Friday, August 24, 2007
He thinks it'll be good for me to just get out, have fun, and stop worrying about my hair and what people think. I kinda just like the fact that I'll be able to dance and let out some frustration, anger, etc, etc...any wild emotion that decides to claim my dancing feet and give me the rhythm-junkie fever.
So I am headed to Ibiza on Saturday (that new club in DC). I haven't ever been...but of course the "crew" (minus J) has been and has said that it's spectacular. A candy-raver's dream, apparently. And I've been told by other close friends that I will particularly love it (because everyone knows I am addicted to things that glow, and blink with flashing lights. It's the best!) since the club has an awesome light-show effect in the main room. Sweeeeet...maybe it'll flash so many lights that you can't see anyone, and then I won't have a problem with being there and possibly taking my hat off for a song or two...? Ahhh, I am starting to think of all the fun possibilities there are of removing the hat and being free...but I still find I have my reservations. That's okay, I'll slowly get over my fears.
Have you noticed I have joined the ranks of Goosey and Bou? My favorite Chinese sisters have gotten me addicted to Last.fm. I LOVE that site! Nowadays, I just come home and put on that radio and just get ready to go to bed. Of course, I listen to my iPod at work. I won't ever lose my love for you, oh sweet iPod. But this affair with last.fm is working out pretty deliciously, too.
For right now, the music player is a bit redundant, I know. I have like four of the same artists on there with like fifty of their songs, but I was too excited to go on a decent search for songs last night to add to the playlist so I could post it on my blog today.
Back to work...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Ladies & Gentleman...
I officially went to the gym today
WITHOUT MY HAT!
Although I spent the first 16 minutes of my workout looking around and nervously imagining that people were staring at my head while I was on the stair stepper...I made it through. I toughened up and just focused on making it through the workout, and turned up the volume on my iPod and rocked out to some Montell Jordan. (Yes, some people still rock out to "This Is How We Do It")
It sounds silly, but for me this was a huge step - especially since my haircut yesterday - I suddenly realized how much I was using that ponytail as a cover-up too!!! At least with the ponytail I'd pull it every which way to try and conceal the frontal bald spots - but this time, even though the one was covered, the one that graces my hairline is slightly visible. And I felt vulnerable.
But after a while, I was okay. I just kept my mind off of it. Unfortunately, my entire day-to-day process cannot be ADD-ed into recovery like a 45-minute work out - because I am constantly thinking about it whether I realize it at first or not - but one day at a time. I am just so proud of myself for making it to the gym today. Possibly because I know I'll be hanging at the beach with Mr. John Basedow, Jr. next weekend!
I also want to give a very warm thank you to my friends. You have helped make every single day worth getting up for when I felt there was no other possible inspiration. I know that I can make it through this - and I'll do it with a smile. :-)
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The difference is that when I am reading the book, I can cheer with full faith for Meg Murraythat she will find the inner strength to get through to the next chapter of the book along with her very different little brother Charles Wallace, or know that in my heart that the children will be able to conquer their fears and their insecurities to help beat the White Witch of the woods. But when it's just me as the character - fighting my own battles, having my character tested - it's much harder to be the third person reading the novel that is cheering me on. I had lost faith a long time ago. I don't have the full feeling in my heart that I can make it through this. Not immediately, anyway.
But I realize now that that is what is going to pull me through this. Number One. Numero Uno. The person in my mirror every morning. Myself. Me.
Today I went to go get my haircut after work. But I was nervous. Terrified, even. So I had made the decision to go to the salon (since it's in the same building as my office) during my lunch hour and take a look at some of the haircut books. I wanted to try and at least have an idea of what I wanted even though I was still so depressed about the subject. I kept thinking all last night that there was no hope for me - that any haircut would be terrible because what I had to work with was so little compared to my thick hair that I used to style. I felt no matter what route I went on - that I would ultimately end up looking like a freak. I had nightmares throughout of me getting my hair cut in a Pixie looking style, and then all of a sudden bald spot after bald spot would emerge, until I eventually lost all of my hair. I woke up in a sweat and panic, wondering if this haircut thing was such a good idea or not.
Just like Meg Murray, I went to face my fears. Walking through those big glass doors of About Faces was a lot harder than I imagined it would be. I was hit with the familiar scent of shampoos and conditioners. I saw the pretty girls walking in in front of me with their long thick wavy hair, their new color and highlights, their perms...I just kept walking towards the front desk and pulled my black cap tighter down my forehead.
"Can I help you?" the girl dressed in black behind the front desk asked.
"Yes, actually. I have an appointment with Tiki today at 5:30 but I wanted to take a look at some of the books first."
"Of course, just follow me..."
Just as I walked past the front desk with the girl, Tiki came from around the corner.
"HEYYY!! Aren't you a bit early?" she asked, all smiles.
"Yeah, I figured I would come and take a look at some books to get an idea for what I want."
"Oh yeah? Do you have an idea of how you want it to look?"
