Winter Nature In NYC And a Delicious Meal

A little winter running tour of NYC nature (yes, for anyone feeling snarky, there is nature in this city, although you do have to actively seek it out):

It was nice to break up my running with picture-taking. Confession: I have been majorly bored by running lately. Anyone have any fun workout boredom solutions?

I came back and cooked up a giant meal for myself:

Apple-smoked bacon, two sunny side up eggs, mushroom/sweet potato hash cooked in bacon fat, half a grapefruit, and flax quinoa bread (from WF.  I think I’m in love) with coconut butter.  For some reason this was the only meal I really wanted today.  I had some snacks, but didn’t want anything else substantial.  And I didn’t want any other foods either.  Just this.  Maybe I’m going through a food phase.

I think I like this phase.

I am hoping to migrate my blog to caronae.com tomorrow! Fingers crossed!  I am also hoping to figure out how to design some of my own layout and make it smooth and professional looking. If anyone has any tips, feel free to share. 🙂

I just feel like I’m finally ready to move into the “serious” blogging world.  I have this feeling in my center that it’s the right thing to do at this point in time.

See you all tomorrow my loves (hopefully)!

Adventures In Carb Lovin’ And Clean Eats

Today’s Happy Note: Got my blood work back and everything is roughly normal!  My iron and blood cell levels are all a bit low but that is to be expected at this point.  Nothing that requires hospitalization=a good thing.  I kept having nightmares last night that I had to go in and get a blood transfusion.

They are still doing tests to figure out what I actually have.  Probably some sort of creepy bacteria.  Yuck yuck yuck.

But wait.  There is more good news.  I can now eat things besides bread and plain noodles!

Exhibit A:

That, my friends, is melted dark chocolate.  Which may or may not have been on the list of approved foods.  But screw it.

Exhibit B:

Scone.  It had a weird texture (a bit dry) but a great flavor.  Tomorrow, I might venture into muffin territory.

Exhibit C:

This is pasta with a little EVOO and a lotta salt.  An inappropriate amount of salt.  And basil.  I’m supposed to be consuming salt like it’s my job, don’t hate.

Other things on the safe food list: bagels, toast, gatorade, vitamin water, dry cereal, and rice.  I can’t actually remember the last time I had a vegetable, which is scary.  I have been eating little bits of frozen fruit here and there.

I want meat.  Bad.  I want some ribs and some fish and some chicken.  And eggs.  And meatballs.  And cheese.  And hummus and sandwiches and peanut butter and waffles and tofu.  And protein ice cream and smoothies.  Not all at once though.  That would be weird.

I actually have no interest in dairy right now.  To be honest, I am a little grossed out by the idea of it.  I know it is hard to digest and supposedly mucus-producing; normally I don’t have a problem with 1-2 servings a day, but I think I’m going to skip out on it for a little while.  I read that sometimes even after a bad GI issue like this clears up, people can’t eat dairy products.

I have felt simultaneously very alienated from and intimate with my body these past few days.  A strange feeling.  I trust in my body and love it’s ability to recover but it is scary to think how sensitive we are; one tiny strand of bacteria can knock us out for days, or even kill us.  I already know how “dirty” the American food system is, but this just made me even more afraid.  How do I know that my lettuce in a bag from California never encountered bacteria, or that my milk is completely clean?

I guess we don’t really know.  Part of me wants to say “that’s why we should choose local, seasonal, and organic.”  Okay, but I already do that.  Literally half of the stuff in my fridge right now is from the farmer’s market.  In fact, I have a suspicion that that might be where the contaminated food came from.  I always wash my produce, but I suppose I could be better at it.  The frustrating thing is that there aren’t many answers here.  Short of growing everything I eat, it’s impossible to ensure my diet is perfectly clean.

I am honestly a bit afraid of food right now.  I hope this doesn’t persist; I like food too much to be afraid of it!

But what can we do?  How do we keep a food supply clean when we don’t know where most of it is coming from?  How do we ensure that bacteria or diseases don’t have a chance to enter our tummies?

