When Your Period Gaslights You

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Some people get travel- constipation. I get travel- weird periods. It doesn’t help that I am traveling with a dueling uterus who wants to be Alpha. She won out this month and threw me off even more.

I knew it was only a matter of time; the calendar said I was a smidge late and my bitchiness and annoyance of EV-ER-Y-THING said menses was imminent. But, I came down with a chest cold/allergy issue (I secretly think Texas is trying to kill me already) and I stopped caring about bleeding.

And then, last night – or should I say in the wee-est hours of this morning- I felt the signs. I woke up with some serious late period cramping and backaches. I had the tell tale signs of uterine pressure, like a too-filled water balloon ready to flood and I also had a super weird craving for nachos. I don’t  even know what that was all about.

If you’re following me, you know I am essentially homeless, living with my family in a hotel (room). My hotel bed has beautifully crisp white sheets and a super comfortable white faux-down comforter and a bright white over-the-comforter extra sheet thingy. White. WHITE. Everywhere.

I cannot start my period engulfed in white. I just can’t. These “signs” are making me think that I absolutely will wake up in a pool of my own blood, worthy of a CSI investigation. How would I recover from that? How do you broach that conversation with housekeeping?? WHAT IF IT GET’S ON THE MATTRESS?? And then a scenario flashes before my eyes: bed sheets soaked in gallons of red. Me frantically clawing the bedding off, only to discover the huge red body outline on the mattress. The horror etched on my family’s faces. And then our silhouettes slowly walking into the darkness of night, illuminated by the red-orange  glow from the blaze behind us. Because I would have to burn this bitch down if I start my Carrie-inspired period tonight and bled all over this rental bed.

So, I jump out of bed as smoothly and quietly as I can in the pitch black of half-morning half-night  and feel my way into my bag for underwear (I am already positive the ones I have on are ruined forever) and do the awkward-stepping-arms-straight-out walk to the bathroom. The light blinds me immediately, and I fumble to close the door behind me, quickly and quietly. I waist down strip and rummage through my toiletry bags to find my “products”. In squinty-eyed defeat, I realize they are in my suitcase. In the closet. Which is back through the inky darkness from which I just came. Panic. Wait… over there. Brightly colored stars and hearts and tribal motifs. YES!! Uterus 2, you were smart and left your shit in the bathroom. I grab the little box and  my fresh underpants and happily unwrap a panty liner. But then, I realize I am NOT in fact covered in my own blood. As a matter of fact, things seem under control.  But, those pangs in my lower areas sing to me. My aching back knowingly echos the same.

“You will have to burn this bitch down come morning”. 

So I immediately grab a (tween sized) pad. With wings, mind you.  And I affix this, over the liner, to my underpants. Well, first I have to unstick the wings-part from all the other places it stuck BEFORE it found it’s home wrapped around my underpants.

Let me pause here for a minute to impart some next-day-after-coffee clarity. In my head, all of the above action was done in ninja-like silence. Nary a peep heard by my soundly sleeping family. But the reality is, it probably sounded more like a construction zone, or at least a bustling office. I mean, aside from the falling out of bed and blindly getting to the bathroom, we all know that  opening ladies product wrappers is literally the loudest sound on earth. It’s science. If a sonic boom and kotex wrapper were to go head-to-head? Kotex, hands down. Every time. I am pretty sure you can hear that shit in space.

I finish in the bathroom, use The Force to get back to bed since the wattage of the bathroom light was brilliant and totally screwed me on the return voyage, and sometime before the sun comes up I manage to get back to sleep without those nachos I was desperate for.

And when I rise in the morning, AFTER 9 A.M., I quickly stake claim to the bathroom to find one lone red dot on my fortress of dry-weave. Not a mess. Not a crime scene. Not even a need to change anything. A speck. I could have slept NAKED and not left a mark.

Well played period pangs. You effed with me real good.

Breakfast in a Hotel

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Yesterday I told you all about my glam life living in a hotel (room). Well, one of those posh perks is getting complimentary breakfast. This comes in super handy since my kids have started school, while living in a hotel (room), and the already mentioned tiny fridge we have doesn’t allow for extras like milk/juice/real food.

