Bodily Betrayal

My body has started taking me hostage. My anxiety is playing along.

For the past four years, around Autumn, I start getting dizzy and maybe even fully passing out. This year, it happened early– around August. I thought I was done for the year until last Friday, when it happened again. I was with a client, to make it extra scary and embarrassing. I went to Urgent Care, just to see what my vitals were, and everything was fine!

I took the next several days off, since it was the weekend anyways. But today started my workweek. Everything looks great, I should be making some good money this week. But my very first massage appointment, this morning at 10, and I was out again.

I don’t know if my anxiety is making it worse. I don’t know why I keep passing out. I don’t know what my body is trying to tell me, and to make it all worse– I don’t have health insurance AND I’m stressed out about money.

None of it is a good combination. I feel like my body is betraying me. Not that I’m great at treating her wonderfully, but somehow, she’s decided that enough is enough I guess.

I don’t have any point to this post except that I keep wanting to write, and I keep not being able to massage, which is my only source of income right now. And I think, too, if you’re out there, and your body is betraying you right now too– I hear you. I’m sitting on my couch, worrying about bills, questioning my life, wondering what is going to happen. And I hear you.

People love lists and checkmarks and boxes. They’re useful tools for organizing and sorting– which is great, when it comes to a to-do list. It feels a lot less great, though, when they’re trying to get you to fit on their list.

Or maybe they’re not pressuring you, they just don’t understand. 

It’s hard to be the person who is living a different life. There are certain milestones that people understand– you graduate high school, then college. Maybe grad school, maybe the workforce. You get engaged, you get married. You buy the house, you have a kid. This is how you do life. Unless it’s not.

I’m not exactly outside the box, but I am single at 31 in the Bible Belt. I’m not even a career girl– last year, I left my full time job to become a massage therapist. I’m applying for grad school currently. My life doesn’t really fit any molds that people usually understand.

I’ve felt left behind. Alone. Uncelebrated. I’ve put on a happy face (a real one!), I’ve bought baby shower gifts, I’ve drank to finished theses. But I’ve felt the lack of understanding from family, from friends, from acquaintances. I am easily labeled a “free spirit”– which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am a medicated ball of nerves! It’s just that every time I try to stuff myself into a pigeon hole, I feel really uncomfortable. I don’t fit. I’m scrunched and my legs start cramping.

So I picked a different lifestyle. One not a lot get. But I truly believe it’s the life I’m meant to live. It’s my timeline, my trajectory, my scenic route. I get to pick it.

And I’ve found the best people in my life are the ones who will celebrate the small things with me. They’ll wonder at the creation that is strawberries. They’ll high five me on a particularly lucrative week as an independent contractor. And they’ll drink with me to a submitted grad school application– even at 31.


Happy New Year- 31

This applies to no one but me, but my birthday was a little over a week ago. I’d like to think it’s a new year. I accomplished some stuff. I didn’t accomplish other stuff.


I went on a trip to Hawaii. INCREDIBLE food, people, scenery, FOOD. Went with a lifelong friend from college. Packed for eight days in a single backpack! Personal growth.

I also went on a trip to New Orleans. I learned to make pie from Joy the Baker. I gained confidence to hand-make the crust. I had good and hard conversations with my best friend from middle/high school. I ate beignets. I re-learned a hard lesson about being over 30 and wearing the wrong shoes to walk around in.

I developed a new collection of cookbooks. Who knows why? I barely cook. But, oh— I dream.

I started a new church group. We’re going through a 3 workbook series talking about God and our lives and laughing and talking serious and honestly, drinking a lot of beer. Amen.

I went through a rough slump. And I do mean rough. I began clawing my way back out around January. Hawaii and the sunshine helped. Friends helped. Netflix helped. Honestly.

I quit my office job to do massage full time. This was a good move.

I applied for Grad School. Recently. Like… a week ago. I’m anxious, to be honest.

I’ve heard the message over and over about connecting with your body. I’m learning. I try to stretch more often. I’ve signed myself and my sister up for 3 5ks this summer. I haven’t started training.

I’ve eaten an awful lot of cake. And loved every piece.

I got a roommate! I don’t live alone for the first time in SEVEN years.

I have doubted myself. And believed in myself. I’ve found strength in the music of Lizzo. She’s teaching me how to be a bad bitch. I need the lessons. I will learn.

