Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I'm okay, but...

One time I had to deliver bad news to Eli and later he (gently) critiqued my presentation. He told me to lead with a reassurance if possible. Like, "I'm okay, but I got into a bad car accident," for example. 

So, I'm okay, but I got into a bad car accident. 

Remember how I told you I bought a new car last September? I'm going to have to buy another one. I was driving on the highway one morning a couple weeks ago...I had just come from a doctor's appointment and was headed into work when traffic slowed ahead of me. I slowed down, and then I felt a car rear-end me. Really, I knew that part would happen. She was coming in hot...I could see her in my rear-view mirror. I took a second to register the hit just in time for another car to slam into my driver's side deploying all of my airbags on that side (so I couldn't see what was happening). Again, I took stock. I felt okay, but I wasn't sure if the accident was over yet or what I would find when I crawled out my back door (my driver's side wouldn't open from the inside because of the impact). It was a very traumatic experience for me, in case that isn't obvious. 

There were five cars involved in the wreck...five adults and one child in a car seat...all of us okay (by some miracle, Praise Be). Three of the five cars had to be towed from the scene, including mine. I had a police officer drive me to work, I think because I didn't know what else to do. If I was going to pass out or something, I wanted to be around other people who could help me. The nurses I work with evaluated me and advised me to go to Urgent Care because of elevated vitals and delayed pupil reaction (I was in shock and they thought I might have a concussion because of the jerking and the airbag that exploded into the left side of my head). Then, Urgent Care sent me to the ER for a CT scan which (again, thankfully) was clean. I saw a chiropractor who took X-rays of my neck and diagnosed me with whiplash (although he says this is an outdated term). He had trouble even adjusting me the first visit due to incredible tightness. Insurance said my car was "clearly a total loss" which is a real bummer; it had just over 2,000 miles on it and still smelled new inside when I went to retrieve my tags. Eli and his parents were on the other side of the world in Australia and, as fate would have it, my parents were in the midst of dealing with my dad's rotator cuff injury and subsequent surgery. Because several members of my support system were scattered or otherwise occupied, I have had to deal with many of the emotional and logistical aspects of this by myself. It's really important to know you can get through tough days on your own, but it is not a warm and fuzzy process. Basically, the past couple weeks have been pretty shitty. 

Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely thankful to be well and I know it could have easily been much worse. My body emerged relatively unscathed, but what lingers is this feeling of vulnerability. You can be doing the right thing and people can just slam into you. I am not someone who considers my own mortality often, but lately it's been on my mind. I am driving Eli's car now because the world doesn't stop; I still have responsibilities and tasks to complete even though I feel frightened. 

In any case, that's what's been going on with me. I am recovering. Also, I am considering buying a Honda next time and would appreciate your thoughts on this. 

Please do try to be safe and take care. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015: A year in review

I had a really great time flipping through my calendar and reading old blog entries to put together this goofy retrospective. As it turns out, 2015 was a big year for me. (Dear technically challenged friends and parents: you can hover over highlighted words and click to read old entries. Woah, right?)

Eli and I started 2015 with a spontaneous and restorative weekend trip to Fort Myers Beach. We couldn't make it work again this year but we definitely talked about it. I used to hate a do-nothing vacation (preferring instead to be active and pack in experiences) but, with each passing year, I grow more and more fond of the concept of time without agenda.

My dad took me on an epic vacation to California in March for what was probably the last true Spring Break of my life. I framed a few photographs from the trip for my parents for Christmas. Nothing but warm feelings about this was the best.

We lost our sweet old cat Mo to kidney failure in April. I didn't write about this. It was a difficult time for us. I remember him often and sometimes think I see him out of the corner of my eye in our bedroom. Since Mo died, we have grown closer to our wacky, nervous Ani cat. I think she misses her pal too, but I am really pleased she's decided to deal with us in his absence.

May was big. I became a Master of Social Work, passed my licensure exam (biggest sigh of relief), skipped the graduation ceremony to go on tour with Eli, and found out I got a job!

We spent 4th of July at Martha's Vineyard, a place I never expected to visit once in my life let alone twice.

I bought my first car in September, which felt pretty good even though the buying process was fairly traumatizing. I didn't blog about this one on purpose.

Eli also had a HUGE year and, as a result, I flew to Los Angeles in August and November to attend televised award shows. Read about the VMAs here and the AMAs here. I'm still coming down. 

Basically, I hustled my way around in 2015, and all of the above doesn't even include the fun weddings, the plays, the concerts, all the times I ate fried chicken, the movies Eli and I saw and disagreed on (namely Trainwreck), the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game, WALK THE MOON singing our national anthem at a Bengals game in the rain, and that one time I schlepped to a sweet boy's lumberjack-themed 1st birthday party in Cleveland. Maybe all of this sounds like one giant #humblebrag, but I happen to think it's important to reflect on the good especially because it's so easy to dwell on the hard, the sad, and the ugly (which we also saw a lot of this year).

Bottom line: I spent a lot of 2015 exhausted and happy. Cheers to a new year full of surprises and challenges and failures and laughter. My resolutions are not new. In 2016 I hope to take better care of myself and those around me, and to continue to follow Bertrand Russell's 10 Commandments.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The story of our menorah

Kendal used to work at one of those paint your own pottery places-- the kind of place a father might take a small child to sign his name, make a handprint, and draw a Power Ranger on a plate for Mother's Day. I thought it was the cutest job for her and would sometimes visit and paint leftover ceramics.  I think the first gift I gave Eli was a bowl I painted there; we found it the other day, full of pocket change under a pile of hats. When we started dating and decided to move in together, as a blending of traditions (but more than likely, per my suggestion), Eli and I went to Kendal's pottery studio to paint a menorah. We had fun, but we sucked at it-- we missed spots and mixed a bunch of glazes together that, in the end, did not get along. I remember running back into the shop after we got to the car because I wanted to sign the bottom of our piece before it was fired. Good partnerships expand your horizons, and I have certainly loved celebrating Hanukkah with Eli's family and friends over the years. In fact, I celebrate even when Eli is gone. Inevitably I skip first night and light the candles wrong on second night, but I try and I think that counts. 

This is all to say that I wish you and yours a Happy Hanukkah. I hope you experience your own miracle this season. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Gun violence

The day after Thanksgiving, Eli, my dad, and I went to Hot Chicken Takeover at North Market and then Eli dropped my dad and I off at the Wexner Center for the Arts so we could check out the After Picasso exhibit. I love going to the Wexner Center and I'd had my eye on this particular exhibit for some time. I really appreciate that my dad offered to go with me. One thing I love about him is that he's usually up for new experiences. That afternoon, we spent about an hour and a half in the galleries discussing contemporary art and learning about Picasso's vast influence. The outing was a highlight. 

Yesterday, my dad informed me that two days after we visited After Picasso, a former security guard killed himself in one of the galleries. Before he died, he took at least one hostage and spray painted and shot at several of the pieces of art. Obviously, the exhibit is now closed. Here's an article about what happened published in The Columbus Dispatch

This is just one in a string of stories. It is hard to feel safe anywhere. 

I like this opinion piece written by The Editorial Board of The New York Times. I encourage you all to think critically about what is happening around us.