12 of 12 – april ’12!

On the 12th of each month, a bunch of bloggers from around the world take 12 pictures throughout their day and blog them.

Here are my pictures from April 12th, 2012!

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7:28 am – heading in to work. The daycare I work at is actually in the next-door elementary school to the high school I went to. So, I spent a lot of time in this drama room working on productions and dancing on this stage. Tuesday, I sent my friend Tara a picture of the backdrop of the stage because it had been the same for a really long time. By Thursday, I guess they caught on because it was primed white. Wonder what’s next?

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7:53 am – gym at work. Kids are about to kick off for soccer. I tried to zoom in to make it look cooler but it just made it blurry. Oh BlackBerry.

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8:00 am – gym at work. Also, the gym is called the Fitness Fort, and painted in logs. The school logo involves a canoe. One day I pointed the Fitess Fort bit out to my friend and former coworker Sara, who was like “Dude, it’s like your first week. I’ve been here for over a year and I didn’t even notice that!”

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10:42 am – Starbucks. After work, I met up with Sam and we went to Starbucks. Peppermint hot chocolate is not just for Christmas, as I learned!

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11:19 am – tim hortons. Sam and I chased our Starbucks with the new Tim’s lattes. After we added sugar they were better, but I still think they’re gross. Not a full-on coffee taste girl.

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11:55 pm – kitchen. Pretty pens for exam studying :].

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3:14 pm – kitchen. Stuck the latte in the fridge when I got home and tried to rectify it with additional milk and chocolate syrup [it didn’t work, by the way].

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4:27 pm – kitchen. Flyer delivery interrupting my studying. Such a colossal waste of trees, honestly.

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6:32 pm – zellers. This adorableness made me think of my D-OC friends and Sprinkles [and also Kerri‘s daughter]

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6:42 pm – canadian tire. Bike shopping. No bike purchased (I am an awkward size apparently). Found this rad bike flower, though. Everybody needs a bike flower right? [No, I didn’t buy it].

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11:58 pm – bedroom. Realized I needed two more pictures as I headed to bed. Here is a brief hilarity recap from the Skype ooVoo call I had with Thomas, Carrie Lynn, Larry and Jamie. After Larry and Jamie went offline and thus no actual work was being done, Tom and I busted out our guitars and then he proceeded to crank out some country for Carrie and I, vocals and all.

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11:58 pm – bedroom. Bedtime.

12 of 12 was created by Chad Darnell, check out the other 12 of 12s for April here!

coming back to coexistence – #hawmc day 14

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I’m having issues staying focused on the #hawmc prompts and staying connected to and enjoying what I’m writing. So, I am taking what Ashley said to heart. Because it’s not about the prompts–it’s about the story that they create and blogging every day. I’ve already missed one day, but hopefully I will stay on track for the rest of the month!

And with that, I still have to post my 12 of 12 and get to bed at a reasonable time. So, I am doing my first-ever re-post of an entry from September 14th, 2010.

I walk across the loop between the athletic centre and the main campus building. The cold fall breeze blows my hair in front of my face.  As I push it away, I look at the people around me, people I don’t know.  I then look at the people i know: my friends, my family, my classmates, my instructors, my coworkers, the kids at work.  How many of them, like me, have an invisible illness?  How many of them have an understanding of the rigorous schedules, symptoms and unrelenting attention required to manage their disease?  How many of them fight their body day in and day out and still, like me, look totally healthy on the outside despite what may be going on inside or behind-the-scenes to keep them healthy?

And I will never know.  Some of the above people share their stories with me.  Some of them choose to keep their stories silent and invisible.  And some I will never even speak to or see again.

Yet all of us, possessing an anomaly settled inside, move forward–awaiting the day where our elusive cures will come.

ten – #hawmc day 13

So I missed yesterday. Fortunately I have two “get out of post free days”, but I can’t say I used it wisely. I basically forgot about #hawmc until 11:46 pm, and it wasn’t like I didn’t spend the bulk of the day at home after getting off work. Oh well–I had a great Skype call with Jamie, Larry, Carrie Lynn and Thomas to make up for the lack of #hawmc!

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Today is ten things you can’t live without day. And I just can’t bring myself to write it. Because it could be done, but it could be cliche and/or meaningless. It could be about stupid medicine and oxygen and the bottom row of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It should be bigger than that, and I think the journey of blogging is moving beyond the material things of life and gaining perspective on life outside of what we’re currently staring in the face. About the value of people and stories and community-building. And I know the whole perspective/perception/choice/change thing is something I blog about a lot, maybe because it’s a relatively new understanding for me that came about in my physical activity: promotion and adherence class last term. I just think it’s so crazy how that one class, those two days a week, had so much impact on how I think about things, how I think about how things impact me, and my general perceptions of life and people as a whole.

So instead of ten things I “can’t” live without [because “can’t” isn’t an option, nor is it a positive perception!], keeping it on the theme of perspective AND music, here are the top 10 songs on my iTunes (by different artists), because as a person who analyzes each section of these songs deeply and finds connection in them for some reason, they likely have more influence on me than I have previously contemplated.

