Monday, March 15, 2010

The Evolution of a {Wo}man

On the promise that I would love this class from one of my oldest friends, I happily signed up for an anthropology class. Now, with the midterm only one day away, I'm beginning to wonder how my friend could've been so wrong.

It's evolution. It's all about evolution.

I can have spoken by mind, stated my peace to my class and teacher, but I get ridiculed for my beliefs, and points taken off on exams. I hate this class.

You can only hear the words "65 million years ago" so many times in your lifetime.

I'm about to calm all your fears, I do NOT beleive in evoluion (nor will I ever!), but I'm running out of ways to convince everyone else. They have really good reasons for believing in what they do, and only the small, but ever present warm glow in my heart telling me that God invented the world about 6,000 years ago keeps me from beleiving it too.

Currently, I'm sitting in Panera Bread in the same booth I've been at for the past two hours trying to cram all this nonsense into my head for the midtem tomorrow. It's been an internal struggle with myself, because 1/2 of me wants to get a good grade but the other 1/2 doesn't want to remember all this garbage. This has been one of the hardest semesters of my life, and I'm not only talking about classes and homework.

There's this Mamma Mia song called "Our Last Summer", and a line in the song says, "I can still recall our last summer". Well, if we're recalling summer, I had an extra twin hanging around the house, backing me up with Mom and Dad and reinforcing my beliefs about evolution and Obama and that kind of crap. I had a best friend at my beck and call, and was in almost constant contact with three other friends.

Fast forward 213 days (how long my twin has been out of the house), I'm currently friendless. I sit at home alone most nights, with only myself and Wilbur (my stuffed pig) to keep me company. My "Best" friend is a three year old drool monster, who calls me his sweetheart and sings Michael Frante's "(Say Hey) I Love You" to me. :) I'm his babysitter. There is a good side to all this, his parents are basically putting me through college with extra to go around. But I wouldn't call it a fair trade for my friends being gone. I still don't understand what happened there, all of a sudden it seemed I didn't deserve decent, "Hi, I miss you" text message.

But these past few months I've done more things than I knew I was capable of. I wrote paper in an hour and a half at midnight, I racked up my bank account to a respectable number, smiled more than I ever thought possible when my nieces and nephews come over, basically learned how to keep a house running in absence of my mom's walking ability, and heard the phrase "You're going to be a great wife and mother" over and over agian. But most of all I've learned I can depend on myself for most stuff. I learned to grow up (OK, maybe not all the way. I still have a Disney Princess room...), and now I'm learning that the things I can not do, I have to have to have to give that to Jesus. It's a long, tiresome, lonely process, but hopefully in the long run I'll be proud of myself and better off for it.

*If my professor read this, he would probably say that I have evolved into higher evolutionary thinking, then I would probably look at him and laugh. But truth be told, I have evolved. I have "developed or achieved" a new sense of looking at the world, and the lonesome circumstances around me. I have evolved a new woman {for myself}.

"If so many are lonely that seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone". -- Tennessee Williams.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


February 2, Groundhog Day: anyone within the borders of the United States should be able to tell you that. But within my family, it means something else. You see today marks the day that I am cancer free.

My type of cancer hits kids young, a sick joke played on the littlest victims. They call it retinoblastoma, cancer of the retina. I was "fortunate" to get the kind that isn't genetic, and they caught it in time so that it only injured one eye, and I'm alive. I could have ended my life before my 2nd birthday, but I'm here now. This is the day I'm cancer free: then why am I crying?

I know. I know I should be happy, I know I should've spent the whole day smiling and telling everyone I come across that I'm the luckiest girl in the whole wide world. But I don't feel lucky-- pretty much the exact opposite.

I was little. I was just a baby, but somehow I remember it. Not all of it, of course, but I remember my hospital room. I remember crying in the exam rooms for my mom, and trying to lie still in a MRI machine clutching my stuffed bunny in my small hands. I remember the Beauty and the Beast wall decoration in the waiting room, and the calming presence of my mom and my Aunt Julie in the hospital. I remember all those things. I can think about them whenever I want to, or even when I do not want to. So why should it be any different that everyday I remember that I lost my eye to this terrible disease? Why do people find it so hard to believe that everyday I think about how different I am from the people I know, and why it's so hard for me to let it go?
I like February 2nd because I know for sure it's the only other day when other people are thinking about my cancer, and not just me. That may sound bad, but it's such a huge burden in my life, and I've had to carry it alone for 364 days out of every year for 17 years. How does the grudge and memory even last that long?

As if the memories of my treatments aren't hard enough, my battle scar is bold and visible to the whole world. It comes in the form of a glass eye; painted closely enough to resemble my regular eye, but glossy and painful enough that people notice that something is different about me. Everyone knows the feeling that someone is staring at you, maybe in a restaurant, or riding the bus, but most times you can feel someone else's eyes on you. Try multiplying that by ten, and having it happen to you every time you go out. Then see if you feel lucky or not.

I hate being different. I hate it almost as much as I hate the fact that I had cancer. I don't want to play the martyr, or the victim, but I can't see any good in this, I only see that I got screwed. This eye has brought me nothing but pain over these past 17 years now that I've had to deal with it, and I'm sick of it.

I'm tired of not feeling pretty. I'm tired of being different. I'm tired of going to doctors appointments to hear terms like "your deformity" or "more surgery can maybe fix your face, Little Miss". Those words cut me deeper than any surgeon's blade ever could.
But I'm also tired of living behind my glass eye. I'm tired of being defined by it. I'm tired of using it as an excuse. I'm tired of be threatened by it. I'm just over all tired of having it. I live only a fraction of what I could actually live, because I don't want the world to see how different my disease has made me.

Being cancer free today is bittersweet. Thank you Jesus I have this day to celebrate, and the wonderful day I do have. But I need to know why. I need to know why I'm so, incredibly, different, if I'm ever going to come out of my shadow.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Livin' the Bella Vita?

Do you ever wonder when your life is going to begin and then realize it already has? I do. That's happened to me quite a bit recently. I'm always waiting for the next thing to happen, thinking that my new (cool) college life will begin shortly. But, alas, these pathetic events all strung together have become my life; and I myself a mere pawn in it.

Do you ever find out that what you've been praying on behalf of for the last 6 years gets worse? I do. The situation and the possible outcomes all jump a million miles higher, and instead you're left to square one-- again.

Do you ever wonder how things can honestly get better because you can only picture how everything gets worse? I do.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Prolonging the Un-thinkable

Wow! I haven't posted for a while because I thought I had forgotten my password. As it turns out, that was not true, but I did forget my user name. :) Not that it matters entirely much, my blog isn't as hoppin' as Cake Wrecks, or ... But in case you were wondering, I'll let you in on what I've been up to.
* College. College, college, college. When I first started the whole process, I took a loose-leaf piece of notebook paper and flipped through a Christian College magazine and jotted down any college that sounded fancy or worth my while. I came up with about 15 different schools, and my next step was to see how many had my intended degree; art. :) With about 12 left on my list (I should mention here that College of DuPage was NOT included in this query), I set out to find how far away these institutions were. OK, cross off George Fox University and Gordon. Trinity in Palos Heights looks pretty decent, and I would love to go to Olivet since I know people there! . . . Needless to say all of my schools were shut down, and I HAVE to go to College of Dupage. COD. College of Dreams, College of Dummies. And with my twin sister heading off to St. Louis Christian College (with the blessing of my parents!) is harder than I like to admit. I wasn't allowed to go away, and I don't even know why. I just hope that it is for the best.
* Speaking of twins, mine is heading of to SLCC in less than three weeks. We've never been apart for longer than a week, I don't know how I'll be without her for a whole semester. I guess we've always known this day would come (Personally I thought it'd be because our own families had grown too big to share one house anymore), and we would finally have to learn how to be apart. I can't talk to Erin about this, because it freaks her out. She tells me not to think about it, she says that it only makes it sound worse. . . I don't know how it can be any worse. It's gonna be the worst thing ever, and I know that if it comes and I'm not prepared for it by thinking and talking it out, that it'll kill me. Although it doesn't help my twin to talk things out, it most certainly helps me. The problem here, obviously, is that we can't compromise (My friends say that Erin and I are preparing each other for marriage b/c we're already used to compromising so much :D). Either we talk, or don't. She wins, or I win. So here I am, ready to fall apart because I literatly feel like a part of me will be missing in three weeks.
Who will get me chapstick when I'm sick? Or kill a moth in my room at two am? Who will correct my spelling or tell me I'm using the wrong word? I am woman enough to admit that when I'm sick, I can't do anything. I'm the biggest baby ever, so I have my Erin get me water, and medicine, and change the Gilmore Girl DVD for me. I can't kill moths because I'm deathly afraid of them, and once I know one is in my room it's under the covers for me! I love to write (and as you can see I have a lot to say!) but my grammer n speelin is somewat lackin'. . . ;)
Honestly, I don't know how I'm going to be in 3 weeks. Erin is going to be fine. She's a trooper, and I'm probably overly excited for her. But, although older, I'm much more the "baby", and I depend on her for so much (you know, moth killing and all). And I just don't know, if she'll ever realize how much I love her and how much it's killing me to see her leave.
* I did know this day would come; I just hoped it wouldn't be here until a much later date.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Morning

