February 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
I don’t know if it’s being 30 or the fact that I feel like I’ve lost 2 years to being sick but I just feel like I am behind with all the things I want to do in my life. So instead of actually taking action I came up with a much more realistic plan. That’s right, I built a time machine and I am going to interview my two younger selves. I’m going to see what my 20 year old & 8 year old self thinks about where I’m at in life. Perhaps this will give me the much needed perspective.
My 20 year old self.
What are you wearing? “I didn’t really have any idea what to wear, time traveling and all so I thought my PJ’s would be most comfortable.”
So what is our life like, are we famous yet? “Um, not quite. We work at a school and freelance on the side.”
I guess that’s cool. What about our boyfriend is he hot? Is he covered in tattoo’s & has a faux hawk? “Actually he’s a Republican who wears brown loafers and all different kinds of argile.”
“Is he at least in a band? ” He played the trombone in marching band.”
Why are you sweating? “Oh, it’s the hot flashes”
Wait how far in the future are you? “Oh, yeah you should probably know. We are going to go through menopause before 30.” Stunned Silence.
“Let’s change the subject. What are you going to do tonight?” I have no idea. Hopefully some friends will stop by and we’ll probably go out later. It’s way to early to tell.
“It’s almost 7:00pm on a Tuesday and you have school tomorrow. Maybe if you studied more we wouldn’t be working at a crappy job. Sorry, it’s the hormones.”
“Well it’s getting late. But I want to leave you with some advice: Don’t spend all your money on VHS tapes they are going to useless in a few years, don’t bother buying pregnancy tests, your infertile, go nuts, don’t eat anything in a mall food court and wear nice underwear everyday because we are going to get hit by a drunk driver & will be seen by the entire medical staff in our granny panties.”
It was nice meeting you, I guess. Hey, can you buy me alcohol before you leave?
So a case of Mikes Hard Lemonade later, I was on my way to visit my 8 year old self.
” Thanks. What are you doing?” Finger painting!!! I love drawing so much.
“Well in the future that will be part of your job.” Wait, we get to draw all day and get money for it. That’s so cool. “I guess it is cool.”
What’s being grown up like? “It’s pretty much the same, we live a little town with a pretty great guy.” Ewwwww. Boys are gross. “Yeah most of the time. Plus we have two cats.” Kitties!!!
Do you want some of Lip Smackers chap stick? It’s Dr. Pepper flavored. “I think I will thanks.” I would invite you into my blanket fort but it’s almost time for dinner. We are having grilled cheese & dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.Want some?
“No. You actually become a vegetarian.” Your silly!!
“Anything you want to ask me before I go?” Do we ever get to meet Minnie Mouse? “Yep. We have been to Disney World, Italy, New York City, Maine all over really.”
I get to live by myself with kitties, draw all day and stay up as long as I want.Plus you get to wear your PJ’s when it’s not bed time. I can’t wait to grow up, it’s going to be so cool!!
January 6, 2013 § 1 Comment
So for the most part I consider myself intelligent. I read books without any pictures, I can carry on a conversation about current events, I can write coherent sentences & I even teach students, so I know I don’t lack knowledge. All that beng said every once in a while I’m reminded of how utterly stupid I can be. Maybe stupidity isn’t the right word just totally unaware of the obvious (no I can’t sugar coat it it’s stupidity) Now since I consider you all friends I’m going to share 7 stories of utter stupidity with you so you can all feel better about yourselves & get a laugh at my expense. Ok here we go:
1) I just realized that if you put Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh together it’s a Kangaroo (no seriously this blew my mind)
2) I thought the Hatfield’s & The McCoy’s was a mini-series on Enron & Bernie Madoff
3) In Cast Away with Tom Hanks I just thought Wilson was a clever name. Imagine my surprise when I was in WalMart & saw a whole bunch of volley ball’s with Wilson on them. You may think I put and two together but no I said “Oh they renamed them because of the film”
4) As me and Ben were taking a hike one day he asked me “Hey do you know what the Rock says?” to which I answered “Umm duh, “Can you smell what the Rock is cooking” I didn’t see why suddenly he was crying in laughter. Between him gasping for breathe he pointed to a historical monument in the shape of a rock with writing on it. Apparently he had meant the actual Rock and not my favorite wrestler turned actor The Rock.
5) Another Tom Hanks shocker in the movie Forrest Gump I was always baffled by why they showed Forrest with John Lennon. When we were watching that particular part I voiced my confusion for this “This part of the film doesn’t make any sense. Every other part has a point why is he having a conversation with John Lennon that leads nowhere” Ben just put on the song “Imagine” & walked out of the room with his head down.
