Yoga Block

I bought a yoga block. I still need some time to expose myself to new exercises to include the yoga block, but so far I’ve found it can be great to help or further challenge your practice.

1pc-EVA-Yoga-Block-Foam-Block-Brick-Stability-and-Balance-Support-Bricks-Exercises-Roller-for-Pilates.jpg_640x640Laying flat on my back, I place my feet flat on the floor so that my knees are pointed upwards. Then I place the yoga block on its smallest height under the small of my back so that it sits directly under my tailbone. This provides a very small stretch, and a good position to take several deep breaths. After a minute, I move the block beneath me onto it’s side, making it’s height slightly higher. You can either have your arms at your side, or raised above your head on the ground. More deep breaths as the stretch settles in across my back. Then finally, I flip the block to it’s tallest height, putting me into a small back bend. This is a reverse table-top position, and it feels amazing. I have also challenged myself to then remove the block, and hold my body lifted in place.

seated-forward-bend-with-blockThe yoga block has also helped with stretching. If you are not super flexible, the block can help to bridge gaps that would normally be strenuous. For example, when you reach towards the ground in forward fold, you can place the block between your hands and the floor, allowing you to feel the stretch at your own pace without pushing your limits. In my case, I am already relatively flexible, but the block helps me to stretch further. One example is when I am sitting down on the mat with my legs straight and leaning forward. I do not have trouble reaching my toes, and can actually pull my feet off of the ground a bit to challenge the backs of my legs. By putting the yoga block to sit at the bottom of my feet, I can reach past my toes to grab the block and further my stretch. This can really help to improve flexibility, because you are able to control the amount you are stretching your body, so you challenge yourself at the pace that feels good.

After doing some quick online research for stretches and exercises, I have ordered a second yoga block so that I can continue to explore different practices.

Looking forward to more challenges in the future! Thanks for reading.

 

Yoga (On My Own)

I grew up as a dancer, so for a long time, I thought of yoga more like ‘relaxed stretching.’ It felt great for my body, but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the addition of the mind. I’ve been going to a great yoga class every Wednesday called Urban Yoga, and so far I’ve had an amazing experience and have learned a lot. I’ve been trying to use more of the yoga language and get further into the balanced mindset. I’m no expert, but I found myself with some free time the other day and decided to do some on my own.

savasana_ink

I will admit that I’m not great at meditation. It’s hard for me to sit still and silence my thoughts completely. Even still, I started out my yoga practice by trying to meditate. I opened up my yoga mat, put a pillow down for under my head, and laid down in savasana (this is just a fancy way to say that I laid on my back with my palms up – see right). I closed my eyes and thought one word: RELAX. I breathed in, breathed out, and told myself to relax.

I had heard a concept from Rosie O’Donnell regarding strengthening your meditation that I tried to follow here. As you meditate, you attempt to remove all thoughts from your brain. Experienced meditaters can accomplish this easily, but for the rest of us, we may clear our brain for a moment, and then something will pop back in: Oh, I need to finish the laundry tonight… Rosie says to recognize that as a thought. You imagine pulling that thought from your brain the same way you would pull a leaf from a tree. You pull your thought, and then you imagine letting that leaf travel into a flowing river. It flows down the river and floats away. And then your mind is clear. And then you get another thought: What am I having for dinner tonight… and you recognize the thought, pull it, release it, and let it float away. The goal is to stay present in the moment.

After about 5 minutes, I sat up and did some light stretching. By beginning with a meditation, I felt like I had warmed up my brain. So next I began to warm up my body. I folded forward to grab my toes and stretch my legs and lower back. I rolled my shoulders and twisted my neck. I rolled my ankles and wrists, and pulled my arms from side to side. Once warmed up, I moved to a tabletop position.

