Some things to remember

birds of a feather

Lines for Winter

by Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon's gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

(from here.)

A friend sent this to me last night, and as I read it, I felt so at peace. I needed it. Hopefully it brings you peace too.


My demons

The fabulous blogger The Bloggess' post yesterday has been haunting me for the better part of 24 hours. I read it, and my first thought:

Thank you, Jenny.

She writes about "coming out" with mental illness, and how dangerous it is to keep quiet about. And it's true — it can be hell, battling mental illness(es). But it's so much worse when you're battling alone.

I've been going to group therapy for eating disorders for over nine months, and I can't tell you the relief I feel when I sit there surrounded by other girls who know what it's like. To know they understand every little bit of what I'm feeling. It takes a bit of weight off me just knowing I'm not alone.

Likewise, I have a friend who also battles depression and anxiety. When either of us is going through a particularly hard spell, the other steps up. There are no words needed: just knowing the other is there, and that the other knows, is such a comfort.

I'm not going to lie...it's still hard for me to talk about my eating disorders, depression, and anxiety publicly. There is a very real part of me who is ashamed of them, and embarrassed by them. And the fact that I have to take medication to help me cope? My god, I'm embarrassed by that too.

I tell you, I'm embarrassed to have mental illnesses. I honestly do feel like a freak sometimes when I talk about them.

But then I have to remind myself that though the eating disorders, depression, and anxiety are a part of my life, they are not my WHOLE life. And I will fight constantly to keep them from taking over. The real me is here, and the real me is a funny, kind, fiercely loyal girl.

Having mental illnesses is nothing to be ashamed about. It's no more my fault than if I were to have a physical disease. And, like a physical disease, mental illnesses need treatment. And there is nothing wrong with that.

So hi. I'm Nanny, and I have:

my demons

And that's okay.


It's even too cold to stay in bed!

It's 7:31 a.m., and I just took this screenshot of weather.com for my city:

And now what I'm wondering is, when I started talking about going to school in the northeast, WHY DID YOU ALL NOT STOP ME?

(See also: I'm typing this while wearing gloves. Because BRRR.)


Second semester: ready. set. GO.

So tonight is my last night down here in good ol' Teyhas. I leave tomorrow morning for DreamSchool, and while I'm so happy to be going back to my friends, having to go to class and work is going to seeeriously put a cramp in my winter break style. Because y'all. It has been a BREAK.

I came home from the insanity of last semester and I honestly think I slept for a solid week. I'm so not even kidding. I'd stagger from my bed to the coffee pot to the big chair in the living room and back to the coffee pot and then to bed and rinse, repeat. For a week.

Then I began my manic book-reading cycle. I think I've read 8 or 10 books this break? And I'm discovering I'm in l-o-v-e LOVE with Kaye Gibbons. Have you read her stuff? If you haven't, do so. Now, please. Then we can discuss. Zomgsies BOOK CLUB!

Then I began my traveling cycle...aka, I went to Austin and back twice. Which makes for approximately 14 hours of me alone in my car listening to repeats of "Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" and "Car Talk" via my NPR app on Sasha the iPhone.

(Which, in case you couldn't tell, makes me a happy little journalism dork.)

And now? Now, it's time to head back. I land late tomorrow evening, and I'll have to trudge back to my apartment in the foot-and-a-half-or-so of snow that blanketed the northeast since I was last there, and then I'll collapse, and then I have work at 9 a.m. the next day! Woot.

Do you ever start talking and then you talk forever and then you realize what you were saying had absolutely no point whatsoever? ...yeah, cause that's about where I am for this post. But I wanted to check in, and say how deliciously lazy my break was.

And also...Dear College Gods: Please make this semester a bit less crazy than last semester. I can't afford Botox and these stress wrinkles are REALLY getting out of control. Hugs! Nanny.


Pet #2

Max! This one just likes to snuggle. WIDDLE MAXIPOO.



Pet #1

Lula! This one is a diva. SERIOUSLY.




So I was in Austin, TX a few days ago visiting some awesome people. And while I was there, some of us decided (on the spur of the moment) to go see a psychic!

(More like, it had been raining ALL FREAKING DAY and we didn't have anything else to do so we were like OH WHY NOT.)

So we pulled into this little tiny parking lot in front of the psychic's and swam inside. When we opened the door, it was kinda dark inside, and I was like "ooooh, spooky," and also "should I run while I'm still alive?" but then a woman came over and flipped on the light and BOOM, we were standing inside a living room.

Like, seriously. It was a legitimate living room. On the right side, where we walked in, there was a big black leather couch and a glass table with a credit card machine. And on the left side, there were even more leather couches. And four women just chillaxing with two toddlers and a baby.

And we were like "...huh."

The woman who had turned on the light rattled off a list of services and their prices (palms read, tarot cards done, full psychic reading, etc.), and then asked us what we wanted, and I was like "Uh, the cheapest one," cause y'all, I'm a broke college student.

It turned out that the cheapest option was having one palm read for $10. Okay, sold. I've always wanted to have my palm read anyway!

I went last, and while the other two girls had their palms read, I sat over by the four women and the toddlers and the baby and contemplated kidnapping the baby because OMG TINY AND CUTE AND SQUISHY. But I refrained. Self-control, I HAZ IT.

At last it was my turn, and I went over and sat with the psychic woman. She took my palm in her hand, asked me to clear my mind, and then was quiet.