Therapy Tuesday

Today’s Happy Note: I have discovered that I can safely eat dark chocolate.  My life is so much better now. 🙂

Some thoughts:

  1. I have purchased an LSAT study guide.  I am officially going to apply to law school in the fall.  This is very scary. If I am in law school — no, if I am even applying to law school — I must be an adult.  A real live adult.  Weird.
  2. I miss running.  I’m going to have to do some yoga or else I will go crazy.
  3. Books are good.  Books are my friend.  Books never let me down.  Sometimes people let me down.
  4. My parents are the best parents in the world.  Trust me.  My mama calls me Bunny Rabbit and my papa calls em Cupcake.
  5. Summer and I are not friends.  As I was explaining to a real friend the other day, summer just makes me wilt.  I honestly get exhausted, tired, cranky, overheated…I hate it after about five minutes.  I hate walking the ten minute walk to work and arriving with my face covered in sweat.  I should not have to be mopping my brow at 9 in the morning.  This is why my family lives in Canada and Michigan (although summers there are rather hot as well).  I am moving to Norway.  And becoming a reindeer herder.  When I grow up.
  6. I need to bake.  ASAP.
  7. I am graduating from college in less than a year.  I still feel like a baby.  I’m pretty sure most of my relatives think I’m about five.
  8. I have eaten non-bread foods today!  Not much, just a bit here and there: frozen berries, frozen coconut bar, a bit of oatmeal, a few peanuts.  Just to break up the monotony a bit and get some energy into my system.  I am craving veggies, meat, and healthy fats like nobody’s business.
  9. The first meal I make after this wretched infection is gone might have to be Averie’s rice paper wraps with tofu, avocado, zucchini, and peanut sauce.
  10. Yes I am planning ahead for what I will eat when I’m all better.  Also on the list: Mediterranean pasta salad, spaghetti with meatballs, hummus and cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, fish, shrimp salad.  Greens with EVOO. Real food.  And lots and lots of protein.

Therapy Tuesday (lots of thoughts today — bear with me friends!)

This was my first session — and pretty much my first significant interaction with another person — since my illness/hospital visit.  I started by telling L all about that.  She was very responsive and sweet and acknowledged my thoughts and fears.  I wanted to talk more about the experience but I couldn’t really get beyond “I was scared.”   I did talk about how loving and helpful and supportive my mom and dad were.  That was really important to me these past few days.  I didn’t realize this at the time, but I didn’t want today to turn into a look at my relationship with my parents.  What I wanted — and needed — was a very gentle session in which L just sort of metaphorically held my hand.  All weekend, that’s what I wanted: for someone to hold my hand.  That was what I needed today and, unfortunately, I didn’t consciously realize that.  L was by no means mean, but today was absolutely a tough session.  Once I broke down I never really resurfaced.

One thing I did enjoy about today was that L focused on our relationship sometimes — the “here and now” or “in-between” of psychotherapy.  It was refreshing and a bit fun to think about how she was making me feel in the moment or how we were perceiving one another.  Mostly, I felt a lot of confusion-frustration towards L.  Which I told her about.  I felt like this because it seemed like we just kept miscommunicating.  I often feel like she is criticizing people I tell her about (for example, my family members).  But when I told her this, she made it clear that she is just trying to figure out the situation — not to judge anybody, especially people she doesn’t know,

Specifically, we talked today a lot about how people in my family deal with emotions.  This was interesting, if not frustrating.  My mother is emotional and compassionate to a degree that affects her personal and professional life.  My father has always been much more objective and rational, but he has always kept his emotions locked inside; he isn’t really managing his feelings either.  We talked about my impressions of these examples and how they affect me.  For some reason it made me really angry when she brought this up.  After a while I figured out why: I don’t care.  Or at least in the moment I don’t care.  I told L this and told her that it upsets me to not care.  But for some reason in her presence I just get frustrated when we talk about serious things and I respond by not caring. When I told her about my not caring issue she said (albeit gently) something along the lines of, “well, we have to figure out why.”  This further frustrated me: when she says this kind of thing, it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.  Like I’m no good at therapy.  Like I’m not getting better.  I have really struggled a lot with feeling like I’m not “improved” lately.  I know I mentioned a few weeks ago that maybe it isn’t about consciously improving, maybe it’s just about relating to L, sharing my experiences, telling my stories and seeing how things fit together.  I honestly don’t know.

