mayangp

Blogger, Writer, Enjoyer of Life, Chronic Pain Sufferer

Homepage: http://chronicspeak.wordpress.com

On Being: an old soul, a woman, an advocate, a runner, and a learner

I am a whole comprised of many parts. Here are some of them that I feel especially define me at this time in my life:

Old Soul: I’ve always felt older than I am… I used to drive an old lady car, I have old lady aches and pains, I get tired a lot faster than other people, I MUST get enough sleep to function, and while I enjoy the occasional night out, or house party, I often prefer a quite night in with movies and beer. I used to hate that I felt older than my age. Now I realize it’s who I am and it’s better to just embrace it, accept it, and enjoy it, rather than try to be someone else. Accepting ourselves for who we are makes for a much happier life.

Woman: March is Women’s History Month. There have been so many fascinating, successful women throughout history who have defied opposition and judgment to shape the liberated life I’m free to enjoy. Despite all these wonderful female examples (and my old soul self) I still struggle with what it means to be woman. The massive amount of stereotypical images and information about what women are/should be makes actual womanhood even more confusing. I’m gradually developing an image in my mind of the complex, delightful meaning of who I am and what I am capable of as a female, and embracing all of my womanly potential. It looks a lot like this description written by my good pal Krista (a fabulous and fearless woman herself): “Women are also strong, and talented, and wise, and meek. They can be confident or careful, sexy or shy. Women are athletic and creative and beautiful and fun.” She is currently writing a series about influential women in history on her blog, Reviving Identity. I’d encourage you to check it out.

Advocate: I have endometriosis. You all know this. And I will continue to tell my story to increase awareness. I’ve said this so many times and will continue to do so: “Without awareness, there is no cure!” The world’s most brilliant scientists still don’t know what causes endo (although they have several uncomfirmed theories). They still don’t have a cure. And millions of women continue to suffer (often silently) in pain. This is not OK! I am passionate about this issue (particularly since it’s personal) and I will fight for the rest of my life to increase awareness, funds, and research. March is national endometriosis awareness month and by this time next year I hope to have planned an Endometriosis 5K. It will be hard and challenging and I’m still not entirely sure if I can do it, but I’m going to do all I can to make this happen in an effort to raise awareness, and of course money, to donate to the Endometriosis Association.

Runner: As I mentioned above, I’d like to increase awareness through a race. Running is my anti-endo. The one thing that can really make me feel powerful when I’ve had so many times I’ve been laid up on the couch, curled up in a ball. Despite the pain, if I can get out and take one step, just one jog around the block, I’m releasing powerful endorphins (body’s natural pain killers). Often, after just 30 minutes of pounding pavement I feel some relief and, if nothing else, I feel mentally and emotionally stronger and empowered. Running brings me joy and clarity and a break from the hectic-ness that is my life. It is part of me.

Learner: I am officially immersed in the depths of nursing school and I will be until Dec 2012. I am brain-deep in books, education, theory, tests, clinicals, homework, etc… It is GREAT. and HARD. For the first time in my life I actually really have to try. School has always come quite easily for me and this is the first time I’ve ever felt challenged. This is AWESOME. and HARD. But I love it all the same. Through my education (as well as running), I continue to learn self-discipline and perseverance. Valuable life lessons, eh?

Well, that’s just a summary of what I’ve been thinking about lately and some of the different aspects of my life that I feel define me. What defines you? What makes you who you are? How do you learn and grow from these things?

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B is for Badass

In this yucky in-betweenish kind of weather my motivation to run spirals down the drain and gets all chopped up in the disposal. I can’t wait to run some races this year and really want to push myself to go farther and faster. In order to get to that point, I’ve got to put in the hard work. I don’t like hard work. But, it’s one those annoying life realities. So I dug out this old pic from Head for the Cure last year to remind myself that the work is worth it. If nothing else, the work is worth that calf muscle. BAM! 🙂 It’s the little things, right?

I think I need to post this picture on my mirror or something to remind myself what a badass I can be when I set my mind to it. This picture was taken at one of the highest points in my life. This was my second 5K and my second time proving to myself that I could do something I never thought possible. Due to a mild case of asthma and the ever-present endo pain, I never thought I could be a runner and consistently told myself that for years. This is where I proved myself wrong. And it felt AWESOME.

I hope you don’t think I sound boastful or vain, because that’s not what I’m going for. What I AM going for is some of that all-important positive self talk. If I encourage and believe in myself, I can do anything and nothing will stop me. I think that’s pretty valuable.

So here’s to motivation and goals and encouraging ourselves to be awesome. May you dream big and, more importantly, believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that your dreams can become your reality.

“Decide what to be, and go be it,”
— the Avett Brothers

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Thoughts Like the Ocean

Deep, that is.

… get it? Cause the ocean’s deep? Eh, lame metaphor, I know.

Anyway, I have these days where I get really introspective and stuff. What the heck? Maybe it’s the weather, I don’t know. Do you ever have those days? You know, the ones where you can’t get out of your head, the ones where you walk around feeling like everything has some special meaning and you can figure it out if you just meditate on it long enough? I kind of like those days. They seem to come to me a lot about this time of year. Maybe that’s what cloudy, rainy, melancholy days are for. The kind where you know spring is almost here, but you’re groaning inside because technically it’s still winter.

