Cross your fingers that my Medi-Cal card comes by the time I get back to California next week, so I can pick up my next round of chemo on as soon as I get home. Everybody is getting really tired of hearing, "I'm still pending for Medi-Cal." Myself included.
I did it. I finished my latest stack of applications and forms. Apparently I'm getting more efficient. I've made myself organizational binders for instant access to all of my frequently requested financial information. Yes, the divorce decree is in there, too. Right at my fingertips, for easy reference. Woo hoo!
To celebrate, Boyfriend and I are going to have a good laugh at ourselves with this clip, aptly called 'Intensive Caring'. Just imagine that Greg is not a lawyer, but a web developer (computer nerd). Enjoy.
This is the pile of books, well, most of them, next to my side of the bed. I've got a few more on the floor, in addition to a couple of notebooks and long lost (mechanical) pencils. As in, "Where are all my (mechanical) pencils? I just bought a ten more the other day!"
I was compelled to picturize and post my pile of reading material for a couple of reasons. The first being that it is far more attractive and interesting than other piles around the house currently calling my name - the pile of laundry on the bedroom floor, the pile of bills waiting to be opened on my desk, the pile of mending on the kitchen chair, and the pile of medical forms and supporting documents on my dining table. Blah.
The second reason is much more entertaining - this pile of books reminds me of when Boyfriend and I first got together, a mere year and a half ago. The first time he saw my bedroom, he noticed a similar pile of books on the table beside my bed. "I knew I liked you - look at all of those books you're reading at once!" I had figured we had similar reading styles - reading as many books as possible at a time, in an effort to learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. One of many topics of discussion in our pre-dating correspondence was our mutual interest in learning new things.
So the first time I laid eyes on his bedroom, I laughed. Books. Not just beside the bed. EVERYWHERE.
Yay for books. Yay for learning. Yay for mutual interests and fresh beginnings. Yay for reminders of why you got together with the one you love.
Thursday, Boyfriend and I (okay, mostly me) got a wild hare and decided to drive down to LA to a book signing by my favorite blogger, Heather Armstrong of dooce.com. Reading her blog is actually what inspired my own, and now that things are starting to roll a little bit on girlbert.com, I thought it would be fun to meet her and introduce myself.
I'm such a dork - I may as well have been meeting the Dalai Lama, I was so starstruck. I tried to use the ride down to come up with a good question - Boyfriend kept asking me, "Are you going to ask her anything?" I couldn't come up with a thing, but I figured I'd just tell her I started my own blog, and reading her blog inspired me to do it. I was going to get my picture taken with her and write about it on my blog, it was going to be great!
We arrived at the bookshop just after seven, and the place was packed. Heather was toward the front - I bought her book, then we made our way to the back to get a spot to listen. Oh, good, I'll have time to think of something to ask while standing in line. Suddenly the question-and-answer was over, and she was on her way to the back of the store to sit down and sign books. Wait, I was already there! So there I was, first in line to get my book signed, and I hadn't worked out what I was going to say. Here I was about to meet someone who had inspired me to start writing, to open up about my life, and...
"Are you Erik?" "Wha - oh - no, I'm not. That's my brother...he actually turned me on to your site a couple of years ago." Brilliant. "A boy? Wow, I don't have many boys reading my site." Wow, she's really pretty in person...say something! "Yeah, he really likes it." Genius. Act normal! Make eye contact! "Well thank you so much for reading, and thank you for coming." "Thank you so much. Good luck and travel safe." But wait - you forgot to mention the weather, you idiot!
Boyfriend and I rounded the corner and I stopped. "Oh, man, I kinda got all flaky-like." "Yeah, you kinda did." "Shoot - I forgot to get my picture with her!" "Do you want to stand in line again?" "Kind of...but that's so dumb. And I think I want my own book, too." "Will you regret it if you don't?" "Probably..."
So we did. We bought another book and stood in line again. And the second time, I got my picture taken, but the dialog wasn't much improved. I did manage to spit out the fact that I had started my own blog, but forgot to mention that I was inspired by her. I think I started to say it, but my brain censored it at some point with, "Shut up! She doesn't care about that. She's probably tired and just wants you to get the hell out of there!"
This is the ongoing battle between my optimistic self and the part of me that wants to curl up on a dark cave somewhere and hide from the world. The world that could judge me, that could think I'm wrong, that I would feel inferior to. Even though the same world could support me and love me, I assume the worst.
So Heather Armstrong is signing her books at a bookstore, she's probably like anyone, humbled and surprised that someone would look up to her and admire her and BUY HER BOOK, of course she's going to be nice to me. And I may as well have just let her kind words lift me up. But I didn't, I assumed that she would judge me and I stumbled fearfully through what could have been a networking opportunity.
So this is exactly what has inspired me to write, that just like Heather, I struggle with things that paralyze me, things that would roll off a normal, sane person. Things that would bounce of a person without crippling her with social anxiety. So I choose to write about it. Because I can't be the only person who's struggled with anxiety, depression and the fallout of a divorce, just like Heather's not the only person who's fought the demons of chronic and post-partum depression. Just like Heather has chosen to share her story, I want to share mine. If only to show myself that I can.