Roundup 2/13/14

1. Dallas Sportcaster’s Shocking Response to Michael Sam Coming Out as Gay:
When I saw this headline, I have to admit I expected this to be a much different video. I was pleasantly surprised. I could not respect what Dale Hansen says in this video more. The NFL is littered with domestic abusers, rapists, drunk drivers, druggies, murders, and frequenters of prostitution (alleged and convicted alike), but gay men is where they draw the line? It’s ridiculous. Being gay is not illegal; all of those other things? Very illegal!

Having gone to Penn State (main campus) for 2 years, I witnessed first hand the way the football players were accommodated. They rarely turned up for class, got premium, free housing, and breezed through their academics. It was disgusting.

Professional athletes are worse examples to our youth than rockstars in some cases, but young boys are raised by their fathers to worship at the temple of Sunday night football. These athletes carry themselves with an untouchable attitude that stems from being handed everything and pandered to for their physical abilities. They make an obscene amount more than people who actually contribute to society. How is that right?

We should be celebrating people who do good in the world, pursue intellectual advancement, and set a better example for our youth. The army no longer enforces don’t ask don’t tell and they’re doing just fine. Homosexuals can defend our nation, but they can’t kick a ball across a field? Also, doesn’t keeping homosexuals out of the NFL constitute workplace discrimination?

2. This is what I woke up to this morning… I hate winter.

About 30 minutes from my house...

About 30 minutes from my house…

3. Horrible news out of Belgium: This is unbelievable. Belgium’s parliament voted through child euthanasia without an age limit. To be honest, I wasn’t aware that euthanasia was legal there and in the Netherlands for “adults” over the age of 12, but children? Leaving that decision to a child seems highly unethical.

4. “It hurts when I backup and go ‘beep beep beep’…” A funny video after all of this seriousness. 🙂


Things We Lost in the Fire

I am a little behind on the Zero to Hero challenge, but I am determined to complete it. So, here goes Day 16. I didn’t like the prompt about reputation, because I see reputation as largely substance-less. Someone’s true value isn’t contained in or defined by their reputation. I honestly haven’t thought much about reputation since high school, so I chose another prompt. The one for today: Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

I used to have nightmares about fire as a child, so you better believe I knew what I would grab in case of a fire. Assuming everyone else was safe, it included my favorite teddy and blanket. I have amassed so many possessions in the decades (well, two) since, but I don’t feel the same emotional attachment to things that I used to. I’ve learned that objects may remind you of people or places that are gone, but they don’t contain any part of those people or memories. So, there’s no obligation to keep the things that are just there as reminders, as long as you remember without them. When I finally get to going through all of this stuff, I plan on recording the things that I give away or trash, so I don’t forget, because I don’t have the best memory since the accident.

I’m not sure if I would have the mind to grab anything if a fire broke out, in reality, because I would lose my mind. In fact, I wouldn’t be that surprised if it started in my room. It’s that level of messy. However, if I did grab five items, the first would be (1) my laptop. Aside from being the second most expensive item I own, it has a lot of important information on it, as well as photos. I would ditch my iPad and even my phone in favor of my laptop. I think I would actually feel some relief if my phone were destroyed in a fire. Although it’s attached to my hand half of the day, it’s like a heavy boulder weighing me down. I feel like I miss a lot with my eyes glued to my phone; don’t we all?

With laptop beneath my arm, I would grab (2) my purse. This is mainly a practical necessity. It contains my wallet with money and ID’s, and a couple of other things I wouldn’t want to lose. Maybe, if I’m lucky enough, even my phone! With my purse over my shoulder, I would grab (3) my box of old photos. It contains photos I don’t have the negatives for that were taken back in a time when negatives were used to develop them. Pictures of old friends, places, events and even family photos, which are rather rare in my family. We hardly ever take photos. I’m pretty sure the last photo of us is from my brother’s wedding almost 2 years ago. So, I’d make sure I had those. At this point, I’d probably be scanning the room frantically, trying to come up with something else to grab, until my eyes fell on my (4) jewelery box. I don’t have a lot of fancy jewelry, because I’m not really a jewelry person. Almost all of the pieces in my jewelry box were gifts that I honestly never wear, because I have nowhere to wear them, but they are absolutely irreplaceable. There are pieces from my grandmothers, grandfather, uncle, mom, dad, and even a couple of really pretty things from exes that I wouldn’t wear regardless, but they’re pleasing to the eye.

Lacking the room in my arms, but determined, the last item I would grab would be (5) my Winnie the Pooh book collection; mainly my classic Pooh book. The cover has worn and torn places and the spine is coming apart a little bit, but I’d like to be able to share it with my nephew, and maybe someday, my own kid(s). It goes to show you that the value of something is in who is looking at it. I would then hobble as quickly as possibly out of the house, balancing my last possessions in my arms.

