Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Ugh!


So far, lately it sucks with the 45's antics.


Gotta admit- I'm glad I don't have children right now, otherwise I'd worry how all this is affecting them.


And on a funny point, with reading all that tasteless activities he had done, I wish Spock is around.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reflections.

When I was angry.


Looking back through the journal, I was recalling emotions.

Confusion.
Denial.
Anxiety.
Fear.
Anger.
Bewilderment.
Dizziness.
Rejection.
Bargaining.
Praying.  (okay, that's not an emotion.)
Tumult.
Sorrow.
Anguish.
Indignation.
Depression.
Suicidal.
Sick.
Hurting.
Storm.
Grief.
Ire.
Distemper.
Heartbreak.
Tears.
Heartache.
Flooding.
Numb.
Wretchedness.
Irritability.
Indifference.
Stupor.
Misery.
Lethargy.
Millstone.
Infuriation.
Resignation.
Suffering.
Reluctance.
Emptiness.
Numbness was my best friend.
Emotion-less.
Cloudy.


The thing is that I couldn't put a finger on when I started thinking there is life after infertility.  I believe it was when I realized somewhere, somewhen, maybe with meeting my nephew Eli for the first time at age of 2, or when it was when I was headbutting against an anti who was eager to bully a grieving woman coming in for a D&C for her dead fetus (wanted pregnancy, by the way), or when I realized the Deaf community is behind in its access to full education and almost no voice in politics.

 Somewhere among those, the spark was re-lit within me. When? I don't know and I do not see any point in trying to nail that moment. That does not matter.  What matters is how I chose to live again on my terms. 

Even more when I look at my Pinterest account (don't everyone have  nowadays?), I do see how the collections change with me through the time- there are collections on Infertility blogs, Infertility posts, grief and anger memes, "what if" collections- and there are collections on Geek art, comic books, Tiny houses, racial justice, intersectionality.  The first collections were prominent in 2011 to 2014, while second group of collection started popping up around 2013. Swinging forth and back between the collections.  I see the last time I had posted something in first group (infertility) was in 2015 when I found out I would be an aunt again. "Congrats on being an aunt again. And you're still infertile" was the last post. And I recall looking at that post and was thinking to myself,

"Do I want to feel sorry for myself? Go back into the void, wrapping myself in the comfort of numbness and darkness?"

And my answer.  "Fuck that.  Life is too short."   And made a new collection about 'Womanhood' of how I interpret womanhood- not by the womb to create a baby, but by the capability to create life out of love, passion and perseverance.

And there's a collection in which is basically my 'picture-diary', with the earliest images being dark, stormy, anguish, like crying woman, thunderstorms, cliffs, abandoned buildings, screams, and quotes like ""Don't judge my path if you haven't walked my journey".


Now with recent additions to that collection, I see there is hope, life, passion, wilderness, depth, reading. Michfest. Labyrinths. Protesting.  Art. Self-love. 



And that tells me that I'm healing.



Monday, April 17, 2017

Perseverance

[This was written in 2015, a few weeks after the post that got that anonymous attack in comment to me.  Decided to publish it- don't see any reason on why I should not, anymore.]

Recently, I had noticed I had a comment waiting to be moderated.   

The hostile anonymous lurker had sent another comment, "test on"- apparently to see if the comment would go public right away.  Obviously not.  


What that tells me: 

1)  Testing to see if the comment would go through or not, still anonymous, that tells me she is a coward, seeing if she'd troll again.

2)  She is still lurking around.    To see if I am still writing.   



I had thought long and hard; there was two options:
  a)  writing less and watching what words I put down.  
  b) discontinuing the blog.


That made me brought to mind, one remarkable experience I had during graduate school.  I had written a post on another blog (on hiatus while I go through the CNBC experience), which opened a jar of worms among the Deaf community, even more on the campus.   I tossed out a challenge for Deaf folks to look inward to themselves: their being hypocrites about preaching Deafhood, yet discriminating against other Deaf folks.  A week later, a professor in my graduate program pulled me aside, asking to talk with me privately.    Before he opened his mouth, I knew what he was going to say- since many folks did not like what I said in the post.  The bottom line was that he asked me to desist writing; he was concerned about 'confidentiality' (never mind that I did not identify anyone in the general incident, and I got permission from the victim who experienced the discrimination before I wrote the post), and whether it is proper for me to be in graduate school.   Subtle threat, indeed.   

I stared at him in silence; I was shaking in my feet yet I told him, "I have the right to speech. I got permission from the victim, and this is a good time for healthy dialogue for us to discuss about Deafhood and what it means to us all, not just one group. I am sorry but I will not stop writing." 

He looked at me for a pause and then walked away.  

I knew I probably had blown my chance to stay in graduate school.  When they had evaluations later (in which they decide whether the student can stay for another year, or be asked to leave); I was told that I'll stay. 

Nevertheless, from that experience, I noticed I was very cautious writing posts in that blog.  I found myself double-checking and over-analyzing.  I experienced some anxiety attacks whenever I wrote a post.  It took a long while before I could write without feeling anyone is looking over my shoulder.


Now, with my blog struggling to live with CNBC blog-  guess what? 



You're not stopping me.    


I picked the third option- I am still writing.

 I owe myself, so many things, which includes experiencing my feelings, recognizing my thinking, and exploring my flaws.  I also have the right to grief, to anger, and to joy. I have the responsibility to accountability, to emotions, to empathy and to humanity to show that I hurt, and I laugh.  I have the duty to myself to write what feels right to me, and to put a spotlight on the less-understood topic of living after infertility/childlessness, even the part on reacting to news of pregnancy variable to individuals and unpredictability of emotional responses.  

I'd like to share a quote from the well-known and well-loved author,  Nicole Sparks:

"You can't live your life for other people. You've got to do what's right for you, even if it hurts some people you love."    (The Notebook)


In a way, the comment had sparked a recognition in me that I am not knocked down; and that I have strengths, both known and hidden, and I'm much  loved by friends and family.

So.... Thank you, lurker, for giving me that opportunity to find something I had overlooked about myself for a long while, forgotten but not anymore-

Perseverance.

And you're welcome.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Looks at all the fucks I give.

(October 2016)

I know that there has been a lot of gaps since the last post, but then again I figure there's not much readers left to read.

That's all right.

This laptop is about to roll and die anytime, in which I had brought back from death a few times. Went out to buy a new one, which is right next to this laptop- as I'm working on transferring information-  a lot of work, least to say.  Fun while going through blogs, websites, finding things I had forgotten about (like Twilight: When Darkness Begins, a favorite young adult book series I loved, and am still working on recollecting).

My dogs are still around; after years, I finally figured out what's the magic word for Hairy when it comes to the command "sit"....  'Sit" and sign "sit" isn't working-  it's "DOWN" that does the trick.    You could imagine the comical expression on my face when I gave up and exclaimed "Down!" and Hairy promptly sat!  All that months and years, only to find it's the word 'down' that works.  Well, better late than never!  :)

Had knee surgery, and so currently working on strengthening my knee with a lot of hiking.  Lola is lovin' all that- that is when we aren't getting poured on by rain- so much rain lately in the last two weeks!

I am an aunt again!   TWINS-  a nephew and niece who were born last November.  Was thrilled for my brother and sister-in-law at same time I knew I wasn't ready to meet the babies.   I thought I would feel a pang of guilt-  nope.    More an awareness that I am not really into babies, more and more I got to think about it.  More I stand aside to observe how there is this fanatic obsession about cute infant outfits, baby showers outcompeting others, showing off bumps and trading 'more-vomit-than-your-baby' stories, all that.

That drew me to realize that it was the society's drilling into us all that motherhood is prerequisite of us to be considered a significant citizen; that fertility is more important than intelligence and capability of individuals.

You know what?





Let's say I'm done with that.  


Spring into Summer


(Wrote this last May 2016.)
It has been raining for the last few days, colder than expected- one'd think we're starting into autumn, not summer.    Not wanting to get wet, one gotta think how to keep busy.  Lucky, as an introvert, there is a LOT of things one can do indoors, including books, hot tea, books, movies, books, cuddling with dogs, books, doing vlogs, and books.  Did I forget books?  Haha!   


