Friday, September 30, 2011

The Battle Inside the Silent Chamber of My Soul

"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chamber of the soul."  ~David McKay

That quote is one of the most perfect and relevant quotes to my life since my injury.  My fight on this journey is a daily fight in my soul, "the silent chamber" of my soul.  It's my own self, my own soul that I am in a constant battle with.  A daily battle.  A daily fight.  And unfortunately there are more days that I lose that fight, that battle.  But so far I haven't lost so badly that the battle has taken my life with it.  Somehow I'm still here.

It is so tiring fighting inside your own self, your own soul everyday.  Some days I'm literally physically exhausted from the battle inside myself.  On those days where I've given it all I've got to not lose completely, all I can do is slip away to bed and escape to the dreams in my sleep where I rest as best I can only to get up and start the fight again.  Starting the fight for me, happens as soon as I wake up.  And I fight all day long.  It's not like a team game where I can rotate myself out and let someone else fight for awhile.  I'm the only team player who can really fight this battle.  I have my friends and family, of course, who help with the battle but there's only so much they can do.  They can't rotate into the game and replace me for awhile.  That maneuver is illegal in this battle.  All my friends and family can really do is play the role of coaches, assistant coaches, fans/supporters and even the waterboys/girls.  Ultimately, it's up to me to fight this battle and so far, I have lost everyday because throughout most of the day I'm unhappy or angry or frustrated and by the end of the day when I go to bed, I often wish there was anyway I could stay in a good dream forever and never wake up again cause I'm too tired to wake up the next morning and start the fight all over again.

I fight many things in my battle of recovery and survival and transformation like failed or successful surgeries and then the recovery that comes afterwards.  I fight the limitations in my mobility.  I fight the limitations in my activity level cause I get tired fast.  But the biggest battle I fight is inside my soul.  The fight to accept what happened to me, to accept my injury, my new body and the scars that come with it now, the possible losses in my life that I think about everyday and the fight with my mind on how I see myself.  It is hard enough to fight those outside battles like the surgeries and recovery, but the battle inside the silent chamber of my soul is a fight like nothing I have ever had to fight before and it will be the biggest fight I will face in my entire life.  And it wins everyday but so far it hasn't won enough to take me from this world.  I have thus far been able to keep that fight in me and I pray to the Universe that I will always be able to have that fight to stay alive and not lose that ultimate battle.  That someday I will rise from the ashes like the beautiful mystical bird, the Phoenix, and learn acceptance not only of my injury but acceptance of myself as I am now.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

How Do I Get Through The Overwhelming Moments?

During one of the workshops I attended, this question was posed: "How do we get through this moment?  This hour?"  We were having a discussion about how when we're having a hard, frustrating or upsetting day, how do we get through it?  How do we get through that moment and even that hour where you're crying and crying or you want to punch the mirror cause what you see is not what you used to be?  The hours in a day can be long so how do we get through those moments or through that hour where we're crying, angry or frustrated beyond any kind of consolation?

Well, I can't tell you cause I'm still trying to figure out how to get through my days and through the moments where I just sob and sob or am so frustrated or angry.  I do get help from family and my dearest friends.  But often I'm having moments where I'm beyond any kind of consolation like my family and friends trying to make me laugh or getting me out to try and get my mind off the feelings or thoughts that I'm drowning in or telling me where I used to be and how far I've come.  So, depending on how long I've been feeling the way I am, I either succumb to it and sob or punch something or scream but usually it's curling up in a ball on my bed and sobbing for hours and then after I've succumbed to those feelings for however long, I get numb.  I just get numb.  I am not happy.  I am not sad.  I am not angry or frustrated.  I am just without any feelings.  I find no joy in anything I do and I don't even find any sadness, even when looking into a mirror in passing.  I feel nothing.  I have no fight inside me.  And I can stay that way for a couple days before something triggers a strong emotion inside me and I succumb again.  It's a cycle I go through.  It's like when I succumb to the feelings I'm experiencing, I am on my knees (metaphorically) begging for a second chance, a different life and after however long that lasts, my tears, anger and frustration dry up like a dried up well and the numbness sets in.  I experience these emotions so strongly that when they dry up, they dry up to the point where I can't feel anything cause I've used up all the emotions with all the strength I have.  And it takes a couple days for those emotions to build back up and when they do, I repeat the cycle.

There is sometimes a day or two where the sun shines through the storm clouds of my emotions and the kind of life I'm living where I really am happy.  I really feel happiness and I smile and laugh and return to myself before the burn.  But even then, there is never a continuous emotion of happiness I feel.  Every once in awhile those storm clouds pass underneath the sun and I remember my scars, my different body, a face I don't recognize, and the things I've been through.  And those moments happen when I can't reach something, I'm trying to dress myself and I just can't do it, I'm taking a shower and my mother is there with me to help me, or it's a beautiful day and I want to strap on my running shoes and go for a run like I used to do.  But those storm clouds soon pass and the sun shines again and I feel that happiness once again.  But these times are few and far between.  That sun that shines happiness down on me often happens when I'm with friends or things are good in my family or I just simply feel the warmth of that sun, that special sun and I am just happy.

So how do I get through those moments where I want to succumb to the horrible emotions I'm feeling that I don't want to feel?  I don't want to curl up in a ball on my bed and sob.  I hate the feeling of being sad, frustrated, irritated or angry.  They're terrible feelings that take over inside of me that feel like some kind of flu.  Then I get even more angry and frustrated because I hate the feeling of feeling angry and frustrated and I can't let them go.  I want to just vomit those horrible feelings so I can rid myself of them and feel better, much like vomiting with a flu bug - you feel so much better afterwards.  Sorry if that was disgusting but it's the best way I can describe it.

I learned a lot of different things in answer to the question posed at WBC but I am in the position of not being able to accept my injury and thus it makes it harder for me to use those tools I learned and listened to on how to get through those moments, that day, that hour.  It was clear that those people who have been able to accept their injury or the injury of their loved one, are better equipped to get through those moments where you become overwhelmed with negative emotions.  I don't know how to accept my injury yet and I don't know if I ever will be able to.  But I do hope that despite not being able to learn acceptance yet, I will learn those tools and wear that tool belt around my waist so that when those negative emotions overwhelm me or come at me with force, I have those tools at the ready.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Owning My Story

"Owning our own story can be hard, but not as difficult as spending our lives running from it.  Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy - the experiences that make us the most vulnerable.  Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light."  ~Brene Brown

There were many things during the closing ceremonies (as well as all the workshops we attended) that really struck a chord with me and that was, "Owning our own story is hard, but not as hard as running from it."  So I looked that quote up and what I found is the quote at the top by Brene Brown.  Now it didn't strike a chord with me because of the latter part.  I don't run from my story.  My story is out there, I write about it many times monthly.  But the "owning" part, owning my own story and not giving up on love and belonging and joy.

