Ellie Vs. The Rest

In high school my friend came up with the extremely silly phrase, “I falafel,” to say he felt awful.

Well guys, I falafel (sidenote: yum…falafel).

When you’re constantly not okay, especially due to the fact that you have approximately one metric butt load of chronic illnesses as well as some others that just like to pop up and be dreadful whenever they wish, it gets really hard to remember that there is actually more than just pain and sickness to your story. I am sure people who have either been through long term or even short term illness understand that it can be easy to lose yourself in all the doctors, medications and machines.

The last few years I have always been burdened by the thought that if it weren’t for all my medical mysteries and close calls, I wouldn’t be a very interesting person. I felt like that was all that made me different….that I am a person that just always hurts. And that is a very troubling thought. I never wanted to be known as the “sick” girl, or the girl who is “allergic to everything,” or be a “downer.” However, even when I tried to hide anything even slightly related to illness or sadness, I still somehow managed to end up being one or all of those things. Hrmmph.

Nearly two years ago I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Florida with my mother to visit DisneyWorld in celebration of her finally getting her master’s degree. On the plane from Arizona to Florida, I happened to end up being seated not next to my mother, but next to a wonderful redheaded man near the same age as me. During the 4 1/2 hour flight, we ended up becoming what we like to call, “vacation best friends.”

We talked about food, music, superheroes, art, food, comics, music, and food, and it was fantastic. But of course, at one point it came out that I was chronically ill, which was why sitting that long was quite the nightmare, and also why there were so many things I could not eat for fear of anaphylaxis. He was curious, and having his own experiences with illness in his family, started a conversation with me about all that, too. It was without a doubt the best flight of my life.

At one point, several hours into our conversation, I told my new best friend that I felt that if it weren’t for my poor health, I would most likely be a very boring person. His reply was something that I could never possibly forget. He said, very loudly might I add, “That’s BULLSHIT. You mean to tell me, that this conversation we’ve been having for hours about art and food and music wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t sick all the time? I don’t fucking think so. There’s a lot to you.” My heart glowed.

Lately, this has been even harder than usual to remember. So, to not only help myself, but also so that my dear readers can know a little more about me aside from the fact that I usually falafel, here are a few quick facts about the rest of me.

  1. I fucking love dinosaurs. I don’t know why, I don’t know what started it, but since I was a child, I have absolutely loved dinosaurs. They are just so. Cool.
  2. I recently just graduated with two AA degrees after five years in junior college. One is in Communications, while the other is in Liberal Studies with an Emphasis in Art. The particular form of art is music. I earned the second degree on accident, but I am very glad I did.
  3. I enjoy cooking, and I love baking even more so. I’m not Food Network material or anything quite yet, but people usually enjoy the food I make. That’s a good sign, right?
  4. I have idolized Lucille Ball and Elizabeth Montgomery for as long as I can remember. I grew up watching all those wonderful old shows like I Love Lucy, Bewitched, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and so on. Side note…my first crush was definitely on Dick Van Dyke. I mean…have you seen him back then? Hot damn. He’d make a dragon wanna retire, man.
  5. I absolutely love graphic novels. I like comic books as well, but I enjoy graphic novels more because they end at some point, and I find comfort and satisfaction in endings.
  6. My favorite T.V. Shows are, aside from Bewitched and I Love Lucy as mentioned before, Chuck, Pushing Daisies, Doctor Who, Scrubs, Fringe, Video Game High School, and That 70’s Show. If you have not seen all these, you need to. Now.
  7. I love music, obviously. I used to play bass guitar and piano, but haven’t in years for a number of reasons. I would like to start up again, though.
  8. I also love fashion, particularly vintage and retro clothing. I’m also the queen of bargain shopping considering I’ve never had much money, but you’d be surprised what you can find for next to nothing! I’m pretty sure I thrift better than Macklemore. I Mackle…more. That was stupid. Sorry. Anyway.
  9. I was in acting from the time I was 5 to the time I was 18. Not like, professionally, but still. Most of my life, I wanted to be an actress, and then I suddenly burned out. It was scary when I did, because all I had ever done my entire life was write for theater, act, and obsess over music. I ended up loving my Communications major after a little searching, and I have never regretted switching.
  10. I HATE mirrors, the sound of ticking clocks, things that flutter (they make me nervous), the smell of coffee, and the word “pissy.” Writing this actually just made me cringe.
  11. My favorite sound in the world is the sound of a ring hitting a dish or pan, because it reminds me of my grandmother, who is still my favorite person in the world. She wears her wedding ring as well as my grandfather’s, because he is always working with his hands and never could really wear it. She always says it helps with her arthritis…but I think she is just being a romantic. I mean, she’s done it for nearly 60 years.
  12. I used to be heavily addicted to video games. I still love them, but am much less caught up in them.
  13. My favorite color is all of them. But especially Turquoise. But mainly all of them.
  14. I was born on July 4th, also known as American Independence Day. I was supposed to be born in June, but my stubborn newborn ass just wanted to wait for a minor holiday, I guess. But hey, fireworks!
  15. I have a partial photographic memory. It mainly works on things I either absolutely love, or things that absolutely terrify me. I found this out when I was 20 and thought I was losing my mind, because I couldn’t sleep for days after being in the Denver airport. One mural they had there was particularly terrifying to me, and I kept seeing it in my mind, and it scared me over and over. I told my mother that I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. She said there wasn’t, and instead that I simply just have the ability to remember certain things to very great detail and have the images stuck in my head. I’m not sure if that is actually a true photographic memory, but that’s the best way to describe it. It’s just odd.

So, there you have it. Fifteen pieces of evidence that prove that there is more to me then just pain. If anyone reading this is constantly sick, or in pain, I am sinicerely sorry for your suffering. But remember…you are more than just your illness. You are a person, a puzzle comprised of passions, dislikes, likes, memories, goals, and ideas. If you are having trouble remembering them, make a list. You deserve to be reminded that you are great and that you are important, and not just because you need medical attention. Even if you don’t feel like you are, you are.

I’m sure of it.

Joke me something awful just like kisses on the necks of best friends,

We’re the kids who feel like dead ends.

And I want to be known for my hits, not just my misses.

I took a shot, and didn’t even come close, to trust and love, and hope.

And the poets are just, kids who didn’t make it.

And never had it at all.

And the record won’t stop skipping

And the lies just won’t stop slipping.

And besides, my reputation’s on the line.

We can fake it for the airwaves, force our smiles, baby, half-dead

From comparing myself to everyone else around me.

-I’ve Got a Dark Alley and a Bad Idea that Says You Should Shut Your Mouth – Fall Out Boy

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