So what’s the point (at this point)?

In the last two years, the following things happened to me (in no clear order):

  • I changed jobs 4 different times (different positions at two different companies)
  • I added a second job to my full-time job
  • I got a dog (this one was positive)
  • I moved twice, the second time into a studio alone.
  • I gained an embarrassing amount of weight without even realizing it
  • I realized this weight gain when, a year and a half ago, I needed to buy a suit for interviews and nothing in my size, or the size up, or the size above that, fit
  • I struggled to figure out why this weight gain had happened
  • I went without health insurance for two years, starting in January 2014 and ending February of 2015
  • I tried 1800 calorie a day diets, 1200 calorie a day diets, I tried 15000K+ step-a-day activity levels, I tried P90X workout plans, I tried yoga 4 times a week, I tried several marathon plans, I ultimately failed
  • I failed at my first marathon, hurting my knee and not being able to run for months after
  • I dealt with severe menstrual complications, including heavy bleeding and horrible pain, and spent a long time not sure what the cause of this could be
  • I decided a year ago that the problem must be my IUD, and had it removed in July
  • I realized 6 months later that these problems were continuing to be an issue, and had a series of idiotically expensive tests, the only conclusive on of which was to find out that my iron was dangerously low- 7.5, when the healthy range for women begins at 12
  • I joined a hockey team, and played for several weeks with no idea that my iron was near the death range
  • Once diagnosed as severely anemic, I eschewed the birth control my doctor suggested I start to control my flow, having had my fill of birth control, and instead decided to focus on diet, multivitamins, and iron supplements
  • I finally started to lose weight, have actual energy, and not hate myself
  • I realized that nearly all my problems with motivation, anger, exhaustion, sadness, inability to exercise, memory, self-worth, and inspiration over the past two years of my life were due to my anemia

And that is where I am today. Over the past two years, I had days when getting out of bed was a struggle. I had days when getting dressed seemed like the stupidest, most pointless battle in the world. And yet even then I didn’t think I was depressed. How could I be? I still had things I wanted to have and to do. I knew what I wanted. I knew who I was….sometimes.

And sometimes I didn’t. I had days when I couldn’t tell you a single book I had read in the last year or what TV shows I was watching every week. I had days when I literally, truly, honestly, thought I was losing my mind. Days when I didn’t remember my own birthday and couldn’t tell you my best friend’s name. Days and even weeks when I felt like I was completely on autopilot. I thought I might actually be going crazy. But I wasn’t depressed. I’ve never been depressed! So what was wrong with me? …and through it all, always bleeding, always in pain, and no idea what to do about it.

I forgot everything. When I graduated from college nearly 6 years ago, I was a smart, serious person who spent a lot of time thinking about smart, serious things. I remembered everything I read, everything I did. I followed the news, I volunteered for things, I  took voice lessons. And while some of that went away when I was teaching abroad, I always thought I would come home and get it back. But somehow, in the last two years, I became some kind of zombie person. I didn’t think about my dreams, or if I did, it was in this weird, far-off, “wouldn’t that be nice” way. I didn’t sing, I didn’t audition, even when I had time to do these things. I didn’t join any progressive causes, or follow local politics, or try to find groups to join who shared my interests. I became so anxious at times that even conversations with my best friend would, for no reason at all, lead me to burst into tears. Forget about putting myself out there. Forget about trying new things or getting fit or finding voice lessons. And of course, part of this was because when I first moved I didn’t have much money. I was working part time, after all. But then I had a full time temp job, followed by a full time permanent job, followed by a part time permanent job on top of that. So I had money, and I wasn’t using it for anything that would further my dreams. I forgot to pay bills, I forgot to return library books. I bought too many clothes and too much yarn, and then I forgot about it.

I had this period of clarity last summer and fall, after my IUD came out and the bleeding stopped for awhile and I actually felt good for a few weeks. I cleaned out my whole room and found boxes and boxes of things I forgot I owned. It was like these things had belonged to a different person. Why had she bought so many? And why didn’t any of it make her feel better? So I did what I could at that time to downsize, but then it started again. It’s so gradual, anemia, you don’t even realize that it’s happening. It will make you crazy, it will make you go through your day like the walking dead, and yet you seem normal enough and alive enough that no one asks questions.