I looked at her enthusiastic face and tried to choke back the tears as I shook my head. Wow, I didn't think talking about it with her was going to be this difficult.
"I don't have a clue, Tiki. I can't even begin to think of possibilities right now. I keep looking at it and see nothing but a hopeless ugly look," I said, pulling my cap off with an exasperated sigh.
She like everyone else only saw the first two.
"It doesn't look so bad..." I pulled aside my hair to part it all the way over to reveal the larger bald spot, "Oh," she continued, "you grew more spots. I don't know what this could be. This is truly puzzling me that it happened so sudden to you," she commented like a mother would.
She guided me over to her chair and offered me some short hair style books that she had. As I sat in her chair, she started to play around with my hair, trying to visualize the possibilities. That's when the tears came.
I couldn't stop them. I felt the tears building up, and saw the rims of my eyes turning red.
"Oh, please don't cry, babe. You'll make me cry."
And that's just what I did. We were both just sitting there crying as I explained to her how difficult this was. She told me she couldn't even imagine.
But then something magical happens. Do you ever feel like sometimes you're in the right place at the right time?That's how I felt at that exact moment. We sat there in high hairdresser chairs, facing each other, teary eyed - and then Tiki said the most empowering things.
"You know, Em...I think that you should just say fuck it and stop wearing the hats. I know that you still have a while to go yet until you feel comfortable with everything. But once you do, I challenge you to remove the hat and just wear it with pride. Accept it, own it, embrace it full throttle. I am a firm believer that thoughts and feelings and physical things connect at some point. That once you set your foot down and decide not to allow this to rule your life, that hair is going to grow back faster than ever. Fuck what people think. You've already let this consume you. It rules your life now...you think about it constantly. This is a sign for you to take the time and really dig deep into yourself to find you...to be comfortable with yourself. To look in the mirror and not just see the hair - but see that inner beauty that everyone else sees. To see all of the inner qualities that make you such a gorgeous person. Finally, you'll be able to take off that hat and relieve the burden off of your shoulders and put it on other people's. Let them stare if they want to stare. Let them say "eww" as they walk by. If they have a problem with it, that's okay, because you know you won't. You'll be perfectly fine with how you are. Why should you continue to wear hats to help other people feel comfortable? Let them take some of the burden from you...you are a very powerful person. And with great power comes great responsibility. This is your legacy, your thing to leave behind. That no matter what came your way, you were you. You were strong."
At this point, I had stopped crying. I felt so empowered by her words. I don't think I will ever be able to thank her enough. As I left to go back to work, I placed the cap back on my head, but with a new resilence. Knowing that one day, as I mend inner self slowly and gradually day by day, I will take this hat off, and I will proudly accept myself for everything that I am. I did with the Cerebral Palsy. I did with the limp. I learned to be myself despite what other people said or how they treated me. And this is nothing different.
I couldn't wait to get off work to go down and get the haircut started. Tiki had said that my ponytail was long enough to send off to Locks of Love. I made the decision to have my hair donated there. I hope that my hair can help to provide a wig for a cancer patient. Someone who really needs that wig and must be going through an extremely overwhelming amount of pain. Someone I look up to with so much respect and awe.
This is what I walked away with (hopefully it'll go to a good home):
As for me, I can't tell you how liberating it felt to cut my hair off. Tiki stood to the side with her scissors and stared at me in the mirror with a smile on her face.
"Are you ready?" she asked.
"I'm ready," I said. I was more ready than I ever thought I'd be and I think she did a fantastic job. You can't see any of the bald spots!
I have all these mixed emotions inside. I have been crying and thinking (alternating each at every hour it seems) over what happened on Monday night. But I have also been so completely nervous and excited for today. At first, I was so happy and so excited thinking that this would be something new, something exciting. A way to jump into a fashion extreme makeover head first.
But then I started thinking about what I had to work with - and I started to worry. Right about now, at this very second, I have this emptiness in my stomach that keeps churning around in my insides. I kept looking last night at that one small bald spot in the very front, where my middle part would land (and has landed since I've been wearing my ponytail). What is Tiki going to be able to do with that?
And last night, when I was putting on the steroid cream, (I always have one hand ungloved to feel for the bald spots in the back, and the other one to administer the cream) I felt three bald spots in the back of my head. To my fingers, they felt huge. I don't know how big they are in real life. I just wish they would grow back in the next 8 hours before I have to go to my haircut.
Because with all those bald spots, how is it going to be feasible to have a nice haircut? Am I risking looking even more like a freak for going today? I already feel like a freak as it is.
I know he says he didn't mean the things he said to me, but God, I really took it to heart. I felt my heart sinking into the pit of my stomach while on the phone with him. I suddenly felt like the biggest freak in the world. It's a bittersweet thing when you allow someone that close into your life that they have that kind of impact on you.
So yes, I am still very mad at him. But I still need a best friend. Especially today of all days. The day when I am scared shitless out of my mind.
