Monday, July 23, 2012

Not the Princess I want to be?

NB: This is probably far too personal to keep on this blog, but if I don't get it out I will absolutely explode. I'm sure I'll delete this somewhere down the line.

I have a lot to get off my chest and I don't know who I can talk to about it because I feel like I'm complaining.  Wonder who gave me that idea...

No. I'm not going there. I'm supposed to be learning to forgive and forget.

Sometimes I look at where I am in my life and I'm thrilled. I'm alive, for starters.  I have a degree, I have some job experience.  I have some wonderful friends.  And other days I look in the mirror and I'm incredibly disappointed.  I'm not going to lie. I feel horribly alone most of the time. 

I constantly compare myself to other girls, and I'm jealous of what I see these girls having that I don't have but want.  I try to puff up my self esteem and ruffle my own feathers, but I have a really hard time with this.  Case and point- I've never been in a legitimate relationship. 

What I had in college was never what I wanted it to be, for whatever reason.  I don't think I will ever know the reasons that I was never able to call the guy in question my boyfriend.  But it hurts. I'm 24 years old and I've never had a real boyfriend.  I trusted this person with my heart, and like most hearts, it was broken.  I put most of the pieces back together, but the glue doesn't always hold. 

I'm not trying to be the debbie downer- but I never think I'm good enough, smart enough, beautiful enough, thin enough, outgoing enough, funny enough. My friends tell me otherwise, but I don't believe it. 

It seems that every time I log on to facebook someone else is a) getting engaged b) getting married c) having a baby d) finding their dream job.  I'm jealous.  I see pictures of one person in particular, with a girl whom I barely know... she captions pictures "my best friend"... but at the bar the other night, it was all she could to do keep her real feelings "he's annoying" "I just want him here so he brings his cousin" from him.  But the thing is, I don't think those things about this boy.  Granted I know next to nothing about him. But I do know that he is smart. And attractive. Why does he give this girl so much attention when she doesn't even really like him, but someone like me, who honestly thinks the best of everyone- is only good for a late night text?

Apparently that is all I'm good for because usually the texts I get from the guys I know aren't the "let's take a stroll on the beach" type of texts.  I am a good girl. I don't drink excessively, though I will let my hair down once in a while.  I don't do drugs, I don't smoke.  I study hard and I get good grades.  I'm exactly the kind of girl you bring home to the parents.  I can be witty and charming once I get to know you. If you open yourself up to me, I'll open myself up to you. I've been through a lot in my life and I'm not interested in waiting any more for what I perceive to be the good things life has to offer. I want to be in love. I want someone who I'm excited to tell good things and bad things to. Someone to cook for, to hang out on the couch in sweats with a beer to watch a football game with, someone to go to family parties with so my family stops pestering me... someone to come home to. 

So does that mean I'm not going to get married until I'm 50? Because that is certainly what it feels like.

I'm distinctly aware of my shyness.  Painfully so.  I don't know how to meet guys, I'm never the first one to text, I don't put myself out there. I'm afraid of rejection because I go for the guys I already know. I'm afraid that I'll be embarrassed by someone who I will potentially have to interact with at some point in the future.

So I'm hurting, and I'm alone. And I cry when I watch Say Yes to the Dress, or when my friends call me to tell me they are engaged or when they ask me to be a part of their wedding. I cry. A lot. 

Prince Charming, where are you?

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Not even a week into my self-directed challenge and I'm falling behind.  Day 6's question is "what is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?" and I have NO CLUE what I want to write about. So I may postpone that entry and move to Day 7. Except Day 7 asks about my dream job and I don't know what to write for that EITHER. 

So for the sake of my sanity (yes, contrary to popular belief I still have some of it) and for my whole two readers (Hi D! and J!) I'll write on the train tomorrow as I head to the ENT (boo hiss) and I'll type up a spectacular entry.

Since my appointment is at the crack of dawn in the city I'm calling it a night.  Sleep tight darlings.

Friday, July 20, 2012

So take the photographs and still frames in your mind... hang it on a shelf in good health and good times.

