Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Let's try this 2013 recap again

Poignant moments of 2013

2013 had a pretty great start. It was the beginning of my getting to know some fantastic people most of which pretty far from home. There was a lot of time spent in airplanes and airports, but worth every minute of it. I’m grateful for the people I met who embraced me. They took a chance on me since I live in a different state. Some may have requested my license plate number and a vial of blood first, but I guess I seemed ok enough. Their generosity and open arms won’t be forgotten. So to them I say thank you. 

I have to talk about my sister telling me they decided to move to Maui. This news didn’t set well with me at all. I got the text while I was at work and had to excuse myself to my car to have a meltdown. I support them in their decision, but it’s hard having my sister and her husband 3,000 miles away. It’s especially hard since I wanted to go out there during Christmas break, but die to this surgery and recovery junk, I won’t  see them until March or June. We did FaceTime opening gifts from each other, which was nice. but certainly not the same. 

I won’t forget making the drive to the airport when I got a message from B.J’s best friend telling me he was in the hospital. He was put into a coma and passed away the day of the Concert for Kidd’s Kids. He was a great guy and I consider myself so blessed to have gotten the chance to know him. 

I cannot speak of 2013 and not mention Kidd’s death. The man was a genius. He was funny, creative, and so incredibly business savvy. I didn’t go to the golf tournament in NOLA this year because it was my sister’s last weekend in town. But she went on a girls trip, so I flew up north for a birthday celebration. I had my phone on the patio table, and when I saw it, I had two missed calls from Kellie and a text from Al telling me to call her back. Kellie said she wanted to be the one to tell me the news of what happened. I lost it. I felt like I hadn’t proven my loyalty to him or the show by not being there with them when it happened. I know that beating myself up over it does no good, but it crosses my mind a lot. 

The transition of the show has been an interesting one. It’s really a difficult task to step into the studio and have a show when it’s obvious that the name sake is gone. I think that we have done our best to deliver a product that Kidd would be proud of, but I know it’s different for everyone. We are all just really grateful for those of you who have stuck with us. 

No matter how sick I am of talking about it, I have to mention this dumb brain surgery I had. It’s not been easy  at any point. It’s hard to convince myself that the people who have been around to help want to be there and don’t consider me a burden. I feel like I’m just that. I tell you that I cry a lot and that’s one of the main reasons. I suppose it’s sort of a peek into the value I hold in myself to be unable to accept anyone wanting to help me. I’m crying just typing this. It all happened so quickly and I tried to time it out so that I could finish off the year at work and not cause anyone to miss work, but it didn’t happen that way. If you know me, you know that my job is a huge part of my identity. Work period is a huge part of my identity. I’ve not done that in what seems like forever at this point. And, if you want more honesty, I’m feeling pretty terrible. I can keep nothing down. Today I woke up feeling worse than I did when I had the flu with some nasty projectile vomiting. Food is like an enema to me at this point. I fight to keep it down as long as I can so I don’t die of malnutrition. It’s gross, but that’s how it is. And I get so many messages from people telling me I’m an inspiration and they admire my strength. I feel like I’m letting them down. I don’t feel strong at all. No part of my life is what I want it to be right now. I hurt someone i care a lot about, my parents worry about me instead of taking it easy on their time off, and day after day I wake up and it’s the same damn question. Now what? It’s exhausting and I’m not strong. Not at all. I’m losing my ability to even fake being strong. I’m sorry to be a big disappointment to everyone who comments on my strength. It’s a front. A pathetically weak front. 


In the meantime, Happy 2014 to you and even if this year was a great one, I wish even more greatness to come. And thank you from here to the moon for all of your love and support.





































Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Here's the latest...

Well, Christmas 2013 is done. December 20 is gone. My do or die date got tossed when all this surgery stuff happened. I guess it's all part of the universes plan for me. I'm not too fond of it, but there's nothing I can do to change it. I'm trying so, SO hard not to get frustrated, but if I'm being honest, I'm crying a little as I write this. I am very blessed to be alive and be able to see and hear. That isn't lost on me for a second. My neurosurgeon even had a hoodie made for me. It says "Blessed" on the front and has "Murphy" on the back. I gave him a Superman hoodie in return because he's 1/2 of the surgeon team that took my tumor out. I'm not sure that the other surgeon would want a Superman hoodie, so Dr. Dickerman gets the prize. Yay him!

