there’s something waiting for you…

I’m starting to slow down a bit in regards to certain aspects of my life… I’m going to try and post something regularly. I don’t know what regularly means right now…but I’m coming up with a ton of ideas for myself (and maybe other people too)

I do know every time I make a change for the better, this has come in to my head…

 

“there’s something waiting for you in the great unknown..” 

I’ve had too many health problems dictate my career and dreams… It’s time to slow down a little and start focusing more on what I want long term and work things that will benefit me more holistically.

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Beware the Ides of March…

I had someone at my internship tell me to be careful today, to beware of the Ides of March. I had to laugh…..

In theory it’s a really bad day, and in some ways, it’s a bad memory, but it’s also day that probably saved my life (the first time).

As of today, I’ve been living without a thyroid gland for 8 years. And it’s been a hellish (but good) and interesting 8 years.

I don’t regret the path that I have taken. Life has thrown me some pretty wicked curve balls, but it has lead me to a fairly good place, even if I do groan about the little things. Some days I do wish I was still in music, but there are days that I help people out at the library finding what they came in for, and seeing how excited they got about a book.. it’s a good feeling.

Canversaries are weird. Having one is weird. Having to explain that you have two? Well, I don’t even know where to begin some days, but that’s my life. For those have seen me through the past 8 years, I carry your spirits with me every day. You guys are the reason why I’m still here.

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” – C.S. Lewis.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

 

thoughts while listening to Jimmy Eat World

So last week I had what is considered my 2 year check-in with my oncologist. He joked with me at the time that he has never seen a patient with such strong shoulders, and wondered what did I do? I joked about yoga and lifting heavy boxes at work… I commented about this over on the Facebook  (a friend said I needed a nickname because of the shoulders) and joked about my “unfortunate health history” and “being cursed.” I don’t know if those are the right terms to use but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

How do you explain having beat cancer twice. Not the same cancer but two different cancers (granted, both were in the same region, but still).. It’s like “woah, you’ve been through some shit” when I tell people, which I realize I don’t try to bring it up, just because it gets awkward. I should also give people more credit for handling awkward.

And because I’ve been through this twice now, what cancerversary do I celebrate? My ENT joked that it’s really up to me. Treatment for one ended in February, while the surgery for another was in mid-March. Maybe I should just have a two-month long celebration.

I’ve been getting some good reading in. As well as sewing in on my break. Still nowhere close to feeling comfortable with the idea of making a full costume for a convention (going to Wonder Con again.. WEEE! More thoughts on that to come later..maybe I should use that as my cancerversary celebration this year?), but I’m slowly working on clothes construction, so yay me? One day I’ll conquer making a Rey costume or even Mockingbird.. I’m also really trying hard to make a dent in my TBR pile, however, Harry Potter is slowly calling my name, so I don’t know how that’ll go. But a book review will happen soon I think. Of something…

honestly I wanna see you be brave.

I accidentally came out of the cancer closet this week. On the 2 year anniversary of getting my “cancer tattoos.” I don’t know if there’s any irony in it. But it happened.

I was in a staff meeting at my internship site and the discussion of John Green came up. I knew that some of the others in the room had issues with his writing style. I get it. I respect their opinions. However, I felt how he handled the topic of cancer in TFIOS, I have a deep respect for him, which is why he is one of my favorite writers, and I explained that and how he handled the topic of mental illness in Turtles All the Way Down was also respectful I felt.

2017 is coming to a close. Will post a book blog before the end of the year. Time to write one more paper and I will be done with my 2nd year of graduate school (AHH!). It’s crazy to think how fast and how much I’ve gotten done in the last 2 years.

 

2 years (and I won’t stop running)

I’m approaching 2 years since they cut open my neck/ear to remove a tumor near my parotid gland. When they did that, they sliced a minor facial nerve, so there is a small portion of my ear/cheek that I don’t feel. It’s part of my new normal.

I’m fortunate in that I don’t have any serious visible scars from the thyca or salivary gland cancer.

The last few months, I’ve been dealing with facial twitches. You know when you get really tired and your eyes start twitching? Think that, but only in the jaw line. I didn’t think this would annoy me but it is. I woke up this morning and I think this is the worst it has been ever since I started becoming aware of it. But I take this as a sign of healing. That the nerves are slowly reawakening, though I’ve come to terms that I will probably never really feel my ear lobe ever again (bright side: I guess it’s a good thing I never got my ears pierced. Think of all the earrings I could have lost!)

This is all another reminder not to let my past define me… I got reminded that when this video showed up in my “On this day” function for Facebook…

While I may not actively be pursuing music any more, I’m glad I can still get inspiration from great bands. Thank you A Great Big World for being a constant source of inspiration.

18 years…

“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in the times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself plainly when you have need of him.” – Albus Dumbledore

So it’s been 18 long years and in some cases it feels like yesterday. That I was 15 years old, about to start my sophomore year of high school.

