Friday, April 29, 2016

Do something that scares you.

Some people from my church are going to Haiti on a missions trip this summer, and tonight they had a little fundraiser thing where people could perform, and there were baked goods and coffee and stuff like that.

Well, a few weeks ago, my friend Cathy (who was organizing the whole thing) put out a message that she still needed some performers, and on a whim, I messaged her and told her that I had a poem I would perform.

This poem, to be specific. The only poem I've ever written, though I did edit it a bit to make it flow better. It's so weird - I wasn't trying to write a poem. All of this just came out and it happened to make a good spoken word poem.

So yeah, that fundraiser was tonight, and I was so nervous beforehand that I was going to blank out on the words in the middle of it, but I didn't so yay! My voice did shake from nerves, but people really loved it, which made me feel good since it was my first time doing this.

I'm really glad I did this. It kind of makes me want to do it again. But I'm not going to force myself. I'm just going to wait for inspiration to hit like it did with this one. In this case, I just got one specific phrase ("butterflies and heart eyes") stuck in my head and everything else sort of built around it.

I feel really good and really proud of myself. I had a friend record it, and I listened to it back when I got home, and where normally I'm such a perfectionist that when I do that I start nitpicking apart everything I could have done better, tonight, I'm just really pleased. So yay.

I guess it's good to do something that scares you every now and then.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Seven Years

That's a long time, y'all, isn't it?

Seven years ago, I was a senior in high school.

Seven years ago was also when I started this blog.

And when I started this blog, one of the first friends I made was Mandy.

She is fantastic - witty, sarcastic, smart, friendly, basically freaking awesome.

Well, she and her best friend were up here in the city this weekend for vacation, and the stars aligned so we were able to meet up for a bit this afternoon.

It was so good. So, so, SO good. Exactly the break from life that I needed. I don't know the last time I laughed that hard. And as cliché as it is, it really was like meeting up with an old friend, because after seven years, you really do get a bond with people, even if it's just online. And her best friend Amanda is so amazing, we instantly clicked, too, and the three of us just talked and laughed for a solid hour and a half before they had other plans to get to go because they were leaving tonight.

It took us about fifteen minutes to actually say goodbye to each other because we'd say goodbye and then someone would say something hilarious and we'd get distracted in the conversation again, and on and on. That's the best feeling.

I'm so happy. I have about 40 pictures of us goofing off, but I'll just leave you with this one because a) we both look really good and b) no one needs to see all the other ones haha. Too much weirdness for one blog post.

Life is beautiful, and I was reminded of that today.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Notes for my future husband:

I hope you like going on adventures and traveling to new places. I sure do. But there are some things you should know before we take off.

My body doesn't work quite like most people's. The congenital nerve damage on my right side means my muscles start off weaker and get tired more quickly than most. Sometimes, when I walk too much, my leg starts dragging because I have literally lost the energy to completely pick it up. And sometimes my hands shake for no reason at all. So if I get scared to do something, it's more than likely because I know my muscles often stop cooperating at the most inopportune moments. There will also be days where my body hurts too badly for me to go out. I may not even know the cause of the pain, but on those days, me getting out of bed will be an accomplishment. Please understand.

I have to take a lot of breaks. It's annoying on a trip or excursion, trust me, I know, but the steel and vertebral fusions in my back for my scoliosis put pressure on my hips that makes it excruciating to stand up for too long. And after having my feet reconstructed, I feel pressure when I walk that makes them throb if I don't sit down every so often. If you see me doing awkward stretches in public places, just know that I have to do them to keep the pain under control and keep myself moving. Please be patient.

There are precautions that have to be taken. I have to have a lot of water with me, especially in the summer. When I get overheated, I can have a seizure; if I don't get cool enough in time, and I have a seizure anyway, the water is crucial in getting my body cool afterwards. If it's the winter, I need my inhaler, because my lungs don't handle the cold well thanks to my asthma and pleurisy. I have to remember to take all my meds in the morning before we leave; I'm really good about it 99.9% of the time, but it's in that .1% that things tend to go wrong. Please help me remember.

Sometimes I'll push myself too hard. I'm so used to living with pain, whether it be physical body pain or a migraine (because, oh yeah, I have those, too), that there are times when I ignore my body trying to tell me to slow down or stop. If it looks like I need a break, ask me. If I tell you I don't and you really think it looks like I do, ask me again. I can be stubborn, but I'll appreciate having you watch out for me. I want to be "normal" so badly sometimes that I make stupid choices. Please take care of me, even when I say or think I don't need you to.

