Saturday, September 29, 2012

in which i decide to be a food blogger and then realize i kind of suck at it

today was kind of awesome because I ran a lot and then I ran with Simba a lot too, so we were both so wiped out we napped for like three hours straight, and it was just glorious. I also Kept Up With The Kardashians and studied at the library and interviewed expert grillers for a class and checked out a new thrift store and cashed in a couple of checks ($150, holla!). So, just a good day all around.

it was also a good day because I sort of cooked (baked?) a Debbie-fied pizza, which I've been craving for like, three hundred years. That's what happens when you can't have cheese.

I had a teensy bit of lactaid cottage cheese left in the fridge, so I decided to put it to good use by giving this recipe a shot!



I do have to note that I used a little bit of creative license, since my main problem with cooking is that I am so ravenous that I am too impatient to let the stupid thing cook all the way through. That's why I'm going to get salmonella one day if I keep doing this with chicken.

at the moment I am being a grandma, sipping on my chai tea and contemplating working on my, ahem, "novel" (that feels like an all too important task for little old me, but it's kind of sort of coming along). But you know, perhaps one of the cool kids will text me with hawt plans for tonight, so wherever the night takes me, I say.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

the day i decided to write a novel {again}

last winter, while waiting for a flight to Athens at the dingy, food-less (the horror) Mykonos airport, a lightbulb went off in my head. Sort of. But really, I suddenly had this novel in my mind, this main character, and it was all unraveling (or, rather, I was spouting off word vomit to my dad and little sister, who, to be fair, were really good sports about it). We all got really into it, actually, offering possible scenarios and characters and ways in which the plot could thicken even thicker (it was already pretty damn thick, but you know).

then I got home, and I may have tried to start writing, oh, you know, once or twice. But then I chickened out. C-O-M-M-I-T-M-E-N-T. P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E F-A-I-L-U-R-E.*

*wuss.

when I was 12, I wrote crappy novel after crappier novel after crappiest novel. My sister pretended to read them. My main characters had cool names. Like Sanne and Emma (hey, I thought that was real original back then, okay?). Not like Debbie, which I still think is a name better suited for an 80s high school cheerleader with one of those poofy perms that is just out of control.

obviously, at the time, I thought I was a way better writer than I actually am (and certainly than I actually was).

anyway! Today I realized how bored I am on a daily basis. I go to class. I feed Simba. I yell at Simba. I tell Simba to stop shitting in the house. I go on a run. I contemplate signing up for a 5K and then think of how embarrassing it would be to be the last one crossing the finish line. I ditch the 5K idea. I go to class again. I eat peanut butter. I nap. I blog. I work, if there is any work to do. I yell at my boyfriend for not texting me back. I text Simba pictures to my boyfriend's sister and my sister and my dad and every single one of my contacts. I read. I watch Mad Men (or Teen Mom or Dance Moms. Real quality television). I do homework. I drink coffee.

buuuuuut I am bored!

the truth is that life was so much more exciting when I was doing gymnastics. But I am not anymore. Because I cannot will my back to un-injure itself, as much as I try to pretend. I guess I will write about this some other day. Maybe. It's upsetting.

so so so!

I have officially decided to put my big girl panties on and write the stupid novel. Yep. I'm putting it out there so that I can be kept accountable. Possible internet shame should be enough motivation, don't you think?

okay. So I'm doing it. I'll write in my room and at Starbucks and from the balcony with a side of coffee or chai tea. P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

i guess i'm, like, published

here here!

and by the way, I nearly had a panic attack when it went up on the website. Obviously a part of me still believes that everyone else is thinking "liar liar!" just like my mother did. But thankfully, all of the comments have been incredibly supportive and beautiful and I am proud of myself for writing about what I've been through. Maybe someone else will feel less alone.

if anything, it was cathartic for me (when I wrote it. Which was months ago).

I love writing. I want to be a writer.

the end.

p.s. if you are Jewish and fasting, I hope you're having an easy fast. Which I am not, since that would be one big Crohn's mess that I am sure I do not want to deal with (well, at least that's what my dad and my roommates and my boyfriend said. DO NOT FAST ARE YOU CRAZY!? So I'm taking their word for it).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

things that make me happy, v. i

I've been in a pretty foul mood these past two days (except for a few moments of coffee-induced euphoria), so instead of writing a long, rant-y post about my greatest faults and shortcomings as a person (of which I have many, I assure you...), I have decided to list a few things that are making me happy as of late. Deal?


