… to constantly develop food allergies, you ask?

It feels like you are on a sinking ship, and you’re throwing things overboard that you love but, to survive, you cannot keep. 

I have a lot of food allergies, and i’m in the midst of trying to eliminate another from my life. It’s starting to look like it’s either wheat or gluten and it’s not fun. It’s never easy. 

I hate talking about my allergies when people ask me to have dinner with them or to meet up. I would rather go to something with people and never eat than to try to explain how I am allergic to a list of ten or so things, because it’s way easier to just not eat or eat the meat entree than to explain. Most people have no idea how prevalent allergens are in foods, too. 

Many people in my life do not take my allergies seriously. “I thought a little bit would be okay,” they’ve said. That is not the case. A little egg will make me as sick as a lot of egg. I had to leave my brother and sister in law’s wedding because I inadvertently ate probably less than an eighth of an egg. I did not think I would make it the thirty minutes home to pass out on the couch and pray to the porcelain bowl of Zeus that I didn’t throw up… over one 3/4″ diameter meatball. One. I’ll let that sink in for a second. 

Eggs are not just my serious allergy. Peanuts are serious. At first I could tolerate being around peanut butter, but now, if my kid breathes it in my face or waves it around, trying to share, which she often does, I get the swollen throat and the coughing. 

But the worst, the absolute worst to me is people who think allergies are a lifestyle choice. I get that allergies are uncommon in adults; actually, I’m the only adult I know that has them, and it only started after my very awful pregnancy. I cannot help what they are. I do not know when they will develop. I cannot take allergy shots and going to an allergist at this point would do nothing but tell me what I already know, in a way that could make me very sick for the next few days. That’s great that someone you know is vegan or gluten free because they think it makes them feel better, but don’t assume that all people that eat like x or y do so to just simply “feel better” and that they can stop at any time. I skip eggs and peanut butter because my life depends on it as my allergies get worse. So tell me if you’re using cream of whatever soup in your food, because that has egg. Tell me if you accidentally forget and throw an avocado into the salad. Otherwise, I’ll know, and it won’t be pretty for either of us as I’m drugged out on benadryl and you’re feeling guilty for thinking I would be okay with a little bit. It’s okay to forget. It’s not okay to not tell. 

and that is my PSA on what it feels like. 

maybe i’m getting to the point where i can finally drop the b. no one calls me that. at some point, i’m going to have to ask my parents to stop calling me the b part of my name in front of Z. I get that parents get naming rights, but I think I have the right to choose between those names, right? If Z wanted us to call her by her middle name, Claire, I’d call her Claire. She might turn out to be a Claire. That’s totally okay. Right now she’s a Z.

Anyway, “just s” accomplished something amazing this week. Amazing and mindblowing and happy. I participated in NaNoWriMo — it’s National Novel Writing Month, but most people call it NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short — and wrote. And wrote. And wrote some more, really, I just keep writing once I have a good story in my head. I got to a tough plot hole and figured out how to write my way out of it, and that made it even better.

In seven days, I wrote over 50,000 words, and I have more to add to it when I edit. Already I’ve got a few ideas in mind that might need to happen. And as we celebrated last night, I realized that 50,000 words was fit in around naptimes, mornings, late nights, and that’s a lot to accomplish in one week. I wouldn’t want to work like that all the time, but I had the drive to do that. What else might I have the drive to do?

I’m going to roll with this feeling of accomplishment. It’s a good feeling. (Maybe remind me of that when I’m editing at the end of January.)

I’ve been meaning to blog about this. I started this list a bit ago and actually have some things down.

1. Donate time and money to causes I feel passionately about. I let opportunities like this pass me by all the time. 

2. Write a novel. Edit it. 

3. Make new friends in Cincy

4. Buy a house. Make a home.

5. Lose fifty pounds.

6. Print my pictures. Put them everywhere.

7. Finish a quilt. Finish three quilts.

8. Make snow angels with Zoe.

9. Visit the PNC Zoo Lights

10. Find a babysitter and go on a date

11. Paint pottery for ourselves or someone else

12. Go gluten free for a week. See what happens.

13. Do one thing related to a future career

14. Make a carrot cake from scratch

15. Finish a painting for behind the couch

16. Visit a city we’d like to move to – maybe Austin, SXSW?

17. Learn to cook curry from memory

18. Visit 30 new parks

19. Sew a piece of clothing for myself

20. Make a kolsch

21. Do yoga everyday

22. Do something completely different with my hair

23. Finally learn to crochet a granny square

24. Go to the beach again

25. End the year happy.

Once upon a time, I envied you.

There isn’t just one “you” in this story; it’s a group of “yous” who all fought to reach the top of perfection mountain. you ladies almost ruined me. i pined away for things i didn’t yet have. things i couldn’t yet have. things i wasn’t.

