Monday, September 12, 2016

My Body Can't Keep Up with My Ambition

It's really difficult to put into words the frustration I feel day in and day out of all the projects I want to do or places I want to go but I'm too tired and in pain from dealing with fibromyalgia, chronic sinusitis, and IBS.  I have days where I truly feel unhappy and I know it's because of how I feel.  There isn't one day that goes by where my body isn't screaming at me about something that hurts.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel tired mentally and physically.  This is the life sentence I was given.

I am lucky knowing that the disorders I have won't kill me or are degenerative.  I am purely writing this out of annoyance.  I have a Type A brain with a Type B body.  I would love to uphoster furniture, or be good at running, or try really complicated recipes, or play hide and seek for 3 hours straight with my daughter...but this is not the reality I live in.  It's an accomplishment to just get through the work day with lots of caffeine.  By the time I get home to have family time, it's hard for me to think clearly or really do anything without a tremendous amount of pain either in my muscles, sinuses, or both.  If I make dinner, it's something easy.  My husband does a lot of housework and for that, I feel very guilty.  By the time I put my daughter to bed, I want to lie down in bed.  I get all my work stuff out the night before because I know I will be so tired in the morning.

I want to be the girl on the go, even if for just a week.  I can't help but look at people on social media at all these fun events and doing so many hobbies (while I'm curled up on my couch checking social media because I'm in so much pain and exhaustion) and be jealous!  I have to reminder myself that people only post what they want you to see (which is also true about what I post).  I don't know what struggles other people have.  Social media shows the rosy colored version of life (at least most of the time).

Maybe one day there will be a cure for fibromyalgia.  Maybe one day I can have sinus surgery again and it will actually help.  Maybe I will be able to stop worrying about if my IBS is acting up.  Those are the things that get my through my worst days when I want to scream, "I GIVE UP!  I DIDN'T ASK FOR THIS!"  But I don't give up, and I do what I can.  In fact, there is a quote from an Emily Dickinson poem  that I always come back to when the pain seems like too much:

"Hope is the thing with feathers-
That perches on the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops at all."

Thursday, June 9, 2016


I felt the need to write this post because the man recently in the news who received minimal punishment for the horrendous crime he committed in raping an unconscious woman is infuriating.

I know some men are dumpster fires that believe non consensual sex is still sex (somehow the woman was asking for it) and I really wish they understood or cared that raped women hide deep emotional issues very long after the incident.

I have never admitted this publicly but for the sake of hopefully having more men and women talk about this...I am a rape victim.  It's so weird to type that, and extremely freeing at the same time.

When I was in my senior year of college, I went to a bar.  I hung out with friends and met a guy (aka the rapist) that I knew through friends.  He was cute and I enjoyed talking to him.  I decided it was late and I wanted to go home.  He asked for a ride.  I agreed and talked about how tired I was.  He said we should just go to my apartment.  I agreed but told him he could only sleep in my bed if we just slept and he kept his clothes on.  When we got in my bed, he tried to make out with me and said I needed to go to sleep.  I fell asleep.  I woke up with my pj pants off and my hands held back even though I fought it.  He was naked but seemed to ignore me as I yelled and cried "NO!!!!"  He proceeded to rape me.  I cried and yelled no while my hands were bound the whole time.  When he was done, I was crying and he told me I liked it and was asking for it.  I screamed for him to get out.  I developed dark bruises inside my thighs in the next couple days.

What did I do?  I cried.  I didn't call the cops, or tell anyone.  All I kept hearing was, "I asked for it" over and over in my head.  I made myself believe that because I still couldn't wrap my head around what happened and how a seemingly normal guy could do that.  I also felt embarrassed, like I was dumb or drank too much to allow it to happen.  Instead of going to the cops, I quietly got tested for all STDs not mentioning what happened and went to my doctor for an antidepressant.  It took over a month to even tell my best friend who just hugged me while I cried.  She didn't condone me for not reporting it, she knew how bad I felt already.

In fact, guys I dated afterwards I never told.  It took me years to even tell my family.  I got panic attacks going into bars and seeing men look at me.  I eventually saw a therapist to help me sort out the lingering distrust I had towards men because of it.  I was always the DD too because I was terrified of being drunk and not have complete control over my awareness and my mace.