It's weird that right after I had my surgery, I went and got my eyes checked and my vision tested fine. But when I try to read or focus on things, it's not happening. I've got this motion sickness patch that I wear behind my ear. I was on 25mg of Phenergan, but that wasn't helping. So now it's Zofran and I still can't keep stuff down. And with the vomiting comes achiness and moodiness and I'm just tired. But I've got no appetite, so I guess that helps with the vomiting. I was doing better with holding onto things, but now I suck. Like I posted the other day I broke my Otterbox case from dropping my phone over and over on the carpet. My nephew spilled root beer in his Mac. I know how to clean under the keys. But I kid you not when I say it took me well over an hour to get just one key back on. I've gone from being pretty dang independent to this. I'm grateful to be alive and to have people to help me with things, but to go from working every day and going home to my tiny apartment and getting naked whenever I feel like it is a big change.

I can't complain because the fact is that I'm ok. I'm just used to living my life without anyone having to miss work to take cafe of me or call my doctor when my face swells up because I got too tired and had some kind of allergic reaction. It's hard for me to wrap what's left of my brain around. I'm not driving because I don't feel comfortable with it. I feel almost like out of body. I've never questioned my ability or willingness to drive, but now I'm scared. It's one thing if my dizziness gets the best of me and I drive into a pole or something, but it's another since I'm not alone on the road. I have driven maybe a quarter of a mile to WalMart, but I knew I would be an idiot to try any further.

Crying really has become my hobby. I'm sure I have occasional pity parties. I had plans! I'm supposed to be in Maui right now...instead we had to FaceTime my sister and Orlando when we opened gifts. I miss my sister. I miss a lot of things and a lot of people, but it's out of my hands to change the circumstances.

Anyway, enough of my progress report. It's Christmas. I did pretty good for myself. I got a seriously cool camera, my favorite brand of sneakers, a family photo picture frame from my nephew, a bag full or refried beans and a Target gift card from Kellie Rasberry, a beautiful book from Mr. and Mrs. Rasberry, a Hawaiian hoodie from Maui, a couple of new beanies from Kellie's best friend, Amy, a life proof phone case from my parents and sister and Jeff, and Santa even put vodka in my stocking so I would have it when I can drink again. I'm gonna be a really cheap date whenever that day comes.
Oh, Keith got a set of coasters made out of old records, I got an Amazon gift card, a cute little hat and matching scarf, a cool crafty bowl full of candy, and I think I can't remember what else. I know that Christmas is about being with friends and family and not the gifts, but now I have an extra set of sneakers to contemplate wearing. That can take up like 12 minutes in the day. And I've got lots of time. So it goes beyond that for me right now. The camera is something I can mess with until I've got it down to an art, so I'm glad to have it.

Next up? New Years eve. I don't think I've ever been nervous about the New Year before. I think maybe I'm scared because this year started out and I was happy and on top of the world. But then life happened and that feeling faded. Sucks. But I can only control my thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions. So I'm trying to convince myself that 2014 is going to be the year that things turn around for me. Since my do or die deadline has come and gone and I made no progress, maybe giving myself a full year to figure out whatever it is that I'm trying to figure out is more realistic. Baby steps and a lot of patience with myself are very necessary. I'm not good at either. But I will try.

Oh, I've been destroying my hands making those wreaths made of ornaments. I will post a pic. The hand holding the glue gun seemed to put hot glue on the other hand more than it did the ornaments, but it's OK. I'm gonna keep an eye out for clearance ornaments and stuff so I can make more and sell them next year.

Thanks for sticking with me. It means the world. It kind of sucks when you go through a big life ordeal and you see people's true colors. At least it sucks when their colors are bad. So I'm going to focus on those with goodness in them in hopes of becoming a better person on this journey called life.

And BTW. Have you ever gotten a flu shot right after surgery? Don't do it. That dang shot adds $46 to your bill. That's nuts.

Merry Christmas, you guys. And thanks again for the continued love and support.

Shanon


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Forgive my mess ups. But here ya go...as promised

Hi there. It's been a while. Bear with me when it comes to typos, repeating myself, and sounding like a cracked out idiot. I pretty much am.

As a recap I found out in October that I was born with a tumor. A rare tumor that was stuck between the brain stem and cerebellum, right around my 5th nerve. Dr. Dickerman told us it was a tumor that 1 in something people are born with, but I've forgotten the number. I didn't realize the severity of this thing until after the fact. At least the severity of the surgery. The tumor was benign and is gone. It was just in a really bad spot. One little slip to the left and I would have lost sight. One little slip to the right and I would lose hearing. Thankfully, I had the best neurosurgeons, wire guy, and other operating room people around. I truly mean that. They got the tumor out and now I'm on the road to recovery.

My neurosurgeon says that I'm doing really well. But let's face it. I had brain surgery. They cut into my head and went into my brain with tools and stuff. That's a pretty bug deal. I had the surgery on November 11, stayed in ICU for a few days, a regular room one or two days ( I think), and they let me go. Yeah!