{so I've been meaning to take photos with a real camera, but I cannot, for the life of me, find my DSLR battery, my instax mini is sadly broken, and I do not have any polaroid film...so instagram it is for now. Follow me at @debbiele03 if you wish! But I'm not that interesting...I mostly post pictures of Simba because I am one of those mothers that is convinced her child is the greatest in the world.}

{1} my new elephant mug! I found the coolest store in Hartford with handmade objects from all around the world, all from developing countries. I could've been in there all day. I love stuff like that -- way more than I love, say, thrifting, actually.

{2} feeling surprisingly un-overwhelmed by the future. This doesn't happen often, so I guess I will milk it while it lasts. I am just starting to feel that things will work out one way or another, and right now I really do not have much control over anything other than how hard I've been working to make my dreams happen, so what use is worrying, really?

{3} I slept nine hours last night! Admittedly, I took Nyquil because I am sick, but still...

{4} a fellow classmate telling me that they really loved a story I wrote after the professor (figuratively, not literally) ripped it to shreds.

{5} the fact that after 21 years of life, I am finally able to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. I don't understand why I ever hated it before.

{6} getting a job that I am really excited about (I get to write! About the things I love!)! I mean, how many people can say that about their college job, really?

{7} finally figuring out what to do with my hair so that I can trick people into thinking that it has volume. Groundbreaking stuff, people.

{8} the fact that Simba will be neutered soon. Yes. I really can't deal with this any longer. Psh, teenage boys.

{9} today, instead of listening to I Heart Radio on my morning run, I put Beyonce on shuffle. IT WAS THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE.

{10} starting a new book. Hopefully my brain will not be too mushy by the end of each day to read, because that tends to happen with college.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

deep thoughts on a night of drinking

when I first began my "recovery" (and I use this term loosely as I was so reluctant) from anorexia as a senior in high school, I followed a terribly strict meal plan, complete with measurements and exact portions (good God, who has the time to measure vegetables!?). I ate the same three meals and two snacks day in and day out. While I was entrenched in my eating disorder, I became a hermit of sorts, locking myself up in the upstairs room, reading pro-ana websites (freedom of speech my ass -- those websites are dangerous and should be illegal) and counting calories. As part of my recovery, I was encouraged to go out with friends, just like I used to before my illness completely took over my life.

so one day, I did.

I was terrified. I promised myself I wouldn't drink -- calories! I packed my dinner (chicken, vegetables, brown rice), even though we were headed to a fair where there would surely be delicious (albeit fatty) options.

my friends (to be honest, at that point I had drifted too far apart from everyone to really consider them close friends) and I rented a "party bus" (keep in mind I grew up in Costa Rica, so this scenario is entirely plausible -- I was also of legal age there) and the drinking started right away.

it is kind of impossible to resist a drink when you've got 20 rowdy teenagers urging you on (peer pressure at its finest, no?), especially when you are too ashamed to admit to the real reason you aren't drinking: you're freaking terrified to get fat. Liquid calories! Empty calories!

so I did what I thought I "had" to do, my "only choice."

I flushed my dinner down the toilet. That way, I could make up for any (or most) calories I consumed when drinking (never mind the fact that drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea).

when I got home, my dad asked me, "Did you eat dinner?" and I said, completely straight-faced, "Yeah, obviously."

an eating disorder is an expert liar.

I think back to this day and I cringe a little.

so what was that about? The point of this is not to give anyone any ideas (of course not), or to let everyone know what a sad life I lived back then. Nope. The point of this is to remind myself of how lucky and glad I am that I am finally able to let go, have a drink or two or three, and maybe even order a pizza on the side -- you know those drunk munchies are vicious.

I had a fabulous time last night with my boyfriend and his friends here in Connecticut. So what if I feel like crap this morning? I'll only be 21 once (reincarnation aside, obviously).

how things have changed.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

a post about fantastic quotes

lucky for me, I hear fantastic things on a daily basis. If these things are particularly fantastic, I try to make a mental note in my head to jot them down later. Or I bust out the handy dandy iPhone. It's 2012. Get with it.

