It all started with waking up to two little girls jumping into my bed, poking me and yelling with excitement, “CAN WE HAVE CEREAL?” – Waking up on the first day of a new year at 9am, my alarms far past going off and me sleeping through them again, girls jumping all around me, and a terrible headache. This headache wasn’t from drinking or partying too much the night before, as I spent New Years Eve night alone with my sleeping girls, and a few small glasses of wine. It was simply that the weather is changing (Again – Thank you Utah weather), and this is causing pain and stiffness in my joints. The difficulty getting out of bed slowed me down much more than I had anticipated, and even just putting on pants proved to be a challenge, but I did it. It only took about five minutes from the time I started bending my knees, stretching my fingers, and basically bending everything that bends in order to prepare them for the day. Funny how people don’t realize what preparation goes into getting out of bed for someone like me. The amount of effort is alarming. New Years Eve day had it’s own difficulties that likely very much played into the issues I was then suffering.
New Years Eve day was spent on the couch watching my little girls play with their new toys. They were behaving quite well, minus the random fights they generally have. Girl Spawn #3 is only slightly bigger than Girl Spawn #4, though they are 3 years apart in age. This proves for a lot of face to face arguments, an over abundant amount of tears, and more time out than I would prefer. However they were getting along, so it wasn’t too bad at all. I had planned to go see one of my dearest friends and her new adorable offspring. A beautiful little baby girl, whom I already love so much, and if I didn’t have my own minions to take care of, would visit every day! We planned for the girls and I to show up just after lunch. My body, however, had different plans. Sitting on the couch, I realized that the swelling in my abdomen that I woke up with had not dissipated at all. It is common for me to wake up with some stomach bloating now and then that slowly eases up. The reason I noticed the swelling was still present was due to the pain that had begun to increase. Obviously pain is not uncommon with me, but this pressure and pain together was slightly alarming. After about 20 minutes, I realized I had felt this pain just a few weeks ago, and had actually ended up in the ER out of fear.
One thing about having chronic illnesses (regardless of which one you have), you start having “normal” abnormal symptoms and learn what to do with them. Since my visit to the ER, and then a followup with my Dr, I knew that the “normal” abnormal bleeding I was experiencing was to be monitored. I knew I had pushed myself too far, and had irritated my insides. I needed to rest, drink liquids, and simply take it easy. I knew what to watch for, and when to head out to the Dr. Luckily I was fine, just as I was last time, but this obviously thwarted my plans for the day. A sad but common truth that I have to face on a regular basis with the ridiculous that is my body. Sometimes I feel like the real me, the REAL body I have, is stuck inside this strange body that developed over and around the one that I know so well. I feel like I am inside myself, and that one day this “pain” will melt away and I will be me again. Fresh. Healthy. Strong! Logically I know this isn’t the case, however on days like New Years Eve, I can’t help but have… hope? Dreams? This is probably emotionally unhealthy, but I can’t help it. Who would be able to? But I digress.
Once I was downstairs, had given my girls breakfast and sat down on the couch to rest my feet on the coffee table, I saw that I had a message on one of the dating apps I am on. (Don’t judge me) – The message proved to be nothing, and even borderline insulting. The dirty messages that some men send over the web is just ridiculous. Do those really work? I can’t imagine. As I was about to click out of the app I saw a picture that caught my eye. A black and white photo of a man with short, soft looking hair flipped up in the most casual way, aviator sunglasses reflecting the world in front of him, and a half smoked cigarette sticking out of his mouth. I am such a fool for good photography, especially of handsome men, so I just had to click on his profile. I scanned through his photos; A loving father with his adorable little son. A manly beard covered face, taken from such an awkward angle I cringe, though I have to forgive this photo due to the pure excellence of the one that brought me to his page. Skimming through his “synopsis” I found his self description quite refreshing, though very simply put and straight forward. I like straight forwardness. Without much thought I sent the following message:
“Your picture needs to have the caption ‘Badass Extraordinaire’.”
