Tag Archives: life

Hurry up, it’s time to watch Star Wars.

8 Aug

Do not worry, I am alive. All is well here in Canadaland. In fact, more than well. I have my B back!

And I have precisely “2 and 5-half minutes” to type this post, as B is watching the clock… We have Star Wars: Attack of the Clones to finish watching. By the way, the guy who plays Anakin Skywalker almost ruins the movie for me every time we watch it. Seriously, I think they could have done better. It’s painful.

“1 and 3-half minutes left, Momma.”

We’ve been busy enjoying the beautiful summer weather, cuddling, fighting crime as Thor and Iron Man and playing Wii. Every time I have attempted to grab some time for myself to write, B grabs my right arm and refuses to give it back. That being said, he is still craving my attention and I couldn’t be happier to give it to him. I have to get whatever time I can with him, because I won’t always be the coolest person to hang with… Imagine that?!?

 

I hope everyone is enjoying August so far. I sure am!

Happy Wednesday Balls, from me and B!

 

A wagon ride at the Ice Cream Festival @ Westfield Heritage Village. (He enjoyed the free ice cream. I cursed my allergy.)

Advertisements

The Month of Cards

27 Jun

Despite a killer migraine who is enjoying an extended stay in my head, the card collecting is going well. A special thanks goes out to all who have commented or emailed me their own cards and ideas/suggestions. With your help I am creating an outstanding collection of Cards of Life. Your sharing has helped me unlocked a new part of my brain when approaching Cards of Life, and I am now pulling cards from outside the standard box. So thank you again! You all are so inspiring!

 

July shall be The Month of Cards here at My Life of Cards. I look forward to sharing the deck with you and exchanging more cards! Please continue to share your cards in the comments or email me at mylifeofcards@yahoo.com

 

Happy Wednesday Balls.

 

P.S. I am so excited for The Cards of Life! Click the follow button to the right of this page if you’d like them sent to your email =) You won’t want to miss these!

My Concussion Still Sucks Metaphorical Balls.

15 Jun

Ever since my concussion (read all about it HERE and HERE) I have felt emotionally unstable. Because of the Post Concussion Syndrome, I have frequent headaches and experience anxiety in social situations (even when I’m with my close friends and family), loud noises or chaotic environments trigger attacks, small things I used to not fret over worry me and make my heart palpitate, and in addition to the anxiety the concussion caused depression as well.

From the usual content of my writing this may come as a shock to you. I keep my posts humourous and upbeat no matter how I might be feeling on that particular day. I find that when I force myself to write, even when I am mentally in a dark hole, it helps turn my day around. I work really hard to search out a happy place and when I find it, I start to write and share what I found with the world.

I enjoy writing. I enjoy laughing. And I especially enjoy other people’s laughter. But this past week has been torture. I don’t know why it’s been worse than usual. My body is even feeling it. My legs are fatiguing and last night I felt pain in them that I hadn’t felt in months, my joints are aching, I even find myself frowning and scowling for no particular reason.  It hard to find pleasure in anything. I can’t seem to look forward to fun things we’ve planned for this weekend, and that just makes me mad.

What really gets me going though? I know all these feelings are irrational. I have no reason to be sad, disappointed, agitated, depressed, angry, or anxious. I feel hyper aware that my mental state does not fit my situation in life and that makes me even more agitated and frustrated.

My life has improved in so many ways over the last few months. My hubby graduated college a few months ago and he has a great job in a very cool field, We have money now (such a relief of stress), I’ve been able to visit home a few times in Seattle, I got to see my brother get married, My son is growing more awesome with each passing day, I’ve lost 3 lbs, I have a couple of friends in Canadaland now, And my application for permanent residency is currently under evaluation and should be approved by the end of the year. Seriously, I should be happy. I should be loving life, enjoying the beautiful summer with my son and husband. But I’m struggling, and that frustrates me.

I’ve been to a few doctors about these issues and each time they say there is nothing they can do for me because the problems are caused by my post concussion syndrome, not a chemical imbalance or an inability to cope with a crisis. They say this could last from a few months, to several years, or the rest of my life. I wish I could take a pill for a while, or get some counseling and be better. But those remedies won’t help me. I feel like there they are telling me there is no hope but time, and I don’t want to accept that.

