Finding the Joy Within

I love my life.

I used to hate when people said that. There was no such thing. Life comes with the good and the bad, and if you love all of it, then you’ve been poorly deceived (or altogether privileged).

But a few years ago, I felt utterly unhappy with my life. Every time I thought I had found something good, it dismantled into a pile of sour mulch.

Take Norm, for example. Pets are supposed to make your life better, right? Not when you spend hours tending to their allergic reactions and thousands of dollars trying to make up for the fact that they’re allergic to 15 different things in the environment completely out of your control.

Sour mulch.

But that’s the thing about mulch. It shouldn’t have an offensive smell. If it does, then there’s some toxic buildup at play. And what happens when the mulch can breathe? It suppresses the weeds and eventually improves the soil’s fertility.

You didn’t come here for a gardening lesson though. You came here because, perhaps, like me, you want to know how to be happy. Continue reading

Are We Special? A Millennial Year in DC

Today a doctor put a scalpel to the skin beneath my left bicep. She removed another birth control method, the last I will try for a while. And although the implant was the best I’ve had, after about six months, it interfered with a cycle that should come natural, and the consequences no longer seemed worth it.

Oh the things we women must endure.

But this isn’t just about reproductive rights for women. It’s about the child I am not ready to bring into this world. I am a Type 1 diabetic. I would not take reproduction lightly normally, but with a chronic disease that could do irreparable developmental damage if I’m not monitoring it carefully enough, I especially do not take it lightly.

After the application of a burning numbing agent, the doctor pierced my skin and opened the wound. I watched with a side view anxious to have this hole repaired. I knew I was making the right decision for myself and my body but I couldn’t help but be abhorred by the whole procedure. What was I doing to myself?

She used her gloved fingers to dig around beneath the skin, and what seemed like seconds turned into minutes. How big is this thing? She asked for help from her assistant. Is it stuck inside me? Will I never be free of this thing that can’t be more than the size of a blunt razor blade? But then I realized she was removing scar tissue from the implant. After all, it had been in my body for almost a year.

And then it was out. As thin as a paper clip, it was no bigger than my pinky finger. And to think of all the hassle that tiny strip caused. Incredible. Continue reading

The Silver Lining Effect

I’m a moody person, usually greatly affected by hormone levels. But even though I chart this for my own benefit, sometimes when I expect to be down, sad, and irritable, I’m upbeat and hopeful. I call these fortuitous moments because I’m not pulled in by my own confirmation bias. And I’m not intentionally looking for a silver lining, but it’s there like the alarm clock of my cat’s meow at 7am.

This week hasn’t been easy, either. After coming down off the high of traveling for the holidays and consuming way too many sweets, it seems my body is trying to punish me. From a cold to an infection to now a clogged tear gland on my left eye, I wanted to throw up my hands on Monday and go home.

And when I got lost for the tenth time around Dupont Circle (these DC traffic circles are the bane of my directional existence) trying to meet my friend for dinner in 20 degree temperatures, I gave up on this week. But then I got to see my one of my best high school friends who was in town for a series of events for law school. Continue reading