I had stopped feeling obligated to follow Goodread goal of reading a certain number of books since I noticed that had put pressure on me, making it less enjoyable to read.  Now that I am reading, I find myself consuming more- go figure.  In the past I had enjoyed reading historical romances, science fiction, fantasy and graphic novels; the tastes have been shifting, I notice, to memoirs, feminism, reproductive justice and racial justice/cultural studies, and books on tiny houses.

In reading books or attending local workshops, I'm leaning toward intersectionality in goal of understanding my privileges, how I function in the system.  Would you imagine that as an infertile person, this is even so noticeable how the system values fertility and motherhood primarily over individualism and self-identity?   Baby showers.  Baby cards.  Maternal leaves. Number of children.  Getting away with having days off for children, compared to childfree folks being expected to give more time at work.  I mean, I could tell you how often I would come to work and end up working until 7pm or 8pm, while co-workers with kids get off at 3pm or 4pm.  They could leave earlier if the kid gets sick, but if I ask for a day off, I get the stink-eye.

Ironically enough, with them using up their vacation hours here and there, they could not get away for a week or two weeks, as I could.  As it is, by June, I'll have 80 vacation hours to use, so I just need to figure what I can do with the two weeks.  New York.  New Orleans.  Taos. Or even Greece.  Hmm! So, I guess there is a bright side to having plenty of vacation hours that are not wasted on children.

I had not thought of being childless for a long while, I confess.  It is because social justice issues demand attention here in local, including reproductive justice access and radical justice fights. Recently I had started working with police on how to interact with the Deaf community; the responses have been positive to the point that the workshop is becoming demanded by multiple branches of police here.  That and other social justice involvement have been my priorities lately.  And you know- that is where I feel needed, necessary in my role in the society, and one does not have to be a parent to get the feeling.

Even with that, I am still reminding myself that there are people who love me, and I like who I am nowadays.  If I fuck up, it's my problem.  If I accomplish something, it's my success.  And  to keep my expectations low- after all it was society that had taught us to have subconscious expectations of parenthood, and many of us had struggled with seeing ourselves as failures. We aren't failures. It's the society that is the failure, placing motherhood on the pedestal, punishing us if we don't achieve the SOCIETY's expectations.  Fuck that, pardon my language- fuck that.  

We do not have any obligations to anyone but ourselves.  Be who you are, and you're doing the best you can.



Friday, January 1, 2016

Updates for 2014-2015

I said I'd be doing the bucket list last time I posted here- and forgot about it all.

Is that bad? Nope.  That told me that my life kept me busy.

I have increased in volunteering, participating in social justice and reproductive justice activism lately!    However to talk about my social justice activism would make it all about me, not the communities that the spotlight need to be on.  Please read blogs by women of color; participate in groups run by trans people; and listen with no intention to interrupt or go 'but' to stories of disabled people.  


************

I saw the play "Our Town"  in January 2014.     All I can say is.. it blew me away.     If the play comes to your town, go see it!     Yes, it may feel boring- stick to it and you'll realize how accurate it is to your life.
Actors Theater's 'Our Town'


*************

In the past two years, I had been pressured to give/donate some labyrinth paintings I created to organizations or individuals.    I had not felt comfortable with that; yes I even resented that encouragement, pressure.   That included being asked to give workshops on labyrinth mediation/walking for free.    What gives?   Do one really think that art or education should be free all the time?  

When I paint, that includes the cost of materials, frame, canvas, length of time- could cost between $75-200.  Yet when I put $90-350 on the paintings, I am told that I am greedy.  !!!

When I come to do a labyrinth workshop, that includes mileage, cost of gas, hotel stay, sometimes rental of the room, length of time, and time away from my job.   Yet when I check whether they will pay me for the workshop, (usually 200-450), I'm told that they cannot afford that.  Yet it's okay for me to pay to fill up my gas, drive 150 miles, and pay for overnight stay at the hotel. Okay......

