Let me complain at ya

I feel like crying a lot lately. I take an antidepressant. I could up my dose, but I’m pretty sure I’m just upset that my world (and the world in general) is collapsing and it’s NOT a chemical imbalance. I could just be written off as an overly emotional pregnant woman who uses the excuse “I’m pregnant” far too often.

Honestly though, it started with my mom being diagnosed with cancer. She lives in Virginia and I moved 1,000 miles away about six years ago. I think it was six years ago? Anyway, I’ll never let myself live that one down. Way to go, Hannah – you abandoned your mom and family in their time of need; have fun in therapy, asshole.

You know what is something wonderful? I’m expecting another baby boy. However, when you are experiencing such a happy moment and people you love are going through something so completely devastating – you really feel awful celebrating. So while everyone is closing their businesses, crying out of stress because they can’t pay their bills, getting denied for unemployment, being diagnosed with life threatening diseases… Welcome my new little boy into the world! Here’s my registry! Buy me things with your stimulus check!

My first son started speech therapy and it soon was followed by an awkward nod of the head when I asked if I needed to have my son assessed for Autism. So, not only did my mother just get diagnosed with cancer but my son may have Autism. This also was met with an extensive list of doctors to call, waiting lists, prescriptions to ask about, activities to enforce, and so on and so on.

As if my life sounds awesome already, the beginning of my pregnancy was rough. I was light headed, couldn’t walk very far without my heart beating out of my chest, and vomit inducing migraines. My pregnancy was absolutely awful until I realized my tooth was the root (pun intended) of all the issues which resulted in an emergency root canal within hours of calling my dentist.

So while I am balancing a toddler with possible Autism, my mother dying 1,000 miles away, situational depression, health issues (I have kidney stones now I guess) – the economy is collapsing, hospitals are being overrun, and people are dying. While my issues are all very devastating to me, it is a weird time to have this perspective and feeling of being so insignificant & small.

Being your own Valentine

Valentine’s Day is a nice day. Flowers, chocolates, pretty cards. To be honest, my partner feeling obligated to give me flowers & chocolates isn’t a good feeling. I would rather have small gestures NOT on Valentine’s Day, so that I know it is voluntary & he is doing it because he loves me.

Years when I didn’t have a Valentine, I bought little pink, heart shaped cakes & flowers. I watched Bridesmaids to relate, THEN give myself hope that I’ll get pulled over by an officer & find love. The morning after Valentine’s Day, I bought myself all chocolate on clearance. I enjoyed the hell out of Valentine’s Day because I took care of myself.

Valentine’s Day as a couple is kind of awful. We should always make each other feel special & do nice things for them – not expect or feel obligated to spend your entire paycheck on one certain day. I think it’s the simple things as a couple that speaks the loudest. Making coffee & cinnamon buns for breakfast, going to the park, and making Valentine’s Day cards for each other – personally, that would mean more to me.

What are your Valentine’s Day plans?!

Wear that struggle

When you sweat profusely at the gym, don’t you feel like a total badass? You’re walking around looking tired as hell, clothes drenched, you’re glistening in the florescent gym lighting. You’re checking in on Facebook “puttin’ in work 💪🏻” and taking your gym selfie. You walk around with confidence that say “yep, I did that. I worked hard as hell, bettering myself.” Something that’s actually pretty gross, we wear with pride.

So tell me, why don’t we wear our dark undereyes with pride? Why don’t we walk into that local coffee shop looking tired as hell? Why don’t we walk around with a confidence that says “Hey, I just got done crying. But I got out of bed, so can I get a quad espresso?” Mamas aren’t wearing their breast milk drenched shirt around like a medal. Those who are going through divorce aren’t flaunting their tearful, red eyes.

You should wear your hard times with pride. They are called “hard times” for a reason – because it’s hard! You’re still getting out of bed, you’re handling your shit, and you are still here. “Oh well, everyone goes through hard times. It’s nothing to give attention to.” Uh, hell yeah it is. Let’s not sell ourselves short here! Let’s be proud of ourselves more often and say “I’m going through something right now, the stress is unbelievable, but I’m bettering myself and I’m still going.”

Stop hiding what you find to be a weakness, because it’s actually your strength being put to the test. You’re dealing with your problems and that is admirable. Leave the concealer alone, keep cold towels off of those red eyes, and stop trying to fit into those NONE-pregnancy jeans (just embrace the stretchy band). Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to others.

Let’s connect & let’s bond over how hard life is. So tell me, what are you going through? What struggle are you proud of?

Passion ain’t just for Nicolas Sparks novels

“Quality over quantity.” It’s a good saying for those of us who don’t have much, yeah? It is true, though. What would life be if you lived to be 100 years old, but you never once lived with intention. You survived, you stuck around, but you never lived. You were in a metaphorical coffin by the age of eighteen.

You learned the importance of money quickly & decided that being an artist will never pay the bills. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer & left him for man with a bright future. He could give you what you needed. You soon learned that you needed love & he couldn’t put that on his credit card for you. You survived, but you didn’t live. You stepped into that coffin the second you told yourself “happiness won’t pay my bills.”

You learned the importance of money quickly & you learned the importance of happiness even quicker. You decided that life without passion is no life at all. You met a man who didn’t have anything to offer except for his love & support, but that was what you needed. You burned the metaphorical coffin the second you told yourself “life without passion is no life at all.”

I have caught myself just surviving, staying with jobs because they made enough money. I’ve put passions of mine aside, because they didn’t provide me with an income. Society’s idea of success can turn passionate people in slaves of survival. Do not lose your passion for life, for your art, for people. Without passion, we can only survive.

Think before you write

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My parents were never transparent when it came to being upset or angry. When I was about 16, my mother found a Captain Morgan liquor bottle in my bedroom. I was never confronted about it… directly. However, she did pour out the liquor and put a lovely bouquet of flowers from her garden in it. My dad, he found a pack of Marlboro menthols in my car. Like my mother, he never directly confronted me about it. He, quoting Forrest Gump, wrote “stupid is as stupid does” on the pack. I, sort of, adore their parenting skills now.

I, however, did not inherit this passive way of communicating anger.  If something is bothering me, I will gladly let you know. If I am angry, naturally, I will list all of the reasons why; it’s a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because I never harbor anger and I never have anything to hide. It’s a curse because, most of the time, my anger is clouding my judgement. I have spent many years learning how to be angry and not speak.

This is so important to exercise with your family. If you speak in anger, you will not make any progress toward solving the problem. 80% of the time, when I speak in anger, I get tongue-tied and make no zero sense. If I am upset with my someone, I cannot talk about it right away because someone’s feelings will get hurt. I need time to stay quiet and decide whether if what I’m feeling is anger, exhaustion, or if it is something else caused it. I have to decide what I am going to say and how I should say it so that it doesn’t provoke more anger.

Now, to make it relatable to the majority, think about how many times you have been angry and spoke. Think about how many times small fights turned into a massive problem. On social media, I have seen where someone will post a book worth of problems and anger. In .02 seconds 800 of your friends, family, and strangers now know way too much. They probably don’t even know what they know, but they know something is really wrong with you. To be honest, when we talk in anger, we look awful and no one wants to be around that. If we have any intention to make peace, start thinking before you throw punches.