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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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. ❤
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.
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.
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.
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!
Welcome to my first recap of Friends! There will be spoilers, but since everyone and their mom has already seen this show a thousand times over, I don’t feel the need to say that before every review. Soon, everyone in America will have seen the show Friends, and I’ll feel a lot less alone in not getting normal 90s references. Okay, starting my live recap:NOW.
Wow, what the heck is up with everyone’s hair?! I am literally 20 seconds into the show and they all have insane volume and shine. I’ve never seen anything like it! I don’t think their hair is normally like this, but I could be wrong. Go back and watch the episode because this is crazy and they all have to be wigging out. Joey looks like he’s in a 90s punk band or channeling Pete Wentz.
Courtney Cox and Chandler are sitting next to each other and don’t even know they’ll be married one day. Ew, and what the heck is up with the way Courtney treats her brother?! I remember them being all creepy in another episode. “You OK, sweetie?” she asked as she gently touched his hand. I do not like the chemistry between these two actors. They make Friends have a hint of Thrones, if you catch my drift.
OMG. Ross is already complaining about being single. “I don’t want to be single, I just want to be married again.” What is his deal?! He’s already blown through a wife (or two, or three) by the first episode?! Yikes. I know he’s known for getting married a bunch, so I guess they needed to get the first out of the way before the series even begins.
Rachel just walked in in a wedding dress! Ahh I don’t know anything about this storyline. Was she married once already too? She might be perfect for Ross if she can knock out a couple others before she and Ross get together.
Courtney Cox’s name is Monica! That’s right. I don’t know why I forgot that. Now she’s wearing an outfit with suspenders. I feel a little weird about them.
We’re watching the friends watch television while Rachel shrieks on the phone with her dad. It’s kind of boring right now tbh, but I’m hoping this episode is all just telling us about the characters and stuff.
Joey is hitting on Rachel. I have a feeling these characters will all kind of cycle around dating each other. It’s not very realistic that they’d all be able to be friends after that, but I think it’s going to be one of those kinds of shows.
Phoebe is my favorite character right now. She pulled out a bunch of her eyelashes on accident and then sang a song from The Sound of Music while Rachel was having a panic attack. I think she’ll be a pretty funny character, but not everyone’s cup of tea.
Rachel is crying on the phone now. I honestly am so annoyed at the show and it’s not very funny yet. Since it’s the pilot I’m going to keep pushing forward, though. I think it’ll get good.
Monica is on a date with a guy who looks really familiar. Some sort of nineties dad or something who is kind of a doofus in a show. I can’t for the life of me remember what movie, but it was something along the lines of TheParent Trap.
Ew! Ross is complaining AGAIN. He’s so whiny. I know I’m being harsh because his heart is broken, but I told you it was going to be hard for me to give Ross a chance. Ok, calm down Krista, he’s grieving. Ew!! But now he’s talking about wanting to ask a girl out again right after ending his marriage. “Even if I had the nerve, who would I ask?” ROSS. TAKE A BREAK FROM WOMEN AND LET YOUR HEART HEAL. Goodness gracious; he really cannot just be by himself.
Monica is kissing the 90s dad in front of everyone now. They all watched creepily and it felt like they were acting for a play on Broadway with their exaggerated stances. Then Joey of all people tries to act cool when she comes back to the table to join them. I think he’s a player and supposed to be the “cool guy” on the show, but he’s just giving me brunette Draco Malfoy vibes. His outfit is really cringeworthy too. Black pants and some sort of jeans-y fabric muscle shirt. I need to keep in mind this is the 90s and maybe he was cool and stylish. I just have a hard time believing it.
Now Monica is upset that it turns out the 90s dad is a player. Phoebe decides to offer to rub her feet in a coffee shop, and Ross stares at her longingly. SHE’S YOUR SISTER, ROSS. Please don’t act like the Lannisters.
EW!!! Ross is trying to flirt with Rachel. Get away from her!! He’s making me so mad right now guys. I can’t. NOW HIS ARM IS AROUND MONICA. NOW SHE KISSED HIM BEFORE BED LIKE IT’S NORMAL. I wish I could make this font bigger because I was just double shocked and am not well.
Ew. He’s splitting an Oreo with Rachel now. Okay actually he’s being a little cute. He’s saying he used to crush on her in high school. I didn’t really realize they knew each other before. Wait, no, he ruined it. He just asked if it would be okay if he asked her out sometime. Ross, you need to take some time for yourself, don’t bring Rachel into your messy life right now! No wonder he has been married six million times; he forces himself to move on way before he’s ready. He was literally just talking about how he didn’t know who he’d ask out and that was when it was obvious it could be Rachel.
Chandler was barely in this episode and I think I remember liking him in a few episodes. He was just kind of boring, but got a dumb joke at the end.
Hmm overall not impressed with this first episode of Friends, but I think most of us usually feel this way about the pilot of a TV show. To their credit, they need to set all the characters up and start the storyline somewhere. In my defense, they made Ross really freaking annoying in the first episode, so if this trend continues it’s maybe not my fault for knowing spoilers. Who is your favorite character on Friends, and if the answer is Ross, please explain and defend him. I’m going to give this show a season and see what it’s all about, then we’ll go from there.
