Different

I find myself wanting to write different things, but I often worry that it won’t be well-received. But last time I worried about that, the post I wrote got the best reception of everything I wrote that day. So, here I will do it again.

Listen to Evanescence, reminding me of my angsty teen years. Paramore and homemade bookmarks. Brownies and chocolate pudding. I definitely have a sweet tooth.

These are things that make me undeniably happy. These are things I’ve been into lately, things that I find myself drawn to, and realize that they are things that bring me peace.

Saddened that I can’t go to Taylor Swift’s Reputation world tour, but still hoping to meet her in the future. I feel as if I know her from another life. And my heart is broken because my other idol, Michael Jackson, is someone I’ll never meet because he no longer has his life. Still, I believe that someday, somehow, I’ll know him.

Okay, I’m going to tell you all a little secret: I’m planning on saving as much money as possible (and it’s a lot of money) and I want to buy what is now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch, but what used to be known as Neverland Ranch, home to the king of pop, rock and soul – Michael Jackson. For some reason, I find myself drawn to it, and in a way I can’t explain I feel like I know it from somehow. Like it’s somehow an old friend I could possibly reunite with.

Of course, I’m not rich by any means. But I do have aspirations to be financially independent, and in my journey to do so, I am going to do my best to obtain that property.

I’ve been afraid to tell anyone that because I’ve been so made fun of for my love of Michael and his music. I’ve been told he’s nothing but a plastic Barbie, and personally that makes me angry.

But I digress.

I am going to rename the ranch Inori, which is a Japanese word that means ‘Prayer’. Prayer has saved my life, and prayer is everything that keeps me going. Prayer is something that is so sacred to me, and I love everything Japanese. I’m trying to learn the language.

So, as I sit here at my computer, now with Bad running through my head, I feel relieved. Maybe I’ll get hate. But maybe I won’t care.

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Entertainer

So, I’ve noticed that I’ve been writing three blog posts a day. When did that happen? *nervous smile*

No, it’s really not a bad thing, I’m actually kind of excited. I know a lot of bloggers write once a day or certain days in the week, but I just have found a genuine love for blogging. I have loved writing for years, and now blogging is a lot of fun. I have the potential to make money at this, and if I do make money doing this, it would be incredible! I think the first thing I would do with earned money is buy another album from Fall Out Boy on iTunes and then put the rest in savings. ‘ Cause I’m cool like that.

Anyway, I discovered this morning that I am breathing a lot better, and the fires that have broken out around my area are becoming more and more contained. So happy about that.

I tend to not know what I’m going to write about when I start a new post like this, but for some reason, once I get writing, the words flow. I’m so grateful that when I’m rambling about different things I’ve noticed or musings of life, I don’t get writer’s block all that much.

So, the topic for this post: songwriting.

I’ve never thought I was a good songwriter, but for some reason, I just keep coming up with lyrics and melodies that make no sense to me and definitely no sense to anybody else. But I would like to think that someday it’ll make enough sense. I want to be a performer, an entertainer. It’s something I truly love.

But I’ve struggled, as every entertainer does. But not with the audience, which is typical. I struggle with myself.

I have had much injury to my brain throughout my life and since I live with the oxygen saturation in y blood lower than the normal range because of the nature of my heart condition, it has caused some brain damage over the years. I often have trouble processing things in a cohesive way, I have terrible memory. But I’ve noticed it mostly in my hands. I love any type of art or craft so it’s hard when my hands refuse to communicate with my brain. My handwriting is unreadable although I prefer to write by hand rather than type. Also, I love to crochet but sometimes my hands just won’t let the crochet hook and the yarn do their thing. Sometimes it looks more like a tangled mess than a scarf.

But I haven’t given up.

By far the most difficult is trying to learn to play the guitar, ukulele, and ocarina. Three instruments I have and I intend to get more.

For the longest time, I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t switch chords or even get to chords on my guitar like some beginner guitarist would. I struggle with rhythm. But I have tried since having my first guitar anonymously given to me in 2011 at Christmas. I look up to Taylor Swift as a guitarist, and it was from her online website at the time, with her name and a 13 on the head.

But despite my setbacks I’m learning musical instruments, I now know that I’m not just stupid – I have a real reason why I’m not learning these things. I thrive when I teach myself, so I will continue to work on chords and strumming, as well as just freely playing and not caring which notes I hit, (my favorite).

All I know is that someday I’m going to be an entertainer and maybe it’ll help someone like I am right now to know that I struggled with learning because of brain injury, but I got there. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.

I’m Sick

There have been many blogs that I’ve heard about detailing the struggles of the person who writes the blog, or the details of a the struggle of a loved one. I’ve struggled much in my life medically, so I decided I would speak of my health here in my blog. I’ve always wanted to share my story with others, so what better place than here?

