Category Archives: You Must Be New

Hail and Farewell

I’ve been playing Pokemon Go for roughly 6 months now and I think this may be the first time I’ve acknowledged this (here) publicly which is more than just slightly amusing considering my username for the game is “jewleedotcom.”

Yes, you have reached the gal who diligently grinds at the Capitol several nights a week, walking “Jimmy’s loop” typically until the sun comes up (or at least into the wee hours of the morning!) in what seems an almost impossible feat to actually be the first female in the United States to reach Level 40. As far as I know, I’m still on track with this goal, although I’ll be the first to admit that life can unexpectedly throw curveballs (with ZERO bonuses for nice, good, or even excellent throws because life is a straight up ASSHOLE sometimes). Of course, these curveballs inevitably lead to the inability to accomplish much more than getting out of bed on some days (and some days it’s not even guaranteed that I’ve the ability to do even that), much less try and attempt to stick to any type of formal playing schedule because OBVIOUSLY.

At any rate, for those of you curious, I don’t plan to post here much more going forward (not that I’ve been posting much of anything here publicly anyway) because I’m in the process of setting up a new domain, in light of all of the devastating changes my family and I have experienced over the past few weeks (and will certainly continue to experience for the foreseeable future). That said, I have no intention of changing my in-game username, if only because that’s how so many of y’all have gotten to know me (or know of me). Once the new domain has been purchased and a content management system has been installed to facilitate publicly writing, I’ll post it here for a few weeks before likely setting it up so that this domain you’re visiting right now simply forwards to the new site. Regardless of how I ultimately usher people away from here and guide you instead towards my new place not here, feel free to leave a comment introducing yourself (and/or please feel free to share your own website/blog link!). I’ve met so many wonderfully supportive, incredibly kind, and genuinely loving members of the local Pokemon Go community and I’d love to be able to keep up with you all, much in the same way so many of you have been able to keep up with me. Besides, it seems a little one-sided for you to be able to stalk me online if you aren’t willing to afford me the same opportunity, amirite? [;

OK folks, that’s all for now. I’ll post the new link as soon as I’m able. Until we meet again…whether it’s here or at the Capitol…

(And if you’ve somehow landed here on my little island in the sea of internoodles and have NO idea what I’m talking about, just ignore the above as it likely makes no sense to anyone who doesn’t play PoGo. Either way, you can follow me along to my new domain (the link will be provided soon) or sift through the handful of posts here that are still publicly available.)

Getting it out of the way…

I’d like to emphatically state a few things for the record:

1. Even though I’ve never thought of myself as disabled, it’s impossible to deny the fact that I do have a physical disability.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 3 years since my last (public) post here. Much has changed and a LOT has happened during my time away and eventually I plan on (publicly) writing about the important bits in detail. However, I’m here tonight to write about something that’s been weighing on my heart for the last couple of days.

For many of you out there (especially if you’re someone I know IRL), it’s old news that I suffer from chronic pain. It’s an issue that I’ve had to deal with since my early teens but only got to the point where it was disabling during my last pregnancy (i.e., my pregnancy with my son, Halsey, who is now four-and-a-half years old).

It began at around 18-19 weeks into this pregnancy, when I was once again forced to begin seeing a pain management doctor due to needing narcotic pain medication in order to treat the symptoms of a condition called pubic symphysis diastasis.

[I just found that if you search Google for this term, the first result is actually a resource page I wrote about this condition a few years ago when I was still a “Brain Behind the Band” and is archived by the Wayback Machine here). Ed.]

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the narcotics I was taking made me gain well over 100 pounds, mainly from fluid retention, because my liver hadn’t properly recovered from taking narcotics for approximately 20ish weeks or so with my pregnancy that had only ended a few weeks before my last pregnancy began.