It's hard to own a story like mine, not to mention how hard it must also be for all the other burn survivors I met while at the WBC.  I still can't accept what happened to me so how can I possibly "own" my story?  It's like I want to give it to someone else despite how bad that sounds.  Any good person wouldn't ever want to give it to someone else cause that would be cruel.  And as I write this tears have begun diving off my bottom lid to swim down my cheek, because I don't want to be cruel and give such a horrific thing to someone else, but yet, I do.  I don't want it and I don't know if I'll ever have the true strength of courage to own it as long as I can't accept it.  I think those two things go hand in hand, like a pair of hands in love that find each other naturally to hold.

Also at the closing ceremony, the same speaker talked about courage, the definition of courage which is: "the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action."  When I read that dictionary definition of courage, I don't have it when all along I tried and tried to believe that maybe I did because my friends and followers would tell me I was.  But I'm not.  The key phrase being "without being overcome by fear."  I can't possibly have courage during this journey when I am filled with fear about so many things EVERYDAY.  I'm not courageous.  I'm not brave.  I am filled with fear for my future and all that goes with a future including a career, finding the love of your life, a marriage, a family of your own, loving your life.  I also become fearful during surgeries despite how brave I may appear.  I am fearful that something will go wrong or they weren't able to quite do what they intended to do as so many times that happens.  I'm not fearful of the surgery prep and heading into the surgery room but when I feel that anesthesia hit my veins I suddenly become fearful cause there's no turning back and in about 6 seconds I'm going to be out and the first words I say when I wake up is, "How did everything go?  Did anything go wrong?"  And so many times the answer to that last question is, yes.

But I can tell you that while at the WBC, I met so many people who had the definition of courage and I admired them.  So strongly admired them, with all my soul.  These people who possessed the courage I so strongly wish I had definitely "own" their story and don't run from it.  They own it with all their strength and with their courage they say, "this is who I am.  I may be a burn survivor, but I am no different on the inside.  So don't treat me any different."  What amazing people I met who were able to own their story, not run from it, and have the kind of courage I so desperately wish I had.  Bravo to all you burn survivors who are able to do that and who have such strength and courage to be who you are despite the burn.  Bravo.  I look up to you and I wish I had the kind of courage the dictionary presents to us, but even more so, I wish I had the courage that you all do.  I wish I could accept and own my story and still believe in love and joy for myself.  But I just can't.  I can't forgive myself for putting my family and friends through what happened.  And I don't think I ever will.

Monday, September 26, 2011

World Burn Congress 2011 - Cincinnati, OH

Well, World Burn Congress for 2011 held in Cincinnati, OH, is over for the year.  It was utterly amazing.  The experiences I had while there for the first time are irreplaceable.  I honestly don't know how to describe my time there because it is simply indescribable.  I met all the online survivor friends I had and I met new people and it was just like finding a secure place for myself where I could return to the personality and girl I once was.  I was free and comfortable to be ME and not worry about being stared at, looked at funny or just thinking that I am.  I'm not saying my friends or family do this cause they don't, but people I don't know do.  Such as when I'm out running errands with my mom or my friends.  There were people there worse than me and there were people there better off than me but we all shared something, a common bond of being a burn survivor, of having a burn injury happen in our lives that changed our lives forever and the life that we expected.  We shared our stories, the good and the bad and we cried together and laughed together.

As first timers, on our name tag was a heart sticker that meant this was our first WBC.  So, the ritual at WBC is if anyone sees you that you are just meeting, whether they are new to WBC as well or been going for decades, it's hugs all around.  So we were getting hugged right and left and we were hugging other first timers.  And these hugs felt like you'd known this person your whole life the way they hugged you and you hugged them in return.  They were warm, heartfelt, soulful hugs.  And they felt sooo good.  I almost cried with every hug.  It was like coming home after a long exchange trip away from home during high school.

After we arrived at the hotel, we checked in and went to our room.  We stayed at the Hyatt Regency and it was pretty nice, not too shabby.  There were 22 floors and we were on the 21st floor which was fun, except when the elevator got busy and it took forever to get up and down as people were stopping to get on or off at nearly ever floor almost.  That first night, we ordered in from the Champs Restaurant in the hotel and it was de-licious!!

(Me just arriving in our room - 2125 - after a loooong day of travel)

 (One view of our Hyatt Regency hotel room)

 (Looking out the window on the 21st floor)

(Looking down from the 21st floor on our first night)

Wednesday, our second day there and the "Pre-Congress Day" where you could get registered and go to extra workshops that you had to pay extra in the registration fee to go to.
(All registered here and you can barely see the red heart sticker on the right on my name tag 
that indicated I was a "first timer" at WBC)

(Pops and I's name tags together)

(The Duke Energy Center.  This is the convention center where all the workshops/keynote speakers/our free meals/closing ceremonies and closing banquet were all held.  It was HUGE.)

We had already paid to go to one of those pre-congress workshops and it was the best workshop we did the entire week.  It was called, "Road Trip! Navigating Life After Burns."  The instructors/speakers were incredible and I just got so much out of the class.  It was a very interactive class so that was hard at first but it got easy real quick cause everyone was in my same position, a burn survivor.  And there were a few caregivers there as well so that helped my dad a lot.  One of the instructors led off by talking about how he did so much research on life after a burn injury and surveyed many doctors and nurses and they all told him the same thing when posed with the question of what to expect after a burn injury?  And that was basically, no one really knew cause not much research is done on the subject and every burn is different and every one is different which makes sense because it is an injury to the largest organ in the body - the skin and everyone's skin is so different so therefore we will all react differently.  But it is disheartening to know that not much is known about burns and life after a burn and what to be able to expect.  It's almost like we're all on our own in a way in terms of how we're going to heal, both physically and emotionally.  But yet we are not alone because we are burn survivors together and we can seek solace in that knowledge that there are other burn survivors out there who can relate to some things if not almost everything you're going through and if they can't relate, they can share their relative story with you to help you with your struggles and be strong where you are weak and visa versa.

At about 6pm that evening was the Walk of Remembrance where we all gathered and took a walk where we were led by firefighters and a bag piper down to the Memorial of Fallen Firefighters.  When we arrived there, the bag piper stood up on the platform and played "Amazing Grace" and wow was that powerful.  Put tears in my eyes.  There were a couple speeches made, two by burn survivors who were firefighters.  There is a very special bond between firefighters and burn survivors and that point was made during those speeches.  The whole time we were there the firefighters were just so incredible to us.  Just awesome.  It was an emotional service.