I'm able to walk, talk, see, hear, touch, smell and everything else. Life is very weird and hard for me right now. I'm not handling this patience thing well. At all. I'm very frustrated. My surgery was a 100% success. But I'm on meds that have weird side effects. And I'm having migraines and having a hard time keeping food down and my vision is blurry and my coordination is pretty horrid. Luckily, I have a walker, so I can walk and not fall over. I'm not driving. I can barely get through the house without walking into a wall or tripping over my feet, so just be grateful I'm not on the road. There is no risk of seizures, but with my dizziness and nausea and other stuff, I just have no business taking a cross country road trip right now. And, unfortunately, I have no business going to see my sister in Maui over Christmas. That one sucks pretty bad. But I've always been a klutz. Knowing me, I would try and paddle board or something and break my head open. I bet that would hurt in salt water. So maybe I  will goo over spring break.

I was back in the ICU or CCU last week. My head was leaking and my neurosurgeon told me to go to the ER to have it checked. They admitted me pretty quickly because you can't risk infection with something like this. I was on IV antibiotics and all the other meds. I went in on Saturday and got out on Thursday, I think. I don't know what day it is now, so don't hold me to those days of the week.

How much does brain surgery cost, you ask??? A little over $145,000 to be exact. How much last weeks stay in ICU is gonna run will soon be known. They're quick to let you know when you owe them money.

Speaking of, seeing as how I'm not working at the moment, you guys have TRULY saved my butt with the fund you set up for me. Short term disability apparently does back pay. I wasn't saving up for living expenses and hospital bills, so I've been using the money from the fund you guys set up to live off of while I wait for disability to kick in. You literally have covered my rear and I'm so incredibly grateful for that.

I'm staying with my parents house still. I'm not very good on my own at the moment. It's just a matter of giving my body time and being patient with the healing process. My neuro said that when air hits the brain, it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year to be "normal" again. I guess luckily I've never been normal, so maybe my time will be cut shorter.

Crying has become my hobby. This is so not me. One day I went to the doctor thinking it was something simple and the next I have two guys digging in my skull. I don't miss work. I don't depend on people to meet my needs. But that's all changed. Now that's exactly who I am and it stings. What if the show is better without me? It's scary to think about. I've spent a lot of time coloring to work out my hand-eye coordination. Scooby-Doo was my favorite book. I colored the whole thing, so I'm moved onto the Ninja Turtles. They're the giant books so I can stay somewhat in the lines if I outline them. I've made some wreath ornaments. I have a Rainbow loom thing, but I don't get it.

I'm very frustrated with my memory. It's pretty bad, but it has nothing to do with the surgery sort of. Maybe that air in the head thing contributes. But it's probable more the meds I'm on. Apparently I asked someone the same question 6 times and I don't recall any of them. I won't even get into how bad my thinking is these days because it's upsetting to me. But in the long term I will be fine and I'm very fortunate.

So, I guess that's that for now. My head is hurting pretty bad, so I've gotta get my bed set up to sleep at a 45* angle and go to bed. I don't know the specifics of when I will feel better or when I will be back at work, but it will be as soon as I can do what I do well. And, if you care, Kellie Rasberry has been fantastic throughout all of this. She came to the hospitals and has come to see me at my parents house and calls and texts. I'm very blessed to have people like her in my life. My friends and mom and dad have been great in helping me. My Aunt Terry is willing to drive a really long way to help. I'm just recognizing the amount of people in my life who care and I'm so fortunate. And I cannot and would not end this without another huge thanks to you guys for the non-stop support and prayers. I know it's not fun reading posts from the girl who had brain surgery and is recovering. I don't enjoy being that girl one bit. But you stick with me and send soooo many messages of support. It's truly overwhelming. I will do a better job of reading and replying to you guys when things are a little bit easier for me. Now I'm gonna take it a step at a time and master the art of which Ninja Turtle is which. And color them accordingly.

Much love to all of you. And a huge thank you.

Love,
Shanon

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tomorrow is the day...

It's so surreal to know that in less than 12 hours, I will be having brain surgery. Head cut open with two neurosurgeons messing around up there. In case you've missed it, I've got a benign brain tumor that's being removed tomorrow morning. It's wedged or wrapped o something around my brain stem and my cerebellum. It's messing up the 5th nerve in my brain.I don't pretend to understand all of this for even a second. All I know is that my head has been hurting a lot, I can't see very clearly at times, and right now my left hand is swollen and the redness is spreading up my wrist. I didn't injure it on anything, so I'm not sure what's up.

I will be in ICU following the surgery. I don't know how long I'm supposed to be there. The surgery starts tomorrow morning at 7AM and should last about 6 hours, if all goes well. They won't have to shave a bunch of my hair, I hope. I will be out during the surgery since they're not messing with the past of my brain that has to do with speech. So at least there's that.

