straight above our heads and he said:
-That is the star my mother dedicated to me and it has always been mine. But from now on it will be yours too, if you want. Its name is Mary Julia and everytime you will look at it in any situation, any moment you will know that I’m there near to you laughing about how queer you are. I will always be there, I promise, I will look at you from Mary Julia. And even the contrary because it’s our star, just ours, a star that belongs to two idiots that strum and that every night lie on a bench full of alcohol.
This. This is how it happens. When two people, who have a shared passion, can take a step back and remember how beautiful life is. To have found someone who loves something as much as you, it’s rare. And it takes that other person to truly understand and appreciate a gesture like that. Ugh…
I had ribs for lunch…that’s why I’m doing this.
I miss my friends. haha
getting me through this cram sesh.
I can’t handle this.
Also, I wish they included the after math, where the bird survives.
Just for my own state of mind.
You can ignore this post. It is filled with allusions to parts of me which I have never told you about.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I get it now. I finally get it.
I can see now why I have hated myself for so long. I can see how my past, though I’ve considered myself over it, has actually been the cause of most of my current problems. I’ve hated myself for a long time now, without really knowing it. My only way to understand my past was do what I’ve always done; take credit for the issues at hand (which I’ve finally realized weren’t my own) and move on. In doing so, I justified a subconscious hate which could only be directed at the person I blamed…myself. Without realizing it, all of my insecurities, all of my fears, doubts, and anxieties spring forth from this deathly wound left unnoticed for the past two decades. I have hated myself in every sense, and lived with said anger as though it were my cross to bear. Not knowing who to blame left me as the scapegoat, and I have been that ever since.
I cannot express to you the extent of my issues, nor could I attempt to interpret my enlightenment all in one evening, but recognizing these issues has finally lifted something off of me. Things hurt less. Tears are less willing to spring forth. My anger no longer wells, but subsides.
Knowing that I have no right to hate myself feels like the first step on the road to recovery, and finally understanding who I am.
Spaghetti in Garlic Gravy with Herbs and Lemon Marinated Chicken and Cherry Tomatoes
This pasta recipe I came up spontaneously. And cooked this dish 30 minutes right after I conceptualized and imagined how the taste would be.
I just thought that lemon (juice and zest), thyme, rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to marinate and flavor the chicken chunks would already make the meat so delish. I had a tray of cherry tomatoes in the chiller and the sauce… I figured that it would be wonderful if I can taste some chickeny goodness in the pasta itself, so I decided that instead of making a proper pasta sauce I’ll make a gravy (make that as the sauce), flavor it with a tiny hint of basil and some big savory medium punch of garlic.
500 grams spaghetti pasta (cooked al dente)
1 pound chicken breast fillets (skinless and boneless, sliced into 1 inch chunks)
For the chicken marinade:
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped (if using dried, use half of the amount)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt (not table salt)
½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to sauté the marinated chicken)
- Add all the marinade ingredients into the chicken and marinate for 20 minutes (if making this dish in pronto) or over night (if making this dish the next day… much better).
- Saute the marinated chicken in extra virgin olive oil until cooked (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside.
For the garlic gravy:
½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken stock
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped (to sprinkle/finish the pasta)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
- Place sauté pan over medium heat and add butter and olive oil.
- Saute garlic until fragrant and soft.
- Add the flour and cook for a minute.
- Add chicken stock and simmer gravy until thickened then add the chopped basil.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the sauteed chicken in the gravy then toss the cooked spaghetti into this sauce.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and finish the dish with the chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese (serve extra on the side).
Makes 5-6 servings.
Exactly 35 days until graduation. With that being said, I am absolutely terrified.
More importantly, I have never felt so emotionally overwhelmed in my life. While it would make sense to attribute my anxiety to upcoming finals, projects, and events, I can assure you that it is so much more. To understand that magnitude of my heavy shoulders, you must first understand my incredibly justified need to follow through on my goals. If I say that I am going to Europe one day, it is not a matter of if, but rather when. Should I set my sights on a passing the LSAT in a few months, I damn well can assure you that I will be at least in the 75th percentile. Having said that, I hope that those of you who know me are now reviewing our past conversations and all the wonderful plans we made together. As graduation day nears, then, all of those plans are now rushing toward me and I have little means of deciphering which goal to accomplish first. My undergraduate career has proven to be a long and terrible waiting room for my life, and I have just been called to the examination room. It is my time to take a step out of my 5 year cell and become reacquainted with my beautiful life. I am a runner just before the starting shot, I am a swimmer before the initial dive. I am so fucking ready to live.
Now, I know that my living will have to be intermittently entwined with research, internships, and work…but god dammit, I will be living. I am so ready for this. I was born to be ready for this. I was born to be, and I cannot wait to begin doing so.
