Category Archives: Life

“I liiiive!!”

The tone of this post ended up varying dramatically between informational and increadibly personal, so get what you can out of it?

The first ever Geek Girl Con was this weekend and, let me just say, I count myself fortunate to have been able to attend.

First off, my first con experience was PAX2011 earlier this year and it was more than a little overwhelming. You always hear about amazing “coming home” experiences people have at PAX, feelings of belonging and so on, but, for me, it was so big and loud and, honestly, intimidating, that I think the warm fuzzies I’d been hoping for were just not in the stars. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my time at PAX, but it just wasn’t as… accessible? as I thought it would be. I think that, maybe, a lot of the warm stories of PAX awesomeness that I’ve heard are from people that went when it was smaller and more intimate. What I saw was huge crowds, long lines, big vendors and glimpses of awesomeness. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m not a big fan of huge crowds or waiting, but having to show up an hour early or more for some of the events just to get in (and earlier for decent seating) kept us from spending our time more enjoyably. We did get to meet some nice people, but there was a sense of transience to those interactions since, with so many people in attendance,  it wasn’t likely you would see anyone more than once. It may also be that my own enjoyment of PAX was soured by the sadness of my husband leaving for Texas immediately afterward. One of my fonder moments, and one that still makes me tear up, was sitting on the floor of the main theater during the first night’s concerts, leaning against Aaron and crying as the Video Game Orchestra played a medley of songs from Final Fantasy. (Final Fantasy was one of the reasons we hit it off when we first met.) Highlights for me included seeing Felicia Day “in the wild” of the show floor, the Wil Wheaton panel, the concerts, the cosplay (always love!) and this:

Sorry about the blurriness! (I really need a new camera.)

On the other hand, this weekend, Geek Girl Con (henceforth to be referred to as “GGC”) proved to be everything I had hoped PAX would be, and more. As would be expected for a first year con, GGC was small. At first I was a bit leery of its smallness, as I was concerned that I would run out of things to do (HA!) but I think the smallness of it was exactly what I needed. As you would know if I was a good blogger and updated every now and then, I’ve been in a kind of personal limbo and this weekend really gave me a shove in the right direction. I feel like this weekend really was the beginning of a very personal journey that I’ve been too scared to start. But more on that later.

Right. Small con.

The first and most mundane benefit of GGC’s smallness was the shortness of the lines. As I’ve mentioned, I hate waiting. But, it seems, nerds love a good queue, so lines it is. I suppose it probably has something to do with some of us, myself included, having a penchant for being early to things or something, but I digress. To paraphrase a fellow con-goer (Hi Emily!): at GGC going to the wrong place for a panel may cost you five or six spots in line, whereas at PAX, it would be hundreds. Plus, since it was such a small con, you did get to keep seeing line buddies and it was a much better opportunity to really get to know people. AND! The small venue meant you got to see most of the cosplayers at least once.

But really, the beauty of GGC was its heart. Organizers, sponsors, volunteers, guests, vendors and attendees alike really believed in the con and it showed. To take something the lovely Bonnie Burton said and use it completely out of context, “You don’t put geek girls in a corner.” and to me, that seemed to be what this whole weekend was about. I know that like many other female geeks, I’ve personally experienced that kind of “but you’re a girl” discrimination from a very young age and GGC seemed to be thumbing its nose at that idea. Just as many of us have had to “prove” our geek cred or we’re not taken seriously, that seemed to be the spirit of the whole weekend. There was kind of a feeling of “Fine. You don’t want to include us in your oh-so-wonderful-and-exclusive [blank]? We’ll make our own and we’ll make it better.”

I missed out on a lot on the first day because I planned poorly. I hadn’t really given that much thought to the panels I wanted to go to as most of the programming I was interested was happening on Day Two. As a result, I had large gaps in my schedule that found me kind of just staying in the same room by default because the panels seemed like they might be interesting, but I think I missed out on some stuff I really would have really enjoyed if I had planned better. It also didn’t help that I had been up since 5AM to be there by 7AM (I was the first attendee at Geek Girl Con! Ever!) because they were giving away 50 tickets to the sold-out Whedonesque Burlesque and I was determined to go. Needless to say, I was a little foggy most of the day.

