This just in:

If you abstain from caffeine for four weeks and drink a cup (even a cup of half-caf) of coffee at 9:00 pm, you will not be sleepy at 2:00 am, EVEN IF you thought you were immune to the effects of caffeine.

Who knew?!?

So my days of chaos are over for now.  Only one more paper, and I will be done with the school of public health for a very long time – as long as I pass this class (I believe it is impossible not to), I will graduate in a few months with an (unintentional) second master’s degree.  Only one more lab report, and I will be done with my undergraduate science classes until the new year (when I have to take finals, and then start the spring semester).

So much has happened in the last few weeks.

I don’t know where to begin.

I would like to write about all of my thoughts and feelings around this time:  this master’s degree, although unintentional, is bringing up all sorts of unexpected struggles for me.  It is the culmination of almost five years of grief with this program, and although I do have incredible JOY when I think about my alternative – sticking with the doctoral program – I am still dealing with the occasional pang of “what did I do?” and “should I have done this?”  I look around at the students in my research class who are eager to be attending THIS school THIS year and I realize that my attitude is poisonous here – it was the wrong decision for me to come back to matriculate full-time in the program last year, and I am unsure of where to go next.  There are so many thoughts swirling around in my head about this decision – thoughts I really didn’t anticipate I would have – and because a lot of them are tied to my program and the actual school itself, my subsequent posts will be protected on the subject.  I hope you understand.  I realize that many of these posts have nothing to do with the chief reason most people read my blog (although frankly, I do not know why ANYone reads this blog – ha! – so perhaps you actually ARE interested in my career paths, although I find that hard to believe), but it helps me to process things by writing about them, and I seem to like the feedback from other people, too.  🙂

We have made a lot of decisions in the last few weeks in the baby journey (I can see you start to get more interested now 🙂 ).  Those decisions, coupled with some recent developments in the adoption world, have really occupied a lot of my brain space (which was in high demand, given the whole studying thing that needed to happen this last week).  I would like to share my thoughts on that but I am debating the best way to do it.  I share a lot of my adoption opinions in the open and I love the feedback; I share a lot of my health and genetics concerns out in the open and I have serious concerns about continuing that, to protect my current family (DB) and anyone who might join us in the future.  Although I feel strongly that some of what I write is important to disseminate to the world (even though I do not have a huge readership, the fact that I still get 50 hits/day for the phi symbol shows that I can totally capture some small sliver of an audience!), I am realizing that protecting my family needs to be paramount to anything else.  I am not sure how to proceed, although one thing I *do* know is that I will be writing about those things, too.

We are debating starting a second blog that eliminates any mention of the FBI so I can talk about these other things freely:  my career, our future children, my health, our plans and our lives, our LOCATION (which is integral to who I am and what I do).  I am debating starting a second blog anonymously so that I can write freely about these things without my neighbors and friends and family reading about my personal thoughts, but I love the community from blogging and I seem to be incapable of very much anonymity.  (DB once told me to apply for the CIA because I would find it interesting.  I think we can see why that would be a poor match for me.)  I am debating shutting this blog down entirely and migrating the FBI stuff to a new one and starting fresh with  another one.  I am debating continuing my current path, where I can post whatever I want and change the password every three months for the posts I want to protect.  However, I am conflicted.  I love writing, although I am not necessarily very good and I never actually edit what I write here (what you read here is the Very Rough Draft).  I love having an audience – is that bad?  I love having people read and comment and I love making new friends.  But I also want to share freely and not have people feel uncomfortable asking for passwords – that is really not my goal.

I am open to suggestions.  I know a lot of you are seasoned bloggers and might have some opinions about this.

Also, all of the above might become completely moot in the morning, when I have had an epiphany about what to do.  Just to warn you.

In the meantime, you will see some new protected posts.  I am going to start to share some of what is going on in my head and it will be less about mean girls and more about my faith, my pride, my career, and my struggles in finding my role as a wife, a mother, and as a contributor to society (like what on Earth am I doing here?!?).  I mean, don’t get me wrong – if something funny happens, I’ll be happy to share it.  But I think it will help me figure out where I’m going if I can share the other parts freely, too.  As always, reach out if you are interested in continuing to follow this blog.  I will try to gather a list of names of those I *know* read the blog and will pass along the password to those people.  If you don’t receive an email in the next week or so, please reach out to me.

Blessings to all of you this holiday season.