Confused? Here’s a short math lesson regarding my back-to-back pregnancies:
* I got pregnant with my daughter, Coraline, in late August/early September of 2010.
* I delivered Coraline in late May of 2011.
* I learned I was pregnant again in July of 2011 (with twins no less!).
* I delivered Halsey in mid-April of 2012 (we learned at around 13 weeks that one twin had simply failed to develop).
* Hooray for having Irish twins who are only 10.5 months apart!

With a condition that made it feel like I had an ax permanently wedged into my pubic region, coupled with a massive amount of weight gained in a relatively short amount of time, plus a traumatic labour and delivery experience, and a sprinkle of postpartum depression and psychosis, I’m surprised that the only lasting effect was this TERRIBLE pain on the right side of my lower back, near my sacroiliac (SI) joint.

For this, I endured more than a handful of steroid injections into my lumbar and sacral vertebrae and quite a few “radiofrequencies” (a gentle term for what amounts to my doctor literally burning off the nerve endings in various dermatomes in order to eliminate the daily pain I suffered from). And when that stopped working, they decided that back surgery to implant a neurostimulator would be worth a shot, to see if that might finally get rid of the pain (and be the end of me having to take highly controlled, Schedule I narcotics on the daily).

It hadn’t occurred to me until now, but in just a couple of days (October 22) it’ll be two years since having that surgical procedure – the neurostimulator surgery that (only marginally) fixed the original pain issue (coming from the right side of my lower back near my SI joint).

Which brings me to the next point I’d like to make:

2. Having that surgery was one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made.

Having a neurostimulator implanted generally requires an overnight hospital stay. My hospital stay was damn near a week. For the first two days post-op, I was on morphine injections every 4 hours on. the. dot. and even then I spent the first 36 hours in so much pain that all I could do was curl up as best I could and just weep. “Two minor incisions” really turned out to be two four-inch-long gashes that required a combined total of approximately 60 metal staples – half in my mid-back (where the wired electrodes were implanted into my spinal column) and the remainder in my left hip (where the wireless battery that powers said electrodes calls home). And even though I was finally discharged after 6 nights in the hospital doesn’t mean I magically felt better. I was just tired of being away from my babies and was hell-bent on being home in time to enjoy Halloween (my favourite holiday of the year).

But that wasn’t the worst of it. Not even close. You see, in order to thread the electrodes into my spinal column, the surgeon has to do a procedure called a laminectomy, which essentially means that each side of one vertebra is removed (in order to make room to insert the wires). That’s generally all fine and good except the vertebra that the laminectomy was performed on is immediately underneath two vertebrae that are already fused together. (Remember the part where I talked about having had back pain since my teenage years? Well, it stems from this fusion a.) being located in an area of my thoracic spine which already doesn’t get much movement and therefore results in the thick muscles that support my spine constantly being in a cramped/tightened state, and b.) being congenital and not from a prior back surgery. Regardless, the end result is the same: the congenital vertebrae fusion and laminectomy essentially located in the same area means that all of the muscles that support that area constantly hurt. Muscle relaxers? I’ve tried every. single. one. my insurance will cover (which is 6 or 7) and they didn’t help in the slightest. Chiropractic care? I’ve tried it numerous times (with numerous providers) without benefit. TENS therapy? ZERO help. Ice packs and heating pads? Nope and nope. Literally, the only treatment that made my life worth continuing was continuing to take narcotic painkillers. Or lying down on a surface hard enough (i.e., not a bed) that it allows me to completely straighten my spine enough for the electrical impulses of my neurostimulator to hit the areas that hurt so that the electrical impulses mask the sensation of pain. Fun times, right?

Except, not really. Because apparently all some people see is me literally “lying down on the job” (i.e., lying on the dirty ass ground) when everyone else is “busting their ass.” And if that’s not what people notice, all they think is how unfair it is that they have to work a full shift (e.g., four straight hours) when I only work two or three straight hours. Because apparently all some people see is me sitting on the sidelines for 20-30 minutes and somehow think that I don’t make up that time by coming in to work for literally 20-30 minutes the next day (even if it takes me 2-3 times that length of time just to commute to work). Because apparently all some people see is me, perfectly able-bodied and just half-assing it in order to get something that they deserve and I don’t because THEY ARE working REALLY HARD and I’m just…not? Which brings me to the last point I’d like to make before I wrap this up for tonight.