Will I still be able to look into the mirror and see the same person staring back at me that I have known for 21 years?
At this point, I don't think I ever will be able to. But one can only continue to hope.
***I did not forget about all of you and that article. For the past few nights, the emotional rollercoaster that I have taken myself on has kind of taken away time from my saved Word document. But I have been working on it. It's probably going to be my longest blog EVER but then again, you guys like having something to read when you're bored, right? :-) ***
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
But what do you do when someone so close to you has said something so hurtful, and so mean that you don't even know what to say? Should you let it affect your life as much as you have let anything else they have said to you/about you?
Part of me says no, you should keep going on with your life, don't let it get to you. But the other part of me, the part of me that holds compassion and love for this person is telling me to feel so crappy. I feel like I'm no longer good enough to go out into public with anyone.
I will always be his friend, no matter what he has said to me - but it's the initial hurt that hits, and that you can't shake away right away.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
I know it sounds silly that I put on make-up...but I guess it's not just for Ryder-bear. It is really for me. To get my ass out of bed and into a more focused, positive mood. Especially when I'll be surrounded by an energetic little boy all day. I am excited and I am sure that Ryder will keep me on my toes which is just what I can't wait for.
There is an article that I was reading last night that I had been given the link to through this other yahoo group that I am a member of for Korean Adoptees (K@W).
"Do Parents Feel Differently About Their Adoptive Children Than Their Offspring?"- from the New York Mag. It took me about an hour to read it (because there were some paragraphs that were so appalling to me that I had to read them twice) but when I finally finished, I was left with this horrid, bitter taste in my mouth. I felt like I had just been fed a full-course meal of total bullshit. And I wanted a refund for that hour.
I want to write more on this article and critically piece it apart to figure out why exactly I didn't like it. It would be much easier for me to piece it as a whole and brand it with my seal of "Don't Read This Trash!" and be done with it. But this piece seemed to have been written with care (albiet hard to believe that it was) by the writer, and thus, I feel that I should take the time and care to analyze why I didn't like it.
I've been working on it some this morning, rereading some sections and really trying disect what it was that disturbed me so much. Was it the constant reminder of the Bradgelina adoption frenzy? Was it the mention of Madonna's baby boy? Was it the breakdown of how other people viewed their adoptions? Or was it because everything stated in that article was the horrible and utter truth - that the views held and the visions of those who carry forth the act of adoption are wrong -but that sadly everything in that article was true?
I'm not sure. At this time, it's a little bit of everything.
It also prompts me to question what brought this article about? Why all of a sudden are we trying to broaden our thought process as to whether or not parents feel differently about their adoptive children than their offspring?
As an adoptee, I have had my issues. I have had my battles, and I have had the struggles that most adoptees face growing up in America with white parents. I can only hope to shed a light whenever I do seminars or workshops or things like that, into the world of which I have grown to see myself.
For now, I must bid you all ado. I'll think more on this article over the weekend and might just have a nice blog about it by the end of Sunday.
BTW, how priceless is the woman who decided to adopt because God came to her one morning while she was jogging?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Let's start with the good news first:
On Monday, I received a call from Ray Noppinger from DORS. You might all remember him from my previous post.
Ray (Mr. Noppinger, after you hear this story, you'll call him Ray, too. Not worth the time spent in saying his formal name.) said that the Driving Workforce and Technology Center had finally called him back sometime last week and he had forgotten to call me when they did.
I waited silently on the phone for him to continue and he took the cue.
"So I spoke with John and he said that you don't need to go through another evaluation. They are going to be able to use the one that you got from Good Samaritan. Now, however, you need to have at least 10 hours of in driving instruction, which is what we talked about the last time you were here. Now, you see, there is that issue of the waiting list - which I told you about last time you were here, too, as I am sure you remember. It is going to be a 6-8 week wait, at most. I am not even sure if I could even tell you if you're on that list or not..."
I stopped him because he kept stuttering silently and repeating himself, "And they will be the ones giving me the driving lessons, then? What is the next step for me to do? I can't handle waiting any longer for this to go through."
"Oh, well I don't know, I just don't know about all that. Actually..." he paused and moved himself from the phone for a second, as if to be sifting through massive piles of paper. I could remember the overwhelming stacks of memos, and letters, and forms all over his desk, so overwhelming that it took him ten minutes to find the forms I needed to fill out while I was in his office.
"Here, you know what I think you should do. I think you should call this woman and find out what is going on over there. I think you should shake things up a bit," he said, as if he came up with the most brilliant idea ever: Hey!! What am I doing working and actually trying to earn a living as an advocate for people when YOU could be doing it for yourself and I could still get paid through the State?
"Me? Are you sure that's okay?" I asked, not knowing whether or not I would even be allowed to contact this Workforce and Technology place.
"Sure, sure here, here's the number."
So I did his job for him. I called over to the Workforce and Technology Center and spoke with the lady at the reception desk.
