On the Delicate Nature of Having a Good Year

14 Jan

2017 was one of the best years of my life.

It may have actually even been the best year of my life, but all that means is that 2018 has a lot to live up to.

Have you heard the song “Good Ole Days” by Macklemore and Kesha? If you haven’t and have any joy for nostalgia, I highly recommend you do. There is a line that says “maybe you always look back and remember it was better than it was”. How true. I look back on 2017 and see all of the triumph and personal development in my life. I look at each hardship I overcame as an adventure. But I still find myself glossing over those terrible days when I could barely get out of bed or the nights when I was so angry all I wanted to do was run for hours and then eat a whole pizza afterward. I guess what I’m getting at is that our victories always come between trials. Our good days only happen because of bad days.

Coming out of 2017, I also look back at 2016 and 2015 and 2014 and even 2013 and I see the days peppered with many more bad days than good. Or is it more mundane days and fewer great days? It could even be far more terrible days with only okay days on occasion.

So I see 2018 laid out ahead of me. I see a new year ready to be the best year yet. It’s terrifying. How can life get better than it already was? Each bad day I’ve had in January (and believe me, it’s been way too many) is a reminder to the most insecure part of my being that it can’t get better. It can only get worse. I’ve been grappling every day trying to make sure I’m happy and that I don’t lose that forward momentum. There is so much pressure to not ruin it all because when I do look back, I can’t have another 2014. I can’t have another 2015. My being can’t handle another one of those and the balance feels so delicate that at any moment life will all of a sudden change from a 2017 kind of year to a 2015 kind of year. The stress is monumental.

And that leads me to the one thing I have to keep telling myself. January is a Monday. We tried to prepare on Sunday but we never fully recuperate until at least Tuesday, and while my bad days have surpassed my good, I still have 351 chances at having a good year and by then, the few bad moments on that Monday won’t really matter at all.

What’s your 2018 outlook? Did you transition from a good year or from a bad?

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A Week in Sweaters

13 Jan

A new week, a new batch of sweaters! That’s nakeytaters365 on Instagram!

Nakey Taters!

6 Jan

Meet Sir Hippopotamus N. Tater

I recently adopted him from the shelter I work at. He is a skinny pig (otherwise known as a hairless guinea pig) and very social! If you’d like to keep up with him, you can find him sh owing off his fashionable sweaters  (a whole years worth, to be precise) on his instagram: nakeytaters365

Here is this week’s set:

My First Week at the Gym

20 Jan

 

This is not an inspirational story.

I’m not going to tell you how to get the will to start working out.

But this is my story, so sit tight!

 

I have lived the majority of my life as a plus-size human being. When I was still a small child (5 and 6), I was broad, but I wasn’t overweight. I didn’t have a belly or rolls or chubby arms. But then, as life goes, my thyroid stopped working. Doctors don’t know why I was so young, but the weight started piling on. While I grew taller with ease, I was well overweight in 5th grade. I weighed 150 lbs and I was 5’5″. My mom struggled to find me pants.

At my lowest adult weight, I weighed 175 lbs at 5’7″ when I was a sophomore in high school. I was working my ass off during my extracurricular activities and didn’t have the time to eat, so naturally, the weight fell off.

Now, I’m at my highest. Post-sophomore year I remained at about 235 until the death of my father. Given the holidays at the time and the stress, I gained 15 lbs. Then another 10 lbs, and was sitting pretty at 250. That didn’t really change until early last year, when I could no longer afford my medication for my thyroid, the doctor’s visits to adjust my levels, and the lab tests to test my blood levels.

10 lbs…

20 lbs…

30 lbs…

I now sit at 280 lbs and had no way in sight on how to change that.

But then I got sick for the first time in like 5 years and made myself go to the doctor for antibiotics (ear infection). He didn’t prescribe me any, but he did kindly refill my prescription. I bit the bullet and paid for a 3 month supply I couldn’t really afford. My mood and energy levels improved greatly! Life was no longer as dismal an existance.

