Pre-Holiday Greetings to everyone! I have been a busy guy lately… Working, helping family, setting up Christmas stuff last minute, hosting Fake Christmas, making my husband gifts, and packing for a seven day trip to Pennsylvania—the state where he’s from! But, whenever I had free time last week, I ruminated and compiled facts here and there in preparation for this post—featuring seven new, somewhat fun, somewhat inane, and somewhat personal facts about myself for your perusal! I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Matt-in-the-Hat, and have been really giving this a good go. Thank you for challenging me again, and making me really think.
I hope that what you read interests you—I fancy myself an individual—but will settle for any feeling or emotion, really. What follows are all true recountings of actual events from my life. They are not sensationalized and are, in fact just that—facts. Enjoy!
- You must thank person who nominated you and include a link to their blog
- You must list the rules and display the award
- You must add 7 facts about yourself
- You must nominate 15 other bloggers
1) I quit smoking because I decided I want to live. I started up in college and quit after graduation.
Well, my very first smoke was one of those skinny cigars that look like cigarettes, back in high school. But I only did it then so people would stop yelling at me for telling them to quit when I had never even tried it. I thought smoking was alright in and of itself, but I knew it was addictive and could kill me, so I stayed away. I’ve had many relatives who have died of smoking-related diseases, a father who is an oncologist, and an aunt who has done work with prominent anti-smoking campaigns.
My second smoke was in college. We had a Lodge Party—We all dressed up fancy, had old-man drinks, played cards, and smoked big fat cigars. That was a whole new kind of fun. I loved it! You could say I was… Addicted. My friends noticed had I enjoyed myself, and would offer my cigarettes from then on. I’d take them. We’d also walk to the konbini and buy those two-packs of cigars. I liked those even better than the cigarettes.
The feeling of smoking soothed me. I was in a bad place, and recall writing something about how the feeling of smoking was phenomenal. It felt like I was being eaten up and hollowed out. I didn’t care if I died. I wasn’t entirely sure a “good life” awaited me.
I quit smoking when I graduated from college. I told myself that when I started my new life I would stop. I enjoyed my last cigar outside my old apartment by myself, staring off the balcony and sobbing for everything I would lose when I moved. When I was done, I crushed it under a sandal and trotted to the dumpster in my boxers, effectively burying the last piece of college-hood. I moved back home to Jamestown and didn’t touch any smokes. I kept a few hidden—I could always go down to the beach where my Nana wouldn’t notice, or out to the fort and hang with friends—but I never even looked at them.
I did good. I only partially relapsed during my freakout a year ago. Even then, I only put the cigarette in my mouth and chomped down on the tangy paper and tasted the tobacco. I didn’t light it. I didn’t light it because I knew there was more to be. I couldn’t give up there; I had to forge on. And since then my life has been an exercise in positivity. Things are on an upswing and I’m happy—and smoke-free.
2) The talk of habits brings me to my next fact: I have a highly addictive personality. It goes hand-in-hand with OCD and is part of why I am so overweight. I jump in to everything, full force and just keep going and going and going. I want to do and know it all.
I need to learn moderation. I don’t stop to deal with the consequences. My philosophy is that they will come tomorrow, and I can deal with them then.
As mentioned, I do suffer from some strong OCD, but I keep it in check without the aid of medication. I was on several meds for a number of years, but recently have kicked them and have been able to function on my own. While there are a few visible manifestations, I have it under control on the whole. I’m proud of myself for taking the necessary steps for treatment and learning self-control in the process.
3) I write because it allows me to communicate better. I had a terrible stutter as a kid, and completely stopped speaking for a while. But when I wrote, everything flowed easily and naturally. I began keeping journals in elementary school and continued this practice through my high school graduation. I only wrote intermittently in college—until I switched my major to Writing & Rhetoric. After that, I began writing fervently, as if my life depended upon it. And this has helped me grow as a writer—All of it. From discovering a way to sound coherent and not be interrupted, to the day I realized I could be a writer forever.