Guys, I’m almost there! I have season 7 to finish today, then I can watch the premiere tonight! I’ll definitely have to rewatch the series one day because I’ve been rushing a little the more I am running out of time, but I’m so glad I’ve been able to get this far. I am currently watching the start of the most recent season as I am writing this, so I have faith I’ll finish it up.
Everyone has been really active about messaging me on Instagram, which has been so much fun and a good way to get all the necessary information for the premiere tonight. Instead of recapping everything I learned or water in this post, I’ll share one of my Instagram highlight reels about Game of Thrones. Surprisingly people have said they’ve been a good refresher of the earlier seasons, but I feel like I put a lot of unnecessary information in there. Like my excitement about Brienne’s love story.
Currently, I have a lot of favorite characters. The biggest ones are Arya and Sansa Stark, Tyrian, though we haven’t seen a ton of him lately, and Brienne because I am so invested in her budding love story with the wildling. I was disappointed that Margaery died, and the way the youngest Stark boy died was really upsetting. I’m glad Ramsay is gone, though, despite not wanting to watch a lot of that episode. Cersei is literally the most terrifying person I can think of to be on the throne, but I had a feeling she’d take over for awhile at some point. I am fully invested in all the battles that are about to happen, and I’m hoping a Stark will be next to rule, though if I had to make a prediction, I’d say Daenerys Targaryen will be the next person to take it.
I’m not a huge fan of Jon Snow or Daenerys right now. I wrote out why, but I want to wait to share my opinions until I am a little more sure of them. It looks like they’ll be working together some in season 7, and I hope they become my favorites once again because they started out being in my top 3. I just don’t feel like they’ve been as dynamic as some of the others, and have both become a little too blinded by power.
I would love to see one of the Stark girls as the next queens because I think they’ve had so many hurdles they’ve had to jump over and they’ve grown so much. I never liked Sansa when Joffrey was around, but now she’s one of my favorite characters. It’s crazy how this can happen in this show. Same goes for Jaimie Lannister; I really didn’t like him when he pushed Bran out of the window and was all creepy with Cersei, but now I think he’s hilarious and a pretty decent guy. I’m hoping he won’t die this season, but I have a kind of bad feeling season 7 is going to be his last. Anyway, I feel like Arya and Sansa would be an incredible team. Sansa has become fair and just, and knows what kind of ruling can completely ruin a kingdom. She isn’t full of herself and is firm in her beliefs but willing to listen to others, not just hear what they’re saying. I don’t know, but I kind of think she and Arya would make a great team. The beginning to season 7 was so badass and Arya is honestly one of the coolest characters. She literally has no one backing her but has made it so far all on her own. She’s met every kind of person along the way, and I think she’s learning how to read others really well.
Okay, I should really start paying attention so I can be ready for tonight.
Spoiler alert: don’t read this if you don’t want to know anything that happens in Game of Thrones.
Okay, I’m almost at season 5, so only 3 seasons to go until the premiere on Sunday! Do you think it’s at all possible for me to blow through the rest to be caught up? I’m certainly going to try. I just have a hard time watching that much TV. Luckily I can slap it on my phone now and listen while I’m doing chores and doing my workouts.
Right now I am on season 4, episode 7. I am almost at the trial by combat for Tyrion, and I heard that’s pretty awful. When I posted on Instagram the other day, I was upset that I accidentally watched a pretty gross, quick death in a sword fight. Someone said that it was nothing compared to something that was coming up. I chatted with a few people so I could figure out when I really need to close my eyes, and I guess it’s during this scene. I can see why now that I’ve been introduced to the huge dude who Cersei found to fight against Tyrion’s swordsman. I really hope Tyrion doesn’t choose Jaimie, but I have a really bad feeling J might fight to spite C and protect his brother. I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not I like Jaimie. On one hand, he’s kind of a creep (i.e.: the way he treats his sister). He’s proud and kind of a jerk to people sometimes. On the other — ironically enough he lost his hand while he was held prisoner — he is witty, funny, and seems to have a soft heart sometimes. That’s saying a lot for someone has power in this series. He was humbled when he lost his right hand, and seems to care more about people now. I really don’t want him to die, but that hasn’t worked out for me in the past.
Ned Stark was my first favorite character. He was beheaded. Then I moved on to Robb Stark. He got killed, as did his wife, another one of my favorites. Currently, I think Arya Stark is one of my favorites. She’s a really underrated character. She doesn’t have dragons and powers that give her the numbers to back her up like Daenerys. She doesn’t have a ton of formal training in swordsmanship and warfare like Jon. She doesn’t have money and power like the Lannisters. I like all the adversity she’s had to face and how she has courage and bravery despite not having any advantages. I am excited to see her in the eighth season, and hope she remains one of my top characters throughout. Sadly, I remember her from the seventh season, but I also think this is good because I think I kind of liked her when I watched those episodes too!