I want myself back. I don’t want to have to dig myself out of this stupid dark hole anymore, I want to always be in the beautiful light of life. I don’t want “good days and bad days”. I want to be the Lacey I was before the concussion. The rational, emotionally stable, spontaneous, upbeat, positive, excited about life, always looking on the bright side, Lacey. I hate that I have to force a smile on my face, I feel so fake doing it. But the anxiety and depression are the true disingenuous a-holes. They are both LIARS and exist in a false reality.

I know that my anxiety and depression are affecting my son and husband, and that breaks my heart. This past week has been especially hard for everyone I think. I try to make up for all my neurotic behaviour when I have a good day, but I haven’t had one of those in over a week and it’s not for my lack of trying. And it just adds to how horrible I feel when my husband is all sweet, caring, loving, understanding… I feel worse when he is so good about it all. How’s that for crazy?

I don’t know where I was going with this post, or if I had a point I was going to make. Honestly, no clue… I do however know that a lot of people suffer from anxiety and depression. And if you’re reading this and can relate to what I am going through, I hope you feel less alone.

Until these concussion related problems dissipate, I’m going to keep fighting against it. I’ll keep climbing out of the dark hole, I’ll keep trying to smile. I still have my will to fight and it will not defeat me. Anxiety and Depression will have their place for a while it seems, but I refuse to let them define me. I refuse to give up hope for an end to all this inner madness.

And so today I do battle in my head. I hope if you’re feeling DOWN, that you’ll fight for the UP with me! And if you’re already UP, how about you grab the hand of someone who is DOWN, and drag them UP to you. Or throw a couple Xanax or Valium at them. Be friend will ya?

P.S. A friend of mine linked me this video, HAPPY!, and it brought me a genuine smile. It was just what I needed to find true happiness today, and a grip on reality. I looked at my son and remembered his first words and how his laugh used to sound when he was a baby. Thanks C!

P.P.S. When I went to do the tags after finishing this post, one of them was “Lady Gaga”. I thought about why she was suggested. It has to be because of my mention of pills and living in an alternate reality. I tagged her because WordPress would never lead me astray….

Help me, Help her.

25 May

I’ve been feeling a sense of urgency to write but honestly I have absolutely no idea as to how I should approach this cry for help. Every time I sit down to write I feel overwhelmed with emotions. So many memories race through my mind and all sorts of ways to reach out to you come into my head. I’ve been getting so wrapped up in the words I should use that I’ve actually delayed this post. And this post needs to get out there, like a week ago. I’ve decided to stop thinking and to start typing. This may not be my prettiest or my most cleverly worded post but it is the most heartfelt and sincere.

Here is a little back story before I get to the point of this whole post.

I attended MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Camp through my teen years and had the opportunity to form amazing friendships which are actually more like a family unit. To break it down further, we’re pretty much an underground organization of super heroes, but I am bound by oath to not elaborate. These friends were (and are) a source of community as I struggled through all the crap MD brought me as a child, teen and young adult. They understood my pain, suffering, loss, and every day challenges. They understand the frailty of life, they appreciate each day as if it was their last. Because it could in fact, be their last. They are MY people. And I love them.

Joining this elite group of kids exposed me to many opportunities for growth. We taught each other how to live with pride and how to find happiness in the hand we were dealt. We built each other up throughout the year and looked forward to that one week out of the summer where we came together and didn’t feel handicapped. It was all about us, and having fun. Camp holds a very special place in my heart, as do all the people who attended or volunteered that week.

With all the reward that came with knowing other MD kids it wasn’t apparent to me that this group had a down side. Most MD diagnosis’s come with a life expectancy. At age 15 I was given the number 21. I never put it together that some of my friends, these close friends whom I loved and admired, also had a number placed on them. I was 18 and being healed from the pains of MD when I experienced the heartache and grief that comes with losing a friend. I also felt an extreme amount of guilt. Why was God healing me and not my friends? I felt so guilty that I was pain-free throughout my body, while my friends were getting worse.