cat-cowFrom there I did several rounds of cat-cow, which is great for your back. You start in tabletop (aka on your hands and knees with a flat back) and make sure that your hips and shoulders are stacked over your knees and hands. Begin to drop your navel, arch your back, and look up. Cat. Then you drop your gaze, push into your hands, and slowly invert the spine one vertebrae at a time. Cow. Then you repeat cat-cow-cat-cow, inhaling as your chest opens and exhaling as you contract. pointI continued with the cat-cow pointer series, where you reach your arm forward and lift your opposite leg. I held each side for 30 seconds, stretching higher for the last 10. Next, I turned this into a small exercise, and drew the lifted arm and leg into my chest to contact, and then extended my limbs back out again. 10 times each side, then I collapsed into child’s poseestiramientos-de-cadenas-musculares

Woman-Yoga-Pose-Silhouette

Next was tree pose, one of my favorites. As a Libra, I love balance. I positioned my foot on my thigh and held my palms together at my chest. I first held each side for 30 seconds, but I realized that this was not challenging enough, so I did a second round of a minute each. I felt very grounded and stable, and was proud at the ease of holding this pose for a full minute. There were moments of shaking, but I was able to feel adequate in this pose, which felt good for both my body and my mind.

Finally, sun-salutations. One of the reasons I like this exercise is that it’s basically choreography for a small little yoga routine. The sun-salutation is a series of poses performed in a sequence to create a flow of movement.* You start in mountain pose, and lift your arms above your head, then collapse into forward fold. A quick half lift, then palms are pressed firmly on the ground and feet step back into plank. Release and lift the chest, tilting the head back into cobra. After holding for a moment, I first fold into child’s pose, but you could also lift right into downward dog and hold for a moment again. Walk the feet to the hands to forward fold, and lift back up into mountain pose, and pulling the palms together into the chest. I did two sets on each side, reminding myself to breathe and feel each movement. origin-of-suryanamaskar-500x356.jpg

All of the above took me about 20 minutes total, and I ended this self-session by getting back into savasana for another quick meditation. I again focused on relaxation as well as cooling down. When I decided that enough time had gone by, I pulled my palms together to my chest one last time. I put the throw pillow back on the couch, rolled up my mat, and stored it back in the corner.

It’s nice to have enough experience at this point to have created a small routine for myself. This was roughly 20-25 minutes long and is filled with the poses and exercises that make me feel good and energized. When I attend Urban Yoga on Wednesdays with an awesome instructor, I am able to engage my mind and spirit as well as the body. This is something that I will have to work on more as I practice on my own time (meditation as well), but I am proud of the level I am at today.

Namaste. Thanks for reading.

The Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskara, is a series of poses 
performed in a sequence to create a flow of movement,
according to yogaoutlet.com

Women in the Workplace

shutterstock_183577280% of the people I have reported to in the workplace have been women. This includes every position I have had, from my high school jobs to my college internships to my career. Most of my bosses have been women.

I come from a hardworking family with two parents who worked full-time. My mom took her maternity leave to have my sister and I, and then got right back to her job, working as one of the 11% of civil engineers that are women.* And yet, she still managed to have a life AND be involved with the PTA. The women there would give her patronizing remarks when she was unable to make meetings in the middle of the day because of having a career.  “Oh… you have to work?” Really? Not to judge these women, but my mom is a project engineer managing teams across a multinational company with a masters degree from Penn State who also is able to balance being an active mom, so who are they to speak?

All that being said, it’s no surprise that I take pride in the fact that I have mainly reported to women. I have had the opportunity to work for some amazing, powerful women, (and one awful one) and I am very thankful.

My first job, however, I worked for a man. In high school, I worked at a pizza place called Bella Roma, which was/still is owned by a man named Ray. To put it frankly, he was a sexist pig. Only girls were allowed to work behind the counter and wait tables, and only boys were hired to be delivery drivers. He made inappropriate remarks about women who came into his shop. You could see it and hear it in the way he treated and talked to people. Luckily for me, he was only in the restaurant during one of my shifts each week so I didn’t have to deal with anything first hand, but the stories were passed around. He was a douche.

I worked there for a year and then I started my long line of working for women. My hometown job included working for my friends’ mom, and my college campus job had me reporting to one of the female graduate students. It wasn’t until I started my internships that I noticed the amount of women in the workforce around me.

