Monthly Archives: August 2016

Just to know

(Trust—Kristene DiMarco)

Look what this brave girl ate for breakfast yesterday!

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So in elementary school, lunchables were super cool, especially the pizza ones. As far as I can remember, my first lunchable was a few months ago, because those things tend to cost way more than the ingredients themselves. (Yes, this girl in her 20’s was still excited to jump at the chance for a lunchable the two times they went on sale this summer. Stop judging).

The first time the store only had the Ham and the Turkey varieties. I had the ham one and it was pretty good. As a kid the cheese wouldn’t have gotten eaten, and it is questionable if much of the ham would have eaten (so yeah, I totally get that $1.25 is excessive for a few crackers and a mini candy bar). I am way less picky than I used to be so I was willing to eat the cheese in the name of not just throwing it away as long as it was totally covered by either cracker or ham. It was kind of fun.

The next time I went they had the pizza ones and I was thrilled. Mistake number one was being so excited that when I saw that the cheese was just regular shredded and not finely shredded I didn’t rethink my choice. I think there is a definite taste difference between regular shredded and finely shredded cheese and I only like finely shredded…also, the cheese wasn’t orange. I get that the color of the cheese has more to do with the food coloring or bleach used, but I think the sensory experience of cheese is much more appealing when the cheese has the characteristic orange coloration.

I was still ready to give it a try at breakfast yesterday. Mistake number two was tasting a piece of cheese before putting the pizza together. Maybe all cheese tastes like that when eaten alone—I’m not a good person to evaluate that—but it tasted like foam. Yuck. I considered discarding the cheese and eating the pizza sans cheese, but I am a big girl, and big girls don’t have pizzas without cheese. Even though pizza hut will make kid coupon pizzas without cheese and as a high schooler I still peeled all the cheese off of pizza before eating, I have learned to get through the cheese to get the pizza. Another instance of that I’ve gotten significantly less picky as I’ve gotten older. So I continued and made and ate my two pizzas…and my well-deserved crunch bar! It might be more of an inch-stone than a mile-stone, but every little bit of progress counts. You don’t have to be perfect to acknowledge that you have done something noteworthy. Yes, this comment is directed at my experience with one particular person. My perspective that I tried and failed to share (due to resistance, not due to lack of repeated explanation), is that just like we congratulate a 7-month-old for competent crawling rather than shaming her for being unable to run, every other victory in life whether an end-point or an intermediary goal is similarly worth celebration. Sure, I may not have a professional job yet, but that doesn’t take away from my accomplishment of finishing the first 5.25 years of pharmacy school.

Also, completely unrelated, but I wanted ice cream and decided to make peanut butter cookies instead…but then the recipe that I know inside my head doesn’t use flour, and my dad said we should make something with flour because people are all on the gluten-free craze right now…lol…just a side note, but gluten-free actually tends to be a much less nutritious way to eat, so unless it is legitimately medically necessary (that is, you have celiac disease) it is not a good way to eat. Obviously a recipe that just happens to be gluten free isn’t inherently unhealthy, but it was more of the political statement we were going for…although I think you aren’t supposed to talk about politics…

Finding a peanut butter cookie recipe that used flour but not weird ingredients I couldn’t find led me to a recipe for buttercream frosting which sounded really good, but probably not on cookies…so then I changed my mind and decided to make peanut butter cake. Side note that it is important to change both you mind and your underwear on occasion. Changing the former keeps life from getting boring, and the latter pretty much does the same, because I think people probably wouldn’t want to be your friend if you smelled like dirty underwear. It is also hard to find a recipe for peanut butter cake that doesn’t tell you to dump the cake mix into a bowl…umm, if I was going to use a cake mix then I wouldn’t need to use the internet to find a recipe, now would I?!

So I made a peanut butter two layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting…yum!

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The streusel was supposed to be an inside layer, but that would have required a lot more visuospatial skills than I possess…and besides, once the cake was baked the streusel ended up a lot more covered since the cake part expanded and the streusel part didn’t…the part where I had a problem was where the recipe for the frosting said it made enough to generously fill and frost a nine inch round two layer cake, which is what I made. I knew that I usually have issues with the outside of the cake so used as little as possible in the middle and top…and still failed to have enough to cover the whole outside…it was a valiant effort

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…but the top more than made up for it. I probably should have stopped while I was ahead and left off the demented smiley face, but I didn’t realize in advance how difficult smiley faces are when you can’t erase to fix parts that don’t look right…but it is the thought that counts sometimes and I thought it would look awesome.