The first friend I lost to this disease was a best friend, 7 years ago. Her name is Cassandra and we definitely were a dynamite team. Her wit matched mine, her passion for life was like nothing I had witnessed before and seriously, nothing phased her. She knew her limits and plowed through them whenever possible, she loved adventure just like me. Her and I connected from the day we met, which was my first day ever at MDA Camp. We were bunk mates through the years and inseparable at camp. We continued our friendship through telephone calls, sleepovers and fundraisers. We were a team to be reckoned with! OK, we actually were just sarcastic trouble makers who enjoyed eating all the free pizza…. but we did raise SOME money. I lost Cassandra in 2005 and not many days pass where I don’t think about her. Where I don’t wish that there was a cure for what she had or that God would have healed her too, that I don’t wish I could have made it to her funeral, that I don’t wish I would have returned her phone call sooner. I was two days too late and kept getting her voice mail for a few weeks. It wasn’t unlike her to not check her voice mail, so I didn’t think twice about it. A close friend had to tell me over the phone of her passing. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe. I feel the same sorrow now as I type this. I miss her. I miss her so much.

Soon after I lost Cassandra, I lost another close friend, affectionately nicknamed “Homie”. Homie and I met on my first day of camp as well. He was a “wanna be thug”, as I always told him. He’d wear his bandana and listen to (far too loud) rap music like he knew what was up. But in reality he was the softest, sweetest, most loveable guy I had ever met. We’d hang out when he was in town and I spent the weekend at his house with his family a time or two. I miss him.

Three years ago I lost another close friend, Matt. He was a jokester. He was fun and slightly mischievous. He also loved, no, was obsessed with trucks and race cars. He asked me to my first “Big Boy Dinner” at camp. Every girl wanted to be on the arm of one of the Big Boys (they were the oldest boys at camp, the dinner was always fun and delicious, and we got to dress up!), it was a pretty big deal for us. Whenever I hear the song “Free Fallin” I think of our first dance together, and every dance after then to the same song. Our song. I miss him.

I shared these very personal experiences of loss with you so you can better understand why I am so passionate about the following person. This post isn’t intended to be about loss, it’s about saving a life.

The life of a friend of mine, the life of Susie.

Susie and I met at camp. Since she is 4 years younger than me and in a different cabin, we didn’t have tons of opportunities to hang out. But when we became cabin mates during my final year at camp, I was blessed with the chance to get to know her better. The thing about Susie that stood out to me was her heart. She is kind, compassionate, loving, tender, caring, sympathetic, and sweet. Susie’s heart is what makes her so special!

Last week Susie informed me and all of our friends that she needs a new heart. But in order to get on the transplant list she needs to come up with a huge sum of money to prove she is a worthy candidate. This down payment so to speak will show that she can afford all the costs that come along with receiving a donor heart. For example; relocating closer to the hospital, follow-up treatments, and medications. Currently she has a pacemaker/defibrillator that is keeping her heart from stopping, but this isn’t good enough for the long-term. She needs a new heart to save her life.

I refuse to do nothing when I can do something. I couldn’t save Cassandra, or Homie or Matt. And I know I can’t save Susie all by myself, I need you. I need the readers of my blog. I need the fellow bloggers who enjoy my ramblings and interact with me on a weekly basis. I need the world-wide-web and the people living in it to use all their Social Media Super Powers to get her story out there! I know we can do this together.

Susie’s page can be found here (updated): http://www.giveforward.com/susieslvad  (This is her most recent site, to help her with the expenses surrounding her LVAD while she await a transplant.)

I’m not going to beg for money, although I’m not above that in the least. Today all I am asking of you is that you please post the link above to your Facebook page and encourage others to do that same. Or Send it in a mass email to your friends/family/coworkers urging them to read it and forward it on to their friends/family/coworkers. Or Twitter it (Tweet it? Idk, I don’t do Twitter)…please get the word out there as best you can. If you feel moved to donate, then do so. I thank you from the bottom, top and all sides of my heart for whatever action you are able to take.

This world needs people like Susie, and I need Susie in this world. I nearly fall to pieces thinking about mourning the loss of another friend. Please. Help me, help her. Let’s get Susie on the transplant list!

