Treat yo’ self 2015

If you are a follower of my blog, you may know I believe in a little sumtin’sumtin’ called Treat yo’self (I even wrote a blog post dedicated to it- click me!). I wholeheartedly prescribe to this philosophy. However, since my engagement, I have had a looming feeling of must not spend any money – this in not Johns doing at all. It’s my own psychosis. In fact, on a recent trip to the mall I pondered aloud whether or not I should invest in a laptop. Well, I love to write… it would make me more committed and accountable of my writing and taking care of my health… it is and investment… totally worth it.

At that very moment, John blurted out: Treat yo’ self!

Me: So you think I should do it too…? 

John: Do what?

Me: Treat my… buy myself the laptop?

John: I was just reading that ad for cupcakes…[pointing to an advertisement for cupcakes]

Take it as you will, but I took it as a sign from above. Literally, the sign was above my head. I bought myself a beautiful new macbook air, and I love her. Compliments of Apple, I also received new headphones for free. I know, Alanis… it’s a free ride when you’ve already paid. Whatever. Teachers and students, listen up, we get perks! Naturally I chose the hot pink Beats, because who doesn’t love looking like a clown while jogging.

I am a firm believer that if you don’t want to use your brand new things immediately, you don’t truly love it. If you don’t go shopping and try to figure out a way you can wear all of your new clothes within that day, return them. You hate them. I have been dying to use my beats, but I also made a promise to myself that I would wait to run until after Bikram. Lemmetellyou, they are ear pillows. And adorable ear pillows at that.

I just had a beautiful run, avoiding the boardwalk for the day, I took to the side streets. Granted, I was almost hit by three cars, but the Beats made up for it. My ears just took a siesta on their ear pillows, and I’m a happy chick drinking some Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea for you plebeians) on my porch. Also, feel free to admire the garden growing behind me. What garden you ask? Yes, John and I kill any living plant we come into contact with. Even the cactus.

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Death by Internet

On October 26, 2014, I thought I could die. Like, totally, literally, die. Exaggeration and melodrama for the excitement of the post, you all.

When the internet was first invented it was a place of excitement- OH, THE POSSIBILITIES. And by possibilities, I mean really, really, creepy chat rooms: a/s/l? My mom hovered over me like a hawk, what website are you on, are you on a chat room? And let me tell you, she had every right to be a helicopter. I recall entering a chat room about something completely age appropriate- my undying love of Lisa Frank. I entered into a generic conversation about something like, unicorns vs. tigers on our pencil cases. The norm. When out of no where things got real, real quick. The conversation ended by my exiting the chat, blocking the individual, and asking my mom what their screen name meant: orgy69, or something very close that any parent would want to crawl into a ball and avoid answering.

I got the point, chat rooms were not a safe place in the slightest, but the internet was an awesome source for other amusement: bullying kids in school.

Step 1: get an awesome screen name and if anyone else has a name that slightly resembles yours, it’s grounds for bullying.

Step 2: create a second screen name that is anonymous, so they don’t know it’s you.

Step 3: IM (that’s instant message, for any yunnins perusing these parts of this here inter-web) the person you intend on bullying.

Step 4: Bully away- the choice is yours, feel free to get as mean as possible, the internet is new and they are most definitely not going to catch you.

This was real life- the start of bullying on the internet. A place with so much potential for both good and evil. And things got evil very quickly- To say I have cried at the hands of mean girls on the internet would be the wholehearted truth and I am sure I’m far from alone. Shame on you anonymous internet. And today, the internet is worse- tumblr, twitter, facebook, instragram, yikyak, and the list goes on. So many forums for so much potential- and to think we only had to deal with a possible mean IM.

