In Hintsight

Not too long ago, I was talking with a couple of girl friends about how the creepiest guys will not leave us alone. We were especially concerned about a particular guy we know who comes across extremely desperate and then gets angry and defensive upon a girl rejecting him…a terribly serious red flag…but one of my friends told us that she told it to him straight. Yeah, she let him know how much of a creep he is. She said she has decided to do exactly that from now on when it comes to guys who can’t take a hint.

Why the thought to do this myself had never crossed my mind until then………….. I have no idea.

Since then, I have started practicing on being more upfront and telling it to them “like a man.”

* Note: The guy in the convo below is not one of the  “creeps”…just someone I am especially NOT interested in.

My responses in pink.

 

tell it to em straight

 

 

Rediscovery

A week from today, I am completing an important task for my potential future. In the meantime, I am dedicating this week to discovering myself and letting the things I want to do in my life come to the surface. Today, I had a four-hour-long drive to my parents’ house to think away.

Things I wanted very badly today:

1. To know why.

Why was there an old man combing through the weeds in the median with an oxygen tank trailing behind him?

Why did a man find it necessary to pee on the side of the road for all to see when there were trees 10 feet away and an exit a couple of miles down the road?

Why does Home Depot have a drive-thru lumberyard, and what does that even mean?…Do you order a tree and pay at the next window?

2. To travel back in time.

I wanted to come home from elementary school and see what was on tv because now I can’t remember what all the shows were back then, but I know they were WAY cooler than what’s on tv in the afternoons now.

I wanted to experience some of the fun times in high school again.

3. Hop on a magic carpet and fly.

The trees were blocking my view of the sunset.

I don’t want to feel restricted.

< http://blog.jumpstart.com/2009/11/17/lets-go-on-a-magic-carpet-ride/ >

 

4. Go to China.

There is simply too much to explain about this one.

5. Travel around Tennessee.

I wanted to take a trip to reconnect with some old friends.

I wanted to re-explore the historical aspect of my old hometown.

 

So this is a start!

Maybe tomorrow I will come up with some more feasible options. :)

“Inconceivable!”

This was too funny to not share. A few airplane passengers were apparently unnerved at the sight of a t-shirt displaying this famous quote from The Princess Bride.

“Inigo Montoya” shirt causes airline drama

People have become so fearful when it comes to flying.

Maz Jobrani has some pretty great stand up comedy on the meshing of Middle Eastern and Western cultures. He includes some tips for Middle Easterners travelling by plane in the U.S. in this video.

Living with Eczema

What’s up, guys? For the entire 21 years of my life, I have lived with a skin condition called eczema. (If you‘ve never heard of it, don’t worry—it’s not contagious.) Over many years there has been a lot of research on this; and even just within my lifetime, there have been many explanations for causes and even many basic definitions. Is it a condition? A disorder? A disease? Something environmentally related? All of the above? Whether it’s genuine uncertainty or a quest for some fat stacks of cash, the doctors can’t agree. This, of course, is nothing new, and I don’t blame them for not having all the answers because we will never have all the answers to everything there is out there; and really, doctors are just people, too.

On the other hand, doctors are doctors because they are qualified.

Image copied from: http://www.diplomaframe.com/aubu/harrison-school-of-pharmacy/masterpiece-medallion-diploma-frame-15163.aspx

They went through extensive education and training to become the professionals they are. Although they are people just like everyone else, they do have a lot of knowledge, skill, confidence, and courage to be doing the kind of work they do. Doctors have changed my life.

While degrees are not everything, it’s disheartening to me when I observe that there are people out there who really undermine education and the professionals who are produced through it. Perhaps these people have negative feelings toward professionals because they feel that they themselves cannot achieve this or that they will never even be given that chance. I begin to feel sorry for people like this, but then I realize how selfish their mentality is.

Along my way through life so far, it’s been funny how many people have engaged in conversation with me about my condition, asking me about my experiences. I always tell them this is something I’ve dealt with my whole life, but some people seem to really think they have the solution for me. I understand they might be trying to help out, but it kind of ignores what I said to them before…

I’ve suffered from this my whole life.

First of all, by this point, if I had found something that worked, do you think I’d still have eczema right now? I can answer that for you… No.

Believe me, if a special medicine or diet was the answer, I’d be cured.

My life of dealing with eczema cannot be given justice in a few words. I can’t tell you how many times in my childhood that I climbed into a bathtub of sheer stinging pain…oh, I mean, water… and proceeded to scream and sob through the rag I was grinding my teeth into. One day I might write the book about my dealings with severe eczema (because that’s what it would be).

As you can probably imagine, nothing is new to me when it comes to eczema treatment options, but non-professionals sometimes think they know everything that’s on the market… as if I’ve never tried all of them already. The stuff that has actually worked or brought relief has always been stronger prescriptions or simply drugs that are so rare no one I know has even heard of them.

Like cūtar. Ever heard of that? Yeah, didn’t think so. When I was a little girl, we discovered the miraculous substance—took the sting right out of my bath water!

Image copied from: http://www.sumlab.com/solutions/cutar-emulsion-for-psoriasis/

Protopic (Tacrolimus)? I was a lab rat for that!

Elidel? Um… yeah, that’s for people who think they have eczema. (No offense if it works for you.)

