Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thumbs of Doom

After 5 years of suffering with shoulder pain and dealing with numbness in the last two fingers of my left hand, I finally caved last week and went to visit a chiropractor for the first time. Ever. Now, something that needs to be known about Bethany: she doesn't go to the doctor for pain unless something is hanging. By a thread. And even then its questionable if she'll make the trip.

I figured that 5 years was long enough to have nearly constant aching, not to mention the numbness and tingling, so I cracked and picked up the phone. My dad has problem with his shoulders too, and his chiropractor was able to offer him some relief, so off I went.

I love the body charts that they have you fill out at doctors offices. You know, the drawings of the back and front of the body, with a legend consisting of different symbols that represent an assortment of aches and pains. One is supposed to draw on the body diagram to pinpoint the areas which are having issues with the appropriate symbol. I seriously considered circling the whole body and then putting a giant X through it. I mean, really? Someone like me who has abused their bodies for 13+ years dancing? I have had issues with just about every part of my body.

I decided that the X through the diagram would not be presenting the best attitude, so I focused on the areas that have been giving me the most trouble lately. This perpetuated some very interesting events. Such as my foot being manipulated and cracked back into place. Yes, I did say my foot. I've had problems with that sucker for the better part of 10 years, with issues ranging from nerve damage to bone spurs to tendinitis. Not to mention a pretty nice sprain 2 years back. It seems that there's been a bone out of place. Or at least it was. She took that puppy on and it had no chance. CRACK!!! It shockingly didn't hurt (I feel that for how loud it cracked, I should have been melting to the floor in tears).

The most fun part of the visit was the work on my shoulder. By fun, I mean that she may as well have released a cageful of scorpions into the office and then locked me in. (okay, it really wasn't that bad) I have learned the Dr. Rimby's thumbs are registered as illegal weapons in 15 states. I had them digging into my ulnar nerve for 10 minutes. That was 5 days ago. And it still feels bruised. Ouch.

So, today was my second visit back. I still have all sorts of soreness and tingling and numbness. She cracked my wrist today, which was freaky but nearly as much as my foot *shudder*. She found the world's most massive knot under my left shoulder, which would be attributing to some of the numbness and shoulder pain. She had mercy on me, just for today, and kept her thumbs mostly away from it. I have 2 more appointments scheduled in the next week and something tells me that the weapons will be coming out of the holsters then.

I'll be sure to say my prayers before I arrive.

(PS- if anyone is looking for a chiropractor, I highly recommend Dr. Rimby! While her thumbs are very scary, she's amazing!)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The State of Are

I feel the need to write tonight. I have nothing profound to say. I am not climbing atop my refrigerator soapbox to spew about the injustices of the world. I'm not sad. I'm not particularly happy, either. I just am. Its that place of near nothingness where no spectacular, or even unspectacular, events have occurred. There is no excitement, no real joy, no sorrow, no depression. That place where you just.... are.

Its like the opposite of Neverland. In Neverland, you never grow old. You use your imagination to feed yourself brilliantly color mush that is neverendingly satisfying. There are faeries, and magic, and tick tocking crocodiles. There are sword fights with pirates and food fights with friends. In Neverland, there is constant action, adventure, danger, and amusement. There is always something. Some purpose. Some presence. Some meaning.

In this land, for which I have no name, everything has a grey tone. There is no color, no faerie dust, no green grass, no crocodiles. There is boredom, and lonesomeness, and dull aches. It is so... there... that it shall remain nameless because a proper noun attached to it would give it some meaning that is undeserved. Some presence. Some purpose.

I am not sad tonight. I am not depressed. I have no cause for happiness or delight. I just am. Its not a terrible place to be, I suppose. It is better than lying collapsed in a heap on the floor, sobbing from some terrible occurrence. It is more desirable than suffering with pain or sickness or grief. But, I am still longing for more. Longing for a purpose, for a reason to keep going, for some delight and joy and happiness. Really, I am waiting for my life to begin, and that is a depressing thought. At 26, my life should be well on its way. But, alas and alack, that is not the case. I suppose that I shall have to continue along this grey path until I can manage to break through the dull brush along the side and into a land where there is something. Some purpose. Some presence. Some meaning.

