The Objectification of the Dancer

As we enter into the thick of dance recital season, this topic popped into my mind. Little kids are cute onstage, but it doesn’t take long for them to grow up into a world where they are objectified for their looks.

I grew up dancing. I started dance lessons at the age of three, and from then on, you couldn’t keep me off the stage if you tried.

Age 4

I was a darn cute little thing in my little tutus. But it only took a few years for the conditioning to start. Continue reading “The Objectification of the Dancer”

Nocturnal Musings #18: A New Me?

I haven’t done one of these in awhile. My last one was in December, I believe. Even in two short months, my life has changed a great deal. Not for the better, unfortunately. And since I’m having some painsomnia along with my general refusal to sleep at night for the most part anymore, I guess I may as well talk about it to some more sympathetic ears than I’ve been getting the past few days.

I lost my job last week. I understand why, but that doesn’t make it any easier to bear. My FMLA ran out last June, after which point my job was unprotected; they could have gotten rid of me then. Instead, they gave me as much time as they could for me to get well enough to return to work, which I failed to do twice, once in October, and again in January, when I was diagnosed with POTS. (Here’s a bit of what a day in my life looks like now thanks to POTS, except I pretty much stay in bed now.)

My life now. Not as nearly as enjoyable as it looks. (The smile was for my mom.) I would give almost anything to be able to get up and do things for more than 5 minutes!

But anyway, now it’s prime recruiting season at the hospital and I’m not naive enough to think they would keep me any longer. They’d rather replace me with a new residency graduate who has some clinical knowledge, but has absolutely no idea how to actually be a pharmacist.

Although I don’t feel quite as bad sometimes when I think about what a literal revolving door my specific tiny department within an enormous department is. And it is a tiny department, with something like a dozen pharmacists total for a 24/7 operation. But since 2010, the year I started working there, I’m 99% certain, if my list is correct, that I am the 20th pharmacist to leave. In seven years.

img_1910Yet my emotions are still very raw. I keep crying periodically. Ok fine, I cry a lot. I want to scream and throw things and then go to bed and never wake up. I’m back in what I call my depression hole; I have periods where I just won’t talk and will only communicate via head movements or shrugs because I feel if I open my mouth to speak, I’ll fall apart. I took the picture on the right immediately after I found out so I’ll always remember how much it hurt.

So now the big question is, what do I do with myself now? Honestly, if I ever get well, I don’t know that I have the intention of reapplying in the future or to ever practice pharmacy again. What a waste of six years of education. I was never a good pharmacist in my opinion anyway.

But David and I had a heart to heart Friday night between us and God. We came to the conclusion that I’m basically going to start my life all over again. I’ve been through so much in the past year (or even really the past four years starting with my celiac disease diagnosis, then the endometriosis…) Between all my diagnoses, my surgeries, trying to get better on a deadline when my body wasn’t ready, being stressed out by that, getting worse, and so on, it’s finally time to take my foot off the accelerator. I’m setting intentional goals that I (hope) I am capable of and can work

  • Not thinking about work or a return date or ever going back there ever again.
  • Do my cardiac rehab to the best of my ability in an effort to improve my POTS, and therefore my quality of life.
  • Do things I want to do that will make me happy.
    • Writing
    • Reading
    • Blogging
    • Studying the Word
    • Listening to music
  • Take baby steps towards normalizing my life.
  • David will encourage me and I will encourage him.
  • Focus a bit on getting the house cleaned up.

So, really, living my life the way I  want to, with as little stress as possible to maybe help promote faster healing. No deadlines.

A new me.

I started life over again in 2004 when I started pharmacy school, leaving behind my old life of dance and musical theater.

I started life over again in 2010 when I graduated from pharmacy school, got married, moved, passed my boards, and started my career.

And I’m starting my life over again in 2017 when my health is in shambles and my pharmacy career is over.

We’ll see where the road takes me. But after all I’ve been through, I can only hope it’ll be to a happier place.



50 Questions You’ve Never Been Asked

I love fun stuff like this. It’s distracting me from the hell hole that is my life lately. Thanks Dangerously Normal Spoonie for the idea!

1. What’s your favorite candle scent? North Pole from Yankee Candle.

Look how he is not touching her midriff. Such a gentleman!

2. What female celebrity do you wish was your sister? Emma Watson

3. What male celebrity do you wish was your brother? Tom Hiddleston (seriously, he’s only four years older than me.)

4. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married? I was 24 when I got married, which is about how old I expected I would be.

5. Do you know a hoarder? Not as bad as on the show, but my husband is definitely a hoarder.

6. Can you do a split? Yes. I’ll have you know I haven’t stretched in two years and didn’t before taking these pictures just now.

7. How old were you when you learned how to ride a bike? I think about five?

8. How many oceans have you swam in? Umm…Atlantic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Adriatic. So four.

9. How many countries have you been to? I think eight…(excluding the U.S.) Canada, Honduras, France, Italy, Monaco, (is Monaco its own country?) Germany, United Kingdom (including England, Wales, and Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland.