This is a cool show because they’re amazing at character development. I like how you can go from absolutely hating someone to growing to like them, and I like how you can kind of predict some of the actions of characters because they remind you of real life. Daenerys and I have a similar heart for people, so I’ve been able to predict a lot of what she is going to do in the series so far. Lord Baelish, on the other hand, is an untrustworthy man and known for upsetting people. He reminds me of a politician and is the kind of person you can never predict. The author of this series is very consistent with his characters, but gives them room to grow. He is realistic about showing how big events can really change people, but also realizes that someone’s heart takes a whole lot to be changed.
I’m going to wrap this post up with a few predictions:
Tyrion is going to live. Whoever fights for him will do him justice. I know this because I remember him in the seventh season, so he won’t die in the trial by combat. I think maybe Jaimie will fight on his behalf, but like I said, I hope he doesn’t. Maybe that other guy who fought for him last time will come through for him? I’m still bad with some of the names.
Apparently Ramsey is going to be worse than Joffrey ever was. I don’t know how that’s possible, but after a few episodes with R, I can kind of see it. I hope Ramsey isn’t in too much more. I can’t take the people who are obsessed with being so terrible.
I think Sansa and Arya will reunite soon. I think whenever they do, it will be in Winterfell. Could one of them be the Queen of Winterfell? Please actually answer this for me, I’m curious. Many of the Stark’s have been killed now, so I wonder who’s next in line.
Margaery will become the queen in King’s Landing. I forgot about her until now, but she’s one of my possible favorite characters too. I hear she gets better, and I can see that she’s a strong young lady who is a force to be reckoned with. I think Joffrey’s little brother will be a lot more normal than he was, but I think it’s super weird if he ends up marrying M.
I don’t really care about Jon Snow’s storyline right now, nor do I Bran’s or any of the wildlings. Currently, I like watching anything with the Lannister’s or Stark family best. I think they’re all the most dynamic characters, and am dying to know what season 4 is going to finish with! Also, does one of Daenerys’ dragons die soon? I think I only remember two in season 7, but I could be wrong. I’m thinking one of them will die fairly soon while they’re still little teenager dragons.
Okay so that’s all I’ve got for now. I really hope I can keep powering through and catch up in time for the premiere on Sunday! I will probably be doing more writing about it, in hopes of feeling a little more productive while watching TV. Is anyone else just now getting into the show and trying to catch up before this weekend?
Spoiler alert: don’t read this if you don’t want to know anything that happens in the series.
I am currently on season 3 of GoT, and I have a million different thoughts about it. I will save why I think this series is also problematic for another post, but today I want to just enjoy it and talk about why I like it so much so far.
It’s difficult trying to get caught up before the final season’s premiere. It’s almost like being given an enormous chocolate cake and being told, “Here, you have 24 hours to eat as much as you want, then we’re going to throw it out and you’ll never have a cake quite as good again.” I don’t want to completely binge and gorge myself, but at the same time I want to be able to watch it while it’s still unspoiled. I want to be able to enjoy the premiere the way everyone else will, and absolutely cannot jump ahead and then go back to watching. Too much happens in this show, and I already regret watching part of season 7 when it was premiering. I watched a couple of episodes of season 7 when it was going on, so I already have a hunch about a few things I can remember from that. It ruined some of the giant surprises like at the end of season 1 when Daenerys holds her baby dragons. Everyone was shocked when they initially saw this, but I saw the giant dragons in season 7, so the babies really aren’t that impressive. Same goes for seeing the white walkers for the first time. I think I remember Jon Snow, Arya, Daenerys, and Tyrion are in the seventh season, so I don’t believe any of them are going to die. I could be wrong, as I forget a lot from television shows, but I’m pretty confident about this at least. I really don’t remember Jamie Lannister or Robb Stark, my favorite character, so I think they might not make it. Those are the only guesses about people, but still — I know GoT is notorious for getting rid of really big characters, so it’s a pretty big spoil if I know 4 of the main characters do make it.
Here are some of my predictions of things that are going on right now:
First, I think Margaery is going to kill Joffrey. Towards the beginning of this episode she said to him, “Would you like to see me kill someone?” If this isn’t foreshadowing, I don’t know what is. One spoiler I got was that I’ll be able to watch Joffrey’s death. I close my eyes or put my hands up to the television any time there is fighting, so I never watch when people get killed (When I can help it). I think he’ll be poisoned. I speculate it will be Margaery, and I think it will be because Joffrey mistreats Sansa. If that’s not what happens, I think Sansa kills Joffrey for mistreating Margaery. I don’t know if it’s their slight resemblance or if it’s because they both seemed to get along well when they ate lemon cakes together, but something tells me they’re going to be unlikely allies. My final theory is that Margaery’s grandmother is the one who poisons Joffrey, but that’s the third likely one in my mind. We shall see; please don’t spoil it for me! I have already been told this king does die at some point, so I don’t want the entire thing to be ruined.
I was also told that there would be a character I will dislike more than I dislike Joffrey. I think I met that man today. He kidnapped Theon, and something is really off about him. Edit: I watched more after writing this post, and it’s definitely Ramsay. He SUCKS.
