Blackened Ledbetter Riffs

It’s been a crazy few days with the full moon. But today ended better than yesterday. Yesterday exploded into chaos, but today I took care of myself. It’s interesting how just a simple nighttime routine can make you feel like you have some part of your life together.

I watched Jenna Marbles/Mourey tonight, and she shared 30 life lessons she learned by her 30th birthday, and while some of it was sarcastic or funny, parts of it had really good life advice that I think I needed to hear.

“Whatever you don’t like about your body, just try to come to peace with it… Just wait because maybe the world just isn’t ready for your beauty.”

As a struggling college student, this has never been more appropriate in my life. I’ve always been skinny fat, and then I started putting on muscle and I changed my diet, and then I went to college and put on the 15, and ever since I have just been battling myself to get back to where I was. I’m not fat, I’m just not as twig skinny as I used to be. I honestly just haven’t been nice to myself. I’ve become too impatient, expecting the weight to just fall off, and I always beat myself up when I’m feeling bloated. It’s even interfering with the gym, which doesn’t make sense. So I will try to be more patient, while also sticking to a healthy diet and routine.

“Try not to use the word regret, but instead say ‘I did the best I could for myself at the time’.”

This one sunk right through to my heart. I don’t have too many regrets in my life, but I hope to never forget this advice in the future. The first thing that came to mind was an ex. But it’s true, I did the best I could for myself at that time. I needed to get away from him. Maybe I didn’t go about it the right way, but it’s done and I think I’m in a better place because of it. Things happen for a reason.

Speaking of which, karma is real and it’s kicking my ass for something, and I think I know what it is.

If you don’t know, my grandparents live with me and my mom and dad. I don’t mind Grandma (though her toy poodle can be annoying), but I do not like my grandfather. It’s the side of the family we don’t really see, and we’ve had a shaky past, so we weren’t exactly off to a great start. But he is just so expectant of my mother and of his wife. He’s not very thankful. He thinks he’s going to get better, at 80 years old. He thinks very highly of himself and very poorly of – it seems – everyone else. Some of his own kids think he’s a pain in the ass. Some of them don’t even want to see him, and I don’t blame them.

For the past two years, I have seen his health deteriorate. I have watched him go from shuffling through the house, to being wheelchair-bound, to being basically bedridden. And each time he gets worse, I just keep hoping it’s the end. It has been such a stress on my mom, the caretaker, 24/7. (Luckily, some of her siblings help out from time to time.) It has caused tension between my parents. It has shattered my sense of home.

I always feel in the way. When I come home, suddenly there’s no room in the fridge. I’ve stopped putting ice in my drinks because our ice machine is slow enough that my dad already has to go to the store at least once a week just to get an extra bag. I can’t park in my driveway anymore because it’s a shorter walk for grandma. I make breakfast and then disappear to my room so they can have the TV because Grandpa can’t move from his chair. We moved my cat’s food so the dog wouldn’t get to it. I don’t talk to my mom while she gets ready for bed anymore because I know she’s just too tired during the week. I have to dodge the chairlift, most annoyingly when I’m carrying packed bags.

It’s just not home anymore.

And maybe that’s a good thing, so I can move on. Time will tell.

But because of this whirlwind of shit, I keep wishing Grandpa will die soon. I’m not exactly proud to say it, but it’s true. And it’s just what I wish. I know I shouldn’t wish death upon anyone, but I feel no remorse.

And karma knows it. And that’s why it’s kicking my ass.

I’m not going to proclaim to be a better person. I have no plans to take it back, because I know it won’t help at this point. I also know I wouldn’t mean it. I just think it takes more to be honest in this situation.

Maybe karma will reward me for that later.

Able-bodied, able-minded

So much has been going on over the past week. My friends and I are looking for a house tucked into suburban College Park, which would be wonderful since I’m clearly not a big fan of city life. Other than that, my schoolwork has needed my full attention now that we’re winding down.