"Oh yes dear! You're the girl that Ray has been talking about - we called him last week to let him know that you would need the 10 hours of driving practice, but that we still needed a changed authorization form from him. He has never gotten it to us yet," she said. She seemed nice enough, and so I just went on my rant.
I told her how long I'd been waiting for this, how I'd been told that I wouldn't be able to get the driving lessons right away, about that weird cheap-skating woman that I went through the first time. I told her everything.
"Okay, hon, well hold on one second. We were waiting for Ray to send that authorization form but he hasn't, so let me put you on hold for just a second."
That second turned into 15 minutes, and I was at work and sort of getting impatient (feeling that my boss would walk by and write me up for being on the phone but at this point I was not going to hang up this phone).
She finally came back to the phone and said, "Well I just spoke with the driving instructor, and we are not going to require that form. So let's start scheduling, shall we? We don't want you to lose your job."
Okay, so I had told her that if I didn't get some sort of form of transportation that I would lose my job. Sounds a bit dramatic, I know but seriously, I am not joking. If you met my boss, and saw how she treats people and their problems, you would understand. She has no understanding for any issues that come up into my life - mostly because she can't believe that one person who is younger than her (she is 35 or something like that) could be experiencing other life experiences that she hasn't yet. She has that age-is-god complex, where she thinks she is better than me because she is older.
But that is for another post - what is fucking awesome is that I SKIPPED THE LIST!!! They told me that I wouldn't have to wait the time because I already had a job and that I was a higher risk because I had more to lose without transportation.
Should have mentioned that I would lose my sanity if I didn't have transportation soon...although I feel like I have already lost that.
I am so excited. I couldn't believe it while I was on the phone with her. She started rolling off dates and times, and saying that she was placing my name in their scheduling book. Can you believe that??!
By the end of October, I will have that letter that says I have gone through the 10 hours of training with the left foot accelerator. And that letter will then go to the MVA for them to process, and then I will be able to get that restriction taken off... that way I can start to get those 60 hours with my friends and family, rather than some driving instructor.
And the best part about all this? That I don't have to pay! (at least that's what they told me... so let's keep our fingers crossed)
Bad news? I have five more spots on my scalp. It's getting to the point where not even pulling it into a ponytail is helping disguise it. I am almost to the point where I am so frustrated that I have stopped caring. I don't wear make-up anymore, or try to take the time to take care of myself like I used to in the morning. My routine is to wake up, take a shower, clean up all the fallen hair, pull what remains into a ponytail and grab a hat and throw it on my head.
I have made a plan and placed an appointment to go get my hair cut next week on Wednesday @ 5:30 pm. It's at About Faces in my building. I love it there. Before all this started, I would go there to get my hair cut and I felt like Tiki (my hairdresser) really knew what I wanted. I saw her a couple weeks ago when this all first started, and I was sitting downstairs waiting for my ride to get there, right before we went to Shorty's and I had a hat on.
She came up and gave me a hug. Asked me where I had been and what I had been up to. And then she saw. She saw and she then lowered her gaze from my hairline to my eyes and she gave me a big hug.
"Oh, hon, don't worry about it. You're still beautiful and there are things that can be done. There are things out there - wigs, and a haircut can change it all."
Alright Tiki, I am taking up your offer. I am going to cut my hair short for the first time since my sophomore year of high school. We'll see how it goes. I am really sort of excited because it's something to look forward to and it's something new, and I actually will be able to apply the steroid cream on my scalp bald spots a lot better with short hair than with the long hair that always gets in the way.
Well off I go to bed, everyone. Tomorrow is Friday so I hope everyone is getting ready for the weekend!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
When my eyelids finally pushed past the sleepy-crusts that were dried along the edges of my face, I noticed that it was still dark out - and my TV was still running.
It was on some old drama/action flick. Some unknown piece of cinematic junk but regardless, I have a feeling that whatever dialogue or plot that was going on in that movie affected what was happening in my dream.
Now I don't dream too often. And I usually dream in sequences - meaning I will go sleeping for a while without dreams and then within one week, all of a sudden, I will have three or four dreams in consecutive nights.
I had this dream that I climbed into this black Scion, and it was mine, of course. I had the feeling that I wasn't supposed to be driving, so I realized that it is a present time dream - I have a license but I am still not able to drive by myself yet.
Anyways, so I find myself on this dirt road path. It's windy, and misshapened, and headed into this wooded area. Rather than be scary, it's almost peaceful and serene, and calming. I have the feeling that I have been here before, and there are bits and pieces of the scenery around me that I recognize from other dreams.
Finally, I reach my destination. I walk out of my car and towards this huge structure. Let me try to explain it to you - never at any one time am I able to see the entire structure for its full being - possibly because it represents a lot of different things for me. What I do know is that it is dark, but well lit when it needs to be by candlelight, or dim mood lighting - like in a theatre.
