Describe a moment in which you were in physical pain.

Luckily, I have not had many moments in which I was in extreme pain. Also, I have saved myself from serious injury by the ability of natural flexibility, coordination, grace and being too scared and avoiding situations which I may hurt myself. Compared to many people I know who struggle with chronic pain and/or intense physical injury, the pain I experience seems like baby pain. But. Baby pain is still pain and pain is THE WORST. I’ll go with a fun time when I was running across the street in NYC in the dead of winter and seemed to have whipped my neck into a funk. I don’t know how it happened, except that I was tensing my muscles from the cold, and then I just pulled something real quick and almost fell the ground from the shock. The sudden feeling was more shocking and scary than anything else. As soon as it happened, I could not move my neck and had to keep it that way for hours. Luckily Nathan was with me because I thought I straight broke my neck and couldn’t walk, but it was just fear of that. We walked very slowly home (we were 10-15 min away in Prospect Heights) and I was crying all the way. Once home, I popped like 4 ibuprofens, got my heating pad out, positioned myself comfortably on the bed in the weirdest pose, and konked out for the rest of the day/night. Luckily when I awoke the next morning, it just felt like a strained/pulled neck muscle and not what seemed like a demon lodged itself into me. I thought I was going to have to call off work, but I was fine, just in pain.

The greatness of sandwiches.

Sandwiches. Who doesn’t love a sandwich?! They are the most versatile of foods. A variety of bread choices are available to you and once you get that part down, the choices of what to put in the middle are ENDLESS: meats, cheese, veggies, even fruits (pears, apples, etc.). You may tailor your sandwich to your liking: open face, closed-face (is that even a term?), multiple layers, mustard, mayo, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, ketchup, chutney, etc.

Another great thing about sandwiches are the fact that they are UNIVERSAL. They are a U.S. thing, a European thing, okay maybe that’s it. Not sure where else they are popular.

The greatness of a sandwich is its versatility.

Write about something you know absolutely nothing about. Make all of it up.

So let me write about something I know SO MUCH ABOUT: PHYSICS. It’s simple really. So simple in fact that it’s difficult to explain. But I’ll do my best. Physics…it’s the laws of life. What goes up must come down. If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? How does a plane fly? Or a bird for that matter? Gravity is a really important concept in physics. So is inertia and velocity. Believe me. The quantum square root of pi is physics. Bettcha didn’t know that. If you ever need to figure anything out, just use this simple equation and you can solve the universe/life’s mystery:

x^#%= 620963!;($:@/027373$2&👿👽👻👾🙏🙏🙏🐮🐗🐌🙈🔥🐲🗾⚡️🌌☁️🍭💘🚴🏿⛺️🏈🎪🎼🎱⛳️🚊🃏🇵🇭🇨🇴🇨🇳⏳🔪📫📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📈📊📊📊📊📉📉📉♋️🅾♏️♌️🅾🆑Ⓜ️.

you are WELCOME.

Your worst experience during a family dinner.

(Writing this post a day early as I will be either sleeping, sleepwalking, or sleep celebrating tomorrow).

Since my memory is the absolute WORST, I only remember the most recent worst family dinner experience. But I’m sure there have been much worse than this; it is just blocked out of my conscious memory.

I already told this story on my blog but will use it again as it is the most appropriate. It is the dinner in Aruba when Joey lashed-out at me out of nowhere. Supes funsies timesies. It wasn’t necessarily the WORST family dinner experience, more like awkward, shocking and intense. But it since having very few interactions with my family in the past 8 years, I have slim pickins and it stood out.

Though, I do remember many-a-family dinners where my mom would be so overwhelmed out of her wits that she was just crying about how no one helped her or that we aren’t being kind to her and everyone is picking on her. Or one where I we were all fighting and no one spoke. (More like I was fighting with my MOM and I didn’t speak.)

Your guilty pleasure

I’m going to go with the more harmful of my guilty pleasures…SUGAR BINGING. Mmmmmmmmm. I know you share this sentiment so you’ll understand.

So here’s the deal: sometimes (pretty often actually) I go on sugar binges. The thing about sugar is it’s addictive, so the more I do it, the more I want to do it and the vicious cycle continues. My two binging sugary treats are S’mores Poptarts and Gushers (do not judge me even though i know you are.) I’d also add cereal in there because that’s a daily eat, but compared to the two items above, cereal is harmless. I cannot emphasize enough the deliciousness of these two sugary items. I go for Gushers when I want some chemically delicious goo to explode in my mouth causing an immediate sugar high. It’s like the heroin of candy. I lean towards S’mores when I want chocolate/to relive campfire memories.