3. Not all disabilities are visible. Remember that the next time you perceive certain behaviours as “lowering morale” because someone’s actions may be different than your own.

[I seriously doubt that those who need to read this will ever see it but on the off chance that they do, I’d like to say that nothing I’ve shared here is a secret and I’m more than happy to talk about any and all of this face-to-face. And I don’t mean that in a defensive or confrontational way. Seriously, just talk to me about it. Ask me about it. But whatever you do, PLEASE don’t make blind assumptions about it or about me. I’m about 99.4% as capable as you are doing any physical activity that you do – it may just take me longer or require that I make some modifications/accommodations in order to get it done. But it doesn’t mean that I won’t get it done because I will, even if that means I overdo it (which is often the case). One of my biggest fears is being thought of as weak and I will physically damage myself trying to prove that I’m not. Because I’m not. I look forward to each resale event because I genuinely love everyone else I’ve met who also takes part in them. Being pulled aside and talked to because one or more people seem to think that I’m not pulling my weight was heartbreaking to hear because of how much work I do. Yes, I’m a 20-hour volunteer and every. single. event. I’ve taken part in has seen me work more than 20 hours. And I’m not even going to mention anything about how every. single. event. has also meant my youngest son is hospitalized due to having another seizure. It’s pretty much the unfunniest running joke possible at this point. The good news? He had his seizure two days prior to this event’s set up. Hopefully we’ll make it through this one without another. (Fingers crossed.) Ed.]

Also (and completely unrelated), I’m back bebes! Just be patient and give me some time and I’ll have this place feeling like home again in no time. <3

I will not bow.

I totally just remembered that the depth of my stubbornness is deeper than the deepest, darkest part of the Marianas Trench.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, y’all.

You will not see me waving a white flag on this one. I’m much stronger than that.

Besides, it’s always a little fun to prove the masses wrong.

Time has a way of demonstrating that the most stubborn are the most intelligent.

– Yevgeny Yevtushenko

An open letter to USAA: Isn’t that cute? (BUT IT’S WRONG.)

Dear USAA,

On the morning of May 12, 2011, I took my two eldest children to school, just like any other school day. I dropped my son (then aged 9) off first, because he was (is) still in primary school. Afterwards, I drove my daughter (aged 12) to middle school. After dropping two of my children off at their respective schools, I would have normally been on my way into the office but because I was on short-term disability at that time, instead I started to make my way back home. If you are curious as to why I was taking a paid leave of absence from work, it was because on May 12, 2011 I was officially 38 weeks pregnant. Now, I know it’s not all that uncommon for someone that far along to have already started maternity leave, but you see during that particular pregnancy (technically with all but the first of my pregnancies) I suffer from what is known as pubic symphysis diastasis.

If you’ve never experienced this condition before, let me try and describe it to you. Once I reach about 20 weeks in pregnancy, I suffer through Every. Single. Waking. Moment. with what feels like an ax wedged squarely in the middle of my pubic bone. As you can probably imagine, I was greatly looking forward to returning home so that I could crawl (literally!) back into bed to try and sleep my way through at least part of the day. Unfortunately, because of what happened next, I didn’t get the opportunity to realize any kind of respite from the physical agony I had been for months by that point. In addition to being prevented from any kind of anticipated sleep-induced time away from the severe pain I courted as a constant companion, that mid-May morning I was also forced to endure one of the worst thoughts that I, an expectant mother, could ever possibly have to consider — whether or not the baby growing inside of me was dead or alive. All because one of the motorists you insure was in such an obvious hurry that morning that she didn’t bother to stop (or even slow down) before she rear ended me while I was completely stopped at a yield sign in order to let oncoming traffic pass through the intersection.