I'm working on some future blog posts, just getting my brain used to the questions I have to answer, and I ended up going back and reading Abigail Disney's commencement address to my graduating class from Iona.

Iona is rife with scandal now... between misappropriated funds, lies about student achievement and data and alleged sexual abuse, I am trying to remember the times that I had there that truly shaped me as human being.

With that said, I miss Midnight Runs, and making Thanksgiving baskets.  My heart aches for orientation and the Edmund Rice Society and the absolutely incredible people I met through it.  I even miss typing agendas and dealing with stressful funding board meetings.  I miss SGA and all our giggles behind our agendas.  I miss sitting at the front desk from 9am-10pm on Saturdays and Sundays, picking up shifts to pay my rent.  I miss LaPenta, my home away from home.  I miss the salad bar at Spellman.  I miss my roommates.  I almost miss living with other girls.  I miss my RA.  I miss the trees that bloomed in gorgeous color in the spring.  I miss the Gingko tree.  I miss sitting on Walsh hill by the Cross on a gorgeous spring afternoon.  I even miss making the rapid fire trek from the 3rd floor of Hagan to the basement of Murphy in 8 minutes, all while dodging North Avenue traffic.  I miss the Avenue Deli and how I never had to even order, just show my face (egg whites and bacon on a roll, salt pepper and ketchup, iced coffee, two splenda and skim milk).  I miss those artery clogging potato cones from Chicken Joes.  I miss the library.  I miss Student Retention.  I miss tap class with my RHD and one of my favorite student leaders.  I miss not being afraid to be myself, not
being afraid to make a mistake.

Behind the cut, the wonderful Ms. Disney's speech.

30 Things: Day 4

Stressed today. Grandma fell and broke her leg and is having surgery. Only my grandma...
It is pretty cool here (low 70s), so I figured I would drink hot coffee instead of iced. So I turn on the Keurig, hit brew. Smell this delicious caramel vanilla coffee, and then realize that the coffee mug is still in the closet. Go me. So here's Day 4, on a day when I wish I had a letter from the 30 (oh god) year old me to tell the 24 year old me that it will be okay! Even if your coffee is pouring out all over the counter!

Day 4: List 10 things you would tell your 16 year-old self, if you could.

It's funny that this topic ended up on a list of questions that I found on a random Pinterest blog.  A friend whom I haven't met but has CSS (Churg Strauss Syndrome) helped me edit a piece that ended up on the Vasculitis Foundation website (MY STORY! READ IT!). She complimented my writing and asked if I was going to write a book.

A book? Well, yeah. Some day I plan on being a published author.  Except the thing is- what the heck do I write about? What part of my life is so fascinating that someone would pay to read about it? I honestly don't think I'm that special.  And the other thing... I always deflect compliments.  I honestly don't know how to accept them.  I know I can write, it is a gift that I'll always be grateful for because I communicate best through writing.  But I'm nothing incredible.  Hell, I don't know if I would pay to read about my life if I weren't me.

So I tried to think of ways to start "writing my book".  I used all my writer's workshop techniques that I use with my students, but I wasn't getting anywhere.  I looked in my journal for ideas, in my book of quotes for something to spark the flow of words, but nada! And then I saw something posted somewhere by someone that was a letter to their 18 year-old self.  Bingo! So here's my take on Day 4.

Dear 16 year-old Kathryn,

     It is okay to feel alone, like you don't belong in high school.  Like you are a stranger, the irregular puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit in but can be wedged in by applying some pressure to certain sides.  It's okay because you don't belong there.  You belong in a place that will value you for who you are- which is a talented, incredible young lady who has had to face far too much at too young an age.

  You have a good heart.  You believe in the good of man kind, even though they haven't shown you the kindness you so graciously bestow upon everyone else.  I wish I could tell you that karma will start helping you out in a few years, but honestly, at 24, I'm still waiting for her.  She'll be here soon.

     Very few people are the "best" at something.  It is okay to strive for perfection, but don't let it take over your life.  It will cause you unnecessary stress.  Though I have to admit I'm still not very good at this.  Setting goals and having high expectations of yourself are good things.  Just try to be realistic.