I want to have a normal body, but the truth is that I never will. I hope you can accept the inconveniences that come with my disabilities. But don't think for a second that I'm ever going to stop chasing all the dreams I have and getting every ounce of joy I can squeeze out of this life, because I won't. I know what I want, and I'll never stop going after it, even if it takes me a bit longer than everyone else. Please, whatever you do, don't pity me, and don't treat me like an invalid.

I can't tell you what state my body will be in on a certain day, but I can promise you that I will do everything I am capable of to help give us an exciting, joyful, passionate life together. These things are a part of my life, but they are not all that I am. Please understand that. Please trust in that.


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Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's not just a ball.

I've written a good bit on this blog about this soccer ball over the two years that I've had it.

I admit, most people probably wouldn't write so much about a soccer ball. But I've never been "most people."

I was looking back through my Facebook tonight and found this article , and it reminded me why this ball will never be just a soccer ball.

That ball is a reminder of the love I found that I didn't even know I needed until I had it.

It holds memories from that year that make up some of my favorite times in all of college - really, in my whole life.

But most of all, the autographs on that ball symbolize relationships that have forever changed me. They are representations of the boys who taught me what I deserve and what real respect and love look like. My boys, just by the way they live, taught me more than I explain about how I deserve to be treated.

I know they won't let me settle. They're not afraid to call me out on my crap, and I know that any one of them wouldn't be afraid to tell me if a guy I was interested in was bad news (some of them already have). I've said a few times about how whatever guy I end up will have a lot to live up to and a lot of approval to earn, and it's always been in a joking tone, but it's not really a joke.

Because of them, I know that good guys really do exist and what they look like.

Because of them, I know what it feels like to have guys truly be concerned about me and my best interest, instead of being interested in taking advantage of my big heart.

Because of them, I know what it's like to have someone answer the phone late at night just to tell me they love me because they know I need it.

Because of them, I know what it feels like to have people who will do anything to make me laugh when I need it, and that I don't have to be ashamed of needing that support.

Because of them, I know what it's like to have someone who doesn't give up when I push them away.

And most of all, because of them, I know what it's like to feel that I'm good enough, that I'm worthy of being loved, that I'm worthy of having one of the good ones. I know what it feels like to believe that I don't have to settle.

This soccer ball sitting on my desk may be just a ball to everyone else, but to me, it's a physical representation of one of the best years of my life, some of my favorite memories, and the boys whose love and friendship can never be forgotten or replaced.

So yes, I am a bit emotionally attached to this soccer ball. Because it's never been "just a ball" to me. And it never will be.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Blank Mind

There was something I wanted to blog about tonight.

I swear there was.

Except...I sat down to blog about it just now and I can't remember a thing.


That seems to be the story of my life these days. I'm so tired all the time that I'm unable to do all the stuff that I need to do, but that just makes me more stressed out and keeps me from catching up on the rest I so desperately need. Either that, or I sleep all the time and miss out on working.

I learned today that chronic pain can actually be a cause of psychogenic/stress-induced seizures. So there's that. I've been dealing with one injury after another over the past two months. And having a seizure in the shower on Monday certainly didn't help the recovery process.

28 days to graduation. 27 until I get to see Mom.

I think I'm going to end this totally pointless blog post, get some food, and try to sleep.

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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Five Little Words

Some days, I just get really fed up with having to deal with all these different physical and medical issues.

And I especially get really fed up when doctors have no idea what is wrong with me, let alone how to treat it.

The pain in my leg keeps getting worse and worse, to the point that it made me pass out and I ended up in the ER again today. But all the tests and examinations I've had can't find anything wrong. So I dope myself up on Vicodin and muscle relaxers just so I can escape the pain for a while, except then it knocks me out for hours on end and I miss out on valuable work time.

Basically, it feels like I can't win.

While I sat in the ER today, I got tired of sitting there feeling sorry for myself, so I texted my brother Chirag and told him I was in need of one of his pep talks. He is one of those people who just exudes positivity seemingly all the time, and I know he is always there to give me some perspective and lift me up when I need it.

Boy, did he ever. He gave me what I think is one of his best pep talks yet. There are so many things he said that made me smile for the first time today, but it was the five last words of his text that stood out to me the most.

I believe in you, Mal.

This is what I meant when I said that my boys have done so, so much for me in the time that we have been family to save me from myself, just by the way they live. Five little words from Chirag was all it took to remind me that even when the stress of everything I'm dealing with feels too much to bear, I am never alone. Just hearing (or reading, in this case) that my brother believes in me even when I feel like I'm struggling just to keep my head above the water was just the reminder I needed that I have people cheering me on and that I am capable of so much more than I think I am most of the time.