6) Ben was watching the movie Amadeus and I asked what it was about. He gave me a blank stare and said “Umm Mozart” to which I said “What does Amadeus have to do with Mozart?” Apparently Mozart had a first name-who knew?
7) I thought Napoleon crossed the Delaware not George Washington (they both had blue jackets with buttons it’s confusing)
8) Jersey Boys turns out is not a musical adaption of “The Jersey Shore”(although I still say it would sell like crazy)
9) All these years I have been mishearing the song lyrics to a Prince song. I was singing in the car and Ben gave me one of his looks “What are you singing?” “this song” I replied “It’s Raspberry Beret not Raspberry Chevrolet. Why would you think it said Chevrolet?” “I thought it was the sequel to “Little Red Corvette”” It was not.
Hopefully after reading these if you are ever feeling down you can say “well at least I’m not as dumb as that woman” YOUR WELCOME.
November 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
When you have menopause when you are in your twenties you get to have ads sent to for the next 40 years of your life. Most are ridiculous(ok all of them are) and clearly have no idea what a women going through menopause actually wants or needs. Quite frankly I would like to not be reminded of menopause every time I open up my inbox, what happened to the good old days when all I had to worry about was pyramid schemes and sex toy spam. Instead I am being stalked by the AARP. So attached is the newest email I got to look at. For all of those you who might be new to menopause first welcome and second these offers might be very tempting but let me breakdown this ad for you. Clearly this woman has never been through menopause, how do I know? well firstly she is smiling in her underwear. No woman who has just had abdominal surgery is happy when she looks at herself in her underwear. Oh, but she has a towel to wrap around her, after a hysterectomy I needed a wedding tent to completely cover up. Secondly, read the headline “Doctor’s Breakthrough” I hate to say this but no doctors are working on this they have erectile dysfunction to work on, it’s probably just Bayer Aspirin in a pink bottle. Third, there’s no such fucking thing as “menopause belly” if it existed why is it in quotes. Lastly, this woman looks like she is on the way to the beach, NO woman experiencing hot flashes is on her way to the beach. Your daily life is a day at the hot beach, you want to sweat you can just stay inside your house you don’t have to lie on hot sand. I have never heard a menopausal woman say ” I’m hot as hell you know what will really cool me off and day under the hot sun”
November 21, 2012 § 1 Comment
Oh you read the headline right, I pretty sure I am like a magnet to a compass only I destroy all uterus’s that come in my vincity. I’m pretty sure I might be the Bermuda Triangle of reproductive health.About two weeks ago we started to see a stray cat at our back door and slowly began trying to lure it with food (hell I would go into a strangers house if they had random free treats), finally we built up enough trust to get her inside. We had every intention of giving her a warm bed and meal and then off to our local shelter in the morning. However 1 hour later and one huge set of Puss’n’Boots eyes later it was pretty clear she wasn’t going anywhere. The next day I had a appointment with the vet to get her checked out, as they ran all the tests I was in the waiting room ready Dog Fancy. The vet soon called me back and gave me a run down of all the things wrong with her but easily fixed but then came this statement “and she’s pregnant!” “Pregnant?” Great of all the kittens I had to take in I got the town tramp.Oh god what if she was a cat hooker and her pimp will be coming looking for her. As understanding as Ben had been about one cat I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to hide a littler of kittens (although I was already starting to think of hiding places, that’s not a kitten it’s just one of those googly eye cat clocks) As I was absorbing this information he leaned in, looked both ways and whispered “However, we can fix that with the spay, if your beliefs allow you” Holy crap he’s talking about a kitty abortion (perhaps I’m naive but I didn’t know there was such a thing) I am a feminist by nature and always vote for pro-choice but I didn’t know the rules for cats. Then I had this vision of me walking in the door and being surrounded by cat protesters with their pro-life signs & heckling us by throwing cat toys. Would she be shunned by the community & become an outcast amongst the other animals. Does Roe vs Wade apply to cats?
Let me fast forward to the next appointment where the vet comes out and says “Well she’s not pregnant she just has an infected, inflamed uterus” (Ahhh this brings me back) With that information my new kitty had to have a hysterectomy. After all the drama that I had to go through to get one I was a little amazed all it took was me saying “Ok”. No “what if she wants children someday?”, “she’s not getting any younger” or “maybe she should go home and ask her husband first” (oh yeah that happened to me) Just hey she’s sick lets take it out. She didn’t have to put her paw on a paper that said “we can’t put it back” (yes that happened to me as well) Just a 3 days, mine took me just under 10 years.