Millions of women have been raped and in much worse situations than me that never report it.  We feel responsible and this is NOT OK.  When we do report a rape, we should not be shamed by our attacker who gets a minimal sentence.  A pot grower should not be in prison longer than a rapist.  Period.

I felt I needed to share my story because you might have a sister, friend, or daughter and you need to let them know rape is NOT the woman's fault.  I wish no woman would ever have to go through what I went through.  It scars us for years and makes us feel a hatred for ourselves.

No means no.  Unconscious means NO.  A woman crying and begging for a man to stop means no.  This should not be happening in our society but it does.

I am very sad for the woman in this case.  I feel for her on a level I wish I never had to.  That is all I have left to say.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation


So there has been a viral video with a girl ranting about Millennials aka Generation Y aka the generation I guess I am placed in.  I couldn't help but feel bad for her because I do not know who she hangs out with to feel like our generation is so rude, entitled, and lazy.  Of course, EVERY generation has people with those qualities...but this negative video is wrong about us.  Let me shed some light on my generation (at least what I see) and the positive qualities we do possess.

We Don't Work Harder, We Work Smarter

We are the generation that grew up during a major technology boom and learned to use technology to be more efficient in our work.  I am able to write a work email within 2 minutes from my phone while doing other things.  I can text a coworker some information they need while talking to another coworker.  I have lists upon lists written in my phone with reminder alarms.  Also, GPS is a necessity for my job.  We have embraced technology.  This does not make us lazy, it makes us advanced.  Secondly, we have been through and seen that grunt work or 'pulling yourself up by your bootstraps' is a lie.  We have worked hard at pretty mindless jobs (I cleaned dog kennels in high school) but just because I worked hard didn't mean I got a raise or would have future employers be impressed I picked up dog poop.  That is why I got a college degree, education (or at least educating yourself) is important, learning how to think is important because we have learned that you get ahead by working smarter, not harder.  Also, most of us graduated college as the recession hit and the generation before us were scrambling to get the entry level jobs since they had been laid off.  We had to adapt and think outside the box in order to survive,  For me, it was having my own freelance floral design business.  My husband has done stage management on the side.   I know many people who work a job on the side for the income they need.  We didn't all get a chance to follow the status quo of landing that entry level position out of college so we did what we had to.  There are so many entrepreneurs in our generation who are excelling in the business world.  I don't see us as lazy, we just think outside the box when it comes to making a decent living.

We Aren't All Old Fashioned, And That's Ok

So what if our friends have kids and are not married?  Who cares if we want to put off marriage because the divorce rate is about 50%?  Yes, quite a few of us have tattoos, even piercings!   We aren't rebelling against our elders (who we DO respect, if they give us the same respect in return), we just don't see why we HAVE to do something because that is what our grandparents or parents did or did not do.  Our gay friends should be able to marry, our transgender friends should be able to go to the bathroom without fear, we should be able to date any race, class, or gender without the judging eyes of other generations.  Please tell me how these things I've mentioned are hurtful to our society other than it being not 'old fashioned'?  If you are old fashioned, that is great!  However, discrimination is not cool.  Let us be us, and you can be you.  Diversity is a GOOD thing!

We Aren't All Religious, And That's Ok Too!

Some of us have had bad experiences with religion, some of us find hypocrisies within religion, and some of us just are not interested.  That doesn't mean we are BAD people.  Most Atheists I know are the kindest, most moral people I have ever met.  They do the right thing because they love humanity, not for fear of God's wrath or being burned in hell.  In fact, there are Atheists all around us (not just in our generation).  No, they will not kidnap your child.  No, they won't kill puppies for fun.  No, they will not steal your wallet.  Just because someone is not religious does not make them a bad person.  Again, this is not to go against elders, we just know what works best in how we view life or what happens after.  Some of us are very religious, and some of us aren't.  We can live in peace together if we don't push our beliefs on each other and cast judgement based on religious or non religious affiliations.   