Boobies and Blasters: The Women of Star Wars was a lot of fun and I did get to go to the Character Studies panel with Amy Berg, Sarah Kuhn, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Jessica Mills and Stephanie Thorpe, all of whom have, in various media outlets, created and/or portrayed strong nerdy/geeky female characters. I think everyone on the panel agreed that much of what they put into these characters comes from their own experiences of being a slightly odd (or not so slightly, in some cases), misunderstood or marginalized person and building characters based on the fact that they never saw those kinds of characters portrayed in any kind of meaningful way in the media. Just like I kept hearing all weekend, everything that they discussed really focused around the idea of working to fill in those gaps in the media that bother us. Again, if you can’t find examples of what you want to see, do it yourself.

Also, something Javi said really struck home with me and kind of pushed me down a path of introspection that I’ve been avoiding for a long time. He basically said that everyone has a crappy childhood and suffers their own kinds of pain, even the people that claim theirs didn’t suck and maybe especially them. And then the panel went on to not judging people based on appearances and all that lovely stuff, but I kind of got stuck there, amidst my own musings. I’ve always felt a little guilty that I was never really bullied by my peers, which, looking back, I have absolutely no explanation for. Over and over I’ve heard stories of people being picked on, beat up and things like that, but I’ve never been able to relate to that kind of torment and, so, even among “my people”, I’ve felt a little odd. It was almost as if I felt like I had missed out on a very important initiation that left me outside of really belonging to this group that I love so much. But when Javi said what he said, I asked myself a horrible and revealing question: What were my pains? Wow. It was all I could do to not burst into tears, sitting there on the third row. So, yeah, I’ve done my time. I have suffered to say “no” to being what people want me to be and just to be who I am. I’m not going to go into details here, because this is way too public of an arena than I’m comfortable with for something that personal, so we’ll just move along.

The evening had it’s own kind of reveals, if you know what I mean. Needless to say, Wheadonesque Burlesque was really fun! It’s kind of amazing that the acts ranged from so vastly hilarious to incredibly sexy, but they pulled it off. I was also sitting on the middle aisle so I got to see Wash’s dino tail up close and personal.

I think I’ll stop there for now as I’m sure I could probably churn out another 1500 words about Sunday. I just have to say that it seems to me that the sentiment among a lot of geek women is rather similar to the “It gets better” campaign and it also seems that it is up to us to make it so.

“So, how are the kitties adjusting?”

As you might already know, I started my new job as a kitchen prep at Chipotle. It’s going well, so far, but it is EXHAUSTING. The muscles I used to have, from my time in the Chili’s kitchen when I got out of high school, are LONG gone, so it’s probably going to be a painful transition. That is, I’m so freaking sore…

But I really don’t feel like dwelling on my little aches and pains, so we’ll move on…

TO KITTIES!!

One of our biggest concerns with the move was how the cats were going to handle the change. Silly us, apparently. They took the car ride like champs, sleeping in their kennel the whole way. The only issue was in the hotel rooms. Elliot (the orange tabby) was terribly confused as to where upstairs had gone. You see, they’ve lived a very sheltered little life, only leaving our two story apartment for quick visits to the vet. So, I’m sure they had no real comprehension of the world at large. The vet’s office was just another room, somehow connected to the apartment. They went there and then came back. On the trip, every time we stopped for the night and let them out of the kennel in the hotel room, Elliot began a fairly systematic search for “up”. She climbed on the highest furniture and stood her tallest, searching every corner for her room. (The spare room that all there stuff was in at our old apartment.) It was adorable. Molly, on the other hand:

Once all of their stuff was present, the frantic search for “up” has ceased. As soon as we let them out of the kennel after we had unloaded the uhaul, Molly set off to look for boxes to get into and Elliot started running back and forth on the couches, just as happy as she could be to have her stuff back.

Now that we’re settled, they are totally happy with the sunbeam situation. In our old apartment we only got sun inside for about an hour in the afternoon, in a very small patch. Our new place has a large patch of sunlight in the spare room for most of the morning into the early afternoon, when it moves into our bedroom until sunset. Molly and Elliot are seriously ecstatic about the arrangement. They spend the majority of the day lying in the sun, only moving to stretch.

