Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rain, Rain Go Away

The fact it is raining today in Los Angeles only sets the scene for this post - the fact that it is one of the most depressive days I have experienced in a very long while. I am in a dark, vile, horrible mood - which makes the pile of deadlines I am buried under feel all the heavier.

The details of what precisely triggered this mood are not important; let's just say jealousy kicked it off.
The long and short of it is this:

I was born in 1982. In the 1980s advertising/media that marketed toward children were vastly different than that of our parents before us. My earliest recollection of messages - subliminal or blatant - were of wide-eyed saccharine cartoon characters telling me I could be anyone I wanted to be and do anything I wanted to do with my life. Everyone - from my parents, my teachers, my peers, my idols, traditional real life heroes, media ranging from Care Bears to serious, coming-of-age movies - told me I could do anything with my life so long as I worked hard to achieve it.

No, I can't.
I can't do what I have been wanting to do for a few years now because the kind of insurance I have dictates that I can only leave the country for 4 weeks (that's 28 days) at a time. This means nothing to many, I realize, but to me this is imprisonment. I want to live abroad. I tried once and failed due to getting sick and having nowhere to turn to. Two years ago I fell in love with another country and was so sad to leave it I cried on the day I left, very tempted to just send my friend home and stay behind until my money ran out.

I tried to ignore the void in my heart - distracting myself with achievements in work, relationship and family and friends but it has been no use. I am miserable and everyday I feel like I am not leading the life I want to live.

This is not who I am; I have absorbed those messages implanted into me and grown up with the mentality that one should pursue their dreams no matter what. No family member, no significant other, no friend would ever going to hold me back.
(Aside: I hung back from a chance to study abroad and have no regrets about it because the elderly feline I stayed back for was of more value to me than anyone else and did not have the capacity to understand my absence.)

It destroys me that I cannot live by my own philosophy. I'll take whatever opportunities I can to travel, though, and experience what I can within my limitations, until hopefully one day I have none.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Patients for a Moment: More than your disease

I'm participating in the April edition of Patients for a Moment.

This is the question in full:
"Who are you without your disease or condition? What makes you more than just your disease? How have you adapted these aspects of your life so they're not completely overcome by your illnesses?"

Then the hostess goes on to list some examples - basically take away my illness and what do I have left going on my life?

The wording of the questions as I interpret it - "Who are you without your disease or condition" - means to me "Who is the person you would be without your disease or condition?"

Which is a different interpretation of what our hostess goes on to list as examples of what she means (i.e  the rest of your life BESIDES your health)

Here's the cold hard fucking truth:
There isn't a single aspect of my life that is the way it is because of my heart condition. Every single little thing is happening because of these health problems.
I'm a freelance writer because I had to quit my career. I focus on writing because my health couldn't keep up with my acting. I am living at home with family because I was never able to earn enough income to move out. I never finished college because my health (ok, and my patience) couldn't keep up with the stressful work load. All of my art somehow reflects my feelings on my health, my facade, and my fears.
Every minute detail of my life is dictated by this heart condition...but so what? It is what it is and I'm going to have fun and be who I want to be, contribute as best as I can and hopefully make a bitch or two smile every now and again.

So let's break this shit down, question by question.

Who are you without your disease or condition?

- I don't know that person. She would be a stranger to me and I wouldn't recognize her.

What makes you more than just your disease?
I think it's pretty obvious considering how present I am on the internet, but maybe not to some of you so's I'm gonna list all the shit I do outside of being a Professional Patient.
- Food and Travel writer, when I can get gigs. Sometimes PR companies hit me up to cover food related events. Those are the best because it's a good time for me, content for my blog and essentially free press for the event.

- Mixed Media Artist. I only give my work to charity, but I have sold a few morbid art dolls that I've made. Usually my pieces reflect some sort of essence of my heart condition though. I'd like to do more of this but you know, the muse comes and goes.

- Novelist. Yeah, I've completed quite a number of novels and no, they're not published. I hope to self-publish them one day. I no longer have Big Publishing House dreams because that shit scares me, but if I could find a small but loyal fan base I'd be the happiest bitch in the world. I've written everything from children chapter books to adult stories.

- You all know I volunteer with Camp del Corazon so there is no need to go further into that.

- I'm pretty much the one who runs the house here since I'm at home most of the time. I try to keep things tidy and organized. Some days are better than others.

- I'm plastered all over the goddamn internet because that's all I learned how to do in life (and I've yet to repeat any of the big money I made as an idiot teenager hawking shit on eBay). I make silly YouTube videos about being a Professional Patient and about Batman. I used to host my own radio show and podcast. I tumblr about memes and macros. I got little nooks and crannies all up in this bitch.

How have you adapted these aspects of your life so they're not completely overcome by your illnesses?
Everything at one point or another will be overcome by my heart condition - even temporarily. I just have to maintain a kind of life that allows to be put on pause every now and then. I just had to learn to accept this and be all that I want to be when things are quiet with my health.

PS: Is it just me or did the Blogger "upgrade" get dumber and shittier than usual? Christ, Blogger, who do you have back there running this shit, cigar smoking chimps?