Oops

So, I’ve been absent for almost three months. If I was speaking purely from imagination, I’d tell you now of my amazing vacation around the world. The kind of spiritual journey described in Eat. Pray. Love. Oh, the elephant rides and exotic food. I’m a changed being.

But since this is  place of honesty: I just sort of forgot. For a solid six weeks I genuinely forgot that I had a blog. It’s even saved as a favorite on my dashboard for chrome. I should really consider joining Lumosity. That can’t be healthy.

Last week, I noticed the little WordPress icon at the top of my screen and thought, “Yeah, I should probably get back to that.” If anything, I need to start writing again purely to preserve a little sanity. I quite enjoy my little sharing circle. Where any judgement can be marked as spam. Blogging rocks.

I did complete rehab and it was everything it was supposed to be. I have some drafts saved that I will now get around to finishing and publish. While I was there, I had the delusion that I’d have some free time to write. I was severely mistaken. I’ll talk about that later.

Thank you for being patient with me. I did in fact forget you (sorry), but I’m back. A little late, but here all the same. Like a sequel from Pixar.

xx Courtney

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I’ve Worn Real Clothes for Four Days and the World Has Yet to End

Apparently, most people get up and get dressed in the morning. I am not one of those people. I prefer to stay in my pajamas until I take a shower, after which I change into different pajamas. It’s pretty awesome. I don’t see why more people don’t do it.

My lovely grandparents came into town last Friday. I don’t feel the need to go all-out, mega impressive. However, it is not considered okay to walk around in pants printed with Christmas trees. (Yes, I am aware that Christmas is over, and no I will not stop wearing Holiday-themed pajama pants. Everyone knows that the most comfortable sleepwear is produced in winter.) After trying to find a way out of it, I was left with only one option: actual clothing.

Plus, I knew the would want to do things like go out and leave the house. I know there are some that find it socially acceptable to exit their home in nightwear, I do not. I have some dignity left. Seriously, unless there is a major emergency, you should at least be wearing track pants. Get it together, high school girls. It’s not cute. I remember driving up to school once and I saw a freshman get out of her parent’s car and wave goodbye. As soon as the vehicle drove away, she took off her baggy sweatpants to reveal a pair of Hello Kitty pajamas underneath. Really?!

Anyways, after I went shopping for some “normal clothes,” I was prepared for a very different kind of weekend. I was going to have to things that I am so not used to.

I woke up on Friday with a large to-do list. I completely put off was too busy to get it all done beforehand. My stuff was all over the house and I was still in my attire of choice. With only a few hours before their arrival for dinner, I got to work. Lucky for me, everyone else was out of the house for a while. I seem to get more done when I’m by myself. I scrambled to put my boxes of God-knows-what into what has been deemed the “hoarder’s room.” It’s basically the room where everyone puts their crap that doesn’t seem to have a place. The fact that we still have boxes all over the house after living here for three years is a bit pathetic.

After making the common areas look presentable came the moment of truth. No yoga pants, no lounge wear, no sports bras. I stared at my dark-wash jeans wondering if there was still any way to get out of it. Do my jeans even fit? I think I may have worn them in January?

But, I did my makeup, pulled my hair half-up (baby steps), and put on those straight-legs. I even wore a sweater, breaking the mold by layering with something other than a hoodie. I also put on some earrings and a bracelet. My grandfather is a jeweler by trade, so showing up without some bling would be heavily frowned upon.

My extended family stayed for about four hours that night. Enough time to eat dinner, play cards, and listen to embarrassing stories about my father’s childhood. They had a long day of flying and layovers, so we didn’t expect them to stay too long. I got to bed late (shocker) and ended the first of four days in real clothes.

The rest of the weekend presented a few challenges. For one, I had to wake up early. Well, early for me. I didn’t want to be inconsiderate, rolling out of bed whenever I felt like. On top of that, I genuinely enjoy the company of my grandparents. They were only staying until Monday (today), so I wanted to take full advantage of the time I had with them.

