Moms Being Moms

Mom-isms never stop. You may even find that you will forever be your parents child as they send your reminder text messages. See exhibit A:

When I was sixteen my mother was my biggest health advocate. Each doctors appointment scheduled, fax that needed to be sent, blood work that I had to be taken to, and piece of knowledge about nearly every auto-immune under the sun became her mission. She was unstoppable.

As a teenager, I found myself a passive recipient of a present I did not want. As a result,  I allowed my mom to absorb the brunt of the information. Over time I learned that passivity and health do not go hand in hand. As I began to advocate for myself both legally as an adult and because it became important to me that I become more aware of my health, my mom gave me the reins

Her mom-isms did not vanish overnight as I would still receive the occasional: when do you see your lupus doctor? But for every mommmmmm that my young adult self groaned, there was the reminder that she saved my life.

This afternoon as I read her texts, I caught myself laughing. It took me too long to register that she was genuinely concerned. Mom’s right, she cannot make the appointments for me, but I can make them for myself.

I wonder how many of us did not receive a proper diagnosis or help because they lacked support where they needed it most- home. At 28 I’m still being scolded about my health, but I’m appreciative that someone can love me so much that they are willing to drive me crazy.

Don’t worry, I’ll get you back.

 

My Second Love

A few days ago my friends and I ordered a pizza. They had a long drive home so I won the leftover pie. I am on day three of pizza.

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Just turn the chicks head into a slice because I am becoming pizza.

Usually I have some self control when it comes to pizza. I fake blot my slice[s] to get the “best part off.” I don’t know why people love the grease, but they do. And usually the grease grosses me out, but the past three days have come and gone with zero blots. So here I am, in love with pizza.

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Zero. slices. given.

Lupus Lately

One thing I haven’t touched on in a while: Lupus.

She’s been O.K., definitely been worse, but has also definitely been better. When I began this blog two summers ago, I had just received word from my rheumatologist that I was no longer in “remission*.” Since that time my blood tests have shown that my lupus is active, fortunately, I have remained relatively healthy. What people don’t understand is that lupus has such a broad impact on different people. For me, I take two pills a day of an anti-malarial called plaquenil. However, lupus is an auto-immune that can attack any organ in the body and the tissues of the body. It does this because the antibodies produced believe the internal organs are invaders that need to be kicked out- fight the good fight, lupus. Just stop fighting the wrong fight, you idiot!

Most recently I have been experiencing photosensitivity. This is typical during summer because it is a challenge to avoid the sun, especially in a beach town. The other day Jess and I were about to walk into yoga when she looked over at me with a concerned face “your skin!” She appeared so concerned that I ran into the bathroom to check what was wrong- oh, this old thing?! 

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This is my skin without makeup during an outbreak of the lupus “butterfly rash.” Whole face has been left out for protection of its owner. Those little red dots that look like pimples are part of the package, people- beauteous, I know. As a concerned with my appearance female, I try to cover it with makeup, but there is only so much that can be done.

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It is what it is. At times it’s an enormous frustration for me because who doesn’t want to be “normal.” News flash: it’s probably my fault that I have the facial rash in the first place. Scouts honor- I laid in the sun the other day. I’ve discussed this before, but sun is a trigger for lupus and can lead to flares. I’m supposed to wear sunscreen all of the time, even in winter, because of UV rays. For some people with lupus, even fluorescent lights can become a problem. I am completely aware that I’m not supposed to lay in the sun, but then why does it feel so delicious?! Request for whoever is operating the world, stop making bad things feel/taste/look so good, please?!

So yes, it angers me that I can’t do unhealthy things with my friends. What I come to every time I find myself hostile towards the world: it could be worse. It could be organ involvement, chemotherapy, premature death. So as horrible as a rash is, my skin is not the worst part of this disease. So I guess I will take what I can get. Life is turbulent and unpredictable- we create it, we can shape and alter it. That’s why I wear sunscreen and why I usually don’t lay in the sun- I protect my health. That’s why I take yoga, run, bike ride, and try to live an active life. I cannot escape lupus, but I can live the best life possible.

*remission for lupus: is not real. there is no cure. That’s me being bitter- In layman’s terms, it means you aren’t really showing symptoms of lupus.

Lupus and Travel

I recently made a vow with myself to stop sleeping with my Ipad and cell phone on my nightstand. It all started with these scenarios that maybe you are familiar with as well:

  • you wake up to find out (always weeks later) that you responded to multiple texts *while sleeping- not that you will remember sleep-confirming to that birthday party.
  • and/or looked at your messages to fall back asleep and never acknowledge the text message again. Sorry I never responded… 
  • and/or look at your messages and become in a state of panic/anxiety because WHY DID I NEED TO CHECK MY WORK E-MAIL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT?

