Am I Worth Less?

One of the hardest parts about having a chronic illness is feeling like I have less value because I am not contributing as much to the community as my peers. Before I got sick I was working toward pursuing a career in journalism. I took internships, worked part time at a newspaper, and was excited to continue my journey working at Seventeen magazine to hopefully impact young women in a positive way. I have always felt that words are one of the most powerful tools we have, and all of us have a wonderful opportunity to lift others up and make them feel less alone in this big world.

I always dread the question, “So, what do you do?” when I meet someone new. I hate explaining right off the bat, “Well, I got sick when I graduated from college, so I’m trying to get back on my feet and am working on getting my health in line.” Over five years later now I have made leaps and bounds in progress, but I still am figuring out how to manage what I’ve begun to accept as my new normal. Not only is my answer incredibly awkward, but I also just feel so lame not having a cool job or anything to show for my life. I worked so freaking hard before I got sick and have absolutely nothing to show for it anymore. The internship I had at a national news company isn’t relevant anymore, and my job at Seventeen wasn’t able to materialize into what it could have because I couldn’t even walk down the driveway to the mailbox when I first got sick. My illness didn’t just take my body away from me; it took away every sense of normalcy I had ever worked to create. I have nothing to be proud of, and feels like I can’t make an adequate contribution to society anymore. I have relied on others to take care of me, when all I have ever wanted to do was be able to take care of others.

If anyone who had a chronic illness told me they felt worthless, my heart would feel completely broken and I would try as hard as I possibly could to show them what an enormous, ugly lie that was. People shouldn’t feel like they don’t have worth in this world just because their body doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. Our value does not reside in what we do — or don’t do — for a living, and people can still change lives when their bodies don’t work properly.

Whether or not you are a Christian, I think the Bible has a really beautiful sentiment about our worth as human beings. Psalm 139: 13-14 says, “For You [God] formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” This doesn’t say that we have value because of our job or what we do; it says we were born having value. We are made in God’s image, and He only creates beauty for the world. I think it’s very powerful knowing that even before ever doing anything in the world we have irreplaceable value. Just ask a mother of a newborn baby; she will say that her child means absolutely everything to her, and that is merely for existing, it isn’t anything he has done to make her feel this way.

I am a firm believer that everyone has a purpose in the world and can make a difference in a way that no one else could. Just because you are bedridden or need to be taken care of absolutely does not mean you don’t have value in the world. You have qualities to offer people that make you absolutely irreplaceable in their lives, so we need to stop telling ourselves the lie that we aren’t as valuable because we are different.

On the other hand, I understand the ache that is in your heart for the opportunities you have missed and feeling like some of life has passed you by. I don’t have the resume I would have had if I hadn’t gotten sick, and there are a lot of experiences I missed out on. It’s weird listening to my friends all talk about what they’re doing at work and how comfortable they are there. I still remember working at the magazine’s office like it was yesterday, but I also think that experience was so different because you’re the lowest on the totem pole. Dealing with an illness does teach you what is important in the world, though, and gives amazing perspective people often don’t have until much later on in life. It teaches you to hold on to all the amazing blessings you are given, because sometimes they can be fleeting, and to be thankful for the people closest to you. It teaches lessons of patience, hard work, and resilience. You learn what it’s like to be empathetic with people, rather than just offering sympathy, and you are given an opportunity to be a light for others who go through the exact same things you deal with on an every day basis. Chronic illness builds beautiful warriors who have such important lessons they need to share with the world.

I understand questioning your worth as much as anyone else with a chronic illness, and I am right there with you trying to find my own purpose. The words I wrote on this page make sense to my brain and I know that my life has incredible value, but my heart sometimes has a hard time making the connection. I feel lost in a big world that doesn’t understand me, and I am getting swallowed up in the lies I tell myself at night. Being sick has taught me I’m a fighter, though, and I’m not going to stop searching until I figure out what I’m here for. Deep down I know I have an important role in the world. I just might take a little longer to figure out what it is and that’s okay.

