XXVI

I’m older than I was but I still feel quite young.
Birthdays aren’t as celebratory the older I get.
It’s just another age that takes a whole year
To adjust to saying, only to have to change it
When my birthday comes along again.
There’s nothing special about turning 26
Except for health insurance and my license expires.
As a kid, I thought I would have everything 
Figured out by this age. Turns out, there’s no trick
To being an adult, everyone’s just winging it 
And processing things in the moment. 
So cheers to another year of figuring things out
As they happen and learn not to stress about
Things that haven’t happened yet. 

Always a Kid

For the majority of people, no matter
How old you get, the dynamic with
Your family members never change.
Your dad is still your dad, mom is still
Your mom, siblings are still your siblings.
Years can pass and as soon as you get back
Into the same room or are stuck together
For a significant amount of time, it's like
Time has stood still and you're a kid once more,
Only now you're old enough to be the DD
And you can drop them off at the beach.

I Don’t Remember Your Name But I Do Remember Where You Live

If you take to me some place new, 
then tell me to find my way back
without using a map or phone,
I can do it.

I could not be paying attention,
distracted by the screen in my hand
or the music I'm listening to,
and I'd still be able to find the street
I've only been on once before.

I can go to places I don't go to often,
the desert of my childhood,
the busy city that never sleeps,
the quiet down by coast
where my mother was born
and instantly know where I'm heading.

I can hear your name five times
and recognize your face
before I remember your name.

I could be paying close attention,
listening to what you're saying,
nodding with every detail,
and walk away remembering your story
with no idea of what your name is.

If you tell me your name,
I will forget it five seconds
after I hear it.

Morning Crossword

The open screen door lets the cool morning air into the kitchen. Water is heating in a pot that’s on a circle plugged into the wall sitting on the counter. I open my computer and do a New York Times’ crossword puzzle as I wait for the boiling point. When I hear the circle turn off from a click on the top of the pot, I grab a mug, pour the water, add a tea bag, and return to the crossword. The more I do crossword puzzles, the easier they become. My double vision comes and goes depending on what angle my eyes are facing. I grab a sweater to warm the goosebumps on my arm. My day usually begins this way. Some details may shift just slightly but it’s more or less like this.

II

There’s a split in my reality 
every morning and night. 
When what I see doubles 
into this hallucination like state, 
my brain is confused. My eyes 
don’t work together for longer than 
twelve hours a day. Individually,
they’re fine. Left is down 
and right is up. If I cover one, 
my vision is single and up 
or single and down. 
Whatever I’m looking at 
will move to a different space 
without me moving my head. 
I try my best to fight it until 
my eyes are no longer cooperating 
and I’m forced to go to bed.

Trials and Tribulations

When I started my blog a year ago, I didn’t expect to be dealing with the issues I have now. Last year, I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and finishing up my degree in English. These last few months have been defined by my health, particularly my thyroid eye disease. It’s sad but true. Eyes are a huge part of everyone’s life and when they’re sick, it takes a tremendous toll on how one might move about their life.

Last week, I went on a cruise with my dad’s side of the family. While it was great to see other places and learn about different cultures, it’s also difficult to be in the Caribbean when I’m extremely light sensitive. I started the trip with some daily headaches and no real eye problems. But by mid week, I was having a lot of double vision and my eyes were finished with the sun. Trading headaches for burning eyes and double vision wasn’t ideal, to say the least.

Before this last week, I had a few weeks of minimal eye problems. Thyroid eye disease has its ups and downs, some times are better than others. The months before my brief plateau were brutal. A lot of irritation, swelling, and double vision. One thing after another happened. The weeks prior to the cruise, my eyes weren’t my main worry. I certainly had concerns about my eyes going into the trip and how they could react to travel. But they weren’t entirely on the forefront until they began their downward spiral once more.

What these last few months have taught me is to expect the worst and hope for the best. It’s a weird way to live but it’s better to be mentally prepared for something to go wrong so that when it does, I can tread through rocky waters as calmly as possible. And when something does go wrong, I try to find the good in those situations. Things could be worse than they are. At least I can see out of both eyes. This is a difficult moment but it won’t least forever.