So I write this because when my blog was discovered by one of my students it was as though my deepest fear became a reality. #1 reason, my brothers torture me over the fact that I even have one. #2 reason, this is a huge part of who I am. Lupus. 27 years old (yes, I am now 27 and I didn’t even get to write about the big change). Living a normal life, despite also having a career. Yeah, surprise, surprise, I don’t live on a cot in my classroom. And I created this blog on one hand as an escape from my disease and on the other hand to promote awareness for a disease that is largely unrecognized. I wanted to create a safe haven for other people that feel misunderstood, because that’s exactly how I felt prior to, and following my diagnosis at the age of 16.

But didn’t you think that when you decided to blog about your life in a public forum that it could be found? You idiot.

I mean, technically I did. But ultimately, this little slice of internet heaven became another world for me. As soon as I realized my alter-ego was discovered I went into lock down. Delete. Private. Shut it all down.

But…I can’t do it- despite the unwarranted harassment I will continue to receive from tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb (sorry brothers, you will have to figure out which one you are). Despite the possibility that the truth may be discovered: I have a dog, and that I go to the beach, and that I love (terrible) music, and have a personality, and I suffer from road rage, and that I adore my job, and I run. Despite sucking at it. You found me, I am a human. And if anything, you may find that I’m so regular that I’m not that interesting to read about at all!

I want to believe the best in all individuals, especially in my career where I work with young people each and every day. If we could be cognoscente of our words, our actions, and even our non-actions, we could create a community where people could feel secure and proud to be who they truly are rather than seek to impress those that in the end, simply do not matter.

With that, I open this bad boy back up.

Also, stay tuned- I never got to write about that time I ran a 5K that was supposed to be a costume race. I was the only person at the whole race in a costume. Fabulous. And also humiliating.

It’s been a year?!

I missed my blogiversary – Meaning, I completely overlooked the year I’ve spent writing, running, yoga-ing… Recreating my understanding of myself. Ay-yay-yay! Have I stopped caring about my paperless child?!

No.

But in one year I’ve come so full circle that this blog has taken a back seat in my life. I don’t know how I feel about that- 49% of me loves forgetting to write. I hate to say it, but it became a chore. I lost my drive and desire (and honestly maybe my ability) to casually write. 51% of me thought, shit. I deserve to celebrate this year long process. For me.

What’s it like to write about your life for a year? In this year people have scoffed at my blog and in my insecurities I lost a bit of my desire to write- this is my own flaw, my inability to stop caring about what others think. I’m aware. But I’ve also had people I admire thank me for blogging. In some way I connected to a part of them- whether it was an email I received from an old friend saying they feel like they can run because of me, or a person I bumped into running on the boardwalk. One of my favorite emails was from a stranger thanking me for writing about rhinoplasty. Because why not let it all hang out. John joined in on my running bandwagon as well. And in this year a guy who never ran more than a mile would become one of my biggest inspirations in the process. Blogging is nothing more than making connections and so many have been made. Underneath all of our differences we share so many similarities.

So let me say: I’m human. And in 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months… I have done wonderful things for myself that have helped to inspire myself, and I have let things slip. I’ve run 8 miles, and I have also felt as though – today, I just can’t go past two. I have probably done 50 miles in a month and said who needs two more, no one has to know. I have unintentionally lost ten pounds and dropped a pant size and then I unintentionally gained ten pounds and went up a dress size. Like I said, I’m a human. And a female with a booty.

Throughout the year, one of my favorite parts about using wordpress is seeing how people find my blog. So thank you for searching for:

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Yes.Yes.Yes.

You searched: I’m calling bull on lupus AND then you found my blog. Or, sexy boob images… None of those on here. Sorry. Someone just searched Jews. Present! Or my personal favorite… Beyoncé body odor. Shut up. She has none.

And this is why 51% of me loves this. So thank you for a great year and for stopping by and reading about lupus and life.

Things you never thought you would care to know about me…

And possibly still don’t!

My, my, my am I honored to have been selected by the lovely Five Years for a Liebster Award! Because I’ve been so out of the blogosphere for the week, this was the perfect time to reacquaint me with writing!

