Make a list. Check it about 10 times..

So last week I was hanging out with a radioactive wand rolling around my belly giving me a sneak peek of this little human I’ve been baking for the past six months. The scan revealed a healthy human heart with four ventricles, a healthy human brain with two hemispheres, two little kidneys, a tiny little bladder, a kinda gross placenta actively playing life force, two little arms up in the air (waving around like they just didn’t care), and two little legs kicking enough to rival Chuck Norris. A little flick of the wand to jostle the critter around a bit revealed what every impatient parent to be wants to see – the gender.
I’m having a daughter.
My reaction was somewhat nonchalant. “ah yeah. A daughter. Cool.“ Then as days passed the d-word seemed to sink in more and more – tickling the parts of my cerebellum that reminded me “hey you were a little girl once too.” A little girl who was typically frowned upon for playing in the dirt and climbing trees. Who was always reminded to “sit like a lady” the moments she HAD to wear a dress. One who typically played with boys because they were more fun, then as I got older their favorite game was stomping all over my fragile heart. Then there was makeup, and competing with other girls who were so goddamn mean, and then my own mother who was also once a little girl too and had those relating experiences and hormones that typically just made us lock horns, as most females do when they’re in the same room together for an extended amount of time.
Fuck. Now I remember why I wanted a boy. Girls are unique and special in their own way but we’re much more than sugar and spice and everything nice. Quite the contrary, we’re also high maintenance, emotionally driven, oh so complicated creatures – who sadly to this day are still oppressed by society and the opposite sex that we share this planet with. If you disagree, just turn on the news. And if you still disagree, kindly kiss the fattest part of my ass.
A big step in my sobriety was to learn to take things one day at a time. Which I do for the most part – I’ve found life works better that way. Yesterday doesn’t mean shit and tomorrow isn’t promised. But when I feel this little asshole kick around in my womb I can’t help but worry about the future. Things ranging from what I’ll have to deal with in a few months – telling others not to adorn her with princess garb and god awful watermelon sized ribboned hairbands because I want a child and not an accessory, how both of us will get enough sleep through the night, if she doesn’t latch on, if her cloth diapers and onesies that I’ve gotten will be too big or small, if our dogs will adjust well to her – to the next 18 years.. what if she doesn’t get her mama’s tomboy genes and wants to actually be a little girl (which I know nothing about), her first period, her first heartbreak, how to teach her to be enough of a bitch to not be railroaded on a day to day basis but not enough to drive everyone away. I’m sure these answers will come, but I’m wired to want to save the world before sundown. Or maybe it’s as easy as raising the last young female that I’ve had experience rearing – – if that’s the case she’ll be able to catch a tennis ball in midair before she’s two and will ALWAYS know where the cookie jar is.
I’ve seen a lot of blog posts/articles/what have you – about the # of things I will teach my daughter. Some of them are priceless. Some of them probably should have never seen the light of day. But I figured that I should toy around with my own list. I’m a visual learner and I really get things engrained when I write things down – so I’m jotting them down in the blogosphere for me to reference when I start doubting myself, and if I have a reader that wants to take away from it – that’s great too.
Here goes nothin’

Things I Want to Teach Seana

– Being human is weird. We’re not too far off from apes. I’ll take you to the zoo to look at them sometime. They like to play with their own poop and pick their nose with everyone watching. There are building blocks in our bodies called chromosomes that make us who we are. Humans have 23 and apes have 24. Just a single one more. We often forget this when we think we can overcome life and nature and be a superior force. This often comes back to haunt us. But if you keep that simple fact in the back of your brain, I think you can be humble enough to trudge through this life stuff.

– Don’t be in a hurry to grow up. Spend all your time outside. Play in dirt, climb trees, splash around in puddles. We may get weird looks because you’re a little girl and society frowns upon that. But I see you as a child, and new to this planet. It’s important that you explore it. Don’t ever think you’re too old for your toys either. Play with them as long as you want. You’ll lose interest in them naturally. But as you grow into an adult and see what that has in store for you, you’re going to want to go running back to your dolls, snack time and nap at light speed. So don’t waste a single day wishing you were older.

– The only thing you can truly regret in this life is wasting your time being bitter over something. It has the power to blind your perception of an infinite number of things to have gratitude over.

– I named you after your father. When I met him, I was at the end of my rope after spending 10 years of making many, many, mistakes and I knew that things had to change or I would be in trouble. I lost a lot of friends and people who I thought cared about me during this time. But your dad was one of the few that stood by me when I had to take some very difficult steps to get my life on track. Your fellow humans are like puzzle pieces. It’s heartbreaking when you realize that they do not fit as they should. Rather than forcing them in place, save room for those that do fit – just recognize them when they come along and don’t push them away out of fear of being hurt again. Puzzles with only one piece don’t make a very good picture either.

– Upon your arrival you will meet four creatures. Three are dogs and one is a cat. These were our children before you came along. These sort of critters are easy to obtain and are common in many households. They may not seem like much but they are some of the most important things you will ever possess. They make mistakes like you and I, and you will yell at them and make them feel awful for just being curious. But moments later they will act as if it never happened and still want to be your very best friend. Their existence is simple – they want to love and be loved. They will make you feel better on your very worst days. They will also grow old faster than we ever will and only be here for a fraction of our lives which is the most unfair thing you will have to come to terms with. They will teach you a great deal about unconditional love and because they’re here for a short time – they will teach you about not taking your time with them for granted. Be kind to them, and especially kind to the ones who find themselves without a home and family.

– Go out in public in sweat pants and no makeup. While life has its all too serious moments, have the confidence and self-assurance to simply just not give a fuck sometimes.

– Your parents curse a lot. At times, I’m certain it makes us seem less intelligent than we really are. Keep that in mind.

– I’m not going to tell you not to drink, because that guarantees me that you will. Promise me that if and when you do, you will not get behind the wheel of a car or in the passenger’s seat of someone else who has been drinking. Call me or a taxi driver. I don’t care if you throw up or pee in the seat. I’ve seen worse. Hell, I’ve DONE worse. Chances are you will black out and have a moment or two of utter humiliation but this is called learning your limitations. Everyone is entitled to an incident or two of this nature. But if it starts happening rather frequently or you become known for it, please consider stopping. Don’t fall victim to what is raging through your genetics. I promise there’s so much more to life when you can wake up and remember it the next day.

– Heels suck. If you want to wear them, cool. But the discomfort, twisted ankles and stumbles trump how nice they make your legs look.

– Pay attention to history. It repeats itself. And always be on the right side of it.

– Keep a shoe box full of memories. Even if they are bad ones. Nostalgia is important.

– Question everything. Stay curious. And never stop learning.

– Don’t be embarrassed if you scream during a horror movie. It’s funny.

– There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying yourself flowers.

– Size matters. Don’t let him tell you otherwise. My apologies. I know that’s gross coming from your mother.

– If you can’t burp or fart in front of your current boyfriend, dump him. If you are encouraged to compete in burping or farting with your current boyfriend, start picking out your wedding dress.