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(Yes, I should be preparing for rotation and stuff…I’m trying to forget that…and/or drown my sorrows in sugar…sugar makes everything better…except things like hamburgers. I have not tried sugaring a burger, but in my imagination it tastes disgusting, and my imagination tends to be fairly accurate on which things are going to be very good versus very not good).

Those who sow in tears will reap in joyful shouting

(Those who dream–Kristene Dimarco)

The past few nights I have had the craziest dreams like ever.

A couple nights ago my dream took place at the hospital…it looked like some kind of school, but inside my head it was definitely the hospital and all the people I recognized in the dream were people from the hospital except one who seemed to be a composite of a girl at school and someone at work…It was actually super interesting. It would have made a really cool TV show, though it did leave me terrified and soaked in sweat (not blood) when I woke up at 2am…funny how that works…

So, without the intensity of detail that the real dream had, because that post would be more like a novel: I was covering a shift in inpatient pharmacy and having a serious conversation about something (which doesn’t really make sense in real life, but totally did in dream life). There was someone who everyone sensed probably shouldn’t be there who flipped the emergency security panic button (which I’m not sure actually exists in inpatient pharmacy) then walked out into the hallway and my distractible self was trying to see what he was doing. He took out a gun and pointed it at his head. I said “No! Don’t do it” and he looked at me and the person talking to me turned to see what was happening. He turned the gun on me and fear took my voice away from me and I just stared at him. In seconds that stretched out too long, he shakily shot me once and tried again but missed. I went into action and got the gun away from him. About that time security showed up and put him on a backboard on a bed. I knew it was important so I didn’t whine about going to the emergency room and I waited patiently.

The guy seemed really cooperative so they unfastened his arms. I was feeling overwhelmed so I walked into the hallway under the guise of getting a quick drink. I heard commotion and came back in—he had had a second gun that he pulled and was threatening to use. About this time I asked since we weren’t going to be doing work for a while anyway with this going on if I could take a break to go to the emergency room. The nearest pharmacist told me to be quiet because there were bigger things to worry about at the moment, but someone else sassed her that I had the right to a break if I wanted one. I went to the emergency room, and just sat down in the providers’ space waiting for them to have a minute. They seemed to just keep talking and not even realize I was there. I tried to get closer and had to stop falling in the sand (yeah, I’m not sure why the floor there was sand) to wait for waves of pain to subside so I could get onto the bench. No one was ever very concerned about it (which in retrospect is kinda weird, but I mean, it is dream world), but eventually I got words out to explain why I was there, and by that time I wasn’t even really sure if the second shot hadn’t hit me, because maybe the sensation of the first one just kept me from feeling the second one.

And…it’s kind of a suspense, because I woke up before I actually got any kind of treatment and before I found out what happened in the pharmacy while I was gone…LOL, but at least dream me at least delayed if not prevented someone from shooting himself in the head…gotta say I was pretty proud of myself in the dream about that.

Hey you, I’m into Jesus

(Into Jesus—DC Talk)

It’s true, I am into Jesus.

Also, over the past few weeks I have been thinking about going back to school. I don’t wanna. So many swirly emotions. Going back is always hard, but usually I am coming a place from feeling connected. I feel a lot less connected than usual. My at home church used to post the whole service online, and I watched it…however, they now do not post the part of the service I actually like: the music and the announcements. I can’t make myself watch just the sermon, and to be honest, sometimes I didn’t even watch the sermon part of the video and just skipped forward to the next good part. Without the music (that often featured my “friends”) and without the announcements, I feel a lot less connected. I know pretty much nothing that is going on at church. What I do find out is via facebook, which is a lousy way to get news, because you never really know if the information is from now or from three years ago, and most of the time the information you get is too late to be useful. I substitute Christian audiobooks in the car and I do still listen to a seemingly constant stream of either radio or another music source, but anonymous people are a lot less of a connection source than real-life people. I substitute family vlogs where I almost know the people, but that only really adds connection while the movie is playing since I don’t actually know the people.

