Well, not quite yet, of course.
I have a long way to go. But I have it in my scope and it’s on my horizon. I don’t know how I’ve always known that one day I’ll be a doctor. When I was in Nursing (20 years ago), I was a top med. student (Phi Theta Kappa) and found out that I was really good in school. Who knew? I was an awful student in high school, elementary, and probably even kindergarten. But a destructive home life (and excessive abuse) played its heavy hand in my poor academics. I was traumatized year after year, because I had to live with the person who molested me. That wasn’t easy. Let’s just say I wasn’t given the same shot as others in life, starting out.
But perhaps this is why I’m so driven to succeed. I’m destined to be a success because I feel it. Just because I’m not who I want to be “right now” doesn’t mean that I won’t become who I know God is carving me out to be. He’s already shown me what my potential is: I just have to do the work. When the time comes- He’ll open the doors.
So I’ve decided to move in the direction of my greatest passion of all- even greater than photography and singing: criminal profiling. That’s right: I want to be the one who stalks the serial killers. This June I’ll be starting on my BA in Forensic Psychology, and then my goal is to work on my MA in Forensic Psychology and ultimately, my doctorate.
I suppose my childhood had something to do with my interest in criminology. My Dad used to read True Detective magazines- religiously. He was a single parent and was concerned about some of us kids roaming the streets. He wanted to show us what the world was really like. So, he sat my brothers and me down and shared with us the stories of many unfortunate women. The pics were in black and white and so the bloody crime scenes were particularly disturbing because the smeared blood was a hideous thick black. It altered the way I viewed things: I was 7, 8, 9 and 10.
For years we saw those photos: women who’d been mutilated, decapitated, and “posed” by their killer intentionally, to leave a message for the police. It was the killer’s calling card. Now I won’t agree with this style of parenting- it’s extreme. But I will say, it worked, because every time I thought about hitching a ride or getting in someone’s car, I saw those grizzly crime scenes: no doubt it saved my life many times.
When I was a teenager, I read every serial killer book I could get my hands on: Gacy, Bundy, The Green River Killer, Son of Sam, Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker), TBK killer- the list is very long. For the next 20 years I studied criminology on my own, and for my own interest. I learned about luminol and other forensic applications, crime scenes, basic protocol, and various other areas of investigative work. Even now, the majority of all of the shows I watch are true crime: ID TV: Investigative Discovery.
I always knew I wanted to be a doctor, but not a medical one. And, I’ve always wanted to be a scientist, but not one who studies genes. Now I see clearly the direction I want to go in and the direction I’ve been prepping for my whole life: Forensic Psychology, also known as, criminal profiling.
The dog bite on my right ring finger recently was a blessing in disguise. Because I was unable to type for weeks, I had to hand write all of my notes out. And still I do. I have folders that are full of my note-taking and studies in my courses: it’s caused me to be able to retain almost all of my work.
I’m excited about this new direction I’m taking. it’s fairly common to fishtail around for the first few years in school and I’ve done my share of it, but I’ve never been more certain about anything in my life. This is right for me.
I’m 44 years old. My goal is to get my doctorate before I’m 50. It’s a lofty goal! But I’m dedicated.
Things are going great with Josh too. (This week.) We’ve decided to remain amicable (and VERY platonic) for the duration of the next few months. I’m so close to buying my own home! We’ve decided to have separate homes but remain in each others lives and help support each other in our scholastic endeavors. I want to be a profiler, he wants to build airplanes and fly them. I’m encouraging him to move in the direction of aerospace engineering. He’s got a brilliant mind and he’s without a doubt one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever known.
So I’m off to finish up a karyotyping/meiosis assignment in Biology. I’ve been reinstated in my Intro. to Social Work class which is good, but that means that I now have to knock out 4 months of work in only two. I’ve got this. 😉
“Why do you have a condom in your wallet?”
“Why do you have a frikking condom in your wallet? We were apart for 3 months, dude. Are you kidding me?!”
“Better to be safe than sorry. I was doing a lot of drinking…”
And so my day begins.
Seven years: and I’ve had eyes for nobody else. I deserve so much better than this. This winter had been near unbearable. I admit that I didn’t allow myself to think about “my man” at all, which is why I didn’t post anything about him here, because I didn’t allow myself to drown in memories of us. Too much of that can take you down like a bad ship. So I’ve been in survival mode trying to keep afloat academically, and sort out my personal life.
Most of my female friends, if not all, try to fill the emptiness and loneliness after a breakup almost immediately with another mate. They do the online dating thing and scout about for a warm body. They don’t allow themselves time to grieve or mourn and really FEEL the pain. Perhaps I’m wrong for doing so, but I embrace the pain. I welcome it. Because it tells me that what I had with my mate was real. It was valuable. It meant something.
So I carry on during his absence- every time- alone. Not wanting him back right away, no. But still having eyes for nobody else because I feel I owe him that much. Seven years. How could I even consider thinking about finding somebody else? The idea repulses me because I gave that man every inch of my heart.
When you love somebody this hard- “out of sight, out of mind” doesn’t exist.
I carry on alone and “keep the fort”; and so I did over the long winter- feeling as if my heart had been locked away in a cryogenic chamber, unable to feel great love anymore, or great passion.
But carry on alone I certainly did.
I had hoped for better. I had hoped that the love you gave would have been just as honest and faithful. Oh this wicked game…
Out of sight, out of mind.
In your wallet.
And so you will never have me again.
I’ll go back to my corner.