10. Is anyone in your family in the army? Nope.

11. What would you name your daughter if you had one? Alexis Ruth

12. What would you name your son if you had one? Jacob Daniel

13. What’s the worst grade you got on a test? F. Very, very F. (In the apt words of one of my uncle’s college professors, “Oh, you don’t get F, you get F minus!”)

14. What was your favorite TV show when you were a child? Adventures in Wonderland and Saved by the Bell

15. What did you dress up as on Halloween when you were eight? That would have been second grade…a black cat.

16. Have you read any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight series? Yes. I loved and need to reread Harry Potter. I need to finish Hunger Games (only finished the first book). And I need to set fire to Twilight.

17. Would you rather have an American accent or a British accent? British. It’s in my royal heritage, you know.

18. Did your mother go to college? Yes.

19. Are your grandparents still married? They’re dead.

20. Have you ever taken karate lessons? No

21. Do you know who Kermit the frog is? Of course. If you don’t, I don’t want to imagine how tragic your childhood was.

22. What’s the first amusement park you’ve been to? Seabreeze! (Twelfth oldest operating amusement park in the world, fourth oldest in the U.S.)

23. What language, besides your native language, would you like to be fluent in? Spanish

24. Do you spell the color as grey or gray? Gray

25. Is your father bald? Getting there.

26. Do you know triplets? Not personally.

27. Do you prefer Titanic or The Notebook? Neither, although if I had to pick one, The Notebook.

28. Have you ever had Indian food? Who hasn’t?

29. What’s the name of your favorite restaurant? Revolution Pizza (best gluten free pizza anywhere!)

30. Have you ever been to Olive Garden? Too many times.

31. Do you belong to any warehouse stores (Costco, BJ’s, etc.)?Sam’s Club

32. What would your parents have named you if you were the opposite gender? Kevin Charles

33. If you have a nickname, what is it? Bootie

34. Who’s your favorite person in the world? My hubby, David.

35. Would you rather live in a rural area or in the suburbs? Suburbs.

36. Can you whistle? Eh, not really.

37. Do you sleep with a nightlight? We have one over by the bathroom door that we put there while I was recovering from knee surgery so if I needed to crutch to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I could see where I was going. We just never got rid of it. But it’s pretty much hidden by a dresser, so you can’t see it until you’re right in front of the bathroom door.

38. Do you eat breakfast every morning? Nope. Stopped doing that when I was 12.

39. Do you take any pills or medication daily? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Yes. Ends up being about 30 pills daily.

40. What medical conditions do you have? Sigh…Endometriosis, adenomyosis, celiac disease, infertility, major depressive disorder, anxiety, episodic migraines, hypothyroidism, pituitary tumor (prolactinoma) that was surgically removed and had better not come back, left internal carotid artery aneurysm, dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance, moderate hypovolemia (I don’t have enough blood, but I’m not anemic), and “very severe” venous pooling, both of which indicate POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). And I might have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome; I have an appointment with a geneticist in a few weeks.

41. How many times have you been to the hospital? I work at one and trained in many, so I’m going to assume this question means as a patient. So then…15, to the best of my knowledge, including emergency room visits, admissions, and procedures or surgeries. That excludes appointments.

42. Have you ever seen Finding Nemo? What person in their 30s hasn’t!?

43. Where do you buy your jeans? New York and Company

44. What’s the last compliment you got? A comment from a lovely reader on my blog: “Thank you so much for such an informative post on brain fog. I know I get it a lot and it drives me bonkers. Reading your experience makes me feel less alone!”

45. Do you usually remember your dreams in the morning?  Most of the time.

46. What flavor tea do you enjoy? Lady Gray and English Breakfast.

47. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? Too many. I only wear about seven of them.

48. What religion will you raise your children to practice? Jesus is my Savior, not my religion.

49. How old were you when you found out that Santa wasn’t real? I think I was about 7 or 8.

50. Why do you have a Tumblr? I don’t. I just copied this list from someone else!


Share Your World- January 30, 2017

This will be a weekly post of the most random of random questions to answer- to share my world! Thanks to Cee’s blog for being the brainchild behind this!

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? The Grand Canyon. I traveled there with family in 2013. We hiked all the way to the bottom and stayed at Phantom Ranch. Getting out was a bit of a disaster for me, but that’s another story for another time…

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? One sibling, an older brother.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? A pointe shoe. I used to be a dancer.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten? I’m not a very adventurous food person, so I don’t really think I’ve ever allowed myself to eat anything too strange or weird.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’m grateful that I had a few “good” days last week. I’ve worked out a few quirks that enable me to feel slightly better than in previous weeks (but only if my body as a whole decides to behave itself that day.) This involves taking salt tablets and drinking Gatorade in the middle of the night if I happen to wake up, but I’ll do what I have to do.

This week, I am looking forward to trying to challenge myself in new ways to get myself feeling better. The more I figure out about how my body works and wants to behave, the more I can understand how to make it better.