I for sure did not see this coming. Not one bit. I'm so seriously lucky that Yea Networks (the LLC business name behind the show) has been so supportive. I have gotten THOUSANDS of messages from people who want me to know they're praying for me. I wish I could reply to every one, but I can't. I'm not even exaggerating when I say THOUSANDS of you have been very vocal about letting me know I'm in your thoughts.

It's easy to ask "why me" when bad stuff happens. You know? But I've come to realize that this question should be asked during the good times, too. Why me? Why do I deserve to be a part of your thoughts and prayers? I'm very blessed and I just need you all to know that I recognize it.

I'm scared about this surgery. Terrified in fact. But this is totally out of my hands and in the hands of two of the best surgeons in Dallas. There will be some temporary side effects, but full recovery is expected. I wish that I knew specifics to share with you guys, but I don't. I don't know if I will have my phone or laptop with me for a few days, but I will ask my mom to post updates on my behalf. I guess I better delete all of the naked pics I've got in my phone so she doesn't see them. J/K.

Thank you again for all of your love and support. I'm gonna use every bit of it to get through this scary time. Love you guys.

Shanon

Monday, October 28, 2013

I'm not a hypochondriac...

I was going through the Facebook Enoji’s this morning to see which one I would choose if I was posting anything. There are SO MANY that I could pick right now. Confused, surprised, scared, determined, blessed, loved…just to name a few.

And then I went down to the deli earlier this morning and the sweet lady who was ringing up my Tylenol said “Are you ok? You look bad.” Gotta love brutal honesty, right?

You ever leave work at night with a horrible stress headache? And it’s no big deal. It’s a headache like you’ve had a hundred times before. I’ve never been a person who handles stress very well. Growing up I would throw up and get migraines that were supposed to be caused from stress. It’s all I’ve ever known, so the headaches and inability to hold food down lately are nothing new. I’ve had CAT scans and MRI’s in the past, but they were always normal.

I woke up on Friday, October 18 with swelling on the left side of my face. It was odd, but I figured it was just some sinus junk because I was having sinus symptoms. I started having numbness on my left side. For lack of a better way to put it, I felt off. My balance is off, I’m walking into things, and make myself dizzy driving. So I went to the doctor last Monday hoping he could help me feel better. He was unsure as to what was going on, so he scheduled me for an MRI on Tuesday. On Wednesday, during our Kidd’s Kids Day show, he called and told me that the MRI showed a mass that wasn’t supposed to be there. Next thing I know a neurosurgeon is calling me to tell me when I’m coming in for an appointment. WTH? He ordered and other MRI (which are $1,300 out of pocket each) and saw that yep. There’s something there that doesn’t belong.  

I have a tumor on my brain stem. The tumor itself is benign. They could leave it there if it weren’t on the worst possible spot on my brain. I think. It won’t respond to chemo or radiation, so the only way to get rid of it is surgery. They scheduled it for this Wednesday. I went to see the second neurosurgeon who will operate on me and he postponed the surgery. I wanted to get it done in time to recover for the Kidd’s Kids trip, but there is too much swelling in my brain. I’ve got non-bacterial meningitis that is causing the swelling. Removing the tumor would be too difficult and dangerous with the swelling, so I’m on steroids to try and reduce it. If the steroids work, I will be having surgery to remove the tumor after the Kidd’s Kids trip. The meningitis is here because flakes of the tumor have come loose and mixed with my spinal fluid. So here I am.

Here’s the rundown. This tumor is a genetic defect on my brain. It is slow growing. I’ve had many cat scans and MRI’s before, but it’s not been noticed. It looked like spinal fluid. But it’s grown enough now and is putting enough pressure on my brain stem that it’s a problem. The surgeons will not be able to remove it completely, but they will do what they can. The surgery will last about a 2 hours.  I will spend a couple days in ICU, then a few days in a regular room, and then be released. The recovery time will be at least 2 weeks. The surgery is risky because it can cause nerve damage. I could have paralysis on my face, loss of vision, loss of hearing, and I can’t remember what else.


It’s a lot to take in and I’m not a doctor and I’ve been pretty out of it the past few days, but that’s how I understand it to be. So if you have a second to ask God to please help me out with this dang brain tumor, the tumor and I would both appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why?? Here's why..

Just wanted to offer a little background on some of the kids going on this years trip. Every Kidd's Kids family who has gone on the trip has been deserving and these kids are no different.