Without a full time job, and without connection, I am afraid my communication skills will regress/have regressed. Not usually an issue in 20-somethings, but more of an issue when you are someone like me who minimally used words to communicate until college. Being able to communicate well is important when working on projects for rotations.

I do not like going back to school. Aside from the whole everything I am doing is in some way related to my grades thing that I really despise, the atmosphere of school is very challenging. I won’t actually be on campus much this year which will definitely be a huge plus, but doesn’t solve every problem. Being in the same state as certain other people requires the radar to be turned on with a bit more high definition. Additionally, not being a traditional student anymore decreases my opportunity to really have much in the way of in real life relationships since I am only ever going to be in one state for 5 weeks at a time…and will be generally required to be doing my school stuff during regular business hours rather than spread throughout the week leaving more normal times open.

I’m also not going to lie, it kinda scares me that someone who I really like told me she was going to make me not a picky eater…I am very happy at home with saving some of the chicken without sauce for my meal, or a portion of the enchiladas without cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead of grilled cheese…I’d also be content with a totally different meal than everyone else was eating…I love eating, but there are some foods I don’t like but will eat to be polite, but there are definitely foods that fall into the category of I am going to be fighting myself every bite to try to eat it…I mean, let’s just say that for a while in high school my four dollar school lunch really only included two noodles and a bite of applesauce some days…the rest of the noodles had sauce on them and the chicken had cheese on it and the applesauce looked weird…which is why I learned to pack a lunch instead.

Also, no working full time and not being in school for the past five weeks seems to have greatly increased my distractibility…let’s just say I spent ALL day a few days ago trying to sell my textbooks on Craigslist and by the end of the day had not created a single post…I had, however, taken one picture of one of my textbooks, made lunch, cleaned up all my laundry, re-organized the pile of stuff next to my bed, sorted all the books, re-organized my bookshelf, took out a couple books I am in the middle of reading but never actually opened them, wrote a few emails but forgot to send them, etc…yeah, getting things done is not my strong suit right now. I’m not good at adulting.

Also, my love tank is so full today. I have the best friend in the whole world and I love her so much and I would totally move in with her if given the option. She is so sweet…and I am never going to win an argument with her, but she argues in such a graceful way that I don’t feel bad about myself for losing. She is pretty much the most awesome person I know. Except God…

Do you reach out and touch them?

(Dreaming Jacob’s Dream–Michael Card)

Supposedly over break I have been writing letters of intent, organizing things, preparing for upcoming rotations…all sorts of useful relevant things…

In reality, I am super distractible. I found this video and found it really powerful. Imagine what it is like to go through every day like the first half of the video. Some people don’t have to imagine. It is hard when despite your efforts to be friendly and positive the only interaction you get is negative if you get any interaction at all. The video was so powerful–being ignored or cast aside hurts, and it is discouraging when most interactions in a day are like that. Maybe I reacted mostly because I notice things–I see the facial expressions and body language, but even without the visual and just listening, the tone and words (or lackthereof) is a reminder that every interaction counts…and a reminder of how negative interactions have hurt me.

I also found this video. So good. But honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw it was “I wonder what their parents were thinking when their kid came home from day camp with a word like worthless scrawled across her face.” The video was super well done though.

Yolo…or like the Caribou cups and napkins always say, “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”

I like it, do you need it? Gotta have it, how much?

Decisions–Mary, Kate, and Ashley)

Written Monday…posted Tuesday because I looked at the clock and it was 5 minutes before time to go to work and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet.