It’s a sickness, an absolute addiction, and sickness that many of us suffer from… or am I alone on this one? Please tell me I’m not alone on this on.

In an effort to end example un,du, and trois above, I have relocated my drug of choice (just to be clear I’m talking about an Ipad and cell phone…) to across the room and I have made sure they are on silent. Best part about it?

  • No more sleep-texting 
  • No more reading/sleep ignoring
  • No more middle of the night technology induced anxiety

and my personal favorite part- waking up to social media alerts. I’m such a sucker for a good message and waking up to a question from a reader, known as a.r., made my whole morning:

I came across your blog when I googled something like “birthright Israel with chronic disease”, so I have to ask, were you able to do everything? Did they let you sit out if you couldn’t?

I have a type of arthritis and I’ve been putting off birthright for a while now. I’m not in remission but I’m pretty stable at the moment, and I’ve traveled quite a bit. but group trips make me nervous – i’m not “out” (no one really knows I have arthritis), and I’m worried about things like the hiking (mostly Masada), and other activities. Like you mentioned in one of your posts, the fatigue hits me too. Did you find them accommodating to you? Were you able to participate in everything?

thanks 🙂

Riddle me this:

HOW IN MY ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING HAVE I NOT MADE A POST ABOUT TRAVELING WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS?

Answer: I’m really not sure. So, here I am to address A.R. and their question!

Dear A.R.,

Let me start off by thanking you for your thoughtful question and I hope I can help to ease some of your concerns. I’m thrilled to see that you love to travel- life can seem overwhelming when living with a chronic disease. I’m not here to sugarcoat life with a disease either- I started to write a response and I erased an entire paragraph… did I really just say “now I live my life to the fullest.” That’s half true and half untrue. I wish I did not have a disease that can feel debilitating and limiting- no laying out in the sun, no staying up to all hours, if I do too much activity, I might have a flare. blah blah blah. There is no easy way to say it, but let’s be real- that sucks. I remember when travel was a thoughtless process and I took my health for granted. Now I have to travel smart:

  • Do I have my medicine?
  • Am I able to get my medicine if I forget it?
  • Do I have insurance that will cover overseas expenses if necessary?
  • What if I get sick?

I have asked these questions to myself each time I plan for another trip as I’m sure is the reality for many living with an illness. But! I still travel. And! I now appreciate the fact that I am breathing, walking, living, and fortunate enough to experience this amazing world. Know thyself, right? Meaning, I have learned my limits while still appreciating what the world has to offer- especially Israel, a place that I too pushed off for far too long.

Israel is bikram studio level hot- for those of you that don’t speak sweat, I’m talking 105 degrees hot. And the sun is excruciatingly sunny (I couldn’t think of a better description, deal with it), no hyperbole. I would love to think of more similes to further explain the sun to heat ratio but I think you get the picture. And to do some basic math for you: 

Lupus + Sun = ughhhhhhhhh*

http://www.lupus.org/answers/entry/how-lupus-affects-skin

So I packed a ton of sun block. Like two extra bottles worth. And I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. And on a few occasions when we sat by a pool, I sat in a shaded area. That’s the reality of my disease. We also did more physical activity on extremely limited amounts of sleep every.single.day. BUT I love being active. I can see Israel being a very challenging trip for a person that is inactive. I know it can be difficult for a person living with pain to workout, believe me, I experience lupus as though I have rheumatoid arthritis. There are times making a fist is excruciating and on most days a dull ache in my joints is the norm. I would never suggest pushing yourself past your comfort zone, but I started to run after I found out that I was no longer in remission. I am a firm believer in living to the best of my ability and since I refuse to give up deliciously scrumptious foods, it was time to become active. Better now than never. Now, if you cannot participate in all activities, that’s fine too. There are additional people on the trips to be there for those that cannot do it all- a friend with severe asthma made the decision to meet us at the top of Masada by cable car (they have those!). At the end of the hike to the top we were given the option to take the cable car to the bottom or to hike to the bottom:

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I chose to hike to the bottom. And my legs were shaking, and I felt invincible. But I did it because I knew that I was physically able to- it was my choice. If I had felt sick or fatigued I would have chosen to take the cable car. Having the option made me feel safer as well.