  Someday you will find your Prince Charming.  There will be some contenders along the way.  Give your heart to them and hope, in that trusting way of yours, that they will keep your heart safe for a spell.  Don't be afraid to love someone.  And don't think you can change a man either, because that just doesn't happen.
     Life is going to get harder for you.  Much harder.  DO NOT GIVE UP.  When the proverbial shit hits the fan you will have an incredibly strong safety net to catch you.  Fall.  Let them catch you and help you, build you back up again.  You won't have many opportunities to completely fall apart in life.  One will come in a few years.  Once you fall apart you will emerge so raw, so vulnerable, that you will experience your first love and know what it is like to be cared for by another human being.  You will move forward in life with new expectations, new goals, new visions.  You'll finally start to realize why you've been put on this earth.  You will touch lives, as a patient, as a support team, as a sister and as a teacher (and therefore psedo- mother/father/grandparent/nurse/psychologist/ coach/psychic/detective/police officer/confidante).

   A book will come out in a few years, in which one of the characters says "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."  Listen to Aibileen.  She knows her stuff.

I love you, 16 year old self. Make sure you love yourself too.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

30 Things: Day 3

Day 3: Describe your relationship with your parents.

 Well, my dad's dead. So there isn't much of a relationship there anymore.  Not that there was one there to begin with.  I barely remember the man my dad was before he got sick the first time around.  I was only six... I have these terribly brief recollections of the time I spent with him, and I get choked up just thinking about them.  I remember driving home from the beach and getting to press the "red and blue buttons" on the dash. I've only recently realized that I thought they were rocketship transformer buttons, when in reality they were the "heat" and "air conditioning" buttons.  I remember not wanting to go to dance class one day (Barney was on, and I was watching with my little sister), and had to be carried kicking and screaming to the car.  I got to dance, went into my classroom, and when I didn't see my dad at the window, I freaked out, started hysterically crying, thinking he had left me there.  He was actually only upstairs paying the bill for that month.

And I remember when he passed out and went into cardiac arrest the first time.  I was sitting at the dining room table, working on my fractions (or maybe it was measurement) homework.  He was reaching on top of the fridge to get the address book to call his buddy for a ride to work.  He said he didn't feel well, and reached for the chair to sit down. And then he was on the floor, unconscious.  My mom had me run downstairs to get my uncle, who luckily was home.  My uncle started CPR while my mom called 911.  Had we had an AED (automatic external defibrilator) in the house, I most likely wouldn't be writing this.  But he was without oxygen to his brain for too long and ended up with permanent brain damage.  Short term memory- poof! Gone. So that really sucked. And that's about all I remember. He was in the hospital for a long time, then he went to live with his father, then his brother, then I stopped talking to him because I hated his brother and how he ruined our lives with divorce nonsense and money troubles.  I talked to my dad December 2008, 2 months before he died.  He had called my house, which he hadn't done in a while.  I answered the phone and spoke in clipped, short sentences.  I had nothing to say to him.  Then as the maybe 45-second phone call came to an end, he said "I love you".  And I told him I loved him too, because deep down I really think I did.  Two months later he was gone.

On a happier note, my mom and I have a good relationship.  She is always there for me, supporting me, encouraging me, teaching me and guiding me in the right direction.  She has raised me to be an incredible young woman even though our lives weren't always easy.  She is the smartest, most educated, most dedicated, resilient, perfect mother I could ever ask for.  Mom of the millenia, without a doubt.  I don't share with her a lot of what goes through my mind because I know it will stress her out, and she has enough stressors in her life, but I do love her more than anything and would do absolutely anything in the world for her.  Except wash the dishes.  Our only point of contention! Haha. Just kidding. But not really :)

Edit: Mom just got home from Grandma's house and found all the newspaper articles about my Dad's benefit. I'll scan them. It is maddening to look back on that now and be so incredulous that I had no clue how bad things were. And then I get even more furious with some people in my "family", but I have to learn to let it go. (ha.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

30 Things: Day 2

It is absolutely, 100% brutally and disgustingly hot today. I am not feeling 100% and soooo do not want to do anything but sit in the air conditioning. Oh wait, we don't have air conditioning.  Anyway. On to Day 2!