 (There was a fire station that was by where we walked and the fireman had the lights going on their trucks and they were standing at attention as we walked by.  So moving to see them.)

 (Just a glimpse of people making the walk.  There were SO many people.)

 The bag piper that led us and played "Amazing Grace")

(These were the fireman who led us with that banner that we all signed.)

Then that night was the opening banquet which was fun, except we were pretty beat from our full day of traveling the day before.  But we stayed for awhile.  There was a small live band that played some great music actually and it was just a good time. (*Notice all the following pictures are my famous "self-portraits." I love those kind of pics for some reason. And also note, in pretty much all these pictures, you can REALLY see my scars, which is awkward for me to show you these. Hopefully those scars will get fixed someday soon with "derma-abrasion")

(Dad and I at Opening Banquet)

 (An online fellow burn survivor and friend, Gary and what a character he is! He is a wonderful guy and friend)

 (Another online fellow burn survivor and dear friend, Luciana that I finally got to meet.  She found me through this blog actually. Also got to meet her husband, Justin and they are amazing people.)

(Another survivor I am proud to call my friend now, Jan. She is also from Portland OR - we flew in together - and such a character.  I got quite a kick out of her and she has such a warm heart.)

The next days were filled with many workshops, eating great free breakfasts and lunches and then more workshops.  Our inbetween time was filled with either napping, resting in the hotel, visiting with other survivors/friends or taking in Cincinnati.  Our hotel was in downtown Cincinnati and the Fountain Square was just a couple blocks from where we were so that was a really fun place to go. I think we went down there Thursday night and had dinner.  It was really beautiful and the weather was beautiful.  

 (Dad and I in front of the fountain at Fountain Square)

 (The Fountain Square at night. Beautiful)

On Friday, we all kinda had the afternoon off so my dad and I took the advice of some great friends that I knew online and finally got to meet (Luciana and her husband Justin) and we went up to Mt. Adams, an "eclectic hilltop community" as they describe it up there and it was really, REALLY neat and loads of fun.  It was obvious you had to have money to live up there.  And we happened to sit next to Nick Lachey and his new wife Vanessa Millino while we were eating at the Mt. Adams Bar and Grill!!  It was crazy seeing them walk in there of all places and then sit right next to us!!  Totally random.  So, then we got a cab ride back, as we got a cab ride there, and spent the rest of the evening in our hotel room.  We were beat from walking around everywhere up there.  But that was a really fun day and afternoon.

 (One of the streets in this wonderful "eclectic hilltop community." Very cool buildings and streets.)

 (A famous Bar and Grill up in Mt. Adams during the prohibition of Alcohol. Interesting history in that restaurant and several famous people have been there...including Nick Lachey who sat next to us!!)

 (older "row" type homes. Kind of look like old townhouses. Really neat buildings up there.)

Saturday's closing ceremonies in the afternoon were really quite emotional.  It got me.  It was really beautiful at the end when we were asked by Amy Acton who acts on the Executive Board of the Phoenix Society that does the WBC (and who also gave me the scholarship to go to this) to all get in a circle around the Grand Ballroom we were in and we passed around the Phoenix Society flag while wonderful music played.  Then after the flag finally got passed all the way around the circle, we watched an animated video presentation they put together about how life is before a burn injury and then what happens to you, your family, your friends and your life after a burn injury.  That hit me.  Hard.  And I couldn't stop from just crying and crying because I could totally relate to it all.  It was just extraordinarily moving and I really had a cry.  That was hard.

Then during our time between then and the closing banquet, I needed some more rest and my dad had been wanting to go to the top of the Hilton hotel, which is the tallest building in Cincinnati cause there's an observation desk up there.  I wasn't too interested having lived in New York and seen a more impressive skyline than Cincinnati's (nothing against Cincinnati!) so I laid down and had a nap while my dad went up and I'm glad he went ahead and did it cause he really enjoyed it.

 (One of the views on top of the Hilton)

 (This is the bridge that was the model for the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. Made by the same guy, he was testing his idea for the Brooklyn Bridge with this bridge in Cincinnati)

 (The Cincinnati Bengals Football Stadium)

(The view of Fountain Square from the top of the Hilton)

Closing Banquet was a three course dinner and we were served like celebrities.  We sat at assigned tables and our little Portland group got our tickets together to get a table so we could all sit together for the last night.

(Part of our "Oregon" group - J.R. from Bend, Jan from Portland, and Mona from Lake Oswego)

A few awards were given along with speeches and then the ten piece band began and people hit the dance floor.  After awhile, my right leg where they took out that huge flap piece was starting to bother me so we said some goodbye's and headed back to the hotel where we began our packing to get ready to leave very early the next day.  At this time it still wasn't hitting me that WBC 2011 was over.  My first WBC had come to an end. 

But it has hit me today.  I have been worried about coming home and being so isolated.  WBC was a life changing event not only in the great motivational speakers we had and the workshops, but I think a lot of the real healing happened outside of the workshops when we were just hanging out with other survivors and friends.  I met a lot of my online friends who are burn survivors and then I met a lot of great new people who all have changed my life forever and I am truly blessed to have met them, spent a week with them and been able to share in this experience with them.  They are all incredible people and I aspire to have the kind of energy and positivity that so many of them possess and I hope to inspire them as well.  To my burn survivor friends that I met and made during my time at WBC this past week, thank you for what you have brought to my life.  Thank you for your incredible friendship and love.  There is nothing like what you gave to me at this year's WBC 2011.  You are all truly amazing in my eyes.  And I miss you already.

During the closing ceremonies, someone with the Phoenix Society read a letter from a family (the mother wrote it) that were unable to come this year and she wrote something in there that really described the WBC and that's, "WBC is not the end, it is just the beginning.  Like finding a family you always knew you had but never knew where to find."  I think I am blessed to have three families now where I once had two, and I was blessed to have two to begin with.  I have my blood family, I have my non burn survivor friends who are dear to my heart and now, after WBC, I found a new family.  A family of other survivors as well as caretakers and caregivers.  I am truly blessed to have those three family branches in my life.  As the brilliant and inspiring Helen Keller said, "I would rather walk in the dark with a friend, than be alone in the light."

The Official World Burn Congress 2011 Slideshow

Animated Slideshow at Closing Ceremonies That Shows Life Before and After a Burn Injury - Very Moving

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I had a workshop today in the World Burn Congress that I'm attending this year, which I'll write all about when it's over and I'm home.  But I wanted to share this particular piece with you because it touched on a blog post I wrote earlier, about I'm the one who's going to have to do the most work to get out of my deep dark depression, but I also need help, a hand to grab onto mine firmly and not let go.  This is a poem kind of about that, written by Eloise Cole.