"I thought Kate and Prince William got divorced."
"Um no?"
"Well that's not what the Egyptian news said!"

"all I'm saying is, the CrossFit Games would be a lot more fun if they had an elliptical competition."
"or the stair master!"

"so what did you guys do this weekend?"
...
"no one? Well, I guess I'll go then. I went to a cat show."
"what's a cat show? Like, a dog show?"
"yeah, but they don't do tricks. They just sort of sit there to be admired."
"can you pet them?"
"no, well -- you have to ask for permission."
"how did you even hear about this?"
"another professor and her boyfriend invited me...so, basically, I was the third wheel at a cat show."

"hey girl, what's your dog's name?"
"Simba."
"did you know Simba means lion in Swahili?"
"yeah, I actually knew that."
"well, are you gonna ask me how I know that?
"um...sure. How do you know that?"
"I'm fluent in Swahili." -- says the drunk white kid that wants to get me to sleep with him
"...okay."

"...and then I decided a career in math was not for me, so I went to the CIA and tried to pass the test to become a spy in the Soviet Union, since I was already fluent in Russian."

"Daaaaamn, what happened to your foot?"
"I broke it."
"Daaamn, I know how you feel. That sucks."
"I know, especially in New York City."
"Right, 'cause you have to walk everywhere. I'm just like you; I got shot, so that's why I walk with a limp."
"..."

{okay, so obviously this was when I had a broken foot and that one obviously is not funny, per se, but more like oh my God I am so sorry you got shot and I am so sorry you have to carry heavy boxes around all day for your job on a bad leg and no, getting shot in the leg and breaking your foot is so not the same thing}

Thursday, September 20, 2012

sometimes i play around the internets...

...especially late at night, when I cannot, for the life of anything that is holy on this planet, sleep (sometime, I will have to write a long, rant-y post about how much I despise insomnia. I also despise how I cannot take Ambien because apparently my body just loves to become addicted to everything; read: starvation, scales, losing weight, and that one time I took Vicodin for five days because a suitcase fell on my head and got the nastiest withdrawal symptoms as soon as I got off it). So I peruse the internet in the wee hours of the morning (two, three, four in the morning -- ugh), and sometimes, every once in a while, I will find some cool stuff.

stuff that I will link to, because frankly, it's cooler than my blog, so you should all spend time over there, rather than here (although I will not flatter myself and think that anybody actually spends time here, but you know).

+ soulpancake ! Have any of you heard of this? I actually didn't find this one (I'm not about to take credit for something I didn't do), but my boss told me about it, and yeah, it's kind of cheesy, but I like happy things! And speaking of happy, I can already tell I will love my new job. It's awesome. I'd love to do something similar to this out of college -- because I'd pretty much get to write about what I love to write about all day (in addition to doing some other pretty nifty things). One can only hope?!

a personal favorite of mine...


+ Suzy's shop ! She's done some illustrating for Vitality, and she is a fantastic, witty writer, but for some reason I only just discovered her shop. I'm obsessed with her iPhone cases.

+ I am the loser that still has hope that there'll be a Friends reunion someday, so this made me happy (thanks, Alyssa! I love you and our conversations). I mean, seriously speaking, though, I've never asked a guy to go on a break because I know how well that turned out for Rachel...

...I almost wish I was joking.

"it's not that common, it doesn't happen to every guy, and it is a big deal" -- Ha. Ha. Ha.

+ yes, this ! How about exercise for the sake of getting to know our bodies, rather than burning calories? As a disgustingly competitive person, this is inspiring -- and a mindset that I should adopt myself.

anddddd...that's it. For now, I think. But it's Thursday night (the weekend in the world of college), so I suppose I should go have some fun and save my other posts for another day (like, how interviewing a girl with alopecia just changed my life -- I'm actually really excited about this one...). So, stay tuned, I guess?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

weight

I've been thinking a lot about my former eating disorder, if only because it feels so far removed from the person that I am now. I've been writing about it, talking about it, thinking about it, doing all I can to help friends in need.

it's strange, because for a long time -- and I am talking, two, three years post-eating disorder -- I still strongly identified myself as "anorexic" or "former anorexic" or even "EDNOS" (although I never truly liked EDNOS, mostly because it never sounded as serious to me -- what a huge, irrational misconception, really, but I suppose eating disorders are ruthless, so you start to believe that one can never be sick enough). 

and now I don't feel like I ever had an eating disorder. Which is a good thing, I think.