10. Odette – Matthew Good

This song I am sure lead to this night. It and another further down the list is one that, during the bad breathing nights and asthma burn-out periods, gets me thinking a little too deeply too late at night–too wide awake, breathless and trapped in my own thoughts because I can’t sleep. Don’t wanna be so wide awake.

I look tired but I, I feel wired, and my body hums like it’s coming undone […] don’t wanna be so wide awake, don’t wanna be so wide awake. Hey, midnight, turn on your lights. Roll out your stars.

9. Perfect Day – Hoku

This one’s just a feel-good tune and just poppy enough to make me smile.

People say, they say that it’s just a phase, they tell me to act my age . . . well I am. On this perfect day, nothing’s standing in my way, when nothing can go wrong, tomorrow’s gonna come too soon, I could stay forever as I am, on this perfect day […] I’m in the race but I already won, but getting there can be half the fun

8. Isadore – Incubus

I think I like the mystery in this one. What is not awesome about the time Erica and her Isadore climbed aboard a balloon? It also has great guitar. But really: the mystery.

You can’t just leave, I’ve given everything. I can’t bear to leave, you’ve taken everything, you’re taking everything. It’s not who you were, it’s who you are, and we’ve come this far lover. No, I won’t rest until the world knows the name Isadore. […] Goodbye Erica, now I see, that my worst fears were in tune.

7. Drive – Ed Kowalczyk

The redemptive power of Jesus in a pretty typical Christian-rock way, but by one of my favourite artists, Ed Kowalczyk. I was already into Live prior to hearing Ed’s solo stuff, but the questioning organized religion and questioning God thing was really, really honest feeling to me based on my current perceptions on faith/dislike of religion/journey with God. While I feel like ALIVE [Ed’s solo album] was a weaker release than the Live stuff, I’ve learned to appreciate that they are separate entities. This song, as well as Grace, Soul Whispers and Rome still hit me hard in that they breathe the message of redemption into the music but without being, you know, preachy about it. I don’t do preachy music (or people) well.

Headed out into my desert, all alone and thirsty for something more […] probability of a victory’s over, would You mind if i put this on Your shoulder? i need something more! here i am, standing inside Your love, like a child falling asleep at the wheel of my life, and letting You drive. […] You’re the only One who can save me!

6. Square State Syndrome – Farewell Fighter

This one is the victory tune in the recovery phase from when Odette by Matthew Good becomes a playlist staple. It’s for when I can release what’s holding me back, when the shit stops weighing me down, when I can breathe again . . . physically and metaphorically.

And I stopped right there, not just to catch my breath but to gasp for air […] if you’re keeping score, this is a victory. i can finally breathe, i can finally sleep at night. […]

5. Daydreamer – Dr. Noise

I like a good heavy tune. I like some screaming, awesome guitar, and well-fitted drums. And this Dr. Noise tune hits it on the mark.

As the dream world fades, revelations made, reality enters once again. […] but something’s haunting me bittersweet reality.

4. Sunshine Escapade – Tess Dunn

This is one of the earlier recordings on Tess Dunn’s Youtube (not sure it’s even still up) that I swiped with vid to mp3 [Tess, I promise if there’s ever a studio recording I will buy it!], and it’s about Ari Shine, another very cool artist that I came to know of through Tess.  Tess and Ari both have cystic fibrosis, and this song is a powerful representation of the bond that chronic disease can bring between two people who share other common interests–something I have experienced myself in huge ways.

I just want to believe you when you say we’ll have a way soon, cause soon seems too far away for me […] when i am all alone, when i need you most, and you never turned me away despite what they have to say, and that’s why you’re becoming my sunshine, you may not fit the stereo[type] but why should i care? […] i’m beginning to think i’ll be okay, so promise me you’ll never change

3. Past Praying For – VersaEmerge

This is the tune that got me into VersaEmerge. I may be the only one who thinks of it this way, but we are in reality, all past praying for, and it is only in Jesus that we are redeemed. And sometimes, in spite of it all, sometimes I do think I’m too far gone still and why would God bother to redesign me. Questions unanswered, but, there has to be some reason that this song echoes with me so much. I ignore God, I float through days without paying Him a second thought, and even though I am working at this, sometimes I truly feel I am totally past praying for . . . but He redeems me in spite of my doubts and ignites my faith again when He writes it into my journey.

Always kept quiet, clenching my teeth, finally, fighting the floor, raise me from my bones once more. […] I wouldn’t want to wake you from yourself, doesn’t sit in your stomach just quite right. […] crawling around me, sleepless. In the wake I’ll be just like the rest, tell the sun don’t fall so we’ll never forget […] in the wake I’ll be just like the rest, past praying for.

2. Watch the Sky – Something Corporate

Once again, this is a getting-through-the-long-asthma-nights tune. I am fortunate I don’t have these nights often, as if I did my resonating tracks would have to be longer than two songs. The piano in this song is such an awesome driving force, and also could potentially speak to the redemption factor . . . and persistence.  There are bad days with any chronic disease. There is guilt that we didn’t make the right choices or did something to throw our control out of whack. And . . . there are good days where we know we can do this.

