I have self identified as spontaneous, depressed, and anxious, so it won't surprise you that I had mixed emotions about going somewhere new. This year, I have gone to so many ne places, but most of these places were because someone encouraged me. I had a friend with me. I had someone cheering me on telling me that my anxiety was stupid and I was stronger.
I have come so far in the past few years. When I was younger, I wouldn't go anywhere by myself or try anything new. My diet is beyond predictable. I dare you to ask my parents what my favorite foods are. My dad will say a potpie. He knows I hate it and that is why he will say it. My mom will probably say popcorn with Kraft cheese or salad with so much ranch dressing you question the existence of a salad. She is a clever girl. It is mostly because I have ordered the same foods from the same restaurants for years.
This was actually a fun challenge because I knew that I had so many places that I wanted to go. I had food to eat, drinks to drink, stuff to buy... Here is the glitch. Did I mention that I went gluten free? It makes it crappy to try new places. Alas I still have been able to survive anywhere. I have gone boldly to many stores and bought nothing, I have been to food establishments and refrained from eating junk, and I have been to salons and just sat there.
Sometimes the best experience is just having good company and trying something new. I still think the greatest adventure is trying to stay gluten free, feel good, and stay fairly positive. You all know me. Wine will be needed for the last point.
Today, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a tour of the soon to be Electric Works campus in Fort Wayne. This is the historic GE campus that is located just south of Fort Wayne. This 33 acre campus is going to be revitalized in the next few years. These old buildings will soon be house markets, educations, eateries, breweries, and lofts.
It is hard to see the potential through the old chipping paint and the dust, but you have to be creative. We walked into buildings and I envisioned a market like Seattle. I envisioned people carrying fresh flowers in baskets, fresh produce from local farmers, and kids running around and playing in fountains. I could see our alums opening small businesses and shops that will be the talk of the ton. I could see art galleries from local artists. I could see new entertainment and visually appealing architecture.
Thank you for giving us this opportunity Fort Wayne. We can't wait!
Have I mentioned that I wi ll do just about anything to get healthy? This is actually one f my tastiest adventures yet. My mom offered to let me use her juicer that was in storage. I remember having a decent time last time I played with the juicer. My roommates and I forgot to put the cylinder in right after putting the fruit in. It was either that or we didn't hold it. No matter, I believe we had a grape stuck to the ceiling for the rest of the time we lived in that apartment.
I enjoy that story because it was so much fun. It was so messy. We had some wild shenanigans, but all of our best times involved food. Well, most of my best memories still do.
When I finally decided to try this, I knew that we had to have options. Here is what my mom and I did in order to have a successful evening of juicing.
It is a fairly common fact that I hate selfies. I probably have some deep seeded problem with most pictures in general, but I truly set this task up for failure. Maybe it was me, maybe it was the timing, but I have to admit that I failed.
For most of my teenage to young adult life, I was known as the photographer of my friends. I took pictures with my high school friends quite a bit, but it was probably because they appreciated the joys of captured memories. College and adult life ere different. I friends who invited me out because they knew I would be the photographer of the evening. Looking back on many special events, I have the pictures, but I don't have the pictures of me. It was like I wasn't there. I think I get this from my dad. He loves taking pictures, but rarely is caught in them. Even more elusive is the Chuckles photo with a smile. It is probably worth millions.
Well, I thought I would be spontaneous by trying something that I wouldn't normally do. I also don't normally talk to strangers unless it is for work. This is how I should have known this wouldn't work. Three things could go wrong from asking for a picture with a stranger.
1. I look physically goofy and people judge me
2. This sounds preposterous to the stranger and I am horrifically judged
3. I actually know the stranger and I look even weirder
Well lucky for me, I work at a university that is on summer break. I see the same co-workers every day. I never have to look strange with these people because they already know how strange I am. They know that I have frolicked on the edge and I take pills to make me happy. If I want a picture with someone, they would say, oh she probably just wants to use it for a collage or a prank or a fun new graphic.
Possibly my friends. I guess at the end of the day, I don't regret not finding a stranger to make uncomfortable. I know how it would have made me feel and I don't think that it is necessary to have any more versions of me out there. What I do regret is not taking enough pictures with my friends. I have some of the best friends in the world. I have new friends, old friends, and amazing family, but how many memories do I have to keep? Maybe I will be a next generation memory displayer and get text messages framed when my loved ones are gone. Maybe I will just take pictures or mental shots of social media profiles because that is who they are to me now. I don't want you all to be a check or a social media presence. I ant to remember the fun times we had and how utterly crazy weird we were... together. Let's capture that moment.
When I was younger, I hated reading. Sometimes I still struggle with this love hate relationship with reading. I love it when I am finally engrossed in something, but until that moment, I have to just talk myself into it.