There’s no fight.
Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel/natural lighting
Mr. Bob Hedge, himself (AKA: my son) /Helios film 44-2/natural lighting
So Josh is in the living room belting out a rock-blues ballad that he’s making up as he’s going along. Today we’re rejoicing: he just got a new job and I’m changing majors from Sociology to Criminal Justice. Hoo ha! I’m pretty excited about it. I’m thinking, I need to knock back this school thing while I’m in school-mode. A few more years! Two and a half, in fact. I’ve been told that up to 90 of my credit hours could transfer over to my BS in Criminal Justice. I’m pretty happy about that. Sociology is great and all, and I’m most passionate about that, but at the end of it all I’m going to need a jobby job, as in, actual “career”. Sociology doesn’t ensure that but Criminal Justice does. My dream job would be as a criminal psychologist or a Profiler, but that requires no less than a Master’s degree. Hmmm…we’ll see. I’ve decided to move in the direction of a probation officer for starters.
My plan is never vague or blurry when I calculate one. I gather facts, research, strategize, formulate the plan clearly, and execute it precisely. So the new plan is this (which could change at any time, mind you, but for now, it’s a done deal):
Short Term Goals
- Transfer 30-60 Behavioral Sciences credit hours over to SNHU and apply them to new BS in Criminal Justice
- Receive BS in Criminal Justice
- Build up community work with PBS/Peanut Butter Soup– my children’s book- volunteer, etc. or possible school readings (This is the area that needs most attention) Ulterior motive: bulk up resume + gain experience
Long Term Goals
- Work as probation officer/secure job for $30,000 to $35,000 annually-starting pay- minimum
(The starting pay for most probation officer jobs is $35,000-$40,000)
- Continue with Master’s degree in down time/online- snails’ pace, obviously (never more than two courses at any time)
(Studying Criminal Psychology)
- Work to pay off student loans and other debt (which is minimal)
I never envisioned moving into the direction of law enforcement (gasp!) but as a probation officer, I would need to be a licensed gun carrier, and, carry a badge. Yep. A badge. I’m halfway through the semester and am miraculously holding on to my A’s (and a B), so I’ll transition over to my new University in June to begin work on my Bachelor’s. Exciting stuff!
It’s interesting to think that the same prospect only one month ago made me want to shake, shudder, and run for the hills. That’s what utter loneliness can do for the soul! Despondency and silence eat away at the core until everything looks so grey and near impossible to achieve. I had predicted that my heart would thaw out this spring: who knew? 🙂
But love indeed has taken its toll on me and I’m helplessly goofy and happy lately. Josh makes an incredibly strong impact on me. Isn’t it funny how different people will reflect different parts of us? He reflects genuine goodness and he brings that out in me. I mentioned this to him one day and his reply was this, “I only reflect back what I see.”
The kitchen is a wreck and I’m still in my PJ’s at 3:11 in the afternoon, but the sound of the electric guitar in the living room tells me to relax- take a break- smile, and let the dishes marinate a while longer.
Love has its ole hook in me once again.
Well life has been a crazy blur of love and laughter: the hardest winter of my life is over. Josh has come back from Shelbyville, and from wintering with his family and Heidi is in from Portland, OR. Brianna is visiting with her boyfriend, Will, and the living room is abuzz with chatter and laughter: I’m positively ecstatic and my heart full of love again.
I’m still drowning in schoolwork- that seldom changes- and I’ll be starting my intern work at the Psych ward soon. Today I’ll be cramming 50 pages of sexual deviance into my head and testing before midnight. (Lovely.) And so I must get started.
I’m off to bake a homemade apple pie with Josh. I wanted to pop in and say that I’m still alive- not only that- but doing very well.
Life is sweet again. 🙂
Until next time!
My son, Brian, and his little Mandy Tator Tots. Helios 44-2
I don’t know how much longer I can do this school thing. Many of my friends are now applying for residencies- Bell, a brilliant writer has just applied to a writer’s residency in a remote fishing village in the Arctic Circle and another friend just got back from her residency in a remote rural area in Southern Iceland. I could probably list 50 others (no, seriously) right off the top of my head who are flying here and there and working hard on their exhibitions. They’re truly amaaaaaazing people and I’m really getting to the point to where I miss the crap out of them! It’s more than that. When you form a bond with a tight group of artists- for years- you come to know each other so well. And, you become a cycle of flowing water, each watering the other and eventually, you’re not even “you” any more but hundreds of other people- all reflecting one another.
Because of the hardships that have smacked me down over the past few months, I’ve had to put off my schoolwork until the last minute. I simply couldn’t do anything about it. Now, I’m facing 30 assignments in two combined classes and my deadline is March 7th. Am I screwed, or what?!
I have the resources to take a year off. I won’t have any extra money, but I would be able to minimally pay my bills and rent, buy food, but not much more. I’m not ready to jump into a “career”, socially speaking, not until I finish school, and so I’ve been in this tailspin for quite some time. My complaints are still the same. I want to do so many things with my art and music: I simply can’t as long as I’m in school.
And school is choking the living daylight out of me. Sure, I’m accomplishing small goals, always. But my bigger ones are drying up, such as, making a music CD, doing more school readings with my book- guh. I just don’t know how much longer I can do this.
Tonight, I’m supposed to work on my assignments, but I have to hook up with my art peeps and reconnect.
I can’t believe it’s March and there’s this much snow on the ground.
My red wine awaits. I have to take a freaking break before I blow a gasket.
I’ll be back…