Thank you.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m ready. Are you?

11 Apr

HELLO FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND RANDOM STRANGERS (who came here cuz I tagged balls again)!

I am preparing to take my *blog* off of the back burner and set it on the front burner…on high setting. Hmm, feels a bit like a failed analogy. Oh well. Moving on.

My current hand has been a constant challenge since my last post in September, but I’ve finally got a handle on it now. I haven’t conquered it but I have found ways to manage it and be enlightened by it. I have been so blessed with the support of my parents, husband, my in-laws and my bestie… Without them I don’t know how I would have managed. Probably poorly, so thanks!

There are two sayings that have repeatedly encouraged me to continue moving forward and I’d like to share those with you now.

1. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it.

2. God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.

 
The first one I found written on a cute little woven picture, at the dollar store (SCORE). I hung it in our living room, right where I can see it throughout the day. When I would lose focus of my hopes and felt so defeated, I would stare at that picture and find renewed faith in my life and hope for eventual change and healing. Nothing is ever impossible when God is with you.

The second one is called “The Serenity Prayer” and is widely known for being the prayer (condensed by a mile though) said at AA Meetings and other 12-step programs alike. Although I’ve never been to or needed an AA Meeting, I’ve always admired this prayer growing up. It used to comfort me and help me gain perspective. It always has a calming effect when I say it aloud. So, I thought of it often and prayed it during meditation and it seemed to help set my mind in the right mental path for the day.

Over the past eight months I have come to a couple realizations and have been changing myself as I went along, and some will be implemented shortly. I’ll share a few with you.

  •  God’s grace is the most amazing gift you can show to someone. When you give grace to another human, true grace and forgiveness, it not only comforts and aids the other person, but it opens the doors for spiritual growth. I’ve been able to show this kind of grace and forgiveness, and let me tell you, I am better for it. I know when people think of me, they don’t think of grace. I can be cut-throat-brutally-honest…but it’s always from a place of love. I think they all know that and appreciate it. BUT in this certain case, I dropped the hard edge and picked up God’s love. It was in fact the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I am striving daily to continue doing it. “Graceless Lace” will be a thing of the past, unless of course by special request. I’ll still make myself available for those who desire a good verbal kick in the tush, with love, of course.
  • I have an addiction to computer games, baking, food and Facebook.
  1. I have given up all computer games and have vowed to keep my gaming strictly “tabletop”.
  2. I have to continue eating and baking, such a drag I can’t just cut that out. But I have found a healthy alternative to what I had been doing. I’ve started a Clean Eating Diet and will be slowly transitioning into a mostly vegan lifestyle. I will continue to bake/cook for my friends and family who love, appreciate and request my talents, but no longer will I come up with excuses to make “Slutty Brownies” at 10pm. My body is my temple and I am choosing to fuel it right!
  3. As for Facebook, well, this is hard for me. I feel so isolated from my friends and family in the states when I’m all the way up in Canadaland. Facebook has been my lifeline so to speak and I always thought I couldn’t be happy in Canada without it. That without Facebook I would just be a lonely sack of loneliness. It turns out I am wrong. Recently upon a trip to Seattle I came to the harsh realization that being a friend on Facebook does not equate to a friend in real life. Out of the dozens I have from the area I saw 4 friends one on one. 4. I saw my family from the area several times, and was blessed with gas money to see my family in Portland for a couple of days. Family will be family without Facebook. Family will call, email, Skype, pay for my gas to see them… They remain untouched by distance and time. With friends it’s different. In some instances when you are apart for a long time, your lives move in different directions.  The saying is true, friends come and go. Recently some chose to stay, some chose to go. And I am OK with this. It’s life, and I want mine to be without a false sense of friendship and popularity . I’ll be making my final “goodbye” to Facebook this week and letting everyone know how to reach me if they so desire. I do have genuine love/like for everyone on my Facebook, I just want more than a convenient comment on their lunch break. No malice here, nothing but love peeps. But I have to let Facebook GO.
  • I have 2 passions and I’m good at them. Its time for me to let go of whatever is holding me back from pursuing them, and just DO IT! I used to think it was a fear of being judged, I also thought maybe it was a fear of success or failure. But I don’t think either of those are it anymore. And because I can’t think of a reasonable reason for not pursuing them, I shall be moving forward.
  1. Don’t get too excited but I’m going to attempt to write my first book. I have several ideas, so maybe I’ll write a couple. Who knows!?! It’s so exciting to finally be putting all these thoughts that have been living in the crevices of my mind down on paper. Errr…into a computer simulating paper. I might even use a fancy font, so I can pretend I am writing in 1905.  And, I have always had this dream of writing sentiments in Hallmark cards professionally (not just illegally). It’s almost as weird as my dream of being a gas attendant. But not quite…
  2. I will be working hard on my photography. I find immense pleasure from photography and some say I have “a good eye” for finding unique beauty in nature. I love God’s earth and everything he decorated it with and the old lady next door… she did a good job too! I’m thinking about post cards, eBay, and Etsy. I might even take a photography course and wear a lot of black and get long bangs… I just might 😉