I gained a little weight recently. Nothing significant at all, certainly not enough for anyone else to notice but me. But -- here's the strange thing -- although I will not lie and say that I don't mind it, because I do a bit, as I'm sure a lot of others would, it just doesn't feel like the end of the world anymore. In my mind, it only means that if I go back to my usual healthy habits, it will fall right off without a problem, and it just isn't a big deal. And then I move on and think about other things.

that's right -- the world won't be any different if I weigh a little less or a little more. What a novelty thought.

I have no idea why I ever thought it was so complicated, as a 15, 16, 17, and 18-year-old. There is no reason that stepping on a scale should ever be so nerve-wracking. 

I have no desire to look ill anymore. I am too busy chasing other dreams, I guess. 

this all just makes me so sad for the person that I was, so trapped inside my own head. I'm really glad I got better.

I hope and pray that my friends do too.

Monday, September 17, 2012

to a new year

I do not consider myself a religious person, at all. Spiritual, yes, but not religious. I have two small Buddhas in my room; evil eyes and hamsas adorning me everywhere. Sometimes, I am really bothered by organized religion, if only because people in this world can't seem to grow up and love, appreciate, and accept each other's differences. I think that many religions have so much amazing culture in them, and it's sad to me that religion is so often used for harm, rather than good.

I don't think I'll ever truly feel comfortable in any house of worship. I don't know. I pray to God every day, but I feel like that relationship is between me and him, you know? And if you feel differently, that's totally okay too.

anyway, it's the Jewish new year. And I have to say, it truly does feel like a fresh start to me.

I am happier with the person that I am than I have been in a long, long time.
I feel that my life is finally heading in a direction that makes me excited to wake up in the morning.
I can say with certainty that I have let go of the toxic people in my life. It took a long, long time, but I no longer think of them, I know longer worry that they will judge me. I know they do, and who the fuck cares, really? I am me, and really, that's all there is to it.
I'm finally getting a handle on my insomnia, which is hard to believe tonight since I am up at 4:00 in the morning, but that might just be the second cup of coffee I had...

anyway! I am just here to say shana tova umetukah! Which means, have a good and sweet year! I have a feeling it will be a great one.

Friday, September 14, 2012

myspace throwback

back in the days of Myspace (that's right, before Facebook was where the cool kids were), I loved filling out those surveys that were always floating around. Maybe because I was a narcissist*, but probably because I spent half of my life locked in a room upstairs, exercising on a shitty elliptical machine, or just being plain bored (in other words, I don't think I was a narcissist back then because I really didn't love myself, like at all).

*you know, all that talking about yourself and such.

today I saw this little survey on well and cheaply, and I've decided to fill it out, maybe because I'm a narcissist, but definitely because I'm bored.


A. Age: 21
B. Bed size: at home, queen. Here, a full, I believe?
C. Chore that you hate: ugh, the laundry, hands down. Especially because here, I have to walk down to the creepy basement.
D. Dogs: Simba. And all these little devils.
E. Essential start to your day: oatmeal, banana (sometimes an apple), peanut butter. Yes.
F. Favorite color: turquoise, doi.
G. Gold or Silver: I used to be a silver person, but now I'm all about the gold.
H. Height: 5'2
I. Instruments you play: I mean, I played the flute in elementary school; does that count? No? Shucks.
J. Job title: student, freelance writer, social media something something (no, this is actually a real job -- like, doing social media for someone else, not myself -- but I actually can't remember the official job title), editor?
K. Kids: someday.
L. Live: I'm everywhere. 
M. Mother’s name: hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
N. Nicknames: uh, Deb? I guess.
O. Overnight hospital stays: er, asthma when I was little, some eye infection when I was little, appendicitis? I believe that is all. 
P. Pet peeves: nagging, when tags are visible, split ends, when my o's or zeros aren't perfectly round, when people think they are really knowledgeable about things that they actually do not understand especially if I know a bit about them, guilt trips, when people don't text/message/email back, Jewish American Princesses, when curly pubic-like hairs pop up on your head out of nowhere, rudeness, unnecessary Facebook notifications...I sound like such an angry person.
Q. Quote from a movie: I'll use one from a book instead: "Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt," Slaughterhouse-Five
R. Right or left handed: right.
S. Siblings: just the weetle one.
T. Time you wake up:  whenever my insomnia fancies.
U. Underwear: yes?
V. Vegetable you hate: green beans, squash
W. What makes you run late: I really hate being late but Simba when he refuses to poop in a timely fashion
X. X-Rays you’ve had: a million of my back, feet, knees...?
Y. Yummy food that you make: I mean, my oatmeal is practically gourmet
Z. Zoo animal: do you even have to ask? Elephants...