The rest of the time, they spend sitting in the window. They LOVE the windows. Since we now live in a climate that allows/requires open windows, their little kitty world has just been vastly broadened. I can’t say how many times I’m sitting in the living room, watching Netflix or on the internet and I hear meowing from one of the rooms. Most of the time it’s just Elliot freaking out about the trash truck or something outside and then she comes running to tell me what happened. :)

Last week, though, I hear Molly’s distinct meow from the spare room. LOUD. And she didn’t stop, so I got up to investigate. There she was, on top of a stack of boxes, meowing at me. So, of course, I went over, petted her, picked her up and made a general big deal of her and she was all purrs the whole time. That same day? Three more times! The last time, I got this:

I don’t know what I would do without our girls. And we all can’t wait to have the man of the house back.

Thoughts on self-image and other such nonsense.

Sigh. Why do I need so much time to get this stuff out? This is a bit of the post that I should have written a month ago. It’s about me even though it starts out in that strange, round-about way that I seem to need to use to talk about myself. Oh well. (Also, it’s very long, clocking in over 2000 words… Oops!)

I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday as students worked independently to complete their final project. This meant that I spent a lot of time on the computer just dinking around. I caught up on blogs I had been neglecting, (even if I didn’t take the time to comment) and all the stupid little time-sink stuff that I keep in my RSS reader for just such occasions and I still had time left over. This is always a problem because it takes me to parts of the internet that make me sad or frustrated or just plain old angry. So, surf, surf, surf and end up on cnn.com… Not good. First read an article about the amount of vacation Americans receive vs their European counterparts and apparently (according to the article) Americans perceive working harder than they have to as a sign of success. Yikes!! What’s wrong with us? No THANK you! It makes me sad.

Then, also on cnn, I watched a video about growing trends in Asia (Korea and China) of having plastic surgery to look more “Western”. The story follows a 12-year-old girl who was about to have eye surgery to look “pretty”. At one point they ask the girl to pick which woman in a fashion magazine is beautiful. Both women were gorgeous, of course, but she said that the Asian woman was ugly because of her eyes. It saddens me that the standard of beauty that is making girls in our country feel inferior is affecting people in other countries as well. It’s infuriating that parents would not just allow, but pressure their children to get ridiculous surgeries to make them “attractive”. It’s sick and I’m moving on before I get all angry again.

So, saying all that to get to my point. (Of course.) What do these two articles have in common? Self-image. Who hasn’t know some person at some point in their lives that was completely convinced of some falsehood about themself? Be it “I’m not pretty.” or “I’m not talented.” or any other negative thing that you can think of. And of course, you have the opposite as well: The odious guy/gal who’s convinced they are God’s gift to whichever sex is the object of their affection. The poor soul that couldn’t carry a tune to save their soul but still tries their luck in the local talent show (or on American Idol, ouch).

Well, look at that, I still haven’t gotten to the point… It’s really quite crazy how much of our self-worth is derived from outside sources. From an early age, we start examining the world around us and our perceptions of the world are formed. And, of course, when the topic of self-image is discussed, for me, it’s all about weight. When I was little, I was pretty thin. My brother and I were homeschooled and our day went kind of like this: wake up (at some reasonable hour after dawn), breakfast, assignments for the day, PLAY!!! We didn’t spend more than a few hours on school work and then we had fun. We ran everywhere we went and we lived outside. Needless to say, with that kind of activity level we needed plenty of calories to keep us going.

Then, we moved across the country to Washington state. The people we stayed with when we first moved there (one of my dad’s old army buddies) had four girls ranging from teens to my age (I turned eight shortly after we moved there). I am convinced that this had something to do with my weight gain. After all, their youngest “sparked” early, so to speak, and I’m pretty sure the estrogen laced environment jump started my own puberty, though I didn’t have a period until I was 13 and again surrounded by pubescent females. (One of the symptoms of PCOS is irregular periods and weight gain. I rest my case.) On top of this, their mom convinced my mom that home schooling wasn’t good enough and we were enrolled in public school. So, yeah, take two high energy kids, make them get up predawn to ride the bus, put them in a classroom all day and top all that with homework and what do you get? Chubby McChubbchubbs! Phew! We plumped like well-cooked sausages!

