Five things (20)

These five things are a little introspective in no particular order.

We are living in an extrovert’s world and I am just an introvert-girl1

It’s a bit exhausting, living inside of my head sometimes.

In the middle of living and working within the constraints of a global pandemic, I experienced a lot of loss. The more I lost the more I retreated into myself until there was a long stretch of time where I didn’t want to hang out or make plans with anyone. Now, coming out of that stretch of time, I feel like I don’t know how to be with company anymore. It’s a struggle to answer simple conversational questions because my knee-jerk reaction is to retreat. Who wants to bring down the crowd with their sad story? And maybe that person is just asking the “how are yous” and “what’s news” to be polite and conversational, maybe they don’t want to hear more than an “I’m fine” or “nothing much”.

Someone asked me the “what’s new” question lately and I genuinely blanked, my brain could not compute quickly enough the level of our acquaintance to deliver the appropriate response. Imagine telling an almost stranger that you don’t sleep well some nights because you think your dad will die and then you’re going to have to take care of the rest of your family, but recently you’ve been working on meditation to lower your stress levels because the stress is causing your body to breakdown since you internalize everything? Yeah, that would be a fun party answer.

What do you say to someone who is grieving?

(photo from LA Times)

After losing my mom I had to deal with a lot of other people’s grief, and it made me wonder, how did I react to someone when they were grieving. I found this article soon after that talked about what to say to someone depending on how far removed from the situation you are and I highly recommend the read to anyone who (like me) wonders just what to say and how to show comfort.

A little emo, a little angst

A few months ago I found my old Live Journal – that I completely forgot about! I reactivated my account and started reading all the posts (most of which were private).

When I look back at college-me, I would never use the word emo to describe her, but after reading my LJ posts I think maybe I was a bit angsty as a teen. Part of me wonders if I feel this way now because I’m reading it through the lens of someone twenty years removed. However, there’s another part of me that recognizes that at that time I was holding a few things in tension and had yet to decide which side of the fence I wanted to land on. I had a worldview that was evolving and as a person who internalizes their thoughts and feelings (and then apparently writes them in a private journal online) a lot of my entries revolved around working those tensions out. Interestingly enough, even though my entries were private, I didn’t have the courage to actually name a lot of my feelings – hoping that future me (well, now present me) would read between the lines. I wonder if I didn’t feel the safety to express myself, or if it was more of the fact that I didn’t want to write something down that I would later change my mind about.

Deconstructing faith

There’s a lot of conversation around the idea of deconstructing faith. A lot of people are leaving their churches and walking away from the faith, deciding to pursue spirituality in other forms, and honestly, I don’t blame them. As a person who was a teen/young adult in the time of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and at the height of purity culture, then witnessed the toxicity found in churches like Mars Hill Chruch it’s so easy to understand why people are walking away.

Personally, I still find something in organized religion – and I found a good community – but I still struggle to untangle myself from the things that I grew up believing in that were not scriptural. The entire idea that women should dress and act a certain way because men can’t seem to be decent humans is insane to me, or the focus on a list of nos and oftentimes very wrong and unfounded rules that are not grounded in actual scripture. One of my favorite podcasts, The Bible Binge2, had an episode on this same topic and it really resonated with me and anchored a lot of the feelings I had on the topic. It’s been slow, but I feel in a better place when it comes to this topic. I have clarity in what I believe, and I am slowly rebuilding around my core values and beliefs3.

There’s hope for the future

In everything, through the highs and lows, I have to admit that I am hopeful. There’s a hope that one day this will all be worth it. That the friendships will grow stronger, that the familial bonds will strengthen, and that, no matter what, we will make it through this. Well, I didn’t really mean to make this entire post feel somber, but I think I achieved that nonetheless. Here’s to the future, here’s to overcoming.


1 Sing to the tune of Material Girl.
2 The Bible Binge is one of my top 10 podcasts; highly recommend them.
3 I also strongly believe that the God in the bible would not be pleased with conservatism in the US.

I’m crashing like a tidal wave and I don’t want to be… stranded

~ Plumb

Five Things (19)

Happy Earth Day! I spun a wheel and won a succulent.

Well, the title told the entire story, so here’s a letter to my succulent.

Dear Gregor the Succulent,
It’s not your fault I won you, but I will try to keep you alive until the next Earth Day – the one in 2024, not the one in a few days. I’ve never been a good plant mom and I really don’t want to try raising a plant, especially after I read that they cry. But I will set a reminder on my phone and hopefully, your location will provide you with the perfect amount of sunlight.

The pollen has arrived!

Every year I fool myself into thinking that I can go without allergy meds and every year the pollen wins1. I could hate pollen for what it does to my body, but the beautiful blooms wouldn’t exist without it, so I’ll take my allergy meds and suffer through the few weeks of intense pollination to watch the flowers bloom. I don’t know why I went from zero allergies to crazy allergies, but I loved the botanical sexism theory… alas, it’s since been debunked.

23 & Me, and then some.

I was pretty bored when I was recovering from a major surgery some years ago and one of the things I did was take an ancestry test because I was curious. What’s interesting to me is that since then the breakdown of my ancestry has gotten more and more precise – for example, they can now pinpoint (with accuracy) my country of origin – it’s a footnote that while my ancestry is elsewhere people from my background are found in that country and region. I had a few unassigned percentages left – some trace ancestry that they couldn’t assign yet. Well, I recently logged in and part of that trace ancestry has been assigned as Sardinian. There’s still a tiny bit of trace ancestry left, so I’m really curious if they will figure that out someday.

My favorite thing about 23 & Me though is their algorithm thinks that I have the genetic muscle composition common in elite power athletes2. I guess I’ve missed my calling.

Some cozy media recommendations.

This year I decided that I needed more cozy in my life, I started reading more cozy books, playing cozy games, and looking for cozy shows or movies3. Cozy shows are hard to find but I discovered that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries had a lot of cozy movies based on books, my fave has been the Aurora Teagarden movies. However, a few months ago I was reintroduced to the PBS Masterpiece shows and started watching Miss Scarlet and The Duke, which I absolutely love; and which has led me to one of my new fave cozy mysteries books, the Veronica Speedwell series.

If you’re looking for a fun female protagonist who is breaking the rules and conventions of her time while also solving mysteries, then I highly recommend Scarlet and Veronica. Also, any period piece is a fave for me.


It’s been two years and counting since I lost my mom, and every day I feel that loss. There’s so much I want to ask her, and so many things I wish she was around to see and experience. The first year I felt like I was in fixing mode — I needed to take care of everything and take care of my dad. The following year I tried to grieve but I was busy making sure that both houses were taken care of. Now I feel like I’ve found a rhythm, and I’m settling down a bit, hanging with friends again, yet in the quiet moments, it hits me and I can finally grieve.


1 Maybe this is the plants’ way of getting back at me.

2 I did run a half marathon once!

3 I still listen to my murder podcasts

And I chose you the one I was dancin’ with, in New York, no shoes… looked up at the sky and it was, maroon

– Taylor Swift

Five Things (18)

Every year I tell myself I want to start blogging again. And every year I don’t because, my life is generally mundane, and I don’t want to talk publically about the interesting bits. There are no grand ideas to share and no experiences that are not common to many, so I leave it for another year.

But then I find a goldmine in my old Xanga and Livejournal from an angsty teen and nerdy college student, and the reflectiveness of those posts makes me want to blog again — the old fashion way. Maybe 2023 will be that year… or maybe this will be the only post I post until five years from now when the itch starts again.

— Thing One —

Let’s get it out of the way… I bought a thing. The thing is a house. I did it all by myself. I am proud of myself for doing this; I’m also terrified! There’s so much to learn and it’s hard not having Mom here, and with Dad being unable to help physically I find myself on Reddit and YouTube a lot, so it feels a little bit like discovering everything on my own. I do have a lot of uncles and aunts who I can call and ask for advice, which I appreciate, but as a person who has an independent streak, it’s hard to ask for advice outside of Mom and Dad.

Another thing I’m learning is that working with vendors is tough! I’ve had so many people not call me back, or come and give a quote and then ghost me afterwards. I thought it was just me until I read other people’s experiences and felt a little seen.

