Stress has been the word of the week. Stress and luck.

The romantic co-conspirator came out to his homophobic family after much thought and unrest. Unbelievably, they welcomed him with open arms. Even his father had no complaints whatsoever. He said simply, “I love you. I don’t fully understand it, but I don’t need to fully understand it. You’re my son. You owe me no explanation.”

Boy Romeo’s relationship with his family is better than ever. The only remaining detail is to tell his father about me. That will probably happen within the next 12 hours.

I’m thinking I might extend myself to him as a gesture of bridging-the-gap. I’m coming to respect and appreciate him in a new way. I would like to show him that although he didn’t like who he thought I was when I was a teenager, I, and he, and our perceptions of each other, have changed.

We shall see.

The stress is in planning. Thankfully none of our plans were necessary, but we’ve been planning for more than a year to have options B through Z if things went poorly. I’ve had contingency after contingency and redundancy upon redundancy. I spent 7 months pulling 21 hour days 7 days a week. This was an extremely well–planned endeavor. And the last 3 days have reminded me of that.

I’ve been stressed. Possibly more stressed than Boy Romeo himself. And in some ways, it’s shown.

I’ve lost my calm, quiet manner to some extent. I’d estimate that 98% of my interactions have still managed to be representative of who I want to be. The remaining 2% have been rude, impatient, intolerant smudges on my record.

This is a reminder to myself to be who I choose to be, not who the world chooses me to be.

I wonder how to take my 98% to 100%? How does a person learn to be themselves without flicking back to elastic patterns whenever new levels of stress arise?

I know I’m overthinking this. That’s fine. It’s better to overthink this particular thing than to underthink it.

Have a healthy day,
Me

Terminal cancer. Wow. What a bummer?

A few months ago I started having bizarre symptoms off-and-on for about ten-day cycles. Fatigue, headache, disorientation. Each time the symptoms came back, they were stronger… And stronger… And STRONGER. Then I was dying.

I’m cautious of hospitals; I hate emergency rooms. They’re endless lines of endless complaints and it always seems like the people who should be at the front of the line are at the end of a line with no end in sight. Emergency rooms are characterized by trauma, fear, and death. They’re under-staffed and over-booked. And they have a funny habit of telling me that something’s wrong.

It takes a truly life-threatening situation for me to step-foot inside a hospital. Falling asleep while on the phone and waking up twenty-two hours later? Answering questions in the wrong languages or not recognizing that I’d been asked a question in the first place? The spontaneous inability to hear and speak? And to top it off, I began losing consciousness whenever my heart rate increased. That’s when I knew it was a life-threatening situation. There’s something about waking up in the middle of an intersection, car horns blaring all around you, someone shaking you awake that grabs your attention. I went to the hospital.

*Hospital Visit #1: You have a severe sinus infection that’s encroaching on your brain. It’s shutting down your vestibular system and as a result, your heart’s failing. Here are nineteen medications. One’s an antibiotic, one’s a second, stronger antibiotic, one’s anti-nausea, three are for your heart, two are for pain, one is for sleep, and the rest are for side-effects and the side-effects of side-effects. Then here are these three liters of fluids, a bag of liquid stabalizers, and a brand-new, still-has-the-pricetag, fresh-out-of-residency, “Call me Doctor Chad,” guy to tell you that, “Although you might die, it’ll probably be a week or two before we know one way or the other, so you may as well go home and see how things turn out.”

*Hospital Visit #2, three days later: Oh, your throat closed and now you can’t swallow? You must be allergic to one of the medications we gave you. But we gave you way too many medications to know which one you’re allergic to, so we’ll just… oh… you mean you were taking the medications for days before this happened to you? Hm. That’s odd. I wonder what… oh. Oh, dear. We missed something. You have an underlying tonsil infection. We did the test to see if you had a tonsil infection a few days ago, but the nurse only swabbed your mouth, not your throat. Here are some extra antibiotics and some steroids for the tonsillitis. Oh, and one more thing– why haven’t you been taking your insulin? What do you mean you’re not diabetic? Of course you are! Your blood sugar is at 500. You’re at organ failure. Didn’t they explain that to you at the last visit?