Now, as I was a kid and totally unaware that I had been signed up for all the crap that comes with being overweight, I totally didn’t even notice that I was chubby! I could have cared less! Afterall, what was better for swimming in glacier-fed rivers than an extra layer of fat to keep the cold out? (And we were out in that river as often as we could be! Pools are for chumps!) But as childhood melted into adolescence, and we were again enrolled in public school for our high school years, it began to become an Issue. My dear, misguided but well-intentioned mother started suggesting that maybe “we” should try to lose some weight. (Seriously! I look at pictures of myself back then and I was NOT fat. Thick, sure, I do have a rather broad frame, and yes I might have been a little chubby, but not anything that really needed Addressing.) Suddenly, with my mother’s concerns and finally being exposed to the insecurities of other girls my age, I became very aware of my weight.

Now, let me just pause here to say that growing up, chubbs and all, I’ve never had any health problems. Even well into adulthood, no problems. I’ve always been fairly active (because I enjoy it) and most of my fresh out of highschool jobs were pretty physically taxing. I’ve always been large, but I’ve also always been STRONG. Think fat layered over muscle. I could have snapped most of my male friends in half if I had ever had call to. ‘Nough said.

So, tender, naive me suddenly had inferiority thrust upon me. I had never been self-conscious in my LIFE! I mean, my entire freshman year I wore horrible (brightly colored) knit fabric shorts and character tees! I couldn’t care less what people thought of me! Because of this absolute lack of guile, no one bullied me for being weird. I was completely content in my own odd little world. (I only ever had one person pick on me and it was my best friend’s asshat boyfriend and I pretty much just blew him off.) I befriended everyone (because I’d never been hurt) and it was great. But then the wrecking ball of “You need to lose weight.” came crashing down on my happy little world. Suddenly, there was something wrong with me. My mommy told me so. My friends, who were much thinner than I, told me so through their own self-deprecation. The evidence of high school life told me so.

Looking back now, toward the end of my slightly chubby freshman year, I sprouted and by the end of highschool I was 5’10” and a muscular 200ish. Right about now, I wish I could go back and tell that tall, awkward girl not to worry about her weight! I am convinced that if I hadn’t been so conscious of “being fat”, my weight wouldn’t have progressed to the point that it reached when I hit rock bottom. Because there was such a focus on weight and not health, I felt horrible about myself and would binge on junk (because I was fat anyway, right?) as an emotional escape. My down points are littered with tears and empty cookie trays. All because someone convinced me that there was something wrong with me.

The funny thing is that through all of my “fat” youth, I never felt fat. I was healthy. I was strong. And I never struggled with any of the problems that you hear so much about. Walking, going up stairs and all that jazz, were no issue for me. I was just carrying that same padding over swathes of muscle. (Seriously, 18 year old me could kick your ass!) I biked. I walked. I swam. All for the joy of those things for themselves. UNTIL someone told me I NEEDED to do them. Someone stole the intrinsic joy of feeling my muscles flex beneath skin (and yes, fat as well). Now, as I’m taking back my body from the vacuum of self-loathing, I’m starting to feel that joy again. I love the rush of power I feel as I cut through the water effortlessly or kick it into high gear on the elliptical and I can’t wait until my doctor clears me to run, because that will be mine!

It’s strange, but I feel oddly self-conscious about my decision to lose weight. I think it’s that same low self-worth rearing its ugly head, but I think it’s also because I don’t want people to take it the wrong way. I’m not losing weight because there was anything wrong with being heavy. (And if you view it that way, I’m very sorry, but I’m going to have to punch you in the face.) The truth of it is that I was no longer a tiger in a fat suit. Actually, a hippo is a really awesome analogy. They look like big cows that you could push over in a drunken, hickish haze, when, in fact, they’re a mound of rippling muscle that are the most dangerous thing in water. I was perfectly fine with myself that way. I was healthy. I felt good. But after my recent struggle with depression and the resulting weight gain, (on top of a mostly sedentary teaching job) for the first time in my life, I felt fat. Instead of that kick-ass hippopotamus (I WILL BREAK YOUR BOAT IN HALF!), I felt like one of those sad declawed, enormous house cats that can’t even lick themselves properly (“I wash mahself with a rag on a stick.”).