This is why I keep that soccer ball on my desk; it's a physical reminder that no matter where I am or where they are or what is going on, I have an army of brothers at my back who have cheered me on, held me up, and kept me going from the very beginning. Chirag reminded me to keep searching for the beauty in every day...I told him that talking to him was the beauty in today because it/he reminded me just how blessed I am to have a community near and far that loves me so well.

Five little words. That's all it took for me to be able to catch my breath.

The power of words, y'all. It never ceases to amaze me.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

And then it didn't sting anymore.

There's this fairly popular app called Timehop. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media to it, and Timehop will show you what you posted on that day in years past. For example, today, my Timehop shows me all of my posts from April 14 all the way back to 2007 when my Facebook was first open.

I love this app. It has brought back a lot of good old memories that I wouldn't remember otherwise. I get to see pictures from years past. One picture on today was of me and my buddy Bryce, and it made me smile because I miss him and I have so many good memories with him from that school year. Timehop also allows me to go back and favorite old tweets that I didn't favorite at the time, because I used to not really favorite anything. So I get to hold on to memories, too.

The downside of checking this app every day is that I can also run into some bad memories. I see posts and pictures with people who are no longer in my life, and this pang of heartache hits me all over again. I remember all the good memories from before things fell apart, and how things fell apart, and all the things left unsaid, and it stings. Seeing their names, or even their Twitter handles, stings.

But something I have learned is that sting will go away. I saw several tweets on my Timehop about one of the people who hurt and left me recently...and it didn't hurt. I didn't feel that sting anymore. What a relief.

The best part of that, though, is that it gives me hope for the other stings I still feel. Today, I was looking through the pictures on my computer and I found a bunch of text messages from someone I've really been wishing that I could forget. It's someone that I've been aching over for a while, someone I've very nearly contacted on several occasions. Needless to say, it was hard for me to see those. I didn't even realize that my computer had imported them all until I ran across them today, and then I made the stupid masochistic choice to read them. So to say that the surprise of finding those stung would be an understatement.

But looking at how things worked out in remembering that other person, and how seeing their name doesn't hurt anymore, I know that I likely won't hurt over this person anymore. I just have to hold on to get to that day, however long it takes. I wish there was a timetable, but there's not. Knowing how much this person meant to me, I have a feeling it's going to take a while. Thankfully, I have people who are so faithful and loyal to stand by me and help me on the hard days when the memories get too hard to deal with on my own.

One day at a time, I guess. One day at a time.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Did I mention I'm tired?

In the past week, I've had three days of migraines,

two seizures,

gave myself a concussion in the second one,

slipped and fell in the shower and nearly broke my elbow (because I'm a klutz, not from a seizure),

and gone to the ER three times in three days.

The good news is that my neurologist managed to fit me in for an emergency appointment this Thursday because despite the fact that my seizures are becoming less frequent, when they do happen, they're coming on much faster and don't give me time to protect myself. So I'm tired.

The one blessing in all of this is that my church family has been absolutely incredible. I'm so grateful for the blessings of community that God has placed around me in the past few years, but even more so now.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016


"We're all a part of one body, right? Well, you're that part of the body that brings all the other parts together. You connect people."

That was what a friend of mine from church told me on Sunday. I'm a connector. For a minute, I didn't really see where she was getting that idea, but then I understood it.

Anyone who knows me knows that second to my relationship with God, my relationships with other people mean more to me than anything.

I hate superficial conversation (and Southerners are the masters of "small talk"). I want to really know a person. Their stories. Their fears. Their passions. The things that make them who they are and what makes them absolutely come alive.

I want to be someone who gives others a safe place to let the hard stuff out, to let down the facades we so often feel the need to put up for the world to see.

I put 100% of myself into every single one of my relationships, even though I know other people won't always do the same.

Taking care of other people and loving them is what matters to me.

People often talk about "guarding your heart" and all that, and trust me, I've tried, but it doesn't feel natural to me.

I don't know how not to invest in people.

I don't know how to disregard others for the sake of taking care of myself, not even when it comes to sleep (and you know how much I love sleep). All of my friends know that they can call me anytime, day or night, and I will answer the phone. I will pick helping people over anything, even if it means I get behind on my own stuff.

I know it sounds crazy, but I don't know how to be any different.

The thing is, though, I really didn't know that other people took much notice of it. So for my friend to say what she did about how I'm a blessing to my church because my love of making connections with people actually helps bring everyone else together, that very well may be one of the best compliments I've ever been given.