Borrowed Hope

Lend me your hope for awhile, I seem to have mislaid mine.

Lost and hopeless feelings accompany me daily.
Pain and confusion are my companions.
I know not where to turn.
Looking ahead to future times
Does not bring forth images of renewed hope.
I see mirthless times, pain filled days
and more tragedy.

Hold my hand and hug me.
Listen to all my ramblings.
I need to unleash the pain and let it tumble out.
Recovery seems so far distant.
The road to healing a long and lonely one.
Stand by me.  Offer your presence.
Your ears and your love.
Acknowledge my pain, it is so real and ever present.
I am overwhelmed with sad and conflicting thoughts.

Lend me your hope for awhile.  A time will come
When I will heal, and I will lend my renewed hope to others.

I think that's such a beautiful poem and a very interesting idea, to "borrow hope" from someone whether it's a loved one or a friend.  Sometimes we just don't have it and we need that help, that firm hand grip that I talked about earlier and so thus we "borrow" it from you, whatever "it" may be.  "It" could be something other than hope.  It could be strength or courage.  I think I borrow a lot of different characteristics from my friends.  From Jen and Clay I often borrow faith.  From my best friend Corrie and her husband Michael I look to them to borrow that hope.  From my dear friend Jessa, I borrow courage.  From my other dear friends Jamie and her husband Sam, I borrow smiles and laughter and from Steph, I borrow strength.  And from Mikey aka Madd Skillz, I borrow belief in a future.  My family is a whole different grab bag of borrowed attributes but these are just a few examples from a the handful of real dear friends that I have of what I borrow from them and I am so grateful that they let me borrow those attributes that they themselves present so strongly in their own characters.  There are other friends and other things that I borrow but those are my main ones right now.  And I thank you all, not just those I mentioned but all of you who may not even know that I borrow something from you.  You all give something of yourself to me and I borrow it right now to help get me through this rough time and through this journey.  Thank you everyone.  You have truly blessed me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Angels Without God?

I've been thinking about something my therapist said to me for the entire weekend since I saw her last Friday.  We had a pretty rough session but at the end of it she said something that really touched my soul.  She said "I think you have a lot of angels on your side.  And I'm one of them."  Wow, what a thing to say to someone going through something like what I'm going through and I mean that in the best way.  It was a powerful and moving statement.  She just said it so softly and gently yet with conviction like she really believed it and after she said it, she just looked at me and smiled a heartwarming, beautiful smile and right then, she did look like an angel.

So it's had me thinking all weekend through to today.  You all know the problems that I'm having with my faith and my belief in God or a higher power, if you prefer, since my accident.  I just don't understand it and I'm so angry about it all.  And 3.5 years later, I'm still having troubles with my faith and beliefs and I'm still angry.  But when my therapist said what she said on Friday and then looked the way she looked it made me wonder, can angels exist without a God?  So, I did a little research.

The word "angel" comes from the Greek word, "Angelos" which means "messenger."  In many religions, an angel can be one who acts as a messenger of God.   In the Bible it is generally seen that the will of God is usually carried out by angels.  It is also said that angels have a kind of intimate relationship with God as His special adopted children.  In one article it says, "Angels are the essence of love and joy and stem from the Heart of God." 

So basically, none of the research really answered my question.  All the articles I read always include God and they all say angels stem from God, that they are His messengers and carry out His will.  However, I did come across a discussion forum where someone asked the very question I am now and several people gave her the typical answer that I just did here.  However, one person talked about speaking of or thinking of God in a way of a "Divine Spirit" that is a part of all of us and the Universe.  And therefore angels are messengers of a part of that "Divine Spirit" so that when we ask for help from the angels, we "tap into that which we are also a part of - the Whole Oneness."  I love that.  I find that a very interesting answer and view.  But, it still connects angels to a higher power.  That angels cannot exist without it. 

I'd like to believe in God and I may still.  I'm just struggling with it right now because of the accident.  But I'd really like to believe in angels because they seem so pure and beautiful and there to protect you, save you from any harm.  I always say that God wasn't there when my accident happened.  My mother always tells me that He is what kept me alive by continuing to breathe life into me.  But what if it were angels that kept me alive, that continued to breathe that life into me?  Or what if there was nothing?  What if we are all alone and I was the only one who kept me alive?  And what if it were the doctors who continued the fight on the operating table who kept me alive?  What if there was no kind of spirit or higher power?  Even though I'm on the fence with God and my faith, I do still find that idea a little scary.  To be all alone here?  To simply not exist anymore after we die?  It's hard to know what to believe and even harder when you've gone through something like I have or what many others in this world who have suffered some kind of terrible trauma to know what to believe. 

But the way that my therapist looked at me, it was like looking at an angel and I want to believe that she is right, and that she is one of those angels on my side.  I think if that's true, I have some very wonderfully dear friends of mine that I would consider some of my angels and then, of course, my family.  I do know I believe in the Universe, I always have.  I've always been a kind of "hippie spiritual" being :)  I'm scared to not believe but I don't know yet how to believe again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Preparation For The Day My Chance Will Come

"I will prepare and some day my chance will come."  ~Abraham Lincoln

As you can tell, I'm a big quote enthusiast (I research them, seek them out and retain them in my brain like I retain movie quotes/information.  I am also a big presidential history buff and Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorites.) and I've always liked this one.  A lot of people may say that it has a kind of "waiting" innuendo and thus puts an emphasis on that.  That it doesn't tell us most of getting what we want in life includes hard work and going after what we want, not waiting for it to come to us.  But I don't think that's necessarily what this quote is saying.  I think you need to look at the word, "prepare."  By preparing that means doing the work so therefore you aren't just waiting around for your chance to come to you, you are working by preparing, preparing is working.

There is so much I need to do, to prepare for when my chance will come that I need to start getting back up on my feet.  I'm tired of being in this deep dark place but as I wrote in an earlier post, it's so hard to crawl out of it.  It's like falling down a muddy slope and trying to get back up to the top when you're all slippery with the mud, slippery with the darkness.  As I've said, it's easier to stay in the dark than do the work to find the light and even harder to do the work to STAY there.  But there has been one thing I've gone back to and that's the piano where I took lessons for around 13 years and achieved the highest level in music theory - Level 10- and I taught it, too.  It's my favorite instrument.  I loved playing the piano and then when I moved to New York, I didn't have a piano so I went almost 4 years without playing and now since my accident another 3.5 years has gone by so it's safe to say, I'm a little rusty but I'm not without the talent I once I had.  I just need to get to practicing again.