This heavy feeling, in conjunction with knowledge of the health problems that led to my grandfather’s death and unhappiness with my life at the moment, in general and with some very specific things, eventually led to a kind of breaking-point moment when I said enough was enough. I decided to take a lesson from some of the wonderful, free-spirited people I stalk follow on Twitter and do something about it. (Which in turn has made me slightly less sympathetic to people griping about their crappy lives. Sorry! Something in your life you don’t like? Do something about it!!) I decided I was done letting my life happen to me. My life was going to have purpose, damn it, and I was going to be the one making the decisions! I decided I wanted to leave the area. Making that happen. I decided I wanted to get healthy and stop feeling like an over-sized loaf of a cat. Making that happen. I decided what I want to do with my life. Soooo gonna make that happen!

Holy crap! I need to wind this up now, don’t I. So… the TL:DR version: If you’re not happy with something in your life, do something about it! Especially those of you that don’t have kids that you need to provide for. (You know who you are!) I’m done working just to pay for the things that distract me from work. I’m done making excuses. I’m just plain done!

So, yeah. I’m not the person to come to if you want a sympathetic ear right now, but if you need someone to tell you to get off your ass and chase those dreams or someone to cheer you on along the way, I’m your gal!

Now, go out and do something you WANT to do for no other reason than the fact that you can!!

“Oh! what a tangled web we weave…”

“When first we practice to deceive!” But how much worse then can it be, than when the one deceived is me?

An interesting thing happens every time we go on a field trip to visit a college campus… The teachers are way more interested in the programs than the students are ! It amazes me how many affordable opportunities are available now that weren’t even around 10 years ago when I started college. We mostly visit low-cost schools, like the local technical and community colleges and some of the two year programs that they offer are phenomenal! Every trip, I shake my head in regret that either they weren’t around or I didn’t know when I was making BIG choices about my future.

And, yes, some of the yearning to go back to school is just a “Grass is greener” situation, but the one thing that causes a real reaction every single time are the culinary arts programs. UGH!! I die a little on the inside as we tour the kitchens and listen to the instructor talk about what they teach and all that. Every. Single. Time. You see, when I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I decided that I was going to take my love for baking (and cooking, to a lesser degree) and turn it into a career. Hooray! Bright-eyed and full of hope, I shared my dreams with everyone! I was going to be a chef (or pastry chef, I hadn’t decided)! Hooray!! Little did I know that culinary arts programs (at the time) were incredibly expensive and didn’t include housing! Hooray…?

My hopes soundly dashed (we was po), I went to work as a kitchen prep at a newly opened local Chili’s and let my dream die. When I hated being a prep (who wouldn’t), I told myself that it was proof that I wasn’t cut out for working with food and sank further into complacency. I eventually started college at the local university, once my dad got laid off and I qualified for financial aid. I petered around, majoring in Psychology at first, considering Art and settling on English (cause it was easy for me). Got my degree. Got my teacher certification. Started teaching…

It wasn’t long before I started feeling dissatisfied with my job and I started regretting my decision to get a degree in English. More and more, as time has gone on, I’ve longed for the days of working at the coffee shop where I worked in the middle of my college career. And as I’ve been examining the infinitely opportune future, I’ve been feeling the pull to go back to school and get that culinary training that I’ve always wanted.

Today, though, was just the straw that broke the camel’s back… The culinary arts professor at the technical school we visited was talking about the food industry and how different it was from other careers. And then, he described, with perfect clarity, the feeling of joy and gratification that I’ve always felt when serving good food to people and my heart surged with longing. That! Just exactly that! That is what I’m missing! That passion that I’ve only ever felt when working with food! He talked about taking a bunch of raw ingredients that weren’t much on their own and creating something wonderful with them. AND THEN! While it’s still fresh and new, you place it into the hands of someone that can immediately enjoy it. I’ve felt that again and again. At the coffee shop, when I got the order just right. At home, when I cook something that makes the dining room go quiet. A feeling of peace and joy that I’ve never felt as a teacher.

And I want it back.