I have had a few series that I have been absolutely obsessed with over the years, but when it came to new books, I have always had a hard time. That is exactly why I challenged myself a few years ago to join a book club. I wanted to read without it being a sappy vampire book. I wanted to read something with substance. I was surprised at how much I loved book club. I haven't always loved the books, but I love the people.
The books we choose are random. Nothing has any rhyme or reason. We have occasionally picked books to go with holidays and books to go with movie releases. This makes it easy to keep the non-natural readers. The other reason I love book club is because I love being forced to do something that isn't work or chores.
My challenge to myself was this: read something that isn't for book club. I have so many books in my queue. I have books that were gifts, books that I want to read, and books that I believe that I should read.
I promise that I have been relaxing, but indeed I have not been taking the time to "read" in the technical sense. I did try some new audible books so I feel somewhat accomplished. I am glad to have new knowledge in my head, but sometimes, you just want to spend a summer evening drinking a glass of wine and reading a book.
Friday night marked my third TinCaps game of the season. I was super excited to attend this game because it was my first time attending in a suite. I don't know if I could ever go back to regular seats!
It really is amazing how many conversations have come back to this team lately. I publicly defended and cheered for them a few weeks ago when they were on the road, I organized my alumni association's night, and I still had 2 games left to go to. I was sitting in a meeting on Wednesday and we were asked if we remembered what it was like before this team. Yes. We had the wizards. That was a sad excuse of a team. I honestly don't remember the playing, but I remember the field. It sat on the parking lot of the Coliseum and it honestly reminded me of going to a high school baseball game.
When the TinCaps came, I finally felt like we had something to be proud of as baseball fans. I grew up going to Comiskee Park and Victory Field. This was so much more beautiful. I loved the apple themed snacks, the cleanliness, the mascot, the dancers... it was just perfect. We had something that no one else had.
However many years later, I still believe that. I still think that this is the best team, best park, and best atmosphere. I look forward to my next game tomorrow. I look forward to looking back on the memories from the previous games. Most of all, I am thankful that someone took a chance and gave Fort Wayne a chance for good, clean entertainment.
I've got this feeling... inside my head. It feels like all of the dwarfs and trolls are dancing, singing, and using pick axes trying to find my sanity.
Once upon a time... okay seriously, my entire life, I have suffered from migraines. They have been beyond horrible. A few landed me in emergency rooms in need of morphine, some made me question my ability to live, and others drew the attention of police. That last one was actually a funny story.
For the last three days, I have had this lingering and nagging head ache. I left my Wednesday meeting feeling like my eyeballs were about to pop and I am fairly certain I said a few nonsensical things. I thought it was a blood sugar headache because I was really hungry. I was wrong. Even the best naked burrito couldn't help that sucker. I decided to go home and fall asleep watching Trolls.
THursday, the pain continued. I was still working like crazy and focused well enough, but around 4pm, it reminded me it wasn't done. I got home and got a load of laundry and dishes done, but alas, I still ended up taking a three hour nap on the couch. The dreams I had during that nap were insane. It wasn't until I went to sleep for the evening that it got reallu bad. I had dreams my brain was swelling and more weird dreams. I even dreamed that the pain was so bad that I couldn't remember how to get home and had to look for one of my friends that has been to my apartment. It lasted until around 9:30 am when I finally knew I had to get to work, headache or not.
That evening, I went to a TInCaps game and luckily, the pain was maybe a 3/10. That was until the fireworks started. I was so excited to see them, until I heard them. My head started pulsating on the way home. I came home and jumped into bed fearing the worst, yet not knowing what was coming.
Amber is a jerk. I love that cat with all of my heart and soul, but you know what, sometimes I don't want to get up at 5:30 am. My head hurt so bad that I almost couldn't stand it. I thought about calling my mom immediately to tell her I couldn't come visit, but I thought I would just feed the cat and wait. I fed them and immediately went to throw up. Most migraine sufferers know the joy of vomiting. It is one of those love it/hate it things. I hate how bad the radiating pain going through my neck makes me nauseous and somehow makes me want to throw up like I have morning sickness. I love how every time I throw up I get 5 minutes of almost relief! Well eventually, I took up residence in the bathroom. I got a pillow and my blanket, got a hot rag, and tied some leggings around my eyes to keep the light out. Around 6:30, I had already thrown up 2 or 3 times and I decided that it was time to make the call. I didn't say I wasn't coming. I think I said "I am dying". I honestly don't remember much else other then throwing up, drinking water so I didn't dry heave, and sleeping on my new bathroom bed. Around 9:00 am, my mom showed up. She put me in bed with a bucket, force fed me pain medicine, and rubbed essential oils on my face and feet. She told me to go back to sleep and she was going to go grocery shopping. Jake happily guarded me every moment.