– If you’re gay, please change every reference in this list to reflect one to the same sex. And know that I am proud of you and your choice. And if someone opposes who you are in regards of this, I will rip them to absolute shreds.

– Find something you’re passionate over and pursue it relentlessly. Even if it means you don’t want to go to college.

– Puberty sucks. And you’re going to be irrational for about 4 years. This too shall pass. For both of us. I might slap the shit out of you though.

– You will need coffee after 30. Acquire a taste for it.

– Have structure in your day but don’t be afraid to go off the grid and do something entirely different to break the monotony.

– Take your training wheels off. If you feel unbalanced or unsteady we can put them back on. But I promise riding that bike will feel natural without them in place. You’ll fall. Accidents will happen and you’re gonna get bumps and bruises. Those will fade and you’ll learn not to take that corner so sharp next time, or to watch closer for those bumps in the road. There’s also perfect days where she sun is shining and the breeze is just right and there will be patches of smooth pavement where you can ride for miles and never want to stop. You’ll miss those if you never get back on your bike. That’s worse than any bump or bruise. Fear is your worst enemy when it comes to anything – not just bike rides. Don’t be scared.

– Don’t wish for big boobs. Enjoy that flat chest as long as you can. Revel in the fact that you can button shirts all the way to the collar, you can run for miles without heavy satchels of fluid bouncing under your shoulders, and that boys will know what color your eyes are upon initially meeting you. They’re overrated. But if you do inherit this from your maternal genetics, by all means use them to your advantage. Speeding tickets aren’t cheap and neither are nice dinners.

– There is no blemish, haircut, deformity, or flaw that will ever make you look as ugly as racism does. Avoid it.

– If you love someone let them know about it as often as possible.

– I would talk to you about religion, but I think you need to figure that out for yourself. That being said, don’t let anyone else talk to you about their religion. It’s none of your business, despite how badly they want to make it that way. If they try to invoke fear or guilt into you, or try to get you to hate someone for simply being, distance yourself. Two things exist that are larger than mankind – good and evil. Your guess is as good as mine as to where they come from. You feel a certain way when you are in the company of something good; as you do when you are in the presence with evil. It’s as natural as breathing. Go with your gut. You will find your spirituality and I’m willing to bet it won’t be in a book or building.

– Don’t ever compete with another girl. You aren’t her. And more importantly, she isn’t you.

– I promise you that I will always be honest with you. Always. That being said, the truth doesn’t always feel good. It downright hurts sometime. But I would rather have you hurt in the light of being honest with you than trying to protect you and have you hurt twice over when you find out that I lied to you. I’m doing this to serve as your example, and hope that you see no reason to not be honest with me. I will love you unconditionally regardless of what truths may hurt me as well.

– Appreciate art in all its forms. Don’t listen to critics that say “this isn’t music/film/literature”. Does it move you? Does it invoke emotion? If it does, it’s art. Anyone that says otherwise is spouting opinion and not fact. And opinions amount to very little when it comes to what actually matters in this world.

– Have you gotten an ample education? Have you seen at least 3 continents? Do you know how to change a flat tire? Do you have your own bank account with ample cash saved in it? Are you with a partner who is prepared to comfort you when you break down and sob because you’re out of eggs? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, take your birth control and make your partner wear a condom. You are far from prepared to spawn. Live more.

– Log off. Yes, technology is very cool. When I was your age we actually had to hang out face to face or via telephone for a social life. Now you just hang out behind a screen. You have five senses. Not just one. There’s more to experience than just seeing. Embrace the other 4.

– Don’t feel that you have to work out or eat a certain way because you hate your body. Do those things because you love your body.

– Don’t take anything personally. Not a single thing. Humans like to talk. We like to spout off our opinions about the world as we experience it. But that’s just the thing – our experience differs greatly from the next person and so on. One’s opinion does not reflect life as you are living it. Simply observe their point of view and move on unphased. Sometimes it helps to understand it, because learning about others is important. Mommy still struggles with this – but she will overcome. As you will too.

– Heartbreak is inevitable. Men find women fascinating but their infatuation with them does not run as deep as a woman’s when it comes to a man. We embrace deeply, and in turn we get hurt badly. Relationships take effort and work, and it’s worth it as long as the other person inspires you to be a better person. If they are asking you to be someone other than yourself, please open the door for them widely so they can walk out with zero obstacles. Their lack of acceptance is not your problem, it is theirs. Furthermore, thank them. They have gotten out of the way for the person who will love you despite your flaws and will live for the uniqueness that makes you beautiful.

– Travel. Travel. Travel. I promise you a plane ticket to anywhere will bring you more fulfillment than any material possession you will ever buy with money. Seeing this world is the only way you can ever develop a full understanding of it.

– Please don’t let anyone call you a princess. You don’t need a man to save you and you don’t need to have the village fall at your feet because of your fairness.

– Rollerskating is good times. It’s even better times when you plow yourself into a fellow rollerskater that has a star on the side of her helmet. Yes it hurts and you could break a bone. But just try it once. Please?

– Don’t let anyone tell you how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling bad, don’t put on a fake smile and say you’re ok. Be honest and open. Being sad is ok. Being angry is ok. We’re all allowed to have bad days and we’re all free to let the world know about it. Just don’t set out to make anyone else’s day awful because yours is.

– Your parents will make mistakes. Before you we were just two people living for ourselves. This whole thing is scary and we probably won’t get every little thing right. But our flaws in parenthood in no way reflect the level of love and adoration that we will have for you that will undoubtedly grow with every passing day.

Pregnancy: Act 1 Scene 13

So about 5 weeks ago I woke up and pranced into the kitchen for a cup of my favorite sweet nectar of morning delight (coffee).  

I poured myself a cup and the aroma was that of a landfill, and the taste was that of a mouth full of dirt – prompting me to turn into a vomitron.  Something was terribly wrong here.

Never mind that for the past three weeks or so I suddenly couldn’t stand the taste of meat, I would tear up in a traffic jam, the only thing I found pleasure in doing was taking a long nap, my boobs felt like pin cushions to invisible needles, and that despite the 3 miles I was running a day the scale wouldn’t budge – something came between me and my coffee and that tipped me off that something insane was going on in my body.

That and I was 2 weeks late for my period.  But those things have never been regular anyway.  No big deal.

I was on my way to a clients house and saw a Walgreens.  Maybe I should pee on a stick.  I have before.  It always comes up “not pregnant”, I start my period a few days later and get pissed off that I wasted $17 dollars using an instrument to tell me something my body would have told me any way had I just been a little more patient.

Have you bought one of these lately?  They come in two packs now.  It’s for when the first one comes up positive and you say “shut the fuck up” and immediately open the second and pee on it because you know there was some sort of malfunction.  But when you have the two side by side saying the same thing, it all of a sudden isn’t a malfunction anymore.  I know, because I stood there for about 10 minutes just waiting for the “not” to appear in front of that word.