Quite amused and pleased with myself, I moved on, closed the app and turned on my laptop. I was going to check up on some work emails, a few personal items, and maybe play one of my geeky video games. My body hated me today already, so it was time to just relax and try not to upset it in any way. Just let it relax and get over the unpleasantness that ensued the night before. January 1st, 2014. This is supposed to bring new hope, and new life. Everyone has new dreams for the year. Set new goals, and feel like they have started something new! I, however, do not feel that way. It is simply a new month. I new number for tracking the rotation of the Sun, the Seasons, etc. I understand the symbolism, and though I have felt it before, I do not feel it now. Not saying I have nothing to look forward to, I simply did not feel the freshness of the year starting, and the “clean slate” positiveness I even felt on the verge of 2013. I take my life one day at a time right now, and January 1st was just another day… until..
I grab my phone and low and behold, it is a message from “Badass Extraordinaire”. Taking a look, and expecting a simply “You’re funny, thank you.” type of message, I instead got a longer message both thanking me and inquiring back, asking for more about me. I gave a quick little answer, and a “How about you?” reply. Generally I find that men on this site are either overly zealous about my pretty face, or overly pervy about my curvy body and thick lips. I am that redheaded, thick and curvy Irish girl that people think would be fun to.. well.. bang. I know that assuming that everyone I talk to is going to be like that is being grim, and I did initiate the conversation, so I just carried on. About 2 minutes later…
Hmmm.. Grabbing my phone off the end table, I saw it was him again. I then happened to notice I like his screen name. “Disgruntled White Guy”. HA! Nice. I opened the message, and to my surprise it was quite long. Reading through the message, I found it quite endearing. It was genuine, sweet, and very personally informative. I was interested. I text back.
He was interested. After back and forth off and on for a few hours, I decided that it was annoying to go through an app to talk this much, and offered up my phone number. I hadn’t had quite an enticing (and un-sexual) conversation with a man in quite awhile. Most times by this point they have at least made one sexual innuendo, however he had not. This was a genuine conversation, a real conversation, about who we were, what we like, and what we are looking for. The back and forth was quite entertaining. Then came the phone call. Then back to texting… and another phone call. All in all, I spoke to this man almost the entire day of January 1st, and then into January 2nd. By the time I got off the phone (3 1/2 hour conversation), it was well into the night, and just after 1:00 am. I got off the phone feeling invigorated, and pleased. I haven’t felt this kind of connection with someone since.. well.. since my “Dead Horse”, and even then it didn’t click like this until we had known each other for a few weeks. Though I was physically miserable all day long yesterday, I was emotionally alive and interest peaked. I was.. excited.
This morning I woke up late for work. My joints were stiff, my legs were sore, and my body just didn’t want to move. It took me over 45 minutes to completely come out of the exhausted trance my body was in after the last few days of pain and suffering. Crawling out of bed, I headed down two flights of stairs into the basement where I had left laundry in the dryer. Once the clothing was acquired, I attempted to climb the first flight of stairs. My right knee buckled underneath me, I felt the muscles scream, the joint lock and then release. HOLY HELL! It hurt SO bad, I collapsed onto the stairs, turning my body just right so I fell on my hip instead of my other knee. The twisting motion sent shooting pains through both legs, and my muscles seized. Both legs tingled, and I could feel the energy drain from me. I pulled my phone out of the pocket of my pajamas. 8:04 am. Here I was, already 4 minutes late for work, stuck in my basement and nobody to help me up. With my oldest daughter out of town visiting her father’s family for the school break, it was just me and my two baby minions. I was finally able to get myself together, climb not only the first flight of stairs, but eventually the second. I was able to get two children dressed, myself ready, and make it to work only 45 minutes late. To most, this seems like a long time, and not something to feel good about, but to me.. this was amazing.
Since I had arrived so late, I immediately took to getting to work. I pushed through all of the emails from the holiday break. The audits I needed to assign. The spreadsheets I needed to create, etc. A few minutes after I arrived at work…
My heart jumped, and I am positive my face lit up. Looking at my phone, it was him. “Badass Extraordinaire”! – “I’m sorry for keeping you up so late, I was worried about you getting enough sleep and making it to work, but I really enjoyed our conversation. Do you realize we talked for over 3 hours?.” – I couldn’t help but plant a ridiculously cheesy grin on my face. My body ached, my head hurt, but my heart was happy. I had hot coffee, a good job, and sweet man that I couldn’t get off my mind thinking about me just as much as I was him. I can’t help but feel a little flicker of hope that maybe this is.. maybe this is the start of something. Maybe..
And it all started with a photo…