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On the fourth of July it was about 100 degrees with the heat index. I played grass volleyball for somewhere near three hours and came home - not exhausted, just sweaty. Today I went shopping for three hours. I was so tired that when I stopped to pick up bread and peas for my mother on the way home I also grabbed a bottle of wine. I collapsed with a glass of Barefoot Chardonnay soon thereafter (not in the car, on the couch).

Under ordinary circumstances I detest shopping. The idea of spending my hard earned money freaks me out. When I am under the duress of necessity (this is relative, obviously food is mandatory while a quilt that isn't two sizes too small for the bed in my new apartment is just a practical idea) I calm down a little - but not much.

I am using my parents' old sheets, a duvet cover I am making myself, lamps and furniture from my current bedroom, and almost everything from my dorm room - so spending my budget of $300 to purchase supplies, an armoire (since my room doesn't have a closet), and a desk isn't really all that horrible. But that is about two weeks' salary and I have only worked about 5 weeks this summer. I'm not stressed about the money - I've been saving for this, it is just that it is a big step to go out and say, "I am going to buy this. I will not regret my purchase."

This brings me to how I got exhausted. In order to make that statement with the kind of psychological support it needs, I have to put in some effort. I looked through every flyer in the Sunday paper and all the catalogs that came this week and made a list of what was cheapest where (the two lowest price places). Then I made a list of everything I needed that wasn't in a flyer. I went to Walmart; Target; Linens & Things; KMart; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Circuit City; and Staples. I had a clipboard with my version of a comparison chart. I was organized and efficient as I checked on the price of each item in every (almost) store.

I didn't buy a single item on my list today though. I had to price everything so I would know what stores to go back to. That is tomorrow's mission. Then this weekend Mom and I are going to go to Sam's and get me some things in bulk I might need. Between now and the weekend I'll be visiting the dentist, doctor, Ford service center, and probably spending a bunch of time in the attic and garage organizing my stuff.

During this trying time I ask not for pity but for prayers. Mostly I would pray for my parents though, since they have to put up with me. I am determined to not procrastinate. I want going to get my MA to be a turning point in my life not only educationally but personally and hopefully socially. Spiritually would be a bonus item (not that this isn't as important, it just is something that seems to happen on its own while personal and social things take a concerted effort (and I know I should make the effort spiritually .... I know)). My first step is making this move as effortless and stress free as possible for everyone involved.

"I am on my way. I can go the distance. I'll be there someday, if I can be strong. I know every mile will be worth my while. I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong."
~Hercules from Disney's Hercules
Best wishes to all of you out there venturing to school soon.
Aussi un petit mot pour Martin: Felicitations pour les cheveux plus courts!
Goodnight. I'll talk to you soon. Love always, ~Heather