I am really at a loss for words…

Note to self: Next time you have an awesome idea for a post, don’t wait to write it. You’ll regret it.

So, yes, the post I was planning to write that was full of inspiration and whatnot is gone. At least four times I’ve sat down to write it and the words elude me. And not only the words, but the spirit behind the post seems to have left me as well. Not cool, Dobby, not cool.

It seems that it’s not just my writing that’s being effected, either. Along with my writing inspiration, all other forms of inspiration appear to have left me as well. I feel like doing NOTHING, all the time. I don’t want to read, write, surf the wed, watch TV, play video games and housework, HA! I have no motivation. I still do these things because I know that I should enjoy them or they need to be done, but it’s only with extreme effort. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Is there a flu or something that only makes you feel tired and unmotivated?

Better Late Than Never, eh?

I started this post on Monday, but I got busy and never finished it. So, it’s rambling and has lots of parentheticals and I don’t know if the two halves really go together, as they were written several days apart, but here it is!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. Aaron has been busy most evenings and weekends working on projects for classes so I’ve had a lot of time to myself. And while having too much time to one’s self can be dangerous (I’m an overthinker. Too much time thinking can cause various kinds of spirals.), I’m finding ways to keep myself occupied and I’m getting better at avoiding the blues. This is kind of a breakthrough to me.

As I have mentioned, we are looking at  some big changes in our lives in the next year or so and while that is daunting, it’s exhilarating as well. One of the things that will be happening, if all goes as is planned, is that I will be moving off on my own for 5-6 months while Aaron finishes school. I’ll be taking the cats and I’ve got some childhood friends in the area that we’re looking at (the Seattle area of Washington). But if I’m not capable of making use of those lonely hours and not getting bummed, like I had been, then being on my own for months was looking like a bad idea.

But, thanks to the magic of college, I’m getting to “practice” having massive amounts of time alone. (Yay…) To be honest, I was getting a little worried. Ever since the health problems and resulting diagnosis of the summer and my grandfather’s death in the fall, I haven’t really been feeling like my old, (mostly) positive self. But here lately, I’ve been trying (and mostly succeeding) to focus on positive, constructive things instead of being passive. And let me tell you, the changes so far, though small, have been profound.

All the health nonsense, stress from work and losing my grandfather, on top of my already fragile self-esteem, left me feeling pretty bitter and powerless. Plus there’s the stress of having to make BIG, GROWNUP DECISIONS that will alter the course of our lives. All of that had been weighing on my mind in every moment of alone time and I responded in one of two ways. I would either worry myself into a state of despair (despair spiral) or do something mindless to help me ignore said soul-crushing despair (sloth spiral). Then, in either case, I would feel bad about either the sloth or not being able to handle the stress (shame spiral). (I have a thing for ______ spirals.

So, now instead of indulging in self-loathing or laziness, I’m learning to find something else to do–something that doesn’t come with the previous feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I bought a ukulele and I spend a lot of alone time playing and learning new things. (I love my ukulele! But I forgot her name…) I’m also spending a lot of time getting educated about health and fitness and that makes me feel better as well. As Witless Exposition alluded to in a comment on my last post, there’s a lot of unfounded (i.e. not research based) blame and assumed causality involved with PCOS that if I hadn’t taken the time to do my own digging, could have lead to a very dark, guilt-filled place.

So, in short, I’m learning how to use my time alone in a constructive way and improving myself at the same time.

The future looks awfully bright when you don’t focus on the shadowy bits!

ALONS-Y!!

“Look, kid. Bad things happen…”

“…and you can’t do anything about it. Right?”

Note: Some of today’s post deals with ::cough:: feminine health issues. I’m not going to be graphic or anything, but I just thought you should be forewarned, just in case.

I know that I’ve mentioned the health problems that I was having last year, but I don’t think I’ve really gone into too much detail because of the, hrmm, sensitive nature of what I’ve got. I think that up until now, I’ve been mostly ignoring it and haven’t really sat down and thought about it. Today, though, I was trolling about a weight loss website that I’ve been looking into and on a lark, I looked up the condition to see what kind of information they have. I was, am, floored.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get down to brass tacks. Last year I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) which has a whole slew of side effects which including abnormal hormone levels (which leads to “lady problems”) , difficulty having children (which isn’t an issue since we aren’t planning on having kids) and weight problems. (You can clicky the link if you want to know more.) The “lady doctor” that I went to gave me birth control pills to regulate my hormones and straighten out my horribly confused system and pretty much just sent me on my way.

