Being Different

Throughout most of my life I have always felt like an odd duck. I have felt like I have been on the outside looking in. I can’t say that I have felt this way “ever since I can remember” because I do remember a more innocent time where I felt like everyone else but it was brief and during a time where I was very young.

But ever since these feelings started, it felt like every aspect of myself was different. I don’t mean that I’m “”special”” by any means. Simply, I don’t feel like I fit in. My fashion choices always felt different. I was aware of it as a little kid (and obviously today) but never thought much of it when I was younger. I wanted to wear bold prints that would remind most people of the 70’s, where other little kids were wearing more modest clothes.

Other kids involved themselves in sports like soccer and dance, and at recess everyone played kickball. But I never felt coordinated enough and it didn’t suit my fancy. So I pursued piano. It may not seem very odd, but I pursued it before band was a thing, and my parents never pressured me into it, which is common when little kids get involved in instruments. I just wanted to do it and I loved it.

I have always tended towards activities that just involve myself (i.e piano, writing, and whatnot). Don’t get me wrong, I clearly love my hobbies, but it’s also isolating at times and is a reminder of me being different.

As I am older I am shown that I am different in other aspects. I am almost 20 years old and I don’t drink or do drugs out of choice. I’m just not interested! I choose to do homework when my peers choose to go on escapades. I decide to treat myself emotionally (stay inside, listen to music, and eat good food) when others choose to go on adventures.

I am content with what I do but the contrast between me and my peers makes me question my actions. Should I be out partying? Should I be wearing different clothes? Should I try more extroverted activities?

My mind and heart know that the answers to all of these questions are “no”. I should do me, whatever that entails. I know that if I went out to parties, I would only be doing it to fit in, and I don’t think any amount of socialization or alcohol would make me fit in or give me the illusion of fitting in. I could wear the exact same clothes as someone I consider “normal” and still feel incredibly insecure about my attire and body. And trying to get a massive introvert to do extroverted activities is a huge disaster…I would know from *forced* experience (because there are times where every introvert is forced into an extroverted situation, sadly).

I teeter back and forth. The internal argument is real. But I am trying to remind myself,

“You have to be odd to be number one” – Dr. Seuss.

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Days Like Today

It is time like this, days like today, and the odd frame of mind I am in that remind me: this is the real thing. We are experiencing life and it’s so very real! One day, expected or unexpected (however, most likely, unexpected) it will all end very suddenly.

It is days like today where my brain reminds me that I am not the same person I was one, two, five, ten years ago.

It is days like today where I also remind myself that I am exactly the same person I was one, two, five, ten years ago.

How can nothing and everything change at the same time?

It is days like today where I am reminded of the treasure I have been given and how special it is. How quickly time can pass and how we must not forget to make the best of everything we experience.

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Abnormal Psychology

This semester I am taking Abnormal Psychology. The class bothers me, so far, for many reasons.

First of all, I thought I wanted to be a psychologist. But so far I feel like I am not understanding the more in-depth material which makes me feel less confident about guiding people through their emotional issues. Also, as I start to learn the (very dry) intricacies of psychology, it becomes less appealing. The rules of ethics are a bit too shady for my liking, and the many different research methods confuse me.

Aside from the academic aspects, many things annoy me about Abnormal Psych.

Very often we are given *extreme* cases for examples to understand terms. Murderers, kidnappers, and people who have acted out in extreme ways are often discussed. The discussions of these people are often followed by the teacher saying that most of the time, people with psychological disorders are not dangerous. But every time we talk about someone with a psychological disorder, they are presented as dangerous. What kind of light are you portraying people with psychological disorders?

We have been taught that asking someone if they are suicidal does not induce suicidal thoughts. It’s comparable to asking how someone is sleeping. If you ask someone how they are sleeping they won’t suddenly go from a desirable sleeping pattern to a poor sleeping pattern or vise versa. This bothers me a lot. Do people really think that asking if someone is suicidal will induce suicidal thoughts?