Throughout all of this, I’ve been texting my dear friend Danielle. She’s seen the series many times before and thinks a lot of my theories are funny (I am really good at predicting some things, but also have some really terrible predictions). I’ve been shocked at how almost everyone I talk to about this show has seen it. For something that’s not on regular programming, almost everyone I know watches — and loves — the series. For many reasons, I can see why, but that doesn’t mean I love every single thing about the show. The story line is amazing, but I think a lot could be cut and it would still have the kind of flow a show like this needs. I’ll probably do a few posts about my thoughts as the seasons go on, so feel free to check back in if you’re a fan and want to see some bad predictions and theories. In the meantime, I need to get ready for all the different weddings that are coming up!
Something I like doing on occasion is reading books of people I am not a huge fan of, but I’ve seen glimpses of things I really like about them. The reason I like doing this is because I think writing can humanize people and gives you a little peek into their soul if they choose to be open with their audience. You can learn a lot from people who are different than you are, and I do believe that the large majority of people have good intentions; they just have different ideas of what will make the world a better place. Getting to know someone’s heart, rather than judging them on their political opinions or differing beliefs can open your mind to a whole new beautiful world.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is,
“There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.”
There is so much truth in this. So much.
My most recent example is Amy Schumer. She has a pretty raunchy sense of humor that I just don’t really find funny. I’ve heard some jokes from her that make me cry I’m laughing so hard, but I can totally do without all the crudeness and language. So, you would think that when Audible suggested I listen to her book I would immediately be turned off and go to the next suggestion, but I was open to giving it a try. After all, this is not the first time I’ve changed my mind about a celebrity after knowing more about them.
I’m more than halfway through her book and my idea of her is forever changed. Amy has been through a lot in her life, and her sense of humor is what saw her through a lot of her challenges. She uses it as a defense mechanism, and a way to cope with hardship. Don’t get me wrong, there were pretty decent chunks of the book I wasn’t really into and wanted to fast-forward through. I felt myself cringe and wasn’t interested in hearing some of the details that were divulged, but I know plenty of people laughed out loud at the pictures that she painted for us.
Reading this, though, made me really like Amy Schumer as a person; now I would say that I just don’t like every single one of her jokes. She’s strong, independent, and doesn’t take crap from other people, and she also doesn’t let things get to her as much as I would. She knows her worth and that she can’t please everyone, but is herself anyway. I respect the heck out of that! It also indirectly introduced me to one of her newest movies, I Feel Pretty, which was possibly one of the funniest movies I’ve seen all year. I was rolling at some of the jokes towards the beginning of the film, and I think Schumer captured what it’s like being a woman so, so well. I love how open she is about her insecurities and how she says what every girl thinks at one time or another. She is just so darn relatable, despite being a wealthy celebrity (Side note: I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I was shocked to hear she’s worth over 37 million dollars. What?!).
I still don’t think I’ll be Amy’s number one fan, but I definitely won’t shy away from her completely. Maybe every once in awhile I’ll check out her Instagram to see if she has any fun content, or even listen to her podcast on Spotify. Amy and I will never be the same — in fact I think we’re polar opposites in almost every regard — but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy her for who she is and learn some important life lessons along the way. I want to have her fearlessness and strength! I want to care less about what other people think about me, and I want to do more of what I love and prioritize myself without feeling guilty about it. I think those were valuable enough lessons in themselves to make The Girl with The Lower Back Tattoo worth the read for me, and I was glad I chose it as my “book of the month” for February.
…Thoughts? What are some books that you’ve read that have shaped you? Who has changed your mind about them by just sitting down and getting to know them more? I am making it a goal of mine to keep learning more about people who think differently than I do because I think this is an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a person. I’d love more suggestions on books to read and podcasts to follow this month!
Each period in my life has had something memorable that I can pinpoint and think back to. Except when I got sick with POTS. I remember very vividly how scary the first few days and nights were, but I don’t remember some kind of big details that were during that time period. Other than my family knowing what was going on from being there, I don’t remember telling anyone that I got sick overnight. I don’t recall even sending out one message saying I felt like I was dying and that I had gone into some sort of shock; I don’t think I did. I was so focused on how my body was completely giving up on me that I didn’t think to message anyone about it. Looking back, that was really strange and unlike me, but I think I was just too focused on the problem at hand to think straight. I’ve asked people who were close to me at the time what they remember about me getting sick, but I don’t think there was a monumental moment that anyone could recall. I don’t think the people who were really close to me understood how big of a deal this was until a few months later when I was still somehow sick.
I decided to do some digging and show you a little bit of my life pre-POTS, and then few things after getting diagnosed. So much of this time is so foggy to me because I was just in survival mode and trying to navigate life with a new collection of health problems. I don’t really remember living the first few months, with the exception of some pretty life-changing doctors appointments. Even those are a little bit foggy, though. I couldn’t stand very long when I went to my appointments, and often had to retake my blood pressure several times because I couldn’t stand very long without passing out.