Ya know how to make your very very busy CEO better half drop the show he’s designing and turn into a stammering human stunted with disbelief?  Respond to his end of the conversation of “I’m very busy right now, can we talk later?” with “hey, so I’m pregnant…”

I went to the doctor to pee in a cup.  Turns out that didn’t malfunction either. Then I saw a little bean with a beating heart through a sonogram wand and that was probably the coolest thing I have ever, ever, ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of cool shit). So slowly my shock and disbelief turned into reality and excitement.

Our mothers were ecstatic.  Our fathers were probably in more disbelief than we were.  Our friends and extended family were overjoyed – aside from that one who said “this is a good thing I guess?  maybe you guys should get married first so there’s some sort of commitment there” (I guess I should have expected that reaction when she had a similar reaction over my sobriety “this is temporary, right?”, and my relationship with Sean “he’s changing you too much”….I really wonder why I consider her a friend..).  
I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support.  Also a bit annoyed by the advice I didn’t ask for, but I’ll chalk that up to my hormones.

Something I found out for myself:  The ninth level of hell is a stroll through the park on a lovely spring day compared to my first trimester.

I’m hungry.  I’m hungry for weird shit.  I’m hungry for a bowl of bleu cheese dressing at 3am, but I can’t have bleu cheese so I have a banana instead.  How does that make sense?  It doesn’t.  I also eat a dessert upon waking every morning.  I think sweets are disgusting right now, but I’m going to vomit in approximately 15-30 minutes after waking up and quite frankly, I need something tolerable to taste when my digestive system is going in reverse.

Speaking of food, I’m paranoid as fuck.  I don’t take medicine either.  I even have a list of safe meds I can take.  And even though my mouth waters at the thought of hot processed french fries from a drive thru I avoid it.  Why?  Because childhood epidemics are at an alarming rate these days.  I really can’t think of any other reason why other than our nation pumping our foods full of preservatives, chemicals and hormones.  Unnatural medications have been taking the place of natural ones, etc.  The way I see it I sort of have a pure, untouched little human in my body.  Everything I ingest nourishes it.  I’m gonna give it a chance at a healthy life and not risk any immunity before it gets out there and struggles to maintain it.  Also, if you want me to go from zero to megabitch in 2.5 seconds, light up a cigarette around me.  I’ll end you.

Hormones + weaned off of medication to balance your serotonin = crazy bitch.  When I’m happy I act as if I just won the lotto.  When I’m angry I can probably kill someone with my bare hands.  When I’m sad I cry like someone just got murdered – all for absolutely no reason at all.

As much as I loved rollerderby, I’m deeply regretting being a part of it.  Not because of my amazing friends that I made.  Because my sacrum pops out every time my hips widen, my back pain is crippling, my ankles swell from all the twists, and I can’t hit a bitch or trail skate on bad hormone days.

I’m forgetting everything.  I leave the house without my keys, phone, purse, shoes, mind.  Etc.  

I’m almost convinced that motherhood is becoming a cult of egoists trying to outdo each other with unconventional methods.  Getting on new mother message boards is like watching an episode of American Horror Story.  Sure I’ll have a few of those methods – I want to use cloth diapers to be economically smart and try to do make the landfill of my child’s generation a little less mountainous.  I’m also going to make my own baby food – because I don’t trust the fucking FDA.  
Things that I have gotten looked down upon because I said I’m not going to do:  
breast feed my child until they’re 5 (I plan on stopping when it sprouts its first tooth, because fuck you, I like my nipples).  
Use an epidural or vaccinate my children (they’re miracles of modern medicine and quite frankly I will take the small risks over experiencing a level of pain that causes brain hemorrhages or watching my child die from whooping cough).  
Bed share (there will be a bassinet by the bed for a month or two for SIDS precautions and on nights where the baby is sick, but other than that, the child goes in it’s bedroom and my sex life proceeds full steam ahead).  
Eating my own placenta (no desire to eat my post pardum bag of shit.  thanks.  but i will bank my cord blood because.)
Raising it to be a freethinking liberal, basing it’s early knowledge on science and reason, and keeping it away from alcohol and religion until it is old enough to know that people do and say stupid shit when they’re under the influence of either.  (this kid is also predispositioned to inherit its daddy’s genius genes.  If it’s the product of some peoples nightmares, I have succeeded)

Baby’s R Us and other baby only stores are so fucking overwhelming.  

Conservative christians, public schools, discouragement of science, gun nuts, ignorance in general, etc;  make me want to stick a cork in my lady part and let this kid never come out.  Or just dig a bomb shelter and raise it in it’s own happy little world.  Seriously.  My intolerance is off the charts these days.  But I’ll chalk that up to my hormones as well.

I’m keeping a journal of all this first trimester woes.  When the kid turns 14 and thinks his mom is the worst person on earth, I’m going to beat it over the head with the book and then make him read it.  (sorry.  hormones. )

At the end of the day, with my own vomit still on my shirt, on a yoga ball for a screaming aching back, crying because I can’t find a decent baked potato anywhere in this town and feet swollen up like over ripened tomatoes – I keep telling myself that the biggest lesson in this life (as I have learned through death and loss, divorce, sobriety, and finding myself) has been that in order to obtain something near perfect, with true happiness and humility, and something truly, truly worth it — it is a struggle full of pain, sometimes agony, moments of self pity and questions of my worth — and it is never easy.  In fact, it seems downright impossible at times.  

But it’s my biggest indicator that I’m finally doing something right.

Stay tuned for Act 2:  Fat n’ Moody.

 

 

Paved With Good Intentions: Why I Gave Up Road Tripping in my Thirties

I loved a good road trip.

Dallas to Austin/San Antonio is my most frequented one.  I’ve been on that stretch of 35 at least 250 times (and no, I have NEVER not stopped off at Czech Stop) I’ve been as far as Ft.Worth to Las Vegas/on to Los Angeles then El Paso and then that lonnnnnnnnng trek across the desert back where you can literally see Mexico on the other side of that barbed wire fence. My car has been all over the great state of Texas, and several lowly cities in the Midwest that I wished I had better company on.  So forth, and so on. 

For me, when you put me in front of the open road, I get lost in my own mind.  Staring into vast nothingness has led to my best…and worst decisions.  Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Give me a handy GPS navigation tool, good music, good conversation (if not flying solo), coffee, snacks, and some rest areas to stretch my limbs, I could go all day.

It had been almost 2 years since I rode out with my Ass City sisters to New Orleans to beat drunk frat boys with wiffle ball bats (I’ll save that for another blog..)  It was an 8 hour trek (Crews tried to make it in 6….she probably has a warrant out for her arrest for that ticket by now…) filled with dubstep and fart jokes (why yes, Stryc9 was driving).  So I had been bouncing around the idea of a road trip – maybe to Nashville, or Florida, ooh we can bring the dogs, etc etc. 

So when my friend overseas had an emergency and needed to get to Memphis via Dallas, I happily volunteered.  Not because of the unfortunate circumstance that brought him here, but because I hadn’t seen my best friend in over two years and this opportunity was as good as golden in playing catch up and such. 