I felt myself listening to music in my car that was just pumping me up. I wanted to do THINGS. And ALL OF THEM.

Then, a few weeks later, I went to see a movie by myself courtesy of T-Mobile Tuesdays and got a free burrito courtesy of a friend. I sat down and I watched Moana, which now sits squarely in my top 3 favorite Disney movies. I felt so inspired and motivated to be a better me. I got in my car surged with new-found motivation and turned on some Eminem. By the time I got home, I was so pumped that I decided it was time to join a gym, cut my hair, stop drinking soda, and wake up early enough to do my makeup and hair before work.

There is nothing I’ve felt previously that I can compare this feeling to. There is no “you just have to want it badly enough”. There is no “say you’re going to do it, then DO IT”. I just reached a moment in my life that felt right. That felt like it was time. I don’t have to find the willpower to go to the gym. It’s just what I do. I barely have to resist drinking soda; I just drink water.

From personal experience, there is no amount of will I could have mustered to get myself into a gym. Or to run.

Yeah. I’m using the treadmill. And with some little encouragement from Macklemore and Eminem, I power through the tough moments. It’s been a week and I don’t really feel different and I’m sure I don’t look different, but I can run for a full minute! I didn’t think I could. I ran for 10 minutes yesterday! Who knew?

Now I just need to find an inhaler. One part of always being the fat kid means that when your chest hurts when you run, the doctors just think it’s because you’re overweight…not because you have exerise-induced asthama.

Practicing My Prose: Story 1, The Kiss

8 Jan

In an effort to practice my prose, particularly first person narrative, I am going to be telling some stories. Here is the first story, chosen from a list of questions posed to me, simply because it was the easiest to write about. Here is the story of my first kiss (a true story, I might add)…

 

The Kiss

 

I’m a smart girl. I’ve always been a smart girl. I know good and well what and where this could lead to, and that is exactly why I’m doing it. If anyone asks me tomorrow or next week, I’ll play none the wiser. Maybe I’ll even believe myself then, but for now, please. I pull out the small, but quite heavy, Nokia from my pocket. The Nokia that isn’t even mine. Half a pre-paid minute worth of text is all it takes.

“u left ur tape in my car…im driving around…do u want me to bring it to u?”

Yes. I’m driving around in a car I’m not even licensed to drive.

Nothing good happens after 2 am, they say. The same must be true after 10 pm in high school.

Midnight. It’s midnight and I’m texting a boy because I want to return his tape. No, not that. I’m texting a boy because I want to spend time with a boy. I’m driving around in a car I’m not even licensed to drive at midnight texting a boy because I want to return his tape. But these things haven’t turned into anything other than time before, so I shouldn’t hope for anything this evening. But it’s midnight. And I am. And I shouldn’t. But I am.

The Nokia chirps. “ok just come in when u get here”

Just come in? Just come in? What does that mean – just come in? What am I even walking into? I pop a cherry jolly rancher in my mouth. Dan, 19, from Charlotte, NC told Cosmo that the best kiss he ever had was when the girl who kissed him had just eaten peaches. Peaches isn’t something you eat at midnight. No. Cherry jolly rancher will have to do. I pull into his driveway and turn off my car. As I open my car door, I breathe a sigh of relief as I notice him coming out of the front door. Black t-shirt. White gym shorts. This is already nervewracking enough without having to go into someones parent’s house, a house I’ve never been in. I grab the tape and I get out of my car and walk over to his doorstep.

“Hey. What’s up?”

“Not much. You?”

“Oh…just driving around being bored. Here’s your tape.”

“Thanks. Want to come in?”

Well, I hadn’t planned on coming inside, but don’t mind if I do. Maybe I hadn’t planned, but I sure had hoped.

“Sure.”

The house is dark and unnvervingly quiet. More than likely because it’s midnight. It’s midnight and I’m in a boys house. A boy that I like. Because I needed to bring him his tape.