Well, I was born with a serious malformation in my heart, in which I only have the two left chambers of my heart and I’m missing the two right chambers. I literally have half of a heart, and that’s difficult for some people to understand. It’s hard when people say, ‘well, how are you still alive, then?’ I don’t know. Your guess is as good as mine. The children that are born with my heart condition don’t live very long, and very rarely do they grow up. Very rarely. In fact, there is only one other person in the world that I know of with my condition that grew up and lived an adult life with a wife and children. It’s also an extremely rare condition. It’s called a Hypo-Plastic Right Heart, with Pulmonary Atresia, if you’d like to read up about it.

I remember several years ago, Taylor Swift (one of my idols) wrote a song about a little boy named Ronan who died of cancer at four years old. She performed it once at an event that raised money for cancer research. I don’t have cancer, therefore it is much harder for people to understand my condition, and like I said earlier – my best guess as to why I’m alive is that God wants me here, and that I’m here for a reason. What is that reason? I’m slowly discovering it day-by-day, and I think I discovered a little bit more of it last night and today.

There are eight large wildfires that plague the State that I live in in the USA right now. Because of the nature of my condition and asthma, I don’t do well with wild fires or forest fires. One of the fires went from 500 acres to 17,000 acres overnight. To me, that’s terrifying. It’s a record for fires in 2018 in my State. So, yesterday, I was taken to the hospital an hour away (because that is the only hospital that knows how to treat my condition) by ambulance because I couldn’t breathe, and breathing was getting harder and harder. Smoke fills my lungs with fluid, and the more fluid I gain, the closer I get to pneumonia and other things that I’d rather not think about. When I was a kid, my mom would play games with me to get me to cough up the fluid in my lungs so that I wouldn’t have to stay at the hospital. We’d get plastic drinking straws and she’d crumple up a piece of paper and we’d blow it across the tabletop with the straws. It was fun, and I coughed up the fluid and healed from the damage of the smoke around me.

So, last night. I was in the resuscitation bay for over ten hours. That’s nothing to be alarmed about because they didn’t need to resuscitate me; they only had me there because that’s where the ambulance drops off. Anyway, I was there for ten hours because not only is my underlying condition (Hypo-Plasty, as they call it for short) incredibly complicated, but I’m allergic to every asthma medication out there. They had to make a decision, and while they did, I became increasingly nervous. I began to cry and for some reason I couldn’t put my finger on the cause for my tears. Only today did it come to light.

Being sent home at four in the morning with a prescription of a third of a dose of something I’m very allergic to in order to help clear my lungs and hoping the allergy isn’t going to send my heart into a deadly rhythm was something I didn’t take lightly. They need to clear my lungs…but they can only use medication that I’m allergic to. There are two very stark options: clear my lungs with medication and risk my heart going into a deadly rhythm that they may or may not be able to stop before I go into a heart attack, or let the fluid stay in my lungs and it’ll only get worse. And before you consider the doctors terrible, believe me when I say that these decisions are never made lightly. That’s why I was in the Emergency Department for ten hours, minimum, took two hours to discharge from the hospital, and then another two hours to get home and go to bed.

But here’s what I realized today: I have had a wonderful last several years where I will go to the ER and they will happily tell me nothing is wrong and I will happily go home and forget about it. But growing up was not the case. There have been times where I have been brought up to the hospital into the ER, and I’ve had a heart attack – something they call Code Blue or ‘arresting’, as in ‘Cardiac Arrest’ – right there in the room upon arrival. I’ve done it more than once. It’s sounds crude, but there’s been times where I’ve nearly drowned in the fluid in my lungs as a child because nurses and doctors and cardiologists sometimes can’t line up and figure out what to do. It’s complicated as I said. But what I realized is that I’ve had a wonderful ten or so years where nothing has seriously gone wrong, but now that I’m twenty-three…I know that for the rest of my life, these horrible things are going to happen again. I’m going to hemorrhage and bleed out my blood volume again at some point just as I did multiple times as a toddler and infant. I’m going to have other heart attacks; I’m going to have countless ambulance rides, and I’m going to have many other terrible things waiting for me. But it’s not something I fear. Why? Because I know that if I survived for this long when the maximum survival for babies like me when I was born was eight days, I’m here for a reason. I know that God is on my side, and I prayed to Him desperately last night in the ER, telling Him and begging Him to provide a way that they could figure out what to do and reach a decision, even if that decision is not a good one.

So, I stay here and write and listen to Taylor Swift and cough up the fluid as I sing her album Reputation at the top of my lungs. That’s what I’ve been prescribed to do countless times. Sing, sing, sing. The more you sing, the more air you move. The more air you move, the more you get out of your lungs and the better you become, and you heal. It’s not as cut and dry as TV would like you to believe it is.