Last night we were all curled up on the couch me, Ben, Page (our first cat) and Zephyr (our new cat) not one uterus between the four of us. I’m sure Ben was feeling out numbered and thanking his lucky stars that cats don’t go through menopause or he wouldn’t have a chance.
August 2, 2012 § 3 Comments
I recently had a striking loss in my life, that’s right my favorite bra is on it’s last legs (well straps). You know that bra that no matter what outfit you have on it makes you look amazing. The bra that no matter what cut of neckline it always works. The bra that somehow never needs adjusting and is so comfortable you can sleep all night in it. You know the bra that when you finally find the perfect size, cut, brand and color; they suddenly stop selling. I mean it’s like it never existed not online or in the stores. Ask the saleswoman and she’ll give you a blank stare like you have invented a ghost bra that never existed. Did little bra elves and fairies drop this one bra in the store just for you and then never to be heard from again? But needless to say when you have “the bra” you want to keep it for as long as humanly possible, you make sure it goes in the locked safe just in case you get robbed.
Unfortunately the other day it happened. I was lifting a huge box and I hear a rip (I was overjoyed to see my pants were still in tact and my ass was not exposed) But upon closer inspection I found that my favorite bras underwire had broken in two and was jetting outside of the fabric. That’s right I have worn it so many times that the metal gave way. Now what would a normal person do? They would buy a new bra and be done with it. What did I do? I got some medical tape and taped it back together. So my beautiful black lace bra now has a huge mass of plastic tape around the bottom. Yes I am aware that it looks insane and probably looks as ridiculous as those people that attach their car windows with duct tape and plastic bags, but I was not giving up hope.
So I am wearing my bra and quite frankly pretty darn impressed with myself and my combination of MacGyver & Project Runway smarts. From the outside you can’t even tell, like always it looks perfect and my outfit looks amazing. So I didn’t hestitae wearing it to my doctors appointment. It was just a rountine checkup, he usually just asks me to breathe, checks my throat and I’m out of there. We are in the middle of take a deep breathe in, when he says “Michelle Your breathing is a little uneven and your heart rate is a little elevated I would like to an EKG just to make sure there’s no cause for alarm. I’m going to get a nurse in here but I need to you get in a gown but you can keep your bra on” Then it hits me, not that I might have some weird heart diesease but I a wearing my bra that is held together by tape and dreams.Shit what the hell am I supposed to do? I guess I could run out of here & blame it on the hormones, it also occurs to me that I could just take off my bra but that would mean the nurse is walking in on some crazy topless woman.No I have to accept what is coming, so I take a deep breathe and the nurse starts putting wires on my chest and then hones in on the huge patch of tape wrapped around the underwire of my bra. I can tell she doen’t want to bring attention to her staring but really she can’t pull her eyes away she’s really trying to figure out what the hell is going on or thinking “She didn’t look homeless when she walked in” She went the route of ignoring it completely (which was fine with me, we will both ignore the crazy woman in the bra held together by tape) just when I thought I was out of the woods I heard the following “We aren’t getting an accurate reading I need to slip this under your bra” (I still believe she just came up with this to get closer to my tape bra) I start to take off the bra and realize that with it being so hot today the tape has actually melted onto my skin and I’m going to have to rip this off like a friggin band-aid. So with a huge smack I finally got it off and realized it was time for a new bra (Maybe?)
May 20, 2012 § Leave a comment
For my birthday I posted the 10 reasons it’s better to be 30 than 20 but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t also do a post of 10 things that get worse in your 30’s (Sorry but I can only be an optimist for a limited time)
At 20: When I got a phone call at 10:00 pm on a Friday I thought “Alright there’s a party somewhere” At 30: I get a phone call at 10:0o pm on a Friday and I think “Oh great someone’s been in an accident or dead”
At 20: They were just “my jeans” At 30: They are “My skinny, one day I hope to fit into them again jeans” ( I secretly keep them in my closet still convinced that my new dryer shrank them)
At 20: When my mom used to take me to a movie in the middle of the week I used to give her an eye roll when she said “Why is it so packed on a weekday? Don’t these people have jobs or school?” At 30: I recently went to see Hunger Games on a week day (the first showing because tickets are a $1.00 cheaper) and as we pulled into the parking lot I caught myself saying “Why are these kids here isn’t there school? Is it a holiday? Don’t these parents work?” (Kind of a double whammy because you catch yourself saying things your mother said and you vowed to never say them when you got older)
At 20: I used to be able to eat anything I wanted At 30: My meal choices are based on whether I have to be up early the next day or if I remembered my heartburn pills.