Finally, I remember the feeling of not wanting people to know that I have a chronic illness- are they going to judge me? pity me? be overly cautious with me? pay any attention to me? I didn’t want any of that, particularly those sad, pitying, you have a disease, eyes. Please, not those! That being said, not sharing your illness with others is your choice, but it’s truly important that before you go on any big trip you let the travel organization know. Initially I was furious that they made me receive approval from my rheumatologist- am I a child, Israel? I’ve been dealing with this for ten years. But I get it- Not only is it their liability if something were to happen to you, but even more important is your health, well-being, and safety, and they can’t provide that for you if they don’t know what you may or may not need. 

I want to be loud and clear: My biggest regret in life would be to stop living for a disease that could kill me. Instead I believe in living smart. Emphasis on living. Because, in the words of Socrates-

The unexamined life is not worth living

 

 

ughhhhhhhhh* – fatigue, soreness, swelling, skin rashes

When Life Hands You Lemons…

On Halloween a teenager walked up to me, handed me a lemon, and walked away. Draped across her was a plain cloth bag with the word: Life. And to clarify, no, this was not a hallucination, this was real life.

Fortunately the lemon was in actuality a femon (pronounced like lemon, of course)- an imposter, a fake. I say that because I have been holding it hostage in my bag since. Maybe I haven’t taken it out of my bag due to the fact that I’m a total slob who has way too many purses all littered with similar junk: pens, chapstick, a rogue dollar, receipts from 2011, a tampon just in case a stranger needs one- I know that sounds weird, but I’m all about paying it forward. Any lady in need would totally respect this, don’t judge. So today, as I was cleaning out my bag, there it was, nestled at the very bottom. Not forgotten, just kept safe.  

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I love that femon- everytime I look at it I’m reminded that not every day is picturesque, not every moment turns out exactly as we expected it to, sometimes we get a cold in January that throws our whole schedule off- like I did last week. As I moped around, angry because running was not in the agenda, I struggled to find the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m dying I whimpered from under a pile of blankets. It turns out I didn’t die, I’m still here! And though I couldn’t run all last week I tried to make the best of a bad situation. I danced while I cleaned, I did low impact exercises, I ate well balanced meals, and I drank a ton of water. I woke up by Sunday more refreshed, Monday back to my usual self, and today I’m ready to run. 

Here’s to health. When life hands you lemons make a concoction full of vitamin C and ward off any possible colds. If you catch one don’t panic, just take it easy and use the lemon in your tea.

And here are 9 Awesome Facts About Lemons You Should Know (click me!) 

Baby’s First Half

When you were born your parents may have made a little book with your name on it- this is most often true for the oldest child and generally fades out the more children there are per family. Sorry Sean. This book was probably adorable and adorably decorated in pastel images of zoo animals, or Winnie the Pooh, or some other cutesy baby stuff. With every thing you did your parents would jot down in excitement – Ashley’s first word – gaga. We have a diva on our hands. That’s how I feel about this blog. Pastel colors and all. This is my book of milestones.

In this blog I have documented countless hours of my life. I have posted pictures of my dirty gym clothes, glorious sunsets, my friends, and my family. In my first blog post I confessed to crying on a boardwalk by myself after finishing my first run, overcome with emotion- this is my life now. I documented in fear my first 5k and I questioned if I would be able to do it and I was truly concerned that maybe I could not. I wrote about my first 4 mile run. My first 5 mile run. Now I’m going to tell you I did it again yesterday- my second time in a row doing five miles. And maybe I will look back on this post and I will laugh at these milestones, but we definitely don’t laugh at a baby’s first time lifting their head, or sitting up, or crawling, and standing up, to walking, to running, to holy crap we need to lock everything up in this house. We all start somewhere. I started as a fatigued, sick, swollen, depressed 25 year old trying to figure out what my next step was- Do I continue living like this or do I make the necessary changes to live a healthy life?

My path to rediscovery began in May. Today I officially registered for my first half marathon.

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What I didn’t realize when I first agreed to this race was that it was one year from the point that I turned my life around. Words cannot express how meaningful this race is to me. And just like my first 5k, I have that apprehensive and terrified feeling, but now I feel empowered with the knowledge that I have set my mind towards many obstacles this year and I accomplished goals that I didn’t know I even had for myself.

In May of 2013 I struggled to walk, in May of 2014 I will run a half marathon.

Letting it all Hang Out

This morning, as I drank my daily coffee, perused the internet, and relaxed on the couch, I came across a fellow bloggers post click here on shame. Her post linked in a TED talk which I took the time to watch, and would tell others to watch as well: Brene Brown Listening to Shame. Brene Brown, a researcher of shame and vulnerability, discusses vulnerability and shames link to creativity, courage, and innovation. Say what?!