 

That’s that for now. I’ll be making regular posts starting next Monday… SO BE READY! =)

Some cliché sign off (you pick!),

Lace

Back Burner’d Blog

22 Sep

Hello Readers!

 

I wanted to make a short post to let everyone know that my *blog* is being put on hold. I haven’t forgotten about it and I fully intend to start up again, but *blogging* about my past is far less important than actively playing my present hand.

An important fact about My Life of Cards:

When you genuinely love someone, you share their cards. You don’t get to pick and choose which ones you want to put in your own hand. The good, the bad, the ugly…all of them, they get thrown down in front of you the moment your loved one picks them up. And if you truly love them, you gather up the cards, place them in your hand and join the fight taking place in their present gameplay. These unexpected and challenging cards are taking precedence over most everything else in my own hand. In fact, these cards preoccupy every free moment I have to myself. Lucky for me though, I have plenty of capable teammates aiding me in so many ways and giving me the tools I need to play the cards in a healthy/productive way.

I AM SO GRATEFUL TO MY PLAYERS!

I have no intention to share these cards on my *blog* in the immediate future. But I may once they have been discarded and I have obtained a wealth of information on how to beat the crap outta them…  That could be years. So please, do not ask for details. But I will put out an unspoken prayer request.

 

Please pray for God’s continued grace to be exhibited through my words and actions. Please pray for strength, compassion, understanding, patience and that my faith in God will not waver.  If you have inspirational quotes or scriptures, please feel free to share them with me. I love reading God’s promises to his people and the words of wise people who know what they are talking about pertaining to life’s challenges.

 

I love you all and I thank you for supporting me in my present gameplay and subsequently, my loved one’s gameplay!

Rainbows

31 Aug

I sat in our family’s van crying in protest. “Please don’t make me go, please Momma. I can’t make friends again. We’ll move soon anyways, please Momma. I can’t do this.”  My mom took my hand softly, trying to calm me. “We won’t be moving honey and you have to go to school. You have to try. We don’t have any other options Lace. It’s the first day for everyone and you won’t be the only new person, that should be comforting.” Comforting? Really mom? No, not feeling that emotion now. I sat in the van trying to dry my tears, prolonging the inevitable long walk to the office where I would get my class schedule and map of the campus. I didn’t want to start over. I didn’t even know if my body could handle going to school, it couldn’t 2 years ago…

It was drizzling misty rain as I walked ever-so-slowly to the main office. I gave the woman my name and she handed me my class schedule and the map. “Welcome to Lake Stevens High School, Lacey. Please let us know if you need anything today, we’re here to help!” Ugh, she was so chipper. I thanked her without making eye contact as I stared at my classes, walking toward door.

First up, Physical Education. GYM!? No, this wasn’t right. Oh great! I should have turned and told the plump, chipper lady that I can’t take gym but I didn’t think she’d believe me. No teen wants to take P.E. and I looked totally “normal”. I didn’t want to cause a stir while the office was full of other new students and bustling staff. The last thing I wanted was to draw attention to myself. So I left the office and headed to gym class. Lucky for me it was only the course orientation and nothing was expected from me physically that day. I was removed from P.E. the following week when they found a place for me elsewhere; the attendance office with the plump chipper lady.