Without any other place to sit, we sit on his bed. And we talk. I’m sure we talk, but the words aren’t sticking and I’m not even sure what we are talking about. But I know we are talking. I initiate contact first: a simple poke to his side, but it’s plenty enough to get the reaction I needed. He flinches. I do it again. His body bows in ticklishness.Then, with more voracity than I, he grabs my sides and begins tickling me. I shriek and laugh and roll and when he stops I’m on my back, each others various body parts intertwined in a way that results from a tickle fight. I love being tickled.

My laughter dissolves into a smile as I look up at him. We stare at each other for an eternity. Jolly rancher help me. He brings his face close to mine and slowly kisses my upper lip.

Is that how it is supposed to happen?

He makes his way down one side of my mouth and across the bottom. This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t feel right at all. Is this really what people get so excited over? I open my eyes as he moves around my mouth and I stare up at the ceiling.

 

Wait. My eyes are open. I close them abruptly and squeeze them tight.

I feel his hand underneath my tank top, working its way toward my butter-yellow bra and my 17-year-old chest. This moment went from mediocre to uncomfortable really fast. What do I say? Should I let him keep going? As he reaches the top of my lip and the bottom of my bra, I pivot away and teasingly say “Get out of there!”

He pulls back quickly and apologizes. Oh no! I didn’t say it teasingly enough! Get out of there? Who says that?

I’m mortified. And that kiss was terrible. Or at least completely different than I thought kisses should be. Maybe Dan from North Carolina was right. That sure wasn’t anything like peaches.

I get into my car and reflect. I must’ve said something to get here, but what? I pull out the not-mine-Nokia and think of what to say as I drive the few blocks home.

I’m going to get teased so much when I tell my friends what I said. I just won’t tell them. It shouldn’t be hard to keep that detail hidden.

Oh, but it was…

fin

 

Did you feel any emotions when reading my story and if so, what emotions? Were you able to visualize the situation? Did you feel connected to the narrator (me)? Did I capture the awkwardness of youth? How do you feel that I didn’t include any names? Did you feel anything was too vague or had too much detail?

My goal here is to improve my writing, so feedback is extremely appreciated!

Help Needed!

25 Oct

Hello folks.

I have a dismal update for you all.

2 days ago, the engine on my car exploded. Now, I need to buy a car because I do not have the ability to pay to fix my old car (and at this point, is just isn’t a good choice anyway).

Please…I am trying to do this by this weekend because I don’t have the ability to continue to get to work.

If you can donate, please do. Anything helps! If you can’t donate, please share. I am trying to make it to the 2000 dollar mark.

Thank you!

Donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/2grfuuc

That Time I Had to Go to the ER…

13 Aug

So, what happened to me that I’ve alluded to in several different places?

Well…I got bit by a dog.

On Sunday night, my roommate accidentally left the baby gate dividing the upstairs (where I live) and the downstairs (where she lives) open. Not usually an issue, so I do the same routine I always do and call my dog upstairs.

Now, I didn’t see the fight start, so I can’t say for certain what caused it, but our dogs started fighting. Her dog tends to be a little standoffish, so when my dog gets too close or tries to play, he snaps. This has led to a couple low-key fights already.

This time, however, I think it was the perfect storm for a larger fight. My dog had an ear infection, I was extremely stressed, her other dog was in heat, and put all of that in a cramped space and you have a dog fight.

I know better, but because I couldn’t get through the door to get behind my dog, I had to try from the front end. I went to smack my dog from the side, and when they turned, I ripped my hand back to get it out of the way, but it was too late.

I, actually, think I got some molar action in.

I suffered 5 lacerations, one of which spanned the entire width of my finger, and broken bone. I have stitches in 4, and my ring and middle finger are bandaged up and will be for the next few weeks. Definitely, the most pain I’ve ever been in.

So…completely my fault, and the dogs are fine. What a terrible start to the week, huh?