A promise

A week or so ago I promised my brother if he got me a certain beanie hat I would blog more and blog while wearing the hat. I believe in keeping my promises, so here I am on a Friday night, wearing said beanie hat and I thought… I should blog about this.

But seriously while I am not going to blog about the beanie hat, while it is an amazing beanie, I do want to update my site more. I pay for this domain name I might as well use it.

So lately I have been thinking about 2018 and how I believe it was a year of change for me. I started the year living in Maryland (where I had been living for almost four years) and I had started working at a new job back in October of 2017. I really liked the new place I worked and I was finally getting to a place in my life where I was very happy and content with myself. But I had the knowledge I was going deaf in both ears hanging over me. The more I thought about it the more I realized it was time to go back home. Now home for me is not where I grew up but the town I moved to and all my family now lived in, Rochester, NY. I had left Rochester NY four years earlier, I left for many reasons and I still believe my decision to leave back then was the right one. However, after living in Maryland, by myself with no family and to start no friends nearby, I had found myself. I had grown to realize I liked me and I had proved to myself I was actually ok. Now, this may sound simple but for me, it was life-changing. For years I had hated myself, I had hated every single thing about me. I couldn’t even look in a mirror as I hated the person I saw. But for some reason, those four years on my own in Maryland made me like me, made me be able to finally look in a mirror and not hate myself. I have no idea why it did that, but I am so damn grateful it did. Because when I knew I had ten years maximum until the doctors told me I would be legally deaf, I was ready to go back home, ready to be ok with asking for help. So I took a huge chance and took a position with the company I worked at but in their Rochester NY branch. It was a big step up career wise but I knew it was the right step.

So in June 2018 I packed a Uhaul with my stuff and my dad flew to Baltimore to drive my car back to New York with me. He and I stopped in Pennsylvania for the night at a pet-friendly hotel, as I had my trusty cat Bear with me, going on another 400-mile journey with me. And once again my cat amazed me with the ease at which she handled me uprooting her. I moved into an apartment complex that my best friends and their kids live in, they helped me unload my Uhaul, with my niece Mia shocking all of us with her brute strength basically single-handedly unloading most of the truck while her mother, father, brother and I attempted to put my IKEA bed back together. Then later that week my mom and I took one final journey back to Maryland to grab the rest of my stuff and go to one final appointment in Baltimore. Then I started work at my new job and threw myself back into life.

Over the next few months, I made friends at my new job and reconnected with old friends. I also got the chance to enjoy the small things, like taking my nephew out to eat, having my nieces sleepover and being at family events. But I also allowed my family to help when my Meniere’s disease reared its ugly head. My parents have picked me up from work when I was too dizzy to drive, my sestra has brought me over ginger ale when I was nauseous from vertigo and my brother has made time for me when I needed to talk.

So 2018 was a year of great change in my life and I am hoping 2019 is just as exciting. I have many plans for the year and coming years and I am hoping to uphold my promise to my big brother to blog more while wearing this beanie. ūüôā

Cheers bitches…

Not a bad weekend…

This is the little balcony garden I have at my apartment. I wish I had a house and a large lawn to garden but I don’t so I make the space I have work. This year I planted: numerous basil plants, parsley, rosemary, lemongrass, mint, French lavender, a stevia plant, 4 cherry tomato plants, coleus and flowers including my favorite, snapdragons.

I met this little monster at one of the gardening centers I went to yesterday:

cat

I¬†still need to get a small table and possibly another chair but slowly it’s getting there.

I am really trying hard to enjoy life and not focus on going deaf but instead focus on the things in life I love and will continue to love whether I can hear or not. I will eventually accept going deaf properly and cope and deal with it.

But right now I am still just taking it day by day.  So far this weekend has been 2 very good days for me. And spent lots of quality time with this demon.

I’ll always look forward to better days ahead

Spoiler alert: this blog post will be long and slightly discombobulated. 

I have known for a few months now that I was losing hearing in my “good” ear. I have Meniere’s¬†disease which affects the inner ear. It can cause ear pain and pressure, ringing in the ears, vertigo and most fun of all hearing loss. About three years ago when this started I was hoping to be able to save the hearing in my right ear. My left ear never really went back to normal after it flared up. If I stuck to the low sodium diet, ate healthily, exercised often and got plenty of rest I could keep it that way, or so I hoped.

Three years on I have coped pretty well all things considering. I have moderate/severe hearing loss in my left ear.¬†¬†I don’t get too many bouts of vertigo and I have gotten very good at working through those. I get ear infections much more often but medications help to¬†make¬†that manageable. The ringing in the ear can be maddening however I know when that stops it will also mean my hearing has gone. And as indicated earlier my hearing in my good ear has decided to go. My ENT is hoping that the hearing loss in this ear will progress much slower than it has in my left. My left ear has never had any hope, poor thing.¬† However, I have had to accept that I will go completely or “legally” deaf in both ears. I am hoping I have five to ten years until that happens.

I am pretty pissed off about it honestly. But I also know being pissing off about it won’t change a thing. I have to figure out a way to make this challenge work and just move on. I am allowing myself to be angry about it. I feel robbed. I am pissed, I feel like I have really been through enough shit in my life taking my hearing is a sick joke. I love music. Music has quite literally saved my life on more than one occasion. My struggles with mental health issues consumed my twenties. But I pulled through that. I got help. I found my inner peace and started smiling again because I liked me again. Sure I still hit some bumps, I have never taken the easy path in life. But I always got back up, dusted my self off and figured my shit out. I took a huge chance and moved 400 miles away from my friends and family to prove to myself I was ok. And I was and I truly found my home down here.

Then Menieres decided to strike me. Now I have to think about things like where do I learn sign language. I need to get the apartment complex to install a fire alarm with a strobe light since sound won’t always be able to wake me. I need to get an alarm clock that shakes the bed to wake me in the morning. All of that is super annoying but to know I will one day not be able to hear breaks my heart. I won’t hear the sound of my cat purr or meow, the sounds of city life and traffic, the sound of laughter, the sound of birds in the morning, the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, the sound of my friends and family just talking.

I have been on an emotional rollercoaster lately. One minute I am angry about it, then crying about it, then sucking it up and getting on. Right now I am trying to cope my way. I am letting myself be angry, I am even letting myself cry and I am trying to enjoy as many sounds as I can before it happens. I always hated the term bucket list but fuck it. I am going to have a bucket list of sounds to hear before I go deaf. I am going to see Radiohead in July with my brother. I went to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra the other night. I want to go see Carmen this summer again. I want to see Austra in concert. There are so many things I can’t even begin to list them all. My brother and I will be still going to concerts when I am deaf, nothing will ever break that bond between us.

I am in awe of my parent’s determination to be right there with me and refusing to even slightly budge. Up front, I will admit both of them will have sign language mastered way before I do! I put them both through a lot and I know this is hard on them, they hate seeing me hurting in any way. They know I will get through it though. I am just like my mother and father in my stubborn determination to never give in. It is definitely a family trait.

So I am going to go deaf and I need to figure it out. It is going to be difficult at times and my life will definitely be different but still good. I refuse to let it change my inner peace I will be OK. I refuse to give¬†in to the darkness it has cast on me. I will go through the stages of grief about it and cope because there is no other option. I will fall down a few times, I will have to ask for help (something I absolutely hate doing) but I am smart enough to know I can’t do it all on my own. SO these next few month and years might be a little discombobulated (much like this post) while I figure this shit out. But I will figure it out. I always do….

2017 bye girl

2017 I had such high hopes for you and to be honest you didn’t live up to them. However, I did change my goals and plans mid-year and while the road was bumpy at times I made it and I am better off for having gone through what I did. As much as I hate the phrase ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ it is true. This year I had my heart tested, my mental health tested and my strength to keep going tested but I made it. I survived. And I am in a better place now. I know what I want and where I want to go. I refuse to settle ever again. So while this past year definitely turned out very different than I planned, I believe I ended the year exactly where I need to be. Working and focusing only on me. I wasted way too many years trying to please others or be someone I wasn’t. But now I know myself better, I can be honest with myself about what I need to do. And while I am still working on myself overall I can look in the mirror and be ok with the woman I see looking back at me. She isn’t perfect far from it but she is me and I like me, flaws and all. So here is to hoping 2018 takes me exactly where I need to go. Where ever that may lead I am ready for it.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

There is only one side

I was home today and had CNN on when I saw the President of the United States news conference, it made me sick to my stomach. As a lesbian, I have known the president was not on my side all along. And yes I voted for Clinton and I am proud of my vote for, damn proud! After she lost people told me to give Trump a chance, wait and see if he takes my rights away. Well guess what we aren’t even a year into his presidency and it’s been far worse than I imagined it would be. I dread when I see an alert on my phone, fearing it will be an alert letting me know we just started WWIII.

But when it comes to this last weekend and the events in Charlottesville I have to say enough is enough. Our president showed his true colors today, he is a white supremacist, full stop. The fact is this country is just as racist, homophobic, sexist and xenophobic as I thought, but my cis/white/straight friends and family all tried to say I was wrong. I wish I was wrong. I wish this was all a really bad dream and I could wake up and be living under a Clinton presidency. But that isn’t the reality, the reality is white America elected a racist idoit¬†to our highest office because they are scared their white privilege is waning and they don’t like that. Well guess what it is and it should. And guess what me, other LGBTQ people, anyone who is not-white as the right to exist and to have the same right as straight white america. Nazi’s and white supremacist don’t have a side they have hate. They are marching to say I don’t have the right to be alive or have rights. They want us all rounded up and killed. So no Mr. President this isn’t a problem that has two sides. This only has one side and you sir are on the wrong side of history.

I can only hope this makes straight white America wake up and start fighting with the rest of us. White people created this problem and we need to fix it.

grandpa

I think the most important thing I ever learned from my Grandpa was you never give up. He was crushed from the waist down with a massive tractor when my mom was 6 months old, told he would never walk again or have more kids. He walked with a cane right up until the end. (I used to steal his cane and hide it.) He also had 4 more kids. The other thing I will remember is how he never changed how he treated me when he found out I was gay. He probably didn’t understand it but that didn’t matter, I was his granddaughter and he loved me no matter what. It wasn’t until he were gone that I realized how much he helped shape my life. I miss him.

Yesterday would have been my grandfather’s 99th birthday…¬†317116_10150332188307844_433119668_n

Nature vs Nurture

Life has a way of kicking you when you are down. I had such high hopes for this summer this spring but I must say nothing has gone to plan.

I am losing my hearing much quicker than I wanted and it has begun to effect my every day life.

My job was effected by this and I am no longer working at my previous company.

I have been dealing with my depression acting up from my hearing issues and work stress and now I am struggling with it for sure.

And sadly yesterday my Aunt Barb died. Not too sure what happened, other than it was shocking, sudden and unexpected. She was very cool. I always enjoyed talking with her and she was just a kind woman. I am lucky to have been able to call her family.

The one thing I have learned through all of this is that my family and friends are amazing. I know how lucky I am to have them and for the love and support they give no matter what happens. I may be a bit of a blacksheep but my family loves to nurture them.

So as my tattoo says:

fall down seven times, stand up eight….