A place like Neverland.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Soapbox Activist

For anyone who even remotely knows me, it should come as no shock that issues of social justice is a very large soapbox that I oft find myself climbing onto. I basically have "social justice" scratched on the front of said box with a permanent marker. Its that obvious when I'm about to get going on the topic. I have this recurring mental picture of myself climbing aboard this massive refrigerator box (my soapbox is that big) the instant I open my mouth and out comes this virtually unstoppable word vomit in projectile form that would do "The Exorcist" proud. How's that for a tasty mental picture for you?

I have had many conversations in recent weeks on the subject of human trafficking. Trafficking in persons is not something that is on the forefront of most people's minds in this day and age. Especially in America, it is very common to believe that slavery went rolling out after the Civil War ended well over a century ago. Admittedly, it isn't a topic that I had spent any considerable amount of brain power on. Poverty, social inequalities, gender discrimination.. sure. But human trafficking? Yes, I knew it was there, but I think I preferred to believe that it was as dead as Elvis and surely not working in such profitable circumstances as to be a true source of wealth and "business" around the world. It isn't a pleasant subject, not something that one wants to acknowledge, perhaps for fear of what it would do in upsetting one's perception of the world even further.

My recent piqued interest on the subject of human trafficking prompted me to go see the movie "Taken." I already wanted to see it, even before I knew how much it focused on trafficking, purely for the adrenaline aspect of it. When I discovered that its primary focus was on the sex slave trade, I basically wanted to jump in line immediately to view it. Mind you, this was not out of any sick sense of sadism. I am a firm believer that people need to know what's going on in the world, regardless of how uncomfortable it is and how it might impede on their personal sense of satisfaction in ignorance. I was very pleased to see that a mainstream movie was taking the leap into such a massive issue that is not much in the public eye in America.

The fact that the subject had made it to the forefront in a major motion picture encouraged me that perhaps these items of discomfort to the soul of humanity may have a chance of being brought to some form of justice, purely through awareness. If the world remains in ignorance on the real issues occurring, there is no hope of any change coming to light in the dreadful darkness of the realities that exist. I know of many people personally who would rather not know. I have heard a host of excuses as to why they wish to remain ignorant, but I do not understand the benefit of this, besides their own personal sense of comfort. I know that this may sound harsh, but we need to know. There are people around the world who are literally dying because of their circumstances. If the world turns its head because it makes them uncomfortable, more and more will pass away everyday.

I think that this act of knowing is even more important for the people of the Christian church. It is our duty as Christians to reach out to the lost, to feed the hungry, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We are denying the very life of Jesus when we stand by and do nothing. I am not meaning this as an attack towards Christians, but more as an encouragement to open our eyes, take in the horrific scenes and stories around the world, and then act. In whatever way you can. Become an activist, even if it is only through prayer and spreading the word to others.

I am currently working my way, somewhat slowly, through the 2008 TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Report put out by our government. It is a compilation of statistics and strategies to prevent human trafficking and prosecute those responsible for enslaving other humans, whether it be for labor or sex. It is very enlightening on the subject matter, and I am sure to have information to share with you all once I have a chance to better wrap my brain around it....

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Officer Obnoxious

I have issues with people who feel that they have to assert their authority because... well, because they're probably inwardly insecure and need to show their power to reaffirm themselves. Ok, that may be a tad harsh. I had a trade show event at the local community college today. My company is a technology company and therefore, when we do these types of events, we bring approximately 2 full carloads of equipment. This does not lead to very easy loading and unloading experiences. At all. Thankfully, the unload process yesterday was fairly simple, with ample places to park while unloading. Due to the crowds at the event... reloading everything back up.... Not so easy. At all.

Since no curb space was available, I did what several other people did as well. Park in a handicap stop with my 4-ways on. I mean, seriously, one would think that considering there was an event going on where people needed to load their cars up that campus security would be a bit lenient. But, clearly, I forgot that I was at my alma mater with the uptight, slightly obnoxious campus security staff.