I will never be small framed. I’m a tall girl with pacific islander heritage; it’s just never going to happen. I will never be the kind of girl who rolls out of bed every day and puts on a face of makeup. I can do that sometimes, but it sure as hell isn’t going to be everyday.

since we departed, and i found new friends, let me tell you what i’ve realized.

1. Going to church and singing praises does not make me a good person, just like not going to church does not make me a bad person.

2. I don’t have to hate myself even if I want to change myself. I don’t have to take the bad and pretend it never existed. I’m a beautiful work in progress, and that’s fine.

3. Yoga pants and no mascara are perfectly acceptable when it comes to being a stay at home mom. Hey, let’s expound on that. I’m a SAHM but I’m also very sick at least once a month. That means it’s okay that I don’t make everything from scratch and it’s okay that there are sometimes dirty dishes next to my sink and it’s okay that there are blocks in the basket meant for musical instruments, that’s all okay. it’s okay if I don’t want to get up off the couch because my body is aching and i just cannot push that fucking vacuum across the floor today. That’s okay.

4. Children are not the end-all of your existence. I love my kid. If you look to the left, you probably see a shit ton of photos of her. But as much as she is my child, she is not who I am and I am not who she is. We are not tied up in the existence of the other because we are each our own awesome people, and fuck if I’m going lose who I am. I pretty much believe she feels the same, judging by how many times she tells me no about things.

5. You never deserved whatever hate you were throwing around about yourself. So what if you fucking hate your hair and your height and your dress size? So fucking what? Sit on the couch, eat some oreos with me and drink wine. Don’t be something you aren’t.

6. Politics need to be discussed because shit needs to change, fast, in the deep south. It’s cool to talk about it, you know.

This is from every “you” I’ve met, from middle school to college to various moves. If you fit one of these, THAT’S OKAY. Do what works for you. Do you. I’ll do me.

I have never felt more fearless than when I figured out my life was way cooler doing the things I wanted to do for me, as compared to the before, when I was always wondering what was cool enough to post, to share. Remember that christmas in Athens that I sewed tiny felt owls and made book garland and cut snowflakes from origami paper? I loved that Christmas. It was one of my favorites on record. It was real because it was things that felt like me.

I am me, and the thing is, I think you’ll love me anyway. You always have, really, my lovely friends. The thing you should know is — I love you for you, too, even if you do crazy and unexpected things like me. You don’t have to pretend that we’re all in some race to do better than the next person, just fucking live. Not just live. Fucking live. Do it with passion if you’re going to do it. You know, because.. uh, yolo? 😉

on the other side of last week, it sure feels all right. 

I have good friends on the internet. Good friends in real life. And I’m working on making new friends, from a lovely playgroup that we tried out. 

It’s not always so easy to see the bad for the good.  I’d like to think I’m growing up, but who can ever be sure? I’m just going to assume I am because I’m not bitter at those people. It is what it is, we’re different people and life goes on. 

I always dread the lead up to winter, even if I simultaneously love fall and Christmas. It’s a hard truth that it means that things will be graying and cold and that means a lot of indoor time. I’m hoping to rearrange things so Z won’t be so bored, but it’s just going to be a traveling kind of winter. Going to indoor places to have fun, I suppose. 

I hope this winter can be a winter of new things, of happy friends and fun events and people we like. I hope we find our home in this city. I’m too ready for change. 

the title of this post is how insecurity feels. 

It isn’t often that you get the chance to re-examine your life for why people are dropping like flies out of your life. Two in a week, has to be a record. 

This isn’t going to be some witty insight into the human mind or feelings or heart. I’m still trying to figure out what I did. But maybe that’s selfish, maybe it was them and not me, and maybe I’m okay as me. 

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My take on losing friends: clearly I need to make new friends instead of dwelling in the past, and I decided to take steps to do it. Here goes nothing, world. Joining a playgroup to make friends and doing yoga to make peace with the bullshit, because guess what? You can’t outrun bullshit even when you’re happy. Someone is always going to rain on your parade. And as cliche as it is, I’m learning how to dance in the rain, because if I don’t, I’m letting the bullshit win. 

Plus, I have a 3 foot tall cookie monster. 

 

Coming back to this blog feels like I can finally stop pretending to be this person that everyone else thinks I am, and be the person I really am. I hide a lot of who I am on social media to avoid inevitable arguments.

I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month next month, and my book’s topic is on death and afterlife. After I decided that topic, I read a couple of John Green books (the fault in our stars, looking for alaska) which are — surprise! — about death. It got me thinking about what people would say about me when I go.

Towards the end of The Fault In Our Stars, there is a scene where Augustus, the dying character, holds his own funeral with just his friends. They write him eulogies that encapsulate who he is, who he was, rather than who those who knew him least would picture him to be.

C might be the only person that knows me these days. The fact that I have no ideas about God after what seemed like a yearlong study of the existence of God, for example. The fact that I’m pretty sure kindness and love and helping others do not exist in the vacuum of a religion or a political party. The fact that art is pretty much the thing that drives my life, and my house is covered in it.