Now, I’m not a medical professional, but it seems to me like nurses might want to avoid diagnosing people on the spot like that. But it also seems like doctors should explain about organ failure to their patients. Nobody ever told me they were testing my bloodsugar. Nobody told me that my bloodsugar was 500. Nobody ever told me that my kidneys were shutting down. If they did, they didn’t tell me while I was conscious enough to process it. It was swept under the rug like it was no big deal. And compared to a sinus infection encroaching on my brain, maybe it really was the least of my problems. But shouldn’t organ failure have at least an honorary mention?

*Doctor Visit #1: You’re not diabetic. You can’t be diabetic. You’re the healthiest person I’ve seen in living memory. You’re so healthy that it’s actually a little unhealthy. You don’t have ENOUGH grains and sugars in your diet. Let’s run these tests to make sure, but really, you can’t be diabetic.

*Doctor Visit #2: Holy sweet god. You’re diabetic. And not a tiny bit diabetic. You’re at risk of dying you’re so diabetic. But I don’t understand. How can you, a 20 year old, 134 pound, vegetarian runner who lives on salad and green tea, possibly have these bloodsugar problems? Let’s do more tests.

*Doctor Visit #3: Okay, so I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you’re almost definitely not diabetic. The bad news is that your pancreas is shutting down. The most efficient short-term solution would be to put you onto insulin, plus keep taking the pills, and keep testing. But putting a 20 year old onto insulin presents its own challenges, especially when you exhibit none of the signs of diabetes besides high blood sugar, and you have none of the risk factors.

More tests, more conversations, and more unanswerable questions, and the things left on the table are obscure at best and fatal at worst. The original symptoms were cleared up once I went through the antibiotics. Those were linked back to the two infections. The single remaining symptom is the freakishly high bloodsugar. It’s not getting lower. Not into safe zones.

The doctor became a team of doctors and the team of doctors became a bunch of supposed specialists. They’re dragging their feet about this pancreatic cancer stuff. They want to do those tests last. They say there’s no reason to worry. The funny thing is, I hear the worry in their voices.

I’m going to call this week and have those tests arranged. I’m sick of not knowing for sure. Right now all anyone is sure about is that it’s definitely probably not diabetes, it’s not one thing, it’s not another thing, and it might be something else. None of the options are good. Some are less enjoyable than others. Pituitary, adrenal, pancreas.

So is it sad that when the doctor first said that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to prepare myself for the possibility of terminal cancer, my response was a perfectly calm, completely casual, and I quote, “Bitch please. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit. I’m way too damn busy to be dying.”

My second response was more sobering: What about Blackbird? Hippie Boy? Boy romeo? He’s 100% self-sufficient now. I don’t have to worry that he can’t make it without me. But I’m a little bummed out that he’s fought so hard for so long and now he might have to.

There’s absolutely the possibility that it’s not something terminal. We’ll know soon. And I’m not banking on it being something terminal. But the acknowledgment of the at least equal possibility that it is something terminal and that I might only have a few tough months left is an abrupt and jarring consideration for my romance. My question isn’t, “How could he make it without me?” My question is, very simply, “Why should he have to?”

Someone somewhere could say that my meditation is grief. I hope it doesn’t come across that way. I’m not sad. I’m surprised, and curious, and maybe a little annoyed, but I’m not sad. I’m… impressed. A meditation of mortality has been impressed upon me.

This probably isn’t a declaration of probabilities. It certainly isn’t a declaration of certainties. Worrying now won’t help us tomorrow. These are only my reflections.

My parents’ montra while I was growing up seems fitting. “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.”

More soon.
Me

You know a great character is played by a great actor when watching their work seems as if you’re reuniting with a long-time friend after too-long a time apart.