We spent a lot more time talking about how I feel “stuck” and “not ready.”  I’m not sure where this phrase came from, but it caught on pretty quickly: I feel like I’m not ready.  For new friendships, meeting men, getting out more, being member of the “real world.”  I guess I feel more ready than I did nine months ago.  But when I get upset during therapy, in the moment, I panic. I panic so hard and I only just realized this.  My  biggest issue with feeling unready — besides the panic — is that I feel like being stuck makes me destined to live in misery until we fix things, which might not happen for years.  Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of misery already.

Mostly, I just want this feeling of stasis to go away.  First of all, I know it’s not true.  Secondly, it’s really damaging and hurtful to me.  I pointed this out to L and she reminded me that she isn’t hurting me: this is a story I’m telling myself. Speaking of stories I tell myself:

I also spent time today talking about how much I miss the very intimate, powerful friendship I had with my writer-friends.  It was a set of very rare relationships and circumstances that I feel like will never happen again.  Why do I feel this way?  Because good things don’t happen to me.  I don’t have friendships like that.  People don’t love me that way.  At least, this is what I tell myself.  I have loved my three years of college tremendously and I have many dear friends, but haven’t experienced that same wonderful relationship.  Yet.  L politely pointed out that I do not have a crystal ball.  I will have friendships like this again in the future.  This is another story I tell myself.  It is simply not true.

Why am I so negative?  How can I try so hard to believe in myself but still feel like such a failure?

At the end of today L asked me how I was feeling and I just told her “frustrated.”  Terribly, terribly frustrated.  I am not sure why, but she asked me where — physically — I was feeling this.  It was totally in my hands.  They were tense, anxious, zipping around.  I was trying desperately to show her my frustration in the way I moved my hands.  I meant to ask her why she asked me this but I didn’t.  I think the way we physically feel things is important, but at that point, this didn’t feel the most relevant.

So today was strange.  Very strange indeed.  There were good moments and bad moments.  A lot of frustration.  Not a failure of a session by any means; but confusing.  L simultaneously tells me that I am different now, that I deal with things differently, I cope better.  But also that we need to “fix things” or “improve.”  She doesn’t explicitly say this but that is the sense I get and the sense means everything.  So there is a sort of double message, which I hate.   I hate hate hate feeling like this.

There are, however, good things I took away today as well: it is nice to have someone who unconditionally loves you.  Of course my family members do, but things are different with L.  Looking at our relationship has been enlightening and enjoyable.  It is imperfect, but I also deeply adore her.  It is natural for people to become attached to their therapists (sometimes people fall in love with them; it’s called transference).  I try to be wary of this and to see L as a normal person.  Ultimately, I think she simply cares deeply about me and wants to help me help myself in any way I can.  In the end, I know this and have faith in this, so even frustrating sessions like today don’t destroy me.

Sorry for the monster post!  Sometimes I just have so much in my head  and if I don’t get it out it becomes tremendously stressful!

Beautiful World. Happy World.

Today’s Happy Note: Springtime.  Easter weekend.  Hardly any homework.  Walks in the park.  What more could I ask for?

Mental Health: I had lots to do today, but it was mostly fun stuff; it was like one big day of playing.  I thought that having such a long day planned would exhaust me and sad Caronae would emerge, but that didn’t happen!  Everything seemed to fit together perfectly; I felt happy, healthy, confident, and lovely.  This was really monumental for me.  There was no anxiety or melancholy present — I just went about, doing my business.  Talking with friends and coworkers, playing in the park, not being afraid or unhappy to just be me.  It’s days like this that remind me how far I have come.  A year ago, I would have been overwhelmed, confused, anxious, and depressed about a day like today.  I might not have had the energy or confidence to get out there and get things done.  I certainly would have felt uncomfortable in my cute new sundress.  But today was different; I still have many underlying emotional issues, but it’s learning how to manage them that has changed everything.  It’s such a new world out there now, and I am having a delightful time discovering it!

Exercise: HIIT and strength training!  Nothing like a 7:30 am speedy session on the elliptical to wake you up!  I love how challenging thirty minutes of tough intervals can be; I definitely think I was in a cardio rut before discovering it.  Now I’m having tons of fun doing stuff besides just running!  I also did a lot of abs and arms too.  No leg strength until after the ultramarathon next weekend though; my legs don’t need to be any more fatigued than they already are.