Maybe 5 months or so after my accident, I decided that I wanted to get a new, very nice but not overboard digital piano and sell our old one.  I didn't want all these fancy buttons to do stuff, I just wanted a very simple, but very nice digital piano with pedals and weighted keys.  Those last two things were a must.  And I'm not talking about those kind of digital pianos that just sit on a stand, I'm talking about a serious digital piano.  And one day in Portland, after a doctor appointment, I came across the perfect, most beautiful digital piano.  And for a good price, I bought it with my own money.  It looks just like a regular piano with a beautiful black finish. But it continued to sit for awhile.  I played it a little when it first came home but then I was so frustrated that I wasn't at my top level of performance as when I last played, I didn't want to play anymore.  So I stopped.  I was even angry at myself.   But now, just this week, I got some inspiration from my favorite band, The White Stripes :)  I was listening to a song called, "Take, Take, Take" and it's one of my favorite songs cause the lyrics are really great.  The unfortunate part is, there are no piano books on any of Jack's piano songs, he's only released guitar tab books for his work.  So that's really frustrating.  But I listened and listened and listened and started to learn it by ear and I finally got it and as I continued to play it better and better, I was really enjoying myself and it felt so good to touch those keys again.  To make music again.  It was music to my ears, literally.  Even it if was still a little rusty, it felt good and with it feeling so good it made me continue to play everyday, multiple times a day and thus making me better and better.  Music has always made me feel better.  Jack White's music has gotten me through some very rough times in my life and he's continuing to help me get through this time and playing his music is, I don't know, giving some life back to my soul because music resides in my soul, performance resides in my soul.

There are many other things I need to do to prepare if my chance is going to come someday.  Such as getting my singing voice back with the help of a dear friend who teaches it and could really help me and looking at some monologues, reading plays again and watching old movies again.  Cause if my day comes, and I have not prepared, that chance will slip through my fingers and fall at my feet, the feet that I couldn't get myself to stand back up on.  And that, I will never forget and never forgive myself for.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Imagination - Preview of Life's Coming Attractions

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."  ~Albert Einstein

I came across this quote this morning and it made me smile and laugh cause everyone knows how wild and crazy my imagination is and how it is open 24/7 in my mind. I could never decide whether an imagination like my own was healthy or not.  I'm not sure that's gonna come across correctly.  What I mean is, I spend much of my day in my daydreams, in my imagination and how much of that is unhealthy in terms of not living in reality?  I mean, don't get me wrong, I do spend a whole lot of time in my reality.  I have to.  There's no way to avoid it.  I'm a burn survivor and a particularly hard to heal burn survivor and I'm reminded of that every minute, every hour, every day.  But even spending those times in reality, I'm always living in my imagination seems like.  It's almost like part of my brain is living in reality while at the same time I'm living in my imagination for a type of escape when I'm unable to escape through sleep.  It's weird. Like they're happening at the same time.  As a psychology major, I am always interested in behavior and the brain which makes my second career (if acting doesn't work out) in the BAU unit in the FBI a very good choice.  So I wondered, what part of the brain is imagination responsible for since I'm all over the place with it in terms of, I'm always high on imagination, kinda like Jack White is high on awesome (inside joke between Mike Leventhal and I :) Right Mikey?).

So I did some research and it of course, as I suspected, we can't really tell yet.  What we can speculate on though, is that many different parts of the brain are involved in imagination because of the different types and aspects of our imaginings.  All we can really say is that a lot of the work of most sorts of imagination is involved in perception, which is a very large part of the brain.  However, there is one thing scientists have found in their research and that is when one is using their visual imagination (also known as "seeing things in their mind's eye") the occipital cortex, which is responsible for the information coming from our eyes, works particularly hard leading scientists to believe that this is where most of the visual imagination takes place.  Makes sense.  But makes me ask, isn't all imagination visual?  In other words, when we use our imagination, aren't we always using visual imagery?  What other kind of imagery is there?  Physical imagery?  But I would venture to think that even physical imagery is accompanied by visual imagery.  That visual imagery is like the favorite call girl to the high paying client (sorry to use such a crude reference but it's quite true).  But research has shown that is not necessarily so.  All they can really say is that when doing research on people who are using their imagination, most all of the brain is at work.

So back to Albert Einstein saying that imagination is the preview of life's coming attractions, that it is "everything."  I honestly don't know what to think about Einstein's idea of imagination here.  I mean I really want to say that I totally agree, cause really, Ok, I do.  I'm a huge on imagination.  I think it's highly important for a lot of things from our work to our play.  I think it should be highly valued and as children we are encouraged to use it, but unfortunately as we grow older, it is discouraged and only used for games and in the arts (artists/actors/cinematographers/directors/etc).  And I find that discouragement of imagination and the encouragement of "living in the real world" as we become adults sad.  Of course, we have to face reality but having an imagination is important to our lives, too.  I have a little over-board imagination that gets a little, ok, a lot, crazy and wild sometimes but as I've posted before, sometimes it's these daydreams, these fantasies, these imaginings that perk up my day just thinking that they could possibly be.  They give me a smile thinking about them.

I'd love to think that Einstein is right, that imagination is the preview of life's coming attractions cause man, my life would be FANTASTIC! Absolutely KILLER!!  So, for today, I'm gonna let my imagination go and believe that Einstein is right and that my imaginings of marrying Jack White, having a little Isabeau Georgia White and Willem (or Jagger) Jack White and maybe even more, taking care of my family as they took care of me, and having my dream acting career, winning at least one Oscar and and at least one Golden Globe and living a healthy happy life with the man of my dreams, the family of my dreams, and the career of my dreams is the preview of my life's coming attractions.  Aaahhh....there goes my imagination as I just typed all that down and as I'm typing now, there's a smile on my face just imagining those things that could be.  That could be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Comfortably Numb


Boy, do those words hit me. Hard. It happens to me from time to time and all too often to be truthful. Like the words say, there are times in life when I just become insensitive to all adversity in life and the darkness gets comfortable. I just become, comfortably numb (Pink Floyd). There are those times that I've written about where I just cry and cry and I find it amazing as the tears fall off my chin and onto the pillow or into my hands or onto my shirt, that I marvel at how many tears I can cry. But then, after that much crying, after awhile, I can't cry anymore and I'm just insensitive to everything. And I don't mean I'm insensitive to things like my friends or my family. I'm always sensitive to them, to anything that's going on with them, to any problem that's upset them. What I'm insensitive to is myself, my situation, my life, my accident. It's like I don't care anymore about any of it. I just go through the motions of the day without emotion, and there really aren't much of any motions to my day. Even if I think about those things I mentioned earlier, no tears come, no anger, no sadness, no frustration, just the feeling of being numb and the comfortableness of the darkness that has put it's blanket around my shoulders. It's like no one's home inside my soul. Like Pink Floyd said, "hello, is anybody in there."