At 20: I used to date guys with mohawks, black eyeliner and neck tattoos. At 30: I see a group of those guys and I wonder what they are up to.
At 20: Listening to Nirvana and Pearl Jam meant you were rebellious and on the cutting edge of music At 30: No one knows who the hell Nirvana is and they are under Classic 90’s on Pandora.
At 20: A Saturday night out consisted of bar hopping, going to one of our boyfriends shows (that’s right we all dated musicians back then) and not getting home until 2:30 am Sunday At 30: A Saturday night out is picking up my Chinese food
At 20: Dinner was anytime after 9:00 pm At 30: We try to have dinner at 5:00 to “beat the crowds”
At 20: I only took naps when I was sick At 30: The promise of a nap is sometimes the only thing that gets me through a day
At 20: Moving only took a half a day and only cost you a case of beer At 30: I have put off moving for 3 years because I worry it will be mistaken for a Hoarder intervention
April 22, 2012 § 3 Comments
One of my friends is an amazing photographer who recently took a series of pictures of me to put my self image back into focus. Many woman after being sick for a period of time or go through a hysterectomy when they are young can forget that they are still young, sexy woman. That feeling gets lost along the way (I’m pretty sure it’s some where between worrying if you’ll wake up with a beard from the hormones and being surround by the cast of Cocoon every time you go to the doctors office)
My friend did an amazing job and I wish all women could experience having an amazing photographer showcase them in a way they haven’t seen themselves in years. She recently wrote a blog post about our session and I wanted to share it with you:
Watching a young woman struggle, search for answers, and be denied proper health care has to be one of the biggest heartbreaks I’ve encountered as a friend. Watching the emotional and spiritual change in someone because of health issues just compounds the situation.
My dear friend Michelle began feeling ill about 3 years after we became friends. It took two years for her to finally convince a doctor that the radical choice of a hysterectomy at age 29 wasn’t the insanity they thought it was, but was actually a life-saving, life-bettering choice for her. It wasn’t an easy choice to make, and then to have to battle the system for her right to choose – all of this took more strength than Michelle thought she had. It’s been over a year since her surgery, and while her health has been on-track, and her recovery has certainly been better than her illness… those of us who ‘knew her before’ still felt something missing.
Michelle sparkles. She’s spunky, witty, clever and talented. None of that has changed, but it had dimmed, and I watched her fight her way out of a darkness she didn’t realize was there until she began to pull herself out of it. In the last 12 months, I’ve seen her begin to take more risks, to accept less of what she is handed, and start to demand more of what she is due.
When I asked for volunteers to try new posing and portrait techniques, I didn’t expect Michelle to say yes. I’m thrilled that she did, and I’ll allow her to share her experience in her own words:
Initially when Lani showed me Before & After images of what she wanted to try in her business my reaction was “Well of course they look great they’re all beautiful women in the first place” and “those women must have huge amounts of confidence” both of which I wasn’t really feeling at the time, so when Lani asked me to model for her camera my initial reaction was not an astounding yes. My head was filled with “I can’t pose like that” “I don’t want people seeing me trying to look pretty” “they’re going to think I look ridiculous” and “It’s a good thing Lani knows Photoshop” But the whole thing got me thinking, When did I become so fearful? I used to be fearless, I used to love posing for pictures, I was a model for The Art Institute’s photography students (where everybody saw your images and had to critique them) and I didn’t blink. Today you couldn’t get me in front of camera unless it was nighttime and I was in full makeup, even then I could undoubtedly see all the flaws in the picture. I am guilty of what so many women are as well: we have a distorted idea of what we look like. We no longer recognize the women looking back at us and can easily find the beauty in others but are convinced we look the monster in Predator.
When did I become full of fear? One day I woke up with a stomach ache… and two years of being on every medication, misdiagnosis, a variety of unpleasant symptoms that made my weight yo-yo and finally led me to full hysterectomy and going through menopause at 29 (You think you had a bad time with thirty? throw in some hot flashes and getting AARP packets in the mail)
These sessions aren’t about the pictures or how you look they hone in on how you FEEL. Lani tries and finds that part of yourself that is buried or that you felt is lost. Within two clicks of the camera you are fearless again and totally at ease. Once you see the images you have a moment of “who is that person?” and then you realize it’s you. She finally takes your self image and puts it into FOCUS.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. THANK YOU Michelle, for finding your Fearless.
To view the article in the original source: http://www.laniharmon.com/fearless/