I get the sense that the building is very organic. Made of trees, dirt, water - completely one with the earth. And as I am walking through the hallways of this place (that seem to be made of dirt tunnels) I am passing by hundreds of people. People in groups, people in classes, people making art, people reading poetry out loud to each other. Everybody is dressed in this neo-bohemian chic kind of style. The kind of clothes I remember wearing in high school.
I am wandering through the halls, and I feel at home, and at ease - but I also don't know where I am headed. Suddenly, I find this lady. Her name is Grace, or Tanya...I can't really remember her name. But it sounded sweet, and it sounded familiar. She is a few years older than me, possibly in her 30's. She has long brown hair that is naturally wavy, and she has a head band keeping her bangs from her forehead. She has a gentle face.
There was something about the way our conversation was going that made me feel that she was an old friend. The way she spoke with me was as if she had known me for years. She would smile, and touch her hand to my cheek and nod for emphasis as I continued to speak.
I don't know the entire conversation, in fact, I only remember bits here and there of what we were saying. I remember telling her that I was having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I told her I was having trouble finding myself through my dreams, finding myself through my day-to-day routine. Not "finding myself" as in my sanity - as in finding myself on a deeper scale. On an emotional and spiritual scale, the confidence that I used to have in that part of my soul that I have long become a stranger to. But I didn't have to explain all of that to her. She already knew exactly where I was coming from.
She told me to sit and to wait for her to come back. So I sat propped up against one of the dirt covered tunnel walls and waited patiently. It didn't seem like she was gone for long. When she returned, she had a pile of papers.
"These are you, E," she said offering me the pile of papers, "I have known you all your life. Remember the first handmade card you sent me from school?"
On top was a construction paper handmade card that I had made for Fourth of July when I was in preschool. It was tied with red ribbons on one side to keep the pages together. It was white on the front and had the American flag on the front.
"Yes, I remember now. I remember...but it just seems so long ago, and I don't know if my mind and my soul can remember who I am," I said feeling tears come to my eyes as I sat running my hands through the pages in the pile, realizing that they were every single short story, every single poem and art project that I had ever written or created since a little girl.
She put her hand on my shoulder and crept down to me.
"No matter what, these are you. They were you, and they are you. You never left your soul - you just took different roads - different paths- but they are all paths and roads within the same place that you have always known. You just need to patient to get back to the main road and the main journey."
She gripped my hand and bade me to follow her down the dark tunnels. We passed by people that looked familiar to me: people I had met in workshops in New York, in Philly, people who I had taken writing classes with, people from my high school, people that I had encountered through all my artistic journeys and endeavors. They were selling wares - their art, their poetry, or they were reciting poetry, and writing. The whole world in these tunnels was extremely comforting to me, and I felt like I never wanted to leave this place - or at least make sure that I came back more often than it seemed I had been going.
Finally, we reached one of the little kiosks that were within the tunnels. It was close to the main front entrance of the place because I saw a ray of light in front of us. She smiled and went through this kiosk of books, rummaging to try to find for me what she thought was exactly what I needed to get out of this slump.
She pulled out a book full of pages and pages of stories and pictures of crowds. Paintings, photos, artwork of people's faces, and groups of people in one place.
"If you read these stories, and these poems that are inside here, you will find that they are filled with a message and feeling and sense of hope and calmness. You will find the words are soft to the sound - soft to the lips as you pronounce them...and you won't have problems sleeping ever again. These will give you peace of mind. If you stare at the pictures of the people long enough - you will find that you know each and every single one of them by heart. They are your friends, they are people who love you, they are your family. They are here for you, as much as I am."
With that, she placed the things into a sack for me and handed it to me. She grabbed me into a big hug and held onto me tightly, kissing my face on the forehead and both of my cheeks twice.
That's when I woke up. That's when I started writing this blog and going through the massive piles of poetry and prose books all over my room.
The first book I picked up was a Pablo Neruda book of poetry and as I flipped through the pages, the first page I stopped to was this one:
Too Many Names
Monday is tangled up with Tuesday
and the week with the year:
time can't be cut
with your tired scissors,
and all the names of the day
are rubbed out by the water of the night.
No one can be named Pedro,
no one is Rosa or Maria,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain in the rain.
They have talked to me of Venezuelas,
of Paraguays and Chiles,
I don't know what they're talking about:
I'm aware of the earth's skin
and I know that it doesn't have a name.
When I lived with the roots
I liked them more than the flowers,
and when I talked with a stone
it rang like a bell.
The spring is so long
that it lasts all winter:
time lost its shoes:
a year contains four centuries.
When I sleep all these nights,
what am I named or not named?
And when I wake up who am I
if I wasn't I when I slept?
This means that we have barely
disembarked into life,
that we've only now just been born,
let's not fill our mouths
with so many uncertain names,
with so many sad labels,
with so many pompous letters,
with so much yours and mine,
with so much signing of papers.
I intend to confuse things,
to unite them, make them new-born,
intermingle them, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the unity of the ocean,
a generous wholeness,
a fragrance alive and crackling.