This diagnosis and the problems that prompted me to see a doctor were kind of pushed to the side as I was dealing with work stress and then my grandfather dying. I think it’s safe to say that these three factors were what pushed me into depression but the indifference that said doctor showed didn’t help. Finally, I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but thanks to the pill, I’m a lot more emotional that I used to be and I don’t like it.

(Poor Aaron! He’s been a doll through all this drama. And, of course, he gets the worst of my irritability and down swings. Thanks sweetheart. I’d be lost without you!)

Basically, my unhappiness with the effects of the pill, which was given to me to manage the PCOS, spurred me to look into in on the weight loss website and that brings us back to where we started.

Me. On the floor.

I found a couple of support “teams” for sufferers of PCOS that are trying to lose weight and I started reading some of these women’s stories. It was all I could do not to burst into tears on the spot. Hearing about the pain and suffering that they’ve been through that is so similar to my own and yet so individual brought all of the fear and stress and frustration bubbling out of the little hole that I’ve been stuffing it into as I’ve been prioritizing “important” stuff.

Is it weird to say that I had no idea how much it had been bothering me? Suddenly, I found myself faced with this bitter, raw place at the center of all the negativity that I’ve been struggling to escape and it was like a light clicked on. (Dammit. I need a tissue.)

When I looked at someone other than myself with the same struggles and worse, for the first time, since it wasn’t me who was suffering, I could admit how much it sucks and how unfair this random toss of the dice has been. Because it wasn’t me… Because it wasn’t just me being a big baby. Because when it’s happening to someone else, I don’t have to pretend that it’s okay. When it’s not me I don’t have to pretend that it’s no big deal just because it’s not life threatening.

And it does suck. It sucks big, hairy donkey balls. It sucks to find out that parts of my personality that I’ve been proud of could be because of what this disorder has done to me. It sucks to know that in treating it, some part of the core of who I am changes a little. And maybe you don’t really notice it, but I do and it makes me sad. It sucks that it’s harder for me to lose weight than it is for a “normal” person. It sucks that people are shallow and I am judged too harshly for something that I have limited control over. It sucks that there is no known cause or cure.

But it feels pretty damn good to be able to face it. And it feels pretty damn good to be able to admit it. And it feels pretty damn good to know that I have people who love and support me and do what they can to make it okay. (Seriously, bad day to wear mascara!) It feels pretty damn good to know that there is something wrong with me and I’m not just a failure. And it feels pretty damn good to look to the future and see promise and hope.

Thank you for putting up with my emotional colonic. I love you guys.

Bits and Pieces: Glasses, mattresses and other things.

This promises to be a somewhat scattered post as I try to process [some of] the events of the last week or so. I’ll try not to bore you… But just in case, here’s a picture of a monster I made out of clay last year:

He has since been sanded and painted, but I don’t think I have any other pictures of him. ON TO THE POST!

My Spring Break ended yesterday and I was just too distraught about it to write a blog post. Well, not really. I was actually pretty “busy” yesterday. I worked in the morning and then took the second half of the day as a personal day to get my lovely husband some new glasses to replace the ones he “HULK SMASH!”-ed at a crazy party on Saturday. (Actually, he broke them on Sunday as he gently removed them from his face to take a nap, but my version is much more interesting and involves a mosh pit. In reality, there was a tiny snap and his lens fell lightly onto the bed. BORING!) Apparently eyeglass repair is a dying art and none of the places we took them to could fix them on a Sunday afternoon. BAH! Some of us are BLIND without our glasses, people! What’s you’re problem?!

Fast forward to yesterday: The people at the eyeglass place were the most helpful we’ve ever dealt with before and, miracle of miracles, they had the lenses he needed in stock (That NEVER happens to either of us!) and we were able to get them in “one hour”. (Not including the time it took to find the frames, get the eye exam and nail down what options package we wanted. What options? Are we buying a car here or something? Eesh!) So, off we went to waste an hour while they readied my baby’s new eyes! Yay! New glasses!