And in that time, after two different battles with cancer, I may have developed what some would call survivor’s guilt.  I’ve survived what others in our family could not. Maybe it was my age, or our different diseases. Maybe the circumstances needed to happen so I could get to this point. Where I dealt with the grief of losing you and found myself in music, only to lose myself again, and to discover I’m probably more like you than I ever realized, from our love of books and collections of weird items,  and me taking steps towards working in an educational field. My book collection is nowhere near what yours is/was, but who knows. Maybe one day it will be? (though, let’s be honest, I’ll have just as many fiction and graphic novels compared to your foreign language books).

There are things I don’t talk about openly.  Walking away from music is one them. The thyroid cancer nicked my vocal cord nerves, so there are things that just don’t feel comfortable. Stress got to me. I had to walk away for the sake of my sanity. Breaking up with music was a necessity because it became toxic, which is strange to admit. And trying to talk about things, like music,  I get awkward. I’m trying to find my way back to music, but it’s hard. Maybe learning how to lead story time and kids sing-a-longs will be a step in the right direction… but in the meantime I try to be happy for those friends who still pursue it. I will forever be their cheerleaders in the audience.

And in all those times of shit. Whether it be surgeries, or beginning various treatments, I know you’re there. Forever my guardian angel, looking out for me when the shit seriously hits the fan.

So 18 years later and on the eve of taking steps towards a new career, I think it’s funny that these dates coincide.. My therapist last year asked me when I did I make the decision to “get into the family business.”  Education = family business. I think if I can be a little good in a chaotic world, like you did for your students or colleagues, then I’m making the right choice, and I hope I’m making you proud…

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore

“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” -Doctor Who

A sort of love letter to comics

I am going to start this blog out by quoting one of the best shows of all time… Doctor Who:

“We’re all just stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”

That comes from “The Big Bang” episode in 2010. Matt Smith was the Doctor. The Ponds were still around. I recently realized that I don’t exactly miss the Ponds…except maybe Arthur Darvill. I’m just glad he’s back on Legends on a regular basis….and I’m getting off track…

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of attending WonderCon for the third time. I go for the day. Three days would be fun but I would be so worn out… #introvertproblems ftw..This year was the first time I did not cosplay or even attempt to cosplay. I came back with some cool things, most of which are now hanging on my wall of adorkable cuteness.. Saw a ton of Star Wars cosplayers…which I made the point of taking pictures with (I initially did it to confuse my nephews but there were SO MANY COOL COSPLAYERS that I needed some photos taken. I joked that I had crossed over to the dark side, especially when I met Kylo Ren). I also had the opportunity of meeting the wonderful Si Spurrier. At the time of attending Wonder Con, I have not read ANY of his books (that is slowly changing since the X-Men Legacy Ominbus has come out, I’m working my way through it along with a million other books ). But after seeing him speak his famous lecture on the transformative nature of comic books (“The Pluripotent Panel”), I really realized how much words and stories can save us. And this may sound strange, but comics have helped me big time (so has Harry Potter – another discussion for another time).

For those that know me (and maybe have read this blog on and off..I swear I’ll get back to updating it on a more consistent basis), they know I’ve had a bit of a journey. Looking back on my x-number of years, I realize I’ve always been a geek/nerd. It’s in the roots of my DNA. I enjoyed shows like The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and SeaQuest DSV. Never got into Star Trek, though I’m sure if my parents were bigger geeks, it would’ve been around. In high school, I discovered Harry Potter. Later on, in my post-collegiate/Berklee years, I re-discovered my love for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Eventually was turned on to other shows like Doctor Who and Firefly (thanks, Dana). And because I enjoyed reading, I eventually stumbled across the medium of comics (thank you both to Justin, Kevin and Andy, who all have been influential with my education and steering me in good directions).

A friend of mine asked me once what I enjoyed about comics. To be honest, there are a lot of things. Sometimes it’s just the simple act of an escape for a short period of time. Sometimes it’s the story. And sometimes it’s the characters that are so beautifully flawed that I find pieces of myself in them.  Characters that I relate to? Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers, specifically). The fighter in her and the determination to not give up, no matter what others say, because some day we will be the stars we were always meant to be.. I see that in myself. Or Barbara Gordon (as both Oracle and Batgirl) – her limitations don’t bring her down. When she lost use of her legs, she used her knowledge of Information Sciences to become so powerful that even Batman relied on her for information (side note: can I just say how happy I am they are bringing her back to her librarian roots!) Or Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), where she’s talking with Wolverine about learning to pick yourself up after you fall back down. Or Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk), in the most recent iteration where she talks about having everything taken away from her that she knows, and where she’s learning to put the pieces back together.  Or Jeff Loveness’ run of Groot, where it ends with “because she taught me that if you have the courage to leave your old life.. if you take the risk and jump into the unknown.. what you will find will amaze you.. There are much better places than home. And in time.. you will find a new one.”

Comics aren’t just your typical superhero-ness, boys club, lets smash all the things, and save the damsel in distress all at the same time. If you look carefully, you’ll find deeper meaning and well written stories in the panels. And for me, that’s why I enjoy comics…

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(me and Si Spurrier post panel. Such a great human being!)