Friday, August 10, 2007
It actually was truly relaxing, and therapeutic. I don't know why I keep surprising myself every time I write and find a therapeutic calmness about it - this used to be the way that I got myself through the dark nights before. Just me, a pen and my journal. Didn't even have to be just us either, I'd crouch in a soft couch at a lame house party, a beer in hand or I'd slip into the depths of the study halls at the library and nestle my face into the blank pages of my journals that begged to hear about all my tears and all my struggles.
But regardless, it was a lot more helpful than I thought it'd be. And the people of the group actually responded. One of the women said that I was wise beyond my years, especially for being diagnosed with AA pretty young. They totally understood how I felt, and what I was going through. The denial, the separation anxiety from each and every strand of hair. It's agonizing...they know, they watched every strand of their hair fall out, too. Over the couch, onto the carpet, all over my pillow in the morning, at the bottom of my feet in the shower stall, all across the bathroom. It's like watching your dirty secrets follow you around your house, devastating you at every corner. Letting you know that there is no escape, there is only a time of recognition and submission.
They told me that over the mountain, there is hope. Over the angry slopes - there is a peace, there is a calmness that slips over you in the night - an ability to let your hair slip away, and your ability and strength to say goodbye, and never look back. So I guess that's where I am headed. Over those mountains in the distance...do you see them as clear as I do? Do they glare at you, too?
Your mountain may not be AA, it could be something else. It could be as small as that term paper that is due the first day of school in about two weeks, or it could be simple as that ugly truth that is hanging at the tip of your tongue that you have to say, or it could be as big as deciding what next road you need (want, desire, crave, depend on) to take when you hit that fork ---
Regardless, we're all on that journey. And I know that we're on it together. I am lucky to have such great friends who have encouraged and inspired me to keep writing, to keep on trekking - the journey is hardly over yet, in fact, I have yet to really get started.
So thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and your support. I know that someday I will get to that point where I can be the strongest that I can be, and be accepting of it all. I just know that right now it's all so fresh. It just happened less than a month ago - and I am still in this state of bewilderment not knowing really if it has all sunk in yet. I know that one day in the next few months, I will probably be on the DC metro, or in the car with my friends and just break down to the realization of it all. Because that's when the reality hits me the most - when I am not really dwelling on it. But that day will come, and I know that when it does, even though I may or may not be ready for it, it will be ready for me.
I can't imagine yet what life will be like completely bald - it's still such an astonishing thing that I have all these bald spots rearing their shininess in my face every morning.
My boss told me today that her "patience is wearing thin" because yesterday I was having side effects from the steroids (it's only been a week and I suspected that I might get headaches or something of the like, because that's what the doctor assured me might occur) and had to leave work an hour early. It's almost like people like her believe that I woke up one day and thought that I would just make my hair fall out for no reason at all. She kept telling me when it first started that it really wasn't that bad, and that I should just get over it because it's just hair - how easy is it for her to say that when she has a full head of hair on her head? What if it were her? She doesn't come home with me every night - she doesn't stare into the mirror after I take a shower and see the clumps of hair that are falling all over my shoulders. She doesn't hear my heart crumbling every time I find another bald spot.
I am so glad that you guys have been so supportive and such a big help -you just don't even know. I know that I have struggled through a lot of things in my life, and this is just one more thing to add to the list. It's just the initial shock that is always the killer.
But there are still those mountains to climb. There are still those steeps slopes to conquer. I'm still on my way to braving this Arirang.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
And then I went online to check my email. I had joined this alopecia areata online yahoo email group and really haven't been writing at all, just lurking and reading other people's posts. Reading some of those posts is worse than watching the Lifetime channel. I stopped reading them at lunchtime at work because I end up sitting there, tearing up and crying in my cubicle. All these stories from these people (mostly women) explaining their struggles with alopecia and the emotional struggles they have had to face over the years. How they found out that they had it - how it was to not have eyebrows or eyelashes or any sort of hair at all on their bodies. How just without the hair on their scalp it has been such a long emotionally tiring road for them - the posts with lists of medications that might trigger alopecia, the posts that hold confessions of being embarrassed, and humiliated, the same feelings that I have felt for the past few weeks while staring into the mirror every morning.
I read these posts, and I see so much of myself in these women. It comes with a comforting and frightening feeling at the same time. On one hand, I am comforted by the fact that I know that I am not alone and that there are so many people out there that deal with this day in and day out. On the other hand, I see the struggle even more through them, and hear all these stories of people who find steroids that work for them but come with other side effects - or that after their hair grows back ten times stronger that immediately it falls out again in less time than before. I read about other women who after so many years of dealing with the disease have given up the fight and decide to just shave off their hair and never look back. It makes me scared to think that I might be bald for the rest of my life. But why? I keep asking myself why I am so upset over this - because it is after all, just hair. It is just a vanity thing, right? Or is it more than that? Is it a psychological thing that goes deeper than just the hair on my head? I am not sure - but a part of me still feels a little silly for being so frightened over losing all of my hair. The thought of always having to wear a wig for the rest of my life. I guess because it was never anything that I ever thought I would have to think about.