Oddly appropriate song… “Things We Lost In The Fire” by Bastille

POLL: What should I write about next? Suggestions encouraged!

Music: Stubborn Love and Flaws

Once in a while, I find a song that I know must be on the soundtrack to my life (see the page “Soundtrack to My Life” above). The moment the notes hit my ears, I know that it belongs in my story. It’s inspiring and awakens the creative. Sometimes it even touches me in a way that makes me want to be a better person. Other times it echoes what I’m going through back to me in a way that gives me perspective. This is one of those songs…

“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all.”
These words couldn’t be truer to my story at the moment. I awoke this morning after about 5 hours of sleep in a state of anxiety… seemingly my resting state these days. However, today, as I sat up in bed, I closed my eyes and smiled, relishing the feeling. I let it drive me all day, instead of terrifying and paralyzing me. I’m having trouble sleeping, again. But this time, it’s because I don’t want to miss anything. Even though life’s a real struggle right now, I am appreciating the ride. I feel deep inside me that I need to experience what I am right now; I need to feel these things, despite how much I’d prefer not to.

“When we were young, oh, oh, we did enough”
Sometimes, I feel like I’m missing out on all the stupid-fun I used to have. 22-year-old me would not approve of me staying in on a weekend night, but 28-year-old me doesn’t want to deal with 22-year-olds anymore and doesn’t have the patience to deal with general douche-baggery. I find myself thinking back on old times and smiling, though, gathering old memories like precious stones. I guess, when I was young, I did do enough… 🙂

As a bonus:

It’s an interesting concept: “wearing your flaws upon your sleeve.”

Don’t Let Your Illness Define You

As part of the Zero to Hero blogger challenge, I want to share a blog post that really resonated with me:

The overall message is to not let “your illness define you,” which is exactly one of the main reasons I started blogging: to focus on other things in my life, aside from the pain.

I haven’t stopped looking for ways to improve my chronic pain, but I have come to accept that there is no “cure.” There are things that make it better and things that make it worse. The first step is acceptance of the situation. With the recent changes in pain medication legislation in Virginia, I’ve been forced to stop (with no warning) the opioid treatment I was on. So, I’ve been going through a lot of changes in the last few months. It’s something I’ll have to deal with for the rest of my life, because discs can’t repair themselves, but “there’s got to be a way through it.”

The author of the blog post, Noonegetsflowersforchronicpain, says that they had been looking for a cure for 10 years. I’ve been at it for 6. I can’t imagine losing another 4 years in doctors’ office waiting rooms, getting my hopes up for nothing, getting sick from different medications, and not really seeing any improvement. That doesn’t mean that I’m not doing anything. I’m just approaching it a different way. Healthier eating, no sugar (which is REALLY challenging), no salt, warmer climate (not an immediate change), and drinking hot beverages make me feel better (not always, of course).

Please share anything (other than prescription medicine) that helps you. I’d appreciate it.

Being Honest with Myself

Today was a day of realization for me. I spent a couple of hours at a coffee shop, having an intense and honest conversation with the one person who has known me the longest in my life (aside from family – but not by much). I think I’ve been in denial about a few things that have been spiraling out of control for a while now. Sometimes you just need to hear yourself say something out loud for you to get a see what you didn’t before. And, I’m one who tends to keep things bottled up, because if no one knows, then, you can go long periods of time without acknowledging it.

I believe that I need to experience the things that I’m facing right now and these emotions. It almost gives me a rush to be feeling things that were inaccessible to me for so long. I felt like my “On” switch was broken and I finally repaired it. These emotions feel new again, but in a way that challenges me, instead of shutting me down. I’m very confused as to what to do going forward, but I know now all that’s important is that I take responsibility from now on… for myself, my actions, my feelings, my future. I’m not responsible for other people’s happiness, but I can help. That’s always been in my nature.

I guess I’m realizing I’ve always had something to throw myself into: school for the majority of my life (I even managed to drag it out a couple of extra years), movies, books, friends, etc., to avoid dealing with the serious issues in my life and I can admit it’s stunted my development to a degree. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know or don’t remember how to deal with difficult issues, but I know it’s in here somewhere. Here I am: 28, living with my dad, no successful relationships to date (I probably couldn’t even define a successful relationship if you asked me), no career to speak of, a virtual zombie before a couple of months ago, and drowning in distraction.

I can use all the excuses I want – the most valid being chronic pain and the head injury, but I’ve come to a point in my life where it’s not good enough any more. This struggling along isn’t good enough for me any more. I want more. No more wasting time. No more dancing around issues. Sometimes what’s best for you isn’t what you want. If you love someone, you should love them enough to be honest with them. And, ultimately, the main aim of this blog is to work on being honest and open with people. The truth is always more important than keeping the peace.


