TweetToday’s post is the most difficult piece I have written in a long time. Only my mother and grandmother’s eulogies exceed the pain it causes me to type these words, and so when I uttered the already over-utilized phrase “heavy
First, my original intention with my post in, oh I don’t know, December was to get back on track from the travesty of 2017. I was going to cut out gluten and get my thyroid fixed and exercise and catch up on blogs and get better at bookkeeping and basically DO ALL THE THINGS. Intentions, amirite? On new year’s, I was toasting with family saying “2018 will be better! No more freak spider bites, no more bronchitis! Just getting healthy! RAWR!” And in all fairness to 2018, I have not gotten bronchitis or any insect bites . . . yet. Instead, a persistent cold became a sinus infection the last couple weeks of December that I powered through at the store, which obviously only made it worse. I spent my entire vacation on my couch sipping cough syrup and alternately complaining my house was either too hot or too cold. By mid-January, I could once again breathe through my nose and began work on the numerous projects I hoped to complete in what is traditionally a slower retail month. Success was slow and stressful, but I was starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, I was back in control.
It’s been two years since my last bout of extended illness, and much to my chagrin, I still struggle to cope with the challenges it presents. As an active person who was privileged enough to grow up healthy, being physically limited by anything leaves me frustrated enough to push myself to heal faster rather than giving my body the time it needs. The first time I experienced this powerlessness over my own body was when I was hospitalized in September of 2014 because mono caused swelling of my spleen and trashed my immune system for six months. The store suffered immensely from my absence and frequent closures, and when I became sick this year, I kept reliving that impact—an impact felt more keenly as the shop was busier now than in 2014.
(Trigger Warning: I’m finally ready to open up about what happened with my brother and how our family has been coping, but this will include potentially triggering topics like assault, PTSD, body image, depression, and anxiety. It’s also long. Without many pictures. You have been warned. *said in stern voice*)
September 19th was a glorious day. It was a busy Saturday at the shop, and I felt confident and happy with how much progress I had made in the last several weeks physically and emotionally. In fact, my optimism was at such a high that I snapped a selfie—a totally out of character move for me—and posted it on my private Facebook profile:
Despite writing enough blog posts to fill several books in the last four years, I struggled intensely the first year to find both my voice as a writer and the direction the blog should pursue. My prior experience in writing centered on academic papers, copy writing for businesses, or my own fictional stories, novels, and poems. A blog was foreign territory for my skills and made all the more challenging because I wrestled with two conflicting motivations. My years of working in technology coupled with the preaching from my business classes about the acceptability of interactions with customers left me purposefully stunting the passion and emotion within my posts. This hesitation was not made better by reflecting on what my mom, a consummate professional, recommended for inspiring confidence, leadership, and authority. However, my personality was begging to be included. I have always been a mix of contradictions in a sense. When I had my labret pierced (the one on my chin), my mom’s first words upon seeing me were “You’ve committed professional suicide.” She used that phrase “professional suicide” frequently to summarize unorthodox personal preferences, like visible tattoos, less conservative attire, and of course, facial piercings. I have always found it interesting how professionalism in certain industries requires a divestment from the self, how we must repress who we are to represent a company image or to project an air of trustworthiness and intelligence to clients.
TweetHello Everyone, (Warning: Long, off-topic post involving weight triggers, depression, and anxiety. TL;DR: Thank you everyone for being so kind in my last post, and I’m happy to tell you I am at a much better place now.) Following six