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5 Things My Husband Doesn’t Know About Me

Yesterday Robert grilled some hot dogs for lunch, and he actually asked me if I wanted mustard on mine. Gross! How did he not know I am not a fan of condiments, particularly bright yellow mustard? It got me thinking about how funny it is when you learn new things about someone you know really well. I really racked my brain to think of a few other things he might not know about me, and here is a short list:

  1. When I was a preteen I had a bright blue bellbottom tracksuit. No, bell bottoms were not in style or cool in the 90s, but I loved the comfort and style of this getup, and it would be a miracle if I dodged getting pictures in this, because it was seriously my favorite thing ever at the time. This is to date my worst fashion faux pas, and I’m certain I’ll never be worse off than I was back then.
  2. I. Will. Not. Try. Cottage. Cheese. I’m sorry, but the texture freaks me out so much that I cannot bring myself to try a bite. Why are there lumps in it? Is it more like cheese or yogurt? I’ll try pretty much anything, but cottage cheese is a no-go. I’m borderline scared of it. cheese.png
  3. I won the school science fair twice — once in elementary school, and then in the bigger pool of competition in high school. The first was testing out properties of bubble gum which were, in hindsight, not all very scientific, and the second was an experiment with photosynthesis. I don’t even remember what all the findings looked like, but I still have a medal from it.
  4. Ryan Seacrest was my first celebrity crush. I thought he was charming and funny on American Idol, my favorite show at the time, and thankfully this was before social media so I didn’t have to be a Ryan stan defending him against Internet trolls.
  5. I was a weird little kid. I’ve always loved the English language, but I also have made up words since I could talk. A name for something I love? Teedlehopper. That little dip that’s right below your nose and above your lips? Well, I’m glad you asked, that’s a Parison!

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Now I’ll have to post this and wait to hear back from Robert if he knew any of this, or if I’m correct in thinking we’ve never discussed any of it before. I honestly can’t think of anything else he doesn’t already know, particularly about me now, but I’m sure there will be plenty more mustard moments in the rest of our lifetime together. ❤

Friday Favorites

Man, it’s hard keeping up with writing on here! Not because I don’t have the time or even the energy, but more so because everything I write I end up wanting to keep private or don’t have the heart to finish. Today I figured I’d go back to writing about a few of my favorite things. I was tempted to post five different dogs, but I thought this list would be a little more helpful.


Tony’s Chocolonely. I honestly haven’t had anything better, and they’re a really cool company because they focus on making chocolate humanely. Did you know that slavery is still a huge problem, particularly on cocoa farms? It’s crazy to me that one of my favorite foods is actually hurting others, and I love that Tony’s is committed to making all chocolate become slave-free. Go get a bar of the milk chocolate sea salt caramel today. It is a new necessity for me “that time of the month,” and I’m happy to add it to my survival kit.

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Jax is obviously my favorite chocolate thing on earth, though.

Billie Eilish — specifically “Bad Guy” featuring Justin Bieber. I didn’t know if I should put him as a favorite too because honestly his lines are so darn catchy and remind me why I liked the Biebs so many years ago. Billie is an interesting entertainer because she totally breaks the mold of anything we really see in the pop music world. I like that she seems to be unapologetically herself and hasn’t conformed to what Hollywood thinks sells albums.

 

Colorful flowers. I love having them to brighten up our home, and Robert got me some really bright and fun ones from a summer collection a few weeks ago. I used to always say Gerbera Daisies were my favorite kind of flower, but now I like pretty much everything under the sun.

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Crime Junkie. I am a huge fan of podcasts, and Crime Junkie happens to be one of my favorites. Granted, it’s made me a little wary every time I go to the basement to do laundry, but overall the mild paranoia is worth listening to Ashley and Brit tell us about famous — and not so famous — cases. It’s a great thing to listen to during a commute or while doing household chores; just don’t listen late at night when you’re by yourself unless you want to be up all night listening for intruders.

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Finally, Taylor Swift released her song “Lover” last night and I am OBSESSED. She’s back to writing her beautiful love songs and I couldn’t be more here for it!

Checking In

I haven’t written a lot lately because I’ve either felt exhausted or haven’t been in the mood to share anything feelings-y. That seems to be what I write best, but I have had six million different things on my mind, so I have just decided to write about none of it. Years ago when I was in school for journalism, my professors always stressed that the very best way to become a good writer is to do it consistently. Even if you don’t have anything to write about, just put pen to paper and ramble — the good stories will eventually come. I suppose even though I don’t feel like it, I should keep writing little updates here and there. After all, I see so many of you coming here day after day without getting anything new. It’s nice to have people who actually care about what I have to say enough to check in on me! Thank you for caring.

Okay, so here’s what I’ve been up to. First, I became a dog walker for Wag. I’m obsessed with it and will write a separate post all about what that’s been like and how great all the little angels I get to meet are. Dogs are one of the best thing God created, and I kind of can’t believe I get paid to hang out with them!