One thing that is absolutely crazy to me is that my husband, Robert, never knew pre-POTS Krista. He’s heard about what I used to be like and the hobbies that I had before getting sick, but he didn’t experience going running with me or seeing my hilariously serious work ethic in school. He never held my hands before they were always hot or cold, and didn’t get to see how vicious I was in even a casual game of volleyball. This is something I wish was different, and that I feel sad about on occasion. It’s a big enough deal that my best friend Audrey included this tidbit in her maid of honor speech at our wedding — though she said the kindest things and that he didn’t need to know what I was like before I got sick to love me for my heart. It’s weird feeling like there are parts of me that are just gone completely now that I can’t be as active as I once was.
That was the Krista I felt proud of, and miss a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I still think there are so many wonderful traits I have after getting sick, but work and sports are not a big part of my life anymore, and these were such a large part of my identity for so long that it’s been hard trying to recreate myself and figure out what I can do with my new restrictions. Since getting sick I lost so many things that brought me joy, and am still trying to find a balance between having experiences and continuing in my journey to getting better.
I got sick with POTS in August of 2013. Up until then, I loved working. In college I always had some sort of job in writing, and made money babysitting a few days a week after school. I worked for the school newspaper almost every semester as a columnist or editor, had several in the journalism field, and was involved in a few different clubs on campus. I loved being busy and whenever I had free time, I tried to find something new to occupy my time with.
2013 started off getting a phone call from my number one internship choice. After several interviews, I had snagged the editorial job at Seventeen magazine in New York City — my favorite place in the entire world. I was on top of the world, and although I wished a little bit that I had been able to enjoy the previous semester at college knowing it was going to be my last, I knew this was the step I wanted to take. I was ready to get out into the real world and start working. It had always been my dream to be a journalist, and I would finally get to do what I loved! Granted, I had a full course load I had to take online, but I knew it would all pay off when I could move to New York and continue working for a magazine with the Hearst corporation after completing my internship there. I was confident in my writing, and I knew someone would want to hire me full-time when I was done working for free. It turns out they would, but I wouldn’t be able to accept an offer to my dream job just two months after completing my time in the city.
Rewind to 2012, right before I got the phone call and moved to New York City. This was my last year without having POTS.
I celebrated my 22nd birthday at a Japanese steakhouse that had the most hilarious birthday ritual. They kicked the night off by bringing a balloon and a flaming shot. Then, all the lights in the restaurant went off and a disco ball came down from the ceiling. Five servers with different instruments began to play, and sing “happy birthday” at the top of their lungs. I cried I was laughing so hard. They spoiled me for the rest of the night and kept bringing little free dishes in between our stay there. I got sorbet, cheesecake, drinks, and little appetizers throughout the meal. Every time someone different came over and said, “happy birthday!” and delivered some sort of new surprise. They ended the night by putting a $3 charge on the bill titled, “Birthday Party.” It just made the night that much more funny, and this experience was what prompted me to take Robert to this exact restaurant after just a few dates with him to “celebrate his birthday” there too (Please read that link; to this day it’s one of my favorite posts on this blog. Thanks, babe!).
A few days after that, I ran my first half marathon. I had been training for it several months prior and was excited to set a new distance record for myself. Running had always been an activity that I loved and was a big part of my routine. I ran at least 4 days a week, usually more, for all of my adult life. I miss feeling my lungs burn from the cold, and running until all my thoughts just evaporated into the wind behind me. Running was one of my favorite stress-relievers, and I wish more than anything I could feel what it was like again.
I got the time I had hoped for and finished the race without having to stop. I was exhausted, but proud of myself. I wanted to run another one to see if I could beat my first time, but I was happy to be done for the day.
A couple of weeks later, I spent the new year out of town, and got an a call from one of the hiring managers at Seventeen saying that I got the internship I had interviewed for. It was a little bit of a shock having to pack my things, find someplace to live, and move to the Big Apple in the span of a week, but I always loved adventure and was so giddy with excitement that I didn’t really have enough time to think about anything else.
I packed up my life into a few suitcases and took the bus with my mom to move me into my new little 9X11 apartment and explore the city that was going to be my new home for the next several months. Lugging my bags up and down the stairs across town and learning how to use the subway is a memory I’ll never forget. It was so much fun moving to a place filled with so many of my dreams and endless possibilities.
The Hearst Building was the home of the Seventeen magazine office. We worked on the seventeenth floor, and I loved every day of work — so much that I often stayed late into the evening to keep working on projects because I enjoyed what I did and wanted to take on as much as my boss would allow. I was an editorial intern, but ended up being able to do some of my own writing for the magazine. My work involved a lot of research, interviewing, editing, and even helping pitch ideas to the executive editor. I got to go to business meetings all around the city, and had a few errands to run on occasion, but it felt a lot more like a real job than it did an internship. The better I did, the more they trusted me with real assignments, and I thrived in the high pressure, short-deadline world of journalism. I loved it so much that I knew I had picked a career where I wouldn’t hate going into work every day.
One of my favorite things about New York was that it truly is the city that never sleeps. Barnes and Noble became one of my favorite places to spend my free time because it was just the right amount of chaos to get work and studying done. My apartment was so tiny it felt like there wasn’t enough room to set up my books and laptop along with the rest of the things I had taken to the city. I took my textbooks and a snack to the store, and read and worked on papers for hours at a time. I enjoyed the classes I was taking, and only had 13 credits to complete that semester since I had packed my schedule the previous year.