Maybe it’s my industry. I was a Communications major with minors in PR and Professional Writing, and my experience has been in HR, PR and Marketing. I had four internships while I was in college, all of which I reported directly to women. Three of these internships were within small businesses, and, this next part is noteworthy, ALL THREE OF THOSE BUSINESSES WERE OWNED BY WOMEN. These women were boss ladies, bad bitches, and I wanted to be like them. They were rough around the edges, intimidating, hardworking, and determined with something to prove. I was given mentors at these internships as well, also women. I was inspired by the attitude they had and the image of themselves they they projected into the world. Say what you want, but women get shit done, and done well. Today, almost 40% of all businesses are owned and operated by women.*

My first job out of college, I worked for an awful woman named Heather, who was the HR Director for a small manufacturing firm. When I first started, I heard rumors that she wasn’t well liked, but she was so nice to me in the beginning that I figured they were just saying those things because she was a dominant female. As I got to know her more, I realized that she didn’t make a whole lot of sense most of the time. She wasn’t great at managing people. She was no where to be found for 90% of the time, and the other 10% she would micromanage so much that it was hard to do our jobs. One time, she told me that instead of teaching me the new way she wanted things done, she had been giving me a look periodically to see if I could figure out this own my own. Sorry I didn’t pick up on  your telepathic signals, Heather. I could continue on about the strange things she used to do, but my point here is that I didn’t see her as a good boss. She was off-putting and manic and hypocritical and backwards. She didn’t know how to handle people, but then again, neither did most of this organization. I worked there for less than a year before I was begging another company to take me.

After that, I did a complete 180 and started working for a wonderful individual named Cheryl. You can put Cheryl on the top of the boss lady list. Professionally, she helped build a branch from scratch and was running the HR department for her home office and several other offices in the region. Meanwhile, she was dealing with a mother battling cancer, a husband having multiple surgeries on his airwaves, and a daughter in and out of the ER with asthma issues. As if all that wasn’t enough, she also fought against the daily prejudice of having an interracial family (a beautiful one) and fought against stereotypes of women in leadership. I was continuously inspired by her strength and prosperity, and the fact that she was a baller breadwinner for her family. Over 40% of moms today are the sole or primary source of income in U.S. households.* Cheryl also was a phenomenal manager. She cared about us on both a personal and a professional level, cared about our growth, and cared about us overall being happy. The year she was my boss, she won HR Manager of the year across a national company, and soon after I left the company, she was promoted to Regional Manager. To put it simply, she dominates.

When I interviewed to leave that company, it was with a man named Glenn. Upon accepting the offer, I learned that Glenn is who I would be reporting to. Truly, my immediate thought was, Wow, this is the first time I’ll be reporting to a man since Ray. I wondered if the differences would be noticeable or noteworthy between working for a man versus a woman. I was unsure of how my experience had shaped me or catered to me in my career. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but certainly curious.

However, it was obvious from my interview experience that working for Glenn was going to be a much better situation than the man I worked for when I was 17. True to my expectations, Glenn has been a great leader who is extremely knowledgeable and a great teacher. He’s also managing a team of over 40 individuals while juggling a daughter at home with health issues. I’ve clearly been fortunate to work for several admirable leaders. Lucky for Glenn, we are now adding leadership to our department, and his team of 40+ will be broken up into four teams with four separate leaders. As we make this switch, I will no longer be on Glenn’s team, but will now be reporting to a woman named Michelle.

What I’ve learned about great leaders and managers, is that they are also great people. They are professional and experienced, yet level-headed and caring. They are advisors, mentors and confidants. They multi-task, they prioritize, and they execute. They are the kind of people that you want to surround yourself with. And in my case, they have mostly been women. This should be celebrated! But we have a long way to go.

Almost 52% of professional-level jobs are owned by women*, and yet only 15% of executive officers are female.* Not to mention the prevailing wage-gap issue – despite the spotlight that has been put on it, women still make about 78 cents to the man’s dollar.* I won’t even get into the workplace harassment issues that the media has highlighted, but let’s just recognize the amount of mountains that women have to climb.