I’m rewatching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the first time in probably ten years. I love the Harry Potter series (books and movies,) but Chamber of Secrets has never been my favorite. I prefer the darker stuff. But Chamber of Secrets does have Julie Walters as Molly Weasley, and Molly Weasley is one of my favorite characters ever written.

I’m huddled on a couch in pajamas with my giant fleece blanket and in comes Julie Walters’ iconic opening line, “Where HAVE you been?”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the perfect mother. She’s sassy, soft, capable, and thoughtful. And I know someone just like her.

Julie Walters as Molly Weasley has the unique advantage of being able to pull off completely murderous right alongside warm and doting. Hearing her being so perfectly portrayed by her actress takes me straight back to my friend Kim. She’ll bake for you, she’ll hug you, she’ll fuss over you, and she’ll backhand you in half a second flat if the need ever arises. You don’t mess with that woman. She a strong independent white woman and she ain’t need no man. And I love it.

To Molly Weasley, Kim, and all the other perfect mothers out there, my hat is off to you. Thanks for being so wonderful. Thanks for being yourselves.

Me

I fell short of my goal of being 125 pounds on April 5th.

I was 135. Not bad, but not what I’d wanted.

Now I’m 140.

I’m not mad, or sad, or disgusted. I’m treating this like a meditation exercise. I’m going to be 140 pounds whether or not I’m upset about it, so there’s no point to be upset. I’m going to gently– but firmly– pick up my motivation and put it back on the right track. I started eating healthily again a few days ago; all I have to do now is exercise daily. No problem. I can do this.

It’s April 25th. I’m 140 pounds. I’ll commit to being 125 on June 14th. I’d give myself the extra two weeks to round it out to two months, but there’s a work program I’ll be at that week and I’ll be eating Indian food for nine days without any aerobic exercise. I’m going to blow up like a balloon. And it’s going to be delicious.

So that’s my conviction: 6.14.125. I’ll braille it and put it on sticky notes on every surface of my house. I’ll count down to it in my mood message on Skype. I’ll put it in my email signature, if I have to. But I will be 125 on 614.

Think about it every moment of every day. Obsess about it. Make your brain subconciously move toward it. Do it. Own it. Be it. Be your own law of attraction. Be your own karma. Be your own chooser. Make the choice consciously, not unconsciously, to do your own impossible. You’re going to choose either way. You may as well get what you want out of the deal.

Have a healthy day,
Me

Is this my life? This cannot be my life.

Coffee’s brewing in the kitchen. Robins sing outside my window. I have two essays and an oral exam, then I’m done with finals and moving on with summer classes. Hippie Boy, Boy Romeo, Blackbird, or however you’d like to think of him– he’s here, happy, and content. Moving forward every day.

I have questions. I have comments. But overall, I have myself.

I’ve spent more than a month wondering who I am and where I’m headed. That’s kind of the point of the blog– but this time I was wondering it almost silently. I didn’t want anyone to know. I didn’t ask any friends, or tell my therapist, or even write it down. I’ve been so distracted that I haven’t done anything. I’ve barely been cleaning my house, I’ve not been going anywhere, and I haven’t done much of anything. I’ve been thoroughly unproductive. And I’m okay with that.

Sometimes we need a reboot. I’ve recognized the problems and now I’m fixing them. My house is disgusting? Time to clean. My homework is unfinished? Time to buckle down and do it.

I’ve spent months procrastinating. Shoving everything off until some imaginary time called later. I’ve had no motivation. I’ve had no inspiration. I’ve let my house become a pig-sty. I’ve gained a few pounds. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and to hell with the consequences. I haven’t gone to martial arts. I’ve hardly done homework. I haven’t been meditating daily.

But I’ve been happy. Indescribably happy. I haven’t applied myself to EVERYTHING because I’ve been applying myself to SOMETHING.

I’ve been learning how to be content.