New York offered the kind of life I loved. I was independent and worked hard at my job, and exercised regularly. In the past I hadn’t enjoyed being alone a lot, as I was an extreme extrovert, but I felt really comfortable being my own company in the city that felt so alive. I loved going on adventures, exploring, trying new things, and meeting new people. My favorite thing about New York was that every day was so drastically different, even if I began with the same route. I never knew what adventure would happen next, and I loved my life that way. It was exciting and fun learning how to constantly adapt to new things.
Going back and reading through my Tweets, Facebook posts, and journal entries from that time makes me so happy. Living in New York was truly one of the best times of my life, and I feel so thankful that I was able to experience it before I got sick. I used to often feel frustrated that I would never get the taste of working overtime in the big city again, but I am incredibly grateful for all the memories I have from that time. I have a million different things I could post on here, but will just share my favorites.
I found a Trader Joe’s across town and enjoyed “cooking” microwaveable food for lunch and dinner. I would walk if it was nice enough out, despite being almost 2 and a half miles from my apartment each way, and always stocked up on my favorite things. It’s actually kind of shocking looking at how much I could carry back then (and it wasn’t a difficult task for me either!).
Living in New York was so surreal. I always looked at the new world around me and would daydream about what it must be like to get to stay there forever. Valentine’s Day — my favorite holiday — was so much fun because I saw so much joy and happiness around me.
Some of the funniest moments happened in New York and I wish I had documented them better. Friends came to visit and we would go dancing on the weekend, our favorite place being “Turtle Bay,” a dive bar with an impromptu dance floor and crazy bartenders. I loved that I made new friends everywhere I went, and that they all seemed excited to see me too. I talked to anyone and everyone, and to this day I think New Yorkers get a really unfair bad rap.
I loved all the random people I met, but I also made some lifelong friends at my internship and in my apartment building. We still talk on a regular basis, and I feel so blessed to have those memories to share with such great people.
Fast-forward a few months after graduating in May and then leaving the city, this post was made two days before I got extremely ill overnight and began my journey with POTS. We were taking our last family vacation to the beach, and it was one of the final days there. I remember this night vividly, and the meteor shower is still one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
August 14, 2013 was the day I really started being terribly symptomatic. I’ve described that night in great detail before, but I don’t think I can put to words exactly how I felt. A few weeks later the doctors had an idea of what was going on, but it took several months to really get into a rhythm of realizing what my new life was like — and that it wasn’t just something I was going to get over quickly.
I’m someone who always minimizes things. I am not the best communicator sometimes because I hate inconveniencing others, and I don’t ever want anyone to pity me. When people feel bad for someone I feel like it makes them seem less of a human being, but I want people to understand. This is why I have always been very vocal about what’s going on in my life — even if I do make light of it all.
The tests I had to take since I got sick with POTS were awful because it took all week to recover afterward. I still have to prioritize things on my to-do list, and decide whether or not something is worth the energy and recovery time, but luckily I am able to do a lot more and a doctors appointment won’t keep me down for the rest of the week.
I’ve always loved writing, and blogging was a really nice way to get to express my frustration about the lack of knowledge people have about POTS — including doctors. I am so lucky to have a wonderful cardiologist who specializes in Dysautonmia close by, and have coping tools to enhance my quality of life. It’s amazing what a difference lifestyle changes make, but there is still so much for people to learn about this not-so-rare, but rarely diagnosed condition.
During the first couple years when my POTS was a lot worse, I consistently posted about my adventures on the recumbent bike, dogs, and television shows I enjoyed watching. Other than having friends come over, there was a time where I remember not being able to go anywhere I couldn’t elevate my feet. I went out to a movie night with a big group of my girl friends, and had to get driven home because I couldn’t sit upright without blacking out. I had to raise my feet above my head at the grocery store sometimes because standing upright to shop was often impossible for my autonomic nervous system to handle. Basically, it was really hard to even just get out of the house at one point.
Dogs were a huge part of world — and let’s be honest, they still are. Gracie and Macy were some of the most healing little creatures, and brought me joy every day, even when I felt my worst. I really do think dogs are little angels God sends to the world to bring us comfort, joy, and much more love than we even deserve.
I tried to make the most of everything I had to deal with. Some of the best advice I’ve been given is that even in my most trying times, I should write about my experiences. It gives me a more concrete reason of why something unpleasant might have happened, and more life experience. It also brings more of a purpose to this illness by helping spread awareness for other people suffering with Dysautonomia or invisible illnesses. My writing and ability to connect with others are the two things that keep me positive throughout all of this.
A lot of my writing about chronic illness is to educate people who maybe haven’t had to deal with anything like this before. It’s so weird looking like a completely normal, healthy twenty-something when your body isn’t working properly. I think there are a lot of people who mean well, but maybe just don’t understand that there is such a thing as invisible illness and you wouldn’t know someone was feeling terrible unless you talked to them.