After several rough relationship issues in the past year, this was just the confirmation from God that I needed to keep being me and doing what I'm doing. Because sure, I may get hurt sometimes, and that stings like hell, but in the end, I know that the benefits, for both myself and for others, make it all worth it.

This is part of who I am. And it's not going anywhere.

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'm asking for it.

I was up until 6 am crying over him.

I know that it hasn't even been two months, and that he thinks I'm ridiculous for being so heartbroken over this and feeling so strongly about him, but I do. I was crying.

I've spent all this time trying to decide if I'm sorry all of this happened, if I'm sorry that I fell for him or that I told him exactly how I felt. In some sense, I think I am, but not for him. I'm sorry for me, because if it hadn't happened, I wouldn't have spent all this time feeling sick over him, I could have continued to live in the little bubble I'd made home where I looked at him like he was one of the greatest people on the planet, even when I saw how flawed he was. I could still just adore him, instead of having my mind crowded with the questions how someone I thought was so good could hurt me so deeply or how I could get out of one toxic relationship only to fall almost immediately into another. I never thought someone like him could make me feel so broken.

How could I be so stupid, so blind, so naive? I defended him, even as my friends practically screamed at me to see the warning signs. They begged me to stop blaming myself, and stop holding out to the guy I wanted him to be instead of who he was proving himself to be. I convinced myself that they were wrong, I continued to make excuses, because I just wanted him to stay.

One of the last things he said to me was condescendingly spelling out the fact that we were never a couple. I'm well aware of that. I know what we've been and what we are. I don't know why I feel like this, but I know I didn't make it all up in my head. He said things that you don't say to someone with whom you have no intention of moving forward with. He played with my emotions from the very minute I became brave enough to tell him the truth. I don't understand how I could still miss him so much when the last messages he sent me only proved correct my belief that he was toxic.

The saddest part about all of this is that he doesn't even know how much he still controls me and my heart. I keep trying to move on, but he's still winning. I'm up all night crying because I miss him, and I don't know if he ever even thinks about me anymore. I think that's what scares me the most, the idea that I could mean so little to him that losing me wouldn't matter. It's not fair that he gets to crush me and then move on like nothing happened while I'm left to pick up the pieces of a heart beaten by yet another person I let in that I shouldn't have. I don't even know what to do next. It would be so easy to talk to him again. I deleted him from my phone before things officially reached the end, but thanks to my human phone book tendencies, I still have his number memorized. It would be so easy to call him, or to text him and tell him I miss him and I'm sorry. But what do I really have to apologize for? Being honest? Calling him out for hurting me? I'm tired of apologizing for things that I shouldn't feel guilty over.

I miss the little things. I miss his laughter. I miss the jokes and comments between us that made our friendship different and special. I miss the way all he had to do was smile and he could make me feel like everything was okay, even when it wasn't. I miss his pep talks and the way he made me feel better and brought me back to reality when school or family stress was driving me crazy. I miss the light in his eyes when he talked about something he was passionate about. I miss the way he trusted me with things that were hard for him to say. I miss the guy who woke up at 1 am and called me because he'd fallen asleep before he had gotten the chance and he'd promised me he'd call. I miss the guy who showed up to be my bodyguard and swore he wouldn't have dreamed of being anywhere else.

I kind of hate him, though. I hate him for making me out to be a demanding bitch when I put so much of my heart into supporting him. I hate him for telling me I'm crazy when he told me once that anyone who didn't understand the way I love people didn't deserve to be close to me. I hate him for promising me he'd always be around and then pushing me away. I hate him for every tear he's made me cry since things started falling apart, especially since he doesn't understand what he did to make me cry in the first place. I hate him for turning me back into the girl I've spent so long and worked so hard to get away from - desperate, heartsick, craving validation from a vague and broken boy. (But I won't be that girl again. I at least have him to thank for that.) I hate that I'm scared to do something I love and go somewhere I love to see other people that I love because I don't want to run into or upset him and I don't think he'd be happy to see me. He's still controlling me. I hate that.

On nights like last night when I'm up crying over him, all I think is that I really can't wait for the day that I don't miss him anymore. I miss him. So much. But one lesson that is finally making its way through my very thick, stubborn head is that I can't make people change. If I go back and try to reconcile things when I know he hasn't changed because he doesn't think he needs to change, I'm just asking for more trouble than I can deal with right now and more trouble than he's worth.

So on this April Fool's Day, I refuse to be a fool. It'd be so much easier to go crawling back to him, but that wouldn't feel any better than the state I was in last night. My heart will heal eventually. It has before, and I'm sure it will again.

I just have to give it time...and try not to make any more stupid decisions regarding him in the meantime.

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