But I don’t want this post to be completely doom and gloom. I’ve decided that whenever I meet Taylor Swift (because I’m determined to) I’m going to tell her that I got better while singing to her music. I’m going to tell her that I walked on the treadmill when I was nineteen and pulled myself out of congestive heart failure (CHF) while listening to 1989. I’m going to tell her that when I go into the Operating Room for surgery that I’ve listened to Love Story countless times as I fall asleep. And I’m going to tell her that she’s saved my life more than once, and in more than one way. Yes, I’m going to make sure she knows that.

So, as much doom and gloom as I’m going to see, it’s going to be nothing to the happiness and the hope that I can provide for others as I discuss my health and show how I survived something that is considered impossible to survive. That’s just the way I work. And I would never want it any other way.

The Swift Life

So, I’m a huge fan of Taylor Swift. Love me or hate me for it, but I’m a fan of her. I would even go so far as to call myself a super fan. But lately I’ve learned something: don’t trust anyone, not even the people who believe the same beliefs and loves as you. In the Taylor Swift fandom, we call ourselves Swifties. Well, recently Taylor released her own social media app and platform – as we all know – called The Swift Life. I, personally, have always kept my love of Taylor and her music to myself. However, I thought that with her own app filled entirely with her fans, it would be different. I thought people would be considerate, kind, and compassionate towards those of their own fandom.

Oh, how very wrong I was.

The Swift Life hasn’t been open globally for that long. I think it released just before Christmas. Even with that said, I have already deleted it from my iPod, deleted my account, and I have no intent of going back. Why? Because I don’t trust anyone, not even the people that share the very same or similar stories as me. Like I said, I thought people could be nice. But I happened to put an opinion out there…and I was slammed for it. I was pretty much put through the blender for my simple opinion. I was very hurt, because I couldn’t understand why people could be so mean, even if they shared the same views as me! It’s a cruel world out there, and I’m learning that more and more each day.

I have learned a lot from my days on social media. On Facebook, The Swift Life, Tumblr, YouTube, and Pinterest I have been bullied. Facebook was the most severe – and the most painful, considering that it came from people I know in real life. I learned at too young of an age to never trust anyone other than my immediate family members, and even trusting them was up for debate. It has been painful. But I don’t say this to sound like a victim, I’m simply sharing my experience.

Now, when someone comments on anything I post on the internet, my heart races and I panic. I immediately assume that I’m going to get hate. I immediately assume that whatever I’m going to read is going to feel like it has the power to tear me to shreds. But I’ve learned that if I don’t read those comments or messages that I will never know whether it was kind or not. Besides, I’m one of those people that has too much curiosity for my own good. I’m like a cat. I’ll probably be killed someday because of that natural curiosity I have.

But, back to the story.

Social media was invented to give us a way to do exactly that – be social through the media. We can now socialize through our phones, iPods, iPads, and even wristwatches more than we ever could before. But it has become a highly toxic place. This saddens me because when anyone tries to create something good in this world, it is promptly destroyed. That’s the cruel part of the world. I try with all of my heart to create and maintain good things to combat and rival the bad, but I’m often torn down for it by hate-filled, selfish people. That is something I may never understand. However, this is how I picture Internet haters: poised over their keyboard, desperately waiting for someone to make a post and then they unleash every foul word that they can think of on that person in order to tear that person down because they feel terrible about themselves to the point where they have picked the pathetic route of tearing others down in order to feel better. The thing is, though, you will never feel better by tearing another person down. I’ve recently watched an anime (I love anime) that I can’t name because it has a curse word in the title, but there is one phrase that graces every episode:

“Revenge is a double-edged sword.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Revenge is indeed a double-edged sword. Also, a two-headed snake. When  I went through a phase of teenage angst and anger, my mom told me one thing: stay as angry as you want for as long as you want, but remember, while you are chasing that snake to get revenge, its venom is inside of you, and you will be harmed just as much as the person or thing that you enact revenge upon. She told me the story of a group of children that were playing when a little girl was bitten by a venomous snake, and instead of taking her immediately to adults to tell them that she needed help, the other kids went to chase the snake down to kill it in order to teach it a lesson because they were angry. However, while they did, the snake’s venom spread in the little girl, and she ended up losing her leg, which was where the snake bit her. Had the other children gone straight to an adult and gotten the girl to a hospital, she wouldn’t have lost her leg. But instead, they wanted revenge. They were angry. They chased the snake, and because they did, they suffered the consequences of that double-edged sword.

I think that anger is a very natural and human emotion; as is the desire to help ourselves feel better when we have low self-esteem. It is simply instinct. But I pity these people. I truly do. I pity those that hate others and themselves to the point where they’re willing to go down an unforgiving path to pure hatred out of which they will never return. I have no sympathy for those who choose the path of hatred.