The trip there was what perfect road trips are made of.  Lots of laughs, good tunes, good conversation, scenic oddities, rest stops a plenty, snacks, and a safe arrival.  I got to stay in his sisters beautiful country home, check out Beale street, and spend some quality time with my friend. 

I was set to leave on Monday, but then two very unfortunate things happened.  1.  Polar vortex induced ice storm.  2. Norovirus.  I spent 20 out of 24 hours sleeping, barfing (mouth and ass), and freezing. 

The next morning I woke up, still puking but functioning, checked Google maps and saw that I-40 westbound was clear, but going east was still pretty gnarly.  I was good to go.

This is where shit gets real fucked up.

I got a wake up call in regards to which states take care of their roads.  No issues going through Mississippi, no issues going through Tennessee.  THE MINUTE I cross over the Mississippi river bridge into Arkansas, I hit a solid patch of ice and fishtail.  Unlike your typical Texan, I actually know how to drive in this shit so I get my wheels aligned and discover – this fucking highway is solid ice.  SOLID.  A norovirus symptom hits and I nervously start looking for a rest stop.  Exits ramps are fucking closed.  How am I supposed to get off the highway?  I can’t pull over, I’ll slide right off the shoulder.   I clench my ass cheeks, steering wheel, and stomach for another few miles.  Then all of a sudden, I just stop.  The two trucks in front of me are stopped.  The cars, now lining up 10-20 deep are stopped.  Fine.  I’ll just hang here for a few minutes.  10 minutes.  30 minutes.  An hour.  An hour and a half?  We haven’t even moved.  What the hell is going on?  People start stepping out of their cars and looking down the freeway.  A trucker comes up to my window and offers me a soda or water.  I decline, but thank him.  Then ask what’s going on. 

“Welp, Arkansas has this thing where they shut down one side of the freeway while they plow off the ice for however many miles and then they open it back up”

Soooooo, how long do ya think we’ll be sitting here?

“Hard to say.  Folks were stuck here for 12 hours yesterday”.

FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK.

Let me get this straight.  I’m puking every hour or so.  Gallons of liquid and bile are desperately trying to escape my gastrointestinal system.  I have no cell phone or internet service because I’m in bumfuck Arkansas.  I have a full gallon of gas that I’m just burning.  I have 3 cans of coconut Lacroix to nourish me.  It’s subarctic temperatures out.  And you’re telling me I could be here for 12 hours?

I believe this was the point where my passion for these adventures of the road completely flatlined.

Ever bust your ass when trying to discreetly piss between your car and the car door because you slipped on a patch of ice?  Did the door shut as you were trying to get up, locking you out of your car with your pants down, forcing you to crawl through the trunk, busting your ass on ice again, and unlatch the hatchback so you can get back into your car?  No?  Well.  You just haven’t lived.

After that disaster, I decided to try my hand at relieving myself in a LaCroix can.  If you haven’t done that either, then you clearly haven’t gotten in touch with how erratic the muscles in your bladder can be or how terribly real and disgusting your body fluids are.  My interior has since forgiven me, but wouldn’t talk to me until I got a full car detail.

Also – vomit freezes at a rather impressive rate.  Since it vacates from 98.6 degrees, you can actually see steam rolling off of it when it hits the frozen pavement.

The good news is, it took only six hours of hanging out in the parking lot on I-40 before we started moving again.  The bad news – the sun has gone down and all this shit is about to refreeze. 

According to Hotels.com there are zero vacancies in this town, the next town, the town after that.  Looks like I’m gonna drive 45 more minutes to get to Little Rock – where they have a few rooms.  Fine.  Whatever.  I’ll take it.

Another fantastic journey down the icy road to hell going 20 miles per hour, I find myself in the less than impressive city of Little Rock.  I get to my room, which smells a little too much like old people and shame, and immediately go to bed as I’m the most mentally exhausted than I’ve ever been in my life.  The wall to my right is vibrating from some rather impressive snoring – on my left, softcore porn (or really scripted sex).  Earphones in, sleepy pills popped, and I drift off to sleep.

I promptly roll out of bed when my alarm goes off at 8am.  I fumble around with the one cup coffee maker and it doesn’t turn on when I flip the switch.  I plug it in another outlet.  Still doesn’t turn on.

Ok Arkansas.  You force me to drive on your unkept arctic tundra, strand me on your highway for hours, make me use a soda can for a toilet, put me in a room between Mr. Apnea and Mr. Forrest Hump, and you deny me coffee? 

This is where I kind of flip my shit.  John Elway looks like a pee wee football quarterback compared to the way that Mr. Coffee flew across the room.

Luckily there’s a Starbucks down the road.  And apparently double chai tea Latte means “black coffee with sweet and low” in Arkansas.  Get me out of this shit state.

I hit the road going 85mph and hit cruise control.  I get out of there an hour earlier than expected.  I felt a tear of joy roll down my cheek the minute I saw the Welcome to Texas sign.

I don’t think I have ever been happier to be home and have the ability to finish out the stomach flu in the comfort of my own toilet.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the story of my last road trip.  Ever.  I fucking survived it, and I’m not putting myself in a position to ever have another experience like this again.

I have frequent flyer miles.  I’m going to save them.  If any of my friends have an urgent need to get out of state, I’ll get you a plane ticket and drive you to the airport. I will always be the girl that will bend over backwards for her friends in need – that hasn’t changed at all.

I guess road trips are like acid trips.  You can have the time of your life on them.  But once you have a bad one, you typically swear off of them for life.

Road trips will go on the wall of memories of the things I have decided to cease participation in – along with drinking, fast food, full contact sports, and a career in corporate America.  What can I say?  I’m getting old and set in my ways.

Give me a first class ticket to anywhere but behind the wheel, please.

The Beauty in Being a Quitter

14 years ago —

Holy fuck, 14?

14 years ago, I was hanging out in a blue cap and gown, just like everyone else, and it drove me crazy.  I needed something to stand out so I bought these loud sparkly platform boots that easily bumped me up to 5’10” and would have likely received the seal of approval from Gene Simmons or George Clinton.  The thing with these shoes though, is that they were 2 sizes too small for me.  Still, with no fucks given, I squeezed my foot ala chinese foot bonding into this damn thing and was in solid agony for the entire 4 hours that evening.

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Attention grabbers of death.

It’s a rather winded metaphor, but one nonetheless of what I view my life as up until now.  A very elaborate, busy, or chaotic show stopper that I’m proud to be walking around in, but it doesn’t fucking fit, and it’s rather uncomfortable and I’m sure everyone around me is enjoying it far more than I am.

I decided this year was gonna be the year of the bunny slipper.  

Or maybe the year to come up with better metaphors than shoes.  