I also walked at least four miles today; this probably would have been sufficient exercise in itself, but I hadn’t planned on it, and this city just has so much that has to be seen on your feet!

Beautiful day in the park my friends.  Please spend time outside this weekend!  You will enjoy every minute of it, I promise. 🙂

Today I felt freeeeeeeee!  Like my food didn’t matter; I wasn’t angry at my body or my perceived failures, I didn’t feel like I needed to run 10 miles or else I’d be fat, I didn’t feel like I had to go to a party, I didn’t feel lonely or guilty or unsure or blue or anything like that. I did feel enthralled, curious, beautiful, strong, graceful, unique, joyful, and worthy.  A good day!

I don’t want to dump twelve thousand pictures on you so no foods today.  I’ll recap some highlights though…

~Sweet eggs!  Egg puff/sliced banana souflee.  Totally nom-able!  Next time I’m adding maple syrup and cinnamon.

~Grilled cheese and veggie soup.  Why haven’t I had grilled cheese in forever?  Oh yeah, because I was afraid of bread.  No longer, my friends.  No.  Longer.

~Dinner oatmeal with chocolate covered pretzels.  I went there.

~A grapefruit the size of my head.

I have a little surprise to tell you about tomorrow!  I guess I’m just full of surprises.  I actually hate them myself, but I don’t mind making other people wait in suspense. *Evil grin*.

Have a fabulous weekend; do something fun for yourself!

Sick Day and Storytime

Today’s Mini Goal: Draw.  Or paint or color or use pastels or whatever implement of my choice.  For some reason I really love making art, but hardly ever do it.  It’s such a nice emotional break, and I enjoy having a different sort of creative outlet.

Sorry for the lack of blogging last night.  I ate a salad for lunch that didn’t sit with me very well, and by 5:00 I was…well, let’s just say that my poor tummy was very unhappy.  I was sick all evening and then ended up really dehydrated and weak all night.  I did not sleep well and was exhausted and weirdly sore in the morning, but felt much better by late afternoon.  I feel fine now; still no appetite, but much better.  I think it was some sort of God-wants-to-punish-me-but-only-for-twenty-four-hours kind of thing.

I stayed in my sweats and my favorite leaf-print long underwear all day today, and watched lots of online TV and caught up on blogs.  I totally could have been catching up on readings for school, but who wants to do schoolwork when they’re sick?  Not me.  Ironically, all three of my classes were cancelled today because of the “blizzard”. Everyone in New York is freaking out  over, like, six inches of snow.  Seriously, calm down people.  And it’s not even cold.

I did seven miles yesterday morning (good thing I did it before lunch I suppose) on the treadmill.  I just did not want to run outside.  Weird.  Anyways, I was supposed to do 6×1000 with short rests in between, but because I have been loving doing timed speedwork instead of distance speedwork, I made it 5×6 minutes (I was too tired to do a sixth).  I did the first, second, third, and fifth at 7.5 mph and the fourth at 7.0 mph, with three minutes at 6.0 mph between all and a mile warm up and cool down.  This was quite a tough workout!

Needless to say, no workout today.  I might do a few yoga poses to stretch out and move a little bit later on.  I’m thinking of doing Polly’s yoga for digestion.

I’ve been drinking lots of this stuff today:

Dragon pearl jasmine tea!  So good.  And having the name dragon in its title makes it that much better.  These tea leaves are rolled into tiny little balls, and when submerged into the hot water they unfurl.  It’s really fun to watch.

With real sugar.

Leftover leaves.  They look a bit like seaweed.

My mom told me that my eating options are pretty much limited to easily digested carbs.  Breakfast?  Cereal.  Lunch? Muffin.  Dinner? Plain toasted bagel.  Ugh.  I love my carbs, but too much is too much.  I can definitely feel my energy being sucked away, but I know my tummy isn’t ready to digest much fiber, fat, or protein just yet. Hopefully tomorrow.  A day without fruits or veggies is a sad day in Caronaeland.

Carb sandwich!  Hey, no one said anything about not eating my carbs in chocolate form…

I love muffins.

