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 In reality and in the metaphorical sense. My younger brother moved out of our parents' house recently and went all the way to Washington. Everyone, including my best friend, has been all weepy about it, but me? I don't really feel...anything. I don't miss him, even though I would consider us close. Worst of all, I'm a little bitter about the whole thing, and not for the right reasons. 

I moved out almost three years ago, seven minutes away from my parents' house. My brother moved out last week, 5 hours away from our town. Do you know how bad that makes me look?

I know that I'm being irrational and a total jerk about the whole thing. I should be happy for him and proud of his accomplishments, or at least try to hide the fact that I'm not, but I pride myself in being honest. When my parents, friends, and therapist have asked me how I've dealt with this 'trying time', I've admitted that I really don't feel any different and that I actually hope he doesn't do well on his own and has to move back home. Does saying this aloud just make me an honest, up-front person who doesn't shy away from her feelings, or a total bitch?

I think most people really do think about themselves first and foremost, it's just not polite or politically correct to admit it. Why is it okay for us to talk about how fat and ugly and stupid we are, but if we praise ourselves, we're considered conceited and self-centered? If we're not happy about something that isn't supposed to even make us happy, why do we have to pretend otherwise? White lies are good. If you receive the ugliest god-awful sweater from a well-meaning friend, you pretend you love it. There's no harm in that. But when something happens in your life that genuinely displeases you and everyone else around you is overreacting, why should you bottle up your true emotions? Especially to friends and family, who you are supposed to be yourself with?

Sometimes my leap from people-pleaser to blunt babe is too much for even me to handle. I gotta brush away that little voice that keeps screaming 'APOLOGIZE FOR WHAT YOU JUST SAID! JUST NOD YOUR HEAD!'

Or maybe I should listen to it more often.
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 AKA: The story of my life.
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 As I've only made like, one post this month, here's a list of some of the best things that have been keeping me quite busy (and therefore, unable to blog much...). As usual, this is in no particular order.

Bob's Burgers. Having been recommended it numerous times, I finally gave in and started watching. Gotta say, I was not disappointed. Not only is it funny, but the characters are very likable and their love for one another and family dynamic is grin inducing.

Venetia by Georgette Heyer. Being the Heyer/Austen-esque fan girl that I am, I frequently pick up books from the Queen of Regency Romance. Venetia is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

The Wolf Among Us. The second episode came out this month and I LOVED it! Really digging the whole game. It's gritty, surprising, funny, and fun for classic literature geeks.

Nivea Lip Balm. I'm already on my second tube of this stuff! As someone who frequently suffers from dry, chapped lips (seeing as my lips are the majority of my face), this thing is a lifesaver. 

Final Fantasy 9. One of my all-time favorite Final Fantasy installments, I've revisited this one after quite a few years. Arguably one of the better FF stories, the music in this one is i-pod worthy.
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 My cystoscopy was on the 3rd of this month and naturally it has taken me 2 weeks to blog about it. For the record, I did try to write about this a few times already, but dreamwidth refused to cooperate. So, here's all the nitty-gritty details.

Since I was not going to be put under or on Valium or anything fun like that, I had to rely solely on my Ativan. My procedure was a 8am, so I began taking Ativan at about 7pm the previous night. I like to take my Ativan slowly, one every hour or so, and it seems to work wonders that way. Indeed, by 8am, having slept only a few hours, I felt...calm. I had my seventh Ativan on the car ride to the doctors.

I wore sweatpants and a old concert tee and took a quick shower before we left. Once we got there, I sat in the waiting room for maybe 10 minutes and talked to my mother and crocheted a bit (see, I told you Ativan was a miracle worker). We were lead into a small room with an adjoining private bathroom, and it was that set up you see in the picture shown. A weird little bed-type thing with a pillow and a 'wee-wee pad', the kind you use to train puppies. I was given an antibiotic pill, then sent to the restroom to disrobe and empty my bladder. 

I only had to disrobe from the waist down, so I kept my shirt and my socks on, but that was about it. I also was given basically a white linen sheet instead of a robe, which in hindsight is much more preferable. I lay down on the bed thing and the nurse had me spread my legs (I thought this was going to be such a hard thing to do, seeing as I've never even been to the gynecologist, but she was so nonchalant and professional, and I was not really feeling super anxious). She wiped the area and then used a q-tip with a local numbing topical on it on my urethra (didn't even feel that). Then the doctor came in, made an awkward joke, and got the 'torture device' out. 