Anywho, the other “event” that occurred during my absence from the internet (I am just the worst at keeping up with things while I’m on vacation, aren’t I?), was the “fixing” of our bed. You see, when we got married, we were mostly broke and bought a really cheap mattress set and this, let me assure you, will not happen again. It worked out fine for a while but as time has gone on, it has gotten less and less comfortable. The problem is that beds are expensive and with only one income at the moment, we’re not exactly rolling in the dough. So, we’ve been stuck with a crappy bed that makes my back hurt if I sleep on it for too long.

So, I decided I was fed up and we at least needed to get one of those mostly useless foam egg-crate things, if not an actually mattress topper. Off to Wal-Mart we went! I eyed the egg-crate foam thingies, doubtful, now that they were in front of me, that they were going to do anything at all and my eye wandered farther down the aisle… Memory foam!

I’ll admit it… I’m not ashamed… Much. Yes, it was a spurge, but it was still less expensive than buying a whole new bed and OF COURSE we needed new sheets for our “new” bed, right? >_>

::cough:: So, home we went, and several laundry loads later, ah! A new bed! And it was glorious! For the first night, anyway… (-_-)

And with that, dear friends, I leave you. Duty calls and I must teach now! Have a fantastic day!

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Lali-ho! We shall see where the road takes us!

Vappy Dalintine’s Hay ladies and gentlebugs! You know, I find it funny that the gifts I get from people on special occasions are from previous students and not the ones currently in my class.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off  to.”                                                                                          Bilbo Baggins

 As my husband’s schooling winds down, we find ourselves examining options and preparing to make big scary leaps of faith into the great, wide world beyond this smallness that we inhabit at the moment. I don’t know what’s with the waxing poetical, but I’ll try to keep that at a minimum. Maybe it’s just the abject terror that makes me lyrical?

There are several things that we’ve been considering as I desperately scrounge the web for some glimmer of an idea of what the hell I’m going to do once I say farewell to the frustrating (but familiar) world of education. (Okay, deep breath… In. Out. Better? Not so much…)  Aaron (The husband. keep up, will you!) will be  getting his degree in Communications (with a focus in theater, TV and film) in December so he’ll be looking for something having to do with TV and film. Which, in turn, means that we will have to move away. Far away. The closest possibility is Austin (300 miles) and the furthest is taking a (flying) leap and going overseas.

Going overseas is intriguing and (as I mentioned to twitter) carries the possibility of teaching English abroad. There’s a training center in Prague (about 6,000 miles from home) that we’re looking at as a possible jumping point if we decide to go that route, but just the thought of leaving everything we know and is familiar behind makes my anxiety level vault into epic heights. Still, though, it’s a very real option… The biggest deterrent (funnily enough) is that we would probably have to get rid of the cats which is not a prospect we take lightly. The other thing is the question of what Aaron would do while I’m teaching in “exotic” locations. Lack of the language would seriously impede employment and I know he’s ready to be a largely contributing member of our family unit.

Stateside, we are looking at a few different locals as well. As I mentioned, Austin is a possibility, though a bit boring as we wouldn’t even be going out of state. This might be a more reasonable option, though, since I’m certified to teach in Texas (even though I want out of the teaching game) and Aaron has never lived anywhere but here and we’ve at least visited Austin fairly regularly the last couple of years, so it wouldn’t be too terribly traumatic for him.

Los Angeles is another option. It’s (traditionally) where movie folks congregate, so there’s that. I don’t have any idea what I would do in L.A. while he works at getting into the field, but I’m sure I could find something to occupy myself and contribute.

Seattle, too, has appeared on our radar. Largely because I’ve lived there before and know some people (which is unique to all of the places we’re considering) and because we know there are some delightfully nerdy things that go on there. Plus, Washington is really pretty. (See how grown up our reasoning is? SEE???)

And that’s where we are right now. Mostly lost, weighing options and priorities and planning. And these decisions need to be made ASAP! Our lease is up for renewal, December is right around the corner (when measured in grown up time) and no matter what we decided, steps will need to be taken.

Things are changing and I’m terrified and exhilerated and I can’t wait to see what happens!