Category Archives: me

Why April was a blur: my #LASEK story.

So, I seriously didn’t intend to go all MIA here for the last six weeks, but remember when I said I was going to get LASIK, in my last post? Well, that didn’t happen. What *did* happen was LASEK, and it literally made the month of April almost entirely a blur (in more ways than one). Here goes, why April was a blur…my LASEK story.

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April 10. LASIK surgery day! (not)

Totally excited. Nervous, but ready. I walk into a shall-not-be-named office for my LASIK surgery. A surgery I was told I was a ‘perfect’ candidate for just a week and a half prior, and instructed to wear my glasses, no contacts allowed, until the day of my surgery (which was a feat in itself, I wanted to hurl them across the room on an hourly basis. Running, teaching classes, and even working was a huge pain wearing them, but I digress). As I am about to pay for the surgery, I am instructed that I am actually getting PRK today, and *NOT* LASIK, because the surgeon decided – today – that I am actually not a candidate for LASIK. The very surgeon that assured me I was less than two weeks prior.

Uh, what? Huge pit in my stomach. Huge feeling of letdown. PRK is the precursor to LASIK and involves a much longer recover, more pain involved, and vision that takes weeks (or longer) to perfect. After discussing with M and the office manager (random – how about we talk to the surgeon?!), we walked out, deciding not to move ahead with the surgery. Mind you, this place was reputable in many of the reviews I read, it was even recommended by my medical insurance. Yet, no, I did not like that last minute change and immediately wanted a second opinion. Like, right now. And conveniently, my sister was also doing LASIK (you know, since we do everything together, as many of you know!), so we called her surgeon and got an appointment within an hour.

I was not looking forward to the two-hour evaluation do-over to see if I was a LASIK candidate, but was ready to just plow through. I’d gone this far, I got time off work, cleared my barre n9ne teaching schedule and just wanted to get it done (can you tell I am stubborn?!). Immediately, I felt comfortable with this office, the assistants, everyone. The process for the evaluation is long, a lot of eye tests, eye dilation, more tests. And the diagnosis? I still was not a candidate for LASIK. Sad face. My corneas were thick enough (usually why you aren’t a candidate, thin corneas) but my corneas are not symmetrical (damn those astigmatisms!) and therefore, made me not a candidate. Instead, I qualified for LASEK, which is basically a hybrid of LASIK (where they cut the cornea into a flap to do the laser surgery) and PRK (where they shave the cornea from the front, not cutting it at all), which is supposed to be a little less painful and shorter recover than PRK (the old approach).

I thought for sure that if I got the same diagnosis, I was going to walk away and just be destined to wearing glasses and contacts forever. But I was surprised when I immediately felt that I wanted to move forward. They assured me that the recovery was not as bad as I had googled (damn Google!!) or as painful, and many patients are seeing pretty well in 7-10 days, and up to 3-4 weeks, typically for really good vision. So I went for it, the next day, in fact.

So, back we went, that Friday, April 11 for surgery. Shortly after arrival and a few more tests (one of which to make sure my eyes weren’t still dilated from the day before, or they couldn’t do the surgery. I would have been so pissed off, lemme tell ya!), I was ready to go. I was given a Valium to keep me calm during the procedure, and my eyes were numbed (in part so they could write on my eyeballs – yes, write on them! to guide the laser appropriately). Having your eyes numbed is the oddest sensation and one I would get used to having done far too often, in coming days and weeks.

Valium is amazing, let me tell you. It calmed me in the most subtle way. They equated it to feeling as though you just had a couple glasses of wine – to which I joked…but that doesn’t affect me THAT much (wow, spoken like a true wino, much?!), and it really did keep me calm. When they called me in, it went pretty quickly. I was given a stuffed animal to hold onto in case I felt the urge to squeeze my eyes shut (which I never did), and then it began. They clamped my eyes open, which I thought would feel weird or hurt, but it really wasn’t too bad, and I just felt a lot of water and liquid going into my eyes, I could see them ‘wiping’ away my cornea, and then the laser came down – and the only creepy part was that I could smell the laser, it smelled like my eyeballs were burning. Eww – and then they switched to the other eye. I was done in less than 10 minutes, walked out, and was told to shut my eyes for four hours to let them rest. I was given a slew of eye drops for inflammation and antibiotics and tylenol with codeine for pain.