Having Poly Inflammatory Sero-Negative Rheumatoid Arthritis is…
There are few times in my day when I am compelled to give in to the struggle and allow my physical pain to determine the outcome of my day. I was raised to shake it off, to consider the pains of those around me before my own. As a result, I have dealt with my ailment by not dealing with it. Granted, I have spent many a minute and dollar attempting to manage my disease, but I do not give it much thought past taking pills, injecting myself once a week, and choosing pants and sweaters over shorts or tanks.
Now, as my age increases and time decreases, I have been forced to reevaluate the effect my methods of resolution have had in my life’s pursuits, and have realized that there is much room for improvement. It is my hope that, by being more open with my arthritis I may become more open for support. So, from now until I determine whether this is in fact helpful or harmful, I hope to disclose more of my interactions with medicine and my bodily health.
For today, I must say that work has taken quite a toll on my joints. After working a long and busy shift on Friday, I was left swollen and stiff. My feet became so swollen that they were comparable only to those of elephants and rhinoceroses alike. While stomping around like a robot had it’s perks (obvious dance skill, hilarity, general robot-ed-ness), I was not interested in remaining so achy for the evening and proceeded to wrapping my hands and feet in bandages. It was only after my transformation from elephant to mummy that I was able to relax.
This evening proved extremely similar. Work was hectic, and I put my hands and feed under a lot of stress. Upon my arrival at home, I was still feeling relatively well. It is only now that the aches are effecting me, and preventing what I believe to be well-deserved sleep.
Since many of the gaps in my communication have been around the types of pain and severity, I thought I would sort of include an inventory of swelling/pain to give an idea of what it means to be 23 and arthritic.
- Left shoulder
- Left foot (mostly the bones within the foot, between the toes and ankle)
- Right foot (same bones within the foot)
- Right wrist (the few bones on the right side of my palm, just below my pinky finger and connecting it to my wrist)
- Neck (what feels like 3 of the 4 discs, hurting more on the right than the left)
- Left ankle
- Left wrist
- Left hand (pinky, ring, and middle fingers)
- Left thumb
- Right knee
- Lower jaw
- Left and Right hips
- Left elbow
While most of the pains are achy, rather than sharp, there are some that are more irritating than others.
The pain is deep, as though it is from the marrow. Consider the feeling that you might get when you leave your hand in a bucket of ice for too long. When sharp, it is the most bothersome and causes me to lose concentration or have a difficult time focusing. These pains are often paired with swelling (which can be felt pulsing or beeping), fevers, and exhaustion…mind-blowing exhaustion. When achy, it is more difficult to describe. I can only compare it to the achiness of a pulled muscle, but deep in your joint. So when you stretch that muscle, the soreness occurs when I bend or straighten my knee. Keeping my joints locked is rare, and usually results in them getting stuck in that position. I cannot sit for long periods of time, nor can I stand for too many. If I keep joints, like my elbows, bent for too long then there is a chance that I may not be able to open them all the way for an hour or so.
The weirdest thing for me, though, is I cannot remember what it was like when getting hurt was my only source of pain. I don’t mean that in a morbid way, but simply to say that I do not remember what it felt like not to have something hurting. I don’t recall a baseline feeling of my body. I think that’s when I feel most hopeless. I am in a perpetual state of discomfort/pain, and there is little hope for relieving it unless I take some medication with obvious side effects.
It is hard. I am always tired. Sleeping hurts, because my joints have either been bent for too long, or strained for even longer. Walking hurts, running hurts, and stairs cause my joints to burn. What used to be done without a single thought must now be planned and executed very precisely. I can no longer run into the ocean. I can’t put my toes in the water. The cold sends knives through my bones and the pain continues for hours. I can’t hold a cold cup. I can’t open jars and some doors. I can’t park in some spaces, and I can’t turn my steering wheel very well in the morning.
Now, I am done complaining. I am not unhappy that I have arthritis. In fact, I think it has done a lot for my life. It allows me to relate to my mother and sister. It has given me a new perspective on life. It has literally forced me to slow down, and appreciate every single door I open, and every step I take. My hope in writing this piece is not to elicit sympathy, or to encourage any alternate opinions be made of me. My intent is to educate those close to me about the day by day changes that may occur in my behavior, demeanor, and health. For example, on Sundays, I am especially sensitive due to the anxiety from my enbrel shot and have terrible headaches from the medication. On Friday nights I am especially sore because I have increased my physical activity very quickly in a short amount of time. Waking up is painful, and until about 1 pm I have a hard time walking around. Around 8 pm my joints lose their stamina and begin hurting.
So, now that you know my joint schedule, and have a better understanding of my arthritis, I hope that you will be comfortable asking me questions and getting to know me as a patient.
Don’t feel bad for me. Don’t treat me differently. Just understand me.