For, like, two whole minutes.

I kept opening my eyes to peak at her and she just sat there, head bowed, with my hand in her hand. I guess she was trying to feel my vibes? I was also worried she had fallen asleep. But just as I was about to say something, she started talking:

"You've been going through some struggles right now. [pause] Things have been difficult for you. [pause] But you'll be encountering new people and places within the next six months. [pause] It'll be a new environment for you. [pause] Money is not an issue for you and never really will be. [pause] I see marriage in your future, and soon. [pause] I see a lot of happiness and love. [pause] You will have 2-3 children."

and fin.

She opened her eyes, looked up at me, and asked if I had any questions. I was TOTALLY caught on her last two predictions, and I was all happy and breathless and "Really? Marriage soon? I will have babies???" and she was like "YES" and I was like "YES!!!" and she was like "Are you happy with your reading?" and I was like "YES OH YES!" and she was like "That'll be $10" and I was like "....ohright. This thing cost money."

(On a side note — are you supposed to tip your psychic? Because I didn't...)

So let's review.

-struggles at present, check.
-new people/places within 6 months? hm. not to my knowledge?
-marriage soonish and babies? YES PLEASE!

Okay, psychic. I'll give you an A for effort. And if all your predictions come true? I'll come find you and give you a tip.


My yearly wrap-up

Fourth time's the charm! Let's hope I have something interesting to say...


1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Moved into my very first apartment!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

This is the same answer every year — I don't do new year's resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Oh wow, this is a whole other blog post. Which I will write. Some day. I promise. (AKA the answer is YES and holy moly, there is a story there.)

4. Did anyone close to you die?

I don't think so. Thank you, universe.

5. What countries did you visit?


6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

This is also the same answer I give every year — more time to read. Though in the 2 weeks I've been home for Christmas, I've read 5 books!

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

-Celebrating my 21st birthday in New York City in March was awesome :)
-This whole semester will be pretty hard to forget. But I survived it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Seriously, it was making it out of this semester still in school. I can't tell you how close I was to taking a leave of absence. My eating disorder therapists all pushed me to do it, and one pushed me to go inpatient. I stubbornly stayed, though I'm not sure at what cost. I'm still really struggling.

9. What was your biggest failure?

One thing that eating disorder therapy has taught me is not to think in black and whites — AKA, nothing is a true failure. (I hope my therapist will read this. She'll be SO PROUD.) So...while I've done things I regret this year, I'm not going to say I failed at anything. Except for that one quiz that one time. Oopsies!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I'm certainly not as healthy as I'd like to be. But I'm working on that! See, people, just call me Pollyanna on Prozac.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My baby.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Yours did. Let's party!!!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I think everybody's been on pretty good behavior this year. No coal in any stockings on my end, at least!

14. Where did most of your money go?

1) rent in New England (OOF)
2) DreamSchool!
3) laundry (DOUBLE OOF)

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

See #3! Also, see future blog post that I promise I will get to!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Florence + The Machine's Dog Days Are Over. Cause y'all, I SURVIVED.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder?

Perhaps a bit sadder. But working to get happier. (See? Pollyanna on Prozac. I am unstoppable.)

b) thinner or fatter?

Let's not talk about this, okay?

c) richer or poorer?

Let's not talk about this either, okay? Oh wait, what's this? My monthly tuition payment is due? *whimper*

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

More reading!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Wasted time doing nothing on the computer.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At my parents' house with them & my little sis.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?

Yes. With a beautiful, amazing group of girls in my eating disorder therapy group. I am astounded by their strength even when they're at their weakest. (Holy their/they're/their, batman!)

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Okay, this is going to sound completely lame, but I've been obsessed with That '70s Show lately.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't think so.

24. What was the best book you read?

Oh, my god, I couldn't even pick. Seriously. It would be painful for me to even try.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

They're not new, but I've been loving Bon Iver lately. Though my roommates and I always argue whether it's Bon EYEver or Bon eeVEHR.

26. What did you want and get?

Lots of laughter.

27. What did you want and not get?

Man, the College Tuition Fairy didn't show up to stuff thousands of dollars beneath my pillow. Sigh.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Uh. Harry Potter 7.1. Did you even have to ask.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 21! And I spent it with my friend Kelly in New York City. We stayed at a hostel and drank wine and I was sad because I wasn't carded AT ALL on the entire trip. Oh, and I drunkenly paid the pizza delivery guy $11 in change. I still feel badly about that.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Hmmm. Can we find a cure for eating disorders?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

See, here's the thing. I used to be a card-carrying member of the Leggings Are Not Pants Club *until* I bought leggings. And since then they are all I wear. With tunics, dresses, long sweaters, EVERYTHING.

32. What kept you sane?

My crazy pills! They don't call me Pollyanna on Prozac for nothin'.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Uh. You. Obvs.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Here's my biggest wish for 2011: making gay marriage legal EVERYWHERE. Can you say rainbow parties everyone?!?!

35. Who did you miss?

Her, them, her, and always her.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I don't think I really met anyone new this year who changed my life completely? But I became closer with people, which is awesome.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.

How to rewear the same shirt 47 times before washing it so you don't have to spend so much on laundry.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

The dog days are over!

THE END. Oof. Every year I forget how long this darn thing is. If you made it all the way through, allow me to give you a big kiss. Except not my parents. Because, uh, ew.

Here's to a happy, healthy 2011 for us all!