The first day went by fine, lonely and long but fine nonetheless. It wasn’t until a week later that a girl in my English class noticed my last name and told me it sounded really familiar to her. I don’t know why it did, I’d never seen her before in my life until I came to this class. The next day she came to English class armed with a wealth of history, history her and I shared…and a picture of the two of us in adorable Rainbow outfits (kind of like girl scouts but in miniature form). As soon as I saw this picture I fully remembered who she was to me. Our families had attended the same church when we were little girls and their family happened to be the neighbors of my grandparents’ life-long friends. We had spent countless childhood hours together. I remembered playing dolls with her, being at rainbows together, eating popsicles on her Grandma’s porch…she was my first friend. Wow, miniscule word much!?

Upon catching up with her, she invited me to join her at lunch and meet some of her friends. I was excited! I really hoped I could reconnect with my first friend and make friends with these other girls. And I did.

It wasn’t long before I was accepted as one of the girls, there were 12 of us give or take a few. We were an awesome group, self-named “The Lake Posse”. Every girl was attractive, all of us had a unique quality to contribute and held a level of popularity around the school. Even I had gained some popularity at school soon after joining the group of girls, and it felt nice to be liked.

I know what you are thinking. Something along the lines of the female characters from that movie “Mean Girls”. No, we weren’t “plastic”, we weren’t mean or overly conceited. Well maybe 1 or 2 of them, but nothing cruel. We were fun girls, some of us a little more crazy than others but we were all nice girls; accepting of all types of people. Sure we had our “mean girl” moments when a fellow friend needed some backing-up, but that’s just friendship if you ask me.

I even got my first real boyfriend that year. He was an instant crush since the first day of school and the day he became my boyfriend, I thought I had one the life lottery. Oh how I loved him! I had never felt that way about a guy before, I truly did love him. Well, as much as a 14-year-old knows about love and what it is, I felt all that.

Everyone in my life was understanding of my muscle issues. No one ever questioned the validity of my illness, although they made it quite clear that they missed me when I’d be absent from school and I should “work on that”. Haha, they were wonderful. I did my best to manage my disorder but high school was very demanding on my body. I think the key reason I passed the 9th grade was because of my awesome group of girlfriends and that special guy. Knowing I had these people to meetup with really drove me to push on and find a way to operate through the pain. And I did more often than not.

I have countless memories from my freshman year, it was my favorite year of high school. In fact, it’s one of the favorite years of my life. When I think back I don’t remember pain or other physical struggles, although they were ever-present. All I can think of is how much I loved my life in Lake Stevens. I loved the family I had nearby (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins). I loved the friendships I made. I loved the rain and the smell it would leave in the air long after it had stopped. I loved Seattle and the diversity of people the city drew in. I loved the beauty of Washington, all the nature that surrounded me was breathtaking. Sure my family struggled financially but money is irrelevant to me when love is so abundant. I didn’t care that we were living in the projects, I would have been extremely happy living in Washington for the rest of my life. Washington is home to me, it always had been and it always will be. I truly hoped we would stay there. Of course, that wasn’t the case.

My dad took a job in Meridian, Idaho two weeks before I was to start the 10th grade. I was heartbroken. My girlfriends wanted to send me off in a happy way, so they threw me a surprise going away party. The boy my heart would always belong to as well as every friend I loved showed up. Each one of them gave me a special gift that represented a memory we had shared together. They even made me a scrapbook full of all the fun memories we had shared as a group. They truly were amazing friends…how would I ever replace them? I gave them all tearful hugs, hating that this would be the last one we’d share for a while. I lingered in the embrace of the guy who was no longer my boyfriend but that I would love for years to come…and said goodbye. I didn’t know when I would be back again, but I was determined to not let these relationships disappear.

We packed up everything once again and relocated our lives back to Idaho. This time I was not welcoming or understanding of the move. I was angry and more sad than I ever had been. I left my heart in Lake Stevens with everyone I loved. I was completely set against making friends or setting up a new life. I hated it. Idaho sucked, the people were weird and seemed to all look the same, and I didn’t like the smell. It smelled like dust and occasionally cow poop when the wind would blow in the wrong direction. Did it ever rain here? Come to find out it did rain once in a while, but that only made the air smell like dirt, not dust. I longed for home.