She came back and I walked out and said, "What did you do to me?" My headache was back down to a 2/10. I actually was hungry and thirsty. One of the things she wanted to do with me today was go over her possible new business venture, selling essential oils. Let's just say we spent many hours playing with oils an researching. If something can help my migraines, it can help anything.
I recently started multiple small diets that I thought would be collectively amazing. For large portions of my life, I never had to diet. I was very skinny and I could anything I wanted. The only exceptions to this were 6 years ago and now. Last time I was heavy, we blamed my thyroid. I wasn't getting enough iodine, my thyroid wasn't working, my metabolism caught up with me, and I just had major life changes. I would love to pretend that I am a super healthy, skinny girl still, but alas I am not. I am a 30 year old who has had shingles, who has had stress fractures from walking, who suffers from severe depression and anxiety, who has had to evict her gallbladder, who has multiple food allergies, who has severe migraines, and who had random seizures 10 years ago.
I am going on a diet. I am almost 200lbs. I feel miserable all of the time, mentally, physically and self consciously. Let me tell you what I am doing.
Part of me feels like a fraud doing this. I think we should all love ourselves and not care about hat others think, but I obviously care some about what others think. More importantly, I don't like what I have become. I hate it when my asthma is worse because I'm carrying around an extra 70lbs. I hate avoiding the sun because I'm so hot and overweight. I hate feeling uncomfortable in everything that I wear.
The reality is, I am not just doing this for my weight. I could happily drink coke and eat DeBrand's chocolate every day forever. WIll I? No. I'm not an idiot. I have some self respect. Not much with DeBrand's, but some! I want to feel well. I honestly don't remember what it feels like. I remember always getting strep and tonsilitis in elementary school. In 6th grade I got mono and pnemonia. I was good friends with pnemonia and bronchitis, as well as ear and sinus infections. I had a bum knee in my early teens that seemed to get better. Now? It throbs when I climb stairs. I don't want to lose weight to be skinny. I want to be me again. I want to be happy and healthy. I'm not doing it to get a guy. No guy will put up with my cat obsession even if I am skinny. I want to feel good for me.
Dreams are funny things, One day you want to be president and the next day, you just want to blend in. Every day, I feel myself slip further away from that young day dreamer from Greentown, IN. She was so naive and also so weird. I'm not discounting the weird part. I own that. I just love thinking about what life would have been like if I would have listened to her.
13 Year Old Me
1. Famous singer
2. Paleobotonist, yes that did escalate quickly
1. Brian Littrell
2. JC Chasez
3. Nick Lachey
That's it. I had schemes in place.
4. New York
5. Las Angeles
It is so funny. My ideas were as outlandish as my pants. See photo above.
30 Year Old Me
1. Anything that pays
2. Anything in my current field
3. Anything in my city
4. Regional Development
1. A person if I leave my apartment
2. Is it legal to marry Netflix?
3. I know it isn't legal to marry the cat
4. I need to join a dating site
5. Can someone set me up?
1. Fort Wayne is pretty nice
2. I've always loved Boston
3. Seattle is a dream
4. Vermont wouldn't be bad
5. Just repeat that list
Now that is a realist, millennial, antisocial, hipster, old maid. My 13 year old self would be so proud. At least my sense of humor evolved and those pants went in the trash.
If you are ever looking for something simple yet rewarding to do with your life, get a little brother or sister. Obviously I am not saying you should convince your grown parents to re-start their lives with new children. You need to take some of your precious time and donate it to a child that is in need.
This past year, I somehow came to the conclusion that I didn't volunteer enough. I honestly don't know how I came to that conclusion, but I did. I just went to the Big Brothers Big Sisters website and signed up! Forewarning, this is not a quick process. If you are in this for praise and accolades, go look somewhere else. It takes weeks to get your application processed and even longer to get placed with a child that is compatible with you. It is worth the wait.
I was placed with the most hilarious girl. I expected the worst because I quite literally said I would take anyone. I didn't care about handicaps or any problems. My little was pretty darn perfect to me. She had a sassy sense of humor, a little attitude, and we liked a ton of the same things. Her friends were always dying to hang out with me, but alas they couldn't. I brought crafts to do during lunch, we played board games (unsuccessfully), and we chatted.
I couldn't believe that the school year was almost over. She asked if I would come for the last week of school and of course I had to come. I went out to recess for the first time, lunch had open seating, and I had my first ever junk food lunch to enjoy and celebrate there. At recess, a line of girls at recess gave me weeds (they thought they were flowers). At lunch, all of the girls crowded around me while we talked about summer, cats, school, and friends. They wanted to see pictures of me when I was younger and show me their fidget spinners. One of the girls even said she wished I was her big sister. My heart broke. My little and I have a blast. These other girls and boys want the same thing.
This is the most exceptional program. Thank you Big Brothers Big Sisters for giving me the opportunity to impact these children in a positive way.