Saturday was spent in Santa Fe, as my tiny town only has so much to offer. We divided our day by looking at old churches, walking in heavy rain, and going into my favorite oil and vinegar store. The night ended perfectly by eating at a lovely Italian restaurant that was booked solid. My grandfather has unmatched charm and quick thinking, which got us in right away and without a reservation. It was wonderful.

On Sunday, my brother was presented with his Eagle Scout award. This was the main purpose for my family’s visit. We listened to endless speeches and watched various people distribute an unusual amount of pins and recognition pieces. The highlight was my grandfather’s introductory speech. It was short, sweet, and so beautiful. My mom cried. It was really nice to attend such a special event of my brother’s. I haven’t always been able to go to his award ceremonies and celebrations. This is the “big deal” award ceremony, so I was happy to be able to support him.

Following the talking and a bit of cleanup, we came home and watched the Oscars because my grandparents like the Oscars. I’m indifferent towards award shows. I like the dresses and the highlights. I get all I need to know from social media and Fashion Police.

Then Monday comes around (cue Switchfoot song), and I am once again subjected to the ways of the convential. Getting up and getting dressed is hard. How do you do it everyday?! But I’m wearing jeans again and the world appears to still be intact.

I met my grandparents at their hotel for breakfast for some final laughs and goodbyes. Because they live in California, I don’t have the luxury of seeing them often. Whenever I have the opportunity to have them around, I treasure it. Besides, I always walk away with a few blackmail stories regarding my father.

Subsequently, the long weekend has left me very tired. I participated in so much more than I typically do. I don’t see myself taking on so much everyday from this point forward, as I would burn out very quickly. All the doctors that I’ve had, the good ones anyways, have stressed the importance of not over-doing it. Of course, there is the exception of having family in from out of town.

Now that the visit has passed, I kind of missed my comfortable clothes. You can’t blame me, right? I wasn’t scared, necessarily, of putting on real clothes. Because that would be crazy. I, like in a lot of things, had become too comfortable in my surroundings. But in the end, I accomplished quite a bit. I joined civilization and put on some concealer. Plus, I learned that putting on a pair of jeans every once in a while isn’t going to kill me.

xx Courtney

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Is “Get a Hobby” an Insult if it Comes from Your Doctor?

sad bored hobby

My doctor was much kinder, but the message is essentially the same.

It might be time to reevaluate your life when even your doctor is telling you to get a hobby.

I will be going back to Mayo Clinic in the coming months for a three-week program. Before my dates were set, I had to be “approved” by someone who works there. Basically, they were just making sure I wasn’t a drug addict or someone with violent tendencies. During the phone call, the man asked, “What do you do for fun?” Because I have a rule about lying to doctors/medical professionals, I replied honestly.

“Nothing.”

As I spoke the truth, the answer burned. My reality was upsetting for many reasons. I hadn’t consciously chosen to eliminate enjoyable things from my life. With all of my medical issues, I just didn’t have time. My world revolved around the specific goal of getting better. Adjectives formerly used to describe my life were replaced with different words, like recovery, treatment, and therapy. In the process of making room for the aspects of my new normal, something had to give. Fun was that thing.

I was sad because this wasn’t my choice. This wasn’t the result of teenage angst or rebellion. My life was turned upside down in the blink of an eye. You know how celebrities say that their lives changed over night once they got their big break? Mine changed overnight, too. Except, when I woke up I didn’t have fans and magazine covers. I had blood tests and doctor’s appointments.

Last September, my doctor made it clear that I need to focus on me. For the past five years, my health has been my only priority. In that sense, I was decent. As far as remaining happy and working on myself as a person? Not so much.

I used to have lots of hobbies. I was in drama club, swim team, writing academy (a story for another post), and a slew of other moderately impressive activities. I also actually had a social life and went out on the weekends.

Preach

I’m a believer in doing the things that you want. What I wanted to do was stay home, wear yoga pants, and watch Supernatural reruns. Apparently, this is not acceptable for everyday life.

After being told that my way of life is, in fact, not a way of life, I had to reexamine. Sure, I didn’t have hobbies. That’s a relatively easy fix. What really concerned me is that I wasn’t particularly interested in getting one. There are definitely some days that I really can’t leave the house. When it feels like you’re being consistently stabbed in the head, even breathing seems like a chore. Get up and do something? Nope. Not happening. When I really thought about it, there are some days when I find that I could go out and do something, but I don’t want to.

This left me with two problems to sort out.

1. I had no hobbies/enjoyable things to occupy myself with.

2. I didn’t care.

I quickly learned that getting a hobby wasn’t going to be my biggest obstacle. Finding the motivation to get one would be.

As I said before, my prescription for fun was handed to me back in September. It was renewed during that phone conversation with the hospital. I neglected to fill it until this year.

Since I have been feeling a little better due to my regular acupuncture, I have a restored sense of living. I want to try things. I want to do things. One of my resolutions was to get a hobby. So, I decided to stray from the crowd and actually stick to it! No time like the present, right?

I am working on some posts to share the things that I’ve done in continuation with my previous alternative therapies post. It should get interesting.

In the past month, especially, I rediscovered the motivation I lost years ago. I don’t feel like I’m getting back to the old me, but rather forming into a better version of the person I was always meant to become.

xx Courtney

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Needles and Golden Pills: A Month of Alternative Therapy (a Mulan GIF Presentation)

I’ve been absent from the blogosphere in order to be a more functional person on Earth. I’ve told you all before that I have a chronic illness that is not entirely under control at the moment, and it was time to do something about it.

Okay, maybe not this dramatic.

I’ll premise my past by saying that medication of any kind does not work for me. For starters, I am allergic to basically everything. Its hard to weigh the benefits when your airways are rapidly becoming smaller. The (very) few pills that don’t cause anaphalactic shock just have zero effect on me. Its like taking sugar pills. Really horrible sugar pills.

When I was in Minnesota to visit the Mayo Clinic last year, I found doctors who understood that a prescription was never going to solve my problems. It was the first time that an M.D. really discussed the different types of alternative therapies. Sure, I had doctors recommend other things before (i.e. yoga, tai chi), but never truly approached the idea of secondary medicine. Sorry doctor, but sometimes diet and exercise just isn’t going to cut it.

I was told to slowly incorporate many different forms of treatment. One of the top recommendations? Acupuncture.

Basically.

I hate needles. Most people do. When my mom was working in a hospital, she even met heroin addicts who were terrified of needles. Go figure! Because of my rather extensive medical history, the majority of my life has been spent as a test subject. Between injections, IVs, and blood tests, I have had quite a bit of experience with pokey objects. I’ve had some pretty awful situations that have deterred me from needles completely.

My immediate family has been wanting me to try acupuncture for about two years. My grandfather has also been actively pushing me to go for a solid three.  Once the  doctor demanded it last September, my fate was solidified. I may be a legal adult, but I knew I wasn’t going to have much choice in the matter. It would only be a matter of time before I was dragged taken to the acupuncturist.

That time came about three weeks ago. The patience of my mother was at a low point, while the pain in my neck was at a high point. When you are in an excessive amount of pain, you’re willing to do pretty much anything to make it better.

To be completely honest, the first thing I thought about after making the appointment was the “Ancestors Awakening” scene from Mulan.

“My children never caused such trouble. They all became acupuncturists!”

The second was this:

I feel ya, Ping.

But sometimes, you have to suck it up. If there was a possibility that this could make me feel better, I had to at least try. My neck was in excruciating pain and I was desperate. As for the fear? I was just going to have to get over it.

The day of my first appointment made me anxious. On one hand, I really wanted to go. I wanted to feel better. If this is what was going to help, awesome. On the other hand, I wanted to hide under a blanket, call in sick, and unlearn (is that a word?) the meaning of acupuncture.

My sentiments exactly.

But when I make a commitment, I make a commitment. My plan was to go into that office pretending I had no reservations whatsoever. I was a praised actress in drama club, I could certainly pull off the “no fear” act. The acupuncturist would never know I was practically crying on the inside.