 

I’ll have to give my cunt of a boss credit for the inspiration of the events that transpired.  The way she didn’t hire additional help before the start of the busy season, the 12-14 hour shift days; the way I was hounded via text message on holidays, at AA meetings, and when I was asleep; how I didn’t get a single day to sleep when I had the flu (even the day after I went to the ER), and finally denying me days off when I practically begged for them — I needed sleep, stress relief, appointments to tend to, etc – i worked a solid seven days a week, every week, from November 28 – January 13.  January 13 I woke up and realized that I had a piercing migraine for 3 days and I hadn’t started my period since October (yeah, sorry for the TMI, male readers).  I asked for another day off to go to the doctor, and it was granted, but I needed to log on after I got home and work.  (Did I not the memo of how a day off is defined anymore?)

The good news – I’m physically healthy as a horse! (and still bad with metaphors, clearly).  Mentally though, stressed to the point where normal functioning was ceasing to exist.  The doctor prescribed time off.  Just a few days.  To rest and get everything up and running again.  

Denied.  And furthermore “if you’re THAT sick, then maybe you should just file for FMLA”

So I did.  Because fuck her.

The benefits that my company (is taking away from all their employees in June) has an impressive job stress/burnout outpatient program.  So I’m learning to deal with my stress and anxiety in a healthy manner while getting a lot of restful days off.  And I’m getting paid too.  

It’s also a metaphor for ample time to find myself a job that I’ll enjoy.

The funny thing about these burnout programs is that it provides you with such insights as “you’re in the wrong goddamn career”.  

Monetary success with a major corporation and holding a steady job for 8 years looks really good on a piece of paper.  But not on an epitaph.  Sitting in a cubical, being micro managed, encountering the same feed-the-machine bullshit, for me at least, is slow suicide.  There are some people that can handle this kind of gig.  And good for them.  But if you can’t, stop being so jaded by the American Dream.  You’re a living, breathing, human being – not an idea that everyone else aspires to.

However, life does have some monetary requirements, so as you can imagine I was delighted that there was a market in Downtown that allowed me to be outdoors and take dogs for runs that pays me enough money to pay my bills (also helped that I paid off my car and cut my rent in half – so hey, opportunity was wide open here).  

When you’re not doing the same things over and over on a daily basis your mind starts to wander elsewhere.  Especially if you just reevaluated and jumped ship on a career that was most of your adult life until now.  What else didn’t fit?

A few weeks ago I got laid out in rollerderby.  Which was nothing new.  I got laid out all the time.  Here’s what was different – I didn’t fucking like it.  

Over two years ago, when I received my first brutal hip check, I hit the ground feeling empowered and ready to get up and fight.  I was fresh out of a divorce, was struggling to find some sort of identity that aligned nicely with newfound independence, and in desperate need of a hobby and friends.  Rollerderby fit the bill in all of those areas.  

And when I came out of the bouts and extra rough practices, I would hit up an afterparty and drink until I couldn’t feel my bumps, bruises and broken bones anymore. 

Until I decided to stop drinking.  

I’m not saying you have to be a raging drunk to be in derby.  In fact I know a good deal of sober derby girls and if they aren’t sober – most all of them drink responsibly.  I’m just saying I’m not that person – despite my largest efforts to try and be that person.

So fitting in like a square peg in the culture, dealing with the kinds of pain that only whiskey could take away for me, and a horribly long and inconvenient commute to the league I so loved amounted to the decision to retire.  Temporary or forever to be determined.

I regret nothing.  Derby pulled me from a dark place and healed so much of me that was broken.  If I can’t give 100% to something, I would rather step aside for someone that can.  My Muertas deserve that – and I was happy to see they drafted a great fit.

These days I’m finding solace in trail skates, hikes, and yoga.  I went from chaos to contentment in a solid year and I think all other aspects are falling nicely into place.  Even though it means big scary changes –  once they’re made they make sense.

 The moral of the story, kids – you got one life.  Make it worth it.  I’m pretty sure most people don’t like hanging around someone listening to them consistently complain and then make excuses to justify their misery – why the fuck are you gonna listen to yourself do the same thing?  Step out of your comfort zone, take risks, and love yourself.  

That’s all I gotta say about that.
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2013: A Life Odyssey

What I learned on my trip around the sun in a series of insightful brain vomits:

 

You’ll make mistakes.  Get over it.  The worst person to ever be angry at and not forgive is you.

Let karma do her job.  You would never be able to get on that level alone.

Stand up for yourself.  But choose your battles wisely.  Some shit is just not worth getting pissed off over.

The person you’re involved with now is not your ex.  I don’t care how much of a dickbag, asshole, cocksucking bitch your ex was, chances are slim to none that this person has not even a fraction of that fucked up behavior.  Take your fucking gloves off and love again.  It’s a lot more enjoyable.  I promise.  You just might even fall in love again.  Never thought that would happen again, did ya?  You deserve this.  Bask in it.  Throw another shovel of dirt on the past. 

The greatest vengeance is happiness and success.

You’re not in control.

Have a sense of humor about everything.  Even if it’s dark, depressing, morbid subject matter.  Stress can take years off your life.  But laughter adds them back on two fold.  Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.

Swallow your pride.  Get over yourself.  If you need help, simply ask for it.  You’ll be pretty shocked how people react to that.

There are things greater than yourself – good, evil, love, and grief – to name a few.  Man cannot define these into tangible items, he can only feel them – and often in the most raw, extreme, and undeniable way.  To believe there is not a power higher than a human being is pretty ignorant.  However, I believe this power is different for each person, and they believe in her/him/it in different forms and fashions, and communicate when this phenomenon differently.  It should never govern a society, dictate another person’s lifestyle, and be used for any kind of justification for acts of hate.  Shun religion – it’s a man made product that does more harm than good in this world.  But do not ignore or deny that voice inside of you that tells you right from wrong.  To do that is essentially abandoning your soul and making a shell of the best person you could possibly be.

Time stops for no man.  This too will pass.  Nothing lasts forever in this wicked world – not even our troubles.  These are all quotes – however, they are three quotes that I say almost daily to myself.

Wanna find out who your real friends are?  Get sober. 

You don’t have to agree.  But you should try to make an effort to understand.  Especially before you criticize.

Destroy what destroys you

Find your fucking worth

 

A safe and prosperous new year you all of you,

Kim/Kimmie/Khillin’/<insert chosen name here>

It Lives

Howdy darlin’s

It’s been a while.  Or more than a while.  And I apologize.  I’ve been in a bit of hermit mode, mainly due to some major life changes and all of my energy has been consumed with that – hence blocking any source of creativity that I typically indulge in on a regular basis (mainly my writing).  But since I’m sort of coming out of that haze, and my niece has been writing rather inspiring stuff on her new blog (hey Al!!) I’ve decided to curl up with a cup of coffee and my trusty Toshiba and play some catch up with you all.

Shortly after I got back from an amazing trip to beautiful Portland, I realized I had to come to terms with my worst habit – drinking.  Since college, I’ve had bouts with this thing.  Yes, it opened up my sense of humor and social anxiety to be rather enjoyable with and around people after around 3 drinks or so – but that’s the problem – it rarely stopped with three drinks.

