Where’s My Tour Bus?

I have a love/hate relationship with many things. Road trips are one of them.

I love road trips in the nostalgic, seeing America sort of way. Turning up the radio and passing weird things you never knew existed? Pretty fantastic. However, there is nothing fantastic about being in a confined space for hours with noisy people. I believe I was meant to be an artist with a large private tour bus and paid driver.

Living the dream

That, of course, would require singing talent. Or at least autotune. As I am a nineteen-year-old on my way to a hospital rehab facility, the tour bus was not made available to me. Something about “lack of funds.” I was instead offered a Toyota Camry with the accompaniment of my mother and brother.

I love my family. Truly, I do. With the exception of my father, they’re all very outgoing and wildly entertaining. This is great for when you need a good laugh. It is slightly less welcomed when you are in a car that seats five-max.

Now, given the societal impression that women are louder than men, I’m sure you’re thinking it’s my mother who’s voice is still ringing in my ears. You would be wrong. My brother’s voice packs the punch of a sorority alumni meeting. It also reaches the same pitch. It’s quite astounding actually.

Within the first few hours, the sound war had already begun.

“MITCHELL! SHUT UP!”

“I SWEAR, I’M GOING TO (insert something horrendously violent and out-of-character)!”

“Seriously, just kill me now.”

“Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”

What can I say? Annoy me and the words that come out of my mouth either double or halve my age.

As of now, I have a constant headache. When doctors ask how many headaches I have a week, the answer is one. I have had the same headache for over three years now. At this point, I should name it. Something bitchy.

This may come as a shock, but loud noises make headaches worse. Very loud noises make me feel like I’m dying. The level of noise that my brother sends into the world makes me homicidal. If you see me in the news for somewhat murderous charges, you will know why.

This particular road trip was divided into three days of driving. My mother and I did it in two last September, but it was just too much. We waited until school ended for the little one and headed to our first stop in Colorado Springs.

Did I mention it was my brother’s sixteenth birthday? I suppose he’s not so little anymore, but it pisses him off when I call him anything referencing him being young. So I will continue to do it. One of my personal favorites is “Baby Mitch,” which I called him when we were younger. I usually drag that one out of hiding when he’s complaining about something stupid. Sisterly love.

We tried to make his birthday as special as possible. Obviously, this was not his first choice of activities. But, it’s just the way things worked out. He picked out the movies to watch in the car (Finding Nemo and The Breakfast Club), and chose what fast food was picked up on the way. Reservations were made at a nice hotel for the night. Standards were far beyond our norm for rest stops. We normally drive as much as we can, then look up a decent place in the AAA guidebook. This one had an indoor pool, restaurants, wii games in the lobby, and a chef working an omlette bar come morning. It had an upscale cabin vibe, given the mountain surroundings. Definitely better than your standard Marriott with continental breakfast. Seeing as most kids in our town just get drunk on their sixteenth, I think his experience was an upgrade.

Lonely

Could have been worse

The next two days resulted in a lot of laughing, fighting, sleeping, and pill-popping. Being in a small car makes Advil exceptionally desirable. It also makes duct tape and rope desirable. Draw your own conclusions.

As of now, I am officially in Minnesota. Let’s just hope this week is easier than the drive.

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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