Friday, September 30, 2011

You Are Punished

Read that title as if you're saying the word "punished" in the Shakespearean way. "Punish-ED" sounds so much more fierce and deplorable that just the American way. Let's think about that word for a second....

That's what I feel is happening to me. I feel like I'm being punished for some grievous offense but I don't know what I've done to warrant such a penalty. The last few weeks have been rough. It started with a clotted graft, then some surgery that turned into the worst possible worst case scenario, a couple of incisions and a whole bunch of stitches, almost critical blood loss, a fem cath in my right leg, and numbness in three of five fingers that becomes so unbearably painful during dialysis I wonder if cutting off my hand isn't a better option.

So I think to myself as I'm lying in bed, or massaging my fingers in hopes of the numbness dissipating, or when I get winded walking from my bedroom to the living room: What did I do? And this is, of course, the entirely wrong way of looking at it. I should be grateful that things aren't worse. I should be, but that's kind of hard to grasp because to me, things really can't get any worse. Now I should knock on wood before lightning strikes me.

But I'm out of options for vascular access now that we know I have a condition that causes my veins to occlude after they suffer any trauma. I have no more major veins to sustain a catheter, other than the one that is already housing one in my leg. If my graft fails, that permanent femoral catheter is my dialysis access. End of story. I need a kidney. That's the answer to all of this. I just need a kidney that works and that will stay.
The silence in my heart is killing me. I can't find it, no matter how hard I try. It slipped through my hands like glitter falling to the floor and the sparkle has faded away. What once could have been great is now all but a memory served in bittersweet palates. "Never mind I'll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you. Don't forget me, I beg, I remember you said- sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead" (ADELE). Maybe I'm writing this off too quickly, but silence is golden and incriminating, and I don't wait forever.
The two things that have gone right in the last two weeks were at least pretty spectacular. The UTES beat BYU in royal fashion 54-10, in Provo. That made up for the clotted graft and the 13 hour dialysis day on 9/17. Though I had tickets to the game and couldn't go due to the aforementioned problems. It was a great game. And the best part was Utah's team coming together and playing as one entity, all connected, all in sync, all with perfect, timely execution and kept the cougars and Jake Heaps' ego in check. One of my favorite moments was in the 4th quarter when Heaps got benched in favor of 2nd string QB Riley Nelson. He looked as if he might cry. And yet, his post game comments failed to reflect the awfulness of his, or his team's performance. It's alright though. "Ute fans remain classy. Smug, but classy." (Ted Miller, ESPN)

On Wednesday I went to the Taylor Swift concert with my mom. She is just amazing. Her show was spectacular, to say the least. It was what I needed, even if I couldn't stand up. Say what you will about Taylor Swift and the strength of her voice, her lyrics make up for any range or belt-ability that she might lack. I was very pleased that she sang all my favorite songs from her "Speak Now" album. This is the third time I've seen her show, and it gets better and better every time. She seems to love performing in Salt Lake, probably because we have more little girls per capita that can produce a severe cheer in an arena, so I'm hoping the next time she comes here my nieces will be big enough to take. They would love it. That show solidified Taylor was one of my all time favorite artists. She writes songs from the heart, that transcend generations and ethnicities and differences. If I can someday write something half as beautiful as "Last Kiss", I will be successful as a writer.

For now, I'm alive. I guess I've got that going for me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Can't Blame a Girl for Trying

Some things that I write in this public space are purposefully ambiguous. Sometimes I don't want readers to know exactly what I'm thinking so I use the power of words to get it across in a less-than-obvious way. This isn't one of those times, and if the person this concerns reads it, maybe it'll cause him to rethink his strategy.

There's a guy I've been friends with for a few years. He's one of the best people I've known in any capacity and I think the world of him. I've resisted any sort of romantic inclinations towards him for several reasons- mainly he lived out of town and I personally think it's rather impossible to start a relationship when you live in different states. For the past year our relationship has developed and I found myself suppressing feeling I wasn't sure he was reciprocating. He'd make a point of visiting me every time he came to town and we started having frequent lengthy phone conversations, longer phone conversations than I've ever had with any of my best friends. Things he said to me were starting to make me believe maybe he wasn't being completely honest about his feeling for me- and really, who ever is? Especially in a situation like this where the two of you have been friends for a long time and no one wants to ruin a great friendship lest the other person doesn't feel the same way- but I was still trying to remain uninterested in anything more than a friendship. Then June happened.

He was coming to town for a relative's wedding and invited me to go. So I did. He introduced me to his family, we danced, sampled brownies, generally had a good time. And as I left I knew I couldn't fight it anymore- I was legitimately interested in this man. So I froze, naturally, because I didn't know how to react to my own feelings or what to do next, especially considering he didn't live in close proximity to me. Then he decided to move back. So now I just had to bide my time for 2 months until he came back to Salt Lake. In the meantime we continued on our "best friends forever" path, I think we both were mostly covering up what we really wanted from each other, both just waiting until August and we could see each other face to face.

He moved back to Utah. I saw him the day after he got in town, and both nights the next weekend, and again before I left for Boston. But suddenly everything changed. Without warning or notice, he's unreachable, and it's been weeks since we've talked- and for our relationship that's a big deal- and despite my best efforts I can't get him to talk to me. And it's even more frustrating because I haven't the faintest idea why. The most perplexing part is that I thought we were better friends than this, it always seemed to me we were beyond being petty and repugnant. It seems I was wrong.

Now it's almost 5 a.m., I've been awake since 3, and anyone who knows me well knows it takes a lot for me to lose sleep over something. And I'm filled with regret. Regret that I haven't ever told him that I think he's wonderful and he makes me happy, and I'd be pretty lucky if he felt the same way. And that we've had a fantastic friendship but we could be so much better together. All I want is a chance to tell him, so he will know and I can feel like I've done everything I can do to make this into something more. And if he doesn't want it then I'll know, and I can move on. You can't blame a girl for trying.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Left My Heart in Boston

My blog has been a real downer the last little while, and for that I don't apologize. Life isn't always sunshine and optimism, and if you believe that you're kidding yourself. That also doesn't mean that negativity needs to rule your psyche, it just means that sometimes things are hard, and it's fine if you want to vent about it on your blog.

Despite all the dialysis drama that's been happening lately, I got myself out of town last week and went to Boston to visit my brother and sister-in-law and nephew, also known as Tim, Corinne, and Thomas. I was pretty psyched because I'd never been to Boston before and I love the East Coast (I believe I'm meant to live on a coast, either West or East, none of this enclosed mountain valley crap for me) plus I could use a break from everything that had been going on. My parents and I flew to Boston on the 2nd, and Tim met us at the airport. We immediately picked up our rental car and proceeded to Tim and Corinne's house in Waltham.

I find that I never miss the mountains when on vacation. As a general rule I try to vacation in places that don't have tall mountain peaks. Driving down the Mass Pike I discovered this was still true. I love a good skyline, and even though it may seem unnatural, I love a skyline that's all buildings way more than nature.

Whilst in Boston we did all the usual things: Freedom Trail (sort of. Naturally it was raining on the day we were going to walk it so we became pretty picky about our stops), Old North Church, Mike's Pastry in the North End for pretty amazing cannoli, Legal Sea Food's, Fenway for a Sox game (witnessed a grand slam, the one thing that can make baseball interesting for a minute or two), Harvard, Boston Common and the Public Gardens.

I love America. And I love history, so it was pretty neat (That is neat!) to see the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston, and sort of see where the Boston Massacre took place. It happened right outside the Old State House, and it turned out to be a giant misunderstanding over a wig bill. We couldn't really see the spot because it was under construction. I didn't think there would really be blood on the cobblestone anyway. We ate lunch at Quincy Market and gazed at Fanueil Hall, sat in the enclosed (and still used) pews of the Old North Church, went to Harvard Square where I saw with mine own eyes the ivy covered walls of excellence, pomp, and academia.

We had the best seafood. Really, I don't know if it can be beat. Fresh, huge lobster at Woodman's of Essex, and of course fried clams, since that is where fried clams came into being. The most amazing calamari you've ever had at Legal Sea Food's, as well as amazing everything else at Legal. English pub food at John Brewer's, and who knew that Boston was such a pizza city? There were a lot of options if you wanted pizza. I did not, however, have a Fenway Frank at Fenway Park. Instead Tim and I had Fenway Fried Dough and Cokes, just what one needs to make baseball great.

Went shopping on Newbury Street- where it cost more to park for 2 hours than I spent at H&M- and in the Prudential Center and Copley Place. Visited Gloucester and Salem and Cape Ann on Labor Day and bought a lobster sucker at the Woodman's gift shop, where one can purchase a "Woodman's of Essex" shirt for your dog.

I spent a lot of time hanging out with Tim, Corinne, and Thomas, staying up to watch TCU get beat by Baylor with Tim, talking sports and inadvertently showing Thomas his first football game, a right that was supposed to be reserved for a BYU game. The game I watched with him was not a BYU game. We celebrated Tim's birthday and the big news they shared with us. Took Thomas to the beach for the first time. He was not crazy about the temperature of the Atlantic. Also took Thomas for his first T-ride. He was less than thrilled.

When the week was over and it was time to go, I worked real hard to not cry, or let anyone see that I was ruining my makeup with tears. Saying "so long" to Tim on Newbury Street was sad. I'd forgotten how much fun we have together, and how well we get along and bond over sports. Biding farewell to Corinne and Thomas an hour later in Waltham was just as hard. It was nice to be able to connect with Corinne on a level we've previously failed to achieve, and Thomas- that darling, sweet boy was the light of my life for the week I spend in Boston and it broke my heart to have to say goodbye to him. Even now, writing about it, I'm blinking back tears.

When we boarded the plane and waited for takeoff, I put in my ears and listened to "Leaving on a Jet Plane". I texted Tim and quoted lyrics from the song: "I'm leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again. Oh [guys] I hate to go." Those lyrics epitomized what I was feeling. I wasn't ready to come back to Salt Lake. I didn't want to. I wanted to go downtown and find a tiny apartment and fly by the seat of my pants in the city. I felt like I belonged in Boston, like it was where I was meant to be, and leaving it to go back to a place I seem to barely tolerate left me feeling empty and "so lonesome I could die". But I know I'm not meant to stay here, and I really think I'll make it to Boston when the time is right.

In sum, it was an amazing trip. Sincerest thanks to my parents for taking me and paying for pretty much everything and for buying me that Red Sox sweatshirt I really wanted. And to Tim and Corinne and Thomas for letting me stay with them and for showing me the glories of Massachusetts and pumpkin donuts at Dunkin'. It was a nice reprieve from my current state of being. Boston, I'll be back.