I Remember

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? I do.

I just arrived in my World History class second period – it was my senior year of high school.

I was confused as to why the TV was on and lights were off. I knew it wasn’t planned. I sat at the far right of the room, the TV a small tube set on a cart was on the far left. I couldn’t see what was happening, events were shared by students, their voices telling those of us who could not see.

The room was full or horror and sadness and disbelief and fear.

I don’t remember third period.

Fourth period there wasn’t regular class. The teacher just told us to write whatever – we talked instead. At this point we knew the first tower fell but were questioning the second. Our teacher would not turn on a TV or radio.

The boy I had a crush on worried about his girlfriend who was in Chicago at the time.

I don’t remember the rest of the day. I just remember it didn’t feel real.

But it was real. That day changed my life and the lives of everyone else in this country. It changed history and politics and suddenly the word terrorism was everywhere. It seems that word hasn’t gone away since.

Here is to that day. Here are to all of the people whose lives were stolen, because lives lost seems too kind and misleading. Here is to all of their families who I hope have healed as best they can – and I wish them comfort and love on this day.

I don’t talk about it. I don’t usually write about it either. But I just wanted to say, I remember.

-DMW

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Labor Day 2016

I had big plans this Labor Day…

1. DO NOT MAKE ANY PLANS.
2. Do nothing.
3. Try to avoid leaving the house.
4. Sleep in.
5. Write if you can, but don’t pressure yourself.
6. Animal cuddles.
7. Grill something (actually have the hubs grill something, I don’t grill).
8. Chill out.
9. Seriously, be chill.
10. DO NOT MAKE ANY PLANS.

Usually we do something on Labor Day. We visit Roy’s brother and his wife/kids or we go on a day trip to Estes Park or somewhere else up in the mountains. Maybe a neighborhood party or a friend’s barbecue – but the point is we usually do something, even if it isn’t super-taxing.

But this year I feel like both Roy (the husband) and I are beat. We both have so much going on, so much we want to work on (separate things, but basically both of our plates are overfilled) and both need to catch up on so much SLEEP that this year we haven’t reached out to anyone. Not our closest friends, not Roy’s brother, no one. And I’m pretty okay with that.

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Just SLEEP Already

I’m tired. Not tired as in stressed or overworked or had a late night yesterday, no I’m tired as in seriously sleep deprived going on six weeks. What counts as seriously sleep deprived? Four to six hours every night for more than forty days should do it. It adds up!

Truthfully, I’ve never been big on sleep. In college all-nighters were common enough, I even pulled an infamous all-weeker my first semester of freshman year (not recommended!), but as I get older I find myself valuing sleep more and more. Which is funny because now that I do, I can’t seem to get it!

Lately I have been in a major funk. Depressed, frustrated, and just all around blah. But why can’t I be this way and still get some sleep? Because being so tired all of the time is only contributing the funk I’m in. I feel off, mentally and physically, which is making me unproductive. Which in turn only adds to any negative feelings I can’t seem to shake.

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The Longest (Nebraska) Trip

Almost two weeks ago my husband, Roy, and I set out for a nine-day trip in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. I was kind of torn going back. On the one hand I looked forward to seeing some of my dearest, on the other hand Nebraska is just a hotbed of awful memories and reminders. And who needs that? To top it all off, I turned 32 and my birthday has its own set of triggers. It was very much a “prepare for the worst, hope for the best” situation – except there was just no way to prepare.

Luckily, the trip turned out pretty well. No one died. No one screamed. No ugly flashbacks or other PTSD symptoms that can creep up when triggered (or more likely when you least expect them to). I got to see everyone I wanted to see. I got to eat at the places I wanted to eat. And I nearly did everything I wanted to do. (A few activities were pushed, but they’ll still be there next time.)

I want to say it was laidback, and it was if that is code for “unplanned until the very last minute”. We never seemed to know what we were doing until the very last minute (most of my friends are not planners) so in that way it was laidback. However it was also always, “Go! Go! Go!”

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Turning 32

I turn 32 on Thursday. I turn 32 on Thursday. Sorry, I’m just trying to let it sink in. I turn 32 on Thursday.

This… has me feeling a mixed bag of confusing and overly complicated emotions.

Disappointed. Proud. Anxious. Depressed. Hopeful.

1. Disappointed.

I am so incredibly disappointed in myself and what I haven’t accomplished. As someone who has been deemed “more Monica Geller than Monica Geller” by a number of people (one of the greatest compliments I have ever received) I had a plan. And I have utterly failed in that plan.

Obtain Master’s by 24.

Achieve success in my career by 26.

Married by 28.

Start family/have children by 30.

Get published by 30.

Find peace by 30.

Every other goal imaginable by 30. That was my magic number – 30. Guess what I’ve accomplished? I did obtain my Master’s and have the mountain load of debt to prove it. I got married. And that’s it.

I know I have my reasons for not accomplishing some of this stuff. I died. (Yes, actual physical death.) And then spent two years on chemo, dialysis etc. etc. trying not to die again. Basically my mid-twenties were lost. But I just kind of see this as an excuse. I should still have accomplished more by now.

When I was 21 people told me how fearless I was after moving to Los Angeles with nothing and no one to pursue my Master’s. But I don’t feel fearless. In fact, a lot of my disappointments are rooted in the things I didn’t do. Because I was too busy. Stretched too thin. Because of my latest brain surgery/illness/extended hospital stay. There was always a reason, but really it was because I didn’t try hard enough. Push hard enough. It seemed hard and I hesitated. I was afraid.

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