If you’ve ever experienced the joy of preparing for your own flesh and blood to enter the world (as either a mother or a father), I’m confident that you’ll be able to empathize with me when I say that within a matter of nanoseconds I was terrified, shaking violently and uncontrollably due to the flood of adrenaline coursing through my veins. I had never been involved in an automobile accident (and I’d certainly never been in an accident while being 38 weeks pregnant). I knew immediately that I had been hurt, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t focused on myself. Instead, I was overwhelmingly sick, consumed with unrelenting worry and absolute distress at the thought of the baby girl in my womb being injured. I was in a state of shock and sheer panic and all I wanted to do was finish my journey home so I could ask my (then) fiance to drive me to the hospital. Nothing mattered to me more at that moment than to ensure my baby wasn’t hurt or worse.

Bordering on hysteria, I called my future husband who (thankfully) arrived on the scene within minutes. I was too afraid to even get out of my vehicle so he attempted to take charge of the situation by speaking with the woman who hit me. He provided her with our contact details and insurance information and in turn, requested the same from the driver you insure. I was so afraid that we were wasting time. Valuable time that would have been better spent getting checked out at the hospital. However, to add insult to injury, the motorist you insure refused to give any of her insurance information. Instead, she decided to call her husband (rather than you, USAA) so we ended up having to call 911 in order to have a police officer arrive on the scene to collect the details. Here I was, completely freaked out and then had to wait even longer because the driver that you insure flat out refused to provide her policy information.

After what felt like forever, the officer arrived on the scene and completed the accident report and only then were we free to leave so that I could FINALLY HEAD TO THE HOSPITAL. But the worst was left to come. I made it to the hospital and proceeded to be evaluated. The wonderful nurses and doctors treating me requested that an ER doctor come up to L&D so that the excruciating pain in my neck could be evaluated. After physically examining me, he advised that the only way they’d be able to truly understand the scope of my injuries was if I had x-rays done. Clearly, being 38 weeks pregnant and still waiting on the news as to whether my baby was OK, I refused the ER doctor’s offer. As I waited hour after hour in the Labour and Delivery ward of the hospital, all I could do was sit there and cry. My mind kept going back to the worst-case scenario I was facing. The thought of my baby girl, who only had a few short weeks to continue growing and developing, potentially dying inside of me was beyond brutal. We spent all day in the hospital but were finally given the news we wanted to hear. The baby was uninjured, and we were medically cleared for discharge. I couldn’t have been more relieved. Even though I was still in an incredible amount of pain (and was obviously NOT prescribed any type of pain medication because of the pregnancy), I was more than willing to suffer through however long it took for my body to heal. So, I waited, and exactly 2 weeks and 1 day later, or baby girl was born, healthy and beautiful. I hope this isn’t too much information, but I think it’s important to note that I delivered her without the assistance of an epidural. I feel like this is important to point out because in pushing a baby out of my vagina, not only was the lower half of my body doing a bunch of work (obviously), but putting my chin to my chest was no easy feat. All because of the car accident that your insured motorist caused.

Following the momentous birth of our daughter, we were discharged about a day and a half later. Yes, the pain in my neck (literally) was still bothering me; however, the pain in my underwear place was my primary focus. Clearly I still had a lot of healing to do. Weeks went by and I felt as though my body was getting better. On my own I decided that perhaps a better pillow would solve the issues I was still experiencing with my neck. I tried several pillows, each more expensive than the last and finally in mid-August found one that helped at least a little. I have to say that I’m a little proud of my high tolerance to pain (hello? giving birth without an epidural?) and with so much going on within our household (e.g., me resigning from work in order to stay home with the baby, me and the two eldest children returning to school full time, taking care of a newborn who was Baby #4 for us) I simply could not justify spending the time or the money to see a doctor about the issues with my neck. Oh, and on top of ALL of that, in mid-August, we found out that we were expecting Baby #5. My fate was sealed at that point. I simply felt as though I had no choice but to live with my injury, because I knew that the first thing any doctor was going to want was an x-ray. (If you’re interested in why I am so adamantly opposed to x-rays in pregnancy, it was because of a miscarriage I suffered many years ago while I was 10 weeks pregnant after I had sprained an ankle and subsequently had x-rays done to confirm there was no fracture.) I’ll never know if there was any correlation between the two, but since then I’ve been strongly against having any kind of x-rays done while pregnant.