We Are Entitled...To Stand Up For What's Right

This is my final point because I HATE when my generation is called entitled with no explanation.  Entitled to what?  If you are talking about free healthcare, sure, we are entitled to that (like every other industrialized country).  We are entitled to marry the gender we want to marry, because, how is LOVE a bad thing?!  But no, we don't feel entitled to a fancy job, a European vacation, or a McMansion just because we went to college or worked a job for more than a year; we faced the great recession as young adults...remember?  The generation I know that I am part of is less about material things and more about human connection and experiences.  We aren't using massive amounts of credit cards to 'Keep Up with the Jones's'.  We are spending our time connecting with other humans instead of outdoing them.  Yes, there are Millennial brats, but there are also Baby Boomer brats, and 4 year old brats.  Just because you know a brat doesn't mean you should just sum up our generation as entitled brats.   


I feel like anyone ranting about our generation is not doing anything to fix our generation.  We should be focusing on the positive things that each generation has contributed to in our country.  United we stand and divided we fall.  'Millennial' should not be a bad word, it should just be a word.  When you feel down about society, go volunteer to make it better!  Don't use Facebook (created by a man in my generation) to complain about our generation being lazy, rude, and entitled.  Let's just chill out and realize we are all on this planet together...there is no need to make someone's life harder by putting them down.  Peace and love until next time.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Legend of Perfection

Have you ever stayed up later than you should have worried that you aren't good enough?  It's an isolating feeling, but ironically many of us feel this way.  When we were children, it was easy to know if we were doing a good or bad job at most things: praise or discipline from your parents, report cards, trophies, certificates, etc.  We grew up with others helping us to excel, and we usually stayed in a hobby or sport we were good at.

As adults, we are given a gift and a curse.  We are given the freedom to study a skill that can become a job, we can stay up as late as we want with no one yelling at us, and we can sneak a candy bar for lunch without getting grounded!  But, as adults, we are given responsibility.  We may not be in a job we love because we need that paycheck for bills, to pay a student loan, to feed and clothe our children, and to make sure we aren't kicked out of our homes.  We might have to give up a hobby in order to spend more time with family or deal with a critical illness.  We lose sleep, we forget to take our vitamins, our anxieties increase, and we lose our patience easily because there never seems to be enough time in the day.

We are left thinking, "I wish things were perfect."  Oh, how I have always longed to feel perfect, to be the woman who can do it all flawlessly while looking glamorous.  I feel the more I think about it, the more this idea of perfection is so far out of my reach.  I go through regrets in my head like a hamster wheel.  "I should have done this, I could have been this, if I had just done this than life would be better..."  Is this a healthy thought behavior?  Not at all.  Is it a tool to keep me motivated to put on pants every day and be an adult?  Yes, but it doesn't have to be that way.

I have hard days where I feel like I am failing as a mother, wife, employee, and adult.  This only becomes a slippery slope of self pity and frustration.  So I have a new goal that is better for my life.  I am going to stop chasing perfection.  I will do my best to find the lessons in every up and down I experience day in and day out.  I think through learning as much as I can, that will make me a better person, not perfect by any means, but better than I was the day or year before.

I think it's time to be more patient with ourselves, to actually say to ourselves, "I forgive you."  I have priorities, and as long as those priorities are taken care of then maybe I am not failing after all.  The things I can't control should have no control over me.  None of us are perfect and 100% happy with every single thing in our lives, but that is okay.  I am now officially an okayist (yep I made that up) instead of a perfectionist for my own peace of mind.  At least in my life, perfection is a legend. 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Two days ago, my sister and I had to take our family dog, Zoey, to the vet to be put to sleep.  At about seventeen years old, she had pretty severe arthritis, incontinence, little vision, two found tumors, and was losing weight.  She didn't want to interact with anybody and spent most of her day just lying down in my mom's room.  She was just hanging on.  Fortunately she wasn't scared when we got to the vet's office, and didn't even have the energy to fight against the IV that went in her little arm.  I looked her in the face and told her how much she has been loved and thanked her for her loyalty to my family, especially my mom.