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LOL…so…umm…anyone who knows me very well knows that although I definitely am not OCD anymore, I have whined and complained and avoided touching the garbage/recycle bins since I was itty bitty—cue picture of me as a pre-schooler throwing away a broken pot, because taking a picture of me doing it was the only way to make me stop screaming and actually do it. So, obviously I wasn’t going to open the recycle bin to show you its contents, so you’ll just have to use your imagination to see that it is about 2/3 full of papers that came mostly from my apartment (but a few were already home from the Christmas break pre-move-out piles of stuff that came home). I think we have a 96-gallon recycle bin…Also, the people that know me really well also probably can guess that if I filled it that full in one day that there is a good chance despite the piles of stuff taller than me that were discarded recently and the multiple times through throwing stuff away in the past few months, that I could probably fill it again if I really wanted to. I was thinking how glad I was to be doing this at home where the trash is just down the hall instead of down three flights of stairs…then I realized that to get all this stuff home it still had to travel down all three flights of stairs, so I didn’t actually save myself any effort…besides, there were numerous other piles of papers thrown out prior to move out. Who knew that being in school could generate so much unnecessary paper?! The paperwork is probably the hardest because it can’t be replaced with a trip to Target. The school supplies take time and effort to sort between throw away, give away, and keep piles, but I can do that reasonably well. The paperwork just feels more and more overwhelming because behind every pile I get to the bottom of there is another pile waiting to be sorted, and the decisions actually matter since the drawing from 4 years ago and the paper with my teacher’s really nice comments and my notes can’t be replaced with a trip to that fancy French store, Target. Also, I have a magazine that is all in French…the articles look really interesting, but I no longer know enough French to read it…there are so many words I either have to guess at or look up that it is more frustrating than fun to read the magazine articles…

I keep finding more stuff I don’t need in the mountains in my living room…

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I am not 100% sure this planner is actually from when I was in elementary school, because that sounds like math and I don’t do math in my free time. I’m a little resistant to change sometimes so it could very well be an elementary planner I used in middle school, but either way, I was saving it for the sake of the empty pages.

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Because I totally need a planner that all the pages either need re-numbering or else can only be used a few months of the year…some of the planners in the pile seem to have zero pages missing and have no writing in them, but clearly if I haven’t ever wanted to use them in this many years, I probably won’t, and I am not so broke that I can’t buy a new one if I want one later…they almost got saved though because I opened one up to look at the pages…

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How cute is that? And that is how a pile of planners almost came to the same fate as the Brio magazines…rescued from the throw away pile prior to finding the trash because there was too much good stuff in there…the planners have made it to the trash though, whereas the Brio magazines have not…yet…

And Every Angle is Covered With Just Another Bandaid

(Relient K–Falling Out)

Well, not really…but Monday was like a six-ish bandaid day…’cause bandaids fall off if you can’t consistently keep them dry. Tuesday was only a one bandaid day. Biggest difference is really just that I was at home instead of at work. Not constantly handling boob money and sock money (among other icky things) means I don’t wash my hands as much…not to mention the amount of dishes I do (or don’t) do. See, in theory I hand wash the dishes daily at home, but in reality I have no problem cutting an apple this morning with the same knife I used last night which means that it doesn’t make sense to wash the knife that I know I am going to use again, and even after that I can improvise enough that the stuff that doesn’t require the dishwasher probably won’t be missed for a little while even if it is dirty. At work it is a different story. I often end up doing dishes there multiple times per day because we have a limited number of supplies and constantly use them, and while graduated cylinders can be re-used without washing, the ability to do that depends upon knowing what was in there before which isn’t always possible when we are constantly taking turns in different positions depending on what needs to be done, and mortars and pestles can pretty much never be reused without washing, because most things require that they start dry…except amlodipine which is best made by turning the tabs into little marshmallows…no one told me that the first time I made it, and I probably spent a good hour trying to crush these rock hard tablets (it was a success, but also a waste of time).

Tuesday I got smart and put ointment on the bandaid before putting it on so I didn’t have to yank off the skin that was becoming enmeshed in the bandaid every time the bandaid lost it’s stickiness. That was awesome because it meant Wednesday there was actually enough skin left after removal of the bandaid to allow a bandaid free day. I tried wearing one when I rode my bike to keep the dirt out, but it fell off…also when I was biking I got hit on by some boys who looked like they were probably in middle school. Lol, I would like to have a family of my own eventually (honestly so far more the kids than the husband part) but just a hint, if you want my number before you know anything about me or even my name, then I definitely don’t want you. Apparently I am “hot” in a t-shirt and a pair of hand-me-up shorts from one of my brothers…Not to mention these kids were swearing up a storm and blocking traffic by crossing the street against the light. I pretended those kids didn’t exist, but that next light could not turn green fast enough.