I don’t plan on dying anytime soon. No, maybe I’ll just live forever. But the honest truth is that this blog, like nothing else in my life, is my eulogy to myself. Like pieces of a puzzle that most people don’t read, won’t read, won’t ever know about. But I do. It’s my own game of Clue on the internet for when that day, far away, will come.

WordPress better survive the Zombie Apocalypse.

We turned down a dream opportunity to move to DC for a job C interviewed for.

remember that post, so long ago? My feelings never changed. I’d love to live in DC… someday. But for now, no, this is where we’re supposed to be.

SBM_5046

This wasn’t the right job, it wasn’t the right time, it wasn’t the right salary. And that’s okay. It’s okay that things don’t turn out how you want sometimes. But I haven’t stopped thinking that honestly? I don’t know what I want to do forever. I don’t know what my place in the working world is.

Politics make me happy and angry. They’re a different place than they were four years ago, eight years ago, twenty years ago, thirty years ago. Politics have not been this divisive in the last century. Do I want to spend my life fighting right now? I don’t know. I really don’t.

Maybe in a year or five I’ll know. Maybe when the time and job and salary are right for C, and when I’m ready. Or maybe I’ll never live there; I can’t predict the future. But I’d never thought I’d be living here in Cincy, either, just four years ago.

Let’s see what the future holds. 🙂

i kept a blog that i hosted. that wasn’t as fun.
i only own a kajillion domain names and tried again and again. that wasn’t as fun.
so let’s pretend i didn’t skip two years. here i am in 2013.

i have a wonderful 2 year old girl! i still live in the same townhouse until we buy a house next year here in cincy! I’m still married to chad! I still love my entire freaking life! but my oh my how i’ve changed.

let’s play quick catch up: 

in August 2011 I gave birth to a bundle of fantastic. I had PPD for the first oh… seven months. After that, a switch flipped and i realized how awesome my life was.

we’ve had the most fun. she can talk, walk, um… change her own diapers. She can ask questions and color and try to write. she can read her own name if she thinks about it long enough.

C still has the same cool job and he likes it a lot. the city is… well, it’s okay. i sort of think it’s growing on me, in its own special way. it’s not home, but it is a home, the only one that Z has ever known. It’s not Georgia. It’s not SC. But you know what? We’re a family here. It’s a home. 🙂

I learned photography. I learned how to fail at something. I learned that life is about growing and I learned that it’s okay to be a feminist and pretty liberal for a moderate. I learned that letting the same people burn you over and over is a surefire way to be unhappy. I learned that space isn’t awful. I learned how to be me.

I started this blog as an outlet. I started every other blog as an obligation. But I’m not obligated anymore, and I’m not having fun with buying domains and hosting. I just want to go back to the basics, to who I was when no one was reading this site. It’s not connected to my twitter feed, my instagram (bet you don’t know what that is, 2008 me) or anything else. It’s all me, blogging for me. 🙂

I read a really, really interesting article this week, Why Bin Laden Lost, in Bloomberg Businessweek and a similar article in The Economist, Now Kill His Dream. (If you can’t read these without a subscription and still have a valid Clemson login, you should be able to access them via Academic Search Premier database on the Clemson Libraries website.) While both made claims that the Middle East no longer wants the kind of jihad that Bin Laden wanted, I think the Businessweek article summed it up so nicely:

As they got to spend some time with him, Muslims discovered they didn’t like him very much. They were looking for something else, something that didn’t show up in the polling data.

It showed up this spring. “All those people on the street,” says an activist who asked that we withhold her name and location for fear of government reprisal, “they don’t want democracy, they want to live, to live with dignity. They want something tangible, not an idea.” Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian who set himself on fire after repeated run-ins with local authorities, wanted to support his family with a fruit stand.

Bouazizi’s dream lacked the grandeur of a caliphate. He asked no one to die but himself. “In Egypt,” says the activist, “the tangible dream is to walk on the street without being harassed by a policeman. In Bahrain, it’s to live your life without being discriminated against. In Tunisia, the dream was to work.”

This part of the article was the part that truly got me. Bin Laden has long been dead among the less-fanatic Muslim people because they  were never looking for a jihadist war, but a way to just live their lives like citizens in the US. They may not like our actions, but they respect and desire what we have – a way for our citizens to live without fear, to make a living and to live their lives peacefully without family. Bin Laden could not promise this; in that way, they cared less about him than we did.

I recommend reading both, but especially the Businessweek article – it’s a great piece explaining not only the Arab Spring but Bin Laden’s flaws, too, and why now, his death does not even matter to anyone but us.

And… for a couple more interesting current event articles I’ve found interesting:

Somali pirates – why and how the trade is flourishing

The new Tech Bubble – this one is interesting as I keep reading articles on Facebook, Twitter and Google, especially how Google may be too big to sustain.

Treating and preventing AIDS – Researchers found that the sooner you treat and educate HIV infected people, the sooner it can stop the disease from spreading. This is wonderful news!

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