I got to spend some time with Elijah and his family a couple weeks ago. It was on the way to visit them that I pretty much drove my car off of a 4 foot drop. Ouch. But well worth it. Elijah has CP and a chromosomal disorder that's never been seen before. And, as of last night, I found out that he's got some bone issues that they just found out about. His siblings, Isaiah and Olivia, are so cute and full of life. Elijah is, too. THey didn't diagnose his CP until he was 6.5, so this is still a fairly new thing to them. The symptoms are the same, but now they have a name to at least one of the issues. Elijah and his brother want to ride the Tower of Terror with Big Al and Olivia wants to be a princess. Let's make it happen.

Johnson and Matthew are brothers who live with their mom, Angela. I don't even know the condition that they face, but it's harsh. Matthew spends most of his time horizontally. Both boys have hearing loss, but Matthew's vision is deteriorating as well. He needs to SEE and HEAR Disney World while he can. He does meds every half an hour and gets all of his nutrition through a PIIC line. His brother, Johnson, isn't quite as bad as Matthew, but he still deserves to see that life can be magical. Both kids are non-verbal, so we need to put looks of amazement on their faces. Come on. Let's do this.

Penny is full of life and spirit and sooooo cute. She was diagnosed with strep throat, couldn't break the fever, had to go to the hospital, and that night was on chemo. The chemo did not kill the cancer, so now she's on more aggressive treatment. Can you even imagine being a parent treating a kid for strep and then finding out it's Leukemia? And her brother, Joel. You know that treating Penny takes a lot of time, effort, and money. So this little boy is left to deal with a sick sister who gets most of the attention. That sucks for a kid. L:et's show him that he's just as important and deserves the trip of a lifetime just as much as anyone else.

You will hear from these and other kids going on the trip this morning. Please help us make this trip a reality for them. Put the umph back in their spirit. Give them happy that pushes them to fight. Make Kidd overcome with joy when he sees that the groundwork he's laid will continue.

KiddsKids.com is the website. (888)SWA-KIDZ is the phone number. Or you can text the word KIDD to 52000 to donate $10. You can do that up to 3 times.

Please do what you can and, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for making dreams and fairy tales come true.





Friday, October 18, 2013

A lotta IF/Thens and the one???

I originally wrote this in Word to be copied and pasted. There are 4-pages that I've written that will stay as a word document only. Very insightful, but maybe too insightful. So let's scratch the surface of my brain in public while I work through the other 4 pages in private. I feel like a tease now. It was about leaps of faith and gratitude and changes in my life over the past year. That's about it. 



I didn’t do three in a week this week because, well, I just didn’t. I guess my mind was just overflowing with stuff last week and now it’s just crawling on fumes. I wish there was a place to refuel your mind like you do your car, but there’s not. So there’s that.

Let’s see. I have a couple more if/thens to share.

IF your drive thru order is so long you have to put your mini van in park to complete it, THEN you should’ve gone inside.

IF you’re driving your truck down the road with a cigar in one hand and your cell phone up to your ear in the other, THEN you don’t have hands to drive with. WTH are you doing?

IF I break a sweat simply going to the mall to buy some stuff at the Disney Store, THEN I’m not really sure what. Maybe I just needed to share that I broke a sweat going to the Disney Store today.

IF cats are going to lick themselves clean, THEN their bodies should be able to digest the hair they swallow so they don’t throw up on the floor.

You know what’s worse than beating the heck out of yourself for messing something up? Having to sit in a room of your peers and a consultant while he replays the screw up. And, when you’re supposed to be listening to figure out what the “cast” could do to make the break better, you know all along that the bit was just fine had it not been for you. OMG brutal. Not because of anything the others said, but because I’m my own worst critic. I bet you I won’t make the same mistake again, though. Humiliation is great for the memory.


I realized something last Saturday. They always ask if being gay is a choice. I guess trying to fault us for who we love. I have an answer for that. It’s not a choice. I’ve thought this all along, but here’s more proof. I remember having to watch Barney over and over when I was younger because my cousin loved it. I would watch it too, claiming to have a crush on Michael. But I really had a crush on Lucy. I wasn’t old enough to date either at that point, but I knew. And I had feelings for Punky Brewster. And Kelly Kapowski.

Oh, and here's an article I read today. Interesting stuff. Every girl wants her fairytale come true. If you watched the video I linked last night, you know what I'm talking about. I'm not sure how true this is...but I'm assuming that if it's on the internet then it MUST be true. I'm going with it. So should you.

Ten Ways You Know You Have Found "The One"

I’ve heard numerous single clients talking about seeking “the one”. What is “the one” that they are referring to? In my opinion, people mean the person who they feel confident about spending the rest of their life with. I think most people are searching for this kind of person, regardless of what they may tell others. So let’s say you’ve found someone special in your life, how do you know that they are “The One”? Here’s a top ten list to help guide you:

10. The sex is incredible- you have never experienced such intense or frequent orgasms or had the desire for sex in such different positions or locations, you get the point. Fact is, sex is as much mental as physical, so if you’re deeply connected to your partner, the sex will be good.

9. You can talk for hours without being bored- lifelong compatibility is about having a lot of common interests and having good communication.

8. You can be silent for hours without being bored-
even better than good conversation is good silence. It shows that you are truly comfortable together.

7. You lose all sense of logic and reason- you crave to be together all the time or you start thinking about marriage and/or children way before it is socially acceptable. You just feel like you want to dive head first into the relationship and be with your partner always.

6. You can confidently say you have never felt this way before- self explanatory, if other loves paled in comparison to this one, you might have just found true love.

5. You have similar life goals- you both want to start a family or start a business together or go sailing around the world, or whatever. Love alone isn’t enough- you need to have common life goals.

4. When you look into the future, you can see them in your plans-
you find yourself thinking about having a family or being older or moving to another city or starting a new job, and your lover is always there, prominent in your future thoughts.

3. You have the desire to satisfy their needs over and above your own- you are interested in them as people, interested in their dreams and passions, their fears and worries. You want to be there for them and you hold their happiness above your own. For more info on this, look at my “What is Love?” article.

2. You want to share of yourself as much as possible- you can’t wait to introduce them to your friends and family, show them old pictures, and take them to your favorite places.

1. You love and appreciate them for their weaknesses as much as for their strengths
- we all have strengths and weaknesses. However, you don’t feel critical of your partner for any of their weaknesses, in fact you appreciate their differences as being unique characteristics which make them the individuals they are.

Take a look at this checklist. If you find yourself checking off at least 7 or more of these items, you may just have found yourself “The One”! Save yourself the need for sex and couples therapy in the future and make sure you are making a commitment to your true life partner.

Friday, October 11, 2013

12.20.13 is my date

Happiness is what life is about. The end. I've been accused of living my life for everyone else. And looking back I can say yeah. It's true. I could give examples, but why rehash all that stuff? I can tell you the exact day that I realized that personal happiness is what it's about. That day was this past Tuesday. October 8. It was a conversation I had with a couple of really smart people that made me see that I can't live this way anymore. I know what parts of my life make me happy and those that don't. So why am I running in place...or maybe even treading water...with the BS that I allow to bring me down? I'm sick of me. I'm sick of doing what's comfortable for now because it's safe and easy. Or because it's what's expected. No more. I cannot allow myself to be in this mindset anymore. It's obvious to pretty much everyone that I've been having a hard time and my brain has gone into the lowest place possible. I've asked myself why I continue to do the things I do in the areas of my life where my value isn't seen. Some of those things are being done because it's what I've known. But as of Tuesday, I'm giving the finger to what I know. I'm destined for something more than is obvious to me and it's my time to figure out what that is. Either that or it's time for me to throw in the towel and continue letting my brain sink into the darkest places until I can no longer stand it. Should I be writing a book? Well, I kind of already am. Both through blogs and in a journal that's locked away. How do I get the charity I want to have off the ground? With so much loss and pain and awfulness that's been in my world over the past couple of years, how do I put the spotlight on all that could be so beautiful in my world right now?? How do I make what is beautiful embrace me? My flaws, my insecurities, my stupidity at times? I'm ready for it to all come together. 

I know that everyone has a time in their life when falling off the face of the earth seems like it would be best. I've been there for far too long. I've put on brave face...not necessarily a smiling one...but I've avoided meltdown status on most occasions. I feel like I'm going through the motions and it makes me sick. Truly sick. What is the value in a day if you feel like a robot? If there's an answer to this, someone please let me know what it is. 

Life seems like there's so much push and pull. I've found what makes me feel whole.  

I know that part of the reason I've struggled so much with the loss of my nephew was that we had unconditional, unquestionable love. That is a rare thing to have. I know that parents have it for their kids (even if the kids do everything they can to destroy it), but to have that with a human being that was not created by your own juices? THAT is what life's about. I got a text from Travis Johnson, Ayden's dad, from Kidds Kids 2012, on Wednesday night. It was a picture of a photo they are putting on their wall. The photo is the same one that's on my wall. Ayden and me hugging. So simple. And in that text Travis wrote "as real as love gets." He hit the nail on the head. I have love that is as true as it gets. And Ayden has true love in his heart. The difference between Ayden and me? He's 6 and has been through enough so much, but I don't think he has a grasp of his struggle. In a few years he will get it. It will sink in that nothing has come easy for him and he might get mad at the world. I doubt it, but who knows. I've had my ass handed to me time and time again in my 32 years of life. My health has been seriously bad. My heart has ached. I've cried in my sleep. I've given without getting anything in return. I've had 32 years to mold who and what I am. But I know that THIS is not it. There's something more waiting for me and that is happiness. Why am I sitting in my completely dark bedroom right now when I should be at a covered bridge festival? Why do my face and stomach hurt to the touch? Why did I text message my former grief counselor last night for words of encouragement to talk me off of the ledge? 

I won't get into the reasons why because I'm not alone in my struggles. But I will say this. I officially give myself a deadline to pull my happiness together and live it. December 20 is that date. I'm sharing it with all of you. By December 20, I will have stopped just treading water. By December 20 I will be doing what I've gotta do to fulfill my heart. That's it. For the first time in my life, I have that date circled on my calendar. I owe it to myself to fight tooth and nail to get what I want. And I'm sure that life's push and pull will continue on my path, but I don't care. I really, really don't. Mark my words. Or at least that date. 12.20.2013 is my do or die deadline. Is it drastic? Yes. Is it reckless and dumb? Maybe so. But I cannot live a life full of what ifs. If there's anything I've learned it's that our next breath is not guaranteed. So you gotta make them count, right? No more "I'll be happy once this and that is taken care of." You truly do only live once. And I don't care who you are or what your role in this world is...you CANNOT say that your happiness does not matter right now. Because it does.Because the happy in your soul will make every part of your life better. Every relationship, every task, everything.  And don't look what will make you happy in the eye one minute and turn your back on it the next. That is no way to live. Maybe it scares the crap out of you. Maybe it's unlike anything you've known before. Maybe it requires some growing pains, but what doesn't? At least what that is worthwhile? I am just going to put this out there. If there's someone in your life that completes your puzzle. Makes you feel whole and deserves your love. Stop reading and call, text, email, roll over...stop dead in your tracks and share that love. Even if it's a simple three words. I love you. Do you know what it means to hear or read those words and know that they are truly meant? It's so insanely simple. But it's lost on so many people. Swallow your pride for a minute. If you're in an argument, take a step back and, if you're wrong, acknowledge it. If you're missing somebody, chances are they're missing you back. So bridge the gap. I'm telling you that living a life of an earned "what if" will eat you alive. Don't do it. You freaking pay money to go get scared in a haunted house. Why not embrace a scary that can forever change you path in the best way possible? Your life? Your soul? I was terrified of driving when I was in drivers ed. But look at all the opportunities that that one skill or experience has opened up for me. I was terrified that I wouldn't learn the laws of the road or that merging onto the freeway would be too much for me. But I've conquered that fear. I'm over the "what if" of other cars on the road. Yeah, their dumb choices might cause me to get into an accident, but chances are that I was driving along in my car, thinking about what it was I was driving to. And when you cut out the toxins, there's a seriously good chance that it was someone or something that would make me happy. Do you get it? Or am I talking to myself? 

Take a chance on what's important to you. It's more obvious than ever before what people in my world mean to me. It's a pretty horrible feeling to get a "hey, how are you?" text that you answer honestly. I'm awful. And the next thing you know that same person asks you to give them something! I mean seriously? Even if giving was to a good cause. For Gods sake take a look at me and see that I am human. And my state of being must really suck right now if I say I'm awful instead of the obligatory  "I'm fine." Who around me gives a crap enough to try and give me something for a change? It's absolutely infuriating to know where my heart is and know all that I'm capable and willing to give and it be blown off. I don't want that kind of world for myself anymore. I just don't. I'd rather invest my efforts into those who do give a crap. That means some life changes that I'm more than ready to jump on. But living a life without what if means facing it's challenges. So by December 20, I will identify my challenges and have a solution in my journey of conquering them. Period. End of long winded story. And you're either with me in my journey or your not. If you're not, well, then that seriously sucks.

And that's the end of that story...for now. 

Shanon

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I feel like insanity has set in. Probably shouldn't post this, but whatever.

Where to start on this one. I really don’t know to be honest. I guess I gotta just get it out there.

They say that God never gives you more than you can handle, right? But do you ever wonder if maybe God…with millions of people in this world…gets it wrong just from being outnumbered? I mean no disrespect in this comparison, but is it kind of like the weight-guessing guy at the fair? There’s so much room for error. Black makes you look thinner; horizontal stripes make you look wider. There are so many contributing factors to a misguided guesstimation. And I know that people are going to get mad because I’d ever have the nerve to imply that God could be wrong, but it’s just a thought.

I can’t and won’t get into specifics of where my head is at the moment, but I will add on a few of those life lessons I mentioned in my last blog.

-       Nourish what’s important to you. Sometimes it means a fake smile until you feel it. Understand that your words and actions stick with people. The bad ones seem to stick a little longer than the good ones, but I guess that’s just human nature.