It’s crazy thinking about all the time I’ve spent in the life of having a chronic illness. When I first got POTS I was terrified hearing that I would have it for the rest of my life. Then, I was optimistic that I would be better within 5 years because of some studies I had read about the condition. I reached the 5 year mark this August, and have felt frustrated at times that things still aren’t where I want them to be, but I am going to keep fighting to get a more normal life back, and I so appreciate how much I have improved since August 2013. It hasn’t been easy turning my everything upside down and learning to be positive though pain, but I have more faith that God has a plan for my life and will make something beautiful out of even unpleasant circumstances. After all, if I hadn’t gotten sick with POTS there is no way I would have met Robert, so I trust that God knows what He’s doing, even when it doesn’t always feel like it. I just might not know why everything is happening the way it is right now, but maybe one day I will.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far! I know this was a much longer and more informal blog post, but the old versus the new me is something that I think about often because it is just so freaking weird having this as my life. I still feel weird sometimes telling people I have a chronic illness, and it isn’t anything I ever imagined would happen to me — especially at such a young age. I just think it’s important to remind people that I have had a really normal life up until getting sick with POTS, and despite being different now, I still can relate to so much to normal people as well as the “new” community I’m a part of.
I am very confused after watching The Bachelor finale.
First, did anyone else think it was weird how dressed up Cassie got last week just to break up with him? Like, we had lashes, extensions, and one of the prettiest dresses we’ve seen all season. They toasted and seemed happy and then she said she wasn’t going to stay. It only got weirder when Colton said he wanted her to be at the end of all of this, and Cassie said she needed to let him get engaged. He pushed it further and told her they didn’t have to get engaged; he was happy to just date her and go at her pace. She still left.
I’m sorry, but if I was falling for a guy and he says he wants to commit to me I would be stoked! I wouldn’t be worrying about whether or not I’d get to the point of engagement. That’s always done after dating awhile in the real world anyway. The beginning stages of the relationship are when you are giddy all the time and have butterflies just thinking about the other person. It is not supposed to be hard; I don’t understand why it was impossible for her to want to be with him. Oh, unless, of course, she just didn’t like him. Because honestly at that point you often know whether or not you’re interested in someone enough to just date them. Even if she just kind of liked Colton, it seems like giving dating a shot in the real world wouldn’t be very difficult. It’s freaking crazy if she liked him at all and decided to leave after all of that. If he’s saying he chooses her over both the other girls who are an almost sure thing, he must be genuine in his feelings, so go ahead and give it a shot. This made me wonder if she had someone waiting for her on the outside or something…
Cassie’s lack of emotion during the breakup really confused me, and I still wonder if Colton mainly chose her because he was just so excited by the chase. Before that I always felt like Hannah G was going to win the whole thing, and I think there’s a chance she might have if she had gotten a final date with him. I think Colton might have confused anxiety with butterflies, and been more afraid of losing Cassie because it felt like it was out of his control. If he could get her to wait and date him a little longer, maybe he could prove to her that they were supposed to be together.
Then when Colton showed up at her hotel room, she looked surprised and almost annoyed that he was barging in on her. She had said that she was excited to go home and see her family; Colton ruined everything when he came back and made her stay with him longer. Any other season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, we see people squeal or jump into each other’s arms because they’re the last one standing, or even just excited about a big date. We don’t see a lot of physical signs from Cassie that she likes Colton. Even when they kiss it’s just kind of awkward.
Despite the producers trying to edit things to make the storyline interesting and something people will enjoy watching, I think we saw enough raw footage and realness to get the idea that Cassie not only isn’t in love with Colton, but she also may just not really be that into him at all. She questions several times how “real” their connection could be, and her head seems to be spinning from confusion. Here’s what I know from experience: The beginning of a relationship should not be this difficult! The beginning is when you’re in the honeymoon stages and so excited about the possibilities, and just spending time with this new amazing person you met. It shouldn’t be filled with this much fear and borderline dread. She keeps saying she needs to be “sure of how she feels,” but in the beginning of a relationship you’re still just learning about each other and whether or not you’re compatible for the long haul. That’s what all of this is about, and what it would have been like for Colton and Hannah G, or Colton and Tayshia, had he picked either of them. It just makes no sense to be this confused, especially when you’ve made it all the way to top 3.
So, was this Cassie’s way of trying to be the next Bachelorette? I don’t have an answer to that, but it does seem kind of suspicious. People often know after a few dates whether or not they want to keep seeing someone and pursue them further. Colton offered this option to Cassie, and she walked away from it completely. She didn’t seem to want to be exclusive with Colton, even in a very casual relationship like what he offered when he told her that he broke up with the other girls on the show. It’s strange that she didn’t mention all of these reservations before traveling all the way to Portugal to be in the top 3. Right?
Later we see Colton and Cassie on their final date, and it is so cringeworthy hearing Colton gush so much about someone who might just not be into him. Cassie later discloses that she’s not sure if she’s ready for a relationship, let alone an engagement, and it makes you wonder why she even went on the show in the first place. Like, you know that the Bachelor is hopefully looking for a future wife, right? Shouldn’t you be at least ready for a relationship if you’re going to go on the show? I understand not wanting to get engaged at the end of it all, but if you don’t like him enough after a few dates, just leave. Several other girls had already, after all!