My skin can become so inflamed during the summer that I have to use an ointment (Vanos, for those of you pharmacists) normally prescribed for people with varicose veins. The drug is so potent that the safety of using it regularly for more than two weeks at a time has not been established; residue of it from my fingers has easily worn the paint on the ointment tube off; I am only allowed to use small amounts of it on unbroken skin so as not to get it directly into my bloodstream. Listening to the doctor giving me these instructions sometimes seems like preparing for surgery or something.

I don’t exactly have a habit of flaunting my condition around, giving everyone all of these details, but if people only knew what I’ve been through because of this, they might rethink what they choose to say to me about it and about those who have taken care of me along the way…which brings me back to the doctor thing.

I mentioned that doctors changed my life, right? Yeah, well, doctors also saved my life when I was struck with Strep B in 1996 (probably thanks to my severe eczema).  We can’t depend on other people to fix our problems, and we really can’t even depend on just ourselves to fix them. But, we are responsible for doing what we can, and that includes listening to what other people have to say, especially when they have something that you don’t, like specialized knowledge, skill, and experience.

So moral of this story: Where there isn’t an answer, don’t try to make one up on your own for the people who have more information than you do. It’s good to help out when you know you can, but it’s important to know where you fit in (or if you fit in) on an issue and be respectful before you speak.

…descending from my soap box. :)

Success!……kind of

Ten years ago when I came home from school, I ran straight upstairs to the office, perched peacefully above the thick woods surrounding our lovely Tennessee dream home. In this corner of the house, tucked away from the rest of the world, I brought my first dreams to life.

Guided purely by my imagination, my mind channeled images, feelings, and perceptions into one flood of force—a current of thought—which my fingertips, pattering competitively on the keys, brought to the screen in front of me within seconds.

My feet never touched the floor, so I crossed my legs or sat on them. Sometimes hours would pass, and my mom would call me down for supper, but I would stall so I could finish my last sentence…or complete an entire scenario. My knees would start to hurt and I would squirm restlessly in the chair, but I was determined to finish what I had started that day. So I sat there until I did.

And then when I did, it was time to play something else!

So I got up and did exactly the same thing… except through the piano. Then, if it was still light outside, I might have hopped on my bike and ridden around and around on our driveway spanning our 11 acres; or cartwheeled obsessive-compulsively in the front yard; or failed every attempt at a slam dunk with my little brother—all of it just fueling my mind for the next round of activities.

The feeling I get from doing the things I do well has always been rewarding, but these things have not always been viewed as accomplishments, or as anything particularly special. I scribbled away… erased away… and scribbled away during those timed essays in fourth grade, proud to finish exactly what I had set out to finish at exactly the right time. I was confident of the work I had done, but when Mrs. Wiley read my narratives in front of the class, I was more concerned about when it was all going to be over with and what others thought about me than about how I was actually an exceptional writing student and why in the world that mattered anyway.

This outlook progressed through high school when my friends excelled at math and science, and while parents and teachers cooed over how “smart” they were. I assumed I needed to be like them if I wanted to be “smart” and succeed in life, too.

Perhaps this is why when, one day in Spanish class, our class valedictorian told someone she thought I was smart, I wasn’t sure exactly how to internally process that. Was she serious? Or just being sympathetic? It was like having my narrative read in front of the class again, except slammed up into two seconds. If I could put my full mental reaction into words it would be something like, “Okay…cool. Thanks! I guess…” or maybe just, “Uh…”

I graduated from high school knowing that I wanted to take my writing somewhere in my life, but I did not graduate high school thinking that writing was anything particularly extraordinary. When I (felt as though miraculously) got accepted to Auburn University, I specifically chose Journalism over English initially because I had heard more frightening, negative statements about majoring in English than in any other existing major. I did not want to be that girl.

Later, but soon enough thankfully, I learned that there are a variety of avenues that you can take in obtaining an English degree, and all of them do not result in spending the rest of your life in a school. Actually, there are even some pretty lucrative careers that can come out of an English background—one being what I fell in love with and which lead me into the English major after all—and that is technical writing.

There was a time during high school when this really popular sign was around, usually in highly traveled places. It said, “Math is power,” and it looked as cool as it sounded.

It wasn’t until I began my studies in writing at AU when I realized that actually, words are power. In fact, words shape, and even dictate, our whole world. Yeah. That sign? Not that cool without the words.

Language defines and affects credibility, authority, laws, responsibility, religion, purpose, relationships, and real life consequences…just to name a few. But you know… numbers are cool, too.

You can pretty much bet your life that the most renowned people of all time are backed up by stacks of literature, and the people who wrote them were often poor scribes slaving away for a government and not getting paid squat; people whose names we don’t even know because they set their bars higher than a vain desire for praise and recognition; people who claimed having the inspiration of divine beings and continue (whether done truthfully or not) to convince the world of these events and meanings; weird people; crazy people; people who changed laws, wrote nation-altering speeches, influenced the hearts of groups and individuals to help make the world a better place; in short, AWESOME PEOPLE (even if a lot of them were actually kind of bad).

I certainly won’t be performing any surgeries or building any software systems, but it sure is satisfying to know that among my gifts is the power to support the people who CAN do these things; and the power to support the people who can’t; the power to understand people; and the power to convey meaning from one group of people to another; the power to articulate a purpose, the power to clarify a vision for a leader, the power to change a person’s life… the power change the world.

Now back to those dreams…