If you read this and wonder why I didn’t think of anemia on my own, especially if you know I’ve had it before, I couldn’t tell you. It’s like I was so used to pain and bleeding and general illness by this point- I’ve had these problems off and on for over half my life now- that I have a hard time realizing when bad is truly *bad*, because for me, normal is probably someone else’s panic mode. But this fall I told my best friend, and former roommate, “if I still feel terrible in a month, I’m going to call a doctor.” And she reminded me when the time came, so I did- or at least, a nurse practitioner, the one I’d seen in the summer. It’s almost funny to think of that visit now- her reaction to my continued problems was basically “I…don’t know?” She wanted me to get an ultrasound, but beyond that had nothing. I was the one who asked for an iron test. A simple, stupid test, and yet it’s rarely suggested. In the past, I think I got checked because I was concerned after getting turned away at blood drives. And here I was, months into my own pointless blood drive, and it still wasn’t the medical professional’s idea, but mine.

I have now been taking supplements for nearly 3 months. In that time I’ve started running again. I’ve cleaned out my entire closet and given away bagfuls of things I had no use for. I started volunteering, at least once a week, for the Sanders presidential campaign. I do my laundry. I do my dishes. I occasionally rage inwardly at how simple my problem was and how easily it could have been solved if I’d had insurance or been willing to go to a doctor without it. I occasionally have incredibly sensitive, moody sadness spells when I imagine everyone I’ve ever met doing fun things, usually all together, without me. I go to work. And I wonder what’s next.

I haven’t maintained this blog well at all since I got it. I’m not sure why I even have a blog. For a long time most of my writing here has been inane. And do I really want a “how was my day” blog? Do I want a “my opinions on the issues” blog? What is this thing even for? And what about my old posts- should I delete them? Hide them? While I want to write again, it’s hard to approach this.

It’s funny, a couple of weeks ago I was out with a group of friends (see, this is progress- “out” with “friends”- plural. A year ago that would have been impossible for me to muster the energy, or interest, to do). Some stranger decided to guess people’s ages, and she thought for sure I was 24. While that isn’t so much younger than I am now, I admit I wish I was 24. Fresh from European adventures, ready to start my post-college, post-abroad life. I feel like I barely even got to live the years since 24 anyway. Most of them- especially these last two- were spent tired, or in pain, or both. A lot more of the last year has been spent at work than I would like, and not always work that I enjoy, or find challenging or interesting. The desire to give myself a clean slate is strong.

Whatever else happens, I imagine I’ll leave this post up. If nothing else, it’s a message to myself and a reminder of where I was and where I am now on track to go. This year I plan to:

  • Run a half Marathon
  • Run a Marathon
  • get a different fulltime job
  • Start studying voice again
  • Study guitar
  • get headshots taken


and most of those, I hope to complete in the next few months. Maybe it will be worth it to write about all if here.

Unexpected gifts


I went dumpster diving last night. I love dumpster diving, and Christmas Eve is a great day to go, because stores are throwing out a lot. Even things that otherwise might get donated or saved one more day will be tossed, because it’s the holiday and it’s hard to save things that extra day.

We hit two Aldis, one Trader Joe’s, a Pier One, and a Panera. There were a few other places we drove around, but those were where we had success. Our haul included 3 bags of Halos mandarins, one bag of organic Trader Joes’s oranges, half a bag of Trader Joe’s tangerines, a bag of limes, about a dozen bell peppers, two packages of organic Trader Joe’s vine-on tomatoes, a package of baby carrots, two loaves of Aldi white bread, a bag of Aldi rolls, a package of flatbread crackers and two loaves of bread from Panera, and, bizarrely, a sort of painting/mosaic wall hanging from Pier One. The food is easily worth $75-$100,depending on what Panera charges for bread(I have no idea), and the wall hanging retails for $170.
This is why I dumpster dive….it would kill my weekly food budget to buy half of that food, and now I have it. When I got home and cleaned all of it, I did have throw out a lime and a few oranges and peppers. This morning I looked over it again and had to toss a few tomatoes, but still, overall it was a great haul. I can’t eat the bread, but my roommate can, and she can freeze it, so might not have to buy bread for weeks. Yesterday, in preparation for today and out of concern that I wouldn’t eat enough produce during my long weekend, I bout a bag of halos at the store for full price, $5.99. Dumpster diving gives you perspective. And of course, dumpster diving on Christmas Eve gives its own spin to the holiday. And I would much rather be bonding with my roommate over food than buying her unnecessary, expensive gifts.