So, in my journey of trying to connect with the rest of the fandom of the woman that saved my life and convinced that living was indeed worth it, I discovered that everything sacred will be destroyed if exposed. So, here, I lay these words onto this blog post, where they will stay. And I have walked away from that fandom. Does that mean that I no longer love Taylor? No. Does that mean that I intend to enact revenge upon these people? No. I intend to meet Taylor when I break into the music industry, and I would love to be friends with her. It might sound a little silly and cliché, but I want to ask her if we could be best friends in real life. That would be something that would bring a lot of my biggest dreams to reality.

Because, in the end of things, the sad reality is this: Taylor, even though having no idea I exist, has treated me better than people I have known my entire life. And that is a downright shame. One that should never have to be realized.

Humanity

My top two idols are Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. I love their style, their grace; the way they hold their heads high and brace themselves for the world. I love how they interact, how they are kind, loving, generous, and loyal to their fans and family. I love how they are so similar, yet so different.

I’ve dreamt of being a singer since I was a little girl. Since before being a teenager, actually. I’ve worried about many things. Watching the hell that my two favorite idols have gone through has made me realize how risky an endeavor it is to make your way into show business. Michael Jackson was torn from the top, and they are currently trying to do that to Taylor. But why?

Here’s my theory:

Anybody can be jealous of success. It’s human nature to want things that you can’t or don’t have. At least, that’s what I believe. But I miss the days of my childhood where I believed that everyone would do things for the better; that they would be trustworthy and lovely. But that’s not so. The world is a dangerous, dark, and horrifying place. Though it doesn’t have to be, it is. I think the reason that Michael and Taylor are torn down is because they have reached the top – the highest of the high within their communities. Taylor has reached a place in her songwriting that no one else has met, and we all know how Michael Jackson ended up where he was. But the funny thing is that they are both incredible people (although Michael has passed, I still think of him as here, still with us).

I believe that the world fears incredible people. They fear the happiness, kindness, and light that these people can bring. Why? Because once you cast light on something, you will see its shadow. Once you revel in something that is wonderful, you will realize how hard it was before. Nobody likes to see the sins of their own people, and although we are all different races and we speak so many different languages in different nations, I consider us all one big family. The family of humanity.

Humanity itself can be cruel. No other living being to exist has purposely sought out to harm one another. Not one other creature has sought out to kill one another, simply out of spite or revenge. And as humans, we try to keep these dark things a secret. We hide them in the darkest, innermost corners of our minds. We put masks on. We lie. We smile when we don’t mean it. We fight each other and kill each other, all for the sake of ‘fighting for freedom’. So, how does this translate to show business?

When someone is at the top, it’s not simple to be happy for them. It’s hard, as human nature makes us jealous; it makes is spiteful, and it encourages us to fight against one another to put them down in order to feel higher than that other person. It’s the same as war, the same as bombing other countries. Why do we fight in wars, kill others, and commit these crimes? Because we want to prove that we are better. Because we see the other side as evil. Or perhaps it’s simply because we want to watch someone fall and be able to say that they are lesser than us. But within history, this has only lead to chaos. This has only lead to more genocide. It’s a simple formula, really. Success + jealousy = violence. It’s not enough to think in one’s mind that they are jealous or that they believe that one person doesn’t deserve what they have. It’s not enough to write it in a journal or even scream it from the rooftops. No, we have to take action. And that’s where the mistakes of humanity come in. That’s where we create those unchangeable parts of history that will forever be a blemish on our reputation.

I often ask myself why. Why do we do it? Why are we fascinated with death, violence, anger, and troubles? And if you think we aren’t fascinated with those things, then simply look to the nearest TV. What do most, if not all, of our TV shows and movies center round? These four concepts: death, violence, anger, trouble. We are fascinated by the fall of another while we are angered at our own falls. I’ve often heard it said that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. Meaning a dog will commit a crime against its own kind for the sake of gaining a level in the food chain.

This saddens me.

In the back of my mind, all I can imagine is a rainy, desolate city, torn to shreds by others that believe they are superior. But are they really superior? I am American, and I live in a developed country. Does that make me superior to those that aren’t American, and to those that don’t live in developed countries? No. But does it make me less than them? Of course not! I’d love it to be simple, but it’s not. And it never will be.

Our desire to tear others down to make them smaller than us so that we can feel bigger will certainly end in our demise. How did the most evil or even the most powerful people in history die, or end? They were killed, either by themselves, or by someone else.

We think that we want power, but what do we do once we obtain that power? Once we get that far, maybe we don’t know what to do. But in the end, power truly is the substitution or replacement for something else. And what would that other thing be?

The desire to be loved and understood.