feel free to play along. I promise I won't think you're a narcissist.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

dog shaming

I always vowed not to be that mother that shamed her children in public -- or on the internet, obviously. But guys, I have to do it. I just have to. I have a story about Simba that is just too good not to share.

{I hope that he will learn to forgive me someday, and I pray to the dog gods that he will not be scarred for life. He's a good kid -- puberty and all. Dropping balls make for one crazy little puppy. Ask my roommates. Or his bed, which unfortunately has been on the receiving end of most of the humping.}

for the past two days, my little man has been constipated. Which is kind of nice, actually, because it means that I hardly ever have to pick up poop. Except, sadly, this also causes me so much anxiety because if he doesn't poop when I take him outside, I start hyperventilating, thinking that maybe he didn't have to go just then, but he'll certainly have to go later, when he's on my bed. You know, I've got white sheets. I think my anxiety is perfectly justified.

anyway, tonight after dinner, I took him out for his usual walk. I thought he'd for sure have to go, since he didn't this morning.

oh, he had to go all right.

{this is about to get graphic.}

in fact, he squatted for a good 30 minutes, straining his little body, a turd very visibly stuck inside his butt.

after a few minutes of this, we got an audience.

frat boys. Girls coming back from the gym. Couples. Everyone.

"come on little dude, you got it!" the frat boys cheered.

it was the most mortifying and most hilarious moment of my life. I'm laughing now, writing about it.

once he finally finally pooped (you guys, 30 minutes later! I had to go to class!), the poor dog got a standing ovation.

a freaking standing ovation!

and judging by the frantic tail-wagging and tongue-licking, I daresay Simba liked it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

little me

video

Mike just found some videos I sent him years ago from when I was little.
things were seriously so much simpler when I was, like, what, 9 years old?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

eleven years



although I have to admit that I was unhappy in the city this summer, this fence commemorating 9/11 always, always caught my breath somewhere inside my chest.

as horrific as this tragedy was, it brought about something beautiful, something rarely seen on busy New York City streets: unity.

Monday, September 10, 2012

falling {or: unoriginality, here}


please allow me to sound like every other person in the universe just for a moment to say this: I love fall.
I love the apple cider-scented candle burning quietly in my room {even more exciting is the fact that I lit it all by myself -- yeah, yeah, lame, I know -- but for as long as I can remember, I've been deathly afraid of fire. I've never lit a match, will you believe that?}
I love cinnamon and peanut butter oatmeal on crispy cold mornings.
I love cuddling with Simba and a blanket in my favorite sweatpants.
I love hot chai soy lattes at Starbucks.
and I love hot chocolate too, if the day calls for it.
I love crunchy, colorful autumn leaves.
let's be real, I just love the word "autumn."
I love big chunky sweaters and cardigans and cozy slippers.
I love Halloween.
and I love Thanksgiving.

life hasn't been perfect lately; there's been lots of ups and downs (which I will write about soon, when I'm ready). And yet -- I am so incredibly happy. I've been incredibly happy before, sure, but it's been a long, long time since I've been incredibly happy when things are far from perfect. And I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I'd like to think that this is a sign that I have grown and matured as a person and that I am slowly but surely finding peace within myself.

and honestly, there's so many good things to be happy about. Like -- today I got a job that I really, really wanted! Or, I just recently got into Mad Men (totally late on the bandwagon, but I'm usually obsessing over mindless shit like Teen Mom or Dance Moms, so cut me some slack...although, you know, I do love me some House) and now I'm hooked. It's the little things.

{and here concludes the lamest, most unoriginal post you'll ever find on my blog. I hope}

Sunday, September 9, 2012

when i realized my ideal body wasn't so ideal

{I've been meaning to write this post for a long while now, but I've hesitated. I don't want to divulge too much or seem ungrateful for the amazing opportunities that I've gotten. But at the end of the day, I have decided that I owe it to myself and to everyone around me to stay true to myself, especially while we're on the subject of eating disorders. I feel strongly about this subject, and given that it is rarely ever written about, at least honestly, I have decided that I will. If you don't like it, well, I suppose that's too bad. What I write is nothing less than the truth}

I have never been one to blame eating disorders on the media or magazines or Photoshop. Personally, I know that my eating disorder had little to do with my appearance and much more to do with my anxiety, fear, lack of identity, and an insatiable hunger to please others. I was scared, lonely, and lost, and so, almost inevitably, my body became the scapegoat.

but I am also not one to so easily let the media off the hook.

the media may not have caused my eating disorder, but it certainly gave it some legs; momentum, if you will. I disliked -- no, I loathed -- my body, sure, and so I had to find an "ideal," a body that I was determined to make mine. I found this body plastered all over the pages of magazines, grinning at me encouragingly from billboards. "Hey, starve for long enough and you could look like me too!"

this train of thought, of course, did not present itself without problems. I am 5'2, not 6 feet. I am pear shaped; my legs are naturally short and muscular and they, do not, unfortunately, run for days. I've always had plenty of muscle -- that's just the way my body is, and when you add years of gymnastics training to the mix, there is just no way that I could ever possibly look like a runway model, no matter how much I starve.

this summer, I interned at a popular woman's magazine. I am certainly very grateful for that opportunity; it opened my eyes and steered me in the right direction -- now, I have a clearer idea of what I want to do for the rest of my life.

nevertheless, I have to say this -- and let's make it clear: This particular magazine is far from the only culprit. In fact, it has become an industry standard, as far as I'm concerned (I've interned at other magazines, most of them wonderful and successful, and they do it too -- it's just the way it is. It's not a "bad" thing, necessarily, and I do not have any bad feelings whatsoever toward any magazine that does this. It is just more of a personal epiphany, at least for me).

a lot has been said about magazines, models, and Photoshop. But I've also witnessed something that I found much more eye-opening than a little Adobe nip-and-tuck action: I was around models every single day this summer. These models were 14 and 15 and 16 years old -- perhaps 18, if they were a little "over the hill." They were not in their 20s or 30s or 40s, like most women's magazine readers.

when I was 14, I was that skinny, too (although much shorter, of course).

and that's all I have to say about that.

the end.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

happy birthday, little one


it's my little sister Ariela's birthday.
I love her more than anyone in the world.
we were born into a batshit crazy family, so I can't even imagine what I would've done if she wasn't my sister.
she's 19, so not so little anymore.

and also, I wanted to say: Ariela, I'm sorry I always forced you to be the maid when we played house as little girls. That was kind of mean. You should've gotten a few turns as the mom, too.

p.s. not to toot my own horn on my sister's birthday or anything, but I wrote this guest post for lovely Jenny, and yeah. You should read it! (If you want too much information about the inner workings of my brain, that is)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

fuerza, costa rica


today hasn't been the best day for me for many reasons (which I suppose I will elaborate on later, when I am ready), one of them being the news of a 7.6 earthquake hitting Costa Rica this morning. I grew up in Costa Rica, and for a long time, I thought I hated it, but it turns out, I only hated the abusive situation I was in. Over the past two years, I've finally learned to love and take pride in the country.

it really does hurt my heart to hear of news like this, but I am thankful that all my friends and family are okay.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

on facing fears

I think it is safe to say that the past couple of weeks, I've been the happiest that I've been in a long, long time. For many years, I've felt stuck, in a rut, bored, discontent, what have you -- for no particular reason at all. Sure, bad things happened, and like any other person, I had every right to be upset. But often, nothing was exactly wrong, per se; yet, I didn't feel like myself -- like the carefree, funny, passionate, loving girl that I know myself to be.