Things I’ve recently Googled

Yesterday was a long day, made longer by staying up late to finish a book (yay!) Today was a restful day and not one of any deep contemplation. Church was nice, I ate leftover curry, and me and the kitties napped. I thought about skipping the blog today, but that would not bode well for the rest of my challenge, so here I am with a thing of little substance. A glimpse into my google history:

  1. Movie times to 2 different theaters– I recognized none of the titles except of one playing at 9:55pm. What.
  2. Ebola vs. E. coli– they sound alike but wreck you in different ways
  3. Bodies in Barrels podcast– True crime love
  4. Exit West– to make sure I spelled the author’s name correctly (Mohsin Hamid)
  5. Taylor Swift– I’m undecided about her as a person, but she makes really catchy music!
  6. Gyms near me– ugh.
  7. Opening a  Roth IRA– these past 2 reek of New Years Resolutions, huh?


What’s your most recent Google? Do you dare?

Attitude is everything

During my childhood, I was frequently called out for my attitude. Through my actions, my words, and DEFINITELY my face, you could see every vile thought I was thinking. Unfortunately for everyone involved, it was the 90s. My instructions were to change my attitude, but there were no strategies given. So, I mostly just learned how to hide the attitude.

Then along came depression and anxiety, which I didn’t have words for a the time, but I knew how they made me think and feel. (Spoiler: not fantastic). But years of dealing with these and learning how to cope, I also learned a few things about improving my thoughts, and therefore, my attitude (in general, or towards something specific).

I say all this to say… this week SUCKED, business-wise. I had 3 massages all week, until today. Today I had 4 back to back. This is not unusual for Saturdays, but to be honest, I’m usually not thrilled about it. I know I’m going to have to talk to so many people. I know I’m going to end the day tired and sore. I spend even Friday night dreading it.

This week, I tried a different tack. Because this week was so slow, I barely made any money. So when I saw the 4 appointments, I got excited! I got READY! I knew this was the way I make money and provide for myself (and my cats, let’s be honest).

I just finished up my day. I’m tired, but amazingly, not exhausted. I’m not sore. I had a great day. Because I went in with a different attitude, I had a much better day than I normally anticipate. Hooray for great days and making money and better attitudes!

What are you dreading? How can you change how you’re feeling about it?


I’m weird in probably many ways. But in particular, this: I love meeting new people. I love small talk. I love small talk that grows into big talk.

I used to be really terrible or terrified to talk with people, but years of working in customer service (waiting tables, barista-ing, retail, etc…) gave me plenty of practice. Plus, growing up I watched my dad, who was/is a great conversationalist. And his trick was this– ask questions. Don’t interrogate, but ask. Be interested. Listen. Develop more questions. Because what subject is everyone’s best known? Themselves.

I’ve been told I’m the “world’s worst introvert” because I can strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. I talk to people in line at the grocery, at coffee shops, just about anywhere I go. I also rarely put on headphones because I feel like it’ll impede getting to talk to someone new.

Today I got to meet a new person that may become a part of my life. If they don’t, I still have a lovely afternoon where I learned about a different faith; I met a person with a lot of dreams, one who is experiencing some very tough decisions for a young person to make. I loved hearing their story. I loved giving small bits of advice (do it. have the adventure.) I loved connecting with someone I knew very little about before today.

I don’t know, there’s something very comforting and connecting in getting to hear someone’s story. It makes me feel part of something bigger. It reminds me that there are so many lives to live. You remember that your experience is so different from anyone else’s… and yet– so much alike. I’m one of seven million and my story is my own, but my struggles and pain don’t isolate me, they connect me with people. My experiences can help someone else. My smile and questions can put someone at ease. Can help them remember they’re connected, too.

What about you? Do you hate small talk? Do you wear headphones? Have you ever met anyone on a plane?


My mom and I both recently read the book The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. By “recently” I mean I finished it about two days ago.

In it, Flanders sets up a shopping ban for herself for one year. That didn’t strike me. I occasionally splurge, but honestly– I’ve got my budget pretty tied down right now. What did hit me was that in addition to buying nothing (or next to), she also got rid of things. Like 70% of her current belongings.

Oof. This one hit me. I have… a lot of stuff. I thought I’d kept it pretty paired down during my 20s because of all the moves I made, but somehow, sitting here in the home I own, all of my belongings that were strewn across states sometimes are all sitting in my possession. I have spent a lot of money on things I do not use.

So today, I made a pile. I really only went through wardrobe stuff, because when I got to my spare room that holds everything else, I got really intimidated.

less clothes.jpg

So from my closet(s), hanging rack, dresser, and other shelf full of clothes, I pulled things I haven’t worn in a long time, if ever. I ended up with something like 5 dresses, 7 pairs of jeans, and 4 jackets. *And a partridge in a pear tree*  I didn’t count the number of shirts, because I’m not even sure I can count that high.

