In the ongoing saga that is my life, I received in the mail yesterday: a letter. This letter said that I have been denied New York State residency and they are rescinding my TAP (tuition assistance program) grant offer from HESC (higher education something or another), which also means that SU*NY Albany will rescind its offer to give me in-state tuition and will instead give me out-of-state tuition. Which means that I can no longer afford to go to school.
Why are they playing so unfair with their lovely offers might you ask? Because of the five month sabbatical on that dang mountain. It doesn't seem to matter that I kept everything - drivers license, car registration and insurance, my voice mail, my cell phone number, and what remains of my worldly possessions - in New York. It doesn't seem to matter that I have lived in New York for over fifteen years, paying taxes, working, volunteering, leaving my mark all up and down this state. All The System seems to care about is that I physically was not in NY for those five months. I have written letters. I have begged and pleaded. I have made phone calls. All to no avail.
The chick on the phone this morning said: you have been denied residency, but you are welcome to appeal.
At first I wallowed in self pity, whining my old song of: I Am So F*cked with the Why Me's singing harmony on backup. But then I remembered something from my session with my teacher a couple of nights ago. She said: you have to keep saying to yourself that you have no right to any of the emotion - anger, pity - any of it. And as I remembered that, this energy rose in me and I felt: I am going to go down fighting on this one. There is bad fighting and there is good fighting. This is a good one, by gosh, and I'm just the woman to give a go.
So I wrote a killer appeal letter, all about the saga of my life since November, along with all sorts of names and numbers to corraborate my story, but instead of popping it right into the mail I decided to hold off until I could go over it one more time. What the heck, I thought, I'll go work off my yahyahs in the gym. And so off I trotted across the highway to sweat to the oldies.
As is my chatty way, I got to talking to a woman on the circuit ahead of me. her son is in the Navy and ships out for survival training and then off to Spain. We talked about his immunization and I mentioned how I've been having issues around mine, how I am trying to opt out of getting all mine redone through a Philosophical Waiver. Then we moved on to chatting about school, about her kids and how one just left SU*NY Albany - hey, that's where I'm going! I said. Then I started talking about how challenging it is to go back to school at 38, how it is wall after wall to scale and school hasn't even started yet. I asked her if she'd been to college and she talks a bit about her school experience and then says that she loves her job working at HESC. . .
WHAT? I say. YOU WORK WHERE?
HESC she says. You know, the TAP program.
By the time I left the gym she had my name and number and school id and she promised to track down people for me talk to, people to look at my appeal, someone to help me navigate this latest patch of NO.
Can you believe it? Even if all I end up with is the big fat I don't freaking think so that I have now, I will at least know that I went down working it from every single angle possible.
And I know that Life has got my back. If my funding falls through, I can't think of a way that I'll be able to go to school come fall, and if that is so, then I will trust that Life has brought me to this chicken disco for a reason and I will surrender and open and not shut down and I will smile and open my arms wide for the next step on this thing I call my living.
But I don't hear no fat lady singing yet. Do you???