Why do we treat individuals with psychological disorders so poorly? Why do we outcast them? Almost 50% of the population has experienced a psychological disorder at some point in their life in America (if I remember my statistics correctly.) It upset me so much how psychological disorders are portrayed in the media!

It seems as though the medias logic is that if every shooter is psychologically disturbed (which they probably are) then every psychologically disturbed person is a shooter. Which simply isn’t true!

I can’t wait until I’m out of Abnormal Psychology.

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Packing, Packing, Packing!

Tomorrow I move back into my closet at college. I have very mixed feelings about all of it.

This evening I was looking in the deepest corners of my room for things that I could use in my dorm room as decoration. Last year, although my room was pimped out, my cork board was barren, especially compared to my roommates. She put old cards up on her board among other things to spice up her end of the room and that’s my intention this upcoming school year.

I do not get rid of my cards very much. I have birthday cards that are over ten years old, Valentine’s, Christmas, Graduation cards, you name it. I am realizing that I have hoarding tendencies.

It did not take very long for me to get emotional while sorting through my cards. I realized how much I am loved by such a large group of people. How my friends and family are proud of me and my accomplishments and understand my adversities.

It was especially emotional for me when I came across cards from my deceased grandfather that I called Grampie. Although I did not have a strong relationship with Grampie, he passed away when I was about fourteen and I miss him a lot. I wish I asked him more questions and I wish he could’ve lived to see me as a functioning person. He always asked if I was feeling better and I almost always said yes because I didn’t want people to worry about me.

Packing is very difficult. The teary-eyed experience of searching for cards made me not want to have cards in my room. Some things are too sacred for a dorm room!

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Overly Emotional

I do not understand my current fragile, emotional state that I am in.

Earlier today we were given a fairly large sum of lobsters by a person my mom affectionately refers to as, “The Lobster Fairy.” This individual gives us lobster annually for no real good reason other than to be a friend and to do a random act of kindness, from my understanding.

My mom was trying to find a place for the seven live lobsters so that they would be more comfortable and not stacked on top of each other in a cramped pot. I was also trying to take a picture of all of the lobsters. Even though I have grown up in Maine my entire life, lobsters are a specialty for my family and need to be documented, in my humble opinion. I tried moving the ice packs out of the pot so I could get a nice picture of the lobsters. When trying to remove an ice pack very carefully, I nudged one of the lobsters on accident. Where I then proceeded to apologize to the lobster. “Oh my God I am so sorry.” When my dad killed the lobsters later this evening via boiling water, my only instinct was to cry. They are innocent beings that do not deserve to be burned to death! How emotional am I? Why not hug a tree while I’m at it?

I also got upset with my dad this evening for no real reason and have been having dramatic waves between wanting to cry and wanting to yell at people.

I wish I didn’t feel so angry and hurt and that I could find my center. I had such a hold on my center just a little over a year ago and I lost it and I really am working on getting it back. Being the best version of myself involves lots of thought and self-awareness and sometimes I get so lazy but it is so important.

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Going Back to School

College is starting up again very shortly. I move back into my dorm on Sunday and my classes start on Monday. My school does not allow a lot of time for the upperclassmen to get acquainted but, I can cope.

This is both a good and very difficult time for me.

Aside from the somewhat normal stress that I am dealing with over packing and making sure that I know where my classes are (one website says that my classes are in one building, and the mass-emailed syllabus says otherwise) I am dealing with a lot.

Last year the transition was easier for me, and I’m guessing my parents, as well. Since I had not gone to school from fifth grade, going to college seemed spontaneous and almost miraculous. I had a very sudden transition of being a child who was crippled with anxiety to being a can-do, capable person. A week before school started I attended a week-long orientation with my program. The orientation involved making my program familiar with the campus, going on a camping trip, and building relationships between all of us. We learned about leadership skills and how to be group oriented among other things. It was a brilliant experience that I wish I could have again. Immediately after the camping trip, my program dropped me off at my dorm that I was supposed to move into, my Mom and Grandmother met me at my dorm, I moved in, and suddenly I was a college student.