 

Whether I wanted to or not, there I was starting the 10th grade a week late. Apparently I walked into school looking like a freak to all those around me (or at least that’s how everyone stared at me). Idaho was a bit behind on the latest trends when it came to fashion, and I was basically wearing a bright neon sign that said “New in town, make fun of me.” And they did…

Poker Face

25 Aug

People in my life have been emailing me after reading my posts and are expressing that they had no idea I was in so much pain (they all knew I had muscle issues but not always the full extent of the impact), or that I faced so many challenges or disappointments so early on. No one has told me this, but I am getting the impression that they are feeling as if they may not know me as well as they thought. Or that they now think our friendship/relationship wasn’t as deep as it should or could have been. Almost like they are just now getting to know the very core of me and why I am the woman they love.

I wanted to take time to validate your feelings and let you know that it is by no fault of own if you did not know the in’s and out’s of all that was “me”. I am completely at fault and so beyond guilty for you not knowing what you are reading of.

Years before Lady Gaga wrote the song, I had mastered the art of the “Poker Face”. From the moment I was dealt my first hand I utilized it fully. The Poker Face was essential to my overall happiness in life for two reasons. One, I was determined to not let my friends and family see my true level of pain, or any other emotion that would make them feel sympathy. Sympathy was not something I wanted from them. I wanted these teammates to be strong and not stricken with worry. Secondly, I needed this face to give me strength to get through whatever challenged me. I used the face as a distraction from the reality of my hand, making myself less able to dwell on whatever I was suffering from physically or mentally. My poker face was mostly made up of non-stop humor and the smiles brought to the faces of the people around me often supplied the driving force behind my perseverance.

When I wore the Poker Face I was able to fool people who knew me and even myself sometimes. After reading emails and talking personally with some friends about my posts, I can’t help but feel I lied my way through my hand and even to some of my key players. Maybe we will call it omission, yeah that sits better with me somehow…

I wish I could say I regret wearing the Poker Face so very often. That I wish I could go back and discard it, to be transparent with those around me but that would be a bigger lie than the Poker Face itself.

I (as a child) wouldn’t have been able to find the strength to persevere  if I could see worry and pain permanently etched on the faces of my players, my soul would have disintegrated.  From the perspective of the woman I am today, I can’t help but think I robbed my players of a chance to challenge themselves. Had I not worn the face so often, maybe others could have risen to the occasion and worn the Poker Face for me… For this I am regretful. I regret not having faith in my players to be strong enough for me to be weak and depriving them of an opportunity to lend me their strength. I wish I would have allowed myself to show weakness and vulnerability more often and to more people.

At 24-years-old I now understand the importance of showing weakness and being vulnerable with the people I love and trust (and even some strangers). I’d be lying if I said I retired the Poker Face completely as sometimes it’s necessary for the greater good of life in general. For the most part though, when faced with a challenge (physical, mental or emotional) I can not easily overcome by myself I do not hesitate to call upon my exquisite teammates for help.

God places people in our lives so we never have to be physically or emotionally alone. Have faith that God has purposefully chosen your teammates, who are all capable of aiding you in whatever hand you are dealt. In fact, God may have placed specific people on your team to give them the chance to show his love, his strength and for their own person growth. Please do not rob them of the blessing they could give you, and in turn, themselves.

If you knew the can was full of worms

21 Aug

would you still open it?

See I’m one of those people who opens the can knowing there are worms inside. In fact, I’ll use any means necessary to get the can open, heck I may even smash the can open with a hammer or use a crude tool to cut a hole for the worms to be shook out… I get the job done people. And if you ask nicely, I’ll help you open your can as well. Because I’m always here to help.

The other night when I wrote the draft of “Anger is the folly of fools” it really irked me that I was struggling with posting about my “Re-Deal”. My re-deal is amazing. When comparing my life 10 years ago to the life I live now there is NO comparison. I am pain-free, I have a wicked awesome son, a husband who is truly superb in every sense of the word…why am I not excited to share this miraculous gift I have been given? Why is it so easy to share the pain I endured and not my present joys? Really, I was so determined to figure this out that it led to a horrible nights sleep and me waking up with a crick in my neck.

