Daily Prompt 6/8/2016 | Everybody Poops

Whether you’ve had a baby or not, everybody poops, everybody pees, and everybody farts.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/8/2016 | Embarrassing

Becoming a mom has transformed my life in so many ways, but one thing I did not expect to change, was my absolute fear of embarrassing myself. I was pretty awkward as a kid, a trait I inherited from my mom, and this caused me to develop some pretty bad social anxieties early on, which I still struggle with. Growing up, I was terrified of everything having to do with failure and embarrassment in social situations. Because of this, I avoided going to dances, joining clubs, playing sports, and hanging out with friends, because I just felt like everything that I did would end disastrously. What if I tripped? What if I farted? What if I sneezed AND farted? WHAT IF I HAD TO POOP AT SOMEONE ELSE’S HOUSE?

Well, let me tell you, all of that anxiety flew out the window when my son was born… actually, it dissipated pretty quickly only a few months into my pregnancy. I found myself pushing my boundaries, reaching out to friends, as well as strangers, and talking about things having to do with me and my body, that I previously would have been embarrassed about. That strange comfort is still with me today. Sure, I have a whole new set of anxieties that I deal with, but when it comes to embarrassing bodily functions? Ha!

Example: Pooping during childbirth. Very common, most women do it. I did it. Yup, I did. Get over it. Your mom probably pooped, too! I didn’t even know about it until one of my nurses let it slip later on, after my son’s arrival, and honestly, I wasn’t embarrassed. I laughed! And everything that followed the birth of my son… I will save your sanity and stomachs, for those who are unfamiliar with what happens to a woman’s body after birth, but let’s just say, I accepted all of it. I wasn’t embarrassed to tell people that I had to go change my pad for the second or third time while visiting their houses, or that my boobs felt hard and painful, and leaked all the time. I wasn’t ashamed. I wasn’t embarrassed. I had already pooped myself in front of half a dozen people, while crouching naked on a bed, pushing a human being from between my legs (graphic, sorry).

Why should I be embarrassed?

Whether you’ve had a baby or not, everybody poops, everybody pees, and everybody farts. Most women have periods, and use pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. Most men get erections, sometimes quite unexpectedly, and unwanted. It happens. The human body is weird, and complicated, and sometimes gross, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

I should take my own advice, as I am still embarrassed about a lot of things about my body (adult acne, anyone?), but I’ve gotten so much better at accepting all of the strange things that my body does, and you should, too! Everybody poops.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Alone In A Crowded Room

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/4/2016 | Naked with Black Socks

“Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?”

My brain is complicated when it comes to my anxieties over people, and how I perform under pressure. Public speaking terrifies me. Speaking in a small group terrifies me. Speaking to someone one-on-one in a professional setting terrifies me, for example, if I am at an interview. Don’t even get me started on parties. I am a freaking turtle in her shell at parties. Despite my anxieties, I’m a pretty decent performer under pressure, especially when it comes to school. As long as I have something to focus on that is important to me, I’m usually able to able to conquer my anxieties, and come out on top… there is usually some sort of mini breakdown afterwards, but that is besides the point.

A good example of this is when I was a freshman in college. I was in an Environmental Sciences class, with mostly juniors and seniors, who were looking for easy science credits. I didn’t know anyone in the class, except for my then-boyfriend’s cousin, who really didn’t want anything to do with me. We were told to get into groups of four for group projects, and I just sat in the back, waiting for everyone to group up, so that I could join whoever was left.

The last 3 remaining were a group of girls, who I could tell right away felt that they had better things to do than be in the class. We introduced ourselves, and listened to the professor explain the project. Each group would pick a country out of a bowl, and we would have make a presentation on that country, including details about the economy, climate, religions, landmarks, etc. Each person in the group had to speak on a specific topic pertaining to the country, for 4-5 minutes, making the average group presentation about 16-20 minutes long. We would be presenting over the course of several days.

The entire time he spoke, I was sweating. I had never had to speak for more than 30-60 seconds in front of a group, and even then, it was usually a group of friends, or at least people I had known for a little while. My group seemed very disinterested, and I had a hard time getting their contact info so that we could work on our project together. They were all juniors and seniors, and none of them lived on campus, and when I suggested meeting in the library, they might as well have laughed in my face. Eventually, I convinced them that that was best, as I had no transportation off campus, and the library had a ton of resources for us to use.

In the following weeks, I realized that I was the only one in my group taking the project seriously. I was also the only one showing up to meetings. I would sit in the library, usually alone, unless my boyfriend came down to help me, working on my portion of the project, which was about the environment. Specifically, I was talking about the pollution of the Ganges River, and the endangered Ganges River Dolphin (oh, we got India, in case I didn’t mention that). My boyfriend even helped me sew a beautiful sari, which I spoke briefly about in the introduction of my part. I reached out to the other girls several times, asking them if they needed help, or if they wanted to meet to rehearse our projects, but they blew me off.

Twice, I worked with one of the girls from the group, who was doing her report on Mother Theresa. Each time, she brought her young toddler son, and spent more time playing/chasing him around, than working. I ended up doing a chunk of the research, and writing half of her speech, for her. I was so frustrated, because this was a GROUP project, meaning we all would share a grade, and I was the only one doing anything.

The day of my group’s presentation arrived, and I was surprised that the other girls even showed up. The first one to present spoke about India’s economy, and her bit lasted just over 3 minutes. She had no visuals, or anything else to go along with it. We were the last group of the day to present, and no one was paying attention at all. The second girl spoke very briefly about pollution, as well as the environment, which irritated me, because that was not her topic. It was mine. The other girls even gave me a look as if to say, “Um, did you know about this?” Her bit lasted just a few minutes, and just like the first girl, she had no visuals to go along with her presentation.