Everyday, you are building yourself. Every thought, word, and action is a brick in the walls. Sometimes in life, you come to a point when you realize you’ve made a mistake; one of the bricks isn’t strong enough to hold the others, so you have to tear it down and start rebuilding before it all comes crashing down.


Today’s assignment is about what was on my mind when I decided to start a blog. When I first started this blog in September 2013, I was at a very different place than I am now. I was just getting off of antidepressants, a little all over the place, and emotional, but wanted to get back to writing. As they say, ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn.’ I repurposed this blog on January 1, 2014 to reflect on the change that I’m trying to bring into reality in my life. I realized that I had made one too many mistakes and I was starting to fall apart. I had to tear down and rebuild, starting with my attitude. Aside from making positive changes and working on my writing, I also wanted to work on feeling more comfortable with being open and honest about what I’m going through, not worrying about what other people think, and connecting with other people going through similar things.


I am someone who:

– loves writing, Pilates and yoga, knitting, driving with no particular destination, music, reading, movies (especially the horror genre), but who has a hard time following through.

– is constantly plagued by wanderlust and whose dream job involves traveling the world and writing, but, ironically, I think I’d hate to be a travel writer (it’s usually so superficial).

– went through 7 majors in college… English, Journalism, Business, Integrative Arts (Music Business), Media Studies, Anthropology, and Global Affairs.

– once had 19 piercings and dated a guy that wore guyliner (but that’s another story).

– struggles with a tremendous lack of self-confidence and is learning to not hate herself, because she isn’t where she thinks she should be at this point in her life and is far from the standard of beauty perpetuated by the American media.

– is more interested in improving herself than finding a new man, which I think means I’m growing up.

I am participating in the Zero to Hero Blogger Challenge, so I’ll be writing from prompts on occasion. Today is the first day of the challenge, so the prompt is write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.

First, I want to mention that I am excited to connect with new people through my blog, so if you have anything to say to me at all, whether it’s encouraging, hate (as long as you’re prepared to engage in a conversation about whatever it is you’re hating), a grammar correction, a joke, something you want me to check out, or just a hello, please leave a comment or contact me. I’ll reply.

Here goes… I’m a 28-year-old female who has a B.A. in Global Affairs and a concentration in Sub-Saharan Africa. I am currently not working. I am a chronic pain sufferer and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury after a really bad car accident almost six years ago (but I don’t plan on complaining about it frequently, if that’s what you’re worried about). I’ve struggled with depression on-and-off over the past eight years and have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I spent the years following the accident heavily medicated and being told by medical health professionals how these things would limit me and how to deal with it. When you’re constantly focused on limitations long enough, you suddenly find yourself defined by these things. I finally got to a point where I couldn’t stand to spend another day letting that happen, so I’m trying to get my life together. I’ve lived in Northern Virginia my entire life (aside from 2 years at Penn State University, before I transferred) and I absolutely hate it. The only tolerable time of year here is autumn because the leaves are beautiful. The winters amplify my pain. I have plans to move to California at the end of summer.

My blog will be focused on (but definitely not limited to) a challenge that I came up with my friend, Andrea, after we grew bored with our lives in Northern Virginia: try at least one new experience every week. I will also talk about other things like chronic pain, getting my life together after letting it fall to pieces over the past 6 years, depression, getting healthy, setting new goals, adopting a more positive attitude, traveling, music, and more.

I am blogging, instead of keeping a personal journal, because, as I learned in my last failed relationship, I have a difficult time communicating with people, especially after the accident. At the time, I grew apart from my best friends, because I felt incapable of expressing what I was going through to them. Instead, I withdrew into myself and alienated everyone. Fortunately, writing has always been the best way for me to express myself. I think that the things I will express here will surprise people about me and you’ll probably never hear me say them outloud. Also, I have about 20 journals sitting around my room, mostly blank, that I just never followed through with over the years, so I’m hoping the change in medium will encourage me to write more. In fact, I hope to get started on a novel soon, so I can definitely use the writing practice. Since my memory is a little faulty, I think it will be good for me to keep a record of things going on, as well.

Some great writing pointers for just starting out...

Some great writing pointers for just starting out…

If I blog successfully throughout 2014, I hope to improve my writing skills, build my confidence as a writer, connect with people going through similar things, improve communication with other people, and get feedback. I hope you’ll follow my journey.

If you want more info on the Zero to Hero Blogger Challege, go here:

What I’m listening to as I press “Publish”: “Out of the Blue” by Prides. I can’t get over this song. Give it a listen: