Lack of quality sushi (I don’t remember the last time I ate sushi)
People calling it “Cali”
I’ve sort of wanted to dye my hair super blond again but now I can’t because practically everyone is fake blond there and I can’t be another fake blond
The obnoxious contrarianism that bubbles up in me whenever I am in Utah (see previous bullet)
I’ve been so much thinner since I moved away. Will my face get chubby again? Is it Mom’s dinner rolls?
Snow in April I mean really
Running into people I kind of know and having to decide whether to say hello or not
What if my Bishop supports Donald Trump?
The Real Housewives of Draper (I don’t totally know what I mean here but you know what I mean, right?)
Only one freeway!
Having to explain why we don’t have kids. Not that people ask, but they always want to know.
There is actually a part of infertility treatments that is called “the endoscratch.”
Do you know what I picture when I hear that word? A talon-like fingernail, one that might belong to a Disney villain. The flesh is purple, the fingernail is neon green. It reaches up into the depths of me and HEEECH! I am scratched!
Honestly who can I talk to about rebranding this industry?
I’d wondered what side effects might show up, being that I have been so unnaturally pumped full of female hormones for a good while now.
Then it hit me that a little while back I convinced Scott to watch all 6 hours of the original BBC Pride & Prejudice, and the truth is it didn’t take much convincing at all, and he genuinely enjoyed it!
Maybe he’s just better than I realized, but maybe I’ve gained a superpower? Some lab-test-gone-awry like in all the Marvel movies, and now I am ESTROGIRL and will devour all rom-coms that dare cross my path.
I hear it everywhere I go now, so many times have I sat in that room.
It’s always the same song — calming guitar strums on loop, over and over, so calming and so over-and-over I find myself wanting to scream.
It’s just, could they not get a couple more tracks? Did they not realize how repeatedly most of us would be visiting this office?
At home, at the grocery store, during yoga, in church - I hear the waiting room music everywhere I go and it makes me want to scream.
I sincerely mean this to be a helpful and practical guide for those in need.
Is the refrigerator included?
Is there a dishwasher? (sometimes you assume, and then move in, and then there isn’t)
Are there ceiling lights? (sometimes you assume, and then have to live in semi-darkness)
Is the water pressure in the shower akin to someone gently pouring a cup of water onto my head?
At night, will there be a street light that shines directly in our bedroom window?
How much does a load of laundry cost?
Has someone died in this apartment?
What, exactly, is a flour beetle?
8a: And also a silverfish?
Are there rabid raccoons that like to brawl outside my window at night?
How many minutes will it take to walk from our parking spot to my door?
Will the pool be under construction for the duration of my stay here?
Has anyone burned down one of the buildings because they were growing marijuana?
Are there plans to cut down all the surrounding trees so it becomes scorchingly hot during the afternoons?
Are there plans to suddenly sell the unit so we have to move?
We moved this weekend because of number 14. I’m really sad about it. Think I’ll dump some flour beetles in our final rent check.
A thought I’ve been having lately that is probably obvious but feels important is that sometimes you like people who turn out to be insane.
What I mean by insane is likely a very incorrect usage, i.e. that their opinions on religion or politics are horribly wrong.
You know the moment — there’s that new acquaintance from work or church who you friended online and it was all going well until that one post that was like WHOAH, so I guess they’re insane. Huh. Didn’t expect that.
I think what I do after discovering the insanity is important. Whether from now on each time I encounter them I’m like, “Oh hey John (YOU’RE INSANE) how did your Tough Mudder go?” And then walk away mentally mumbling about people like John. Or if I’m like, “Blah blah how was the Tough Mudder, oh and remind me where are you from? Huh, what was it like growing up there?”
It sounds obvious, but I guess I’ve realized how bad I am at doing it, and how much easier it is to simply write John off as being nuts. It sounds obvious but I think it’s important, like I think maybe the fate of the world depends on it.
Maybe it’s simpler than we thought, and the fate of the world really just depends on being friends with people who are insane?
It is ugly but true that in my lowest moments of infertility I’ve said to myself, well at least my body still looks good.
(Whatever that means.)
Vanity allows me to take comfort there, but its solace is in vain, as ideally the thing I want to happen will negate the very thing I comfort myself with now.
It is an impossible paradigm I’ve set up for myself, but hasn’t it always felt impossible to be a woman?
It is odd timing, but we’re reading about pregnant Mary in church this week. Every time I read her story, I always stick on that phrase: “the days were accomplished.” I’m sure this wording is merely a product of many translations, but it always makes me laugh a little, because it seems like the opposite of “time flies.”
I like imagining Mary dictating the passage, riding on her awful donkey through hot dusty streets. I like imagining her refusing to write how everything was great! Or that things were moving right along! “The days were accomplished” sounds as though she felt the full measure of every tedious minute. I like imagining that she wanted us to know it.
Without presuming to equate myself with the Mother of God, I do relate to this tedious passage of time. Because there is no fast-forwarding my fertility journey. Sure, I can decide whether to do more treatments or not. I can do things, or not, that may someday result in pregnancy. But the time will not fly.
The tests will be taken. The cycles will come to pass. The days will be accomplished, and I will feel the full measure of every one.
The last year has taught me so much about pain, specifically my own expectations that pain should be neat and tidy. I want pain to come like a runner’s hurdles — a clear challenge I can see coming, then jump over with a big push and go sprinting off into flat ground.
The last year has shown me the many ways pain can twist. There has been disagreement that won’t resolve. Death I can’t mourn. Life I can’t celebrate. It has not been the pain of clean cuts but of rug burns, angry and stinging and all the more confusing because there isn’t even any blood.
As it turns out, pain is less like a hurdle and more that TV show Wipeout. And my only hope now is to gird myself with the foam helmet of God and the thick life vest of yoga as I go, not sprinting elegantly over my trials, but stumbling from gauntlet to gauntlet.
One night mid-December Scott walked in the kitchen to find me shakily magnet-ing Christmas Cards onto the fridge, a single tear shining down my cheek. “Are you…ok?” he asked. I was not. People were too happy in their dumb Christmas cards.
He looked down at the stack waiting on the counter, thumbing through them to find the sadness perhaps only the two of us could see in so many smiling children. And then he threw them in the trash.
But! I protested. Those are our people! They belong on our fridge!
Except they really don’t, not this year.
It’s funny because I’m the one doing all the yoga, the one teaching yoga and telling my classes to “let go of what doesn’t serve them.” I’d even gone through the internal debate as I opened each festive envelope, surprised as each drew me closer to tears, thinking, should I stop opening these?
But of course I didn’t. Instead I decided to give them a permanent spot on the fridge, where they could make me miserable breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
It’s just that I’ve loved this tradition since I was a little girl, when Mom would tape our massive pile of Christmas Cards on the side wall of our kitchen, filling it top to bottom. I have loved hearing from friends since I’ve moved away, seeing their families grow.
I’ve always loved Christmas Cards, but they no longer serve me.
Thanks to Scott, they’re in the trash.
You can’t write a book if you’re spending too much time on Twitter.
You can’t sell your book if you don’t have a million Twitter followers.
Woe, woe, woe is she.
It’s the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year and tragedy is all around me.
Each time I get online it seems there’s another blow, another GoFundMe account for another friend’s hellish circumstance that leaves me sick. I find myself naively wondering, have things gotten worse? Do I just know more? Is this growing up?
Can I go about my season of joy knowing so many are suffering? Trickier - can I feel sad or stressed about parts of my life when others suffer more?
I find myself fleeing to my yoga mat, which I fret will sound first-world, but I think I go because it is a space to practice duality. Inhale and exhale. Comfort in discomfort. Holding still in a pose while activating every muscle in my body.
Over and over life has tried to teach me it is not a linear journey from bad to good, crowned with one final happy ending. It’s up and down, sometimes at once. It’s gratitude amidst heartache. Finding a way to hold my joy and yours, my sorrow as well as yours, without giving into the urge to compare them or name one of us winner.
But I wonder if I will ever fully learn it. If I will ever stop hoping for that easier turn in my or your story - the deus ex machina where Dumbledore is here! Gandalf is here! Some Santa Claus is finally here, and the good guys, the chosen people will be plucked from our peril after all.
I recently realized I’ve been attempting to conceive for almost the exact period of time you-know-who has been on the political scene, and suddenly it all makes sense. Suddenly the anger fades, replaced by a calm glow of understanding.
I’m not being punished, or having my patience tried; I may not even have anything physiologically wrong with me. Maybe my baby is simply looking down from whatever cosmic cloud he/she inhabits and is like, “yeah, no.”
Today I got caught staring at a little kid.
He was just so cute with his chubby cheeks and little sneakers, but then the parents caught me looking and suddenly I felt like a creep. I felt new sympathy for Michael Scott, because some of us have good intentions and just can’t catch a break.
I am always surprised by the moments God decides to show up.
Like last night when a dear yoga buddy decided to take my class and then afterward we realized both of us were planning to spend the night Netflixing alone (Scott was out of town and she is newly single).
And so we saw a spontaneous movie and felt all of the feelings and afterward sat in her car and talked and cried and wondered, are we sad or was it that movie?
And either way it was so lovely to have a cry with a friend who’s in such a different life boat but it feels like you’re rowing together.
For a long time I struggled with body confidence because I was basing it on what my body looked like, and my body did not look like I perceived it should.
When I got into yoga, I switched metrics and started basing confidence on what my body could do. I'm not talking about handstands (still can't do those) but more the feeling of growth, and knowing my body is stronger today than it was yesterday. It felt healthy to base my relationship with my body on what it was capable of rather than what it looked like.
But now my body is incapable. It's not doing the thing it is supposed to be doing, the thing a female body is uniquely designed to do, and I'm back to not knowing how to feel about my body, or even how to measure how to feel about it.
A little voice in me says, "be grateful for your body! that it even breathes is a miracle!" This voice has a good point, and I would like to be convinced by it. But a much louder voice tells me my body is a thing to be measured, and in so many ways measuring is easier because it is tangible. Numbers and sizes and poses are facts. A pregnant body is pretty hard to miss. But grace and gratitude are intangible and I have never known how to see them as being as important as numbers or facts.
I never wanted to be a young mom. It never crossed my mind that the alternative meant being an old one.
It's been quite a week. One of those where if you get 40% of your workload done and don't start crying at the grocery store, you count it as success.
And then last night I was supposed to go to a Young Women's activity and I really didn't want to because I am new in YW and don't know people and I'd had cramps for twelve hours.
And then I went, and we met up at the church and everyone acted like they'd known me forever. And we went to the beach and as we walked out to the water, a dolphin jumped in a perfect arc, like it was freaking Lisa Frank.
And then we sat and hung out and watched the girls play in the waves and took terrible photos of the sunset and I felt so grateful for this aspect of Mormonism, how you can move anywhere in the world and have a place that feels like home.
But in my worst moments I want to drive down to the local high school and tell all the kids to just go crazy having unprotected sex. Have tons of sex with no protection with anyone and everyone you want because sex doesn't work and you won't get pregnant and you'll never use Geometry in real life and most of the cool kids will grow up to be losers and everything they've told you is a lie.