After a pretty hefty loading of tons of equipment onto a dolly, I venture back out to my car. I may have been gone about 20 minutes. I get back out and as I'm nearly my vehicle I notice the security officer stepping out of his. I swear to you, his pencil hadn't even touched the paper before I said, "Are you really going to ticket me when I'm right here?!" His reply was, "well, this is a handicap spot. You don't have a placard." No... Really?! I hadn't noticed! (I managed to refrain from saying that. When my feet hurt from standing all day... I get kind of cranky) I quickly explained that we had tons of equipment to load and my car had been parked all the way across the lot and there no other spots available when I had pulled around. I also mentioned the 5 other cars without placards that had been parked there as well. His response: "Well, someone complained. And when someone complains we have to take action." Mind you, there was a haughty looking fellow standing right there watching this, arms crossed and a superior expression on his face. He walked away right then after I shot him what couldn't have been a very nice look. I tried to reason with the guy (who STILL hadn't started writing the ticket), and he only responded with (this one is my favorite!) "well.... (he said that alot).... if you can afford a car like this, I think you can afford a $25 ticket." Oh. My. Gosh. I wonder what my expression was! I quickly bit my tongue because I know what I wanted to say (it would not have been very Christ-like). It wasn't even the fact that he had just said that, it was the way he said it. I drive a Volkswagon! Not a BWM! ARGH! My blood was boiling by now, I wanted to give this dude a piece of my mind and possibly a good slap to the face. So Not. Cool.

He handed me the ticket and walked away. I purposefully left my car right where it was when I went to help my coworker load up his car. Perhaps a little obnoxious, but I felt justified after his unnecessary comments. Needless to say, I'm not a very happy camper. And also needless to say, his superior will be getting a phone call from me tomorrow. Fine, give me a ticket. Do not assert your authority with me in demeaning ways. It is not taken lightly.

Anyway, on that note, I'm going to go unwind and perhaps shed some of this crankiness that I'm feeling right now. And then maybe sleep. I like sleep.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Have a Puppy Demon

I believe that I've run into a problem. I want a dog. Not like "awww, puppy dogs are so cute and they might be fun to have around." No, like "I WANT A PUPPY DOG AND I WANT IT NOW!!" Sounds a little desperate, right?

Now, first, I feel I must remind all of you that I do love my cat dearly. I wouldn't trade her for the world. Well, unless the world was made of alot of chocolate and maybe french fries. I might consider it then. But, seriously, she's momma's little angel face and I love her dearly. Its just.... well.... I can't take her out with me. My bonding time with Bella is restricted to the hours I spend at home. I can't take her out on a walk. I can't bring her with me to my families houses (although, they may not be too keen on the idea after all). I could do all those things with a puppy.

I think a large part of the problem is that little Miss Independent herself is starting to get lonely living alone. Its not really even a loneliness that I necessarily recognize on the surface. Its more of an underlying I-don't-really-know-its-there-unless-I-pay-really-close-attention kind of loneliness. Maybe I'm trying to fill the husband/children void with a dog. I don't know. Maybe I just desperately need something to change in my life, so I want a dog. Or maybe I need to feel like someone is relying on me, so I want a dog (what is it with us women, anyway? Always needing to be needed!)

I have yet to decide if I'm going to cave to my nearly irresistible urge for a small ball of cuteness. I have found some absolutely 100% I-may-not-be-able-to-control-myself cuteness on and am about to jump in my car right now and drive to Langhorne to pick up a long haired dachshund named Winston. First, he's a doxie, my absolute favey. Second, he's long haired and that's just too cute. Third, his name is Winston. That just rings with so much class and style. I need a classy dog. And Winston is begging for me to come and take him home with me. "He wants to come HOOOOOOME with me!!! The puppises the doggises!!!" (sorry, inside joke for those of you now twisting your faces in confusion and shaking your heads) AAAAAHHHH!!!!! I really don't have the time or the energy or the yard space (although that last one isn't entire true) for a dog. I work. I want to travel. Although.... I do have a friend who volunteered to watch said puppy if I'm ever out of the country.... Yes, in case you were wondering, I AM trying to talk myself into this. And out of it, all at the same time. *sigh* However, its late and I need to stop thinking about Winston and start dreaming about him while I'm sleeping.