By mid-September though, I couldn’t take it any more. I finally made the decision to seek treatment for my injuries. This was no easy decision, partly because I felt guilty for taking any time away from my everyday responsibilities (you know, the full-time mom, full-time student, full-time wife gig). The other reason it took me so long to finally do something about my pain is because from May 12, 2011, (the date your insured driver hit me), I (and MY insurance company) paid for almost EVERYTHING out of pocket. Yes, that means that I paid my required co-pays and MY insurance footed the rest of the bill for:

  • The trip to L&D, including:
  1. Each physician’s charge for seeing me.
  2. The ultrasound performed that my insurance didn’t cover AT ALL (because they deemed it “experimental” – a rant for another time).
  3. The rental car I needed while my vehicle was being repaired (because it’s not like I could just be without a car since I was full term and could have given birth at any time).

As you can see, seeking treatment wasn’t as simple as just finding a doctor. I knew upfront that I was going to have to pay for it all (“it” of course being any type of treatment I could find that would provide even a tiny measure of relief), and that my insurance would (again) cover the rest of the costs.

Since I had already provided proof of the above costs (on August 30, 2011), the USAA claims adjuster offered me a lump-sum payment of $3,500. He explained that this would cover the reimbursement owed to my insurance company, as well as reimbursement for the money I had paid out of pocket. This lump-sum payment also included some money to account for any “pain and distress” caused by the accident. During that phone call (in mid-September if memory serves correctly), I politely explained to him that I would consider USAA’s offer but that there were going to be additional bills because I had decided to go ahead and seek treatment for my injuries. He indicated that because there were going to be additional bills, that I should wait until treatment had concluded so that I could submit these additional expenses to be included in the lump-sum payment from your company.

I decided to make an appointment with my primary care physician because I figured that would be an appropriate way to begin this process. Unfortunately, my physician said he couldn’t treat me, because I was currently pregnant and therefore wasn’t comfortable with ordering x-rays or prescribing pain medication. In the midst of attempting to discover another route for treatment, I was forced to take a few trips to urgent care on a couple of nights when the pain was so terrible that I didn’t want to continue living. The urgent care doctors prescribed several pain medications and referred me to a neurologist, telling me that because the pain was so bad I really should consider just sucking it up and have an MRI done to see what the root of the problem was. Because I had indicated that the reason for my visit was due to being involved in a car accident, my urgent care office refused to bill my insurance company since the accident was the fault of your motorist. So, I got to pay for all of that out of my own pocket. In desperation, I called my OBGYN to get some advice on what to do next. She advised me to follow the recommendation of the urgent care physicians and see a neurologist, but that when I did, that I could only have an MRI done (no x-rays or CT scan), if and only if my abdomen was double shielded.

The neurologist that I was finally able to see in mid-November (apparently all of the San Antonio area neurologists that accepted my insurance have considerable waiting lists for new patients) refused to do an MRI (or anything else for that matter) because even if an MRI confirmed a ruptured or slipped disc in my cervical spine, there wasn’t going to be anything he could do about it because I was pregnant. He did prescribe some muscle relaxers though that were safe to take while pregnant. Unfortunately, it was a fruitless endeavor in getting that prescription filled (again, something I had to pay for out of pocket!) because they didn’t help at all.