My mom was certainly more freaked out at the time over the size of that sucker, seeing as it's supposed to go in my urethra and both of us just recently learned we HAD urethras...Anyway, I had to have my legs in an almost split-like fashion and the doctor proceeded to put the camera up my urethra. I honestly didn't feel it. The screen that showed the images from the camera were right next to my bed so I mostly paid attention to that. We saw the inside of my bladder and it was, and I quote, "beautiful". To me, it was just pink and empty and basically looked like the inside of a bubblegum bubble. Then they pumped a bit of water in, which made me finally understand what that wee-wee pad was all about, collected the sample from the water, and told me I could get up and go to the bathroom. I waddled off, peed the coldest feeling pee (it was just water), cleaned up a bit and put back on my clothes. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes at most, but it honestly didn't feel that long. The urologist and his assistant were both very professional, quick, and understanding of my anxiety (which again was virtually non-existent after 7 Ativan. 

A few days later, I received a letter in the mail that confirmed that there were no cancerous cells in the sample, and all was good! Honestly, I had been nervous over this procedure all of January, losing my hair over it, unable to eat some days...but when I went and did it, it was not at all bad. I'd say getting a filling is way more stressful and painful, and I've had loads of those over the years. Anyway, that was my experience. Bonus points: I'm no longer afraid of the gynecologist. 
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 It's almost-sorta the end of January, so I figured I'd post a lil' something on STUFF I'VE ENJOYED THIS MONTH. In no particular order...

Community. As in, Community, the TV Show. The fifth season premiered this month and hallelujah! I've really missed it. If you don't watch Community, you are missing out and if you do watch it, AREN'T YOU ENJOYING THE SEASON 1 REFERENCES?! I sure am.

NARS Lipstick in Vesuvio. I actually got this for Christmas, but I only recently started wearing it. Now, when you've got 'big lips' wearing bright colors and reds are often tricky. Still, this is a bright red and it works. 

Aion. I've been playing since the beginning of December, but the obsession is only getting worse. The 4.5 patch is on it's way, and that means STEEL CAVALRY. God, I love patches.

Cupcakes. I've been on a stress-induced bake-a-thon this month and I've probably gained 10 pounds from it, but I have no regrets. This little f*ckers are delicious. 

Dragon's Dogma. Another oldie-but-goodie. Picked this game up a while ago and couldn't really get into it. I've started up again and have come to appreciate it's beauty (and it's fully customizable pawn system.)
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Thank god for my friends. They've all managed to help keep me preoccupied and happy on the days leading up to 'Doomsday'. This weekend I spent most of my time baking cupcakes and playing with babies. My friend and I attempted to make the infamous glass-shard cupcakes, but...well, as you can see, we TOTALLY NAILED IT.

If you ever take any advice away from this blog, let it be this; SUGAR GLASS IS NOT EASY TO MAKE AND IT IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.

Despite my 'procedure' approaching in 13 days now, I'm feeling rather calm. I'm sure I'll be panicking 48 hours prior to said procedure, but so far, so good. Back when my anxiety was so bad that I couldn't leave my room for years and lost all my friends, I used to swear to myself that if I ever had friends again, I would not take them for granted. And, being a kid who never had a 'best friend' growing up, I really, really appreciate having one now. I'm so grateful for the few people I let into my life, for my family, and for my 'online therapy group' aka: the best chat room ever.

You learn a lot from baking. You learn patience. How to measure things. You also learn that you are a complete failure at decorating but if it's edible then, hey. Half the battle. So I'm proud of my ugly little cupcake monsters and I'm proud of my friends, and hell, I'm proud of myself. 

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 So today a friend came over and we made a chocolate cake and decorated it (like pros) to look like a cemetery. If we had the resources, we would have used a Barbie doll arm and had it come out of one of the graves. Shockingly, however, there was nary a Barbie between us; a gay man and a woman who grew up in the 90's. 