So I say, keep climbing! Inspire and empower the women around you. Celebrate their successes, and learn from them to create your own. Collaborate. Nominate. Share knowledge and information. Acknowledge accomplishments and milestones. Break boundaries and tear down stereotypes.

I want to thank the women who have inspired me. From my mom, to my previous bosses, to my mentors, to my friends – you all dominate everyday. As leading women in your industries, you are constantly knocking down walls and paving a greater way for the women who come after us. I hope to pass along the gifts that I have been given from you to other strong women with powerful potential.

Who run the world.*

Thanks for reading.

 

*11% of civil engineers are women, according to bls.gov.

 *30% of all businesses are owned and operated by women, 
over 40% of moms today are the sole or primary source of 
income in U.S. households, and the pay gap across all 
occupations is 77.5%,  according to resourcefulmanager.com

*Almost 52% of professional-level jobs are owned by women and 
15% of executive officers are female, according to americanprogess.com

*Who run the world? Girls. According to Beyoncé.

The Five Love Languages

51ItBwnbJ6L._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

by Gary Chapman

READ THIS BOOK. Take the quiz. And read this book.

This book addresses the fact that different things hold different levels of importance to different people. An act that you consider small may be monumental to your partner. There are so many different ways to communicate, and its important to understand which languages means the most to both you and the person that you love.

5 Love Languages:

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Acts of Service
Physical Touch
Giving Gifts

I took the quiz and made Ryan (my boyfriend) take it as well prior to reading the book. Just looking at the five love languages, I could spot mine right away: Words of Affirmation. I mean, I was a Communications major… words are important to me. Still, I took the quiz and was validated in my suspicions. Ryan’s answers were surprising in some ways.

My Responses:                          Ryan’s Responses:
9 Words of Affirmation           8 Quality Time
7 Physical Touch                       8 Words of Affirmation
7 Quality Time                           7 Acts of Service
6 Acts of Service                        4 Physical Touch
1 Receiving Gifts                       3 Receiving Gifts

The book speaks about spouses, but I don’t think this applies only to married people, or even just people in relationships. I think that the way you communicate in love says a lot about who you are and can help you to learn more about yourself and your relationships.

I’ve learned that I am extremely sensitive to words. When Ryan and I are able to communicate well and tell each other all these nice things, I feel good. And on the flip side, if words exchanged are negative, I hold onto them for a long time. Luckily, my need for Words of Affirmation is frequently met through meaningful text messages, small notes, and daily “I love you”s. I still think it’s important for Ryan to recognize that Words of Affirmation is my primary love language for whenever we get into fights or arguments. Knowing that words are important to me means that he can say things like “I’m sorry” and “Everything is fine” a few times and my demeanor will drastically change. I am definitely influenced largely by what is said to me.

Even though Ryan’s top two are tied, I think that Quality Time suits him best. It means a lot to him when we share experiences together or spend time doing things at home. Since Receiving Gifts clearly doesn’t hold a lot of significance to either of us, a lot of my birthday and Christmas presents involved tickets to something. We also enjoy doing small, cheap dates on Friday nights such as dinner and/or the movies. I know that planning and spending time together is something that means a lot to him (and myself as well). On the flip side, he gets upset when we are together but I am not present. There are nights where I will fall asleep early, and the next day he will tell me that I was a zombie. I try not to spend too much time on my phone when we are out or on a date, except for taking a couple pictures for Snapchat.

I would love to dive more into what makes Ryan happy after he reads the book. He doesn’t enjoy reading as much as I do, but has agreed to read sections of the book that I block off for him.

What’s important to remember is that what will make a difference in a relationship is effort. Ross Mathews has a theory about relationships, saying, “You need to meet me 100% at the 50 yard line.” Both parties need to be willing to say, Hey, I care about you and our relationship and doing what I can to make it a good one. I’m lucky to have this, but the author of the book is a marriage counselor and often talks about his theories saving marriages. I definitely think it’s possible to apply his theories to positively influence your relationship (or marriage, or love life or whatever), but only if both parties are willing to put in the effort.

Once the effort is there, a little goes a long way. 

More to come after I block of sections for Ryan and get his feedback. Thanks for reading.