I’ve spent six years with the romantic co-conspirator having to fight an uphill battle every step of the way. Now that he’s here, now that we’re together again, everything is… quiet. And it’s beautiful. It’s perfect! But it’s strange.

I’ve spent a month wondering on a daily basis what was going to happen. When was the shoe gonig to drop? When was a new variable going to be introduced? When was everything, after so long and such a hard fight, when was everything going to fall apart?

For the first time, I feel that totally exposing myself– making myself as human and as vaulnerable as I can– is a good thing. I feel strong in my weakness. I’m digging down to the core of my being and building myself back up. When he comes home, puts down his bag, kisses me, and says simply, “I love you. And it feels good to feel good.” — I FEEL GOOD!

Is it too good to be true, though?

That’s been the question nagging me. Is it too good to be true? Am I going to screw it all up? Is he going to suddenly realize he’s not attracted to me; not in love with me; not wanting to be with me? After all this, am I finally going to lose him?

No. No, I’m not. He won’t. We’re fine. For the first time ever: we’re fine.

Writing it out and posting it on my blog will be the last time you’ll hear of those concerns. I can’t keep putting energy into something so unnecessarily hurtful. I’ve asked the questions and I have my answers. He loves me. We really have a shot at this. We’re two people with the same interests, the same goals, and the same understandings. We’ve already been through hell and we came out victorious. Now it’s time to enjoy that victory. To enjoy each other.

Today’s pronouncements:

I’m done with insecurities
I’m done with pointless questions
I’m done with stagnation
I’m moving forward
I’m alive
I’m happy
I’m content
I’m back.

“I appreciate you. And I know we’ve gone through a quieter phase here for a couple months, but you’re still an amazing friend. Not because I idolize you beyond belief (though that does tend to happen a majority of the time,) but because you give me an opinion when I am in a mind to hear it. Not many people do that in the way you are able to. Maybe you’re concern is that you have too much influence, but for all the other people I go to with problems and only receive static, directionless responses, it’s encouraging to leave a conversations with at least a better idea about where I’m headed. Of course, sometimes your input creates further paths to investigate, but who could call that a bad thing?

Anyway, I have a paper to write tonight, but seeing as we only had a short conversation on Saturday, and I haven’t had a huge sense of connection with you because you’ve gone offline with your blog, I just wanted to inject some positivity into your life, by trying to explain one of the many ways that you inject positivity into mine.”

This is what I woke up to this morning. It reminded me of two crucial facts:

1. I need to begin blogging again. My dormancy was a little nap away from things and now I’m ready to begin again. I am renewed.

2. My friends rock. Especially this one. He’s the kind of person who everyone would be honored to know.

Have a healthy day.

Draw a line on the floor of your mind. How do you shorten the line?

You don’t. You draw a second line. This one longer than the first.

I have a lot to learn from the concept of drawing another line. I’m a naturally aggressive, opinionated person. At least, that’s how aggressive and opinionated people say I am. Gentle, kind people say that I am gentle and kind. That gets me back to being hard with hard people and gentle with gentle people. Which gets me back to cutting lines. Putting the focus on everyone else rather than on myself.

I haven’t been focusing on me this week. I’ve lost myself in the commotion of everyday life. Being busy has my mind wandering. I’m excited for Hippie Boy to be here in a few weeks, I’m doing several projects for school and for work, and I’ve not been putting my energy into the things that make me who I want to be. I’ve been emphasizing what I don’t want rather than what I do. Let this be a reminder to me to curve that behavior now rather than later.

I don’t want to cut the line. I want to draw a second line. A longer line. I want to be better instead of making someone else worse.

Maybe a new tattoo is in order? Or a new necklace? Two parallel bars of different lengths. A symbol of my practice.

It’s currently 2:30 in the morning. I’m going to eat at 5, run at 6, eat again at 7, and meditate until noon. Then I’ll have Russian at 2, Writing at 3:30, Hippie Boy at 5:30, and martial arts from 7 – 9:30. Today will be a long day of longer lines.

Me

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