I started thinking of everything I had 10 years ago and everything I have now. I was so out of it come 1am that my thoughts started morphing into dreams. Ya know those weird ones where you know you are sleeping but you are still conscious enough to manipulate your dream? Yeah, those aren’t conducive to actual rest. By the time I woke I felt like I had been thinking all night, not sleeping. It was horrible. So what did I do? I continued to think about it of course. Then I thought, maybe if I finish the draft I’ll have some sort of realization of what my issue is. Well I got the realization.

What I discovered isn’t that I don’t love my re-deal but that this pain-free existence has brought me very far away (geographicly) from the people who supported and loved me through my first hand. If I was still sick my world would have remained rather small (that’s if I were still alive), and in that miniscule bubble of a life I would have had physical pain but I would have been physically closer to the ones I love so dearly. So, I seem to have made an exchange. I switched out physical pain for emotional pain. My heart literally breaks that I can not see my parents daily. Sure I video-skype them often, sometimes several times a day, but it’s not enough for me. Call it child-like dependency or whatever you may, but this woman needs her parents in a way that might be unnatural. I want them to come over for dinner, spend the day at the beach or zoo with Beau and I, Go to Starbucks and be a coffee snob with my mom, Hit up a comedy club with my Daddy, hug them and feel their warmth, lick my Dad’s forehead when he thinks I’m going to kiss it… I miss them. I need them. In fact, I need them and so many others too. My brother, my sister, my extended family and special friends… I’m so grateful I had them all in my life when the only reason I wanted to live was to spend time with them. I guess I should be grateful I had them around when I needed them most, but why can’t life be picture-perfect and I have them now as well?

Whoever said “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” well, you just shut up! You jerk! Who would ever buy or make a cake just to stare at it? Pft, Idiot. Don’t you know I’m a “Cake-Eater”?!?!  But for some dumb reason this irritating saying applies directly to what I am going through. My heart is torn between the people I always had present during my first hand, and being with the ones I currently have in my re-deal.

I feel bad for not being content with the life I am living. I’m grateful for my son and husband, so very grateful. But my heart breaks daily as I long for the company of my family and friends. What I wouldn’t give to hug my brother at this very moment!?! He’s going through a lot of life challenges and I just want to hold his hand and help him like he’s helped me so many times before. Or to be with my sister as she’s about to venture into a life-changing experience. I want so badly to hold her hand as she embarks on her journey, to give her encouragement and reassurance IN PERSON and not through Skype or Facebook. But I can’t. I can’t leave Canada with a guarantee that I would be let back in. I can’t risk being kept away from the love of my life to be with the other loves in my life.

T always tells me when I am feeling blue for my family and friends (which is quite often) that someday I can have it all. That by this time next year it will be so much better for him, me and B. I want to believe him with all my heart but only part of it believes. In the grand scheme of things being away from all of them for a few years is just a blip in time in comparison to the lifespan I can now expect to enjoy. But it still hurts…this little blip in time.

No matter how much I sift through this can of worms it doesn’t change the reality. I’m lonely. I often feel an overwhelming sense of despair and mildly-moderate depression that robs me of enjoying my re-deal. Of enjoying my health and the loves that are with me every day. It’s unfair to T and B that I’m dwelling on what I have lost instead of what I gained. God didn’t bless me with a re-deal to have me moping about and not playing the game, that’s not a good way to honour a miracle. And it’s definitely not a good way to show T and B how much I love having them in my life.

Things have to change inside me. So, I’m going to take this can of worms and go fishing in hopes that it will get me out of the Pity-Party (Did someone say Party?…that makes me think of cake. You jerkface! Not you, sorry. I was referring to the woman who thought up that darn saying! And you know it had to be a woman. Only a woman would come up with a reason not to eat cake! Probably some skinny little…Ummm…I’ve derailed. Back to the train-of-thought.) and back to celebrating my life in a way that would make my family, friends and God proud!