Podcast Favorites

podcast

When I started walking to work, I started listening to podcasts.

WARNING: I’m not a podcast expert. (And I am always looking for recommendations!) However, I do have my favorites and I find myself constantly bringing them up in conversation whenever possible.

So here is a list of my current podcasts shows and some reasons why I love them:

Short, daily listens:

BuzzFeed News Reporting To You

BuzzFeed News: Reporting To You – I was so excited to stumble upon this short, news show. There is a new episode every weekday – usually less than 5 minutes – that covers 3 or 4 top or trending stories. Totally relevant, super quick, and helps me feel in the know. Plus, who isn’t a fan of BuzzFeed? Easily in my top 5 favorite podcasts.

The Good News Podcast

The Good News Podcast – Brought to you by the Cards Against Humanity studio in Chicago – this one makes top 3! This is a great listen, new episodes also released every weekday – always less than 10 minutes long. Simple idea – news stories that are meant to make you smile and bring you positivity. Today’s episode gave the results of a study to find the song that makes people the most happy. And the world’s happiest song is… Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes – I’m going to be honest here and say that I often skip through some of the episodes here that don’t necessarily apply to me, but I find a lot of motivation within this show. It’s a self-help podcast, exploring different ideas to help you get the most out of your life. The guy Greg who creates this podcast hasn’t posted consistently lately, but there’s a lot of good stuff in his archives.

Weekly intrigues:

spotify-new-music-friday-artwork

New Music Friday – This is a new one and I am mad at myself for
not starting this first! Spotify updates a playlist every Friday with new music that was released throughout the week. This podcast goes over any new hits that were released (most likely available on the playlist) and which artists to watch. Simple, quick, and noteworthy.

My Favorite MurderMy Favorite Murder – This is going to sound strange but I promise that this is actually a good listen. The podcast talks about true crime and famous murders that include twists, turns, glaring warning signs, and more. I’ve only listened to a fraction of these because of their length, but I listen to most of my podcasts on 1.5x speed which helps. This podcast is super interesting without being a total buzzkill. Stay safe, don’t get murdered.

This Is LoveThis Is Love – This podcast makes it onto my top 5 favorites and it’s only released 3 episodes so far. Brought to you by the creators of the podcast Criminal (which I have not listened to yet), this show explores the mysteries of love in all forms (not just romantic). The second episode titled Something Large and Wild is one of the best episodes I’ve ever listened to across any podcast ever. It’s an incredible story of a distance swimmer helping a last baby whale reunite with its mother and IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Seriously so excited for more to be released here.

Duolingo Spanish Podcast

Duolingo Spanish Podcast – I use the Duolingo app regularly to strengthen mi español, and this podcast helps to further that education with true, bilingual stories. The narration goes back and forth between Spanish and English and is geared towards intermediate Spanish speakers. In true Spanish fashion, these stories always rip out mi corazon out in some way, shape or form – even the happy ones.

Famous People:

Anna Faris Is Unqualified

Anna Faris Is Unqualified – First of all, as a big fan of The House Bunny, I love Anna Faris. I’ve listened to all the episodes of Unqualified available and was still begging for more. Anna plays “Dating Dealbreakers” with her guests, does characters such as the obnoxious Kayla and snoody studio CEO Karen Sarducci, and gives unfiltered advice to callers. If you only listen to one episode, listen to Terry Crews. He goes off on a long tangent about what he has learned about life, love and masculinity and it is truly inspirational. So much of what he said was extremely relatable and relevant. (I asked my boyfriend to listen as well and he agreed.) Might be my favorite podcast, definitely in my top 3. “Fuck you, Sim.”

Straight Talk with Ross MatthewsStraight Talk with Ross Matthews – I just became a straight-talker after falling in love with Ross on Celebrity Big Brother. I’ve listened to the 2018 episodes, but I’m currently in the process of binging on all episodes available. It’s going to take me a while, but it’s going to be worth it. I have already laughed enough in the first 20 episodes to make me seem crazy to my co-workers and those who pass me on the street. It’s silly and upbeat and also in my top 3 favorite podcasts. Order your Squatty Potty today.