Muffins are one “bad” food I will never ever leave.  Plus, it’s pretty easy to make them decently healthy.  I like making them with oats, whole wheat flour, fruit, and nuts. Anyone have any go-to healthy muffin recipes out there?

Since I don’t have much food to show you guys or too many workouts to talk about, I thought I would do some storytime!

Now, this may seem totally random, but it’s not.  I swear.  I’ll even let you in on my thought process as proof: the evil little salad I mentioned earlier was a pretty typical lunch for me.  I’m not sure what the bacteria-laden culprit was but I’m guessing either spinach that wasn’t carefully washed, slightly old pineapple, or slightly expired cottage cheese.  I tend to get very paranoid about these sorts of things, and I am guessing that I won’t be interested in any of these foods for at least a month, probably more.  Once something bad happens that I associate with one thing, however random, I will do my best to avoid that thing for a long long time.  See story below.

Storytime:

Rain boots.  Floral rain boots.  Rain boots covered in tiny pink, yellow, and fresh blue flowers.  With pink rims, if I recall correctly, ordered by mail from the Lands’ End catalog.  Perhaps LL Bean, but I think it was Lands’ End.  I’m standing at the end of my driveway pacing feverishly.  Well, feverishly for a five year old I suppose.  And it’s not raining; I don’t think there were any puddles even.  It was fall, probably September or October.  But I was wearing my rain boots because rain boots are very easy to put on: no complicated laces, and you can always tell if you’ve got them on the wrong feet.  So here I am, at the end of my driveway, next to our very large pine tree. Pine trees, while beautiful, are not the best for playing in.  The branches form sticky, thick nets around their bases, and it’s hard to find your way through this thicket to the trunk.  But this is not a story about pine trees, or fall, or my beloved little rain boots.

It’s the beginning of first grade.  The first month or so.  I lived across the street from my town’s middle school, and just down the hill from the elementary school I went to.  Usually, my dad walked me to school in the mornings.  It’s funny to think how small I must have been to him then.  In fact, I still feel small around people I have just met.  My mother always left for work early, but my father was not (and still isn’t) a morning person, and so it was his duty to ship us off to school every morning.  My sister had already left; everyone in fifth grade and higher started at eight; I started at nine.  I almost always ate cereal in the mornings, often with hot chocolate that I insisted on carrying around in a bottle and  referring to as “cocoa baba.”  Yes, my weirdness was apparent from a young age.   I can’t quite remember what I was eating that morning.  Was it Fruit Loops?  Cheerios?  My sister’s favorite puffy rice cereal?  I was so proud that I could pull up a chair to the cabinets, stand on it, and reach the cereal off the highest shelf.  But I had not yet mastered the milk pouring, so I usually just let my father do that.

My father had gone downstairs to the bathroom several minutes before.  I sat patiently with my cereal waiting in the bowl.  I think I had a spoon ready; spoons are easy to get.  You can’t screw up a spoon.  But where was my dad?  I most certainly needed my milk.  Eating dry cereal hadn’t occurred to me, plus, I didn’t want to walk to school alone.  Eventually I got tired of waiting and went downstairs to fetch him.  Something wasn’t right: the bathroom door was cracked open and I could see my papa’s feet and legs sprawled out on the floor, just to the side of the cat food bowls.  I peeked in a bit and could clearly see that something was drastically wrong.  My father came down here to use the bathroom.  He does like to sleep a lot, but I don’t see why he would be taking a nap when it’s time for me to go to school.

This is when I go outside and pace in the driveway with my pink floral rain boots.  I thought, maybe I should just go fetch my sister from her school; it was, after all, exactly across the street, which I knew how to cross.  Stop.  Look.  Listen.  I knew who her teacher was because my sister talked about how mean she was all the time; Mrs. Smith.  I could go to the office, politely tell them who I was looking for, and that she was in Mrs. Smith’s fifth grade class.  Surely they could help me.  But alas, I did not want to ruin my sister’s day before it had even started, and I was a bit nervous to go into the middle school anyways.  I went back inside and thought some more. Thought about my poor dry cereal and my cold hot chocolate and my unbrushed hair.  I did not cry, though.  Just sat and thought.