I peeked before shutting my eyes for the next four hours and I could see! it was the WEIRDEST thing. I could see, but it was very foggy, almost like I was walking through a fog, literally. Little did I know, I would get very used to that feeling…

While the surgery itself was not as bad as I thought, and I actually NEVER felt any pain almost entirely over the last 3.5 weeks, what has been the most frustrating has been how slowly my eyes have healed. And this is largely in part due to my inability to just slow the hell down. Take the rest. Shut my eyes. Allow them to heal (this is for another post entirely, this post is already getting so long!). But it’s been a lot of fits and starts. Good days of sight and not so good, very frustrating, teary days of struggling to see. Weeks of not driving (thank goodness I work from home!), which was so hard for me, relying on others, feeling trapped. I am finally at a stage where I can *mostly* see. My eyes are very dry, and this is the biggest inhibitor to my vision right now. The dryness is causing a lot of blurred letters when I read or work, but my vision overall is quite good (if that makes sense!).

So, I joke with friends, family and clients at the studio wondering where the heck I went, that April was a blur – literally – and I am finally ready to SEE and use these (expensive!!) new eyes to experience details I’ve never been able to see for the last 24 years. While this has been one of the most trying experiences of my life, mentally and physically, in hindsight, looking back, I would have still done it, despite the struggles and slowness of the healing process. I am proud of myself for a) going through with it and b) GETTING through it, even when I just wanted to cry.

I think what was most eye-opening – seriously, no pun intended ha! – was how much I struggled with loss of routine, lack of control and change. It is something I plan to explore in some future posts and is just something I realize more than ever I need to work on, like, really really work on.

Until then, I shall embrace my (almost) perfect vision and am glad to say  SEE YA LATER April, that was quite the month. :)

Two years ago, I taught my first barre (n9ne) class.

…and it was the best decision – and opportunity – I ever made (and had).

Every single class, every single day, I love what I do.

1901957_10152256648681170_1447480675_nIt brings me joy every single time, and there is no better feeling than to pay it forward in the form of helping women get into the best shape of their lives.

It gives me gratitude to put together a class that challenges, that inspires, that motivates.

And equally, when I have the chance to step into a class as a client myself, and get my own ‘me’ hour to focus, work, and sweat.

It touches me when a client looks for advice, suggestions, encouragement and asks me. To this day, I am always honored to help, to advise, to inspire and motivate.

And it keeps me on my toes – no pun intended, seriously hehe – to continue on my own journey, in maintaining this fit life, this balanced life, this happy life that I lead. It’s not a diet, it never has been, and never will. I have reached that happy place with food and my body, and you can’t quantify how good that feels.

It feels like I was meant to do this. Because I was. And I am. And I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.  Thank you Tanya for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, and to the barre n9ne community, for being you, for your inspiration, loyalty and committment. I say it all the time, but there truly is no community like the barre n9ne community. You can’t make this happen, it’s created.

(in other news, I have a scary amount of selfies, but it was way too fun putting together this flipagram!)

February 21, 2009 – 5 years later.

I just happened to look at the date and realized that today is five years since I started blogging (how fitting, on my 500th blog on this blog, my ‘newer’ blog over the past five years).

Five years since I began a journey that I had no idea where it would take me, literally, but also here, in this little space of mine.

I had no idea how many people I would connect with, how many of those people I now consider very good ‘blends,’ – from attending their wedding in Mexico, to a summer weekend ‘upta camp,’ to visits in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, New York City, Costa Mesa, Vegas, and even right here in Boston.

I had no idea what I would discover about myself as a result of blogging, in sharing my story of divorce, discovery, renewal, and love, found, yet again.

I had no idea of the connections I would make as a result of my passion for fitness, the barre (n9ne!) running, my relationship with food and my body, and being a fitness instructor.  Again, literally, and also in processing my feelings, thoughts, emotions and milestones.

Five years. 

I continue to go back to that feeling of realizing what a difference time really makes. And what a difference your life can look like as time spans on, especially as you take that life and shape it into a life you are proud of, and a life that feels fulfilled, happy and full of joy, love, and that (sometimes elusive) feeling of balance and peace.

Looking back? My first blog post on my old blog:

There, I said it. I’m 29 and I’m getting divorced. Never thought I’d be saying it or living it, to be honest. I decided to start a blog as I go through this journey because though it has only been about three months since this all started, I’ve gone through some massive changes and I thought a blog would be a great way to share my experience with those going through it, but also because there really aren’t any blogs out there that talk about divorce and moving on in your life with a very positive vibe. I see plenty that are all about looking back and wishing life had never changed, or being bitter about being abandoned by their former spouse. And, to be honest, I thought I’d fall into that camp as well, but I haven’t. I’ve really taken this time to figure out what I want in my life and have learned so much already, I can’t imagine where life will take me!