Both are special and are taking me to diabetes land in about 15 years.

Describe a room in your house

(Missed posting yesterday due to anxiety about submitting a voice-over audition for Pixar. Will explain later!)

I think I’ll describe a room in my current apartment so you have a jist of what it looks like. Our living room: Entering from the front door you immediately step into our LV. To your left is a mirror on the wall and underneath that a coat rack. If you walk in a bit and face right you are facing the back of the sexy leather couch we got for $200 buckeroonies. What a steal. In front of the couch is our midcentury cedar coffee table/storage bench (used to be Nathan’s parents) with our remotes on top of a pile of New Yorkers. Directly in front of that is our sexy flat screen TV (present from J + A). On the wall above the TV is our turquoise, cardboard deer heads (featured at our wedding) and on both sides of those are paintings purchased by us as our wedding present (artist from Etsy). If you turn left, you will walk out of our proper “LV” and into our “office” which consists of a wooden desk we got for free on the street. The funny thing about this desk (and every other shared space we have) is that is divided by sides: The left side of the desk drawers are mine and the right is Nathan’s. Daily you will see the left side impeccably orderly and clean and the right side is atrociously messy, with piles and piles of things. This of course is a running joke in our house: Nathan making fun of me for being OCD and I making fun of him for being a SLOB. Make a 360 degree turn and you now face our wooden bookcase which is entirely too small for the MILLIONS of books we are both accumulating due to school and our future profession. Otherwise, we’ve got lamps, a rug, and a Singer sewing table that we use at the front entrance to house keys and mail. Our LV is the place we relax, watch shows, talk, nap, read, work, etc. It’s a good room.

Finding a bag of cash

Would be super sweet. I’d take it (I don’t give a fuck) and immediately put it in the bank. I’d get a count of how much was in there, and then I would sit down with a financial consultant and figure out the best way to divvy this puppy up…investments, stocks,CDs, DVDs, you know. Then when that is taken care of, depending on how much I have, I would give a significant amount to my parents to help them get out of debt. Maybe it would be worth it to buy them an apartment somewhere. This is where my consultant would advise me. Next, depending on how much I actually have (again) I’d pay a significant amount of my student loans off. If I have any left over after that I’d definitely plan a BOMB ASS TRIP TO EUROPE/SOUTHEAST ASIA/AFRICA (again, depending on how much I have to spend.)

I LOVE STEALING MONEY BAGS!

An unexpected gift

An unexpected gift (yet very unwanted at the time) was not getting into an MFA acting program. At the time I felt devastated, but if I had gotten in I would have been committed to the life of an actor which I am 98% certain I would have regretted. Granted, I would have only regretted my choice if went to a school which required me to pay in loans. If I went for free (or virtually free Yale style), I think it would be great fun and an amazing journey. But lo, life is not that simple.

Anyway, it was an unexpected gift because if I had gotten in, I would not have gone to grad school for therapy. Knowing that this is my life path, it all makes sense. I am grateful for the gift of rejection!

The one thing you’re most ashamed of.

My secret. I have silently held it all my life, most of the time deeply buried in my unconscious, then shamefully in my subconscious and most recently, in my consciousness. My secret was so difficult to hold, so impossible to grasp that I could not hold it logically. It did not make sense; it was confusing and disgusting and shameful and WHAT?!?! I was so young that it was clearly my fault; how else could something like this have happened? There was a reason it happened to me, and that was because there was something inherently wrong with me. BAD. Disgusting. Off. Damaged. And this damaged piece of me became the thing I was most ashamed of because clearly I was responsible for it. A person I loved and was supposed to trust would not have done this to me if there wasn’t something wrong with me, if I didn’t deserve it somehow. That’s the only logical explanation. But it was so wrong and confusing that I dare not speak of it. So the shame grew and grew and grew. It became a part of me. It shaped who i was and how i saw myself.

And now I am working to unravel that shame. To peel the layers back slowly and try to figure out what’s underneath it. To try and see who I am without that secret, underneath that secret, regardless of that secret. I am attempting to reconstruct a different narrative of my Self/personality and a different way of looking at who i really am. I am just trying to figure out who this Self, this Dina is at her core, her essence. It is really difficult; most days it feels impossible. It’s like building a new self from scratch while having to work with competing voices inside me that want me to stay with my old story, my old self, the damaged, small, shameful, depressed, worthless, ugly one. It’s like trying to draw a self-portrait while blind. It’s like I’m getting plastic surgery ON MY SELF. Or more like chiseling away to get to the original. I take this life-changing process step-by-step, trying to walk with patience and grace.