Funny how things work out like that.
Of course, she kicked ASS!! I love new artists and seeing them live while they are still new. Mainly because you know that every single song on their album is going to be what they will perform because that's the only one that they have out!!!
Amy Winehouse rocked the house. I danced like a crazy woman despite the heat, it was so awesome to be able to hear her voice, and hear her singing. It sounded just like the album!
The next to come to the stage was Incubus. J and I were super lucky that the two people that we wanted to hear were back to back on the same stage. And just look how sexy Brandon Boyd is:
Just then, as we were rocking out to Incubus - this girl that I had met over the Yahoo Forums for Virgin Festival, E, met up with me and we took a ton of pictures. This is the only one where I don't look 200 lbs in the face though.
After Incubus, J was ready to head over to what he had been waiting for all summer: The BEASTIE BOYS!!! They fucking rocked!!! I was so happy that we were able to make it in time because we had walked around a little bit to check out the festival and then headed back over to the North Stage again to check them out. We had also gone to check out LCD Soundsystem with E but without their synthesizers, they turned out not to be so good live.
The crowd for the Beastie Boys by the time we got there was INSANE. And J and I were too exhaustEd (hehe) to walk any further into the crowds, so we just stayed behind - which was totally cool because again, the sound system was so amazingly clear that even being far away, we were able to hear everything as if we had had the seats that we did at Amy Winehouse and Incubus. Since I am short, I just raised up my camera to take a picture of the stage, and of the massive crowd in front of us and the pictures turned out pretty dope.
J was pretty stoked too.
Can you believe the size of those crowds? A couple of times when J and I caught sight of the crowd, we were like "Omgosh!!! I can't effing believe we are part of this!! This is soooo cool!!!"
To end the night, The Police closed out and boy did they ever close out. Sting hasn't aged a bit (unlike Cheap Trick) and he sounded as good as he did if you listened to the first Police record. They did encore after encore, and me and J rocked out to "Roxanne", and "Every Breath You Take".
The pictures didn't turn out as well as I liked because I am still trying to figure out the best way to take pics with this camera that DJ G gave me for my birthday.
I feel so grumpy when my head hurts. And it's only 11:43 AM and I have the rest of the day to go through. I actually brought food to eat today but I don't even feel hungry. I just want to lie my head down come 12 noon and take a nap for about an hour.
Last night, I received a package in the mail. It was from UrbanOutfitters. I started to wonder what I had bought and when the last time I was cracked out was - because I certainly don't remember ordering anything or purchasing anything from UrbanOutfitters. But I decided, what the heck, I was going to open it.
Inside I found three hats. Cute hats, real funky. Not ones that I would normally buy for myself but they are definitely growing on me this morning. There was one that was totally me. It was a grey knit cap, shaped like the army cap kind. I love those. I love the way they look and how they feel. And then there were two more caps. One was red with this funky pattern on it in cream and green and then there was one that was blue striped. I really like them. I am wearing the red one today.
So who is the mysterious hat person? I checked on the invoice and at the bottom it said, "I hope you enjoy the hats, babe. Carlo"
Carlo is Bboy#1. This bboy that I met a while back at Sky Lounge. He has this crush on me - despite the fact that I have been telling him that I am not really the type of person made for a relationship. He's a nice guy. I would randomly run into him whenever I went to Sky Lounge to get something to eat, and the breakdancers would start piling in, and he'd always come over to say hi before going upstairs to the dance floor. I never thought anything of it but lately he's been texting me a lot. Telling me to have a good day. He's a real decent guy, but just not my type.
And now the hats. It's the sweetest gesture ever, it really is. Especially since I recently told him about my alopecia. But he's just not my type. I thanked him for the hats though and a part of me feels like maybe I should send them back.
I couldn't sleep last night, I have a stiff neck this morning, a stiff neck last night. A huge headache and a horrible dose of vertigo that started yesterday and still hasn't ended. Now it seems like it's forming into the worst migraine that I have ever had.
I kind of wish that I would just puke or something to make me feel better. Have you ever felt that way? You know - when you feel sooo nauseated that you would rather just vomit it all up then have it holding inside your stomach and tearing your insides? That's how I feel right now. I want to curl up in my bed and just sleep sleep sleep. Sleep this horrible feeling off.
Hopefully I'll make it through the day. Thank God it's Thursday. Jesus.
I found always find it funny when they have a list of the prohibited items:
Once we were all standing around waiting for the gates to open, we realized that there was one short opening for the VIP people and then one for the people with the general admission tickets.