Speaking of life right now, I was thinking that I kind of fail at adulting. I know that laundry is supposed to be sorted into a minimum of 4 piles (cold dark, cold light, warm dark, warm light) but in reality, I pretty much just wash everything in cold water and then if I do sort it tends to be by texture with the soft things in one load and the not soft things in another, or by tops versus bottoms…yep, adulting fail. Also, I guess the fact that I have no problem drinking juice from a cup at breakfast and then using that same cup to hold my apple slices for a snack and then my goldfish for my next snack before it goes in the dishwasher…it’s all about efficiency—time is a commodity.

I don’t really use time very well sometimes. I am very much aware that I should be preparing for my next rotation and I should be writing letters of intent and other stuff for my residency applications and I should be unpacking the piles of stuff in my basement so I can re-pack again, but in reality I watched all of the episodes of SVU that were on hulu free, and I listened to audiobooks on hoopla (also free) and I’ve been watching J House Vlogs on youtube. I used to think law was super boring and dumb and I still do believe that we really shouldn’t need laws because people should just treat others with respect, but they make being a lawyer actually sound like a lot of fun…plus there are kids on the channel which is how I originally fell in love. I still want to be a pharmacist (okay, and a social worker, but we know that isn’t going to happen), but now on the list of things I wanna be that are not going to happen, we can add lawyer. Lol, if I’d gone to my dream school I really could do both, because they offer a dual degree program (although I would have likely had to figure it out a lot sooner than this to get all the credits in, not to mention my plan was actually to go for five years and do the dual PharmD/MPA program, and something tells me that a triple degree if it is even possible in general would not have been possible in five years). IDK, being a lawyer just sounds like fun, but not fun enough to start all over and get a law degree. I think one of my cousin’s names might be JD, and that is the degree I could have gotten at my dream school. When JD is a person’s name does it still stand for jurisprudence doctor? Just wondering…let me know in the comments below…lol…literally…

I guess the reason I needed a bandaid was also an adulting fail. So I was making hamburgers (which I love to eat, but do not love to make) and I wanted to put the lid upside down on the counter. The lids do balance that way, but when I set it down, I didn’t set it down flat so it was about to fall on the floor which would have been a big problem, because besides the mess to clean up, my mom is very protective of the floors, so I caught the lid…with my wrist…and apparently the lid can hold a lot of heat, which means the area of impact didn’t even really have much of a chance to blister because the skin was just gone. Oops. I know how to cook…I just don’t always use my noggin…so basically, cooking is like everything else in life—I am all in until I am distracted and am all out.

Everybody dies but not everyone lives

(Cross that line–superchick)

Everybody dies.

And it hurts every time.

But don’t worry, I’m not grieving. The crying and turmoil mean nothing. I know, because Someone told me so those years ago. Via email.

Today I am strong. Today I am throwing away that lie I was fed those years ago. That lie that I learned to believe. Just because someone wasn’t my inseparable best friend for eternity doesn’t mean it is not valid for me to have feelings about it. I am allowed to have feelings, and no one can take that away.

I cried today when a guy in the video I was watching died. I don’t know the guy, and I know it isn’t real…besides the fact that the medical part of the scene didn’t really make a lot of sense. Obviously because it is a video I recovered quickly, but real people are different. Real people leave a real hole where ending the season doesn’t truly end the season. If I can become upset over a fictional character, then you better believe it is real that I grieve all the real people who die. A lot of people die. Finding out on facebook isn’t really the best way to find out.

Maybe my grief doesn’t look identical to someone else’s. Maybe going from crying to pretending I don’t care or don’t notice is my mechanism of coping, but different isn’t wrong. Different is just that. Different. I don’t have to dye my hair to prove I’m grieving. I don’t have to look for shortcuts in school to prove I’m grieving. I am me, and I do things my way, and that is not wrong.

Last night I was up late because right after I went to bed I started re-experiencing. Not death, but other things. Sometimes when I re-experience it is one particular event, other times it is a montage of little pieces of lots of events. This time it was the latter. I could have gotten up and found a distraction, but I wanted to be strong. If I run, I am only running from myself and I have to bring myself with me. The thoughts will only come back later. So I stayed. I thought if I could just stay eventually I’d be so exhausted that I’d crash. And I did. I was up at 1am because I am kind of like an infant in that I don’t always make it through the night without my (water) bottle, but I made it. I am strong. As it started I felt frustrated that I was “giving in” again, but I am strong, and I didn’t choose to re-experience.

