7.20: Galveston, TX @ Commodore Beach Hotel
Told by a child today, after accidentally walking through an area a restaurant employee was mopping, “that’s what happens – when your mouth moves, your brain stops.” Then followed it up with, “an old fart told me that once.” This kid was maybe 7 or 8? It’s been such a weird “Children of the Corn” day. I’m currently at a hotel on the beach in Galveston because my oldest puppy had surgery today here and she’ll be released from puppy hospital-jail tomorrow morning. So far, other than the “mouth-brain Dr. Phil Jr.” outside my restaurant, I had a little girl give me a solid thumbs-up the entire way she walked across a cross walk while I was in my car. I had a little girl tell me that the throw I did with a beach ball in the hotel pool to my step daughter “wasn’t very good” (Ok, Coach…come tell me that in the 8ft area). Then at dinner, the apparent head preacher of the “little shit Children of the Corn Conspiracy” here on the island walked by my table and poked me in the stomach right when I was taking a bite of not so healthy food. What in the actual effe. I think this might be karma paying me back for my neighborhood illegal Pygmy goat that I recently bought/rescued from being dinner the other day. I really can’t even make this up. This is my life lol.
Downside of staying in a hotel is that it requires bathing suits and sunshine…set me back several years/days/moments mentally with how I feel about my body. Like, I’m in a place where in the moment in the pool I can feel safe and confident to have fun, but when I get back to the hotel bathroom with all the mirrors that look like and are angled to resemble a dressing room I realize how utterly confusing my face and weight look. Weight wise I feel like I look huge (huge being above the statistical average and my BMI giving me the proverbial finger), I’ll admit that. There is no way around that. I really need to lose a lot of weight for my new liver’s sake. But facially, I can look either like a smashed cartoon character that’s super fat or a regular looking semi pleasant person from the other angle. Makes me wonder about how people see me now in public – it’s so different. I’m like a walking cartoon character. I joke about it but it really bothers me a lot. I feel so self-conscious all the time. I feel like people claim to be pro “body positive” but in reality, they aren’t. It’s just a fad that they like to support because it’s trendy and makes them feel or “look” less judgmental, when all the while in the back of their head they are saying, “there’s no way I’d let myself get that big, but good for her with her confidence!”. I wish I didn’t waste my time thinking about this or even writing about it.
7.21 (Next Morning)
New day, picking up Puddles (dog that had surgery) in a few hours – have time to myself this morning so I’m spending it writing on the balcony of my hotel watching storms roll across the oceans horizons. It’s pretty zen. My round and workaholic frame doesn’t get much actual yoga, so when I can get mental yoga like this it’s amazing. Feet up, ocean in front, the smell of rain, storms, sea breeze, Spotify, and earbuds on. Had such strange dreams last night. I remember trying to make myself in the dream remember them because I thought it would make a great story. Just heard thunder.
The other day Sean asked me in the car – would you 10 years ago believe anyone if they said to you, “Leah, in 10 years you are going to be divorced, remarried, have an 11-year-old step daughter, own a pygmy goat, have a PhD from UTMB’s Biomedical Sciences School, have survived a liver transplant/life support/kidney failure, cleaning up after your mom’s suicide, and live in Houston in the same neighborhood you lived in when you were 1 year old….would you believe them?” Answer: Hell no.
Life’s persnickety at best. This change has made me (forced me to be) flexible. It’s made me, at times, feel like I’m betraying myself. I thought I knew myself, I was set in my ways of what I liked and did not like. My first marriage was pretty much a solo gig since He was in Iraq 90% of the time. Now I navigate my day around a husband who works from home (while I’m finishing my dissertation from home too), the 11-year-old (during summers and holidays), a goat, and 3 dogs. How have I not absolutely lost my mind yet? Most individuals when faced with giant life altering events have some sort of solidarity of their former life to fall back on as support during the coping time. I fell back on everything being new and out of my control. I fell back into an abyss. Some days I think I’m still sitting at the edge of the abyss weighing the options of which direction is really the best. Relinquishing control to life is hard for me. I fight it almost everyday tooth and nail. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t fear change or challenges. I just want to know what I’m about to get into before I face it. Makes the enduring easier. Makes the setting my course to ride the storm out easier. Probably surprises is a better word. I hate surprises. Control freak thing again. What can I say, I’m a “clinger”. Or rather a survivor. I always ace those “Would You Survive the Apocalypse (or Horror Movie)” BuzzFeed quizzes.
I think I could finish my dissertation from this balcony. It’s the right amount of 1970’s haunted beach motel vibe and inspiration and people watching. It’s a little voyeuristic I guess. I am so close to the gumbo restaurant that next door that I can see literally what is on people’s tables (sidebar: you know you’re a gamer nerd when Word auto-corrects “restaurant” to “recast aura” #keybinds). I’m also so close that I’m stealing their wifi instead of the hotels. Note to anyone curious. Wifi signal based in the lobby meaning to reach the entire hotel that was built with brick interior room walls and led based paint = no wifi for you. Holy catfish smell all of a sudden. It’s 10 am, who is ordering fried catfish for breakfast? Never mind, that actually does sound kind of good…wonder if they deliver…I digress.