It felt like a celebration because I was incapable for so long. No one seemed sad. My parents didn’t seem unsure of potential poor decisions I would make. Everything felt good.

Now, the transition seems more sudden. My parents will be moving me in and dropping me off at my dorm. There will be no ease into the situation. There won’t be any kind of orientation or camping trip. Now all of the emotions that were supposed to run during my freshman move-in are running now.

I am moving on to a different chapter in my life. I am becoming more independent and responsible whether I like it or not. I am an actual college student. And now, more than ever (even right before I started college last year) I am unsure if I am emotionally capable of being at college. My anxiety, after all, has been rather high for the past few weeks.

I feel like I am betraying my parents moving out this year. My parents haven’t said or done anything in particular. I regret that I don’t do enough with them and that I waste so much time doing stupid things. I am so sad that I have to be at school and not with them. I want them to know how much I love and appreciate them and it feels impossible to express. I wish I had done more things with my dad and played more piano for my mom.

After all of that being said, I am excited to see my friends from school that I haven’t seen in a while and have the social aspect back. I just really hope I can do it.

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Medical News

It is time to admit some things that are difficult for me to talk about.

A few months ago, while I was in school, I was nervously touching my face when I noticed a bump on my jaw line. It didn’t hurt but I figured it shouldn’t be there after comparing one side of my face to the other. Even though I discovered the bump late at night, I texted my mom that there was a tumor in my face.

The next day, my mom didn’t respond to my text because she assumed that my overdramatic-self was referring to an acne flare up. I told her about the tumor once more, she visited me to check it out, and since then we have been investigating this “thing.”

We went to my orthodontist to look at x-rays. The x-rays were very simple and lacked a lot of detail and were taken around the time that I was 12. You could see my “thing” starting to grow almost eight years ago. Crazy! My doctor ordered another x-ray to see what the “thing” was. When I went in for my appointment they didn’t take me seriously at first, thinking that I had a swollen lymph node or a minor cyst. After my x-ray they told me that I had extra bone growing out of my jaw. There wasn’t much to worry about, but I could get a second opinion on it.

So I was referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor.

The ear, nose, and throat doctor couldn’t do much for me. The jaw didn’t seem to be part of his specialty. He felt my face for a bit and told us he was going to order a CT scan because it’s more detailed and it will help them see if it’s actually bone or a cyst. He really seemed convinced that there was a cyst in my face or a bone spur.

I had the CT scan about a week ago. They did the contrast dye and everything. I was sure everything was going to be okay and that I would be able to get out of a potential surgery (I’ve already had two surgeries and an endoscope.) But I received the results of my CT scan on Thursday and it’s not looking great.

The ear, nose, and throat doctor said that the “thing” in my face is soft tissue and not part of my jaw, just on my jaw. He suspects a calcified lymph node but he really has no idea what it is and really seems to want it removed from my body. On the CT scan they also found an “abnormality” in my lung. The ear, nose, and throat doctor would like to have a follow-up CT scan on my lung to make sure it’s okay. The huge bummer is the lung “thing.” I don’t smoke or anything.

To make matters worse, I have already had surgery for abnormally large and more permanent cysts on my ovaries (both of them.) It seems that, no matter how well I eat and how much I exercise, my body just really loves producing unnecessary crap. I can’t help but let it get me down!

Right now everything is quite the cluster. Although the ear, nose, and throat doctor wants things a certain way, my regular doctor seems far less concerned. She would rather have a biopsy of the soft tissue, first, before doing a pretty invasive surgery. And, if the biopsy of my jaw comes back normal, to not have another CT scan to check my lung to avoid unnecessary radiation. I have been referred to see an oral surgeon, who wants to look at all of my x-rays and CT scans before he considers doing anything with my face.

A very unpleasant and scary situation.

I am feeling “done.” I can’t seem to catch a break. No matter my efforts, there always seems to be something. Why does my body have to be an over achiever and make these weird things? I have had three, now, and I am only nineteen.

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