I’ve had a hard time finding words to encapsulate my last few weeks.
I’m learning a lot. It has all become quite the jumble again though.
“God, when you get old, forgiveness is so important. And you know, the reason that I can be articulate about my life is because I spent so long researching myself” — she sniffles, laughs — “and you can say, Well, that’s really narcissistic, and maybe it is! But I really believe in the importance of an examined life, of an intentional life.”
~ Jane Fonda
Recently it has occurred to me that the only person who ever really knows you, is you. We exist in people’s minds as their own perception and that perception is based on their own beliefs and life experiences. People always fear what they don’t know. I watch as so many try to make things fit into little, tidy boxes which they can fit into their lives, but rarely do they ever try to discover and understand. There’s a large piece of me that wonders if this lack of putting ourselves in others shoes, compassion, is because there are too many shoes now.
Our world view used to be compromised of our family, friends, neighbors and colleagues. We belonged to one another. We watched out for one another. As the internet superhighway revealed new landscapes, cultures, people and problems, it seemed as if we were evolving to a greater sense of stake in humanity, but somewhere, something happened. I don’t know if we have become desensitized from exposure, or lazy and label-reliant.
Why do we so often jump to a label and why the hell would we think that any label could be all-encompassing of every fiber of a human being’s existence?
Single. Divorced. Female. Male. White. Black. Mother. Father. Son. Daughter. Brother. Sister. Friend. Addict. Average. Beautiful. Smart. Disabled. Obese. Bipolar. Narcissist. Loyal. Kind. Christian. Jewish. Muslim. Buddhist. Gay. Neuro typical. On the spectrum.
All of these words have a different meaning because we all have different perspectives.
For example, seeing someone as a traitor is not an absolute truth, even if everyone believes it.
Another example, hearing something about someone you “know” and thinking, “That’s not the person I know.” This, on the other hand, is actually true.
This is why you should question everything you’re told, even if you heard it from me.
The most interesting take away from all of this has been discovering what people think of me and realizing that it almost always has nothing to do me. It’s their perception and if you pay attention you learn WAY more about the other person before they’d ever have a clue they’d given themselves away.
It’s slowly becoming the most frightening and exhilarating discovery of my life.
My spinal tap showed increased cerebral spinal pressure, which we already knew from the vision loss. This accounts for the inter cranial hypertension diagnosis. The MRI was normal. My blood pressure is finally back to normal. This is attributed to a bad combination of dehydration from being sick all the time and lithium. Turns out lithium had been making me sick for quite some time. My doctor says we will need to keep monitoring symptoms and give it more time before we would move on to brain surgery and it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I don’t want my brain cut open.
This means giving it more time. My patience is wearing thin, but I am encouraged by other areas of my life coming together. Finances are just about straight. I’ve had more friends stop by in the past month than all of last year. Kids are back on track. My niece and nephews brighten everyday. There’s just something about raising kids that fulfills my soul. I have also had the sweet relief of knowing my kids would be watched out for and loved, genuinely, for the rest of their lives. I cannot tell you how heavily that has weighed on my heart and the enormous weight that has lifted from my shoulders. That, in and of itself, has been a major contribution to my stress relief. I am so incredibly grateful to my best friend, Tess, for being an unbelievable source of strength and comfort to me.
THIS is where I need to keep my focus.
Be thankful for rain, it washes away the debris that isn’t meant to stick.
I have not yet continued my last post because I, intially, needed a distraction from that hurtful ridiculousness and then all the things began happening all at once again.
I was gifted a pass to Cleveland’s LaureLive weekend musical festival from a dear friend through a local radio station.
About midway through Saturday I started losing feeling in my right thumb. Sunday morning it had spread across the palm and at one point Sunday evening I couldnt feel my pinky or any finger tips. When my entire ride side starting to lock up, I called into my doctor’s office and was reffered to the ER to rule out a stroke.
I was discharged with instructions to follow up with my neurologist for a repeat MRI, since it has been a few years, to rule MS, again. All week the numbness has spread. It’s now in my forearm and elbow, shoulder and shoulder blade. Bizarre!
If that wasnt enough, my littlest furbaby, PNut, started really struggling to breathe today.
He was so lathatrgic and just all around … well, pathetic it broke my heart. We’ve been making inappropriate jokes about him “low-key dying” for about two months now, due to his slowing down and hacking cough but I couldnt have imagined that when I walked into the vet’s office today, I would be hearing a “congestive heart failure” diagnosis. Although, I wasnt surprised to hear his heart is enlarged (the pup has a BIG heart!)
The prognosis is not good, but we will try a routine of cardiac medications over the next week and make the hardest decision from there.
Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,
I humbly submit the following as my dissertation on facebook:
Many, many moons ago, in the age of MySpace, we were able to arrange and re-arrange “The Elite 8”. I bump up or down this lineup was watched and commentated on throughout pop culture. It was a “thing”. As we moved from High School MySpace to the thing all the college kids were doing on the facebook campus. We start friending everyone when we first got there as freshmen. We friended people we met through a friend of a friend at the bar even as sophomores. We started to realize that the more “friends” we added, the more platforms and pedestals we provided. It wasn’t until we were upper class-man that we started to add our family. In giving everyone a platform, we got to see the deepest and also, unfortunately, the darkest parts of their hearts. It hasn’t always been pretty, but the grotesque should not make us look away. We must brave on and look at the carnage the generations before us left behind. Never before had it been put on such vast display, not only for everyone to see, but to others to comment. This gave us the deepest look into the mind of human kind and, man …spoiler alert:… WE’RE FUCKED UP! BUT, the most brutiful part is that in friending our family members, we found our tribe. The people who communicate love in our language. Our tribe can consist of whoever the hell we want. We can still be family, without being friends and we can be friends who become family. That’s our tribe and we get to connect to it, wherever in the world we may be, whenever our tribe is needed.
Thank you, for the wake up call, Mr. Zuckerberg. From this point forward, l shall be using facebook for this purpose alone. #dailywakeupcallfromsteph
I hereby request to be permitted to graduate and henceforth be known as:
Dr. Stephanie Quinzel
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Mark M. Zuckerberg, Fouder, facebook