The last part where it says, "But remember it is up to you to seek the light even when the darkness seems so comfortable." For anyone who knows what's it like, REALLY like to be truly depressed or hurt or in grief, that darkness that surrounds us becomes comfortable, and you know what I mean, you know that feeling. It fills our homes and it most horribly fills our hearts and souls and our minds and it's so much harder to get back up on your feet, to seek the light, than to just stay where you are in that darkness of depression or hurt or grief. Darkness is powerful. I would even go out on a limb to say it's more powerful than the light, whether you take that in happiness vs. depression or good vs. evil or God vs. Satan. It's so much easier to just succumb to that darker side. It truly is. It is the lighter side that takes courage, strength and bravery. But that is not to say that people who have been sucked into the black hole, the Bermuda triangle of the dark side due to depression are not courageous, powerful, or brave. They just need help. They're going to have to do the most work and that's the hardest work, but they need help along the way. They are drowning in the darkness of depression and they need a buoy thrown out to them to keep them afloat or someone brave and courageous enough to jump in after them and be there with them and help them out. But in the end, it is me who has to get back up on my feet and find that light, shrug off that blanket the darkness has comfortably snuggled me up in. I have the hardest work to do. But it's always helpful and a wonderful warm and loving feeling to have someone(s) to reach their hand(s) out to us and grab hold with a strong grip that says, "I won't let go of you and you'll make it, my friend. We'll do this together."

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wise Words From Two Champion Tennis Players

From Wimbledon 2008, Federer vs. Nadal....
Rafa: "If you can dream and not make dreams your master."

Federer: "You can wait and not be tried by waiting."

(Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer...two HUGE tennis competitors but after matches and off the court they are wonderful friends and a blast to watch together.)

These two quotes are from a poem called, "If" by Rudyar Kipling and it's beautiful.  I posted these quotes on Facebook today because I said I was going to "dedicate today to Rafa" because he's defending his championship today at the US Open against Novak Djokovic whom Nadal lost to in Wimbledon and has in fact lost to him five times.  So I was watching some videos of Rafa both old and new and had to watch this particular video on the Wimbledon match in 2008 (when I became a Rafael Nadal fan) Federer vs. Nadal cause it's a great video and it just gets you so pumped up over tennis.  And they both say those two pieces out of clips of conversations either after the game or before with the press or a private interviewer and they really touch me deep in a place that I'm not even sure where it is.

Let's talk about Rafa's first: "If you can dream and not make dreams your master."  Now that's quite the opposite of what's been engraved in me and many other people in that dream and reach for the stars and don't let anything get in your way has been what most every parent tells their child, right?  And to me, if you listen to Rafa, I guess that kinda sounds like you're making dreams your master.  But Rafa here is saying don't let them be your master.  Is he perhaps trying to say that there are other things in life that are just as important if not more important in some things?  That we shouldn't always be focused on our dreams because we may miss important and beautiful things along the way while we're working so hard.  I think he has something there.  You can dream and dream big and reach for the stars, but don't let those dreams become your master that enslave you to such hard work that you miss out on all that life is, things that are beautiful in life and in the world because the dream has given you tunnel vision on that dream.

Now Federer's is maybe my favorite for a certain reason: "You can wait but not be tried by waiting."  Wow, that one really strikes a chord with me because from previous posts you know that I've described and identified myself with being a gypsy, always on the move in all aspects of my life.  And sitting here in this house, it just feels like I'm waiting and waiting.  Waiting for more surgeries, waiting for that final surgery (not FINAL final) that allows me to get on the move again, be independent again, chase my dream and reach for the stars.  Now I don't of course mean final final surgery, just the surgery that allows me to be independent again and then I'll of course continue with more surgeries for the rest of my life.  Besides the dis-figuration and dependence that drives me mad, the waiting, oh my god, drives me CRAZY!  I have never been a really patient person when it comes to certain things.  I'm relatively patient with people (except stupid people) but there are some things that I just don't have the patience for and the situation I'm in, is one of them and it requires all the patience in the world.  So when Fed says, "you can be tried but not be tried by waiting," makes me want to be strong and not let the waiting crawl under my skin where it gets to me and then makes me want to crawl OUT of my skin.  To not be tried by that's a feat when you've been in a similar situation as mine.

I must be able to wait but not be tried by waiting and dream, but not make those dreams my master.  Wow, that's a lot to try to do.  But if I'm gonna make it past 29, I gotta think about those kind of things that wise people like these two say, even though they're very young they've been through a lot with their hard work to become professionals and win championships.  And what they said struck a chord with me this morning.

The link to that GREAT wimbledon '08 youtube video I watch to get pumped up for tennis. Seriously, watch.
Greatest Match EVER: Wimbledon '08, Federer vs. Nadal

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Little Time To Let My Soul Breathe

"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time."  ~Edward P. Tyron

I got out of the house for a short weekend trip up to stay in a cabin up at Emigrant Springs campground.  And it was much too short.  I needed to be out there much longer.  My soul needed to be out there in the fresh air, connected to mother Earth, the Universe.  My soul needed to be out there to just be able to BREATHE!  Lately, I have been under abnormal stress and emotions and health issues so it just felt good to get away from everything, including (somewhat) being "plugged in" all the time.  Yes, I know, I was plugged in for quite awhile on Saturday but that was only because of the US Open tennis matches!!  There were two HUGE matches that day and I had to watch both of them.  And it took almost all day.  But have no fear, when my phone didn't need to charge from the battery being drained dry from using the internet so heavily, I was outside with the slight breeze in my face and hair and the sun shining gently on my skin.

It was just really a great weekend, or couple of nights I guess cause we went down Friday afternoon and had to come back this morning (Sunday).  I really needed to stay there longer but I'll take what I can get right now I suppose.  We all got along, which was nice.  We got there Friday afternoon and unloaded into our cute li'l cozy cabin and then just relaxed for awhile.

(Our cabin - C1)

 (Front porch of our cabin)

(The single room inside the cabin - double bed on right, twin/double bunk on left)

(The little coffee table that sat to the right when you walked in. The whole cabin was 
open to the outdoors with four windows)

(On one side of the porch we had a stove/oven and a little pantry)

(The picnic table area over to the left of the cabin with fire pit and BBQ)

Saturday, we kinda slept in, got up around 7:00 - 7:30am and made a fire.  This is my favorite time of camping with the fire warming you up as you sat in a chair drinking coffee and possibly reading or just looking at the peacefulness around you.  Then of course, my tennis started and I was trying to watch it live on the US Open website but it would never load so I just listened to it on the US Open website radio which worked fine, but not the same as watching it.  But I was able to listen while we played a couple games and just enjoyed ourselves.