But wait!  Just last week the town fire department had come to our school and shown us their red trucks and their nifty ambulances.  They told us all about what fire departments do.  They help people.  Not help people by pouring the milk into their cereal, but bigger things.  Like helping people who are sick.  And my dad seems sort of sick, if he’s just lying there.  I knew what I had to do.  Short of dragging my father’s 200 pound body up the stairs and into the front yard and waiting for a car to drive by, I didn’t have a lot of options.  Strangely, I was very calm about making the call; I understood exactly what had to be done and was, perhaps, even a little bit methodical about it.  That trait has lasted, for better or for worse.

The ambulance came, bringing several fire trucks with it.  This annoyed me; I had told them that my father was ill, not that my house was on fire.  Why did they need this whole parade?  I suppose it was a good thing, though, because my neighbor saw and called my mother from work.  They took my dad into the ambulance while I waited on the porch.  The ambulance didn’t go anywhere.  It just sat there like a bug stuck under a log.  I don’t remember talking to anybody or even hearing any sounds at this point  — a quiet world is a very scary place to be.  After a while, my mother came home.  I didn’t know why she was there or who had told her to come; I certainly hadn’t. But she was there and I needed her.  My favorite thing in the world used to be to cling to her leg like a leech.  I held on very tight, for a very long time.  I don’t really remember the rest of the morning, but I do remember winding up in school for the afternoon.  Or maybe it was the next day.  It’s funny, time is so clear and organized and infallible to me now, but it wasn’t then. One morning could be another; one hour could be five or six.

My father had had a serious seizure resulting from a unusual drug interaction between different medicines he was taking.  To this day, I do not understand why this happened.  My parents are doctors: could they both have failed to notice such a dangerous potential hazard?  Were other things going on?  Apparently, my father had another seizure at work a few months later.  I was not told about this until at least eight years later.  My sister had been forbidden to mention it to me.  Typically, she wasn’t afraid of scaring me.  It was part of her duty as an older sister.  But not this time.  She was true to her word.

I lived in terror of my father for close to a year.  He had always been a loud sneezer, and whenever he sneezed, I fled from the room in panic.  I refused to be alone with him for quite some time.  Here was this man — this banana-loving, napping, sweet kind of man — and I could not get over my fear of him.  I think I was afraid that he had died that morning.  Died a little death.  Not a complete death, but nonetheless, a sort of death.  A death that I had witnessed.  And it had been so quiet.  I never want dying to be that quiet again.

Therapy Monday!

Today’s Mini Goal: Make a concrete plan/schedule for the weekend so that I don’t feel lonely on Valentine’s Day!  Melissa blogged about a meetup for runners at Jack Rabbit Sports this Sunday, which sounds fun.  Anyone know more about this?

Update on mini goals: The no snacking after dinner has been going really well.  I have been trying to make sure I get plenty of fat and protein in my day, and I really haven’t been hungry after dinner (except last night; I had two mugs of cereal, but I was super active so I think it was just catch-up hunger).  I didn’t call an old friend today, but I did talk to the guy I went out with last weekend, and that was by no means easy for me, so I think that counts. 🙂 I tried the new veggie (chayote squash)  and made some fun meals this weekend too.

No running for me today!  I did Level One of the shred to get me going in the morning and walked quite a bit, but no other exercise.  I think that in the last few years, I’ve been a wee bit exercise obsessed.  Note to self: a day off once a week is good for your body.  You work hard; you have good endurance and strength and you get more than enough activity in your days.  Calm down.

I’ll be quick with today’s eats (by the way, I only show you guys highlights, by no means everything.  Would you be interested in seeing a full day of eating?) so we can get to Therapy Mondays…

New loaf of bread: hazelnut sourdough.  Isn’t that lone little nut adorable?

Pumpkin butter peek-a-boo:

I’ve really been enjoying making my dinners aesthetically pleasing lately.  I don’t really have time to do this with breakfast or lunch, but it’s fun with dinner.  Tonight’s work of art (ish):

Random sauteed veggie pile (I think onion, mushroom, spinach, broccoli, carrot) topped with sunflower shoots and avocado.  I had Applegate chicken tenders on the side and a cute little clementine.