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point in my 26 years on this earth, I have allowed my fears of being vulnerable hinder my own progress. I’m sure it began in childhood. I can recall riding my brand new bike with friends that I always desperately tried to impress, they were older and the cool kids in the neighborhood. As I tried to impress them with some bike trick, I tried to pop up, and instead, literally flipped my bike. I could hear the giggles. Blood poured from my knees, my face was scratched, I can still feel the tightness in my chest from embarrassment. I ran inside and cried to my mom. what were you doing out there?! I was mortified. That feeling began to manifest inside of me until it became shame. And I stopped riding my bike. This story occurred throughout my life in a variety of facets, like it does for everyone.

When I decided to write this blog I debated it long before it’s first post. Reason?
I was afraid of being vulnerable.
I was afraid of shame.
I was afraid of judgment.
I was afraid of people seeing that I have lupus and I was afraid of what they would think.
I was afraid of my writing and it’s quality… I’m not a writer! I just a regular person who has a lot of thoughts going through my head.

Even in that statement that I just wrote, I can see my fears! I was trying to justify, if this sucks it’s because I’m not a writer. I recognize that I continuously allowed vulnerability to control me.

Isn’t shame the red headed stepchild of emotions? And that’s why we are all terrified of it. We don’t like how it feels. We all have a shame story that shapes us in some way. But how we live after we deal with shame is what defines us. Can we allow ourselves to step out from those feelings and grow? If we can, then we can allow the most beautiful things to happen. Through this blog, despite my fears, I embrace my vulnerability and take it head on. I allow myself to be exposed, my feelings, and my trials and tribulations with running.

I hid my first blog post for a long time from my friends, in fact one person told me, maybe you don’t want to share this with people. I internalized that, this blog must suck. When I posted it for my world to see, I could feel my breath become shallow, I could hear my heart beating in my ears. That is vulnerability. All of my fears that I was holding onto were laid out of the table. It was too late. I couldn’t take it back. And I’m thankful that I didn’t.

Since beginning this blog I have felt the warmth and support of people that I never imagined would even care about what I had to say.
A friend who after debating running told me they asked themself: what would Talia do?
An e-mail from a college friend that I haven’t seen or spoken to in nearly six years thanking me for my posts.
A fellow blogger and high school pal who told me of her successes with running and how I helped her feel as though running slow was Ok, because it is!
People who have thanked me for writing about lupus. People who said, I didn’t know you had lupus, and then took the time to read about it and look into the disease.

I put myself out there and through you unbelievable people who have taken your time to read my posts, I want to continue running, trying, achieving, and bettering myself. I love all of you readers and your support. Thank you for making me a stronger person.

In the TED talk, Brene Brown quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s, The Man in the Arena, please read it and think about your own life. Make yourself the man in the arena, it’s challenging because it makes us all the more vulnerable, but in the end, it’s rewarding.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Eating Like a Cow

I have, at times in my life, cared both a lot and a little about the size of my pantaloons and the numbers on a scale.

In 2007 I worked at a chain restaurant and began to eat all of their delicious foods. For every meal. Gradually I came to the realization that it is not practical, nor acceptable, to eat burgers for nearly every meal. I decided to become a gym rat for the summer, and in reality, cared too much about getting back to my pre-processed foods bod. I got obsessive to the point that if the number didn’t satisfy, it could ruin my entire day. I counted my calories, which isn’t a bad thing if it’s done right, but a terrible thing when it’s done in order to quickly lose weight. And as people noticed that I was losing weight, I grew more concerned with what I was eating.

If I eat a yogurt for breakfast, half of a sandwich for lunch, and a soup for dinner and work out, I can lose…

After receiving real, and concerned, criticism from friends, because that’s what friends do- they call you out on your crazy, I got my head straight. I never wanted to do that again, and my fear of getting like that is probably what made me spin in the opposite direction. I became a crusader for eating right (right in my mind was saying no to a side of french fries with my lunch wrap) and I never weighed myself.

The scale is the debil.

As years have passed coughsixcough my 20 year old metabolism that I took for granted dissipated as well. Toodle-loo-kangaroo. I also got a real job and lost the ability to do nothing all day and claim that it’s acceptable because it’s college. By this year my body was all out of wack, my skin did not look healthy, and I just knew I didn’t feel right.

So what did the scale say?

I didn’t want to get on the scale- I refused. And then it happened. The day I went to the doctors appointment that told me my lupus was no longer in remission. I was at my heaviest weight. It all became real in that moment that I needed to get my priorities straight. There were too many extremes in my life. I decided to reclaim my body, and not for a number on a scale, or how I wanted to look. I decided to workout for my health. This was the first time in my life I was working out for that reason alone.