Then came the girl doing Mother Theresa. About 5 seconds into her presentation, she turned to the teacher, said that she didn’t feel well, and quickly ran from the room. That got everyone’s attention, and all eyes turned to me. I now had to make up a ridiculous amount of time, thanks to the slack of the first 3 in my group. Luckily, I was pretty prepared. I introduced myself, and spoke about the sari that I wore, my voice trembling slightly. More people started paying attention, interested in the garb. Even though their eyes were on me, I was elsewhere, somewhere inside my head. I needed to do well, because I was not about to fail this after working so hard. I also had a slideshow presentation, which went along with my note cards, and a trifold display board with pictures and facts. I was prepared, and it felt good.

I ended up speaking for a total of 7 minutes. After the first minute or so, I felt completely in control, and everything else faded away. My presentation could have been even longer, but class ended. Afterwards, my group left without a word, and the professor asked to see me for his office hours later in the day. When I went to see him, he told me that he would be grading me separately from my group, as he could see that I was the only one who put in any effort. I nearly cried. I candidly told him how it had been so difficult to get any of them to work with me, and he completely understood.

I received an overall score of 93/100 for my project, and ended the school year with an A- in the class. I never spoke to the other girls again after that class ended. Honestly, that was probably my proudest moment that whole year.

Thank you for reading, friends.

Jan

The Lovely Blog Award

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Hello, friends! I am super excited, and totally honored, to tell you that I’ve been nominated for the Lovely Blog Award! As some of you have seen, I was also recently nominated for the Liebster Award, which was so great! I had seen the Lovely Blog Award floating around, given to some very deserving individuals, and now I’ve made the cut! I was nominated by the fantastic Lady CAS, who I adore entirely. I am so excited and humbled. Thanks again, Lady!

The Rules For Award Acceptance:
1. Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them (including a link to their blog).
2. List the rules, and post the blog award badge in the post.
3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the Lovely Blog Award, and notify them that they have been nominated.

The official rules dictate that I tell you seven facts about myself, and I had to think hard about this one, because I’ve already posted two other posts with 30 total facts about myself, haha. After taking some time to think of a few more, here we are, and here are my seven facts!

7 Facts About Me:
1. Up until the age of 17 or 18, I hated my name. I’m still not a fan, honestly. It is spelled “Janise“, but pronounced the same as “Janice“. You’d think that would be obvious, but every teacher that I’ve ever had, from kindergarten up to my senior year, called me “Jan-EE-se“. Repeatedly. It became a running joke, but I hated it so much. I usually just go by “Jan” now.
2. I went to college in Newfoundland, Canada for one year. I was studying Psychology, which is something I have always been passionate about, but had to drop out due to financial problems. I still owe the school money, nearly 7 years later, and I have fears that I will never get to go back to school, or have a career.
3. I love Harry Potter. I can honestly say that the Harry Potter series played a huge role in shaping me into the woman that I am today, for so many reasons. Not ashamed!
4. I played the clarinet from ages 9-16. I originally wanted to play the trumpet, but my mom wouldn’t let me. I ended up being really good at the clarinet, and was selected as first chair every year. I was even specially chosen to attend several district music festivals (two of which required an audition), and was selected as first chair in all 3 music festivals, beating out over a dozen other talented clarinetists. Playing the clarinet was one of the only things that gave me a sense of pride, yet I foolishly threw it away, quitting band at the age of 16 for petty, stupid reasons. I’ve regretted it ever since.
5. I have mild social anxiety. I no longer experience anxiety attacks when in public, and have come quite a long way, but I still don’t enjoy being around other people. Family, friends, or strangers. Unfortunately, nobody seems to understand this, and often mistake my anxiety for rudeness, which only makes it worse.
6. I don’t really care for coffee, and I don’t like bacon. I decided to put these two facts into one, because they are equally addictive, and I have gotten equal amounts of hate for both. Come at me, bro.
7. I played World of Warcraft for 9ish years, but had to take a 1.5 year break when I was without a computer and internet. I came back only for a few months, after my son was born, but quit when I realized that there was absolutely nothing left for me to come back to. I’ve been drifting through the internet, alone, ever since.

Whew, that was fun! To finish off this post, I’d like to nominate the following 15 individuals for the Lovely Blog Award. I wish I could nominate everyone that I follow… but I can’t. Sorry.

My 15 Nominees For the Lovely Blog Award:
1. Jleigh
2. Supergirl2000
3. Amy
4. John Jr.
5. Gloria
6. The NYC Mom
7. Heather
8. The Flip of the Switch
9. Tessa
10. Matt
11. Accidental Hipster Mum
12. Life Beyond Mommy
13. Annette
14. Everythings Rosie and George
15. Paintbox Mum

Man, I need to follow more blogs. I apologize if this is the second or third time that any of you have been nominated, feel free not to participate if you don’t want to, I won’t be offended! I just wanted to recognize and share some fantastic blogs with you lovely folks.

I do hope that the rest of you guys accept and share! It is so nice that these awards exist, and I am so honored to have been recognized and nominated for two separate ones. They are also so fun to participate in, especially when I’ve got a little bit of writer’s block going on! Be sure to check out my fellow writer friends, and make a connection! Let’s all support each other. Thanks again, Lady CAS, for the nomination.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan