Doctors Fall, Too

Today I had a doctor appointment. We did labs and luckily, everything is good.

I told her about my recent attempt to get back into running– and tripping! She had a good laugh about the little demon dogs. I told her how hard it is to start over after being gone almost 10 months from regular runs or racing.

That I have anxiety about falling again. That I feel like I’ve forgotten how.

And she did the most awesome thing. She pulled up the sleeves on her lab coat to show off her own battle scars– especially her elbows.

“They didn’t really heal,” she said with a smile. Next she showed me the knee scars, with pride!

This woman is a full-on M.D. at one of the best hospitals in the country. She’s petite and fit and has glorious natural long hair. She’s the kind of woman I see and think, “Wow.”

And she was telling me that she, too, falls down running.

The difference between us is that she doesn’t let her falls define or scare her.

She gets back out there. She accepts those clumsy moments.

And she knows that falling is part progress. As long as you don’t stop.

My sleeping has been off, and running used to help regulate it.

I can do this.

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A Return to Celebration: Re-claiming the FUN

Right now I’m wondering what happened to that “fun” spark I used to radiate.

Where the hell did you go?

Oh yeah! Adulthood. Money. Obligations. Work. “The Plan.”

I used to radiate. The party started when I got there. My friends couldn’t wait to see what I’d wear, who I might flirt with, what I might do. I thrived in big groups. At weddings (I still am!) usually the first one on the dance floor, and the last to leave. I only sat down to catch my breath, drink a bit of water, and maybe talk with people. I didn’t care where I was going– only that I enjoyed myself. People flocked to me. I loved parties!

I didn’t need anything to have fun. I didn’t need beer, weed, a date, or anything else to relax. I never have. People envied that about me, and they still do.

I’m not going to apologize for it! I didn’t need to be in a “fun” setting, I didn’t need people I felt comfortable with, I didn’t need to be dressed a certain way. I didn’t need money. I didn’t need to break the law. (Okay, maybe traffic laws!) I used to love driving fast. I still do, when I can get away with it.

I realize now that some people put me down because they didn’t like my light. They were jealous.

They put down my ideas, and I believed them. Not anymore.

Fuck ’em!

I’m not buying into those lies. If people want to hate me, they can go ahead.

I’m not going to worry about it.

I can have fun going to the post office. I can have fun in my ugliest clothes, with no make-up. Alone!

Doesn’t matter the weather. I’ll find something to be excited about. Some people find that annoying– that happiness. But that’s their problem! Others can have everything possible, and still find something to make them miserable. No matter what they’ve got going, they’re determined to be pissed off about something.

It snowed today. That makes me downright delighted!

Being FUN is a skill, like anything else. I’ve got it.

I feel sure that I can find a great job, make the money I need, and make all my dreams come true.

All in time. The key is patience.

It seems the pilot light of my fun spark was out for awhile. Time for me to reignite it! Yes, I’ve got plans and goals. But that doesn’t mean I have to wither away until I get everything exactly the way I want it. Because, as I’ve discovered, things are always changing. Something will break, or go wrong. People will cancel, betray you, die. You can sit around and be terrified, trying to control the world out of fear, or you can embrace your freedom and ENJOY the moments you have.

Learn to roll with it. Make adjustments.

Because who knows how long we’ve got on this Earth? I don’t! It may be another 50 years, or 10 years. I’m glad I don’t know the future. But I’m not going to sit around like some old lady, but because the majority of my friends are married with kids now. We have to coordinate everything weeks in advance.

But not all my friends are married. And I’m good at making friends. I can just ask new people to hang out.

I can conduct a job search and organize my place and purge my things and save money too. And still have fun.

So that’s my new thing. I’m going to let FUN back into my life. Because seriously, that’s what’s missing. That’s what has been a damper on my life.

I’ve learned that if you expect others to build you up, you’re sure to be disappointed. Don’t wait for that– compliment yourself! I’ve been put down and criticized all my life. But I don’t need to internalize that. Some people are insecure and so they put everyone else down. They will never compliment you. They hate themselves and need to feel superior. You will never please these people. Accept it and move on. Maybe one day they’ll decide to quit brooding and join the party. Maybe they’ll see how much fun YOU are having and want to join in.

But you gotta bring your OWN fun.

I need LESS solitude, and more people. More socializing. I’ll have fun and network and deal with things when they happen to me. That’s how I know I’m getting more confident! I’m not so obsessed with planning, I’m more flexible.

I was so good in my Twenties about revolving my life around fun. Why do we feel that’s something that merits an apology? Because society conditions us to buckle down, be logical, and behave ourselves. To settle down, prioritize, and plan ahead.

Sure, I can do those things. But that doesn’t mean I need to sacrifice my whimsy entirely. Feelings matter too!

And I laughed so easily, without abandon. A good throaty laugh. I’m known for it. The kind of cackle that precedes me– even if it someone didn’t know I was in a building, they’d hear my cackle and say, “Amee’s here!”

And they’d come and find me. And I’d crack a joke and make them laugh, too.

I’m re-claiming that woman. She’s not gone!

I may be grown up, but I’m not old.

Snap, Crackle, Pop: My Inner Ninja’s Emerging

Week three of self-defense, second class.

This is definitely working.

I worked with the same two women today as partners, and again, we were a great trio.

I nicknamed us “Snap, Crackle, Pop,” because today we worked on moves involving the wrists– and one time I did it on my partner I heard a “pop!” It was her elbow. No big though, she smiled and we tried it again.

Because we trust each other, we’re learning better.

I’m learning things faster. I’m getting free faster and taking my partners down faster.

I told them to do the moves with force, to make it a real battle. Ihey appreciated that and we challenged each other better that way. Then when we took our partner down and broke free, we knew we had earned it.

My personality is changing in a good way. It’s also part psychology, because we’re learning about the way bullies and predators think– how to spot them and out-smart them.

I’m letting go of the need to be “nice.” I’m not caring if I’m pretty.

My guard is up and my street smarts are developing. My instincts about people are usually right, I’m learning.

I’m trusting my gut more.

It doesn’t hurt as much when we practice. I’m getting a little tougher each time.

While we were in class, I had memories of times my male “friends” picked me up because I’m small and they thought it was funny. I remember being in youth group once, and I don’t know exactly what happened, but someone had their arms around my waist and was holding me up. He wouldn’t put me down. When I said to put me down, he laughed, along with others.

So I twisted around and wriggled free– I think I may have backed myself up against a wall and slid down to get away. They thought I was “feisty,” and were impressed. Back then, I laughed along with them. I learned that night that I’m good at improvising and getting free if needed. But I was naive then. That behavior is not okay.

When you’re petite, everyone likes you. But they also treat you like a child, or some adorable puppy. Even when you’re angry, they think it’s “cute.” They make a lot of jokes about your height, they give you a lot of nicknames, they’ll come up to you and put their elbows on your head, like you’re their personal elbow rest.

There is a lot of attention focused on your body type, and it gets overwhelming.

I used to just go along with it. Now I don’t find it funny anymore.

And it’s not harmless. I also have a hearing-loss, so sometimes people make jokes in front of me that they think I don’t hear. I don’t respond to everything, but I hear more than people think.

My hearing-aids had been broken but today they were fixed and I picked them up. I was worried they would fall out, but they stayed in the entire class– even when we worked with headlocks.

They’re comfortable and I could hear better with them in.

I am strong. I am smart. I am unrelenting.

… and the World Laughs with You

I tried stand-up comedy tonight for the first time!

And I ROCKED IT.

Not long after posting that I need to laugh and relax to be inspired, a friend texted and invited me to a local open mic. She’s gone to Second City and is trying to break into the business, and I had gone to see her once before. She was great! I almost said no, but decided I needed some fun.

So I went. I had thought about getting onstage last time. Tonight, I just signed up.

I’ve been doing karaoke for 10 years now. I’ve read in the open mic — NOT the slam– at The Green Mill intermittently since 2004.

But nothing compared to this rush!!

I had nothing written down, no plan, and NO fear.

I just figured I would get up there and tell some stories that always get a great laugh. And surprisingly, I wasn’t even uncomfortable.

Me, the girl who blanked out on her monologue opening night two years ago during The Vagina Monologues. I froze.

Not tonight! It totally different, I felt so confident. No script, just telling my own stories.

They laughed at times I never expected, when I wasn’t even trying to be funny. I don’t know how long I talked, at least 10-15 minutes. I got some really good big laughs, I couldn’t believe it!

I joked about how my car had just died, being short, being deaf, and being single.  I kept it clean, and it was easy.

I’m gonna try this again!!

When I walked out, two guys were taking a smoke break and high-fived me.

I’m not about to become a career comic, but if *I* need to lighten up, I think this is a great way to do it.