Last month, after six months of working out I stepped on the scale. It was the first time I had been curious to see my weight. I had lost ten pounds. And it was the first time in my life that I did not have a goal in mind. I was just feeling good. My knees no longer hurt, I had more energy, I was walking a little taller and I was feeling stronger. I felt proud, and I felt no anxiety associated with a number.

Today I am a pseudo health pretender. Naturally, I have always had an interest in healthy eating and healthier options. I was always a skim milk kind of girl. I loathe (that’s how much*) aspartame. I rather just skip sugar than ingest any artificial sweeteners. I don’t drink soda or juices. This is just how I operate. However, my affinity for healthy options is often at war with my better half- the bacon cheeseburger and a side of french fries with the perfect seasonal beer, please!  side.

And guess what, I eat it.

I will eat the whole damn cheeseburger and I will enjoy it. And I am happy. I have struck some kind of balance in my life. If we are continuously searching for a magical number or a size to find happiness we will always struggle to be happy. What is it that you truly want? Once I recognized that I wanted to be healthy and balanced I found what I was looking for. And I am not perfect, I am far from it, but this mission for inner peace with all things in life is taking me places I didn’t know I could find. 

To Stretch or not to Stretch… That is the Question

Feel the burn.  That sensation that runs down the back of your hamstring as you stretch out your muscles before a run.

Head to knee. 90 degree angles. standing. sitting. balancing.  Stretching brings an awareness to your muscles- it feels like your muscles are acknowledging your hard work and then thanking you for stretching them out. Stretching has become part and parcel with my workout routine- which is why it took me by surprise when my bestie said, stretching isn’t good for you.

She swore up and down that a trainer in her gym is big into the don’t stretch movement. Movement?!  I didn’t even know this existed.

This catastrophic moment sort of felt like the time I was told Pluto wasn’t a planet…

You mean, abandon an essential part of my practice? How can I just give up all that I thought to be true.

As a perpetual student I decided that finding the answer to this question was not as simple as putting faith into some trainer at Danielle’s gym. It was of no offense to her, but who is this trainer… and what does he know?

I read articles. Note the (s) – that was a plural.  I read multiple articles that all concurred with this stranger who flipped my workout understanding on its face.

This article (Click: Reasons not to Stretch), for those of you that are not too lazy to read a blog, but are too lazy to read the New York Times, is not saying do nothing before you workout.  However, it is making a few interesting points based on recent studies that I chose to select as “bold statements”: 

  • if you stretch before you lift weights, you may find yourself feeling weaker and wobblier than you expect during your workout
  • pre-exercise stretching is generally unnecessary and likely counterproductive
  • A better choice…is to warm-up dynamically, by moving the muscles that will be called upon in your workout. Jumping jacks and toy-soldier-like high leg kicks, for instance, prepare muscles for additional exercise better than stretching. As an unscientific side benefit, they can also be fun.

According to the research that has been done, they don’t totally understand why stretching hinders performance, but many are agreeing it does.

Clearly, I had to try this new approach out- I’m also fairly lazy and have no problem reducing my stretch time. Since discovering this new way of thinking I decided to make myself a human guinea pig.  Starting last Sunday I have not stretched before running. The results are in.

10/6: 2.03 mi

10/7: yoga

10/8: off 

10/9: yoga

10/10: 1.75 mi

10/11: 3.31mi

10/12: 3.12 mi

10/13: 2.02

Making for a total of 12.22 miles of ZERO STRETCHING BEFORE RUNNING.

How do I feel?

I thought that after my first day of no stretching pre-run that I would be the most sore, especially since I took a solid 3 days off from running, but I felt exactly the same. I actually enjoyed feeling my joints loosen up as the run progressed.  In fact, every day this week I actually had great running sessions. On 10/11 I got out there and ran the most I have ever run without stopping- I felt amazing. I did it again the next day. The soreness set in by yesterday, but it wasn’t from not stretching- it was from pushing myself. I got out there again yesterday morning and did a solid two mile run and felt fine. This morning I said I was taking the day off- I was feeling it in my calves.  Now it’s 11 a.m. and I’m getting the itch to go- It’s only two miles.  

Maybe it’s because I incorporate hot yoga into my routine a minimum of two days per week, but I feel wonderful. I don’t know if I agree entirely that stretching isn’t an important part of working out, but it’s definitely an interesting perspective. I also believe many people do not know how to stretch properly- I was doing it wrong for years. By stretching the wrong way you can actually do more damage to your body. Post work out I also made it a point to stretch out my muscles.

On a final note- I am not a trainer, I have zero real knowledge of the body, I just like to read. So, my point is-

don’t take my advice, but feel free to read as I take my own. 

Happy stretching (or not) guys!

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.