So its not the Apocalypse then?

I know. I know. Its been forever since I’ve written…

Here’s the thing. You’d think that the Apocalypse would be a great time to write about life and all the things. As it turns out, even when you think the world is ending, and everyone is walking around with the new plague, even then… You’ll watch Tiger King on repeat before you update anything else in your life.

All those people who tweet about needing time off from busy lives so they can redecorate their houses, clean out their closets, or work on themselves… Turns out they were all wrong, and we are all lazy as fuck and would rather watch ALL OF NETFLIX before doing anything productive. I am totally one of those people. I spent the first four weeks of lock down baking more than I ever have in life, and eating my body weight in chocolate. OK, that is a gross exaggeration but you totally know where I’m going with that. Instagram is filled with hashtags about “quarantine living” and the oh-so-regrettable “quarantine fifteen”. (insert face palm here)

So, I will admit that today, when I find out New Zealand is ending its lock down in three days, today is the day I finally come back to you. 51 days of lock down, and countless before that when I was free as a bird… Today I find my words and rejoin the internet writers population.

I found a meme yesterday that basically describes everything this year (pictured). Its Luis from Ant-Man explaining in his signature elongated style about all the things that have happened in 2020. My favorite part is “murder hornets invading”. Its not a true Apocalypse unless something ridiculous happens.

However a plague that has infected millions is less ridiculous, and fairly scary. I’ve re-watched “I Am Legend”, “Contagion”, and “28 Days Later” a LOT recently.

However, its looking less like an apocalyptic event now that some countries (like the one I currently reside in) are reopening and rebuilding economies. I know for all those crazy flat-earthers this may be a setback in their doomsday plans… Chill guys. I’m sure you’ll get another chance..

So, what does a post-pandemic era look like for me? Well, first of all I’m not an idiot, just cause my country is releasing some restrictions, does not for a second mean that we couldn’t still be overwhelmed with cases. Our borders will remain closed for a long time. Maybe some people will be heading out mask less and go back to their lessened hand-washing traditions -EWWW!!!- but, as someone who is immune-compromised ALWAYS, not much will change for me. I’ll still be careful in crowds, still tense up when I hear a sneeze on the bus, and wash my hands religiously because that’s just plain common sense!

I’ve been to the hospital twice for Infliximab infusions since our lock down started. Each time I was tested at the door of the hospital for fever symptoms, and had to wear masks and gloves the whole time. Which, for those of you who don’t know, is HOURS! Anyone who has worn a mask for longer than an hour feels my pain. As great as they are for slowing the spread of germs, they are also a mini sweat box for your face. I overheat so easily, and after 30 mins in a mask my face feels like its been in a steam room. You’re overheated and very aware of your dental skills, which will only get better after prolonged oral sweat box use. Ugh.

My mom and I have taken walks along the water, and lamented at the emptiness of the city. I’ve gone to the grocery store once a week, which was nerve-wracking as well as infuriating. I became well aware very early on that there are people who don’t give a crap about anyone but themselves, and flout the rules excessively. Also, this will be the last year that I live without a pet. Animal therapy is so very important for my mental and spiritual health.

So, what will I do when my freedom is given back to me in two days? Visit friends and play with their pets! Visit the cat cafe when it reopens. Catch up with friends. Visit my tattoo artist. Order a meal at a restaurant that hasn’t been cooked by me or mom! And… stay at home like I always do because that’s what living with chronic illness has always been for me.

I know, boring, right?

Oh well, at least I am back here with you. Words, thoughts, and emotions, as often as I can, and as often as you care to hear them.

Airplane Resolutions

So I’m 6 hours into my 9 hour flight from Honolulu TO Auckland and I realise I’ve probably already caught up on more movies on this plane than I have in months at home. I’ve watched “Stuber”, “Wild”, and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”.
6 hours of comedy, life challenges, and monster movies, and I’ve come to realise some things about my life.
Now, most people like to make new years resolutions…but not me. I like to make long plane ride resolutions. Why, you may ask? Well think about it… What are you most likely to keep a promise to yourself from- A night of drinking, partying, and general debauchery? OR, a really long plane ride where you’ve been forced to TRULY THINK for hours after the boredom of too many movies in a row kicks in?
Exactly.

2010-2019
I faced some really hard realities about myself and my life this decade. I’ve dealt with very difficult situations, and they have taken quite an emotional toll on my mental and physical state across the board.
I won’t share all of them here.
But I will share what going through them has taught me and how it’s helped me move forward in a positive way.

1) I forgive you.
I forgive those who have hurt me. I forgive those who have harmed me physically. I forgive those who have harmed me mentally. I forgive those who have cast me out. I forgive those who have spread lies. I forgive those who hurt me because they hurt themselves. I forgive those who have cheated on me. I forgive those who have wished me harm.
I forgive you.
And I forgive myself for holding onto the hate and dispair that I carried for so long because I could not allow myself to let it go.
But I have… I’ve learned to let it all go.

2) I’m not afraid to be alone.
I’ve spent so many years thinking that the key to my happiness was waiting for me in another person(s). But this decade has taught me that being alone and happy is so much better than being in relationships with the wrong people. Nothing is worth staying in relationships where you are undervalued, abused, disrespected, or manipulated.
I still believe in soul mates. I always have. But I now believe they don’t have to be romantic. And we can have as many as we like. It can be our family members, our friends, and strangers we meet along our journey.
I will never again settle just because I think I’m unworthy of love. I won’t settle just because I’m sick and my mortality scares me. I will be alone as long as I like because I realise I have never been more surrounded with caring people than I am now. Love takes many different forms, and I feel truly relieved to finally realise that.

3) My illness doesn’t define who I am.
It’s been 12 years since I was first diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and 7 since it turned severe. I’ve been pricked with more needles than someone should in a lifetime. I’ve been prescribed all manners of chemical warfare to irradiate an incurable disease that is destroying me from the inside out. One day, sooner than me hitting old age, I will die from this disease.
But I am an entire person without it.
I am fighting every day to make this life a little bit longer, and every day I succeed just a little bit more. I live for my passion of cooking, and song, and coffee, and cats. I live for my family and for my friends.
I live for myself for as long as I breathe air on this earth. That’s all that matters.