The puppy is calling me... Can you hear him?!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why the HECK isn't this key working?!

As I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, I tend to be a very restless person. This is one trait that I personally cannot stand. It causes problems. Like, taking away much needed sleep because if I go to bed, I'll just toss and turn and toss and turn. So, instead, I stay up and do things to exhaust myself. Like read the Bible in Spanish. Or I should say "attempt" to read the Bible in Spanish. Because me reading the Bible in Spanish always includes my new BFF Whoever thought of online translation engines should get a sticker. Or maybe even a cookie. Seriously. They are that cool. What is not cool, however, is that the control key on the keyboard is in different places on a PC keyboard and a Mac keyboard. Considering that I switch between PC and Mac every single frickin day... This causes a problem. I'll go to hit "control" and then whatever key.... and I can't figure out why the heck it isn't working. And then I realize that I'm not actually hitting control. I'm actually hitting the apple key. Or alt. Depending on what platform I'm working on. It really causes problems.

Other things that cause problems are screwed up shoulders. I taught a ballet class last night for the first time since before Christmas and my shoulder has been reminding me of that all day. Its just this nice little dull pain that says "Hi. I'm your shoulder. And I hate you right now." Its really not displaying the love of Christ at all, and I have to keep reminding it that Jesus simply would not like its behavior right now. Maybe I should send it to confession or something. Yeesh.

One trait that I do possess that I do find particularly winsome is my ability to be completely and totally random. Exhibit A: this posting. Its completely pointless and full of information that is of absolutely no value. Except, some of you may have learned that the control key is on different places on PC and Mac keyboards. Which is knowledge that may come in handy in case you are ever on Jeopardy. If you're not, then hey, you got a new wrinkle on your brain today. Aren't you lucky?

On that note, I think I'll go jog around the block or do some pilates or maybe start learning how to juggle knives. I really need to get to bed sometime soon....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spontaneity is Like Vitamins

Spontaneity is good for you. Its like vitamins. Or V8. One of the two. I have never been a particularly spontaneous person. I'm entirely too insecure and plan-oriented for that. Until recently. The past few months I have changed to the extent of hardly being able to recognize myself at times. I find myself going on adventures that I never would have expected. Saying things out of character. Becoming even more opinionated than I used to be (I know... how is that even possible??). And suddenly significantly more spontaneous than previously. I cannot even give you an example of said spontaneity... Which probably means that I have not had the resources to take advantage of my whims. Whims that my desire to partake in seems to have exponentially grown to the point that I may do something completely crazy and out of character one of these days. Like pick up and take off to Africa out of the blue and eat scorpion kabobs or something. Perhaps my dislike of my current situation has finally gotten to the point where I'm snapping and thus willing to do something totally nuts. Who knows. I certainly don't.

However, I have decided to just go along with this new crazy me. I'm sure it will be an interesting ride and I will do some crazy, spontaneous things. Maybe I should dye my hair pink and purple today. That would be spontaneous.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Mazes and Follow the Leader

My time back in the States has proven to be emotionally stabilizing as it continues on. My first day back in the grind was very difficult. Each day has continually improved, with less feelings of utter dismay and disgust. I have found my mind and heart constantly wandering back to La Limonada. But, I have come the the conclusion that I am where I am right now, and that is where I am supposed to be for the time being. It may not be what I want, or think I want, but I am in this place for now. Discontent never does anyone any good, so I am keeping my life in as much perspective as possible. I am thanking God every day for his provision in my life, for his direction, that he is molding me into the person that he created me to be. I may not know who that person is yet, but he knows. He has always known. There is a tremendous comfort in that thought. It somehow makes all the things that don't make sense have some kind of purpose. Life oft seems like a maze, guessing at which way to take, making mistakes, having to turn around and try a different direction. But when we are playing follow the leader with God, he knows the way right through that maze. Sure, we may straggle off on our own sometimes and get stuck. But, as we grow, as we learn to trust, we will continually discover that God really does know the path that we are meant to take.

How incredible is that?