Here's The Thing with Alec BaldwinHere’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – Let me just say that I love the way Alec interviews his guests. Hard hitting questions that dig deep and tell good stories from the entertainment industry history. Recently he interviewed Jann Wenner, the creator of Rolling Stone Magazine, and that was a good listen! As a fan of NBC, I most enjoyed his interviews with Jimmy Fallon, Lorne Michaels and QuestLove. I’ve been told that Alec was one of the first big celebrities with a podcast, so there are more interviews available than I have time to listen to. I’ve added my favorite celebrities to my queue to start, but there’s a lot more for me to dig into here.

Snoop Dogg's GGN PodcastSnoop Dogg’s GGN Podcast – I’m still making my way through the Snoop archives, but I have not been disappointed by one episode of the Double G News Podcast. I saw Gabriel Igelsias do stand-up last November where he talked about being a guest on this show. He brought his son with him to the recording, and both were offered the opportunity to smoke weed with Snoop, which made for a great bit in his stand-up. Listening to the episode and all the coughing was quite amusing, as was the Seth Rogan episode where he times how long it takes him to roll a cross-joint. (Fun Fact from this episode: Seth rolled all his own joints in the movie Pineapple Express.) The archives go back to 2015, so I am looking forward to binging on hours and hours worth of the sultry Snoop voice.

Bachelor Nation:

Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe – (I am only putting the Bachelor shows at the bottom of this post because not everyone cares as much as I do, but… ) I LOVE KAITLYN and her podcast is the reason I first opened up the podcast app – no joke. I am just such a huge fan of Kaitlyn’s and she is the only celebrity whose DMs I have tried to slide into. One of the best parts about Off The Vine is that she will recap the Bachelor shows, but she is also a fan of Big Brother (my reality show dream). I have found a good amount of behind-the-scenes insight to both shows as a result of this podcast.

TThe Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcasthe Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast – Just as I loved to watch Ashley I cry on her Bachelor shows, I could listen to that New Jersey accent gossip all day. Nothing against Ben, but I listen to this one for Ashley I. I cannot get enough of her and I loved her on Bach Winter Games! The Almost Famous Podcast is the first one that I listen to after a Bachelor franchise show airs some drama. All good things love, dating, and Ashley I.

If you have any podcast suggestions, please let me know!

Thanks for reading.

Wisdom Teeth Surgery

For a long time, I was convinced that I would never need this surgery because my wisdom teeth actually had grown in and fit in my mouth comfortably. A couple years later, my dentist told me that because of the lack of space around those teeth, my toothbrush was not cleaning them effectively enough to keep cavities away, and that this would continue over time. So, he recommended that I have them removed. Even after getting a consult with an oral surgeon, I instinctively pushed this off for several months. THEN, a piece of the tooth broke off (probably from the cavities – gross, I know…) and the remainder of the tooth was sharp and jabbing into my gums. So it’s no surprise that two weeks later I found myself in the surgeon’s chair.

Let me start off by saying that the surgery went well and was relatively easy – I didn’t even need stitches! That being said, going into the surgery, I was a nervous wreck. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of being put to sleep, I’ve never had surgery of any kind, and honestly I’ve had very minimal medical issues. Still, I probably should have been more chill about the whole thing.

I was already feeling uneasy this week leading up the the surgery, and I woke up playing a list of worst case scenarios over and over in my head. I was strangely sensitive all morning and my anxiety levels were high. (Quick shout out to my amazing boyfriend Ryan for doing what he could to put me at ease.❤)  Those levels were further increased by two sets of strangers in the waiting room making small talk about the details of their children’s procedures. Phrases such as, “root canal” and “synthetic stitching” had me praying that they would either leave or just shut the fuck up.