(Playing the great game, Ticket To Ride)

(I won, he he...)

It was around this time that I had a late idea: why not look for a tennis app that would allow me to stream the games live! Yes!  And there was a US Open site that got me right to streaming the game live, just in time for Nadal vs. Murray.  All right!  Why didn't I think of this before?!  And it was around this time that my parents started to get tired from the heat and just that tiredness from camping.

(Yup, that's my Spanish luvah Nadal, and he totally kicked ass and won)

(Mama and Pops laying somewhat awkwardly, taking a nap mid-day while I watch tennis)

Later that evening, after my tennis was over, we just continued to be.  Relaxing, each of us doing something different from my dad and mom reading to me switching back and forth between reading as well as cross stitching and then sometimes drifting off into my thoughts while being embraced by the love I felt from the Earth and the Universe.  There was a lot of time this weekend that I had to think and I did a lot of it.  I'm not necessarily any better off, I'm still in a dark place due to a lot of reasons, but at the time, I felt better, more free, like my very soul was fantasizing about the idea of sprouting wings again one day and flying away to be the gypsy that I am. 

"May my soul bloom in love for all existence."  ~Rudolf Steiner

But I was sitting outside Monday morning, warming by the fire and drinking coffee and thinking, I'm kind of an odd mix of a girl.  I grew up with nature - hiking, camping, rock climbing, running trails, biking, etc. - but I'm also quite a city girl.  I mean, when I moved to New York City, it was a shock yes, but more of a culture shock than lots of buildings and cement and lots of people walking really fast everywhere kind of shock.  I got used to New York, the way people were, the layout of the city, the subway system, how to avoid street vendors so as not to get caught in their web, how to bargain with those same street vendors and most importantly, how to keep myself protected.  Somehow, never growing up in a city larger than La Grande (12,000 population), I wasn't naive about anything.  But then, sitting there in front of the fire, everything comes naturally to me out here in the forest, too.  So I never know what to call myself, a country or city girl.  I'm just both I guess.  If I had it my way, I would of course be married to Jack ;) and have my acting career and we'd have our two homes in Nashville, one of which is on a big piece of land which is Jack's main home and then he has a farm house in Franklin, Tennessee but then I'd have to have my ritzy apt. somewhere in Greenwich Village (aka west village) in New York City, too :)  What a life to dream for, right?  Maybe someday, someday if I make it that far....

"Never made agreements...And I won't back down cause life's already bit me."

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."  ~Dr. Carl Sagan

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Jack White Autographed Item - Added To My Collection

I couldn't be higher on life right now.  Now to give you a background, I have been to a White Stripes concert when I lived in NYC in '07 at Madison Square Garden and simply put, IT WAS AWESOMENESS!!!  I also have a few collectible items...I have three, now THREE with my newly arrived item today, Jack White autographed pictures - two of them when he was with the White Stripes and are also signed by Meg White and my latest is an artwork picture signed by Jack White as well as all Dead Weather band members.  I also have a pair of his drumsticks that he used live during the Letterman show in 2010 as well as two of his used guitar picks (the idea behind my first tattoo), a Dead Weather pin, and a signed CD by everyone in the Dead Weather including Jack.  Awesome, right?  But I also have a few other things, not autographed though.  I have all the White Stripes albums on vinyl (as well as itunes) and both Raconteurs albums and both Dead Weather albums on vinyl (itunes, too).  I have two White Stripes totes, one of which is out of print and you can no longer get it and a Third Man Records tote and like, I don't know 4 or 5 White Stripes shirts.  That is just a few of the things I have that are relevant to Jack White but I have so much more that I'm not even gonna get into cause I'll get carpel tunnel.

So today, I received the best of all my autographed items.  It is an artwork item that someone did and it's super cool.  It's like a shack, with all four band members drawn on there (and you can definitely tell who's who) with clouds above the shack and it's raining down on them because their name is the Dead they made it bad weather.  he he...good thinking.  Then all Dead Weather band mates signed it and I bought it at an auction.  I spent the bank on it but I had to have it.  It was unique.  This wasn't just a picture of the band with their autographs, this was a great piece of artwork with their autographs. With it came a Certificate of Authenticity as well.  Here it is:

Killer and beautiful, right?!!!  Man, it's amazing.  I love you Jack White.  You're my guy and you always will be.  You are infinitely talented and just genius and intelligent and funny.  Hope I get to meet you someday, ideally hang out with you for a day, and even more ideally, marry you :)  <3 you Jack.

Here's the link the the live Letterman show (which was just blocks away from where I used to work in NYC) and the drumsticks that I have:

Dead Weather Live At the Letterman Show in NYC

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I Really Am A Gypsy

This should so be the theme song of my life going all the way back to the beginning of high school then particularly in New York City and if I continue on with my life, my life will continue to be lived along the lines of this song.  I have always just been "gypsy-like" in the way that I lived in every aspect.  I was never capable of attachment in relationship, I was always just "one of the guys" and I never realized if someone liked me cause I thought we were friends and were just playing around!  Then I was just plain stupid when it came to realizing if someone liked me.  All my life, I've just expected or demanded or asked people to just go along with me, come with me wherever I go even if they don't have the promise of a full commitment from me.  That was a major problem in my life and in relationships.  In New York City I was a total gypsy in every way possible.  I have constantly been hurt (emotionally) and always found a way to "sew the pieces back on" and get on with it, get over it. I have also hurt A LOT of people completely unintentionally because of that very reason.  Also the lyrics, "I never made agreements, cause I'm a gypsy, And I won't back down, Cause life's already hurt me," as well as one more, "Scars remind us, just how far that we've come," REALLY speak to me.  That is until I had my accident and now I'm having a bit harder time doing that cause of the anger I harbor.  But it's funny, I'm a rock 'n roll girl man!  My theme song should be some kind of rockin' out song like maybe even Journey's, "Don't Stop Believin'" and maybe that's my second theme song cause after all, I always did want my life to be a musical so I gotta have more than just one song, right?  So it's funny the song I really identify with is a fucking pop song by fucking Shakira for Christ's sake.  The song I MOST IDENTIFY with is of course a song written by Jack White for his band The Raconteurs: "You Don't Understand Me."  Well, Read the lyrics carefully, they are exactly me throughout my whole life.  P.S.  Helps a little that in the video, my Spanish tennis baby Rafa Nadal is in it but that's not why...seriously, it's the lyrics.  I'm all about the lyrics in every song.