Ask and I Shall Tell…

Well, I didn’t quite get the response I was looking for, but I did get some questions to answer, and they’re all interesting, so here goes! This has been a helpful distraction from my depression and anxiety, too.🙂

What is your favorite book? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

When did you know David was the one for you? Well, we started dating in March 2006, during our P2 year. Sometime near the end of the school year, we were walking down the front steps of good old Stambaugh Hall and I was saying how I couldn’t see myself staying in Ohio after graduation because I missed New York so much. Then he said, “That’s ok, I’ll follow you back to New York if I have to.” It meant so much to me that he was willing to go out of his comfort zone to move to my home state just to be with me.😊

What’s your favorite Bible verse? Did you have one to lean on during your health problems? My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”  I guess my verse to lean on would be Joshua 1:9“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

What was your least favorite summer job and why? Most favorite? I only ever worked two summer jobs and I hated both of them. One summer I was a pharmacy tech at a hospital back home and I was treated like dirt because they knew I was in pharmacy school and wouldn’t be sticking around. Although the one good thing I got out of it is that I appreciate my own techs now because I’ve had to do the same crap they do day in and day out. I always try to say “thank you” and let them know I really do know how hard their jobs are. The next summer I worked as a pharmacy intern at a Rite-Aid and hated that so much I decided I would never work retail ever and wanted to go back to hospital pharmacy.

What is your PMS theme song? If you don’t have one what would it be? I’ve never really thought about this before, but it would probably be “Just Like a Pill” by Pink.

What was your all time favorite comment? I’m going to cheat and break this into two parts; one about comments on my own blog posts, and one about replies to my comments on others’ blog posts.

  • Favorite comment on one of my posts came from snowdroplets: “Here’s another saying I like. You know that saying when God closes one door, he opens another? Here’s a new take I found on Pinterest – “When you’re waiting for God to open another door, praise him in the hallway.” It’s got to be so hard to wait with these symptoms for your next surgery. Just think how much better you’ll feel when that’s done!”
  • Favorite reply to a comment I made on someone else’s blog (which I will keep anonymous for privacy): “Comments like this are why I blog. Thank you. You understand so much better than my friends. Thank you. I’ll reply properly when I can think/feel again. Best of luck to you too.”

Which places are on your bucket list to visit? Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Sweden

What are your favourite feel good movies? Apollo 13, Little Women, Forrest Gump (it makes me cry, ok, and crying is therapeutic), It’s A Wonderful Life

Have you ever been to Ireland? Yes, in 2013! We spent a week in Ireland and then a week in London. I loved Dublin and the area around Trinity College (very touristy, but it was cool.) We also went up into Northern Ireland to the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge and the Giants’ Causeway. While at the Causeway, it started pouring and we got positively drenched! I’ve never been so wet in my life! So when we stopped in Belfast on the way back, I found a cafe and had the best cup of peppermint tea ever. I would love to go back to both Ireland and the UK!

If you could dance with anyone in the world – living, dead, or imaginary – who would it be? This one is actually a bit emotional for me because on searching for what he’s been doing lately, I found out he unexpectedly passed away three years ago due to surgical complications. The man I speak of is Charlie McGowan.

Charlie tapping on the set for 42nd Street to ensure it was strong enough to handle all the tapping! (January 2002)

I first started taking master classes from Charlie as a young dancer when I was around 11 or 12. When I was 13, I was finally deemed good enough to be in the number he would choreograph each year for my dance studio as a visiting choreographer. Then he stepped in as choreographer of our high school musicals, including Les Miserables, 42nd Street, West Side Story, and A Chorus Line. It worked out wonderfully, as he had been in the Broadway casts of both WSS and ACL, and even played the role of Mike in the 1985 A Chorus Line movie.

Charlie as Mike in A Chorus Line, 1985

He taught us exact choreography from the shows as he learned them. During 42nd Street, he gifted me with the nickname Eleanor Powell and always referred to me by that name from then on. (Check out her amazing tap skills with Fred Astaire here.) The honor of the nickname wasn’t lost on me. The things I learned from Charlie as both a dancer and a performer are things I never could have learned anywhere else and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to work with him for so long.

What kind of dance would it be? With Charlie, it would be a waltz. During Les Mis rehearsals, I tried on a hoop skirt to wear for the wedding scene. He saw me in it and swept me into his arms in the most beautiful waltz. He led so wonderfully and perfectly that my feet barely touched the ground, and for a few moments I felt like I was flying. RIP Charlie.❤️


The Graceful One

via Daily Prompt: Graceful

I don’t usually participate in the daily prompts, but this one I couldn’t pass up. This will simply be me reminiscing about my former life, and maybe what could have been had certain events not taken place.

I grew up dancing. From the age of three to the age of twenty, I was a dancer. From the age of eleven to the age of eighteen, I was involved in musical theater as well, which was the best of both worlds to me because I loved singing and acting. But at the heart of it all, I was a dancer. Continue reading “The Graceful One”

I’m Not Shy

Mental health disorders in children aren’t something that are talked about a great deal. Probably because we don’t like to think that our innocent children can have a disorder that can lead to, among other things, the stigma that they’re “crazy” or result in the ultimate of tragedies, suicide.

But this post isn’t about suicide awareness or childhood depression. It’s about a struggle of mine that started when I was a child and continues to this day: social anxiety disorder. Continue reading “I’m Not Shy”