-       Buy an ice pack. Because some days put so much weight on you shoulders and all you want to do is cry. Crying makes your face swollen and painful to touch. Have an ice pack on stand-by for days like those.

-       Learn from your mistakes. Making mistakes is never any fun. Like when I hit the wrong button at work. I look dumb, make the show sound bad, and have a boxing match with myself in my head. But, again, the bad sticks. I remember what happened when I pushed that button last time. Chances are it wasn’t good. So I try my hardest not to do it again. Unless I screw up so bad I get fired. Then learning and growing from that mistake is easier said than done.

-       Never be afraid to ask for a second chance. The guy at the big gay wedding over the weekend said “I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for second chances.” And that’s the case for a lot of us, isn’t it? And at the end of the day the most that can happen is your wish for a second chance is denied and you’re stuck kicking yourself in the butt for even needing to ask for a second chance.

-       Know your self worth. I can’t speak to this one very much because I think I’ve failed at this time after time. People can really suck sometimes and do everything in their power to make you feel an inch tall. But you know you’re not what they try to make you feel, right? At least you try and let logic outweigh what they try to put in your head. But sometimes logic is lost and we buy into stupid things. So I’m going to be a hypocrite and tell you to do something that I honestly don’t know how to do. At least I know my flaws, right?

-       Be a fighter. Even when you’re convinced that God has decided that you can carry 300 pounds of crap on your shoulders, keep going until you crumble under the pressure. And when that happens, take a step back, tell God that you tried your best, and regroup. Maybe God just picked a bad day to hand you that load. Maybe you skipped breakfast or your back was hurting when you woke up that morning. Whatever the case may be. You can ask for another try at carrying the load. And who knows? Maybe that wish will be granted.

It’s so easy to sit here and type these things on a word document and make you think I’ve got it all together. I don’t. At all. The weight on my shoulders today was heavy enough to get the best of me. And that’s my own fault. Sometimes you pray that your good qualities outweigh your bad, but not every prayer is answered. I can tell you about a dozen times that I can recall praying as hard as I could that things would have a different outcome, but my prayers just weren’t hard enough. Or wishing that whatever it is was just a dream. A really bad dream because you don’t think you can handle that being your reality. Well, guess what? Sometimes reality SUCKS. But beyond choices and beliefs that you have in your own head, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

A little peek behind the curtain on this one. I’ve got a serious stress headache. You can only take so much Excedrin in a day, though. So I’m stuck with it for another few hours. I’ve had an order of things that I’ve planned for myself and that order was on track. It was so on track; I thought it was too good to be true. And I guess it was because now I’m like the homeless person walking alongside the train tracks because I don’t know which way to go. And I can’t afford a ticket on the train because duh. I’m homeless. Not literally. I pay way too much for this stinky apartment I live in, but I do have shelter. And as far as the plans I had laid out, I tried to reroute my path in a way that would take a little longer to get to, but the end result was the same. But I guess I let the frustration of having to reroute again get the best of me. That’s shameful. And the consequences of my weakness have reared their ugly little heads, so now I’m left to take my own advice. Get an ice pack, stick it on my face, and let some inanimate object take away the sting.

I’m so human. I’m such a girl with my emotions. Sometimes rational thought goes out the window no matter how hard I try to keep it intact. But I’m going to put this out in the universe because someone very smart and important to me taught me to have some faith in the laws of attraction. I need a break. I really, really do. I think God believes I’m a bodybuilder. Or like that Atlas guy who can carry the whole world on his shoulders. I’m not. Not even close. I suppose all that I can hope for in this life is for people to love me in spite of my flaws, to understand that I don’t always have it together, and to have faith in me. And if what I said before…you get what you give…holds any truth, everything will be ok. And I can get back on my route to happiness and use my screw-ups and their consequences to be better than I was before. I don’t believe that everything happens for a reason and at this moment, I don’t believe that God will never give me more than I can handle. So now what? I guess I’m gonna have to figure that one out for myself.

Now, what does a person who knows that they must eat to sustain life do for a meal? I’m pretty sure a pomegranate pop tart isn’t enough to keep me alive. Especially when I had it 12 hours ago. Another instance that leaves me sitting here wondering, now what?

And for those of you who don't live in DFW and didn't get to see this, here's kind of another peek behind the curtain of what I do. I get to set this kind of stuff up leading up to the Kidd's Kids trip each year. It's worth a watch.

http://www.wfaa.com/good-morning-texas


And to finish on a lighter note…taxi drivers are the worst drivers on the road. We pay them insane amounts of money to get us where we are going, but they suck at what they do! And that’s all I have to say about that.