I began to wonder whether my depression was not only situational or environmental, but perhaps also chemical. Knowing my family history, that would not be a stretch by any means.

and who knows? Maybe there's some truth in that; maybe I am genetically predisposed to depression.

but I think that there is something to be said about pursuing your dreams, living your passions, and surrounding yourself with the right people.

because I've got to say, I couldn't feel better right now, more content, if I tried. 

obviously, there's gymnastics. And obviously, I am nowhere near as good as I was as an internationally competitive 14-year-old. I can't do standing back tucks on beam anymore (in fact, I am only just working on getting them back on the floor), I can't do handstand pirouettes on the bars, and I haven't even tried vaulting yet, let alone attempting skills like Yurchenkos and Tsukaharas. My center of gravity is off, I am not strong anymore, and I am hardly used to my (naturally) bigger 21-year-old body. 

in the past seven years, I've given up a lot. I think, well, I will never be good enough, or I will never be as good as I was, so I up and quit. I think, man, it's just not worth it if I can't be the best.

but this time (cross your fingers, knock on wood, etc. etc.), I am working my butt off, facing fears daily, and persevering. I'm conditioning like I haven't in seven years. I'm overcoming mental blocks, throwing elements that I've long been afraid of. I get up there on the floor or the beam or whatever, say a quick prayer, like I did when I was 14 and scared, suck it up, and do it. And more often than not, I surprise myself -- in a good way. In a fabulous way. 

I get home exhausted and hungry and sore every night. I eat dinner, ice my wrists and knees, shower, go to bed, wake up, and do it all over again. And I love it. 

and when I don't do that (or go to class or play with Simba, etc.), I write. I've written more in these past two weeks than I have in years, even though you probably wouldn't know that, considering my blogging has been lackluster at best. But I write and I write and I write, and the words come pouring out of my fingers and into the screen, and it makes me so happy I could cry. How many people are so lucky to love something that they are also good at (feel free to disagree)? It's encouraging, you know? Because yes, maybe pursuing a writing career will not be the easiest route for me. In fact, I am sure of it. But I am now convinced that with lots of determination and perseverance, I will make it some day. So each day, I face my fears of rejection and inquire about freelancing opportunities, and you know, sometimes? The answer is positive, and I am happily surprised.

it's the best feeling.

I go to bed happy. I wake up happy. I train and I write. I face fears. I trained and I wrote and faced fears when I was 14, too. Before everything happened. Before I knew and understood the ugly truth about emotional pain.

and for the first time since then, I have a feeling that if I keep trudging along, if I keep myself out of my comfort zone and give the things that I love my all...perhaps things will get even better, yet.

that thought just makes me giddy. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

my goals; september

I am a planner. I love jotting things down, creating schedules, picturing my future to the very last meticulous detail. Often this is a good thing; most of the time, it is not (it is called "spontaneity," my friends).

so when I saw that Caroline makes monthly goals for herself, I was ready to jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes, planning might not be the best thing for me. But when it comes to goal-setting, I find that planning makes me more motivated than ever.

enough blabbering, though. The following are my goals for the month of September, which I will revisit at the beginning of October to see how I fared.

{1} write at least five freelance pieces (two down already!), paid or not. It's always good for my portfolio.

{2} get a job.

{3} work on my strength and flexibility at gymnastics practice. I'm in terrible shape, gymnastics-wise at least, and I don't want to hurt myself again.

{4} learn to sleep past 8 a.m. (I used to be such a pro. What happened?)

{5} come up with a really good birthday gift to send to my sister because she deserves it (her birthday's in three days! Eek)

{6} go out and party at least once a week. Sometimes it's such a drag getting myself out the door, but I never regret it.

{7} find the time to finish a book -- one that I read for pleasure, not a school textbook.

{8} start taking photos again! And I don't mean instagram (@debbiele03, by the way)

{9} wrap up Vitality's next issue!

{10} find the courage to give someone that used to mean a lot to me a long overdue apology. I already did this to someone else earlier this year, and it is perhaps the best thing I have ever done.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

so, i'm tired

eek...I haven't blogged since Tuesday, which makes me sad, because as an aspiring writer I really should be exercising my writing muscles (i.e. brain).

but I am still getting acquainted with my school schedule, gymnastics schedule, etc. etc. so please forgive me. I promise to get back to blogging on the regular next week...mostly because I have tons of good news that I am excited to share!

it's kind of fascinating to me that my life's done a complete 180 since this summer. That just goes to show you, right? Life can be pretty awesome.