Everyone has those moments where they drink too much, black out, say and do regrettable things that you would never do when sober, wake up with a hangover, and learn your lesson (that being, don’t drink that much next time).  This is called learning your limitations, and everyone tends to have those moments in their drinking career.  I would learn that lesson, and maybe only apply it for about 2-4 weeks and make the same mistakes all over again.  Much like you would burn the fuck out of your hand if you put it on a stove, take care of your burn for a little while, and when it’s all healed ya do it again just for the hell of it.  I don’t have a clear definition as to what “normal” is – but this is not it.  

So for the past 12 years, I tried to remedy this every time.  Eat dinner before drinking.  Don’t drink alone.  Don’t drive your car to the bar.  Just drink liquor.  Just drink beer.  Don’t drink tequila.  Don’t drink when you’re depressed.  Only drink when you’re happy.  Don’t drink to cure hangovers.  Only drink on the weekends.  Just have three drinks a week.  Just drink when you travel.  Have a week long dry out period.  Have a month long dry out period.  On and on and on and on.  

There’s a term for these endless array of excuses.  It’s called alcoholism.  There’s no cure for it, only treatment.  The only treatment (should one choose to pursue it) is just to simply stop.  Which I’ve tried before – for weeks and months at a time – only to succumb to drinking to the point of a dangerous level once more.

So I sought help.  Real help.  The kind of help that you see on tv and the movies – only it’s really not like that at all – which was probably my biggest point in hesitating to go through with this.  I’m choosing not to elaborate on said treatment, because I’m not trying to promote it – if you choose to speak to me about it on a private level I am certainly open to it.  However the one thing that I can tell you is that it works.

As I write this I am 83 days sober.

I sat down and took a rather elaborate assessment of my life.  I barely remembered college, and barely passed due to my newly non sheltered life and entered the world of partying 20 out of 24 hours a day.  I entered a marriage where I knew that my spouse had serious mental health issues and was abuse – but thought I could love him enough to make him stop those behaviors.  In order to cope with that life I drank heavily, and even heavier after we separated and divorced.  Post divorce I was lost.  I didn’t know where I was going, where I was, how to form a relationship that wasn’t a battle, and overall – just how to have any sort of enriched life without boozing it up.

None of it made sense.  The only thing that wasn’t really hazy and was all too clear was the fact that I was miserable.  The common element in all of this was alcohol.  So I decided to do something sane for once and eliminate it from the equation.

The moment I decided to do this, everything started falling into place beautifully.

I’m on a regimen of medications for problems that are beyond my control.  The problems, however, worsened when I was downing these pills with shots of whiskey.  When I traded that in for water or green tea, my medications started working beautifully and I found myself being more human than I have been in some time as opposed to a short tempered hulk.

My energy and endurance are slowly improving in the gym and on the track.  I no longer have the excuse of hangovers to blame on my shitty performance (however, the occasional bout with fatigue and migraines due to withdraw sometimes get in the way, but it’s years of abuse leaving my body, so it’s something I will have to deal with short term).

I’ve made peace with all situations and people that I have hurt in my past.  My head tends to live in the now more.  I don’t walk around with a guilty conscious and I’m not anxious over what will happen tomorrow.  I simply live – and it’s beautiful.

Also, when I wasn’t looking, this new life brought an amazing man into the picture.  I finally have a relationship that is sane, communicative, fun, and allows me to be 110% myself at all times without anxiety or fear of being thought less of.  He embraces all of me – good, bad, and crazy – with a smile on his face.  I am thankful for Sean every minute of every day. 

While the blessings are in abundance with my new life, the relearning of how to live has brought some obstacles.  I’ve had to put aside my stubborn self centered beliefs to make room for spirituality – I get a lot of eye rolling when I tell people I’ve started going to church.  If it were a Baptist or Pentecostal church of sorts I would welcome the doubtful gestures as I believe these denominations cause the majority of issues in our country.  However, this is a Unitarian Church.  We had a cake in celebration when Prop 18 passed.  They welcome all orientations, religions, race, creeds, etc into their doors to simply celebrate life while searching for truth.  Because church had put such a bad taste in my mouth as a small child, it was hard for me to seek out somewhere to fulfill the spiritual side of my being (it’s mandated for sobriety as well).  But the moment I opened the door to search, I found a place I needed. 

I miss my friends.  Many of them seem at a loss that my life doesn’t revolve around getting fucked up anymore.  I understand that it’s a change, however, it doesn’t have to be a big deal.  Just because I have a drinking problem and choose to no longer drink doesn’t mean that you have a problem or shouldn’t drink because of my mere presence.  Sure it will be a while before I can hang out in a bar without struggling not to drink, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t hang out at a plethora of other places that isn’t solely for the purpose of getting intoxicated.  You don’t have to ask me if I mind you have a drink at a restaurant or bring beers to the pool – I assure you I do not mind – and I do appreciate the compassion in taking my comfort into consideration.  I don’t even mind if you’re buzzed or drunk around me (sometimes it’s nice to see that because it serves as a reminder of why I no longer drink – just saying).  The only thing I ask is that you don’t offer me a drink when you know damn well I’m sober now, and that you don’t be an asshole about it.  Simple enough eh?

Overall I have gotten an outpouring of love and acceptance over my decision.  And I appreciate it more than everyone knows. I’m sorry I’ve been a bit of a hermit – but I needed to take care of me for a bit.  

Future blogs won’t be as narcissistic – but I just wanted a well rounded blog entry over the many questions and conversations I’ve had that sums it up nicely.  You’re welcome, bitches 🙂

Over the past 2+ years I have been through a lot.  Everyone was really awesome in reaching out and asking me if I was okay – and I always responded that I was, and that I was strong and I can get through all this.  And I am – I just went about it the wrong way.  But for once – I can answer earnestly and with 100% honesty – I am doing just fine.  Better than okay.  Even better than yesterday and not as well as tomorrow.  

And I wish nothing less for my readers.   

 

At least it isn’t 3 hours worth of boring slide shows…

Rainy day + recent travel = Congrats fuckheads, you get a blog to read.

As I sit here eating taco salad….without lettuce…or avocado…or cheese…ya know what?  Fuck it.  I’m eating a bowl of meat.  There’s salsa in there.  Bonus points if you envisioned me eating it naked on a saber tooth tiger rug.  Fuck you, primal is sexy.  And quite frankly I haven’t gone to the grocery store so I’m resorting to some pretty ridiculous things.

Anyhow.  I went to insanely beautiful San Juan, PR with my derby sister Major and her friends for 5 days.  I think it was my best vacation yet.  My favorite part is that it’s like traveling internationally without the stress of currency  customs, long flights, etc.  
Here’s some key points about my journey.

ImageI’m happy to report absolutely breathtaking, beautiful places like this are still in existence.  Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States, however, they have been working to be considered into statehood.  Which, I hope never happens.  Sure there are Wal Marts and KFC’s and sickening American crap out there, but I see the small business outweigh the big business and I don’t want that to change, among many other things, but that’s what really gets under my skin about where I live.  But I digress.

 

ImageI’m obsessed with scuba diving.  I didn’t like it at first.  Knowing I ultimately wasn’t in control of my breathing and a force such as buoyancy taking over rubbed my control issues the wrong way.  Around my 4th dive, it all came incredibly natural to me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I see many more dives in my future.  