Instead of this blog being sad about the loss of Zoey, I wanted to write this to celebrate her life.  I never had a dog as a kid.  My dad forbade having one (I later found out he wanted to protect my sister and me from the pain he went through when he lost his childhood dog).  Two days before Mother's Day in 2000, Gwyn (my sister) decided to go to the Humane Society on a whim.  She saw a scrawny beagle/terrier in the corner of a cage that the employees had nicknamed Mighty Dog.  She was a 2 year old stray who looked like she had just had puppies and had a bad case of kennel cough.  She was on schedule to be put down since no one wanted her.  My sister felt a connection with Zoey and took me back to the kennel with her to meet Zoey.  Despite being scared and sick, she was so kind and had the type of stare that just made you want to hug her forever.  We were both determined to save Zoey from an early death and be our family pet.  The next step was to convince our parents.

My mom was actually optimistic about meeting Zoey and possibly taking her home, my dad was reluctant.  Fortunately, we got our father to go to the Humane Society with us since it was Mother's Day and my mom asked him to go to humor her.  When we got there, my dad didn't even want to go back to the kennel convinced we were NOT getting a dog.  We were allowed to put Zoey on a leash and decided we were going to take her out to the waiting room to meet my dad.  As soon as Zoey walked into the waiting room, she pulled herself away from the leash, jumped up on the bench right next to my dad, and just stared at him.  My dad started to crack a smile and gave in.  We got to take Zoey home that day and saved her from a morbid fate.

The next week was hard trying to treat Zoey's kennel cough, gain her trust, and get her to gain weight.  Soon after that, Zoey was really close with all of us.  She loved walks, our wooded backyard, chewing on pig ears, and playing tag.  I was actually shy at this time in my life so Zoey was who I hung out with.  She was a good friend to me, didn't judge me, didn't make fun of me.  She just wanted to play and be loved.

5 months after getting Zoey, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma.  The more treatments my dad went through, the more Zoey stayed by his side.  She took naps with him and let him be when he wanted to be alone.  She instinctively knew when to be by him or leave him be.  Six short months later, my dad died.  This time, Zoey followed my mom around everywhere and slept next to her every night.  My mom admitted she felt better with Zoey watching over her.

When I went off to college, I even had a sense that my mom would be ok since she had Zoey.  I'd still come home every weekend to do laundry and play with Zoey.  The summer before my senior year, I was dealing with unbearable sinus headaches and a broken heart from a breakup.  Zoey was by my side, letting me hug her as I cried into her fur.  I couldn't leave the house much due to how lousy I felt but I had Zoey.  

Over the years, Zoey started to show her age and I moved to Indianapolis so I didn't see her as much.  She still slept with my mom every night.  It's times like these I wish I had spent more time with her after moving out of West Lafayette.  A year ago, Zoey's health started to go downhill.  It was hard for my mom to see but she did the best she could to take care of Zoey.  Last week, Gwyn and I saw Zoey and could tell she was doing very poorly.  We felt it was the right thing to do to go take Zoey to the vet since we were the ones who begged to save her.  I felt an irrational sense of guilt taking Zoey away from my mom, but she isn't in pain anymore.  She isn't just hanging on.  I want to think she is in a heaven, running around with pure joy and getting some hugs in from my dad.

I think it's an understatement to say that Zoey was a great dog.  I think it's an understatement  to even say she was an amazing dog.  She was what you'd hope for in a dog.  She loved so much and so loyally.  I think that is what makes Zoey's death so sad despite living a long life; we loved her so much it made saying goodbye so much harder.  She was the rescue dog that rescued us.  I will always be grateful for her, forever.