TGILW has been a real gem this week, and has gone down to the lobby for bagel toasting duty. But today, I went.
The loung-ey area was full of business types/ morning people all did up and ready to meet the day head on after a hearty processed breakfast!

And then there was me.

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Messy hair- don’t care. Yesterday’s mascara caked into the bags under my eyes. My pajama yogas that have lived a thousand lives (and weight changes) complete with who-knows-what-stains all over them, my Target “sports bra” that gives the false impression I’m braless with 30 year old (saggy) boobs as opposed to 41 year old (saggier) boobs, a tank top that is at least 3 duty stations ago old. Oh, and a little drool dried into the chin, for good measure.
I don’t know these people, and my kids need some breakfast, so I’m going about my mom bizness, homeless look be damned.

 

 

Then some ladies walk in. Ladies of employment. No, not that  kind of employment.

Suits. And slick and professional hair do’s. And heels. And nary a drool patch. WTF? It’s like 7 am – in the MORNING. What time did they get up?? Their skirts are wrinkle free – to match their youthful faces, their crisp white blouses were all stain free (what sorcery is this?), they didn’t walk like Frankenstein in their classy pumps, the arms of their  fitted blazer  didn’t bunch around mid-hand like normal. These ladies were straight up adulting.

 

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And I stood there with my plate piled with carbs (for the kids!!) and my sad yoga pants and my bra not really helping and my scrunchy morning face and my squinty why-don’t-I-wear-my-glasses-more face and my Gary Busey hair.

And this is my life. 

Chasing your Passion

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A few weeks ago, I was on Skype with my adult daughter, talking about life. She is at the age were adulting is hard. She has realized growing up is a trap and she had it pretty good as a teenager, living under her parents roof, even with all those smothering rules (you know, being respectful,no drugs,don’t lie,no driving after drinking). There was (almost) always toilet paper, and food, and clean towels. There was always someone to make her food if she were sick, or to watch trash TV when she needed to be consoled. But in the adult world, it’s cold and harsh and unforgiving.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The adult world can also be awesome. Especially as a young adult, the world is really what you make it. It’s all right there for you to grab.  And so we visited this topic. We talked about getting a better job, making more money, having opportunities.          I asked her this simple question:

What are you passionate about? 

Crickets. That’s what I heard, that wasn’t her answer. She didn’t really have an answer. She mumbled through a few general ideas, she threw out a few liberal arts majors, bur she honestly didn’t know what, out of all the things she enjoys, made her MOST happy.

At first I was annoyed. Like how does this kid I raised so passionately NOT have her own passionate interests?!?  Maybe I’m overusing the word “passionate”. I felt that at almost 22, with so many of her peers graduating college, she would have found that thing. I have no idea why I thought this. What was I passionate about at almost 22? I had a kid, a husband, a going-no-where job. My 22 wasn’t nearly as “together” as her 22. I wasn’t living out any dreams. I wasn’t chasing anything except payday. She lives in another country. In a large city. Sure, she may also be chasing payday, but she’s doing it out of want, more than need. She has time to find a passion.

But it made me really think about me. I totally judged her for not having a passion, when  I am luckily enough to have one (or three) that I let fall to the back of the closet. I have been ignoring MY passion, which is so much worse than still trying to figure it out.

I let adulting turn into  the vortex of negativity. I found myself using excuses to not chase my dreams. I put shaving my legs, cleaning the refrigerator, laundry, kids, my job, the weather, street tacos, swallow up the time I would normally use for writing. I let one bad situation (it was terrible!!) ruin my love of volunteering. I let my day job bog me down, when really it should have been the source of a million posts; I can’t make up the shenanigans that happen here.

It’s never to late. To find it. To start over. To figure it out. To change. Everyday is a good day to do it. Right now is always the right time. Your passion will wait for you, but why let it?

Like, right now for instance. When you’re at work not working on that menu pricing comparative spreadsheet.

Because menu pricing comparative spreadsheets aren’t your passion.