I’m super excited to share a bunch of info that I never intended on sharing with any of you! Hope you enjoy!

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1. What is the worst date you have ever been on?
I’ve been fortunate and have to admit that not too many have been bad. Instead, I can tell you about the worst date I never got to go on- because he didn’t show up! We planned to meet at Stout in Manhattan for a drink before I went to a concert with friends (this is a great move by the way- plan a first date within time constraints. When you have to go, you have to go. If it’s wonderful you will meet again another time. If it’s terrible, run, you’re home free!) I’m at this place waiting, look at my watching, waiting look at my watch. It got to the point that a group of guys came up to me to ask if I was ok. I finally get a call from my non date and he says he got caught up at work and stopped real quick for happy hour with coworkers- Is this real life? Believe it or not, we never reconnected after that. I did however get a phone number from one of the nice concerned gentlemen at Stout.

2. What is something you lied to your parents about?
I’m not a liar- and when I do lie, I might as well just tell the truth because I’m going to get caught. After my first kiss I called my mom into the living room to have a confessional session.

3. Are you married? If yes what is your advice to a single gal? If no what is your favorite part of being single?
I’m not married, I’m just living in sin with my boyfriend of three years. Here’s a story and take it how you will- The other day John told me something he loves about me is that I have my own life. I have friends and hobbies and I love my girl nights. Something I love about him is that he has his own life too.

4. What is the first thing you do when you get sad?
First, I wallow in my own misery for a few minutes. Then I hate that I’m wallowing so I usually blast music and try to dance it off. When that doesn’t work, there’s always chocolate.

5. Why did you start blogging?
Last May I had a flare with Lupus and I was at a terrible place in my life. I decided to make changes in my activity levels, food choices, and decided to regain my life. After taking to the boardwalk one day at six in the morning I was amazed to complete my first two mile run by myself. I sat on the boardwalk as the sun was coming up and I could hear my heart racing. I began to cry, completely overcome with emotions. How the hell did I just run? was probably the exact thought I was having. I felt so inspired by the changes I was making that I felt this need to write- 52 miles per month, the amount I intended on running, was born!

6. Best advice to a new blogger?
Write for yourself. This is my therapy. If you are caught up in what others think if your writing you will miss the whole point.

7. What is your biggest dream in life???
It’s not a dream as much as it’s what I want out of life- maintain balance. Find the joy in the simplicity of living while still continuously taking myself out of my comfort zone. When I was younger I allowed myself to become jaded when I had no right to be jaded about anything- I had no life experience yet I was far too blasé about my new experiences. That’s no way to live. Stop and feel the sand between your toes. One of my favorite memories of last summer was after a solid run- I walked onto the beach alone, switched my music over the Jack Johnson, and watched the waves crashing.

8. Do you believe in fate?
No. But I do believe that if it doesn’t feel right it’s because you haven’t gotten to where you are supposed to be. I believe that events in our life lead us on a journey to our destiny- I just don’t believe this journey is predestined. Unless it’s like one of those Goosebumps books that gave you choices… Don’t make the wrong choice!

9. How old were you when you got your first kiss?? and please share the story…
You will have to ask my mom about that story- I told you. It was a confessional.

10. What is your favorite feature on who ever you may be physically attracted to???
I’m going to go with the weirdest possible answer and say calves- firstly, I love calves. Not to be confused with the baby cow kind, just to clarify. They symbolize strength. You got those things because you haul ass and work hard. I love that John’s calves have gotten massive since he started running with me, it reminds me that he’s my partner in crime running.

11. What is one question you want to ask a famous person and who are you asking??
I would love to go to a conference of strong women- no one famous person in particular. I don’t even have a question in particular. I’m going to get greedy with this question and state that I want a full on discussion about empowerment of women. Then we can all be besties. All blog friends are invited to this imaginary conference. RSVP ASAP.

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The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. It is a great way to connect with new bloggers, and to welcome them to the blogosphere.