“It’s not being in a relationship with you, I’m not concerned about that. I think just being in one in general is like, a commitment, and that scares me…”
She goes on to talk about her past relationships and says that you “don’t have the freedom to be you anymore” when you’re in a relationship, which is why she’s been so distant from Colton. I’m sorry, but then why did you go on The Bachelor? I think therapy helps this kind of problem so much more than a television show that is created to be entertaining and sometimes completely messes with someone’s edit. I am not saying this to be mean, but none of it adds up!
Okay, so maybe Cassie just got a weird edit. You never know what the producers want the fans to see, and I do think we need to take this all with a grain of salt despite my obvious thoughts on the matter. In all honesty, I don’t dislike Cassie. I just don’t really feel like I know very much about her, and I really do not think she really likes Colton very much. If she does, I think it’s because he grew on her, not because she really cared deeply for him while she was on the show. My main argument is just that you do not let someone who you love deeply walk away from you so darn easily. I mean, we all saw what Colton did to be with someone he loved. He dumped two really great girls to the point where he had no one, and went all-in with someone who had already left him once. Cassie had it much easier in saying “yes” to the relationship and tried every which way to get out of it. I don’t think this will last, but prove me wrong, Cassie and Colton.
Do you agree or disagree with my take on the finale? I have seen mixed opinions on it, and was so surprised that I had so many after watching it. I think Chris Harrison was right this time — it was the most dramatic finale yet.
Today happens to be a very POTSie day. Luckily, dizzy spells are much fewer and further between, but I hate when they decide to come around with a vengeance. I have been doing a new exercise protocol lately that is supposed to make me feel worse before I feel better, but I am optimistic about how much it could help me in the long run.*
Anyway, I am currently working on a post about what my POTS timeline has looked like, and the improvements I’ve made, as well as the things that are still different in my life post getting sick. It’s been so interesting for me to look back at different things I wrote throughout the years, but is great to have something tangible to look at regarding my life.
Certain things are becoming more normal, and I am pulling off looking like a normal human being like a pro. I have looked pretty normal since getting sick with POTS, since it’s an invisible illness, but I used to have to ask for help much more often. Now I think people around me often forget completely that anything is wrong with me! I hope one day this will be true. Despite being sick for over five years now, I will never stop hoping to get back to complete normalcy. I have a million different things I’m working on for the blog, so today I wanted to just touch on a few things that have been different for me the past half-decade.
1. I can’t enjoy taking showers. Sometimes I hop in a hot shower just because I am in pain and want something to release the tension in my muscles, but for the most part they’re just exhausting. I usually choose between washing my hair or shaving if I’m going to stand the whole time, and have to alternate between the two or rest quite a bit longer after I’m done. Does anyone actually find showers enjoyable? I can’t remember anymore; now they’re just exhausting.
2. I’m not very extroverted anymore. Before I got POTS, I was super extroverted. I was always around people and had an enormous circle of friends. Mentally, I still want to be doing a million things, but my body isn’t up to that. I feel tired and drained from doing too much, so I don’t go out nearly as much as I used to. When I do, it’s usually dinner or dessert with just one or a few friends, rather than hanging out in a giant group. When I first got sick I really couldn’t do anything other than try to stay optimistic, rest, and work as hard as possible to take care of my body so I could hopefully get better one day. I think some of my friends who weren’t around might have felt like I was neglecting our friendship, but in reality I just couldn’t function. I have lost touch with people I sometimes still miss. Getting sick really does show you who is going to be around for the long haul, and makes you see who has unconditional love for your friendship.
3. I miss writing for hours on end. My favorite thing in the world has always been writing, even back in elementary school or high school when writing wasn’t supposed to be fun. I always said English was my favorite subject, even when other kids would say “lunch,” “recess,” or “gym.” I loved learning more about our language and how to write things that people would enjoy reading. It’s difficult for me to sit at a computer and type for hours without feeling it after, and then being in a lot of pain for days after. I am very slowly working on endurance, and hope to be writing more and more.
4. I miss being a helper. Before I got POTS I was independent and strong. I loved helping other people in any way I could, and was always there to do acts of service. There is nothing I hate more than having to swallow my pride and ask others for help. I’ve had to do that a lot the past few years, and it honestly doesn’t get much easier. I hate inconveniencing others, and I have a really hard time telling people I need something. I am still working on communicating better, but in the meantime I use my writing as an outlet.
5. I wish I could have my old dreams back. I dreamt of living in New York City as a magazine editor, and thought about how many lives I would change through my writing. I wanted to be able to support myself, pay my parents back for school, and afford my own life. I wanted to keep pushing myself and training for another half marathon, and I wanted to collect a million new skills from the new people I’d meet.
I have set new and more realistic goals, and am focusing on getting my body in shape so I can reach higher. Despite my life being much more complicated now, it’s also somehow become more simple. I realize how much I value the people who are in my life, and how important they are compared to everything else in the world. I’ve learned to appreciate the many blessings I do have, and how to live in the moment better. I still feel like I’m looking to find my purpose in the world, but I also trust God now more than ever to have better plans for me than I ever did for myself. I’m just trying to figure out what that is now.
*For any POTSies who are curious, I am doing the Levine protocol.