Monday, November 10, 2014

In which I learn doctors aren't magicians (part 2 of my infertility story)

If you missed part one, you can find it here.

When I first went to see a specialist about why I wasn't getting pregnant I hardly told anyone. It was taboo. It was inappropriate. It was nobody's business. It was embarrassing. It was unprofessional. And there were also a million other reasons for why I was sure I couldn't tell anyone. Friends who were pregnant were right out. People at work were mostly out. Extended family was out.

I know many other women who have had difficulty or have not been able to conceive. But everyone I knew who had trouble seemed to have had a diagnosis. Either blocked Fallopian tubes or endometriosis or ovarian cysts or something along those lines. My diagnosis was: for some reason the few eggs I have aren't growing. As it turns out, there are many mysterious reasons why some women can't get pregnant.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Best laid plans (my infertility story, part one)

When I was a kid I imagined that I would get married at age 28, have 2 kids and live in a white house with a front porch. I got married 3 weeks into age 29, so not too off the mark there. 

Then the idea was to start having kids a few years later. We bought the condo and I was worried that it wasn't big enough for a baby (because babies take up soooo much space). And so I said we should wait a little longer and Jeff agreed that was wise. He had a rough time with turning 40 and worried that a baby needed a dad who was at a certain point in his career which was not the point he believed he was at. Babies are so demanding! With all their wanting two-bedroom apartments and dads with perfect jobs. 

Needless to say, it wound up being 7 years after we were married before we convinced each other that maybe a baby could forgive us those things. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Decode me

Do you ever wish for someone to decode you completely? Everything that makes you tick -- the good and the bad -- to be laid out in black and white. Why must we settle for creating those blueprints ourselves, when we are so hindered by what we hope is true for our best selves as opposed to what is truly true of our real selves? How can a person possibly describe herself completely, know herself fully, from the inside? When we look down at ourselves we only see a portion and even with a mirror it's an incomplete view. Certainly we can't describe ourselves completely from this angle. She possesses great empathy and is kind to all, I would begin. But that's not how it appears from the outside, they say. No? Then you tell me how it appears. We see you as an extrovert. Oh don't be ridiculous. I'm a complete introvert. Really? But you do so well in social situations. That doesn't mean... Oh never mind. Maybe I will just do this description myself. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Going toes up

I have begun using a technique to fall asleep and it works miraculously well. I start with my toes. I think about them, from the outside, from the inside. Then I work my way up my feet, my legs, doing the same at every pause. As I do this often one of my legs begins to spasm. It starts in my knee and it tenses up momentarily and then let's go again. I find it works best to just go with it. It's doesn't hurt and it doesn't last long.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The promotion

I got a promotion. I honestly didn't expect it to ever appear. I was certain that it was just a carrot on a stick in front of me and I was the fool for not realizing it. My superiors would probably say "how could you have doubted us??" But things that are promised don't always come to fruition. Remember when I was on the brink of booking my plane tickets and putting my cat in quarantine so that I could head to Singapore for a year or two? It took me a long time to stop wondering who put the kibosh on that. I finally realized that it matters not in the least.

But this is real. An email went out explaining my new role (senior editor, social media) and the congratulatory emails began rolling in. That was the best part: all those coworkers, many of whom I barely know, telling me how well deserved this promotion is. If I could just bottle that up now…

It is so funny how these things turn out. Last week I was miserable all week. I worked late every night and still had so much unfinished work. I felt like everything I did was wrong. And then on Friday I got word of my promotion. I admit: I burst into tears. (I was working at home.) I suppose my unhappiness all week was related to how much effort I'd been putting into my new role even before I officially had it. I was told in the fall to do the job I want to have to prove I can do it. As much as I hate sports analogies, I think that's "be the ball" or some shit, right?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My years as a young mole

I get a little sad when I remember my grade school as it was when I went there since it's nothing like that now. The school is still standing at least, but it's nothing like it was in the 1980s.