And then your frequency is pulling me in closer till I’m home. And I’ve been up for days, i finally lost my mind and then i lost my way, i’m blistered but i’m better […] i will crawl, there’s things that aren’t worth giving up i know, but i won’t let this get me, i will fight, you live the life you’re given with the storms outside, some days all i do is watch the sky […] this guilt feels so familiar and i’m home […] i think i, i could use a little break, but today was a good day. and it’s a deep sea in which i’m floating, still i seem to think that i must crawl.

1. Delight in Me – Addison Road

The number one most played song on my iTunes is one that is purely a worship song about God’s healing, His redemption and His love. The way I’ve been feeling lately in my faith journey, it surprises me that this is still at the top, but it really holds true to the permanence of God, that He truly never lets go no matter how far we try to run away from His open arms, that no matter what, He loves us.

i’m down here, pick me up. i’m lost, You found me. […] You forgive, I remember […] You delight in me ’cause i am precious to You. You delight in me ’cause, oh You love me. and when i’m low and i feel so useless, i’ll remember Your promise to me.

There. The top ten. And, you know, the rambly bit above.

theme song – #hawmc day 11

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i made my mistakes / i seen my heart cave in / i got my scars / i’ve been to hell and back again / born for the blue skies, we’ll survive the rain / born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing wait, it’s not over now / we’ve been down but we’ve never been out / we are the dark horses

we found a way out, the city takes everything it can / but outside the crowds i can feel my lungs again / born for the blue skies, we’ll survive the rain / born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing wait, it’s not over now / we’ve been down but we’ve never been out / we are the dark horses

we’re singing.

born for the blue skies, born for the blue skies, born for the sunrise, we’ll survive the pain.

we’re singing hey, you can’t count us out / we’ve been running up against the crowd / yeah we are the dark horses / we’re singing we don’t care what they say / we know we’ll find a way / we are the dark horses

[keep running with the dark horses, hope makes the blood change courses, keep running with the dark horses, stand up for the dark horses]

–dark horses, switchfoot

note to self – #hawmc day 10

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Dear Sixteen-Year-Old-Kerri,

This year, some weird stuff will happen. I know that’s not the way you’re used to receiving notes, but because I’m from your future, I know where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

First, it gets better before it gets worse. I know it’s not easy, but right now, stop fighting with the stuff that keeps you alive. Yeah, I’m talking about food. This cyclic battle you’re having with food? It’s not worth it. It’s hard, but you will get out of it faster than you think you will. You and Jesus–you’ll throw the whole fight away late at night. So tonight: get it over with. Throw the battle away and start taking control of your life, not one variable in your life. You are so much more than how you see yourself now, and you can and will quit this thing before it gets the better of you.

Less than a month before your seventeenth birthday, you’ll be given inhalers for some possible asthma. And you won’t realize until later that it is a much bigger deal than what you thought it would be. When they tell you (twice!) you have bronchitis . . . they’ll be wrong. It’s not a fixable infection, and of course the antibiotics won’t work. It’s asthma.  It will be a hard road. It will be full of breathing tests and inhalers and doctors appointments. You’ll endure prednisone and you’ll get extremely pissed off and frustrated with your care team. Hang in there. it will change your life and your perceptions in far more ways than anticipated . . . but in many ways for the better. You’ll intertwine as a huge member of the online asthma community for a few years, and then spread your wings with a furious passion for owning chronic disease, and helping other people do the same.

You don’t know it now, but you will soon. And that’s why I’m telling you now to get off your ass. Before mid-February . . . go for a walk. Run and remember how it feels to push your body and still be able to breathe. Get off your ass.  Because it will be that much harder to do when your lungs are screwed up, but you’ll start doing it then anyways. And the dance classes you’re continually making fun of with your friends? Quit it, because you’ll be in there when you need something to fill your grade 12 law spare. Because of it, you’ll go places you never thought possible within yourself. And your body will thank you for it. So get moving now . . . because it will serve you well in more than just the typical health-variable-ways soon.  This means when you reach grade 12, it’s okay to hate gym class, but please file the rest away in your head because eventually you’ll need it. I know you don’t believe me now, but you will. When you’re nineteen, you’ll fall in love with kinesiology, active living, and your asthma will be in slightly better control. And you’ll want to push yourself a bit harder. You’ll walk a 10K race and you’ll feel like hell at the end, but you’ll be hooked.

You’ll meet amazing people both online and in person because of asthma. They’ll know where you’re at–and, like your disease, they’ll be sticking around. They’ll have an unimaginable impact on your life.

Finally, four years later, you’ll be in the midst of a huge adventure called life. You’re already grateful you’re still alive at sixteen, but now you’ll see the reasons behind it.

The current shit will end or get better, I promise. Hang on, remember the journey, write it down deeper than you already are and have been all these years . . . and you’ll get where you’re meant to be when you’re meant to be there.

Love and Good Things,

Twenty-Year-Old Kerri