My stutter made it hard for me to open up and talk with others, a trend that continued until high school. At that point, I would just spit everything out in one fell swoop, my insecurities bubbling up and frothing forth. I still often feel that I want to just say everything when I meet someone. I’d rather have them outright reject me than befriend me, only to walk away later on.
People will still stop me, tell me I’ll do better if I “slow down”, or just rudely talk over me or finish my sentences, but I am more confident and honest now. I will tell people they’re being rude. I will ignore them or stop speaking with them. I have done years of speech therapy and learned techniques to help, as well as figured out when to just walk away.
4) I didn’t date until I was older and I think it caused my writing to suffer. In high school I read the shoujo series, Fall in Love Like a Comic. It got me to wondering if I’d be able to write better if I had someone. But all I could do for a while was wallow and wonder—I didn’t have any realistic love interests and didn’t want to date just because I wanted a boyfriend. It had to be something I could sustain long-term without me or the other person going nuts.
I altogether abandoned writing for a few years as mentioned, partially because I felt that my characters’ relationships were hollow. In the end, I found that conjecture to be true. After I began seeking out a romantic relationship, I had way more fodder for the writing machine.
5) I walked myself off of the operating table after my top surgery and then straight into recovery. A nurse grabbed my arm to steer me, but once I was up, I was out of there! I wanted to see my husband and family and get on home. On the long drive back, we actually did play “So Hot”, as I had insisted my husband do for me, but I don’t remember more than whining along to the lyrics. It was probably a terrible concert for my family… I’m thankful they love me and indulge me nonetheless.
Looking back my mom was probably right: it was a bit sketch that I just woke up and walked away. But I did and it’s over. I got through all of it, and all the nastiness that goes along with it—meds and drains and pain, pain, pain! But I’m happy. I’m living the life I always dreamed of, and that’s what counts.
6) For me, family comes first. I made a few very serious decisions at young ages. When I was a kid I decided my Nana and parents would never be sent to nursing homes—and was 100% earnest. My mom would laugh when I would threaten my dad he could get the boot for being mean, but I would never be able to actually do it. They’re all so important to me.
I moved back to Rhode Island from upstate New York to help my Nana out and take care of her in her old age. She was one of my first caregivers. She drove an hour each day when my brother and I were babies to watch us while my parents finished up their residencies and got settled into their own practices.
I also decided that no one but my brother could have my kidneys. He and I were both born prematurely, with him clocking in around three months before he was due! My Nana and parents tell me he fit in the palms of their hands. He has just one kidney—which he has annoyingly dubbed “Superkidney”—and may someday need a replacement. I have two that function pretty well, so I need to save them for him. This is something that I rarely mention and hope will never be an issue, but I could never give away either of my kidneys to anyone who needs one because my brother is very important to me. We may not always get along or hang out together, but he is my brother—my only brother—and he means the world to me.
7) The last one will be a fun one—I adore good backstory. It gets me every time. Backstory can be as simple as one line, like Kagari from Psycho-Pass telling Akane that he was branded a criminal at five. Those are the things that really get the cogs turning and the juices flowing… I want to know more!
My favorite characters are usually secondary, or even tertiary characters in works or series. Let’s take examples manga and gaming, something that a good chunk of my readers are interested in. My favorite anime characters include Wolfwood and Midvalley, Jet, Hughes and Scar, Tomomi and Kagari, Stein and Excalibur, Uda and Reiko, and Ryuji and Seajima. From gaming they include Tanaka and Adachi (and Honda from DSO), Mia and Balmung, Shirabe and Mikami, as well as Tenmyouji and K.
Well that was fun for me. I got to get my attachment to bit players off my chest! Many of the characters in the first group die. Each and every time I turn to my husband and scream, “WHY DOES EVERYTHING I LOVE DIE!?” It’s been five years that we’ve been together… Some things may never change.
Now, I unfortunately don’t know fifteen other bloggers, and even less who create personal posts, but would love to hear from you if you’re interested in being nominated! This was a lot of fun and a great chance to tell everyone a little more about myself.
If anything here did catch your eye, please drop me a comment or just pop in to say hi! Have a great holiday, whatever you’re celebrating! Even if it’s just New Year’s, I hope it’s amazing and filled with happiness.