These veggies had a wonderfully deep and rich flavor.  Maybe it’s the coconut oil?  I didn’t even use very much, probably less than a teaspoon…

Hello sunflower shoot!

With my lovely little tulips:

Therapy Monday:

Last night I had a really sudden and almost upsetting realization that inconsistency freaks me out.  A lot.  For example, the guy I keep telling you about is really sweet and it seems like he might want to hang out again, but he is inconsistent; sometimes he responds to my texts, sometimes not; sometimes he sounds really enthusiastic, other times he sounds uninterested.  My issue is not that I desperately want him to be interested in me (it’s perfectly fine if he isn’t), I just want him to be clear about how he feels and what he wants.  I myself may not be the best at this.  Maybe I just like feeling like I’m in control.  I had a somewhat disrupted childhood — a very loving but highly unpredictable family.  Our plans were always delayed or cancelled or changed around and I hated this.  If we were supposed to leave for vacation at ten AM on Saturday, that really meant two PM.  Which meant that we would be late and I would be upset.  This is itself isn’t a big deal, but there were larger issues surrounding the inconsistencies.  I used to try to remedy my confusion by doing things that were repetitive; things I could easily grasp.  On long car rides I would count out loud endlessly; I would get up into the thousands and then throw a fit if someone spoke and made me lose my place.  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but my parents are divorced.  Going back and forth between my mom’s house and my dad’s apartment was scary for me, and I usually resisted the transfer very vocally.  There’s something about having two beds and two bathrooms and one is clean and one is messy and one is red and one is white and the phone book is in one place here and the ladles are in another place there.  I love my parents dearly, but this arrangement was difficult.  Once, when I was older (probably at least fifteen), I got food poisoning while I was at my dad’s apartment.  I woke up in the middle of the night and sprinted to run to the bathroom.  I spent a few seconds trying to find the light switch, and eventually gave up and puked all over the floor.  I despised myself for this.  Why couldn’t things be the same everywhere?  If things around me are changing, does this mean I am changing?

Dating will not be consistent.  Men will not always be consistent.  This is part of the reason why these things are so inexplicably terrifying to me.  But at the same time, I am beginning to trust that at the end of the day, I will always have myself to come back to.  I told my therapist that I often feel like there is something wrong with me as a woman, and I’m so happy that I was able to vocalize this feeling.  She asked me what I see as ideal in a woman and one of the first things that came to my head was “I want to be a woman who is feminine and flirtatious, but retains her personality and character and intelligence.”  I like this idea.  As I was telling her about all of my (perceived) womanly defects, she stopped me and pointed out that I’m a great student, a diligent worker, and a dedicated runner.  In evaluating myself as a woman, I had completely overlooked these things.  Maybe I was thinking they somehow weren’t involved in my womanhood, if that’s a word.  But I can’t leave these things behind, and I don’t want to.  I am not sure how I will move forward in the world of men and relationships and sex and fear (for me at least), but I think that at this point, I know what’s going on with me well enough to be able to navigate what comes my way.  This realization is comforting, but also a bit nauseating.

I cry pretty much every week, but more so than usual today.  I am always really physically exhausted after therapy, and since it’s in the middle of the day it sort of throws things off.  Part of my solution to this dilemma is frozen yogurt.  I think all the crying and emotional purging might somehow affect my blood sugar.  I don’t know if this is scientifically valid, but without fail, I want frozen yogurt after every session, and I usually stop and get some on the way home.  It’s not a problem or anything, since I recognize it as a treat and keep my lunch light and my dinner healthy afterwards.  Does anyone else experience weird physical feelings after going to therapy?

One other thing I was thinking about today, as I was balling my eyes out on my therapist’s very comfortable couch, was this: how do therapists stay sane?  Seriously, if I had to listen to people who are stressed out and sad as I am all day every day, I don’t  think I’d survive.  I understand that there must be some kind of gratification involved in helping others, but still. It just seems like it would be incredibly draining?  Any therapists out there who have thoughts on this?

Questions of the day:  What is your occupation (s) and what do you do to stay sane?

I am a busy student and part time worker (9-10 hours a week) and I make sure to give myself lots of different rewards; everything from a latte to a new fitness magazine to a museum outing or a massage.  Or a cookie, of course. 🙂