A lot of the school was dank and dark. Lots of my grade school memories are lit only by weak light bulbs. In my memory the whole school was in a basement. Is it possible that much of it was only a single story and all my classes were underground? That seems strange so perhaps I just don't remember those well-lit upper stories.

The lunchroom was in a semi basement, halfway under ground, with windows near the low ceiling. Even as a kid those ceilings were low. I only have a couple fragments from that cafeteria.

1) We could buy ice cream treats for a pittance. My favorite (and still is when it comes to those sorts if treats) was the chocolate cookie crumble covered vanilla one on a stick.

2) In that cafeteria in the 2nd grade, Amy R. quizzed me on who my favorite band was. I didn't have a favorite band. My only source of music at that time was a stuffed dog with a little radio in its belly.

3) In the back of the cafeteria was the lounge for the upper schoolers. I think we were allowed in there to use the vending machines but I'm not sure. The older girls would use it as their smoking lounge.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Oh now you tell me

I caught a glimpse of the top of my head in the harsh light of the work bathroom and realized I have several obviously grey hairs. I've gotten pretty damn far without any noticeable greys and now here we are. Every dark brown haired woman I know who's my age has been covering up her greys for years. I always thought silently, "sucks to be you! I guess I'll never go grey." (Denial is one of my abilities.)

When I went for a haircut a few weeks ago, my hairstylist said, "Damn girl, you need to keep up with your highlights! Unless you're going for the ombré look." I made an appointment to get them done and then I cancelled because I had to work late and I was thinking, you know, maybe I'll just grow them out. And it takes sooo looong to get them done.

But that was before I saw the greys. I've had way longer than most to figure out my stance on going grey but I never came to a decision. I could easily say well them's the breaks and go natural if it weren't for the fact that I get them for free in exchange for doing the salon website. So really I'm just whining about not wanting to sit through it.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

City pride!

After almost 7 years living in this apartment I finally compiled a list of all the places we go to, pick up from or order from for dinner. This way when it comes time to choose, it won't be the usual dance of what do you want I don't know what do you want well do you want Italian I don't know what about Chinese I guess you decide. Enough of that!

It's comforting to see the same people over and over on the PATH train platform. There's the woman who has the blue purse I like but now she's switched to a brown one with fringe that I don't like. There's the woman who's always reading a first gen Kindle. There's the woman with the long skinny braid who carries the same water bottle I do.

I recently passed the Kindle woman while out running. I felt like giving her a high five as I jogged by or even just a wave. I wound up smiling and she looked right through me. I suppose it's possible that seeing one's fellow commuters out and about town is not as comforting to everyone else.

I also find it comforting to see progress on new storefronts in my town. Progress! Our town is getting even better by the day! Sometimes I question whether living here is worth it and then I see a sign for a grand opening of an indie bookstore and even though if I buy books, I buy them on Amazon, my heart swells with city affection. I resolve to buy books from the store when I can and to definitely patronize their cafe instead of Starbucks even if they don't serve those gigantic cups of iced tea that I love. City pride trumps caffeination! Right?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I would so move if only I could move

After thinking about it a bit I realized that maybe I was doing the morning pages wrong. Maybe they're not supposed to be a journal. Maybe you're not supposed to make sense. I don't know. Whatever. It's not for me. Anyway there's not a lot to just pop into your head first thing in the morning besides dreams and concerns of the day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The artist's way is not my way

I started reading a book called The Artist's Way that prescribed doing “morning pages” every morning upon waking. At first it seemed like a good way to get back to writing, but it's not this kind of writing that I have trouble with. I could write in a journal all day long. There's always more to blather on about. 

I attempted to do the pages for a couple weeks (not very successfully) and then came to the conclusion that I really despise writing longhand and that forcing myself to journal upon waking is pointless.

I thought that book would be the key to getting back into working on my novel. But since it's not specifically for writers, I don't think it would. I have three books on writing coming soon. Maybe one of those will get me going. I submitted some random pages to my online critique group over a month ago, got great feedback, and then didn't write a single new word. I wish I could figure out why I did that. I guess positive reinforcement doesn't spur me on? But negative reinforcement doesn't either...