The one thing that I do love about this experience though is the tiny bits of joy that I find when I am looking at something I put together, like the shoe rack at the entrance, or even the simple fact that I now have floodlights and can see outside in the dark.

— Thing Two —

It feels like I’m coming out of a two-year hibernation, and seeing a changed world. Everything changed while I had to deal with loss and uncertainties. And while I know these feelings were not unique to me, seeing everything move forward as I grieved, or tried to figure out “the system” to get my dad the most help has made me want to slip back into hermitage.

I’m so thankful for the friends that I have that have continually reached out to me and kept invitations open while I figured out how to move forward. I will forever be grateful for this family.

Thing Three

Everyone should think of what they are leaving behind for their family. If you have anything – even if you just have a bank account – think of what happens after you pass. I could go into details, but this isn’t something I want to talk about in this format. Maybe in a few months when I have it all sorted in my own head. But estate planning is not just for the old.

Thing Four

Libraries and audiobooks are two of my favourite things. I love owning books, but when my personal library book count hit 800 books I knew I had to slow down. I dream of the library in Beauty and the Beast, but I don’t have the space (yet), so I did the next best thing, became a heavy user of the public library. Since 2020 I’ve borrowed over 200 books from the NYPL (and other public libraries) and almost all of them were audiobooks! It’s amazing the accessibility to audiobooks that the library provides. By reading audiobooks I was able to read 177 books in 2022.

I know it’s sometimes tough to pay attention to an audiobook. I started my audiobook run after getting comfortable listening to podcasts. Since my mind often wanders I had to train it to pay attention to what I was listening to, and the trick I found was to listen to the podcast sped up which in turn made me pay attention to what they were saying. Same with audiobooks – I find that if I listen to them at the speed my mind is thinking I pay a lot more attention than if I listen at 1x speed.

— Thing Five —

Ending on a fun note, Animal Crossing and Spiritfarer helped me through 2020 and 2021. Now cozy games are my favourite gaming genre. There are a few more that I played a lot, but these two really were the games for me and come highly recommended.


But I’ve loved you, and that won’t stop even if I’m not around anymore.

– Spiritfarer

Myomectomy: Afterwards

A lengthy preamble:

The following post provides details of the first four weeks post surgery, including results from my first post-op visit.

I’m writing about my experience in hopes that others can benefit. I’m not a medical expert, this is not to advise you to have a myomectomy. Our bodies are different and it should be a personal decision made with medical consultation on how to treat/remove fibroids. 

Additionally, I hope that anyone who feels like you are alone in your experience, will realize that you are not, and perhaps someone in your acquaintance has silently undergone the same thing. Don’t let anyone judge you for your decision. Also, if you are reading this, I hope you’re not squeamish.

Part 1: Myomectomy: The Prep
Part 2: Myomectomy: The Surgery

Read Time: 11 minutes

[updated 8/6: Clothing and first period]

Weeks 1 & 2:

I read this everywhere and people told me from their own personal experience, so I’m just adding to all the past experiences by saying this: the first two weeks are the hardest.

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Myomectomy: The Surgery

A lengthy preamble:

The following post provides details of the day of the surgery and my two-day stay at the hospital. 

I’m writing about my experience in hopes that others can benefit. I’m not a medical expert, this is not to advise you to have a myomectomy. Our bodies are different and it should be a personal decision made with medical consultation on how to treat/remove fibroids. 

Additionally, I hope that anyone who feels like you are alone in your experience, will realize that you are not, and perhaps someone in your acquaintance has silently undergone the same thing. Don’t let anyone judge you for your decision. Also, if you are reading this, I hope you’re not squeamish.

Part 1: Myomectomy: The Prep

Read Time: 12 minutes

July 6th, 2018

Before the Surgery: We arrived almost an hour early for my check-in appointment. My parents were with me, they wanted to be there when I got out of surgery. Since I completed my check-in forms online the check-in process was easy. I added my mom’s phone number so she could receive text messages when my surgery commenced and  completed. They tagged me and took us up some elevators to another set of waiting rooms.

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