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Still Alive...Mostly

Posted on December 23rd, 2010 at 11:10
Although most of you know that because we are also friends in real life and/or on Facebook.  I know nobody is actually worried about my state of living or not living, but I thought I would try to post something anyway.  If anyone remembers that I have a blog, then awesome.  If nobody remembers that I have a blog (which would be fair) then I'm writing this for me (which I should be doing anyway!)

The most obvious change in my life recently is my break-up with Patrick.  While I don't feel a blog is a good place at all to go into the deeper, darker, and more personal parts of a break-up itself, I do want to touch on a few things about me and how I have dealt with emotional distress in the past, and contrast that to how I deal with it now.

When I was 16, I had my heart broken for the first time.  It really sucked.  I had no tools to deal with it at all.  No confidence, no insight, no emotional or mental experience or capacity to deal with the loss.  So, I cried a lot.  It's the first time I remember actually sobbing.  I remember thinking, mid sob, that I had never, to my knowledge, cried that hard before.  The other way I coped was to stop eating.  I remember my Mom was really worried, and I remember her making me tiny plates of food with, like, three crackers and a spoonful of cottage cheese, and maybe a baby carrot or two.  I don't remember feeling stubborn about it, like I was refusing to eat....I just couldn't eat.  (My Mom may remember these events differently.)

This dabbling in anorexia only lasted for about a week or so.  I was never good at anorexia.  I was also never good at bulimia or cutting myself, although I dabbled in those things as well over the coming months and years.  I was stuck in this terrible middle ground of low self-esteem.  Most of the time it wasn't that bad.  I was a generally happy kid with a great family.  But when it WAS that bad, I would sometimes wish it was always that bad, so I could at least have and keep the motivation to do something about it.  Like develop an eating disorder. 

Fast forward 10 years.  I am now 26.  The break-up when I was 16 is the only other break-up I have experienced that I consider to be a "real" break-up.  It's the only thing I have to compare with what I'm going through now, although that doesn't mean I haven't had other experiences in the mean time that have been valuable and that I have learned from.  Overall, it still really sucks.  It fucking sucks.  And pardon my language and yes I probably use that word too lightly most of the time for most of my readers comfort, but it's pretty much the best word for describing how much it sucks. 


I see changes in myself, more clearly than I ever have before.  And it is not the break-up itself that has caused these changes to happen, but maybe just the grab-me-by-the-shoulders-and-shake-me that I needed in order to be able to see them.  I am so, so sad.  I'm so worried and anxious and uncertain about my future and what is the right thing to do.  I am angry at the cruel irony that it wasn't until after Patrick and I broke up that I began to realize how much I had grown as a person in the time that I spent with him.  How much he helped me to see that I am a worthy and good person, who is worthy of a good partner, and good friends, and good people in her life.  And perhaps most cruelly, how I can see so much more clearly now, all these things that I could have done to be a better partner for him.

I think the biggest difference for me and how I'm dealing with things now compared to 10 years ago, is that I'm trying.  I'm trying so hard.  When I was 16 I didn't know how to try.  I didn't want to try.  I wanted to be sad.  I wanted him back and if I couldn't have him back then I was going to continue to be sad.  I didn't want to think about anything, I didn't want to learn from it or consider if he was even a good match for me (he wasn't), it was either be sad or have him back.  This is still my instinct!  I feel it there, inside me, waiting for me to lose my footing so it can pull me in.  It's a fine line between being sad and giving in to the sadness.  I have to allow myself to be sad, to grieve, to have the occasional sob.  But I also have to be able to pull out of that, and go play soccer or basketball or have dinner with a friend.  I've felt close to losing this battle, and there are times when I just want to jump in and give up.  But there is something in me that is holding on too tightly.  I am both exasperated and grateful for whatever part of me that is.  But mostly grateful.

Well!  Do we all feel happy and in the spirit of Christmas after that?  Geeze.

What else?

Posted on September 15th, 2010 at 09:52
I have really no idea how to write a good enough post for the Grand Canyon trip.  Seems like I need to write something, though.  I did manage to successfully keep a journal for the entire trip, which surprised me.  It also  made me realize how much I appreciate being able to edit what I write without all sorts of ugly scribbling and crossing out stuff.  Being able to start writing out a thought before I really know the end (also being able to insert sentences in the middle of a paragraph, like I just did with this one!)  Also, apparently I still write like a 13 year old.  Also, I tend to leave out words like 'a' and 'and' and 'to' pretty regularly.  Also, I tend to start at least one word in every couple sentences with its second letter.  I don't know what that's about.

The trip was beyond amazing.  I had pretty high expectations of awesomeness, which is a dangerous thing, but my expectations were easily exceeded.  I still can't believe that it's over and I still just want to go back.  It was a long time on the river, and a long time to spend with all of the same 7 people, but it seemed like it was never going to be long enough.  I mean, not to say that there weren't things that got old.  And not to say that the first shower I took after getting back to Salt Lake City wasn't a relief to my body and my sandy feet.  Besides my trip to Thailand a few years ago, this is the only trip I've been on that didn't feel like it was almost over the moment it started.  By the time we launched on our first day on the river, I had already spent two days and two nights with most of the group.  We already had stories to tell.  A week on the river and we hadn't even hit half way yet.  Ten days on the river and we still had five more to go.  There was a feeling, for me, of this being my real life.  Something more than just a vacation I was on, because each day was similar to the last.  Things had a chance to become habit; we had a daily routine.  Amazing scenery, rapids, floating, beer, the group, rigging and unrigging the boats, sleeping under the stars.  I didn't write in my journal every single day, but I should have.  If I sat down one afternoon to catch up from the day before, I would have already forgotten the details of yesterday.  What was the name of the big rapid we went through?  Was it yesterday that we went on that hike or the day before?  What did I have for dinner?  I wish I had taken pictures of every camp site we had, because I arleady can only remember a handful in detail. 

I miss the group.  It's weird to go from 18 days, all day, every day, with these people....to very little or no communication at all.  It was really hard to detach at the end of the trip.  I was supposed to hang out with my parents before leaving for Seattle, and we even got back to Salt Lake a day earlier than expected...but I just couldn't leave Chris and Becky's place.  I hadn't had a proper goodbye with anybody except Craig at that point, and I just plain wasn't ready for it to be over.  Chris and Becky, at least, seem to share that sentiment.  It seems like it's been just forEVER since I've seen them, when really it's only been two weeks.  And I regularly go way more than two weeks without seeing them. As for everyone else on the trip, well, some of them I just met for the first time, and others I've met and heard about only from time to time through the years.  So it's not like I was exactly regularly hanging out with anyone on the trip, but it sure seems weird not to be seeing them at all now.

Well, I don't know what else to say.  I know people are probably more interested in specific stories and things that happened while on the river...but it's hard to tell stories like that, for me, in this kind of format.  The stories I do tell just sort of occur to me at some point, when I'm reminded by something that happens, and so it's difficult to just pick one at random to share in a blog.  Doesn't seem relevant, somehow.  I certainly am still thinking about the trip a lot, and I have more to say and share about my experience...so hopefully I can get it out here eventually.  Hopefully.

Poor, Exciting Times

Posted on July 28th, 2010 at 10:08
Current Mood: excitedexcited
As previously mentioned by me on this blog and otherwise, and much to none of your surprise because most of you will agree with me here - my brother is frickin' cool.  When he was 21 or 22, he had the presence of mind to put himself on a waiting list - what I imagine was a really, really long waiting list - to one day have the opportunity to go on a guideless river trip through the Grand Canyon.  I don't know how he heard about it or how experienced of a river dude he was at that point.  9 (NINE!!!!) years later, the powers that be decided that there were just too many people on the waiting list and it was getting ridiculous.  "Congratulations!"  I imagine was the reply.  "You get to go through the Grand Canyon in approximately 48 years, give or take a few depending on drop-outs deaths.  Do you expect to still be alive and able at that time?"  So, they changed it to some sort of lottery system.  I don't understand it totally, but basically the longer you've been waiting, the better your chances of winning the lottery.  Anyway, 3 years after they made this change, (are you adding the years yet? you should be adding them), Chris finally won.  He found out 1.5 years before his scheduled trip date.  And actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure if the 12 (TWELVE!!!!) years he told me he was in the waitlist and lottery include that 1.5 years after finding out.  Either way, it's a really, really long time!!!

Okay, moving on.  I have been only vaguely aware of this over the years.  I would have been (are you subtracting yet?) something like 13 or younger when he first put himself on the list. 

Slight intermission to make a confession.  I have a can of Pringles Cheddar chips in the drawer to my right.  I had a few and then put the lid on and told myself no more until I left for cat weighing in about an hour (I bought them specifically as a snack for the drive to the Humane Society.)  No more than 30 seconds went by before I opened the drawer, opened the can, and popped one into my mouth before I even realized what I was doing!  Can you say "chip problem?"  UPDATE: I have yet to close the can again (5min later) and just ate a chip off the floor.  :-\

Where was I.....oh yes.  So about six months after he sent out an email that said "Holy shit!!!!!!!!!!!!   It finally happened!!!!", he sends out another email asking who might like to go.  "It'll be a lot of  time", he says.  "It'll be expensive", he says.  I say I'm pretty sure I can go.  Three months later it's Chrismas 2009 and we are at the cabin talking about the river trip.  He says, "I'm pretty sure you have a spot if you still want it".  The original list of people he emailed has been widdled down to 10 (only 8 are allowed to go).  People have been dropping out like flies.  Even though I've been in it since I knew I could be in it, I suspect that he suspects I might drop out too.  I suspect that I shouldn't start celebrating until I know he knows for sure that I have a spot.  Three months after that, he sends me an email that says I officially have a spot (if I still want it; am I still interested?)   I send him an email back saying I'm in.  I say, barring sudden injury or illness, I can think of absolutely nothing that will keep me from going. 

A few days later, I'm at my friends Mike and Sarah's house and they are about to send their "Save the date" cards for their wedding.  Three things I am excited about in 2010: Erin and Devon's wedding, the Grand Canyon River trip, and Mike and Sarah's wedding.  "Oh!" I say, "What's the date?"  "August 28th," they say.  One day before we get off the river. I considered saying they should change the date.  They still have the cards!  They can just make it a week later, print out new save-the-date cards, un-tell their family and friends, and just CHANGE the date!  Instead I blurted out something about maybe being gone then, or something, and they went on their merry way to send the cards.  Then I continued to stress and guilt about what to do.  Both things that if I miss, I will never be able re-do.  For a long time I didn't believe I even had to choose one or the other.  I thought, I could hike out of the canyon a day early and hitch a ride to Vegas and then fly home just in the nick of time!   There had to be a way.  

There was no way.  I confessed to Sarah at a party at our house, (Erin and Devon's wedding shower, I think?), that I was going to miss her wedding.  "Because of that trip with your brother?" she says.  She already knew.  I was so embarassed!  I asked her to tell Mike for me.  She was kind, she wasn't mad, she understood.  Recently Mike told me that I'd be missed at their wedding, but that he was happy for me that I had this opportunity to go on this trip.  Man, I love them!

I'm going to try to keep a journal.  It's 16 days on the Colorado River, plus a couple days of driving/loading/unloading on either end, and I'm missing 3 weeks of work (almost as exciting as the trip itself.) Ya'll know I'm not great at keeping up with journals, but I'm going to try.  And hopefully I'll have some fun stories to share when I get back.  I fly to Utah on August 10th, and on August 14th we launch!  Wahoo! 

Twin Falls (not Idaho)

Posted on June 8th, 2010 at 21:42
Over the weekend we took Cooper on his first real hike.  We picked the closest one out of a Hikes with Dogs kind of book given to us by some close friends.  Thankfully, it was also one of the easiest and shortest.  I have a sort of love-hate relationship with hiking (I prefer climbing, jumping, canyoneering, bouldering, etc.)  On the one hand, I do not generally enjoy going for "walks," and I don't know if you've noticed, but most "hikes" are actually "walks on dirt, usually uncomfortably up or downhill".  On the other hand, I feel like I have a genuine and deep seeded love for the outdoors that I do not cultivate enough.  Plus, now I have this ridiculous dog that needs exercise.  He has made going for walks more - not fun, per say - but more like an accomplishment when I do go.  I've taken poorly to walking him alone in our neighborhood, though, because I feel like there are a higher than average number of dogs who come out of NOwhere and bark and growl ferociously through the fence at us. It scares the living daylights out of me every time, and I'm always too flustered to really figure out if they are chained or securely fenced in.  Not to mention that it seems to invoke a similarly ferocious (sounding) side of Cooper that I'd really rather not see (hear).  It's not fun, and I walk in fear of this happening, which kind of makes it hard to relax and enjoy exploring our neighboorhood.  Patrick of course thinks I'm just over-reacting and that our neighborhood is the same as any other neighborhood.  Either way.  Umm...I forget where exactly I was going with this.  I guess just that hiking kills two birds with one stone (is there a better expression for this sentiment?  I hate that one.)  Cooper gets his exercise and I get a healthy dose of nature, with the bonus that I also get exercise.  It was fun, and the feeling of accomplishment and sore calf muscles was at least 10x more than with your regular run-of-the-mill walk down the block.  Now, too small to see very clearly pictures!!

Cooper has a big face.  Bigger than my face.   Also, cuter and more snout-y


Tricky and Cooper leading the way.

The bigger of the twins.  Really was spectacular.  Somehow I managed to take low resolution pictures or something, so I can't blow any of these up bigger.  But hopefully you get the idea.  And hopefully someday I figure out this whole "uploading photo's so people can actually see them" thing.

Coop and me relaxing after a long day.  Ain't he just the cutest?  What a cuddle bum.

Posted on March 9th, 2010 at 16:25
Current Mood: Overwhelmed
Today is one of those days where I feel like doing a lot.  I'm excited about things to be done.  I want to can more food, lots more food.  I want to make a goal of eating more of my own foods.  Feelin' snacky?  Why not munch on some pickled beets.  Don't want purple poop tomorrow?  How about some fresh green beans instead.  I want to cook more dinners; bake more desserts.  Try a new recipe.  I want to feed my chickens a wider variety of foods.  I want to let them out more and I want to hand feed them so that they like me more.  I want to take Cooper for run and a walk and to the dog park.  I want to work on his training (classes started last Sunday and I'm supposed to work on helping him associate the clicker with a treat.  To do this, I click it and then give him a treat.  Easy peasy.)  I want to spend time upstairs with Six-a-boo because she's alone most of the time now, since I brought Cooper into all of our lives.  I am heart-broken by this, but don't know what to do other than try, always try, to go up there more often.  That of course means leaving Cooper alone.  I want to become more involved with Patrick's home brewing project.  I want to drink less.  I want to buy a car (does anyone want to give me a Subaru Outback or Pontiac Vibe with low miles?)  I want to plan a group vacation to visit my friend Justin in San Jose.  I want to go to Costa Rica.  I want to buy a sewing machine and start some easy sewing projects.  Curtains, napkins and table cloths for my home.  I want to paint every room and rip up every ugly slab of linoleum.  I want to play more video games and someday be an expert at Rockband.  I want to learn to play guitar and practice the piano.  Go hiking and camping even if it means going by myself.  I want to find a therapist.  I want to volunteer more often at the Humane Society, play more sports with friends, and join a rock-climbing gym.  I want to go back to school.  I want to blog more and read more.  I want to take more pictures and actually share them with people.

How do people get anything done?  I lack motivation.  There is so much time spent getting to/being at/getting home from work that the time at home with nothing to do....I savor it.  I need nothing time.  But there isn't enough time to do everything, have a full time job, and to do nothing.  I've long suspected that my laziness levels are higher than most, but it's never stressed me out this much before.  I mean seriously, how do people get things done?  I can generally get the things done that need to get done.  The bills, the shopping, the mortgage.  But the hobbies and the interests, the actual fun things.  The things that make life a more enjoyable place to be, how do people get those things done?  Where's the motivation, if not in the knowing that it'll make your life better and happier?       

In 2009 I...

...started collecting eggs from my small but mighty flock-o-chickens.

...started volunteering at the Humane Society where I have slowly but surely racked up over 125 hours of service!  I weigh cats mostly - to help make sure they aren't wasting away or ballooning up - with my weigh partner Mark, who is delightlful.  As are the other volunteers that I've met and the employees that I have the pleasure of working along side.  Really been a great experience.


...got a bargain (on sale, 50% off!) on a cat named Spot who loooooves to lick and loves to love.  I won't lie, I had second (and third and fourth) thoughts about him.  Was he the cat for me?  Did I make a rash decision when I brought him home?  Is he too good natured to be interesting?  Pets are a lot like people.  Some you like right off the bat, others take time to get to know, but either way it's pretty unlikely that you will fall in love right away.  He was a smash hit at party's and gatherings...and I just kept wanting to explain to people that he was so annoying.  I don't know when it happened, certainly he is still annoying (much like people, pets don't always lose their annoying habits, you just learn to love them anyway), but Spot is my kitty.  I no longer wonder if he is the right cat for me, it's clear that he is.



...was lucky enough to learn that I would be gaining a brother-in-law AND a sister-in-law! (Note: Somehow didn't manage to take a lot of pictures of people over Christmas (I blame the dogs), so I substituted one from Oktoberfest for Erin and Devon.)


...learned to can my own foods.  Pickles, pickled carrots, pickled green beans (is it obvious that pickling things is the easiest and fastest way to can things?), spaghetti sauce, apple sauce, and apple butter (did you know apple butter is awesome? I sure didn't)...are the things I've canned so far.  Pickled beets is next on my list.  I don't know a lot about beets except that they are kind of creepy and weird, but I suspect that I will enjoy pickled beets.  Don't ask me why. 


...got a new camera, from Patrick and my family, for my birthday.  A Happy Birthday that did not come with tears and sadness.  I want to offer a belated but very sincere thank you to everyone who helped me with that!  My only regret is that I did not return the favor during the flurry of birthdays that followed my own, but I will strive to do better this year.

...became a Mac.  It sure is a pretty machine.  And besides a house, it is the most expensive thing I've ever bought...I'm pretty sure.


...got a Cooper.  He's been part of the household for 3 weeks as of today.  He's a great dog!  He's well behaved (mostly), he doesn't try to eat the cats (mostly), he doesn't complain (much).  He has not yet reached the status of being undoubtedly MY dog.  Like I said before, these things take time.  At least for me they do.  It's essentially like bringing an expensive 65lb stranger into your house who could, (Cooper hasn't done all of these things...but the important thing is that he could have), at any moment, poop on the floor, eat the other pets, eat your shoes, eat your food, eat the rug by your bed, eat the cardboard barrier that is keeping him from the rug by your bed, bark until you are unsure that you are really the kind of person who likes animals anyway, and any number of things that you don't even think to attempt to prepare for.  But then again.....


I got this....

Posted on December 21st, 2009 at 19:15

A skinny, 65lb, 1.5 year old black lab/retriever mix named Cooper. He has big poops and a big nose. Please pray, or think happy thoughts, or cross your fingers, or meditate, or wish on a shooting star that he doesn't eat our cats. Today he touched noses with Spot in their first introduction and we considered that a success.

Also today after 4 days with no accidents, he pooped in his crate and threw up twice....I clearly did something wrong.


Posted on December 16th, 2009 at 12:36
Current Mood: happyhappy

Chris, Erin, Me - Alaska 2007

2009 has been a pretty exciting year for my immediate family. On May 8th, as most of you already know, Erin and Devon got engaged. This is awesome! And I will tell you that witnessing their relationship from start to now has been....somethin' else! It was not always clear if they were headed in this direction and it was quite the shock to me the day that Erin casually mentioned via g-chat that she and Devon were going to go ring shopping on Valentines day. I'm pretty proud to say that I've been rooting for Devon from the beginning and am thrilled that things have worked out this way. He quickly became one of my closest friends, and how lucky am I that he and my sister, another one of my closest friends, are getting married!? Pretty lucky, I'd say.

Now, you might be wondering why I've waited more than seven months to mention anything about this on my blog (at least I think have?). The reason is, other than that I hardly ever write on my blog anyway, is that I knew a secret. I knew that by the end of the year, the number of engaged Wightman children was likely to be 2 instead of 1 (GASP!)! Admittedly, I was sort of anticipating it would be a little sooner than December....but!...my brother Chris is now also engaged!!! You cannot imagine my excitement! Chris lives in Utah, and I live in Seattle, so I have only had the pleasure of meeting his now-fiance Becky one time, but I do know one very important thing about her: she makes my brother happy. In my humble opinion, there are very few people who deserve happiness more than my amazing brother.

Devon and Becky will be celebrating Christmas with our family this year. A family that is oh-so-happy to have them be a part of it. I can't wait!

Things That Have Made Me Happy ....

Posted on September 23rd, 2009 at 09:44
....in the last 7 days.

Hanging out with the boys, spending....3.5 hours?...playing all the songs in Beatles Rock Band, and Justin telling me I'm a rock star.  I'm really gonna miss that guy.  (For people who don't know, Justin is a long-time friend of Patrick's and he's moving to San Jose this week.) 

Playing on a co-ed basketball team with friends.  0-2 so far (and let me tell you, the games weren't close), but mostly I'm happy that I have friends to play basketball with! 

My Mom and Erin cheering us on from the bleachers on Sunday even though the game oh-so-quickly became about "personal goals", as Sara would say ("Come on guys, double digits by half time, DOUBLE DIGITS BY HALF TIME!!")

Finally getting rid of the old couch and making $20.

My Mom.  She's a fantastic lady and should visit more often.

Making small batches of pickles and dilly beans with my Mom and Erin, even though two of the pickle jars didn't seal.

Having a ridiculously good natured cat who's always ready for a good head-butt.
Sometimes I forget how many good things I have in my life!  I should (should, but probably won't because that's how I roll) make a habit of going over the highlights of my week.  There are always highlights, even on the worst weeks.  Even if they are the same highlights as the week before.  Even if the highlight is just that I made it through.  I really get caught up in the "But I don't have THAT many friends...." and the "But I don't like my job..." and the "But all the jars didn't even seal...." sentences.  Failure is something that I feel is so close all the time and it scares the be-GEEEEEZES out of me.  Trying is hard.  Failing sucks.  Not being good at something is frustrating.  Not understanding how is annoying.  Not comparing my life and abilities and accomplishments to everyone else is nearly impossible (for me).  Being almost 25 before I feel like I'm ready to be 25 is terrifying!  I really, really, really want to have a good birthday this year.  I don't want to cry and be sad like last year.  Yesterday that didn't really seem possible because I already felt like crying.  Then I stayed up too late playing Beatles Rock Band with Patrick, Mike, and Justin and now today it seems a little more possible.  I guess we'll see!  Stay tuned.

Back By Fatherly Demand

Posted on September 17th, 2009 at 14:42
Current Mood: weirdweird
I feel so boring today!  I've started writing this post with several different sentences and approaches and they all seem rather dull.  "Today my Mom is flying into Seattle to visit Erin and I."  "Notables:  A few weeks ago my friend Mike organized a service project."  These things are/were exciting to me!  And yet I feel like my dreery mood from being at work is seeping into the sentences and pulling all happiness and interest out of them.  Maybe it's just me.

When I was a kid people used to tell me to smile a lot.  People I knew, people I didn't know, it didn't seem to matter.  I've always been annoyed with these people.  What's it to you, anyway, whether I smile or not?  Don't you think maybe it's a little creepy for a grown-up to tell a child that they don't know to smile?  Do you think that the smile I give in return is at all genuine?  I mean if I felt like smiling I'd probably BE smiling.  That makes sense to me.  Thankfully, this doesn't happen to me much, if ever, now that I myself am a so called "grown up."  Probably because it's rude!  I think it's rude anyway, it's possible that I'm overly sensitive about it.  
So, back to things.  My Mom is officially in Seattle!  At least according to Delta.  This is something that I am very genuinely excited about!  Though I still feel like everything I'm typing is coming out....weird.  Maybe it's just in my head, I really can't tell.  I'm having a hard time coming up with things to say, but I guess that's pretty normal for me.  I am "quiet" and I am "shy" and I am "awkward."  I don't know why I felt like those words should be in " " but it seemed important to the meaning of the sentence.  Geez!  I was hoping that once I started writing, things would be easier, but I guess that trick isn't going to work today.

And on that note, I'm going to head out to meet my sister and my Mom.  Normally when posts come out like this - scattered and a little hard to follow - I delete them and try another day.  But, today, I think I'm gonna post.  

Updates to come, maybe. 

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