2015, The Year I Found My Hidden Super-power

**Warning if you are easily offended by the F bomb, please stop reading now.  I can’t be responsible for any pearl-clutching from this point forward**

 

In the past few months as I have started to get my Sparkle back, I have realized that laying just beneath the surface of my much-scarred skin is a heretofore undiscovered superpower… The power of not giving a fuck.

That’s right, I said it. All the trauma, all the pain and suffering, the depression, the crippling anxiety, all of it has served a purpose. I have learned a lot about what really matters to me, what makes me happy, and what is just not worth giving a fuck about.

Like if my kids pick out their own outfits for school and refuse to let me brush their hair- not a battle worth fighting.  Or if my house is picture perfect when people come over- their toddlers are just going to wreck the place anyway, might as well start there!

Or what other people think of me.  I truly do not have any energy available to give a shit about what you think of the fact that I wear capes in public- like a superhero.

img_0250

Or got my first tatoo at 36- like a badass.

img_0582

Or wear and sell Jamberry nail wraps, and trade them on message boards, and am basically slowly becoming a Jamberry hoarder- like a total and complete nerd.

I used to spend a lot of time- and I mean a lot- worried about what other people thought of my appearance, my behavior, my talents, and just about everything else.  But now, I know how it feels to let go of that and it is immensely freeing.

All that I have been through has changed me, I mean how could it not.  I am turning into someone who is truly comfortable in my own skin, who is proud of who I am and what I have accomplished.  And while I still appreciate when people compliment me, which they do ’cause I’m awesome, I am able to accept praise, hear criticism, and not obsess over what that person really thinks of me.  Most of the time anyway.

I do feel like I want to explain one of my more out-there decisions of late. A few weeks ago, to celebrate my 36th birthday, I got a tattoo.  I have been talking about it forever, and I think my husband thought I was bluffing all the way until I actually sat down in the chair to get it, but I finally went through with it and couldn’t be happier.

I have a little semi-colon on my foot with a heart at the top.  When people ask why a semi-colon I say, “Because I don’t have a colon!”

The truth is a little more complicated that that, although that is a big reason I decided on the tattoo.  I wanted a permanent mark on me, a reminder to myself that I have been through hell and survived it.  That things have been bad for me- really bad, and I am still here.  That I made that choice to keep on going and emerged from the darkness of these past few years as someone I really want to be.

You may have heard of the semi-colon project.  If not, google it, but it is about depression awareness, and the semi-colon tattoo represents the idea that depression does not have to be the end of your life (a period at the end of a sentence) but that it can just be a pause (a semi-colon) and that you can take some time at that pause and then keep going with the rest of your life.

I love the beauty of this imagery, so I adopted it.  Because I was low, I was depressed and anxious, and in horrible pain, and I lost myself.  For a long time, I was just getting by day to day.  So that was my pause.  And now I am resuming life after that pause and it feels wonderful!

And in starting up my sentence again, I realized that the worry about other’s opinions of me is just not worth it.  I’m still discovering exactly who I am after my pause- but I love who I am becoming.  I hope you love her too, but if you don’t- I just don’t give a fuck!

Happy New Years, and may 2016 be the year of discovering your super-powers!!

 

My “Bad” Day

It could have been a bad day. For most people it would probably qualify in the seriously crappy day category…I even planned it that way.

See, I knew that I needed to have a wart frozen off/dug out at the dermatologist, and a filling, and an iron infusion before the end of the year. The iron infusions involve several hours, blood work, an iv, and inevitable abdominal cramping for the rest of the day- I know because I get them every month.

So I just decided eff it, I’m gonna have my supernanny take the kids and plan for a crap-tastic day of doctors and dentists and generally unpleasant and painful procedures.

I figured that if I planned for the day to be terrible then I wouldn’t be disappointed when it turned out that way.

And yes- the wart thing hurt, and the doctor had to apologize for having to dig so deep in my skin. But she was really nice about it!

And at the dentist he decided the cavity was shallow enough that he wouldn’t numb me. We discovered he was wrong when he touched a nerve with the drill and my whole body jumped. But he numbed me up after that and I got through it fine.

And that’s all just life. Those are normal people problems.

Because I planned for it, I wasn’t annoyed by all the stuff I knew was going to suck about the day. So I had space to not loose my mind when my three and a half year old decided it would be a great day to cut her own bangs and spread her hair out all over the floor.

And I was actually in a fantastic mood all day. When the nurse told me I didn’t have to do blood work this time, I almost high-fived her. It’s a good thing I stopped myself because as anyone who knows me well can attest, I am an extremely awkward high-fiver.

And then I sat down to get my iron and struck up a conversation with the woman getting chemo next to me. She asked how often I am in there and I told her “once a month, probably forever.” She said that she was just getting maintenance too- because she was past the point of a cure. I told her how sorry I was and she said, “You just decide to keep on going.”

Yep. That’s it exactly. So many people have asked me how I got through the past few years with everything I have been through. And I usually make some sort of joke abut Xanax. But she summed it up perfectly, you just decide to keep on going. And then you do. You do whatever you can that day, and then the next day, and then the next. She made me realize how lucky I truly am that my story is on an upswing. We laughed and cried together and I left there feeling grateful. For Life.

For this messy, painful, beautiful, awesome, whirlwind that is my life.

And if yesterday was what “bad” looks like to me now, then bring it on. Because I’ve learned something about myself; that no matter what happens, every day I will make that choice to keep on going.