So, classes are done for the Spring! I had a rough time with one course in particular (Mom, don’t worry!!) but I think I’ll at least pass the course.Â I’m not in Georgia for the summer because I snagged an awesome internship halfway across the country (Oregon)! Matt’s incredibly jealous because Oregon is very scenic and has trails/mountains/parks to die for. 🙂
Life is good. Matt and I celebrated our 5th year of marriage and boy, have we grown together. He seriously completes me and makes me stop to smell the roses (this actually happened in the non-metaphorical sense). 🙂 I’m enjoying my current course of study and I am about to embark on a 3-month long internship where I’ll be doing nothing but coding. I’m understandably nervous. I mean, the other students in this internship program have some serious pedigrees (IVY league, well regarded CS & Engineering schools, etc) but I’m trying not to be too intimidated. In fact, I think I’ll be better off taking advantage of the smarts of this group and learn from them! Maybe their smarts will rub off, who knows?
Not all is hunky dory in paradise. There are ups and downs but I work through them and take things step by step. I still have trouble being extroverted although people who talk to me in public fall for my acts of extroversion. 🙂 I do have a neat story to share (about that).
At the PDX airport, an older white lady caught up to me after watching me from a distance and asked where I was from. I told her I was Nigerian and turns out she lived in Nigeria (in the 80s) as the child of missionaries! We got to talking and I learned quite a bit from her. She even gave me a hug as we parted ways! I love meeting people although the first step (stepping out and saying ‘hello’) is usually the hardest. In this case, she took the leap of faith and reached out to me & both our lives were enriched from the information exchange that ensued! Anyway, I’m hoping to use this blog more to keep my family posted about my shenanigans in Oregon. I’ve reunited with an old college acquaintance and I’m super excited about my yet-to-be-had adventures! 😀
Where do I begin? This year started on a so-and-so note. Personal reasons mostly and unrelated to marriage (so you can stop worrying, Mom. lol), but I was both hopeful and yet down. However, several things have happened to turn that frown upside down. In not particular order, here’s what’s happened:
- The biggest change that happened this year was that Matt and I have become more spiritual. By no means am I a bible thumper nor can I recite bible verses longer than 2 lines, BUT I’ve found a church that appeals to my core and I can’t wait to become a full member of this church. I’m SO looking forward to nourishing my soul with the Word of the Lord tomorrow (God willing).
- I got an award at work for being so helpful during the use of the facilities at work by a government agency. Hopefully, little things like this will translate to a pay raise although this recession pretty much guarantees that I’ll be at my current pay grade for a year or two. It’s not too big of a deal, but it was nice to be recognized for my hard work.
- Sometime in June, I quit biting my nails. I backslid twice, but never back to ground zero (i.e. as bad as it used to be) so I was always able to bounce back and I recently posted pictures of my hard-fought battle on Facebook which is what you see in this post. That picture signifies the personal, figurative and literal growth that is my life. I wish you the same.
- Back in June, I submitted my application to the USCIS to remove restrictions placed on my permanent residency because Matt & I were married for less than two years. I can appreciate the reasons this limit was instituted, but for couples together for genuine reasons, it can be a nerve-wracking time. We filed the application without the aid of a lawyer because they charged over $1,000 for their use. In an amazing turn of events, our application got approved in less than 4 months and as I write, I am in possession of my 10-year permanent resident card, more commonly called the green card! This is awesome news and what this means for me in practical terms is that Matt & I will have the freedom to plot our travels. 🙂 Continue reading 2009 so far
One sentence that can be used to describe my life right now: following my heart these days. Seriously. I may not be making the most money right now, but I will not trade a high flying job for the wonderful man I married, the wonderful family I married into and the incredible support & love I’m getting from my family & relatives. In other words, I have my own personal slice of heaven right here in Georgia. I’ve made unbelievable personal strides in my life and personal struggles & I’m frankly amazed at myself because I almost didn’t think I had it in me.