After waiting for WEEKS (in constant pain) to even see the neurologist (all the while living with profound anxiety because I had been conditioned to believe that x-rays and an MRI was going to be an absolute requirement in order to obtain treatment), I felt ultimately defeated. I didn’t know what else to do. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have to live with the issues in my neck.

One of the best decisions I made throughout this entire ordeal was finally looking into “alternative” types of treatment. It took some time and work, but by mid-October I finally found a wonderful chiropractor who agreed to treat me. I was thrilled when she recommended an aggressive treatment plan that included ultrasound therapy, massage therapy, physical therapy, and adjustments to my cervical spine. Relief didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took 3-4 visits each WEEK for a full month before I started to feel normal again. In the beginning, I had my doubts about how effective a chiropractor was even going to be. Especially because each and every visit cost me a $35 copay (again, with MY insurance footing the remainder of the bill). Slowly but surely though, I was finally getting better.

Out of the blue, a day or two before Christmas, I received a phone call from the claims adjuster. I wasn’t able to call him back until 2 days ago (in part because of the holidays and also because a week and a half ago we moved our entire household over 100 miles away from the San Antonio area). I’m not entirely sure he was looking at the correct claim because he seemed way too enthusiastic when he exclaimed that USAA was prepared to offer me a lump-sum settlement payment of $1,200. He then prattled on about how this amount was to reimburse what my insurance company had spent, and would also cover all of my out of pocket expenses, and included some additional money to cover “pain and distress.”

I attempted to stop him in order to clarify why the settlement amount was over $2,000 less than the original amount offered. I received no explanation. I attempted to explain that in addition to the expenses and bills he had received
from me previously that I had more that I would be submitting. I was told that any time there was lapse in time between the date of injury and treatment that this “raises a red flag” and that I would have to get a letter from my doctor that explains why so much time passed between the two events. When I attempted to remind him that the reason I didn’t get immediate treatment was due to the fact that I couldn’t BECAUSE A DRIVER YOU INSURE HIT ME ON THE DAY I OFFICIALLY STARTED THE 38TH WEEK OF PREGNANCY he only stated that my claim would have to be “carefully evaluated” because USAA generally won’t cover expenses for treatment that extend as long as mine have. Then, he explained that not only would I need to provide all EOBs from my insurance company that pertain to medical attention received due to the accident but that I would also need a letter from my doctor explaining why there had been such a gap in treatment. When I asked him which doctor this letter would need to be from, he finally indicated that it should be from my chiropractor. He then said that he would follow up with me in “about a month” to see where I was in gathering all of this documentation. I decided to leave it at that and let him know that I would print and scan every single EOB and I also let him know that I would call the chiropractor in an attempt to get such a letter. 48 hours later, I have the EOBs requested. However, in speaking with my chiropractor’s office, the receptionist stated that the chiropractor was on vacation until next week but that it wasn’t likely that she was going to be able to produce such a letter because ultimately, the chiropractor would not be able to fully explain this whole ordeal since I only started seeing her in mid-October. It would be too much of a “liability” she explained.

And truthfully, I understand the logic. For my chiro to try and explain this whole ordeal would be impossible. Hell, it’s taken me a few days now to finish this “letter” myself. So here we are. I’ll have everything scanned in as soon as we finish unpacking so that I can get my scanner hooked up. When I submit all of the EOBs, I’ll also be sure to include a copy of this letter. And then, I’ll give USAA a reasonable time to evaluate all of the information. But be forewarned that if each and every expense my insurance company has paid, and each and every expense that I have paid, along with a reasonable amount for “pain and distress” isn’t included in the next settlement amount you have to offer, you’ll be hearing from a personal representative on behalf. I will not sit idly by and continue to be insulted.

Sincerely,

— Julie

Wednesday Comes After Tuesday and Tuesdays are Blue but Never Pink

(Sidenote: I wrote this several years ago and stumbled across it again recently. I’m posting it here because I rather like it. Enjoy!)

