally the month after we got engaged. My heart broke. I was so high on top of a mountain of love and success, then it somehow just all came crashing down so fast. After the summer, our lease ended in Maryland and I had to find a new place to live, while still making enough money to support myself and a partner with a pay cut. If I thought my anxiety was ever out of control before, I had no idea how my health could plummet to a new depth. The combination of anxiety and depression is no joke, folks.

At this point, our entire vision of “future success” in our lives completely changed. This was also the first time I had to think about someone else in the equation when thinking about my future career aspirations and my perception of “succeeding.” Steven and I discussed in depth of what we want in both of our careers, in a family and in our lives while scrambling around to make ends meet. As you can imagine, it was stressful. Wedding planning didn’t start until 8 months after we decided to get married, and if you know me-you know that is a huge amount of time to wait to plan THE BIGGEST EVENT OF MY LIFE. I’m not sure if my words can explain the amount of worried, anxious, self-doubting, feminist raging, pitiful, sad, apathetic, angry, and frustrated feelings that circled around me/us through this unexplained and unintentional time in our lives. It was scary. I would always see this quote being passed around on Facebook or Pinterest in a minimalist design, “All we can do is the best we can do.”

the-word-320

This gave me a small feeling of calm every time I read this, and came to the same conclusion: The best I could do the past 6-8 months was survive.

NOW!! For the more uplifting note in this blog: We are moving to Florida! My fiancé found an amazing position on the East Coast in November.  The company is absolutely amazing for him and us. This spurred me to start applying to jobs-like right away. Again, as quickly as everything crashed, everything was quickly put back together again, and I have no other way to describe it than miraculous.

I received a job offer in DECEMBER. I will be starting next week at University of Central Florida (Orlando) as the Coordinator of Academic Support Services in the Office of Undergraduate Research. I will be working with the Learning Environment and Academic Research Network (LEARN) program to help underrepresented STEM students gain undergraduate research experience within a tight-knit community. I will be helping to create the transfer student program along with the already existing traditional new student program.

I am beyond excited to work with traditional new students again, still have an element I can create/develop for transfer students, and learn more about research. I have learned so much in my first position at UMBC, and I cannot wait to use the knowledge and experiences I have gained to help the STEM student population at UCF.

Thank you to everyone that offered advice, let me bum food/drinks off of them, supported through hugs, watched Sheba for free, sent words of encouragement, grounded me with different perspectives, tried to instill patience in me, and reminded me of my faith. We truly have the best support network, friends and family that helped us through this hectic time. I will never know how to repay you, but I will start with “Thank you.”

 

 


 

P.S. To anyone who is going through a time that feels like it will never end or there’s no hope, please keep going. All you can do is the best you can do. You are enough. Keep telling yourself that and putting one foot in front of the other, even if you don’t know where you’re going. You’ll get somewhere, and the clouds will break eventually. Also, here are a few tools that helped me through the rougher times: SAM App, Tara Brach, Sounds for Sleep, Wunderlist, Pinterest, and other physical activities that helped me expend negative energy.


 

 

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2 comments

  1. Sara Batman (Green)

    This is so awesome Colleen! I am so happy the pendulum has “swung back to center” so to speak! After so much struggle together, your marriage will be a piece of cake, let me tell you. So so so happy for you!

    • Colleen Marquart

      Thanks Sara! You know you all have a place to stay if ever in the area! 🙂 Text me sometime so we can catch up! Your life has probably also changed so much in the past few months!

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