Today I woke up at 10:30. Ten THIRTY! But when I was younger, that never would've happened. You see on Saturdays, even though it was your one day a week to sleep in, you never would. Why? Because of Saturday Morning T.V. shows, because they were so great.

When I was growing up, Saturday morning had it's own theme song, "Five hours of summer, once a week! (One Saturday Morning...)" Not only were the cartoons and child soap operas helpful in everyday life, but even the commericals were chalk full of information. You would find out what new Hot Wheels race car track was "IN STORES NOW!" Or that the new 'Real Life Doll' that could actually wet herself. These commericals would be the bulk of what I put on my Christmas Lists every year. And somehow I always thought that all the cool girl toys would be waiting for me under the Christmas Tree that year, and even the cool boy toys I'd still get to play with, because my cousin Luke would somehow magically get those. It didn't matter that every Christmas came and went without the doll that could pee her pants, those commericals still proved to be sometimes more entertaining than the shows sometimes. It's sad to see how far Saturday Morning has come: From George and Jane Jetson, to Lizzie McGuire, now to Miley Cirus Pop-diva sensation (whatever).

It's times like these when I wish change didnt' have to happen. Why do Powerpuff Girls who replaced Bonkers get replaced by Dora the Explorer? And when did Barney turn gay? I don't know. All I know is I am so thankful for my saturday morning cartoons-theme song and all. I will never forget waking up at 7 am (yikes) to go downstairs with my cereal to watch 'How Much Stuff Can an Elephant Crush'. And I'm so glad that I know the Jonas Brothers, Kevin, Joe and Nick (aka Curly, Cocky and Oldest), are just copy cats of the Lawrence Brothers: Joe, Matt and Andy. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is Sprung

When we were little, my mom would sing us this little tune that her dad, my Grandpa Giba used to sing to let us know when it was spring. And although it isn't technically spring, I thought it was the most spring like day we've had yet. It goes like this, "Spring is sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where the flowers is?" :) it doesn't make that much sense in theory, but I like it, and I will probably say it to my children one day.

Also, tonight, being St. Patrick's Day, our family always (usually) gets together with the Baumgartens. Well a stupid, stupid, someone that Community School of the Arts (where I take my watercolor class every Tuseday night) should have spring break next week, when it is spring, rather than on a holiday. I'm; sooo bummed that I have to miss family and food, two of my favorite things in the world. :) But I am learning a lot in my class. My teacher is wonderful, so nice and she's a really talented artist. She helped me make the Riverdance picture, she gave me lots of tips, and it wasn't even a painting that I did for class, it was one that my friend asked me to paint. I was really greatful for her tips, and I think it came out pretty well. :)

I hope everyone has a good St. Patty's Day. ERIN GO BRAUGH! (I think that's it).
-Happy birthday brother Chris!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Forgotten Passwords

Well, needless to say I have one password for everything. It's awesome, I use it for my banking, facebook, myspace, e-mails, everything and anything. However, it is too short to use for my blog. Alas, I had to think up a new one, and that was just...not good. Anyways, I have a new password now, and I think I will remember it from now on. ;)

I have to work on getting new pictures up. I want one of my face and not just Hawaii. But Erin must help me with that, so I'll have to do that when I get home. Also on my to-do list back at the ranch; a shower. Niiice. I woke up too late this morning to wash my hair, and I had to go babysitting, so I just threw on a hat. Pretty hilarious.

Also, today is my mom's surgery. She broke her left-top (sorry, I don't know what this bone is called...I should ask Anna) arm bone by just lifting normal things. Her bones became so fragile from all the chemo they're pumping in to her. When she was complaining about her arm hurting we were all afraid is was the cancer spreading again. And thank you JESUS that is was broken. Even though it is awful, we are so happy to see that Jesus still keeps it from spreading.