"Gypsy" by Shakira

Broke my heart
Down the road
Spend the weekend
Sewing the pieces back on

Crayons and dolls pass me by
Walking gets too boring
When you learn how to fly

Not the homecoming kind
Take the top off
And who knows what you might find

Won't confess all my sins
You can bet I'll try it
But I can't always win

'Cause I'm a gypsy
But are you coming with me?
I might steal your clothes
And wear them if they fit me
I never made agreements
Just like a gypsy
And I won't back down
'Cause life's already hurt me
And I won't cry
I'm too young to die
If you're gonna quit me
'Cause I'm a gypsy

('Cause I'm a gypsy)

I can't hide
what I've done
Scars remind me
Of just how far that I've come
To whom it may concern
Only run with scissors
When you want to get hurt


I said hey you
You're no fool
If you say 'NO'
Ain't it just the way life goes?
People fear what they don't know
Come along for the ride (Oh yeah)
Come along for the ride (ooohhh)

Music Video to "Gypsy"

Cycle of Life is Backwards - I'm Back for a Short While

So, here I am again every body.  I am posting again.  But I don't know how long it will last.  I am still undecided as to what I'm going to do with my blog whether I'm going to make to "invited readers only" or delete it alltogether. But the whole point of making my blog public was for people to find it, read it, be inspired by the real words that I wrote because they are in some kind of situation like I am, find it thought provoking, real and true and I met a lot of people through it and became good friends with them who then became great supporters and visa versa.  If it hadn't been public, that would have never happened.  In fact, one of my top five friends right now, Mike Leventhal, is just one of those people who stumbled upon my blog and we talk everyday, mostly about Jack White cause we both share a passion and love for him :)  But we also talk about other things and he's always checking in on me, seeing how I'm doing.  Many of my friends do that, I'm just using Mike as example cause he found me through my blog.

But I wanted to talk a little bit.  After that incident after my last blog post, I went off the grid for awhile, I stayed away from Facebook, I closed off my blog and hid away in my room cause it only caused worse problems in my home which I did not need.  This person, though I am grateful they cared so much to call, obviously didn't know me so well and didn't think about something and that something was they called late at night!  So if I was going to commit suicide, that post was done in the afternoon so I probably would have done it by then and then when they called, my parents were HOME WITH ME!!!  So, if there was something wrong, the police would have already been called by my own parents.  So that pisses me off a little.  ONCE AGAIN, DON'T GET ME WRONG, I APPRECIATE THE CARE THIS PERSON SHOWED.  They just didn't think.  That last post I understand would worry a lot of people.  It was quite graphic in describing my own suicide, but that was not the intention if you REALLY read inbetween the lines of that post.  It was really a beautiful post about a beautiful fantasy that I have for myself.  And I guess maybe even somewhat of a beautiful fantasy about my own death, IF IT WERE TO COME TO THAT.  DO NOT MISREAD THAT!  I just happened to be a little real and graphic about details of my suicide and maybe I shouldn't have but I don't sensor myself here.  I just write.  I am real in person and thus I am real in my writing.  This is a sacred place for me to vent or talk about death if I need to.  So I'm sorry to that person who I worried so much that they felt they needed to call the police and I'm sorry to everyone that I may have worried above and beyond. But you must understand, if I'm writing and answering messages, I'm still here.  Maybe not great emotionally or physically, but I'm still here and as long as I'm writing, I'm not doing anything drastic.  It's when you haven't heard from me either from a blog post, or Facebook, or telephone messages (calls or text) that you REALLY should start worrying.  Cause that's when I pull back and could be in dangerous waters.  There are still times when I'm in dangerous waters even when I'm writing or on Facebook but only dipping my toe in, I'm not quite ankles deep.  And if you REALLY haven't heard from me, I'm neck deep and some of you may already have heard from my suicide note  DO NOT MISREAD THAT!!!!!!

I have also chosen not to talk about my health on Facebook because of what happened.  And I'm not really gonna talk about it now either.  All I'm gonna say is there are some things going on.  I'm under abnormal stress, extreme emotional problems and some newly developed physical ailments that we are doing tests on.  So I'm not doing well emotionally or physically.

On another note, I can't believe my father and I will be leaving for World Burn Congress, my first, in 14 days.  Two weeks.  Crazy.  I've never been to one but I know a lot of people that have gone to them and say they're life changing so we'll so how it sits with me :)  I mean, I'm sure it will be life changing at the moment but will it stick with me afterwords?  I got a full scholarship to attend so that's really exciting.  Don't have to pay for anything.  Another special thing about this trip is a very special tattoo artist to many big whigs as well as to myself, but for another reason, has his private tattoo studio right there in Cincinnati, where the WBC is this year.  If you don't know already, I'm talking about Kore Flatmo who did the woodburning artwork on the back of Jack White's "lady" guitars like the famous "Rita" for Rita Hayworth and also the famous but lesser so, "Claudette" after Claudette Colbert and his latest, "Veronica" after Veronica Lake.  They are beautiful and brilliant.  I emailed him and told him about myself and my love for Jack but never heard back.  Then my so very dear friend Jessa also emailed the studio and she heard back from them finally!  Well, turns out I mistyped the email address.  So they said that Kore is completely booked up till December but is open to squeezing me in during those September dates to do a tattoo for me because of my story and my love for Jack, they want it to be special for me.  I'M SO FREAKIN' EXCITED!!!   Only thing that will get in my way is Garrett, my reconstructive surgeon.  I'm still waiting to hear what he has to say.  But this would mean so much to me. OMG.  To have my first tattoo, my first Jack White tattoo done by the same guy that did Jack's famous "lady" guitars...oh, I can't describe the excitement.  Not to mention being able to reclaim a small part of my body (for right now) from what the fire took from me.

So in ending, I don't know yet what I'm going to do with my blog - make it to invited readers only, keep it public, or delete it all together.  If I make it to invited readers only, I will announce it and you will have to give me the email address YOU USED TO BECOME A FOLLOWER (if you are a follower) cause you will have to use that to sign in.  I will keep this post open to the public for a few days, maybe till the weekend and then I will close it off again.  Let me know your thoughts by either here in a comment, Facebook, or my phone.  Things have been abnormally tough for me lately.  Abnormally tough.

"The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends.  I mean, life is tough.  It takes up a lot of your time.  What do you get at the end of it?  A Death!  What's that, a bonus?  I think the cycle is all backwards.  You should die first, get it out of the way.  Then you live in an old age home.  You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work.  You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement.  You do drugs, alcohol, party, you get ready for high school.  You go to a grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend the last nine months floating....and you finish off as an orgasm."  ~George Carlin

And article RE: Jack White's "lady" or "girlfriend" guitars and what they look like: