What if You Had One Week to Live? I did.

I don’t like the phrases “live like there’s no tomorrow”, “live like you’re dying,” or “what if you had one week to live?”

This is a very matter of fact depiction that I wrote while I couldn’t sleep. It’s purely to request you to think deeper about the previously mentioned phrases, and not a current mental or physical state. Rather, a perspective from an insider. Be warned, It’s long, riddled with errors, and the context also changes frequently, my grammar fanatics.

This is coming from someone who (several years ago now) truly believed that their life was coming to a near end due to health related issues.

None of my doctors were optimistic about my chances for survival, and I believed them.

The problem with believing that’s there’s no tomorrow is that we fail to take into account that there are consequences for our actions. We perpetually minimize things that have a major impact on us long-term, and don’t take into account the repercussions that will arise from rash indiscretions.

Sure, I understand what the concepts are trying to portray. “Seize the Day.” I understand that the message is supposed to be, “Tell people you love them, take chances, follow your dreams, spend time with your kids, etc.” However, when you believe you’re dying or that there’s no tomorrow (or at best very few of them), those are not the actions that I found myself making.

What I found during that time was that most people I interacted with had little concept of what it actually felt like to live this way. I lived in the parallel universe that no one seemingly made sense to me, and I beyond baffled everyone I came in contact with. Consequences didn’t matter to me anymore, because I wouldn’t have to live through them.

So, in that aspect I’ll give you a brief summary of what it was like for me to live as a person who was dying and the thought of no tomorrow.

Romance

I didn’t date seriously. A lot, but not seriously. I wouldn’t let anyone get close to me. I avoided new legitimate relationships. After all, how do you answer the question: “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” How could you seriously allow someone to become emotionally attached to you knowing there’s nothing in store for them but heart ache?

Friendships

I like to think that I was just unlucky with picking my friends, and that most humans don’t interact this way. However, if you are ill long-term you will more than likely lose most of your friends. (At least in my experience). You slowly start declining more and more invitations for social activities. You cease to invite people over/out. You fade away. You need more and give less. And to be completely honest you’re boring and depressing, which most people don’t tend to seek out. You get questions like: “How’s it going?” You either lie – “great!” Or you tell the truth “well, I can’t get in and out of the tub anymore. It’s too hard for my to stand long enough to shower, so I’m using a lot more baby wipes” or “I’ve lost 12 pounds this week, because I can’t keep food down.” You begin let go of people that you care about.

Work

If you’re even still healthy enough to work. I was unfortunately not in a financial situation to be able to take off work. I was a single adult who still had too many bills to pay (plus new ones with all of the medical expenses). I no longer tried to improve my quality of workmanship. I couldn’t afford to put any further energy in increasing my skill set. It took all I had just to get out of bed each day. Impressing people no longer mattered. I had to be driven to work, because I became too weak to drive myself. My quality of work rapidly declined. What was the point?

Health and Wellness

Many of the health trends are due to us wanting to live long and healthy lives. If you know you’re dying, then why not? I was sleeping on average 18-20 hours per day. You’re too sick to want to expend the energy on exercising (in fact walking across the room, is enough to make you need to take a nap). I couldn’t stand long enough to cook anything, which I had loved cooking and baking. My diet became a menagerie of fast food, delivery, high sugar and caffeine (for energy), alcohol for the pain. **Alcohol was a major contraindication for my medicines, but what was it going to do? Kill me?. I had also tried approx 10 different pain medications for my severe pain, most of which caused horrible reactions. (Rashes, edema, panic attacks, etc) Tylenol even put me in the ER** (If you know me now, my diet is very strict and I still get teased for not consuming alcohol.)

Finances

So, what happens when your lease is up when you know you won’t live another year? If you don’t renew what about your stuff? Should you put it in a storage unit? Money was way too thin to justify it anyway. I gave away almost all my furniture, clothing, and home goods. I was too sick to move it, and what did I need it for anyway?

I didn’t file my taxes. Come rob my grave, IRS. I stopped paying a lot of my bills. Were my student loan companies going to come repo my diploma? I was already choosing between medicine and food. One prescription was $1000/mo. Obviously any kind of saving was out of the question.

Healthcare

I didn’t go to the dentist, the eye doctor, my OBGYN, regular doctor for check-ups, etc. why? Anything seriously wrong with any of those departments would take years to manifest, and I had months at best.

What I can say positively is that I suffered from depression prior to these events, and I can also say that it honestly cured it. I have previously tried to recount these concepts for people who claim I was just depressed and had given up. Quite the opposite. It cured my depression and I fought every day to see the next one. I just had to pick my battles, and I found I could fight fewer and fewer as my health declined.

Why anyone would want to live like they were dying is beyond me. It only proves that the ones who state these ideas have no concept of what it’s really like. My overall trend was “what’s the point?” Especially while I was already spread so thin on just trying to survive one more minute.

Advice

What I believe is that we should live as if we have our whole lives ahead of us. We should act and build now. So that we can have as long as possible to reap what we’ve sown. Build something beautiful that you can love and share with others. Save money. Travel. Splurge on loved ones. Put your toes in the sand (even if you don’t like the beach – get an umbrella). Go camping (even if you don’t like bugs – get a cabin). Go to a foreign speaking country, and feel what it’s like to be an outsider. Do things that scare you (parasailing… Absolutely terrified me!) Try things you don’t think you’re capable of. Don’t stay where you’re not appreciated. Give up when you can’t make a difference, so that you can find where you do. Avoid debt as much as possible. Support people’s passions. Help those during their trying times. Most of all never live like you’re dying, because there’s always a point.

In the Stars: Friendship Horoscopes 2018

I decided I’d publish my horoscopes here as well as where I usually do! So pour a cup of tea this evening and revel in the stars with your cat snuggled on your lap (because honestly isn’t that the best way to read anything??).

I left them light so there’s still lots of room for you to interject your own intuition into the forecast! xox

Aries

This year you will do best to focus on relationship fulfillment. First, contemplate if there is any tension within your friendships. You will experience great relief to resolve these issues and your friendships will be much stronger because of it!

Taurus

This year is all about self development, Taurus! There are some exciting things in store for you. Even some new feelings arising in a friendship, complicating your social life. It may be a little off putting for your other friends but trust your instincts!

Gemini

Yes indeed you are the social butterfly of your group but sometimes is good to spend some one-on-one time with a single friend. You’ll both get a lot out of it and it’s time to let your closest confidants know how much you care.

Cancer

For you, 2018 will be filled with change. Don’t be overwhelmed though because your best buddies will have your back and you’ll find refuge in their support.

Leo

Don’t daydream too much, Leo. You’ll need to be there for your inner circle this year, they’ll rely on your insights. Don’t feel overwhelmed if a lot of your closest friends are running to you now, you seem to be spot on this month and you’ll also be getting a lot of clarity out of the exchanges.

Virgo

Get ready to multi-task as your career/classes and your friends will both be pulling you from both ends! It will be good for you to spend some alone time this month and reflect on ways you can support your friends while still taking care of your own needs.

Libra

2018 is going to be a very generous year for you, Libra. As you clear away some past resentments within your friendships you will have stronger, more fulfilling connections within your relationships.

Scorpio

It’s important for you to figure out how to find a balance between your time with your friends and your work. If you neglect either of these you will experience a lot of stress and your vinas will make other arrangements. Don’t feel left out — just spend some quality time with them! It’s the perfect weekend to pop open some champagne and binge Netflix.

Sagittarius

You can overcome your stress this year with a few much-needed changes! You may find yourself snapping at your friends and coworkers alike — you’re feeling frazzled and it’s time to take a much needed vacation. Even a weekend spa will do the trick! Call your best pals and prepare a nice face steam.

Capricorn

Your big plans are looking very promising this year, Capricorn. Your creative thinking is on the rise and your budding new friendships are excited to get together for new adventures. You may even have a secret admirer!

Aquarius

I know you’re feeling a hankering to be more independent this year and it may just become an issue within your friendships. This reevaluation will take quite a lot of your time this month. Remember that emotional independence will do you well and your relationships and love interests will surprisingly become more fulfilling and intimate!

Pisces

Your bffs are in the forefront of your mind this year, Pisces! Open-mindedness is best within your circle of friends but also make time for yourself. Even better, you’ll thrive in the other areas of your life when you incorporate your social circles.

Are You Ready for This?

I was just taking a stroll through my drafts folder and would you believe there is still a LA Sanrio Nerd party article I haven’t published as well as at least 35 others? Hello! Time? Motivation? You out there? Can you come hang out for awhile? I miss you.

Anyway things have been absolutely insane around here but that doesn’t meen I haven’t been thinking of you, I’ve actually been thinking of you a lot. Thinking about what I’m going to tell you about going through hell on earth and making it through while staying strong and focused. It’s not impossible and pain is always a struggle but you’re not alone. If you think you are alone, turn around and look through all of the cracks. Do you see yourself? Your friends? Your family? Do you see me? Your cat? A new pet? There’s someone out there waiting to make the pain easier to handle but you might have to open your mind and do a little searching to find them. Are you ready? Let’s go!

Also I wanted to let you guys know that the little love letters you have been sending me have been absolutely the sweetest. I’m glad I made it easier for you to contact me. If you ever need someone to listen, I’m here for you.

Now let’s go on a hypersensitive adventure through insanity because I’m so curious about what pieces of me I have lost while on this trip… Have you left pieces of yourself behind, too? Don’t ever allow anyone to control you until they break you. This is your life and you should experience it the way you prefer. Be yourself because you’re the only person in this whole world who is anything like you and, I’m just saying, you’re pretty amazing.

Thankful for Monday: All You Need is Love

I’ve been working and writing like crazy. Audrey’s Tokyolux has recently relaunched (yay! cosmic kitties!) and I’ve also been asked to work on a writing project unrelated… Remember that book I’ve been talking about for so long? Well, it’s finally unfolding.. scary, huh? Actually it’s so scary that I’m not sure I’ll be able to do it. To be that open about everything. I’m very seriously considering running in the opposite direction as I’ve already begun to do.

Thankfully my partner in crime asked me out to flea market yesterday so I could think about other things, kitschy-cute things. Retro fabric and kitten valentines all waiting for us to arrive. Vintage stacks of greeting cards and magazines just waiting for us to peek through them and squeal.

And with that my five favorite things this week are a little cheesy and cliche but they are my favorite things none the less. They keep me afloat when I want to drown in my own gloom.

Family

My very favorite thing. The light of my life is the little family my husband and I have created.

Friends

Friendship can unfold a colorful happiness in anyone’s life. You can never have too many friends and a best friend is a rare and fanciful treasure that will endlessly delight your days because they know just how to make you laugh.

Iced-Coffee

Oh how it puts me in the right state of mind..

Work

My hobby, passion and what I spend most of my time doing.

Balcony

I’ve always been obsessed with balconies. When I visited Paris how I loved to stare at the gorgeous apartments and their breathtaking little balconies. Whether yours is a place to relax, garden or share a meal; balconies are great little outside boxes overlooking the world.

What made this week magical for you?

Learn to See People for Who They Really Are

on melrose

I’d like to travel, for a moment, back to the time when I was five years old. I remember my mother shushing me for trying to talk to a stranger. I didn’t understand what the big deal was. She said that “we don’t talk to strangers,” and that “it’s rude to ask people personal questions!” This made no sense to me at all – if you never talk to strangers, how are you supposed to make any friends or get to know anyone? Obviously I wanted to avoid a spanking, so I did as I was told, but even the threat of corporal punishment couldn’t quell that insatiable desire inside me to talk to people and get to know them. Now, of course, it’s part of my work as a relationship expert, but what I’d like to do today is pass on to you the skill of really getting to know people, including yourself.

Going back to my childhood for a moment, I used to make mud pies quite frequently. I’d put them on my neighbors’ doorsteps and wait to see how they reacted. In my head, this was a way of testing the waters to see who was friendly and who wasn’t. If someone accepted the pie and the humor that came along with it, then for me they were safe, friendly, and open. If they didn’t see the humor, then I would use that as a sign to steer clear. I didn’t cry about it or beg them to like the pie or call them or stalk them or promise to change the pie into something they’d like better… I just moved on to another doorstep and tried not to take it personally. My pies weren’t to everyone’s taste, and that was fine. No big deal.

So I’m asking you now to make the leap forward with me and apply this to your own life. How many of us currently play a much more neurotic version of the mud pie game, giving too many pies to people who don’t want them, and causing unnecessary suffering by not listening to our intuition when it tells us the response to the pie isn’t a positive one?

Learning to see people for who they really are – and who they aren’t – is not just a matter of learning a few clever tricks that will give you insight into the opposite sex, and that’s not what I’m trying to do here. Instead, I want to give you the power tool of all power tools for your relationship tool belt – the knowledge of how to inner-view for success!

The difficult part about “learning to see people for who they really are” isn’t the people out there – it’s learning who YOU really are and what you really want. If you look at great relationships and think that could never happen to you, I want you to know that you are wrong! Great relationships ARE possible for you! You just have to put in some initial legwork getting to know yourself, and setting up a plan that will not only help you succeed in finding someone compatible for you, but that will also greatly increase your chances at having a great relationship.

Remember that getting older does not necessarily mean getting wiser. Many of us make the same mistakes over and over again. But the basics of a great relationship are easy to learn, no matter how many times you’ve gotten it wrong. When we want to explore a spark we feel for someone, we offer up the adult version of a mud pie: a friendly introduction, a smile, or a flirty glance. Then it’s the intuition’s turn to measure the response we get from that, and decide either to back away, or take another step forward into a conversation. After that next step, then the intuition does its magic again, and again it’s up to us to read the signs and choose which way to go. My goal for you is this: once you have a comfortable knowledge of who you are and what you want, then you can learn to take your passion for connecting with someone, and use it wisely, to make sure your time and energy are spent on the positive road to your next great relationship!

Miseducated Ezine: The Valentine Edition

ezine

Valentine’s Day, an excuse for us to spoil the ladies in our lives most often and also the men. If you’re feeling lonely this Valentine’s Day do something fun with someone you love, no matter who it is. Brighten their day and they’ll brighten yours! I almost think Valentine’s Day is just a little reminder for us to be more thoughtful to each other (and to be overwhelmed by hearts and candy).

Lucky for me I have an unhealthy obsession to hearts (it was the first thing I learned to draw as a toddler!) because my birthday happens to be the day before Valentine’s Day — which means eating out at two nice (and Japanese) restaurants and getting way too many (impossible!) hearty gifts.

So no matter what you do this Valentine’s Day enjoy a heart-shaped lollipop in a pink champagne bubble bath just for you.

Valentine Recipes

Valentine Soda a Valentine favorite! (xoxo, Amber Renee & Ashley Galliher)
Carbonated beverage
Strawberry sorbet (or ice cream)
Whipped cream
Strawberry preserves

Dispense ginger ale or any carbonated drink above strawberry ice cream in tall glass and top with whipped cream and strawberry preserves.

happyvday

Valentine Omelet (ala Doe Deere)
Tomato & Mozarella Valentine’s Day Omelet (to surprise your sweetie in the morning)
Makes enough for 2.

Mix 3 eggs, a cup of milk and a pinch of salt together
Pour mixture onto the hot, lightly oiled pan
Slice cherry tomatoes in halves and arrange them in a pattern (feel free to make a heart, a smiling face, etc.)
Sprinkle shredded cheese (such as mozzarella) on top. Season with dried or fresh basil & pepper.
Cook under the lid for 4-5 minutes.
Serve on a contrast plate (I got mine at Target).

valentines_omelet

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Love Online

Heart Pumps & Shoe Lust ala Audrey
Shabby and Sweet by Papercakes
Open Letters to my Heart from Glass of Win
Customize your Accessories with Doe Deere
Pink Box
Cupcake Store Online
Celebrate Valentine’s Day Without Spending Money
Raising Emotionally Healthy Children
Valentine’s Day on the Cheap

Life & love require experience… or just let Miseducated writer Michelle Shea Walker lend you hers.
Experience Preferred

Valentine Entertainment

One of the best things about Valentine’s Day (in my opinion) is the abundance of pink, red and heart themed specials online and offline everywhere.
Find love in Pet Society, Country Story, Restaraunt City and Hello Kitty Online

Valentine Specials

Twinkiechan‘s lovely Valentines
Sugarpill Launch (code: “hello15” for 15% off your order through Valentine’s Day)
Hello Kitty Valentine
Lime Crime (code: “bemyvalentine” for 10% off your entire order)
Valentine’s Day at fredflare

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ala Twinkiechan

Valentinspiration

Life on lovely days.

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Prarie Cake

cupcake cutie

true to you

trois tea

Summer Sundae

Printable Panda!

nassau

Coming Soon Online

Original electronic music to soar to.
Audrey Kitching’s handpicked goodies and one of a kind merchandise in an adorable shop online.

Miseducated News

Support Miseducated
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Tease
Miseducated is going to be offering hand-painted tees for a limited time. Miseducated members will get first pick and the remaining shirts will be sold online.