Day 2: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

Fear 1:  Dying before I can accomplish my goals... thanks to Wegeners for that one. Legitimate because this disease really could kill me (don't plan on this any time soon).  Though when I think back to when I was first really sick / pre diagnosis, I didn't exactly care if I died. But only because I: a) couldn't breathe b) couldn't hear c) had never been sicker in my life and wanted the pain to just go away.

Fear 2: That my mom/sisters will die. I've already had to deal with my father's death, and then my cousin's... so no more please. I don't handle death well. I still have nightmares and am plagued with horrible fits of guilt and grief.  If my mom or my sisters... I shudder at the though. Knock on wood. God forbid. I don't think I could handle something like that.

Fear 3: Never being a mom. True, my students are like my children. When one asked me this past year "Miss, when you gonna have a baby?" I said "Never. I have 28 babies right here, why do I need anymore?" However... the truth is, I've never wanted anything more in my entire life than to be a mother.  So as my sad and pathetic lack of a love life dwindles even further down, I'm scared that I'll never find the right guy to start a family with.  Plus there is that little Cytoxan demon in the back of my psyche that constantly says "I may have ruined your chances of ever having a baby anyway, sucker."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Reading, Year Two

I keep saying to myself that I want to start blogging again. But then I get distracted, or question my ability to actually write  Plus I'm 99% sure that no one actually reads what I write anyway. 

I've been reading a lot this summer (well, actually, a little bit before summer), and what I really should do is keep track of every book I've read with a little summary (like last year's post- Summer Reading 2011).  So here goes, from May 1, 2012 through September 6, 2012

Challenge: To read a book every 5 days. Originally it was a book every 3 days, but no. Not happening. As of July 22 I've read 14 with 4 in progress, so I'm about on target (should have completed 16.6).  To meet the challenge I have to read 26 novels.

EDIT: Today is September 5th. My "challenge" ends tomorrow. To meet my challenge I had to read 26 books. I have 31 completed, and 6 in progress! I'd say that means I met my goal!

Completed Novels:
  1. The Lucky One- Nicholas Sparks
  2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children- Ransom Riggs
  3. Matched -Alli Condi
  4. Crossed- Alli Condie
  5. Twenties Girl- Sophie Kinsella
  6. Fifty Shades of Grey- E.L. James
  7. Fifty Shades Darker- E.L. James
  8. Fifty Shades Freed- E.L. James
  9. Girls in White Dresses- Jennifer Close
  10. Can You Keep a Secret- Sophie Kinsella
  11. There's Cake in My Future- Kim Gruenfelder
  12. Queen of Babble- Meg Cabot
  13. Remember Me?- Sophie Kinsella
  14. Something Borrowed- Emily Giffen
  15. Divergent- Veronica Roth 
  16. The Kitchen House- Kathleen Grissom
  17. Wallflower in Bloom- Claire Cook (don't recommend this one. Didn't like it at all)
  18. Something Blue- Emily Giffen
  19. Best of Me- Nicholas Sparks
  20. The Help- Kathryn Stockett
  21. The Diary of Darcy J. Rhone- Emily Giffen
  22. White Girl Problems- Babe Walker
  23. The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
  24. Flowers for Algernon- Daniel Keyes
  25. The Selection- Kiera Cass
  26. Where We Belong- Emily Giffen
  27. Size 12 is Not Fat- Meg Cabot
  28. Love the One You're With- Emily Giffen
  29. Charlie St. Cloud- Ben Sherwood
  30. The Last Song- Nicholas Sparks
  31. Girls in White Dresses- Jennifer Close
In Progress:
  1. Insurgent- Veronica Roth
  2. Bossypants- Tina Fey
  3. Then Came You- Jennifer Weiner
  4. The Innocents- Francesa Segal
  5. One Book in the Grave- Kate Carlisle