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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather recently and my eyes are burning so this likely will be a short post.

I always get so frustrated when I get sick or have allergies. I feel like I have been fighting against my body my entire life. I would always get the stomach bug when I was little, and it became common practice for me to camp out in the bathroom, bring all my blankets and a big chair pillow and be ready the next time I needed to puke. Funny enough, my expertise has been helpful so far in my college career; my roommate was impressed by my bathroom fortress (and my resiliency).

There was a time in seventh grade that I missed 14 days of school because I would be healthy one week then sick the next. I was the kid that needed her homework delivered to her house so she wouldn’t fall so far behind.

I have bad knees that make it hard to run and exercise. I hyper-extended my left knee in high school and sprained my right ankle later that same year. I had plantar fasciitis for the majority of last year which made it difficult to run (and sometimes stand). Now I think I have a torn or irritated muscle in my calf that makes running and HIIT nearly impossible without a limp. I can’t work out the way I want to. I have bad hips that used to pop in and out randomly, though thankfully that has come a bit more under control. One of my ribs is out of place and it sometimes tweaks my neck so that I can’t turn left for about a week.

My stomach problems have carried over into my adulthood, and there’s a very good chance that I have Crohn’s disease, but I refuse to get diagnosed because I hate doctors and it can be difficult to diagnose.

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My mom and I hiking Annapolis Rock summer 2015. She has Crohn’s and has faced insurmountable hardships because of it. Her strength and resiliency inspire me day in and day out.

I’ve been sick with a strange bacteria three times since Christmas, and I think this time it’s mixed with the onset of allergies.

Sometimes I feel like I just can’t win. I exercise regularly, usually seven days a week, and while my eating habits could probably be better, usually my friends joke that all I eat is rabbit food.

It’s very frustrating, not feeling in control of your body. It seems like no matter what you do, nothing will keep it healthy. I’ve had to explain these random injuries to people throughout the years, and I always felt like I was making excuses for my inadequacies, that people didn’t believe my reasoning. They give me a pitiful look and continue on their way.

There was one time in kickboxing that we were lifting light weights, and we were supposed to raise the weight from our side to our shoulders. My mom, a physical therapist, has told me time and again that that move isn’t the greatest for me and strains the muscle in my neck that can cause my rib to move and tweak my neck, and that I should lift from my shoulder to up above my head to release that neck muscle. I, however, hate drawing attention to myself, so I participated in lifting the weights the more dangerous way. After feeling my muscle getting tighter and fearing the worst, I lowered my arms, and the middle-aged woman in front of me (who is kind of prissy) said I shouldn’t be tired since I’m the youngest one there.

That was the first time in my life that I just flashed a grin and didn’t explain my injuries. I didn’t owe her an explanation. I don’t owe¬†anyone an explanation. I am fighting my battle the only way I know how, and it finally dawned on me that I don’t have to waste my time and energy telling someone what they think are made up, bullshit excuses.

While I’m still frustrated at my injuries, I have never let them stop me. For god’s sake, after learning I tore a muscle and shouldn’t do high-impact workouts, I proceeded to run two miles three times that week and go to kickboxing twice (which maybe wasn’t a smart idea, but you get the point). I continue to do my HIIT classes and do some intense cardio nearly every day, and I’m proud of myself for not letting these obstacles prevent me from being happy and achieving my goals.

So to everyone else out there frustrated with how things are working out, just know that you don’t owe anyone an explanation, and that if you want it, you’ll find a way over those obstacles. It’s important to be happy and supportive of yourself and your physical and mental health.

Now, off to find a movie to fall asleep to. The best part of being sick is finally falling asleep.

Cheers!

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Mom suggested we go look at plants after I said I wanted one for my apartment next year. We were just browsing, but I had to snag a picture of my favorite flowers – lilies. Being around so many plants again was amazing; I felt like I was in a jungle!