As a matter of fact, 2009 is shaping up to be a life-changing year for Matt & I. Let’s count our blessings, shall me:
- I’ve quit biting my nails and I’ve been “sober” since the 8th of June, 2009. My nails are growing out beautifully and Matt’s amazed at how ‘quickly’ they seem to have recovered. It’s a huge confidence booster for me because I’m always hiding my fingers when in public and it’s a new & fascinating feeling to be able to simply stretch my hand and not worry if I’m displaying my “good” side or not. 🙂
- Matt is kicking butt in his GIS classes. Since he started taking classes in the summer of 2008, he has had solid As in all the courses he has taken! I can’t say how proud I am of him especially considering the grueling nature of his schedule (working at Wally world and on his free days, he’s at school or doing homework). He’s quite the trooper and I draw inspiration from him daily.
- I’ve become mentally stronger about myself and I have to say that leaving grad. school was the best decision I ever made, despite the heartwrenching sadness I felt at the time i.e. I felt like a quitter. However, like I tell Matt, sometimes you have to do things that hurt to protect yourself and nurture yourself. I’m not 100% out of the woods, but it’s the little things that indicate to me that I’ve come a long way. I’m learning to not be afraid to let things go, especially things that do not contribute positively to your life.
- My family and I are much closer now that they have internet access at home and just the past Saturday, I spent over 1.5 hrs chatting via Yahoo messenger (webcam and talking via the PC-to-PC connection) with them!
- I’m actively pursuing other avenues of interest to me i.e. photography, computer science, social service/activism, etc. For instance, I purchased a Nikon D90 early this year and as God would have it, I attended the Flagpole Music Awards and introduced myself to a man who would turn out to be a key figure in my quest to learn more about photography. As it turned out, I kept in touch with this man and he has introduced me to several important people in the community and has taken me under his wing (informally) in teaching me the ropes of photography! On the social service front, I’m a new volunteer for an organization that advocates for children and it is a very humbling task that renews my faith in social service workers and those who serve communities.
- My 2 new websites went up this year and areÂ going strong. They are: (i) Jane Ullah Photography (ii) Jane Talks Tech! so please support me and check out my sites! 🙂
I could go on, but you get the point. I am just incredibly thankful to God for bringing me this far on my journey and the people He has brought into my life. As LG slogan says, Life’s Good(tm). 😀
I’m in a Floetry state of mind today i.e. rather introspective, but in a very good way. I turned 24 last week and I had a special day with my husband. I felt thoroughly pampered as we went through the day. We went to the Goodwill store to pick up some crockery and clothing (3 shirts) for me (for under $30).Â For the uninitiated, Goodwill is a thrift store that has everything except groceries. Their merchandise is from donations by people so they sell secondhand clothing and secondhand items. If you are looking for a recession-friendly budget, Goodwill is a place to check out. The Dollar store was next for some cheap & much-needed hangers for our closets. Then, we went to dinner at Ryan’s which is a kickass buffet-style restaurant. We gorged ourselves (literally) and had fun people-watching. I used a buy-one-get-one-free buffet coupon so our meal came down to $12, but we ended up spending close to $20 because we tipped our waiter pretty heavily. He was a good sport and made our time there very enjoyable. We also felt slightly guilty for the sins of another party of over 10 people that trashed their area. It was unreal. Granted, that party had kids with them, but couldn’t the parents or adults pick up after the children? Do you want to bet that that same party gave a shitty tip? I have just one word for people who abuse the generosity and good nature of others: Karma.
In retirement account news, I’ve have nothing to say other than constantly checking my portfolio is a bad thing. 🙂 Thankfully, retirement is a long way off so I’m not too bothered. Matt’s accounts have also taken a hit, but not as bad as mine (his rate of return is in the negative single digits while mine are in the negative double digits. Ouch!). Our emergency fund is slowly, but steadily creeping upwards. As you know, a good emergency fund should be good for, at least, 3 months of all living expenses. We’re making some progress, but car troubles have put a dent in the growth. It’s somewhat depressing to keep troubleshooting problems that never seem to be solved. We recently purchased a used car from a friend of ours. We knew the car had had some serious trouble i.e. the owner even got the transmission replaced at one point, but because it was a solid car (Chevrolet Impala 2000), we went ahead and paid the asking price of $1,200. To date (and to my knowledge), we have put over $500 into that car and that amount looks to be growing. I know nothing about cars so I’ll defer to Matt’s knowledge & trust when he says it is a solid investment. 🙂 It should be obvious that I hate spending money on anything except electronics. LOL.
That’s it for now. Have a great week!
