1. I cook. Max does the dishes. I hate doing the dishes. #NoGenderRolesHere
2. You probably know that I don't like football. You probably don't know why.
Before dad died, I wasn't a huge fan. Growing up, I saw it mostly as an inconvenience. I thought, oh, four 15 minute quarters plus half time? That's an hour and 15 minutes. Oh, and I also included a gracious 15 minutes for commercial time. So and hour and a half. Four hours later, am I watching the show I want to watch? No. This thing called "overtime" is happening. And I'm a little ticked. But I'm fine. I just go back to reading in my room. It was just an inconvenience that ruined my ability to ever watch tv shows that aired on Sundays.
Then dad had a heart attack. In the middle of us all watching a football game. I don't remember which game it was. There were a lot on December 13th. I didn't mind sitting there pretending to watch it because I was with my family. And we were all together (sans Liam, who had joined us for lunch and then disappeared to a friend's house) for the first time in a while. But dad stopped breathing, right there on the couch, football blaring in the background. And it was on during my call to 911, when the nurse told me in her firmest voice that I needed to calm down and focus. And it was on when the ambulance arrived. When we were in the ER after they stabilized him, we told him he needed to wake up stat. He was missing the Broncos-Raiders game. He was wearing one of his favorite Broncos shirts. It was old and navy blue and definitely had several holes in it. And it was cut. Straight down the middle of his body. Hasty work of a paramedic who needed to get to his skin to use the defibrillator. The Broncos lost, by the way. So I don't like watching football. Some weird part of my brain is anxious that something bad is going to happen to someone. And I'm on high alert the whole time. It's exhausting.
3. I like Christmas more than is probably healthy. I may or may not have been listening to Christmas music since September.
4. I don't like crowds and I don't like loud noise. These go hand in hand. It's literally overstimulating for my system. I'm so overwhelmed at concerts that I spend the whole concert crying because it's the only way I can let it out. Football games are a little better because it's not constant noise, but it's still awful. I just can't handle the noise in my ears. It hurts and it makes me want to crawl into a soundproof room and live there for the rest of my life. And I can't handle people pressing in on all sides of me. My anxiety skyrockets. I don't know if I'll be able to get out if I need to. What if something bad were to happen to the people I'm with? We're so far away from any type of medical help and there are too many people in the way. When I'm in a stadium, what if the person behind me falls? I'll fall onto the person in front of me. And so on and so forth until someone falls off of the 100 ft high balcony. I'm overwhelmed by everything going on around me and the only thing in the world that I want is silence and to be alone.
5. I don't like pizza, fries, burgers, hot dogs, or soda. There's no explanation here. I just don't like them (I can hear those who didn't know this audibly gasping).
6. I have 3 tattoos. I'm planning my 4th (sorry Mum).
This is the first time most of you will have heard this next part. It's pretty shitty, so read on with an open heart.
7. My record is sealed. A pretty, metaphorical seal (I've always wondered what it actually looks like) under which no employer will ever be able to see my misdemeanor. It doesn't show up background checks and legally, I'm not required to self-report it to employers.
So, why is my record sealed? I'm going to be completely transparent and vulnerable here. I was caught shoplifting when I was 16. I was depressed and I was self-harming and I shoplifted on a somewhat regular basis. I'm not proud of it. Any of it. I don't know why I did it. I didn't even enjoy it while I was doing it. Everything I stole I would set on a shelf in my room and I would look at it every day and feel horrible. I never used any of it. It ranged from cheap jewelry to trinkets to nail polish. And it just sat there on my shelf. Too ashamed to own up, too ashamed to use what I had stolen. Maybe it was attention-seeking. Maybe I wanted to get caught so people would see how much I hated myself. Or maybe I was just a shitty 16-year-old who thought she was entitled to anything she wanted without paying for it. I don't know. And it's not for you to judge, either. It just is.
The system did what it was supposed to do, for me. I went through teen court (it's really a great program, read about it here), my record being sealed meant that my future chances at getting into schools or getting hired weren't effected, and I didn't shoplift again after that. And I was so, so ashamed. I can probably count on two hands the number of people who knew about it before this blog post. I did a great job at keeping it a secret at the time. But now you know. It's not a secret anymore. And that is so freeing for my heart. The only thing I ask of you is to give me grace and every ounce of your understanding.
This is me. You've seen the good parts. These are my sad and weird and shameful parts. This is my human experience. I hope that this leads you to love me more. I write this not so that you can judge me or feel bad about dragging me to that concert. I write it because life is short and secrets are burdensome. And I want you to understand all of the parts of me.