Monday, February 23, 2015

You Can Crush My Body, But Not My Soul

Being a mom is tiring, being a mom with Fibromyalgia is some days extremely hard.  Fibromyalgia makes you feel excruciating pain when you may not even have inflammation but it's not just that.  Fibromyalgia has caused chronic sinus issues, gastroparesis, and even exacerbated anxiety and in very low points, depression.   I'm not new to this disorder, I have had it since I was ten after a bad case of the flu.  For four years, Riley Children's Hospital ran many tests on me to find a cause until a rheumatoligist gave me certain tests to pinpoint Fibromyalgia which is rare in children.  I have gone on to do some amazing things in my life because of my willpower knowing deep down that I am stronger than what my body puts me through.  I do have some guilt knowing there have been more things I've wanted to achieve but brain fog, exhaustion, and pain can be unbearable at times.  I had a lot of anxiety after Raven was born because I realized she might grow up with a mom who has bad days and has to just lie on the couch but I have made peace with the fact that my daughter wouldn't love me any less than if I had diabetes, cancer, or any other disease/disorder.  I admit I don't take the best care of myself and it's showing more as I age.  However, I will adapt to whatever changes fibromyalgia brings and I will prevail.  I am just grateful I don't have a terminal illness and that the right distraction techniques help me forget about my pain and exhaustion.  I'm looking forward to moving up in my career in logistics and doing some home renovations.  When I feel ok, I am so thankful (that others take for granted).   I hope they find a cure or at least an affordable treatment plan but in the mean time, I'm dancing in the rain and finding the positives that define my life!

Friday, January 23, 2015

I've Got Thick Skin and An Elastic Heart

I don't know if you've heard the song "Elastic Heart" by Sia, but I adore it (and the video is very cool).  I know the song is probably about a break up, but I really love the line, "I've got thick skin and an elastic heart."  I feel like this resonates with how I feel about myself nowadays.

Growing up, I was a pretty sensitive child who got offended or upset easily by friends or family.  I don't know if it was because I was the baby of the family or I didn't know any better but to be overly sensitive.  I would dwell on any negative comment made towards me by elementary school girls to the point I refused to go to school.  I guess you could say I had bullies, but looking back what they said was completely laughable and not at all threatening.  I just couldn't handle people disliking me for no known reason.  I wanted acceptance in everything I did, it was my priority in life.

My father died right before I turned sixteen and this threw me into a deeper pit of needing acceptance.  Not only did I feel like I needed people to accept me, but also for a God to love and accept me.  I became religious because I was automatically accepted as a Christian.  People were nice to me at church and in youth group.  I don't regret that time in my life because going to Bible Study was a better choice of a form of acceptance than sleeping around or partying as a teenager.

I then got into modeling and I had to learn very quickly to take rejection.  I was asked multiple times by casting agents if I was planning to have a nose job, boob job, lip injections, if I could lose more weight, grow my hair out, cut my hair, be blonde, act more serious, the list goes on.  At first, it was absolutely frightening and then I realized that my body was a product (that sounds wrong, but you know what I'm getting at) and these agents weren't attacking my character, they didn't know me as a person at all!  They were simply looking for the perfect model for a specific look they had in mind.  I knew I wasn't the worst model because I did get jobs and was accepted into some very sought after agencies.  I got to travel, meet designers, be independent, and make new friends so despite all the rejection, I had a good time modeling internationally and also started to grow a thick skin as a result.

I feel like when I entered college, I slid back into the NEED to be accepted.  I think it was because I was insecure about being a 'townie' since I was going to school less than 10 minutes away from my mother's house.  I joined a sorority in order to feel accepted and I felt more outcast than accepted (though I do not blame any girls in the house, I just didn't feel like I was really part of a sisterhood since I was so used to doing my own thing).  I felt like the people I connected with most were the artsy kids and the people in my major, Apparel Design, who looked at life outside the box like I did.  Suffice to say, I did NOT want to become a fashion designer, but stuck with it because I loved the people I was around in my major and didn't want to pay for more college to change my major!  I think being around the artistic community at Purdue fueled my need to be accepted but also we celebrated our diversity and independence at the same time.

After college when the recession hit hard, I felt very vulnerable trying to be a grown up with no real job prospects.  I went in and out of relationships in order to try to feel fulfilled in a new life that was quite frankly scary.  At this time, I was too old to start over in fashion modeling and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  Haha, I still don't but at least I've accepted that now! Several jobs and relationships later, I finally started dating my now husband JD, who is tough as nails and has inspired me to keep a tough skin.  The world can be rough, but he's shown me you can get back up, brush yourself off, and keep moving.

Though JD inspired me to be a little more thick skinned, he didn't push me to be so, I had to be willing to do that myself.  Maybe it's age or the fact I'm a mother now, but I don't feel the need for the whole world to love me.  The most important person I need love from is myself.  I am thankful for all my experiences to bring me to the woman I am today.  I hope things will only keep getting better.