After filling out some paperwork and being thoroughly questioned on my reasons for being there, it was time. She started my session by giving me some Chinese herbs “to relax.” They were in pill form and very strange looking. It was oddly shaped and golden in color. I don’t know about you, but I have never taken pills that looked like they were coated in gold leaf. I had no idea what the herbs were, but took them anyways. When my mom was in college, her roommate’s mother used to send Chinese herbs from Taiwan. This roommate would always give her some, and the effects were apparently wonderful. I think there’s a rule to Chinese herbs. You’re not supposed to know what they are, you just take them. I then removed my shirt and waited for the inevitable. She brought out a scary-looking electric massager. It probably looked scary to me because I HATE massages. I don’t have anything against other people touching me, I’m just very sensitive. Most are really into the whole “deep tissue” thing, but it is incredibly painful for me. She could tell I was not enjoying this particular therapy, as could my mother who was situated in the corner of the room, but she continued. I didn’t know at the time, but it was going to make me feel much better. I don’t know what it is about acupuncturists, but they just know what you need. You’re hurting, but they just smile knowing that you won’t be soon. No pain, no gain, right?

After torturing my back and neck in the kindest possible way, it was the moment of truth. I heard her opening the package of sterile needles and started to calmly panic. She had told me in the beginning that she would start slow, as to not send my body (and my psyche) into overdrive. She tapped on my back three times and placed the needle into the upper part of my right shoulder blade. I felt it for a few seconds and then- nothing. Seriously. It was a very anticlimactic moment. I had protested and procrastinated for years to avoid absolutely nothing. I’ve felt more pain from a paper cut.

I now have appointments twice a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I look forward to going in for the most relaxing hours of my life. I can tell that it is working because these massages hurt less and less each time. I’m like a completely different person. Today, I actually liked the massage.

I would highly recommend acupuncture to anyone. I can certainly say that acupuncture no longer scares me. I enter the building confident and ready.

Stick ’em in, doctor.

When I leave, I am so relaxed. After my appointment today, I told my lovely acupuncturist that I had never felt so calm in my life. The world’s problems melt away when I’m there. It feels good to not only have less pain, but to have conquered a major fear of mine. I’m still scared of needles and will avoid them in any other situation. With acupuncture, though, I will happily make an exception.

xx Courtney

Have you ever gotten acupuncture? Would you consider trying it?

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Nutter Butters Make Me Nauseous (and other adult revelations)

Things are different as you grow up. Likes and dislikes change, how you view the world changes, as well as most everything else. In my opinion, everyone should always maintain a healthy amount of childishness. Who says you can’t have brownies in the shapes of stars or that sprinkles are just for kids?

With that said, I am happy to no longer be an adolescent. I’m perfectly content with the age that I currently am. Every once in a while, I will revisit various favorites from my childhood only to come to a startling conclusion: my said former favorite is horrendous. What the hell was I thinking? I don’t care how young  I was, how did I find that appealing? Sometimes, bringing up things from the past isn’t nostalgic, it’s traumatizing. I am now referring to these as things I liked in my past life. I refuse to believe that I am the same person as my elementary-school-aged self.

On the other hand, things that I once despised turned out to be pretty good after all! Gaining a few years can introduce you to some really awesome things. I guess brain development really does open some pretty cool doors.

In the spirit of an incident involving a particular manufactured cookie, I thought about some food opinions I consider to be pretty adult:

Nutter Butters Make Me Nauseous (and other adult revelations)  SheWearsManyCrowns.com

1. Nutter Butters are disgusting. I used to love those peanut-shaped cookies. When I got them in my lunch, it was a special occasion. The other day, I discovered some mini Nutter Butters in the pantry that my dad had brought home. “I used to love these!” I thought. “I’m sure they still taste good,” my delusional self continued. So I sat on the couch and opened the bag. It was the first time I had tried one in probably eight years. Those precious treats from my childhood had somehow turned into peanut butter demons. Seriously, what do they put in those?! I don’t know if the recipe has been changed or if my palate was actually that underdeveloped. Either way, I am ashamed to say that I ever liked the abominable, sickeningly sweet, artificial peanut devil cookies.

