Oh Hey! Remember When I Blogged?

Oh hey. Remember when I used to write more on here?

Now I’m sure there have been those who are sick of coming here to see ‘oh wow she hasn’t written anything since before Trump took office’ (okay maybe a piece or two).

Or maybe I’m just projecting my inner monologue on you, who probably just came here to see if the chick ever did find love after being the subject of a viral online dating article, or if she has anything else to say about her adventures in therapy (oh I do, I do, I do) or perhaps you came here to see if my highly intelligent cat is still working better than Xanax (most days, she does. She always may be the reason for the premature gray hairs I’ve been sprouting).

For most of my life, writing has always been away to sort through my feelings. To quiet down the chaos in my head, often times before even verbalizing to even my closest confidants what was bothering me. Through my prose, I’ve admitted to my battle with depression, struggles with body acceptance, dealing with coming of age with a chronically ill mother, and the evolution of my adulthood that has been made possible through many hours on Dr. R’s couch during my therapy appointments.

What have I been up to over the past two years that have kept me from blogging consistently? There is no excuse to be honest, perhaps it’s the same lack of self discipline that finds me ordering Mcdonalds on UberEats at 11pm on a Tuesday night. In some ways, I’ve been busy living experiences rather than reflecting on past ones that have shaped my life.

In less than a two year span, I’ve been a part of certain experiences (some willingly, others not so much) that have stretched me out of my comfort zone- to the point where it has ached at times.

I watched my grandfather say goodbye to his wife of 62 years, and less than 23 months later I sat with him as he joined her in the after life. I witnessed to two of the most important in my life decline into shells of who they used to be, and learned one of the most selfless things you can do for another human is stand by them while the life trickles out of their body. Almost exactly 24 months apart, I stood on an altar and eulogized both of my grandparents without falling apart.

I sat in complete shock when I found out my dad had prostate cancer, but without missing a beat leaped into the world of oncology, with the hope the sooner we dove in, the sooner we could dive right back out. I stood in the pre-op hallway as they rolled him down to surgery, feeling more alone than any other moment of my life. Hours later, I stood in the distance after he was out of surgery in the recovery room as the stark realization my father isn’t immortal sunk in.

I’ve worked on the on going roller coaster of emotions of being my mother’s daughter. Balancing the fine line of keeping up boundaries to protect myself without completely turning away out of the fear of reality. I’ve struggled not to get sick after watching her struggle walking to the bathroom on certain days, or when she asked me why didn’t I attended Live Aid in 80s with Freddie Mercury. But the unexpected moments, like convincing her to go out to lunch just the two of us or going to see a matinee for the first time in almost 14 years, are the motivators to keep reaching out, even if 8 out of 10 times it is not successful.

I found myself advocating for my uncle when an entire health system was ready to pull the plug, literally. There were moments in the intensive care unit while he laid unconscious that I questioned that if he did wake up, would he hate me for fighting so hard to save his life? Within a four month time span, I watched a grown man be reborn with the help of modern medicine and a surprisingly strong will to live.

At same time my uncle was coming back to life, I found myself dealing with the first experience of losing a close friend. While it was one of the most gut wrenching times of my life, the outpouring of friendship and the ability of seeing the beauty in the broken that was witnessed was breathtaking.

Witnessing the shortness of life, and the ever growing understanding that regrets aren’t something desired on your deathbed, I began exploring interests that always intimidated me. While I won’t go into full details at the point in time, for the first time in my life, I was able to exist without any hesitation. It has brought me opportunities to travel across the country, make friendships that have challenged me to become the best version of myself and has finally allowed me to truly feel a love for myself that I didn’t know was possible.

Sure there is other stuff that has dotted the landscape of my life over the past 24 months, but these are the critical moments that have brought me to the place I am at the current moment. The place where I’m really unsure what career aspirations are in my horizon, or really aspirations except for being happy in the moment as much as possible.

In 6 months, the chapter of my 20s will be closing and technically my writings will no longer be reflected of those of someone grappling with a quarter life crisis. I’ve graduated from that stage of life, albeit with a few wrinkles and less of an ability to recover from a hangover, and am grateful to be making it out of this decade alive.

Because in all honestly- there were points that it was a struggle to do so.

I’m still keeping this blog, but the name will be updated to reflect the this next stage of life and the person life has shaped me into over the past two years. While I still have a bit of time to mull over it, I’m open to any suggestions so send them right over.