ImageMany moons ago, Rum and I broke up after a long night with too many bacardi limon’s and sprite, which left me deathly ill.  We kissed and made up on this trip.  

ImageThere are bars in parks!  Also, did you know the sun can still burn you when you’re 30ft below water?  (I didn’t!)

ImageMofongo is the world’s most perfect food.  

ImageThis is all you really need for true simple happiness.

ImagePuerto Ricans love the FUCK out of life.  They are actually very inspiring.

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If you get the chance, go to a historic war fort like this one used in the Spanish War and WWII, and go with a soldier.  She’s a world of knowledge and makes it just that much more fun.

ImageWhen I first started rollerderby, I read an article about some of the things I needed to know…such as don’t be an asshole on the track, don ‘t wear tutu’s, accept the inevitability of an injury….but one key point was that the friends you make will be your friends for life.  And anyone who is this much fun to travel with is certainly that as well.  Plus she farts like a goddamn beast in her sleep.There are a couple of things I *didn’t* like about Puerto Rico.  One being the drivers.  Good God.  If you don’t like the traffic in LA, Houston, and Chicago combined, please do not rent a car and attempt to drive on this island.  


The other thing is that since this is a part of the United States, big headed ignorant asshole Americans make their way in with ease and carry around the entitlement that they’re from a country that “owns them”.  They throw the middle finger, they don’t tip, they speak broken spanish in a rude manner (when actually most of the citizens there speak english), and most importantly – they forget they are GUESTS.  Regardless of the politics or ownership, this is it’s own country, with their own cultures and norms very different from what you and I have been exposed to.  Its dickholes like this that puts a bad taste in the rest of the world’s mouth about Americans.  So don’t be that guy/gal.  Got it?  Good. 
Cause I plan on going back – you can come with me!

Oh, and this happened when I got home the following week…..

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The Affairs of State Must Take Precedence Over the Affairs of State

Every time I write or blog about something pertaining to current events, that little zinger from Blazing Saddles pops into my head.  And while it has been a while since I have seen that classic satire, it’s also been a while since I wrote about anything pertaining to current events, or my bucket list, or my humble and sometimes abrasive opinion.  This option won’t kill as many brain cells.  Even though I can never get enough of the campfire farting scene.

Chris Kyle, a kid who grew up in my small hometown 6 years ahead of me, was killed along with his friend at a shooting range.  Chris was a military hero, hailed as one of the best snipers in history, and was a father, a husband, and someone who generally just tried to do the right thing.

This is all over the local news being D/FW.  All of my alumni is talking about it on Facebook.  His memorial was held at the Cowboys Stadium, and the Westboro Baptist Church pussied out of protesting his funeral.  Needless to say, this man was loved.

While this man deserves his life to be celebrated, and his accomplishments to be acknowledged, the media is also spending a considerable amount of time with coverage on the person who killed Chris.

He was also from the same small hometown, but six years younger than me.  However, that’s not the only thing we share in common.  We also both have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

I’ve been putting off writing this blog for a while.  Mostly because I don’t really like talking about it.  However, if the past week has shown me anything, it’s how the media absolutely misconstrues shit.  There’s a gross understanding that society has about this condition.  About all mental health, really.  Furthermore, it’s frustrating that no one on Capitol Hill has suggested that before we do anything about the gun control issue that we have an absolutely enormous problem in regards to the addressing and treatment of mental health.

I was diagnosed with PTSD in May 2011 after undergoing a series of assessments that determined I had undergone significant emotional and mental abuse over a period of six years.  I won’t go into what caused this, because it is buried deep in the past and I intend for it to remain there.

I remember my first encounter with PTSD 20 years ago in the 6th grade.  We had an assistant principal who did a few tours in Vietnam.  Someone popped a chip bag and he dove under one of the tables.  The whole cafeteria laughed.  Including me.

If I had known then what I know now, I would understand why 31 year old Kimmie found a time machine and slapped the fuck out of 11 year old Kimmie.  Not that that happened or anything.  I just watch too many movies.

It’s not popping chip bags for me.  It’s whenever I see someone lose their temper.  Slamming doors.  When someone enters a room and I’m not expecting them to.  When someone walks up behind me and I’m not expecting them to. If something flies towards me. Glass breaking.

I’m in a support group.  A really good group of people trying to get together to figure this fucking thing out.  You would never believe what some triggers are.  Pomeranians, shoestrings, bamboo, cardboard.  To name a few.  Then there’s the obvious…fireworks, balloons popping, tiressquealing.

Here’s where I loop back around to this current event.  Say you’re going to put me in a room where I have to encounter flying objects and door slams.  What do you think will happen?  Here’s a hint – it’s not gonna be good.

So why – why? – did Chris Kyle consider taking a post war PTSD patient to a shooting range?  For therapy?  Yes – this man is a hero, and yes this man loved his country, and I’m sure what he was doing was out of his best interest for this man and he was trying to help him –  but for the life of me I cannot wrap my head around why he would ever think the very thing that caused the trauma for this veteran would help heal him?

When triggers occur, I can only compare it to a fight or flight response.  My body goes into survival mode – don’t do anything to worsen the situation, if I’m being harmed either run or fight back.  And the most fucked up part?  It’s like a door slams and it takes me to a place I was 4 years ago – same heart racing, lump in my throat, wanting to crap everywhere kind of freak out.  A part of me wonders if this person felt the same way.  No, he was no longer on a battleground, but hearing a single noise from there, albeit in a different environment, more than likely took him back to the setting of his trauma.  I am in no way trying to justify what he did.  It was wrong, and he knows it was wrong.  I just don’t think our society takes the time to put themselves in the shoes of a person that lives with this.

There’s also the uncontrollable moods, irrational thinking, occasional rage, increased substance abuse, and isolation that one must take into account as well.  All wrapped up in a tidy package, and it’s very, very hard to keep those seams together.

Treatment for this is difficult, because virtually all of the cases are different.  I tried for a long time to solely use therapy and alternative medicine but after too many nights of binge drinking, failed relationships, night terrors, and moods that would go from happy go lucky to incredible hulk in 2.5 minutes, I finally swallowed my pride and gave in to the miracles of modern medicine.

We went through a few drug cocktails before we found the perfect one.  No more nightmares.  No more panic attacks if a cup falls out of the cabinet.  I love life again.  Thoughts sometimes wonder into my mind, but I breathe and replace them quickly.

A part of me is disappointed that I didn’t have the will power to conquer this on my own.  But it’s bigger than me.  It’s bigger than anyone, and bigger than anyone can imagine.  And I was at a point to where I needed to do whatever it took to make it manageable.  If I gotta be on pills, then so be it.  A part of me worries that people will think I’m crazy because of this issue and because I have to be medicated to handle it.  But I think it’s far crazier to know you have a problem and stubbornly refuse the treatment you truly need.

So there you have it.  I hope this will suffice as I have briefly discussed this with many of you, but never at length.  I’m sure I had to owe it to you at one point or another.