Cool, except for the fact that when we finally realized there was a second line and that it looked like this:
Once we got in, I was so excited that I was literally taking pictures of EVERYTHING. I knew that it was probably going to be the only time that I would be able get a clear picture of the stage from where I stood since there was no one there yet and no one performing, the stage was freaking masssive:
Once we found where the bathrooms were (it was cool because they had this huge balloon up in the air that said bathrooms that you could see for miles; unless of course you were like me, and your eyesight was slightly impaired, hehe) we headed over to the North Stage (the one in the picture above) to get good seats because Fountains of Wayne were up first. While we were waiting for Fountains of Wayne to start, they started showing some trippy ass shit on the big screens. J told me to stop staring at it so much so I decided to take a picture of it to remember what I was seeing (it looked like some Windows Media Player stuff with random pics of flowers):
FOUNTAINS OF WAYNE!!!!!!:
We decided to scratch The Fratellis and just head over to one of the Shade Tents that they had set up after we checked out the Virgin Megastore that they had set up. It was freaking amazing!! They had everything there from cool bags, to all the bands' t-shirts to all the bands and DJs CDs from the beginning of their careers to their most recent albums. It was awesome and I regret not being able to take a picture of it - but I wasn't sure if they were going to let me.
I bought an Amy Winehouse t-shirt and then J bought The Police t-shirt for his little brother. Then we headed over to the Shade Tent to catch some shade:
This was where J got hit on by the Charm City Roller Girls (they were wearing pink feathered outfits and on pink and white roller skates). There was one girl in particular who came up to the chain link fence, bent over, lifted her pink feathers and pressed her butt against the fence in front of him. He looked at me with this look like "what's going on?" but I wouldn't let him live it down for the rest of the day or the night for that matter. hahaha
As we left the Shade Tent, we ran into the Green Light bushes: yes, you heard me right. They had these poor bastards running around in the heat in these bush outfits to help promote the Green Light thing they had going on - they had a bunch of recycling bins all over the place and everything like that:
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Sooo where do I begin? Let's start with Friday:
Thursday, August 2, 2007
We will start with the breakdancers. Mainly because when I got dropped off, I found myself at the back end of Artscape at the DJ tent crossing N. Charles Street. It was still early when I got there, so there was hardly anyone there. No large crowds, no obnoxious people...it was actually kind of nice.
As much as I have been known to bash a breakdancer once in a while (my boy Rob has been known to say "A bboy will always be a boy")
Okay, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry. Apparently even with blogging, my ADD sets in. The news is always playing in the background for me in the morning to remind me that I need to get my ass up. But as I was typing to you about breakdancers, I overheard the newscasters on WBAL talking about that video about the Cebu Inmates. Haha, you know, that dance video? If I had more time I would research the video and offer you guys a link. At this time I know that for sure the only person who has that link on their blog would be Angry Asian Man.
The first thing that popped into my mind as the newscaster goes, "Look how coordinated they are! Those guys can really dance!" was
of course they can, they are FILIPINO!
Because I think we all know which Filipino we all know who can rock it out to any Michael Jackson or any song for that matter... *cough ahem J ahem cough*
Alright people, I am off to work, and then tomorrow- go to the doctor! Wish me luck! I am hoping for the best.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
From all the junks the one i need more is music
From all the boys the one I take home is music
From all the ladies, the one I kiss is music
Music is my boyfriend
Music is my girlfriend
Music is my dead end
Music's my imaginary friend
Music is my brother
Music is my great grand daughter
Music is my sister
Music is my favorite mistress
From all the shit the one I gotta buy is music
From all the jobs the one I choose is music
From all the drinks I get drunk of music
From all the bitches the one I wanna be is music
Music is my beach house
Music is my hometown
Music is my king size bed
Music's where I meet my friends
Music is my hot hot bath
Music is my hot hot sex
Music is my backrub
My music is where I'd like you to touch
Claro que sim, fui escoteira mirim
direto da escola não não ia cheirar cola
nem basquete, pebolim
o que eu gosto não é de graça
o que eu faço não é faaarsaaa
tem guitarra, bateria, computador saindo som
alguns dizem que é mais alto que um furacão
Perto dele eu podia sentir
saía de seu olho e chegava em mim
sentada do seu lado eu queria encostar
faria o Tigela até o sol raiar
debaixo do lençol ele gemia em ré bemol
fiquei tensa, mas tava tudo bem
ele é fodão mas eu sei que eu sou também
ele é fodão mas eu sei que eu sou também
ele é fodão mas eu sei que eu sou também
ele é fodão mas eu sei que eu sou também
ele é fodão mas eu sei que eu sou também
Together they combine to create the most fucking anticipated moment of my entire summer. Ultimate rock-out will ensue in just under two days and both J and I are jumpy with excitement. He text me this morning saying that he was listening to Matisyahu on the ride into work. What better way to kick off the day than to listen to a reggae Orthodox Jew? Hell yes, people.
As for me? The Virgin Festival must have been created from the womb of my music-pregnant iPod. Even on shuffle the things I have been listening to constantly are: CSS, The Smashing Pumpkins, Spoon, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Matisyahu, Regina Spektor, Beastie Boys, The Police, and 311.
Can we say that I am psyched? Fuck yeah, I'm psyched.