By the time I was in the surgeon’s chair, I was doing everything I could to not go into a full blown panic. I told the doctor I was nervous as she put three little monitors on me, one on each side of my collar bone and one on my left side. I wasn’t even hooked up to the IV yet, and I was getting more nervous by the second. She then put the blood pressure cuff around my arm and as I felt it getting tighter and tighter, I started to panic that it wouldn’t stop and it would just keep squeezing my arm until it injured me. Contrary to the mania in my head, the machine did stop tightening, but honestly it was extremely uncomfortable and was taking an awful long time to release. The doctor was looking at the machine and said that she was going to change the cuff. She manually released it and put the new one on, saying, “Don’t worry – this one is brand new!” Oh thank you so much, you’re just making me feel so much better about this whole thing! (No, actually she was really nice and the machine took my blood pressure correctly that time). After she took all my vitals, she left the room without taking the cuff off my arm like I expected her to. A minute or two went by and the cuff started to tighten again, putting me back into a small panic. My mind started racing. Wasn’t she supposed to take this off of me? Is this supposed to be taking my BP again? Should it be this tight? I complained to Ryan that it was hurting me and he kept reassuring me that everything was okay, but I was feeling more anxious by the second. My eyes started to well up, so I shifted my gaze upwards and tried to blink it away. In one hour, it’ll be done. In just one hour, it’ll be over. When the doctor came back in, I was given laughing gas and the instructions to breathe in my nose and out my mouth. The blood pressure cuff started to tighten again.

Me: Is that going to keep happening every two minutes?

Doctor: Every five minutes, but yes. You doing okay?

No, not really. 

Me: Yeah, it’s just a little tight.

Doctor: Okay, Ryan now do you want to go back into the waiting room now or do you want to wait until after we do the IV?

Ryan: I —

Me: He probably wants to stay.

Doctor: Ryan, do you want to come hold her hand?

Me: Yeah, he does.

Once I had Ryan’s hand in mine, I closed my eyes and the doctor took my arm. She wrapped something around me above my elbow to get a good vein for the IV, but that made me really internally freak the fuck out. I could feel my legs shaking and they had to remind me to keep breathing or else the laughing gas wouldn’t work. (Ryan has informed me post-surgery that I actually did, in fact, stop breathing for a second.) I forced myself to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, but my exhales came out shaky.

It’s not even like the needle itself was painful, it was everything else that really freaked me out. The weird IV bag, the things hooked up to my collar bone, the blood pressure cuff. Everything made me nervous and anxious and scared. I couldn’t control my breathing or stop my body from shaking. It was scary to not be able to calm myself down, especially after Ryan had been told to make his way back to the waiting room. Luckily, that meant that the IV was in, and after a few minutes of panic that it wouldn’t have any affect on me, I guess I finally fell asleep.

Let me just remind you again that this was just a normal wisdom teeth surgery – and an easy one at that. I usually don’t have any problems going to a medical appointment, but then again, I’ve never had to be “hooked up” to anything. I pray that I don’t find myself with any serious complications in the future, because I don’t know if I could handle it. To anyone who has been put through surgeries, procedures, or any other scary medical experiences, please know that you are a stronger human than I am! Respect.

wisdom teeth snap

Anyway, waking up from surgery was fairly easy. It was much less dramatic than I was picturing, and there was no “David After Dentist” camera opp. (By the way – no, I am not high on pain pills as I am writing this or anything like that.) Truly, the worst part of the entire procedure was being so ridiculously in my head about it.

So yeah, that’s how my first surgery experience went. Thanks for reading.

If you’re reading this, I started a blog.

I am starting this blog because I want to find a way to connect more with my writing. I don’t have a theme, I am not promoting anything, and really my only purpose is self fulfillment. What I write here will be the random, genuine, and original ideas that are floating around inside my head. Like it says above, I don’t really care if you read this or not. I’m writing for me.

I’ve been living downtown in Allentown, PA for over 2 years now. My office is located just 6 blocks from my apartment, so I am able to walk to work. Even on rainy days like today, this has been a tremendous improvement in my life. The work/life balance that is available within my position has allowed me time to focus on things I enjoy, rather than just work, work, work and nothing else. I’ve been reading more, going to a yoga class, and I even did some “feng shui” around the apartment.

I’m finding the importance of doing things for yourself in order to get the best balance out of life. I surround myself with things that I love and people who love me, and I’ve found that I am happy.

More to come! Thanks for reading.