Phew! Itâ€™s been a long while, my darling blog. How have you fared in my absence? 🙂 Well, my Christmas shopping is far from done. It goes without saying that Matt & I are going with thoughtful gifts that wonâ€™t break the bank. I wouldnâ€™t want to receive any gifts that broke the bank either. Anyway, my break starts on Christmas Eve until the New Year. Thatâ€™s pretty awesome. I have been plotting on ways to spend my time and I need to draw up a sheet with the list of activities that could be done.
First of all, I just want to congratulate Matt on getting an A one of his first courses towards getting a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He put so much time & effort into it and it paid off handsomely. Cheers, babe!
Second, Iâ€™m contemplating the idea of pursuing a minor in Computer Science. Hear me out folks! lol. I
think know life is too short and Iâ€™m all about focusing on what makes me feel fulfilled & happy. At this stage in my life, I think a change of pace/scene will do me some good and perhaps light the fire under me once again. The exact details of what I hope to study are sort of, unclear, but in time, once I figure out payments et. al, Iâ€™ll keep yâ€™all updated. Basically, itâ€™s been well documented that I have an interest in computers and Iâ€™d like to explore that part of me. Who knows where itâ€™ll take me? In any case, keep me in your prayers!
Third, I finally got some video of my darling niece (Maxine). Sheâ€™s just too cute for words and I cannot wait to hold her in my arms. 🙂 ‘Well, thatâ€™s all for now. Itâ€™s getting late here. Cheers! Lest I forget, thatâ€™s a map of Lagos, Nigeria. For any newcomers, thatâ€™s my city, right there.
Today started out on a nice note. I got up in a hurry although I kept my smile. I did what I had to do at work and when it was time for me to return home, trouble came knocking on my door. However, this is where my darling came through for me. I decided to quit being Mrs. Capable and I reached out to him. Without even hesitating, he offered his services and to him, I’m dedicating Shania Twain’s “Forever and Always”. 😀 I’m looking forward to celebrating our second anniversary and a stronger & healthier marriage. 🙂 I’m currently at my favorite watering hole (think a certain franchise at Wally World) and I just caught myself thinking about how blessed I’ve been. My dad’s birthday is coming up and I am planning on being one of the first on the phone to be with him. I miss them (my family in Nigeria) so much & I’m looking forward to my visit next year. Not very sure about the details, but I know I will make it there by the special grace of God. My tech blog has gotten off to a neat little start. I’ve got a vision for the site and hopefully, it’ll crystallize soon. That’s about it!
I got back home from work with a heavy heart, despairing of ever getting my work done and done right. Then, I watched the movies (Rocky III and Rocky IV) and spoke to my husband. My world stopping spinning crazily and now, I’ve mapped out a strategy for conquering the work place chaos. As it has been written in the Good Book, if God is for me, who can be against me? (Romans 8:31). Speaking of the Good Book, Windows users are in luck because I found this program (The Sword Project by the CrossWire Bible Society) that installs the entire bible on your PC and gives you the options of installing a myriad of alternative bibles (English Standard Version, King James’ Version, Authorized King James’ Version, International Standard Version, et cetera). Check it out and you won’t regret it. I don’t and I intend on making use of it. I’m rejuvenated and ready to do my J.O.B. 🙂 What can I say? Life? It’s looking pretty good right now. Not because I’m making any “special” moves. Life is simply … good. I’m healthier than I have been in a long while. I am in love with the dearest man I know. I am surrounded by positive people and I am just thankful.
Last week, my theme song was Eminem’s “The Way I Am” andÂ it fit my black mood because for some reason, I felt really angry. If you read the lyrics to that song, you’ll sense his mounting anger and at times, I felt like belting those same words out loud whenever I would encounter the source of my anger. Here are some choice snippets: “If you tip me, my tank is on empty. […] I’m tired of arguing – I don’t mean to mean but it’s all I can be, It’s just me […]” et cetera. Just to be clear, my angst was not directed at a person. Let’s say I was having some existential discussions with myself. lol. In any case, this week, I’m allÂ daffodils and butterflies. I have caught myself humming Christmas melodies and I’mÂ mulling on the purchase of a Christmas greatest hits CD. lmao.Â I can just hear Matt cringing already.
Well, gotta run. Happy Friday, y’all!