lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

World Weary February 8, 2019

I love traveling. I love seeing new places and trying new things. One of my primary aims in life is to become a true citizen of the world, so any chance I have to see a new slice of humanity is amazing to me. But with seeing so many things, it becomes harder to be amazed.

It’s like when you’re traveling around Europe and you’ve just walked into your twelfth cathedral and it sort of looks a lot like the last eleven cathedrals. You wander around, look at all the windows, and wonder when you’re going to get to eat lunch.

Then you’re eating your brie, and you think about how so many people would love to have the opportunity to walk through the building you just visited. You feel a little grateful for having seen it, but also still a bit like you really don’t want to visit cathedral number thirteen even though you’ve already purchased the ticket. (more…)

 

Life is a Group Project December 18, 2018

You know how in school group projects were the worst?

I’ve come to the realization that life is just one massive group project. Hear me out, okay?

I have a high standard that I’ve set for myself. I know what my job is, how it is expected to be done, the level of professionalism that should be maintained. Normally, things just sail smoothly along, all of us, like adult ducks, cruising down the stream of life.

But then some duck who doesn’t feel the need to maintain the dignity of the duck population gives up on smooth swimming and starts flailing their wings around like they’ve never swum before in their life. All the mature ducks are getting splashed, the young ducks think it’s funny, and you realize you’ve spent your whole ducking life working hard under the assumption that the other ducks in your stream also cared to maintain the dignity of the swimming party.

But not all ducks are created equal, and no matter how much of your life you dedicate to keeping the dignity of the ducks in order, one dumb duck ruins the whole damn thing for everyone.

Even if we splash away from the duck metaphor to the greater problems of the world, we still have the group project problem. (more…)

 

A Tale of Two Understudies December 4, 2018

Today, I offer you a tale of two understudies. Well, really it’s the story of two different leads who had to call out of shows. The leads were from two different titular-character driven productions. By that, I mean the show was about one character, and the rest of us were just there to dance around behind them.

The first who had to call out was a man. His voice went kaput, and he had to call out for a day. He was a great guy who knew how hard the job of his understudy was going to be. Rather than throw a tantrum about his understudy going on, he did everything he could to help his understudy succeed. Right down to being on vocal rest in the wings during the show to make sure all of the understudy’s quick changes went well. At the end of the performance, people congratulated the understudy on doing an amazing job. But they also thanked the lead for being such a gracious and wonderful person to help his understudy get through the show.

The second to call out was a woman. She waffled about calling out for several days, giving her understudy several mid-show heart attacks, then finally called out. (more…)

 

The Patience Game November 30, 2018

I’m not a patient person. It’s not my thing. You tell me we’re going to go to Disney world, and I want to go right now. You tell me you bought me a present, and I want it right now!

I tell you this so you’ll understand how very proud of me you should be.

This year, the husband and I went to Greece and Italy. While we were in Italy, we went to one of my favorite places in the world: the Ponte Vecchio.

The bridge is entirely covered in high-end jewelry stores. In fact, it’s illegal for a non-jewelry store to be on the bridge. It has something to do with royalty not wanting stinky things like butchers and tanneries on their commute, so they banned everything but gold and the tradition stuck.

It’s the coolest place of commercialism I’ve ever seen. The storefronts look like jewelry boxes, and when they open in the morning, it’s like something out of a fairytale.

Anyway, the husband and I visited the Ponte Vecchio, and I found a pair of earrings I really, really wanted. Gorgeous little hoops with rose gold on the outside and white gold on the inside. They were so amazing and more than I could excuse spending on a travel gift to myself.

But our ten-year wedding anniversary is coming up at the end of December. (more…)

 

Lines of Misery November 20, 2018

The husband and I went to Panera for breakfast before a very long day of work last week. Just, you know, a sugar and cinnamon crusted bagel treat to get us through a twelve-hour work day.

Anyway, the cappuccino machine broke, and we had to wait in the parking lot for a while so they could deliver our coffee to us. (Drive-thrus man… you win some, you get stuck sitting in your car for some.)

We finally got our caffeine fix and went to leave the parking lot, and there was this girl walking across traffic as slowly as an able-bodied person could imagine walking. She was wearing clothes to start a shift as a server, and her face was just the most miserable I have ever seen. (more…)

 

Hold My Massive Pill Container November 9, 2018

I’m not an easily offended person. Mostly because I don’t have it in me to care, a little because I try to be understanding.

But here’s the thing—pardon me while I pull out my soap box—it pisses me off when people completely lack understanding of what it is to have a chronic illness and decide to have loud opinions about your needing damn medicine!

Bah!

I get chronic sinus infections. It’s an unfortunate mix of terrible allergies, a shoddy immune system, and living my life on immune suppressants. So, I take antibiotics more than most people should. Because I have an autoimmune disease.

I don’t need your opinion about how pharmacists “are just pill pushers” and how we don’t need modern medicine. I don’t want your home remedy—my neti pot and I are really great friends. I don’t need you to tell me that I don’t look sick. Or my favorite: “Well, if it were that bad, you wouldn’t be doing the show.” (more…)

 

Laughing in the Face of… Everything October 30, 2018

I have an unfortunate habit of laughing when things go wrong.

It’s not like I try and make bad things happen, but my natural stress response is to laugh.

Once upon a time, I may or may not have dropped a lit candle down the back of a piano. I ended up gasping on the floor with tears streaming down my face over that one.

My husband got horrible food poisoning while out with our friends. They were all worried as he hurled on the side of the road. I was laughing my butt off. While rubbing my husband’s back, of course. (more…)