There’s so much more to say, but this took enough energy at the moment. And it’s a belated Thanksgiving miracle this happened at 8:45 in the morning.

Stroke Awareness Month Thoughts from the 25-Year-old Daughter of a Multiple Stroke Victim.

American-Stroke-Month-2-The irony that Stroke Awareness Month takes place during the same month as Mother’s Day is not lost on me. For the past ten years, the words ‘stroke’ and ‘mother’ has become intertwined. Both have played a substantial role in shaping the adult I have become. Coming to terms with my relationship with both is an ongoing struggle. This is not a Stroke Awareness Month essay to bring awareness to the importance of healthy habits and early detection to lower stroke risk. Nor is this an inspirational essay about life after stroke and the lessons it taught has my family. What I write is about the reality of being a 25-years-old daughter of a multiple stroke victim, and how the it can make the future a bit terrifying

Unpredictable. That sums up what I have learned from the decade long experience of being the daughter of a multiple stroke and heart attack survivor. The other day, the news segment on the car radio reminded me that May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Ironically, it was the moment I pulling into the driveway of my childhood home for my weekly visit. The place where my family and I were unwillingly indoctrinated into the world of stroke in 2004 when I was 15 years old. In this household, every month is Stroke Awareness Month.

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New Publication: Skirt Collective

SC-icon-5I’m thrilled to have my first essay published on Skirt Collective!  Per their website ‘Skirt Collective aims to be the modern woman’s compass for navigating culture, fashion, and the real world. Nestled between street smarts and book smarts, SC connects readers with practical information and opinions from a diverse array of voices in an honest, virtual space.’

You can read my latest article on their website. 

Hopefully this will be the first of many pieces that will be shared on their website! Make sure to follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.

Throwing Warm and Fuzzy out the Window

As seen on Huffington Post, published on 05/14/2013

IMG_2288While browsing the card aisle trying to pick out a card for my mother on her special holiday, I began to feel overwhelmed. Most of the cards spouted messages of thanks for always being there, for always showing the right path in life while being an amazing role model. As nice as the inscriptions were, they did not portray the relationship I have with my own mother.

The sentiments seemed more appropriate for the maternal figures portrayed in televisions shows — the flawless ones that always seem to make the right decisions and can fix everything in under an hour. All of the messaging seemed to sugarcoat the intense, strong but complex love I have for my her. My mother is a lot of things, but she is not flawless. And neither is your mother. Continue reading

I’ll Be Home for Christmas

As seen on Huffington Post, Published on 12/10/2012

Kathy the Christmas Elf!

Last Saturday night, my house was discombobulated. Strands of colored Christmas lights covered the floors, snow man figurines were lined up on the coffee table and garland was draped over the loveseat, nearly tripping each person passing by trying to get to the bathroom. In the middle of it all, my mother sat Indian-style carefully surveying the situation. Like a commander in chief, she was trying to figure out the best way to decorate, making sure each smiling snow creature could be scene and every light was appreciated. “What are you doing” she squeaked when I tried to pick up the garland to begin hanging it. I soon learned the best way to help was to sit on the floor, assisting to hold and pin things when she was ready. Instead of being annoying of her Christmas decoration takeover kick, I found myself smiling watching her get into the spirit. It reminded me that almost 11 years ago to the date, we almost lost the opportunity to ever decorate together.

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When The Recession Hits Home

Originally seen on Huffington Post, Published 10/14/2010

pastduebillsLike every other American, I have heard the word recession too many times in the past two years. I’ve seen it featured in every news report, spotlighted in every newspaper, and witnessed its effects in everyday life. It seems that each week, someone I know loses his job or is dangerously close to losing her home. It used to be that every time I heard someone’s sad story, in the back of my head I said a silent prayer, thanking God it hadn’t happened to my family. But several weeks ago, it did — when my father lost his job.

For the past decade, my middle-aged dad worked six days a week at a local auto repair shop, which was usually full of customers. During the last 24 months the flow of customers began to dwindle as, for many, the cost of tune ups became too great. The store’s management didn’t give my father any warning — they simply told him he was too expensive to keep as an employee. Just like that, he was tossed into the street. That day was the first time in my life that I’d seen my parents truly upset, and completely uncertain about their future. Continue reading