The skies spill their tears, bidding a bittersweet adieu to winter, while the bare limbs sprout buds and the tulips and daffodils fight their little green selves out of the still-frozen earth. Homemakers around the world shove their kids out the door to play while they indulge some seventh sense that says it’s time to give the house a deep-clean. The neighborhood streets start to become alive with friendly “hellos” and “how bout this warmer weathers.” Walkers crowd the sidewalks boasting their new shoes, trying to work off the “winter weight.” Gardeners sow their seeds, nature waters them. School kids start dreaming of summer and the first day they can go to the pool.

It is good.

Happy (almost) spring, my friends…

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How to Not Kill Someone

What you don’t know will kill someone,”stated my Assessment teacher as a response to my class’s somewhat-less-than-par performance on our last test. Basically what I heard coming from her mouth was: “Know everything or someone will DIE.  …and it will be because of YOU.”

Eh. I’m being a bit melodramatic. It wasn’t that bad, but the essence of what she said is true. As a nurse I will be responsible for doing my part to save/maintain lives on a daily basis. There’s a lot of gravity to that. I mean it’s cool, but… heavy.

Anyway, my life continues to be owned by the nursing department, thus, the lack of posts of late. On that note, my Pathophysiology text is calling my name… more to come…

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Valumtimes

Everyone is posting about Valentine’s lately. It’s so funny to me how one little ‘holiday’ gets people in such a tizzy. What’s the deal?

I used to get really pissy about Valentine’s day. Like I wanted to get the best presents and flowers and date if I didn’t get them I would feel all jipped – especially if one of my friends got something better. And when I was single I was just really bitter and crap.

I don’t know, as I get older I realize more and more how NOT a big deal most things are. Valentine’s is NOT a big deal. It only seems like it is because of all the pink heart-shaped balloons they have at the grocery store. It was designed to be a day to recognize your special someone and let them know you love them – NOT a day to get stupid flowers/chocolates/balloons/stuffed animals that most people deep down don’t even reeeeally like. Also, it was NOT designed to be a day that makes single people feel like shit whenever their coworkers/friends all get the same red rose bouquet. Over the years V-day has just become a meaningless expectation. It’s really kind of dumb when you think about it.

A couple weeks ago when J and I were out to dinner we actually had a convo about what Valentine’s means to us and what each of our expectations are for the day. Because I didn’t want him thinking I expected a red plush “I love you” elephant or something and I realized I had no idea what he thought about V-day. Which, by the way, why is Valentine’s catered only to women? While I’m a feminist I’m really just about equality and respect for everyone. Why don’t they have commercials about V-day gifts that guys would like or how to make your guy feel special. Why not a commercial for a V-day 12-pack for your man? Or a set of tools? Or whatever it is that men like? Why do all the girls expect to get special stuff without thinking of all the guys?

So what do you think about Valentine’s? Does it mean something to you? If not/if so, why?

In remembrance of this loved/hated/exploited “holiday,” here’s a little Valumtimes link to make you smile ;-):
Enjoy, my friends… more to come…

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My Dirty Secret

And by ‘dirty’ I mean clean.

I’m a closet perfectionist. It’s true. You wouldn’t know it by looking at my house, or my life, but deep inside I’m the most Type-A perfectionist there ever was. I need organization. I need structure. I need a plan. If I don’t have these things, my brain is a useless mass of neurons. So. I’m a perfectionist but don’t look like one. What does this mean? I’m a procrastinating perfectionist who is so afraid of not having things perfect and in order that I freeze up and don’t accomplish anything. If I don’t think I have the time or capability to accomplish a task the way I think it ought to be, I don’t even attempt it. Until it’s like, the day before something needs to be done and I have a fire under my tushy.

This is a frustrating problem.

So I was blog-surfing earlier (while I was procrastinating, of course) and came across this blog, which led me to this blog, which finally led me to this post: Tips for Dealing with Procrastination. That’s ME!!! I can relate to every single thing in this post… “A procrastinator will do anything to avoid the dreaded task, sometimes even “mindless habits” like checking email, watching TV, or getting lost on the internet.” Check. “I procrastinate the most when I think I might fail.” Check. So what now? Laura had some great tips that I’m definitely going to try to implement because I’m going to drive myself crazy if I keep this up.

What do you do to get started or get motivated? Are you a perfectionist-procrastinator? Or an easygoing accomplisher of tasks? If the latter, HELP!

OK, well I’m off to go accomplish some stuff.
… in like, five minutes. 😉

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Workin’ it on out

I got my booty in gear today and ran a couple miles.

Hollaaaaaaaaaa! Look at me, keepin’ up with my goals and priorities. 🙂

So you know how I’m too much of a wimp to run outside in the winter, right? Thus, I ran at the community center today… on a treadmill. I’ve walked on treadmills before, but never ran. I was always (justifiably) afraid that my uncoordinated self would lose focus and fall off the back of the dang thing. But I mustered up some courage & balance today and tried it out. It wasn’t that bad! It was actually kind of fun, but weird because the whole time I was thinking “I’m not going anywhere! I’m running and I’m seriously not going anywhere!” I felt like it was easier to zone out though because I could just focus my eyes on one point and run, run, run.

I should note that I’m not just running for the sake of working out. I have an ulterior motive. Rumor has it that exercise might be able to help out endometriosis. Who knows, but I’m willing to try anything. (This is the same reason I eat sardines or herring at least once a week… something about omega oils…) So, fingers crossed, and hey – we all have our reasons for trying to be healthy right? Seriously, I don’t know many people who are in relatively good health who work out or eat well just for the heck of it. (Except my husband – he loves vegetables. Crazy.) It seems like there’s always a reason. Endo is mine. What’s yours?

Alright, well, time to go work on another priority: STUDYING!

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