learned the hard way – #hawmc day 17 [catching up]

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I learned the hard way that . . .

-Starting papers prior to two days before they are do is a really good practice

-10 PM on a Saturday is not a good time to run out of medicine

-9:50 PM on any day is also not a good time to realize that the refill you need? Yeah, it’s still at the pharmacy.

-Group projects are either really good . . . or a train wreck.

-Even in health communities, unfortunately, not everyone is who they say they are.

-It sucks to get all the way to Chicago and realize that your deodorant is at home. And then Chicago’s Oak Brook area is very devoid of all unscented deodorant [at least Tara and I got to go for a really long unsupervised walk to find the non-existent Walgreens out of the deal though].

-Sometimes you have to fight The System hard to be fully healthy and thus fully alive.

-Health professionals don’t know everything. Nor do they know what to do when they don’t know everything. . . they’re human after all.

-I am the only one in charge of my perspective and my feelings.

-The best friends pop up from the places you least expect it, and make a difference in ways you would never imagine. And sometimes you have to trip up in who you choose as friends to get there.

legit pinboard – #hawmc day 16 [catching up]

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As I’m done final exams, I’ve already managed to screw up the posting every day bit of #hawmc. But, here goes at catching up!

So I’m kind of “screw pinterest”. I have it, but I don’t get it. Therefore, I don’t use it. So here is the legit bulletin board in my room. Much more fun, I think.

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Notes of encouragement, thank-yous, some Jesus stuff, guitar picks, a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation lanyard, an appointment slip for asthma clinic, adorable barely visible lungs from several years ago. Post-it notes. Concert ticket stubs, To Write Love on Her Arms tag, buttons, a burn-fail CD that I drew on. MADMaking a Difference stickers from volunteer appreciation month at church last year, TallyGear information that came with my Tummietotes, movie ticket certificates . . .

And lots of guitar picks to accompany the guitar caught in the bottom of the picture.  There was also formerly a picture of the small group I lead, including my two girlies I do inclusion with, but I took that down for privacy reasons, obviously.

Essentially . . . pieces of my life in a nutshell, minus the physical activity part . . . maybe I need to change this! :]

my outta style is coming back – #hawmc day 15

–my out of style is coming back, matthew good band

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I don’t proofread. I read it as I go along but I never give it the final read-over before I hit Send to Blog in MarsEdit. Planning is not my thing, and thus, #hawmc may be the death of me–or at least my BEDA mojo. Actually, I’ve already failed the BEDA bit, but fortunately #hawmc is a bit more liberal with the get-out-of-post-free day bit.  I am bad writing with prompts, because if I’m not feeling it, I procrastinate it, and then end up with posts like this one that I’m writing at 11:23 PM on a Sunday after spending the majority of the day studying, the majority of the evening studying, and the last hour reading Butch Walker’s book Drinking with Strangers.  The evidence of the lack of planning is right in that last sentence on the segway into Butch Walker.

I edit as I go, not after. For example, edit was just typed as “edi t”. My brain goes way too fast for my fingers, which I’m sure is sometimes evident in the lacking of cohesion within these posts.

Titles are sometimes my worst enemy or my best friend. They always come last. Half the time they’re quotes because that’s how much I suck at titles–I used to have a livejournal where every single effing entry was titled with a song lyric. It was ridiculous (also the journal itself sucked). When I use quotes in the beginning of an entry, I’m thinking of ’em before I even start writing, so that was there from the get-go. If they’re in the middle, they came about then, and if they’re at the end . . . well, you get it.  I’ve been told that I write how I talk, but I’m not sure about that. 90% of the posts in this blog, if not 98%, have been written at my kitchen table, probably, but my favourite place to blog is from a hotel room because I know I’ve been doing something cool and have stories to share.

I never simply “write a post”. I’m always doing more than one thing at a time. In the span of this writing about writing thing, I’ve checked Twitter, Facebook, the wegohealth blog, my BlackBerry, glanced at my notes on proteins, and been tapping my feet around. See, the cohesion thing, people. This is an overflow.  This is also the reason I have an issue getting any actual non-blog writing accomplished, because I’m just doing too much at once. I’ve been trying to write a book for six years–totally hasn’t happened. My creative process is just so scattered that I get distracted within a few sentences and it takes hours to get a page done. Of course, it’s still a goal.

So, like the above quote. . . I blog, and people read it, but it’s definitely not fully-dressed.

Except we call ski-caps toques.

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.