Whoa. So weird to read those words and picture exactly where I was sitting when I wrote them.

And the last post on that blog, in part:

I’m proud of her ,and who she’s become. And while I am letting her go in favor of the me I am now, she has shaped me into who I am today. I’m damn proud. I don’t care if this post sounds a bit indulgent…I know it probably does, but after getting through the difficulties of divorce and all of the baggage that comes with it (poor finances, loss of a house, lack of confidence, sadness and loss), I’m not her anymore.

I’m me…renewed.

And I thank you all for joining me in my journey and allowing me to share in yours. Cheers, friends.

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

And that, my friends, is exactly the sentiment I stand behind day in and day out, be proud of your past, the ups and downs, the strife, the learning, and then let go of it and move on.

Live the life you were meant to lead. 

Sometimes, you just realize.

Sometimes, the seemingly smallest things stop you dead in your tracks, and make you realize what a crazy, amazing, blessed life you have.

Something as small as this – a promotion Facebook did to celebrate their sixth birthday – creating a video of your first and biggest moments on Facebook, and I sit here in a puddle of tears, in awe, over what the last six years has brought me, and conversely, what I have made of it.

…my first moments on Facebook include my beautiful Nala and Kayla, seeing Nala as the very first picture made me cry right away, I miss her so, but equally love that this was the start of my six years. Because soon after was when I began my journey, and where my kitties became my companions, my support, my laughter, when I was sad, when I was alone, when I was learning to be myself again.

…one of my more popular posts was this one, from September 2012: “I am pretty sure I am the luckiest girl alive – with M” the day after our engagement. Even in that less than two years, and less than 4 since we met and married, that statement couldn’t be more true then, or now.

…my most popular posts were our ‘surprise‘ marriage, and becoming homeowners. Both of those have me beaming with pride, love and blessings.

It’s so funny how something as ‘trivial’ as a social media gimmick to promote Facebook’s ‘birthday’ has me sitting here in stunned silence. The last six years have been nothing short of life-changing forever. From a then 28 year old married woman who knew nothing about herself, to a divorced 29 year old starting fresh and from scratch, in quite literally every way, from home, to finances, to self, to body, to love, to today, 34 years old, married to the love of my life and in what could very well be our ‘forever’ home, and I am feeling unbelievably blessed.

e86a3f50e69e0d14be3b5948c851da5fSometimes it truly is just taking a step back and reminding yourself where you came from, where you are today, and where you can go from here. The possibilities are endless.

<3

Living with intention.

My last post touched on this a bit, on authenticity and being our own people, but this is truly my goal for 2014, 1000%.

Intention. Purposeful living. Honesty. Reality.

Doing what I say I am going to do, not *just* saying it and striving for it, but doing it. That means more slowing down, more simplicity, more back-to-basics.

It means *not* striving for perfection but excellence and actually standing behind those words and actions. Walking the walk. Easing up on myself more, letting go, relaxing the rules sometimes – more often than a once-in-awhile. Less rigidity, more fluidity.  <–this is TOUGH for me.

It means being honest. Even when honesty is the hardest route, but the right one.  I struggle with being upfront. It is far easier to just let stuff fester, to ‘let it roll’ when that’s the last thing I should be doing (in some instances…when in others, my (in)ability to ‘let it roll’ steals my own joy).

Living with intention also means being nicer. Yep, being nicer. Sometimes, I am not so nice. I get bitchy. I get nitpicky. I get – wait for it – naggy. And those are ugly traits. I don’t want to be that way. But I get that way when I hold stuff in, when I get too uptight and when I try to be everything to everyone. And I refuse to do that anymore. It’s just not worth it. To me, AND to those around me. It cheats everyone in my life, to be honest.

While last year I determined 2013 to be the year to ‘just be’ – and I think I lived up to that in a pretty good sense, there is still work to be done in the first category I mentioned – being still and believing in myself. And I think intention has a lot to do with that, being purposeful in the changes I want to make – in my thinking, in my actions and in my words.

So…that’s where I am heading, mentally, into 2014. I plan to post more on this as the new year comes about, but as this topic is actually more the one I thought about just as I drifted to sleep the other night (and I finally remembered it!!), I wanted to chronicle it before it drifted off yet again.e51b150511a762284bbc067745f37440

It feels empowering to live with intention…it ties together everything I stand behind and want to embody: authenticity, balance, and a less-is-more mentality. Because when you do one thing well, it is 100x better than doing 10 things just ‘meh.’