I’ve also been keeping up with Big Brother, and then not keeping up with The Bachelorette because I’m just kind of bored of the whole premise of the show. I’ve been a fan since at least high school, so that’s a really long time to keep watching the same thing happen season after season. Apparently Luke P is pretty bad though, and I’m sure the finale will be “Something we’ve never seen in the history of the show.” I’m looking at you, Chris Harrison.

Hmm what else. I made really good gluten-free fried chicken for dinner last night. I’m going to be experimenting with a few new recipes later this week, and am excited to get back into the routine of cooking a little more again. I keep meaning to post my General Tso’s chicken recipe for y’all too, as I got a million messages about it on Instagram a few months ago and never delivered. Like I said, I’ve been pretty tired lately. Anyway, I think I’ll go ahead and start drafting something else for tomorrow. This post was written about a week ago, and I need to get better about being consistent with posting on time.

Can I Have Your Cobblestones?

I got a glimpse into one of the most hilarious corners of adult life this week — the Facebook Marketplace.

Being a homeowner has been fun because I love our place, but it’s also a whole lot of work. We are redoing our back yard right now, and dug up about 400 cobblestones that must have been put in as some sort of underground patio by the last owners. These things are easily a pound each, and it would not be fun taking them all to the dump, so I listed them on Facebook Marketplace to get rid of them. Guys. My phone blew up. 

“Hi, is this item available?”

“Hello, I’d like to come take a look at the cobblestones.”

“Hey, when can I come pick up the stones?”

“I can come get them today, give me your address.”

I got dozens of messages in the matter of minutes, and they just kept coming. It was amusing, but also stressful enough that I didn’t check my Facebook messages for a few days after creating my listing. When I finally had the patience and courage to sort through everything, I signed on to weed through all the people who wanted our cobblestones. My method was pretty simple. Women got priority because I would rather have a woman come to my house than a man (Why? Check out my last post). Then they got eliminated from the list if their profile picture wasn’t of them. I love dogs more than just about anyone, but I’d like to know whoever is coming over doesn’t mind putting her face out there for me to see. Finally, the easiest part was that I just gave whoever reached out first the priority. This whole week I’ve been bombarded with more messages that I could have ever imagined, been ghosted by people who claimed to want the stones, and finally met up with a really nice couple who is going to use them on their horse farm.

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As anxiety-inducing as the Facebook Marketplace is, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone trying to get rid of any sort of home goods. People on there are sharks just waiting for something to chomp down on, and if you don’t feel like hauling something away, your trash could be another person’s treasure.


What do you think one of the most hilarious things about being in your late twenties or early thirties is? Do you have any experience with the crazy world of Facebook Marketplace? 

True Crime Podcast Reviews

I love podcasts.

I’ve been writing about entertainment stuff lately because somehow I haven’t been wanting to write about feelings and deeper topics, but seeing I studied journalism and was headed toward the path of an entertainment journalist, I think this is fitting enough.

Dirty John 5/10

I liked listening to Dirty John, and got through the series in just two days. It is a short series with only 6 episodes, 7 if you include the live questions after the season ends. I was surprised about the nature of the show. I have heard it’s a really good true crime, but I expected it to be a little more filled with twists and turns. Instead, I found that it was more about emotional abuse, and the way John manipulated those around him. It was still very interesting, but not worth quite the hype I felt was surrounding the show.

Serial 8/10

Serial is an interesting series because there are currently 3 different seasons, and like Dirty John, there was a television show created as a follow up. The first season of Serial follows a murder trial, the second follows the investigation of Bowe Bergdahl, a US soldier who was held prisoner of the Taliban for almost 5 years, and the third season has a lot of smaller stories in each episode to show a “behind the scenes” peek into the court systems in the United States. I liked each of the seasons, but surprisingly preferred the last two. I felt like the first season showed way too much of a bias and almost as though the convicted murderer, Adnan, charmed Sarah, the woman who did the interviews for the show, a little too much. I think he basically convinced her he was innocent, and she justified too many of his actions or explanations after seeing very blurry facts.

I liked the third season because it was so interesting to get to see a full case play out in the criminal justice system. I love shows like Law and Order SVU, so getting to hear some real stories play out and see how the police and court handle criminals was fascinating. If you haven’t listened to Serial yet, this should be one of the next podcasts on your list.

