The Day I Decided I Needed a Pet

“Oh my god something shit on my bed,” I remember telling my roommate on the phone. I was living in the Little Italy neighborhood of Baltimore, and after an eight-hour day at my contractual position at the university, I came home to find a pile of poop on my $20 Target comforter. I was planning to move in a few days.

Of course upon texting both my roommates, they responded with inherent laughter. I didn’t think it was so funny. Once I removed the comforter and ruined sheets, I realized the shit had stained the actual mattress. I’d had this mattress since I moved into my first apartment four years prior. What did I know of mattress protectors?

made bed next to window

“Did the landlord let her dogs in here? Why the hell would she let them shit on the bed and leave it?” I didn’t consider myself a bad tenant, but maybe I had done something to make her mad? I would have categorized this instance as beneath her, but I also knew she could be vindictive.

I considered throwing the comforter in the washer. God knows it had survived a few drunken vomit episodes. But nah, I was moving soon, and it didn’t seem worth the dry cleaning. I threw it in the trash. But what about the mattress? I had already sold it to the next tenant. What could I do?

I opened the window and sprayed some Febreeze. And then something came crawling out from underneath my bed, seeming completely terrified. A cat. Continue reading

If Only Pandora Had a Creativity Box

It’s interesting to write a post like this on a day when I am so incredibly happy and full of energy. But I think this is also the perfect time to write such a post about a time when I was maybe not so happy, and just living in the world felt overwhelming.

Depression, anxiety, and all its root causes have been mostly missing from my life as of late, but when they do appear, I must remember days like today. I must remember that tomorrow is worth it.

On most days, it’s hard to remember how I ever got to that place before. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a chemical imbalance, hormonal changes, or blood sugar instability that sets me down that blue path. But when it does happen, it’s why I cherish days like today, for the mere fact that they exist. Continue reading

The Day I Met Cal Ripken Jr.

A friend of mine asked me to write down this story a while back. With baseball season coming to an end, it seemed appropriate timing. This one’s for you Drake.

I didn’t grow up a baseball-lover, although I played softball in middle school. The day I caught an outfield ball with my un-gloved hand, I decided my career in the sport was over.

There was no such thing as professional sports in my hometown, although we claim pride for being the base of the Louisville Slugger. I attended a few minor league games as a kid and still have a flag for the Louisville Redbirds (now the Louisville Bats and a Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds or so Google tells me).

Nonetheless there were plenty of baseball lovers. The first time I came across Cal Ripken Jr. was in elementary school. I was at some classmate’s birthday party at a roller skating ring. I had a crush on another boy there. I don’t recall his name, only that he was wearing a Ken Griffey Jr. t-shirt. So I referred to him as Griffey.

Nothing ever came of it. I don’t think we once said hi to one another. All I knew was that Griffey was some famous baseball player and because he had Jr. in the name, and Cal Ripken was also famous, I used to get the two confused. Yes, baseball lovers, feel free to berate me on this one. I have no shame. Continue reading

Live Your Stars: My Tattoo for Creative Living

I’ve been thinking about my third tattoo for a few years now. Since I adopted the rose tattoo on my back in spring of 2011, I played around with the idea of having a few stars on the top of my foot. At first, I just thought the stars were beautiful. I loved my rose tattoo, a very traditional image but gorgeous nonetheless. But because these stars would be permanently attached to my body, in my opinion, they needed to have deeper meaning.

So what do the stars really represent?

Well, my favorite band is Stars. And lately I’ve become more intrigued with the known and unknown universe. I mean what does dark matter really encompass?

But more than that, when I was younger, and my parents were asked to pick a Disney song that represented me (the reason here is not relevant but let’s just say for fun), they chose, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” from Pinocchio. Why? Because they envisioned that one day, I would follow my dreams. Continue reading

How to Choose a Life Partner ‘Single-Style’

Enjoy not knowing where life is going to take you.

Apparently I said this a few years back. I have no recollection, but often when I am giving advice to others (as I imagine most of us do), I say things I would never say to myself. And only recently have I learned to value all that I want to contribute and give to those around me and the world.

I don’t expect to be famous or rich. It’s never the life I envisioned for myself, but I always imagined I would give something back even if to those I didn’t even notice. That’s already happening. We are each impacting people we hardly know, maybe even people we’ve never met. We will never know the impact we’ve had, but we should learn to value that unknown impact. There is nothing wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with us.

Maybe we have characteristics and personalities that do not mingle with this society or its system? But that does not make us wrong. In fact, throughout most of history, that makes us visionaries. And I am not including anything that violates human rights or life itself. I am talking about those of us who maybe don’t fit in with the life society has drummed up for us. But we’re not backing down. We’re taking a different path. Continue reading

Low Glucose Alert

I stretch my legs and sprint down the paved path along the four-lane highway in Silver Spring, Maryland. The sun sets behind me, and the bugs eat at my exposed calves, but I relish this 70-degree temperature. After 5 miles of gravel pathways, wooden bridges, and cracked sidewalks, I only have one more uphill battle of this last mile to conquer.

And then my speed starts to wane. I can’t seem to muster the strength to push myself harder even on this decline. Something feels off. My muscles are tired and weak, and my heart rate is accelerated past the point of normal. I stop at the next intersection, and as the stoplight turns red, I look down at the phone strapped to my right bicep.

Low glucose alert – my Dexcom app reads. Continue reading