I am behind at this because there hasn’t been anything to say, but really there’s been a lot to say and no time or motivation to write it down. Now it’s all just a lost block of events that will only be meaningless until one of them accidentally changes the world. This was supposed to be a Reflection paper, however, once I started writing, the words just wanted to come out without a label, and so… I allowed them.

Adrift as I may be, I am still moving. This has become my mantra. Without knowing any behind-the-scenes details about myself, you probably can’t appreciate how monumental feeling and believing this statement really is.

I never know things are out of hand until there are crumbs on my shoes. This makes no sense until you lean in a little.

I’ve come to know I am a reactor that takes in more than it refuses and I can still make everything unlivable for the rest of human history including the Sheik of Budapest.

And I wonder, of the things I’ve done, who among you really wants to know? I wonder, what absolution do you bring to the table? I don’t seek solace in churches I’ve never bowed in before and I’ve never asked anyone I don’t know for anything. So how dare you state, “Let’s at least hope you’re a better writer than you are a mother.”

I’d never admit it out-loud but my face felt sunburned on the inside when it was said.

If you want to know, I might tell you, but please remember I am under no obligation of the sort. Maybe I can accept being a gossip and maybe I can’t. What time is it?

That being said, I am doing fairly well in my own convictions for this year (thankyouverymuch) and I’m sorry there are people who don’t take me seriously… or they take me too seriously. I cannot comprehend their feeble minds.

The bottom line of anything that has to do with me is very simple: I don’t owe you anything and I expect that same amount of obligation in return from others. Why some people would expect me to so much as tell them it’s dark outside is beyond me. I am many things, but stupid is not a trait among them.

It’s kind of funny the sort of people who take me at the face value they assign to me and then get hunched over when I don’t give them what they want to hear.

I’m happier now than I think I have been in the last five years. Considering that last month I was borderline (no pun intended) miserable, I can see that it might seem like trompe l’esprit and I wonder that myself. If it is, then I’ll get over it eventually and start again. If it’s not, then this is what I’ve been waiting for and I pity the foggy bastard who schemes to take it from me.

I don’t know exactly what changed, or when, but it DID. Sometime, maybe while I was sleeping, a switch flipped in a closet somewhere over the international date line and there it was…

The point is, I feel different and I can feel a difference in things around me.

I am calmer and things are slower. I like that but I didn’t expect that I would. (To note, I like arrogance as much as the next girl but there has to be something there to be rightfully arrogant about.)

I have a lot of things to do and I don’t even remember when I stopped doing them… and in some cases, I never stopped, I just… let them go a little bit which was still too much. It was the catalyst that set me on a collision course that managed to encounter a few tailspins as well. I may regret that for the rest of my life but it won’t be the only thing.

If it’s worth so much to anyone to wag their tongues about what I am and what I’m not and what I say and what I don’t, then the generous thing to do would be to let them have at it. Obviously they have so much going for them that they have time to spare and who am I to fault anyone for that?

Of course I will fault them, because I can criticize anyone for anything, but I’m not going to put myself into a winch knot over that fact.

Not being liked, not holding the respect of people I don’t care about, and not fitting the criteria they themselves assigned me won’t make me vanish into thin air. I still exist and I want to say I’m sorry that’s such a bitter pill for people to swallow, but I’m really not sorry. I kind of gain gratification from knowing ten years from now, I’ll still prey upon their plural-but-very-singular minds and they’ll still have something nasty to say in my memory.

That, gentlemen and ladies, used to be what it was all about and nearly regretfully, it’s not anymore.

I didn’t see “the light” or find Jesus or get taken aboard Zenu’s alien spacecraft for probing… I am still me, I just really don’t have a problem with being “me,” (at the moment) and it feels like a good thing to be alive. And really, who wouldn’t I share that with?

It would be nothing short of criminal not to run it for all it is worth.