I’m still left with an inordinate amount of clothes. For example, the category I have most of is “sleep shirts.” Which translates to “t-shirts I would not wear in public but are still nice enough to be worn so I wear them around the house and and night and stuff.” I don’t even know how to get rid of these. But I have nearly an entire draw full.

Next to tackle is what I call “Spare Oom” (Narnia reference). It holds everything from the day I moved in (October 2017) that didn’t immediately need placed to keep a house. So far, I pulled some papers to be thrown out and a Brita pitcher, a clock radio/iPod player, and an alarm clock to be donated along with the clothes. I don’t even want to think about what else is in the boxes that I’ve forgotten about. And don’t get me started on shoes.

Should I keep the red strappy high heels, for example? Have you ever done a huge purge? Read Flanders’ book? Felt an urge to GET RID OF STUFF?

A hole with no wifi

Where have I been? I’ve been in a hole. It’s been dark and a little damp, maybe. But it’s been cozy and for a long time, I didn’t mind. Then I remembered that there’s a whole world outside of my hole and for the first time in a long time, I told someone “I’m not doing so well.”

I’m not out of the hole, but I’ve got plans. I’m poking my nose out. I’m seeing more light that I had seen for a while. It feels good. But honestly? Also exhausting.

Because I think I do okay with challenges (only ones I present to myself)– I’m going to try something. I haven’t been writing, not because I didn’t have anything to say, but I guess my hole has poor wifi reception? Anyways, I read something about someone else trying to post on their blog THIRTY DAYS IN A ROW. So I’m going to try.

At first I thought, I’ll do it in January. But you know what? That’s just as arbitrary a date as today. Plus, it gave me a few weeks to back my way out of the challenge. I really won’t be going for quality, here. Just sheer quantity. And that’s supposed to be the opposite of the way you do this, but I think I need to get my butt in gear. I need to open my laptop and log in to this blog every single day. It’s like an exercise routine, but for my brain.

So my apologies for the short posts, the random thoughts, and for the silence before this. Join me in my arbitrary month of posts!

Wake up, dig in

My goal for September has been to wake up. I’ve talked about why recently, and I’ve talked about a few things I’m doing to push through this sleepy/self-cloistering period.

Another phrase that has popped into my consciousness is dig in. Not like “gut it out” like we hear in exercise (was anyone else a runner?), but like in putting in roots. Going deeper. Getting stronger. Connecting. It feels like time.

We had a “Community Conversation” this evening at the church I call home, and I was pleased to hear that a lot of people are feeling the same way. Maybe it’s the end of summer, which feels free and transitory. Maybe it’s the beginning of “cuffing season,” but people are looking to invest, to dig in, and I’m here for it.

I’m excited to see where it leads. Myself, I have a newly set-up walking date with a friend with a new baby. I’ve messaged an out-of-state friend about having monthly Skype dates. I’m ready to pour into and be poured into. I’m looking for ways to connect and deepen. I feel a craving that not even mac-and-cheese can fill.

Anyone else feeling a shift in the weather? What are you digging in to?

The Struggle is real: Anxiety and a wide-open schedule

I’ve talked about it quite a bit– going out on my own, ditching the 9-5 office job. And you know what? I haven’t looked back, on that part. But let me tell you– sometimes my lizard brain has a mind of its own, you know? In the month that I’ve been a free bird, anxiety has been NO JOKE.

One of my biggest responses to both depression or anxiety is to SHUT IT DOWN. Meaning,  I don’t do anything. I sleep, sometimes 16-20 hours a day, if I can. Yeah, not healthy. But it’s been my go-to method for a long time.

And in the month of September so far, I’ve been woozy and dizzy, and I’ve fully passed out (twice!). Sound crazy? Feels even worse, I can assure you. A few years ago I had heart tests run, and I’m fit as a fiddle. But those psychosomatic responses aren’t here to play– so I have heart palpitations and fits of blackouts. It’s a great time.

I think all this stems from the fact that I don’t transition well and I have so much free time and what if clients stop booking massages and I don’t make any money?! You know, the normal stuff.

So what am I going to do about all of this? Here are my actionable plans:

  1. I have already emailed my therapist to get back on her schedule
  2. I have to get out and do more– I am running a 5k in 2 weeks and I think I may go (alone!) to one of my favorite comedians who is coming to town
  3. I’ve been taking slow walks daily, about 20-30 minutes. Slow enough so I don’t get dizzy, but enough to get my heart rate up and hopefully keep my heart healthy
  4.  I need to start advertising and reaching out more. Know anyone in Indianapolis who could use a massage? Refer them to me!!


What do you do to combat your anxiety? How to you populate your free time? Do you have a walking buddy (where did you get her?!)?