The problem with label makers

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.

Follow – Up

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.

All at once

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!)

(sigh)

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.


Is it just me or does it seem like either everything happens all at once or there’s nothing going on at all?

Letters I meant to send:

mark-zuckerberg-facebook-liveDear 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

Letters I meant to send

Dear Life
If you want me to bow

I will stand up straight

You can kick me down today

But I will stand up tomorrow
If you want me to cry

I will gladly smile

I will laugh every day

Until the day I die
If you want me to hate

I will share the love

Depending on my own free will

And not just fate
If you want me to give up

I will struggle through

Continue fighting my battles

And I will never stop
If you want me to walk away

I will be going nowhere

You can push me over the edge

I will just find another way
If you want to break me

I will stay strong

Because I will be able

To still see the beauty
So, dear Life, can’t you see?

I am still a warrior

And there is no way

You can ever defeat me!
~ Patty Van Delft

Somedays

I heard someone say, “Somedays you eat salad and exercise, somedays you order pizza and binge on Netflix, its all about balance.”

That stuck with me. 

Like…somedays you feel top notch and sincerely dont give a shit what anyone says or thinks about you, somedays the wrong glance brings you to your knees. 

Somedays youre certain your dog is the best dog that ever existed, somedays your dog takes a shit on the floor right after you take him outside because he’s a prick. 

Somedays you believe that marriage is a beautiful, sacred bond that will last forever, somedays you finalize your second divorce and feel like you dont have enough middle fingers to shove in love’s direction. 

Somedays you leap into the dating pool while throwing caution to the wind and are optimistically surprised when you meet a nice guy, somedays youre left questioning your sanity after finding the “nice guy”‘s multiple dating site profiles. 

Somedays you think family is a precious gift to be cherished above all other relationships, somedays youd like to pack your shit and move into a vast wilderness…forever alone. 

Somedays you are in awe of your children growing older and wish you could slow time down, somedays youre certain there is no way you will survive your spawn’s teenaged years and wish death would find you. 

Yes, balance. 
Whatever.