So we settled for a Keebler Elf graveyard because, bastards had it coming. I would like to point out that those elves each have names, and my favorite was 'Fast Eddie' because WHO NAMES A COOKIE ELF SOMETHING LIKE THAT?! He sounds like a drug dealer. Notable mentions; 'Buckets'. I feel like Buckets is the Dopey of the group.
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 I've scheduled my cystoscopy. February 3rd is now known as 'Doomsday'. 

This procedure is basically one of the worst things I could conjure up for myself, as far as medical things. It's basically a pap smear and a catheter all at once. Needless to say, I'm absolutely terrified. My anxiety is, I can feel it getting worse as the days go on. I'm tired and cranky and I feel like it's because my body is preparing for this. Even though I still don't know how I'm going to do it, nor how I'm going to get through the night before, I still scheduled it

This is something that needs to be done. Yes, I could chicken out and say, "Hey, I don't really care about this whole 'bleeding when I pee' thing, because it's not physically causing me any pain and there's a 50 percent chance it's not even cancer so..." but I'm being brave and doing it anyway. This is quite unlike me, as when it comes to anxiety stuff, I will 75% of the time choose whatever is the least painful and whatever doesn't require me to leave my comfort zone. 

I don't consider myself a brave or strong person. I have other good qualities, but bravery isn't listed in any of my skill sets. However, I hope I do go through with this not because I necessarily need to (although, yes, that's important too!), but because I want to be able to say I did it. I did that, and a month earlier I had my wisdom teeth out without being put under and only ibuprofen to help me. And a week after that I had my first CT scan and my first IV, and the machine broke down on me so I was in there for 45 minutes instead of 15, but I DID IT. And I'm alive. And when other people go through these things, be it my friends or people I don't know who have anxiety problems, I want them to remember me. The girl who is too scared to go to a different grocery store. I want them to have courage.

Maybe one day I can look back on these things and decide that I'm not so chicken after all. 

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AKA: The Confessions of a Single Woman

AKA: The Confessions of a Single Woman Who Wants to be a Better Dancer and Maybe Obtain Some Rhythm.

When your heritage is 50% Scottish and 30% Irish, there's a 95% chance you can't dance. I am, unfortunately, not part of the 5% who can. The pony is basically the only move I can pull, and even that's a bit dangerous when you factor in the boobs. And I'm 75% boobs.

I never made it to basic algebra in school.

So in 2008 I bought a workout DVD that came out to celebrate the anniversary of the movie Dirty Dancing. Obviously, the DVD is about how to dirty dance, but you don't need a partner. At the time, I didn't think that sounded like the epitome of a single woman. Fortunately, I have matured as the years have gone on and I realize my life is basically the same as Bridget Jones and her stupid diary, but without Colin Firth.


Anyway, I recently (as in, an hour ago) revisited this DVD that I had long abandoned to the dusty bottom shelf of my DVD rack, and I gotta say I worked up a sweat. It should be noted that I worked up a sweat solely from watching the instructors and not from actually being able to do any of the moves taught to me. I had to shut my curtains, even though I'm on the second story of my apartment building and my window looks out into a forest, simply because I was afraid a squirrel or something would witness my erratic 'dancing'. Or my creepy neighbor Jose. 

Maybe one day I'll learn to dance properly.
But not today.

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 I've been all out of it the past few days. Crying jags, restlessness, general anxiety. So, as I usually do when I'm confronted with anxiety, I had to keep myself busy. I spent the majority of my weekend over at my best friend's house. She had her nephew's baby for the weekend, and nothing distracts me from myself more than paying attention to a lil' babay.

I suffer frequently from the dreaded baby fever. Thankfully, Oliver was born in late 2012 and one of my friends had a baby girl last August, so I can play with the babies all day and then...go home to peace and quiet and my desired 14 hours of sleep.

I also held a tarantula because, why the hell not?

Anyway, 2014 needs to be the year I take more risks. Hold a spider. Schedule my long overdue gynecologist appointment. Order something other than cheese nachos from Si Casa Flores. That last one might be pushing it.

The point is this; there's shit I need to do. For me, for my friends, for my health. It's so hard to not be afraid. I was practically built to fear everything. It's the way my brain is wired. But how can I hope to help others with anxiety if I won't even help myself? If I can do it, anyone can. I'm literally afraid of gravity, for crying out loud! I just need to pull myself up by the bootstraps, slap on some lipstick, and go for it.