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Crime Junkie Podcast 10/10

Currently OBSESSED with this pod. So much so, that I even heard my husband humming the theme song the other night, and he hasn’t even listened to an episode with me. I think it’s because it’s super catchy and I’ve been listening nonstop since I discovered it. The hosts, Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat, are super entertaining and such good storytellers. They find interesting crimes to talk about and have some solved and other unsolved mysteries. I like being able to research afterwards, and there are dozens of episodes for me to catch up on. I like this one so much I think I’ll sign up for their Patreon account after I finish everything!

Confronting O.J. Simpson with Kim Goldman 7/10

The new podcast about O.J. is interesting, especially since I didn’t live through this trial, so don’t know as much about it as I could. I’m a little bit of a KUWTK fan, so listening through some of the details that made the family famous is quite interesting. I kind of zoned out a little, though, and wasn’t interested enough to rewind and hear what I had missed, so it’s not as captivating as other podcasts. This is just airing now, so there are only 3 episodes out, but it’s worth a listen if you’re even just remotely interested in this murder case.

Man in The Window 10/10

This is my favorite podcast that is currently going on. It’s #1 in the charts right now, and for good reason. Man in The Window is about the Golden State Killer, and although his crimes took place in the 70s and 80s, Joe DeAngelo was arrested recently for these crimes, and it is all so fresh that he hasn’t even entered a plea yet. It apparently might take years for the trial to begin, but it will definitely be more interesting following along after listening to this show. One of the episodes gave me goosebumps, and it’s definitely not something you want to listen to unless you’re in the mood for some heavy true crime.


What are your favorite podcasts? I clearly like true crime and am currently hooked on it, but I’m game for pretty much anything. A few more lighthearted favorites include The Morning Toast, Reality TV RHAP-ups during the Big Brother season, How I Built This, Off The Vine, and a political podcast that will remain nameless.

Friends: S1, Episodes 2 And 3. Ross Is Still A Creep.

I’m on the second episode of Friends and ready to laugh a little tonight. I think I’ll be doing quite a few recaps during the end of the basketball and hockey seasons. Thank goodness we aren’t one of those families who watch a lot of baseball or I’d be screwed!

The episode starts off fast. The friends are all talking about how important kissing is to women. Relatable.

Ross is at his job right now. He’s with some cave people and his boss and oh my gosh he is boring with a capital “B.” Here comes his ex wife! (Or at least one of them anyway) He hates that she looks great. OH MY GOSH wait she’s pregnant. Is it Ross’ baby?! This show doesn’t waste any time.

Monica is really freaking out about her family coming. Now Rachel lost her engagement ring. I’m a little bored. The jokes just aren’t landing with me right now, and the fake laughter is getting on my nerves. Chandler isn’t being very funny but put his hands on his hips and tried so hard to deliver some of his jokes.

Rachel thinks her engagement ring is in the lasagna Monica made. Now I’m craving Italian food. They’re digging through it and Phoebe found it just as Ross announced he’s going to be a father. He’s also wearing a buttondown shirt made of jeans material and a purple striped tie. Was this ever a normal look?

Is it just me or does Ross stare off into the distance a lot? I’m sorry, but he’s so annoying. I digress.

I just zoned out for a few minutes while Monica and Ross had dinner with their family. It was kind of boring, but Ross had to announce that he got his ex wife pregnant, so I guess that was maybe pertinent to the show.

Now he’s sweeping for Rachel at the coffee shop. He’s trying to be cutsey and it was annoying at first, but it’s very back and forth for me. Okay, I lied. I’m just trying to be nicer about Ross, but it doesn’t feel authentic.

Rachel is just chilling with Dr. Farber now. She’s wearing overalls and looks kind of cute. Weren’t those supposed to come back into style this season or something? I would be all over that tbh. Doctor Farber is a weird dude. He went on his honeymoon to Aruba (yay!) with Rachel’s best friend.

Ross is at the OBGYN with his ex wife and her girlfriend now. They’re trying to come up with a name for the baby. Now they’re seeing her in the sonogram.

I’m still bored.

Let’s just power through to the next episode. Season 1, Episode 3: “The One with The Thumb.”

Okay, Ross just landed his first joke with me and he’s charmed me enough to make me laugh out loud. He’s talking about his childhood dog going to live on “The Milner’s farm,” which obviously doesn’t exist. I like his hilariously pure innocence in this instance, and he’s moved up maybe a point in my book.