In the morning I got the news via a school friend’s status. Totally innocent. Just praising someone—probably her roommates or something. Then the last line. It clicked. She was gone. Googling the name and the word obituary confirmed the news. Gone. Reading the comment page. Gone. It probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much, but lack of sleep, and vulnerable sleep at that, plays with and intensifies anyone’s emotion. I was never going to see her again anyway. I hadn’t seen her since like first year. But everyone matters to me. The people I like the least still matter to me. As twisted as it sounds, I still want the best even for the people who have hurt me. But lets be honest. I wouldn’t have been as upset if 1) I’d had a better night, and 2) the news had come via email rather than facebook.

(I promise I’m okay and safe right now. The timing wasn’t ideal–can there ever be an ideal time for death/finding out about death? and the mechanism of news delivery was not ideal, but unless the death is my own it will take more than death to take this girl out. Besides, I have learned to cope with way bigger things than this, and writing gives me a voice to express myself and process my thoughts. If I couldn’t write I might not be okay, but I can, so I am. Lol (not literally), for all those well-meaning people who suggested maybe I should go back to journaling instead of blogging, this is why I can’t. Besides that my journals were never truly private anyway, a journal provides processing without a voice, whereas my blog lets me have at least a teeny tiny voice. Living in silence is the worst. That’s why criminals get threatened with solitary confinement. People were made for connection and community. The potential for audience whether I want the audience or not makes blogging different…perhaps less safe, but certainly more empowering).

I don’t really want to go back to school, but no one asked what I wanted…and besides, I do want to graduate, which requires going back.

They walked right through the door

(Noah took the animals two-by-two—the Donut repair club at the zoo)

On Friday my family got fast food for dinner. My parents were proud of me because I went into the restaurant when they got stuff wrong in the drive through. It is really cool, because I am so far removed from my years of silence that I didn’t understand at first what I did for them to be proud of me. Just a few years ago I would have cried and screamed until I got out of it if I was asked to go in. Now I don’t even really think twice. I just do it. It isn’t even the yummy food motivating me…it is just doing the right thing. I might be a little shy sometimes despite my extraversion, but speaking isn’t something that terrifies me anymore. I am still sometimes a communication avoider when I am overwhelmed, but for the most part, no one can even tell if they didn’t know me then that I ever wasn’t loud in most situations. Now I can talk to anyone, not just a few words sprinkled here and there with my closest friends. Starting with writing has helped me learn to use language, and now I can use language both written and oral. I feel like I can connect with people so much better now that I can use words because I am not limited to only the people who have the patience to sit with me until I can speak to them. I was independent before because I didn’t know very well how to get people on my team. I am independent now because I can do more things all by myself. It is less stressful this way.

Where there is a will, there is almost always a way. On yesterday that will was for ice cream, and that way was…umm…well, I expected there to be a bike rack outside Culvers. There wasn’t. My plan B was to park my bike at the pretty building across the street. I was like 99% sure there was a bike rack there. I was 99% wrong. So after looping around the block a few times I thought about going to the doctors office a few blocks away to park my bike…’cause I mean doctors want you to be active, right? Except if I parked my bike there it would be farther than I wanted to walk to get my ice cream and come back…so I found a light pole to lock my bike to…the lock might not have really fit on the right way, and it may not have been 100% legal, but I got my ice cream and my bike was still there when I came back outside…

Total side note, but the really pretty building says in big print on the outside “mental health clinic.” The majority of the walls of the building are windows without any kind of window coverings. That seems like an interesting structural design. There are definitely some times (especially with certain people) that the distraction of a window would have been highly welcomed to pull my mind away from difficult things…and I definitely asked a certain person a few times to please leave the blinds open and my request was denied…but sometimes having windows isn’t such a good thing. Sometimes counseling requires having a serious conversation—as in one not interrupted by my outburst about the pretty leaf I just saw outside…and having a serious conversation is highly hindered by attempting to have it in front of a window—hello distraction. Hi person walking a dog. Hi red car. Hi fuzzy bunny. Lol…I’ve never actually been inside the building, so maybe it is just waiting spaces around the perimeter of the building and all the real room are in the middle…IDK…the designer clearly didn’t consult me when she or he designed the building…