A Christmas, of sorts

Christmas isn’t a very important holiday to me these days. As far as gift giving goes, I would much prefer to by the things I need when I need them, and I’m on the side of “we don’t need all of this anyway!”, so not getting a lot of gifts from friends and family isn’t a problem for me. Some of my family have sent me cards or even gift cards, which is wonderful, and my parents sent me cookies and dog treats, which was really cute and thoughtful, but that’s all I really need. And I’m not very close to any family, so I don’t have anyone to go see- I’m hoping to spend some time with some friends in January, but for now everyone is pretty busy.
I’m instead very excited to spend the next few days getting things done. Today I did yoga, went ice skating, and cleaned- all good things for me. I plan on spending the next few days doing more if that, especially cleaning, organizing, setting aside things to sell or give away, sending out resumes and job applications, going to as much yoga as I have time for, making lists and plans for the new year, and just really getting ready for a great and productive 2015. In other words, trying to take this holiday season, which so many of us allow to stress us out and make us broke, and turning it into my kind of holiday, the one where I actually do my chores and then have time to walk my dog.
On that note, I just had a birthday, so I’m really trying to get past the “this is not where I thought I would be” and instead get more done. Maybe I’m finally old enough to take things seriously, but not too seriously, if that makes sense.

My very fancy Christmas Eve dinner- sushi Wednesday is best Wednesday.
My very fancy Christmas Eve dinner- sushi Wednesday is best Wednesday.



November is never long enough to get everything done that I want to. I always imagine that I’m going to have time to write every day, knit every day, exercise regularly, and actually remember to do all of the other things I need to do.

But, well, I tried. I tried blogging every day even though my life isn’t very inteesting, at least not to me.
I tried writing every day, although sometimes I didn’t write any more than I put in my blog post. And I managed to knit about 75% of a sweater, two sleeve cuffs, one sleeve of a bulky sweater, a headband, and 1 1/2 mittens.

I also didn’t finish my novel, but that’s probably not a big surprise. I mean, if I set goals for myself that were actually achievable, my life would probably be pretty boring, I would also feel good about myself all the time, and can you imagine how boring that would be?

Exactly, pretty boring,

Running out

onestly, I’m running out of things to write about every. Day. I don’t know how people who routinely blog every day do it. I don’t have that much to write about. I can tell you the yoga moves that felt best today- tree was good, reverse plank wasn’t terrible, although I wish I could take a class soon where they wanted to do flower pose or an easy inversion that I can actually do- and I can tell you about knitting. As in, I did some. I also tried cleaning my room and kept getting bored, so I have to keep going tomorrow. And my paycheck came through, followed by several overdraft fees. And I walked my dog around the block a couple times. That’s the sum total of most of my day.

And while writing in my blog every day feels rewarding because it makes me set aside time to work on writing, and means that I spend more time and more words than I otherwise probably would it still isn’t a replacement for yet another failed novel (although I wrote every day, just not enough words). It also doesn’t make up for my messy room or forgetfulness.
I used to read more, which fave me more to write about. I follow politics but don’t really Mille to write about them unless something is so big and so unavoidable I have to write, even if the end result is being more annoyed even thsn I was before. But at least I keep writing, and at least someone out there keeps reading, so that gives me something to think about and work toward.



I’ve never actually knitted myself a full pair of mittens before. I’ve made fingerless ones and I’ve made my roommate mittens, but I’ve never made myself mittens. Today, then, I decided to change that.

My hands were cold.