So I had dug my heels in and said no more, I'm not gonna donate/give paintings away, nor do my workshops for free anymore.   Did that stop people?  Nope-   others realized the value- I had sold six paintings in the last six months!  To me,that's a big step.  Workshops-  I had been asked to do a workshop later this year, and they made an offer to pay for the hotel stay and my airfare, so to me, that's a fair trade.


In 2014, I had gone to the Michigan Womyn's Musical Festival, in which I had fallen in love with.  For the first time ever in my life, I felt safe. I could walk down the road at 3am, not looking over my shoulder, which I did so- walking under the moonlight!  Camped among fellow spirits.  Only one minus about that was that there were no workshops about infertility/childless choice/not by choice.  I recall telling members who have been attending the festival for many years as they could recall, that there IS a labyrinth built on the land, and to be told "no there isn't, unless you mean the labyrinth by ribbon over there."  I was persistent- following my gut, and I found the stone labyrinth!  It had been built a long time ago, so many old members let it slide from their memories.

I came back in 2015, saddened that it would be the last year for the festival.  Heartened that I got to give a workshop on the labyrinth walking- in end, the attendees got to see the stone labyrinth- lets hope that whatever happens to the land, the stone labyrinth will be always be there.  This time, my best friend Roni came and experienced the magic of the festival.  I also volunteered most of the time at the orientation/welcome area, the Deaf haven and the kitchen.  I realized from 2014, volunteering was where I was most happy, and so I did that again last year.


I walked in the 2014 Zombie Walk in Louisville- it was a blast of fun!    Saw so many zombies, yet so little time to see them all!
















I took a break from writing the book, since I found myself stuck with the 'writer's block' (obviously here too in the blog!).

For 2014 and 2015 Goodreads, of 150 and 200 books, achieved, although realizing that with that pressure in the last year, I found myself disinterested in reading. So for now, I'm not going to read just for the sake of 'Goodreads' goals, but for my own pleasure.

In 2015, I had done some travels-  to NJ, OH, IN, CO and KS.

I had also lost my grandmother, June back in July.  Throughout growing up, she had been there a steadfast anchor for me.  When relatives hesitated in learning sign language, she dived in and became skillful so we can communicate to each other- she made sure that I was part of the family, instead of staying in the shadows.  She encouraged me greatly to start reading when I was a toddler; she fanned the flames of reading within me, non-stopping in handing me books to consume.  In the last years, she had been a shadow of who she was, due to dementia, no longer remembering anyone, not even me the last time I saw her. So when I got the news she died, I explored the mixture of grief and relief at the same time- feeling relief that her suffering had ended, yet grieving that she is gone.    At the funeral, I wrote her eulogy, echoing her values in reading and writing.  I still miss her.

And my VW Jetta Sweetheart, bought in 2003, had bit the dust only two months ago.  I got a new Kia Soul-   more room for camping trips!

Looking back, the bucket list have looked harder than it was, and so I decided for the next five years, I will stick to the five goals.

Pay off Debt
Travel out of country
Save
Buy/Build a tiny house.
Re-assess my life and see where I want to go from here.

And for the childless not by choice part in my life?    I realized that I AM a mother in other ways.  To my furkids, I am their mom. I am an aunt spoiling my 3 years old nephew, who now finds himself a Star Wars fan like me, and the twins(boy and girl!) just born to my brother and sister-in-law two months ago.  Being a mentor to several young women is enriching.  So in general, I have made peace with the childless aspect.   Of course, the book about me is unfinished, there is a lot more to write- the plot may change.  And you know what? I look forward to surprises popping up on the next few pages.




Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Still Alive.

I had forgotten the password for this blogspot, and I wasn't in any hurry to restore that.

Have been very busy lately, with classes, volunteering, local activities and moderating three Facebook groups, on top of providing workshops here and there.

So yes, I'm still alive.

Will catch up with the bucket list for 2014, and some updates soon.

And yes, I survived the third anniversary two weeks ago-  on that day, it was finally snowing after months of no snow.  Instead of feeling the drowning grief of the first anniversary or emotional numbness of the second anniversary, I felt passive resignation.

Well, that's a step toward healing.

(artist unknown, if you know who, please let me know so I can credit)