2. Escargot is wonderful. I remember watching my mother eat it in my developmental years and always responding with, “Ewwwwww!” Now, I can truly appreciate this wonderful French delicacy. I was actually tricked into trying them. My mom had made a pasta topped with “special mushrooms.” Looking back, I really should have inquired more about these mushrooms. At this point in my life, if anyone says they put something “special” in my food, I’m going to assume its drugged and run away. Anyways, I tried these “mushrooms” and loved them. Shortly after I finished my meal, my father broke the news to me. I was hysterical. I’m not really big on being deceived. I was able to get over it, however, when I started craving Escargot the next day. Just as a personal preference, I only eat escargot imported from France. I have an uncle that is from France, so he always brings a ton home whenever he visits. Because my family appears to love me, they share! Nowadays, it is not uncommon for my brother and I to share a whole bunch of escargot with butter, garlic and herbs for dinner. Mmmmm.

3. American cheese is not real cheese. Remember that Kraft commercial that said, “a country is only as good as its cheese?” If that were found to be true, we are the most appalling country on the planet. When I went to McDonald’s as a kid, I always ordered a cheeseburger. I thought they were fantastic! Now, I’m all about the good stuff. Goat cheese or bust. There is no way I will ever revert to putting that artificial, flimsy, faux-cheese on anything I eat. There are so many good cheeses in this world! Eat those instead! I don’t know about you, but I think a grilled cheese with gouda or a serving of baked brie sounds a hell of a lot better than “processed cheese squares.”

4. There is more to pizza than pepperoni. Most kids order the standard cheese or one-topping pizza. Why would you want to put anything on there? Because it’s delicious, that’s why. Sometimes, I even get pizza with salad on top. Oh, the horror! Pizza is awesome with pesto, spinach, chicken, peppers, pineapple, and so much more. I don’t think I’ve ordered a plain pizza in years. My current favorite is called a Calypso pizza, which I get at my local pizzeria. It has Canadian bacon, pineapple, chicken, bell peppers, onion, and smoked bacon. It sounds a little weird, but the combination is so, so good. Another favorite of mine is pretty much anything with goat cheese.

Has your taste in food changed over the years? What do you like now that you didn’t before? Let me know in the comment section!

xx Courtney

P.S. My blog is now available on Bloglovin’! Feel free to follow me here!

“I’m Very Pleased and Scared To Be Here.”

In the words of Penny Pingleton from Hairspray, “I’m very pleased and scared to be here.”

I am a bit panicked to be writing my first post. I think I have valid reason to be nervous, but my anxiety is probably making me unnecessarily fearful. On the other hand, I’m thrilled to be starting this new chapter! I have absolutely no experience in blogging, but a great passion for writing and life itself. I will do my best to spell things correctly and use decent grammar.

I’m Courtney. I am currently living in a small town in New Mexico, where I have been for about three years now. Before then, I was raised in Viva Las Vegas! I have no plans to stay here, as this town just isn’t me. My dreams have always been bigger than my body!

I have a chronic pain illness that I was diagnosed with just after my fifteenth birthday. Its been a struggle, but I am getting better. You can read more about it in the “About” section of my blog.

My illness, for a long time, took the passion out of my life. I was not motivated to do much of anything. Recently, I have been getting my happy back. I have a better plan for better living. My life only goes up from here!

My goal is that through this blog, someone else can find something to relate to. I, like everyone else, am not perfect. I make mistakes and say the wrong thing. Saying the wrong thing is often “my thing.” It took me a while to understand that its okay to mess up. A lot of these mess-ups have made me a better person in the long run. In the moment, however, I usually felt like abandoning all civilization and living in the woods where I can’t embarrass myself. Very rational.

As I stated in my about page, I hope my writing brings inspiration, information and a few laughs!

If you have any suggestions or comments for me, I would love to hear from you. I am best reached by email at shewearsmanycrowns@gmail.com.

I hope this blog brings as much happiness to you as it does me. Thank you for reading!

xx Courtney

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