Here are the rules:

1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Go to the blogs you nominated and notify them of your nomination.
5. Give your nominees 11 questions to answer.

Questions for my bloggy friends:
1. What inspires you on a day to day basis?!
2. Why do you write?
3. How do you feel about excise… Honestly?!
4. If you could wake up anywhere in the world where would you wake up and why?
5. You have a choice- you can ride a bike or walk. The distance isn’t far. What so you choose?
6. What’s your go to beverage of choice?
7. Describe a challenging obstacle you have faced and how you dealt with it.
8. Describe a childhood memory that you believe shaped you.
9. When you were a kid what did you imagine for your life by this point? For example… I was convinced I was supposed to be married two years ago with a child on the way. I was also going to be either a veterinarian or an actress- obviously.
10. What brings you the greatest joy in life?
11. How do you like to spend your Sunday?!

Here are some wonderful blogs that I’m recommending and awarding:

Don’t Blink Just Run
Irish Runner Chick
Cappy Writes
Joy Runner
So What, I Run
I Didn’t Have my Glasses On
Chocolate Covered Race Medals
Suzie81
Forty is the New Thirty
Strong Like my Coffee
Tone it With Tori
365daysofhypochondria
elizabethmerrittabbott

True story: I broke a few Liebster Award rules. I may have included people with over 200 followers. And I may not have counted how many blogs I’ve given shout outs to. And I may have only linked their blogs and not directly posted on their page. But I’ll get around to that. This is how I live life on the edge, I break rules.

Seeking a Friend for the End of The World

Recently I have become obsessed with the philosophical question: What is the purpose of life?

I had my quarter life crisis when I was 22, (ended a 4 year relationship, moved, began a career, dyed my hair brown) so this is not the cause of my new obsession. After my last flare I wanted to appreciate life more, because ultimately, what does this all mean? If there is nothing to look forward to when it is all over, then can I say I am satisfied with what I have done with the time I have been given?

Many of my recent fears stem from my lack of living out my early twenties. I never got a real case of the twenties which many people of my generation have experienced. Or maybe, many people in their twenties believe that they are entitled to experience. I am not going to complain- I can’t complain because I am fortunate in all that I have. However, I worked hard, I worked a lot, and I did not make as much time for myself as I could have. Maybe I wasn’t as silly as I could have been. What I’m trying to say is I only had my nose pierced for three months and I never got to dye my hair blue. Woe is me.

I wanted to take risks, but I was too afraid that if I traveled throughout Europe for a year, I could lose it all. If I kept my nose pierced on the interview maybe I wouldn’t get the job. If I was a little too loud or a little too crazy I would lose my job. Sometimes, I didn’t want to care, but I was so driven in my ultimate goals that I couldn’t break away from this script that I had planned out.

I began to feel like I was bursting at the seams and that my sense of purpose was skewed because I could no longer identify what truly made me happy. Is happiness being content? Is it making money? Achieving your dream job? Having a loving boyfriend, but you are unable to make time for him? I rationalized that if I put the time in now, it would pay off later. This was true, I was beginning to get everything I wanted because of my dedication, but the responsibilities began to grow, continued to grow, and the truth is, responsibilities will never stop growing.

My recent flare with lupus made me reevaluate so much about myself. Obstacles we encounter, as bad as they may be, aren’t always the worst thing for us. I needed a kick in the ass. I realized I needed to find my happiness and my sense of self. My mission led me to yoga, true friendships, an appreciation for myself, running, and now blogging. Through writing I find happiness, and knowing that I can reach even one person inspires me.

I recently became inspired by a movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. This movie did not get the best reviews, but I enjoyed it because it made me question my life. If we had two weeks to live, everything was about to end, would I feel fulfilled? How would I spend my time? Did I accomplish all I wanted to do? Am I happy? Isn’t this life we live in such an unbelievable journey? I finally feel like I am able to live.

I will leave you with this video. Click on the jellybeans and think about living.