In conclusion.  Just be kind.  You never know what battle a person is fighting.
And in my case, every person isn’t trying to fight a battle with me.

28.  Be able to talk openly and candidly about my life with PTSD.

Bucket Deez

I had my bucket list up on my last blog. Found it.  Revised it and updated it.
I’ve had this thing since I was 15.  It started with 10 things.  Added 10 more things at 20.  Added 10 more things at 30.  Anyway.  Here it is.  Feel free to steal ideas – I’ve had fun accomplishing these 🙂

1.  See as much of the world as possible
(to date:  UK, France, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Puerto Rico)

2.  Visit all 50 states
(To Date: 24/50)

3.  Live out of state

(Missouri 2004 – 2006)

4. Scuba Dive

5.  Learn to cook

6.  Have a Vegas wedding

7.  Go to college

8.  Be a mom

9.  Be a part of a team, organization, establishment

(Joined ACRD in 2011, NTDR in 2013)

10.  Watch the ball drop on NYE in New York

11.  Run a marathon

(Anchorage, AK  2009)

12.  Go white water rafting

(Poudre River, Colorado – 2012)

13.  Pay it forward in some sort of grand scale way

14.  Get a half sleeve tattoo

15.  Stay somewhere haunted

(The Stanley – Estes Park, CO)

16.  Go to Disneyworld at an old age

17.  Go without a cell phone, internet, or outside communication for a solid week

18. Write a book

19.  Quit a job in a fashion only seen on the movies or television

20. Own a micropig

21.  Learn a new language

22.  Figure out if there’s a God

23.  Fall in love and get it right this time.

24.  Climb a mountain

25.  Eat food from every ethnicity at least once.

26.  Counter protest the Westboro Baptist Church

27. Read a book a week

28. Learn to speak openly and candidly about my PTSD

29.  Take a vacation completely alone

30.  Have a Dallas based Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  And call into work to do so.

Hangin’ out with the chain gang

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Oh streptococcus.  We meet again.  And you’re just as much of a pain in the ass as you were last time.  You take away my voice, my toothbrush, my ability to swallow, derby practice, training, and quarantine me from the outside world until I have consumed 48 hours worth of your nemesis, Penicillin.

But you also bring about many naps, the lack of motivation to do nothing but watch endless amounts of movies and read all those books and magazines that I’ve been needing to catch up on, quality time with my pets that I wouldn’t have had while I was away at the office, and a perfect excuse to stay in my pajamas for at least 24 hours, if not more.

See?  You’re not *all* bad.  But because you invade my normally busy, active, and sometimes chaotic lifestyle and render me useless; I get just bored enough to make life altering decisions.

The last time I was plagued with strep, I had three horrible night terrors (while daytime napping) and I realized I had to get a grip on my PTSD.  The next 9 months I worked with my doctor to try various methods to get it under control, which all but up until now, or six weeks ago we finally nailed it.  And I mean NAILED it.  My life has done a 180.  I’m calm, I wake up happy, I think clearly, my moods stay in tact, and blissful sleep.

Sooo I think my body said “ok, cool.  we’ve got that issue out of the way.  let’s find some bacteria on a door handle or something so she can figure out something else she’s been deeply pondering”

Sure that’s an unusual hypothesis, but it’s simply that.  A theory.  I could admit to just being so fixated on my makeup or hair in the mirror and forget to wash my hands when I use the bathroom.  Fuck you, you know you’ve done it too.

As many of you know, I took this semester off.  Do I miss school?

Shockingly, no.

I *love* school because I *love* learning.  But having this obligation off my plate for a month, I’ve realized that its given me the ability to engage in things that I have an interest in learning about.  And it has also given me endless freedom for skating and travel.  Which boil down to my two biggest passions.

I’ve also come to the both painful realization and pride swallowing admission that I’m just flat out not counselor material.  I am in the sense that I can deeply analyze people.  But that’s where I run into my dilemma.

There are, indeed, some very very ill individuals out there.  Mental illness is real, it is just as real as a physical illness.  However, I think a very, very, small fraction of our population is actually “ill”.  It is not near the number of people that claim to have a mental illness.

It is human to have weakness.  However, I think people make themselves victims to their weakness.  It’s also very human to not want to admit to weakness, but rather blame it on a problem outside of your control as not to expose your vulnerabilities. It’s just a matter of changing your thinking and outsmarting them to truly overcome them.

I can just see my license being ripped away from me now….like probably after my second patient.

“I’m an addict”
“No you aren’t, you’re just telling yourself that you’re an addict….oh, hello supervisor…”

“Pack your shit, Ms. Hill”

Do I lack compassion?  Certainly.  I will totally admit to that.  This is why I’m admitting that I’m not counselor material.  Counselors are extremely compassionate individuals.  I know when I go to my therapist, sometimes I know she is thinking “god damn, would she just SHUT THE FUCK UP already!??!!”.  But she sits there, nods her head, agrees with me, or gives me advice on how to turn that around to something positive, and I greatly admire her for that.

Because of the issues I went through with my PTSD, I thought this was my calling because I could identify with patients in situations that not many people outside of those circumstances understand.  And this may selfish of me, but I’ve taken the time to see it as me re-living feelings that I worked so hard to get over, and frankly I just don’t want to do that.  It was enough living through it once.

Do I regret all the hours I spent studying towards this degree?  No.  Not at all.  I took away valuable lessons from those courses.  More importantly, it made me realize that I just don’t want to do this.

So what am I going to do?  Stay right where I am.

Let me tell you about my day.  I get to work at 6am.  I go to the gym either first thing that morning or on my lunch break (and yes, my office has a badass gym).  My actual job description is to sit in front of a computer and code prescription benefits all day long.  While doing this, I listen to music, or a book on tape, or stream a movie on netflix that I like to have in the background. I go home at 3pm. My salary range is in the upper middle income for individuals my age.  I have awesome and affordable benefits.  I’m single, have no children, have a car that’s almost paid off, minimal debt, and I can go anywhere or do anything that I want.

So why am I looking for something else?  Wasn’t it Buddha that said be happy with what you have?  (I need to brush up).

I learn many, many things working in the pharmacy industry. Yes, I get frustrated with it.  Yes, it is a crooked system.  But changes, in my non-political affiliated opinion whatsoever – GOOD changes, are coming and I sort of want to be around to see it.  Why not lobby to further these changes or branch off to other areas of this field?

Furthermore, why the fuck do I even have to be defined by my career?  I want to be defined by all the cool things I do in life.  Work to live.  Not live to work.  My current job allows me to have a life outside of work (granted, except for welcome season, but that’s 6 weeks out of a year) and I’m lucky to have that.

Realizing that you have everything you need in front of you is a pretty liberating feeling.
I’m pretty happy with pursuing an education outside of a classroom.  At least I won’t have any books to sell back at a pathetic rate.  $12…..12 fucking dollars…that book was 200 bucks….

Until then I’m going to hope that this life thing will start coming naturally and will spare me the painful walnut sized tonsils.