Also, I went to Joann Fabrics to try to get more yarn for my bulky sweater, and of course, they didn’t have the right shade. I started it out of Wheat, which is almost exactly the same as Oatmeal, but different enough… Also, as any knitter knows, you can’t just switch up. even if no one else noticed, I would know, and that would drive me crazy.

This pattern is called Cruiser, and I chose it because it was free and made for size 6 needles and worsted weight, and that was what I had. I’m using some of the Rowan pure wool for my sweater, a contrast color that I wouldn’t need the whole skein of anyway. I’m pretty sure this one is “really red”. Which it is, so it fits… And I feel good about getting them done this weekend, so I can wear them starting next week.

While it was of course Black Friday, I spent very little of it shopping. Instead I knitted, cleaned the bathroom, did a load of laundry, ran to the grocery store for soda and orange juice, knitted some more, and took the dogs out about five times. And, of course, went to yoga this morning. My downward dogs were pretty good today, my tree pose was solid, my twists sucked. But there’s always tomorrow. As some of the teachers I’ve had so far have been so good at reminding us, it’s called a practice. You don’t have to be great at everything every day. Honestly that kind of attitude is one of the things about it that I find the most refreshing. It doesn’t matter if I feel cranky or fat or tired, I showed up and I tried. It’s the opposite of a competitive sport.

Speaking of yoga, though, I did order some yoga pants online from athleta today. There was a sale, and I need some bottoms specifically for yoga since I’m trying to get going as much as possible. Here’s hoping they fit me when they get here.


for the last few years, holidays in general have been kind of weird to me, and thanksgiving is no exception. I’m not in school anymore, so the time off isn’t as exciting. And I don’t live at home, so the idea of a special meal isn’t automatic. And if I want to do anything else on a holiday, like go out or go to a movie or do a run or go on vacation or whatever, I have to get myself there myself and make it work. And most of the time in recent years, I haven’t had the money or time or willpower to do much of any of those things. I don’t go home for holidays, much too the surprised of people I meet. Of course, a big part of it is money, although to be honest I also find traveling during holiday seasons, when everyone else is traveling, to be way too stressful to be worth it (sorry family). This year I didn’t even have the cash to register for a 5K on thanksgiving, and it was also super cold this morning, so it’s not likely I would have followed through anyway, really. I learned that when I did a coupe colder weather events last year. It’s easy to justify yourself right out of even finishing.

So today? I started knitting a headband, because I wanted a cute hair accessory. I went to the gym and did a yoga class- the YMCA is apparently open on thanksgiving, and to be honest I am very thankful, because it’s a great service to have access to on thanksgiving, much more important for them to be open than, say, target.
Then my roommate and I went to whole foods, since she had forgotten the dee sugar. I hated having to go into a store on thanksgiving, although at least I didn’t buy anything and I got to see some of the people I worked with there, so that was nice.
Then it was home for her to finish her whipped cream, and I went to her grandmother’s. It’s always nice, for the melt part, to have someone else’s family to see when you can’t see your own. Although it’s also easy to feel out of the loop. They’re not your family and you don’t share the history, so everything either has to be explained to you or just floats over your head.
The was plenty to eat at least, although I had way too many carbs. Not like that’s a surprise for a vegetarian at thanksgiving, although there was at least some good gluten free stuff.

Intesting side note to think about, last thanksgiving was the day I stopped eating wheat. Nearly a year ago. For the most part I feel better, and don’t miss it, so I think that’s something else to be thankful for. My stomach problems are almost totally under control, and while It might make me sound like a clueless and stupid hipster, I can’t help but feel like my diet change is part of why. Although I do need to get back on track, which I will do for the rest of the year at leat.

I signed up for the YMCA healthy holiday challenge, which is good because it’s a way for me to chart myself for the rest of the year. Maybe I can even keep going into the new year. I plan to a t least log my. Running and other workouts. It’s something a,to of successful athletes do but tThat I have never tried.

Overall I’m thankful. I’m mostly healthy. I have a job. I have a roommate who I get along with nearly all the time and, of course, an adorable dog who I feel I’m making progress with every day (she actually played with a toy today!). Of course I have things to improve, but I also feel right now like I have the tools in my skill set to make those improvements. We’ll find out, I guess.