Congratulations! It’s not cancer.

For a long time now, I’ve had a dark spot on the left side of my cheek.

It never bothered me too much in my 20’s. Even now, sometimes it bugs me, some times it doesn’t. It depends on how dry my skin is from one day to the next.

Now that I’m in my late 30’s, I find that so many older women stop me to talk about it, or send me messages about it being cancerous, it starts to make me feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel like there’s this giant spotlight on my spot and I should be ashamed of it.

And to those older ladies I say: I get that you think you’re helping, but you were not helping.

Let me be clear: I never believed this discoloration to be cancerous.
According to every Skin Cancer PSA poster I had seen in passing or in a magazine, this mark on my cheek, has never been cancer.
…That is until the last 2 years or so of my life.

Me in 6th grade, representing all of that fashion from 1991.

For most of my life, I have been able to get away with just using a cleanser or…plain old soap on my face.
When I could afford it or remembered to put it on, some moisturizer. Most of high school and college, I only had a few break outs or bad days when I ate too much greasy food. But overall, I am blessed with very good genetics when it comes to my skin.

It first appeared around 11th or 12th Grade. I think this is 1998 (11th Grade)

When I saw my mom back in 2016, she though it was a birthmark. I told her it wasn’t. We pulled up old photos from grade school so I could show her. From birth to 10th grade, nothing. It just appeared some point between 11th and 12th grade.

Neither of us seemed to worried about it. She gave me an expensive face cream, and told me to bleach the spot.

Obviously, I did not do that. First, I was way too lazy to be that consistent. Second, I was also just not that bothered by it.

18 year old me in 1999.

As I got older and learned how to put makeup on myself, I usually covered it up with concealer and full-coverage makeup, if I felt the occasion for it.
But over the past few years, I noticed it was getting darker, and harder to cover up.

At my mom’s funeral last year I noticed that my aunt also had much larger but very similar spot on the left side of her cheek too. My aunt asked me how long I had it. She compared it to her own, mentioning off hand she got it later in life.

It felt a bit silly afterwards. It felt like all the the times someone had mentioned it to me started getting to me. And I felt really dumb about it. Maybe because my mom died, maybe because I was worried this was genetic. Maybe it was because I just tend to over-think and began to just over-worry about everything after my mom died.

Earlier this month I finally went to see a dermatologist. She took less than 60 seconds to tell me exactly what I knew: not cancerous. benign.

It is: Seborrheic keratosis (SK).
It’s very common. Many people get it, especially when they get older.
It is not the same as an age spot, and it’s not the same type of darker spots women get when they get pregnant.

I felt sort of relieved and sort of angry at the same time. At some point, I was so confident about how right I was about this whole thing. And then I let people get to me.

After talking to my dermatologist, I found out a few things:

  1. I can get rid of it if I choose to.
  2. It is purely cosmetic so it is not covered by insurance. (because it is not cancer!)
  3. It will not be perfect. Many times, lasering SK off, will leave the skin a bit pink and raw looking and lighter than the skin tone.

So I left my dermatologists office, feeling both relieved and kind of angry.
Angry that I let myself get convinced that it was otherwise. I can’t explain it well. It is that feeling of knowing you’re right, but feeling dumb about letting people’s opinions make you feel like you’re the crazy one.

I could say “they meant well” but also, maybe don’t point it out to me like I have a demon growing out of my face?

My dermatologist said she doesn’t think it has to go, and told me if I really wanted to get rid of it, to take some time to think about it.

So here I am, thinking about it. I guess I’ll let you all know if I decide to laser it off or not.
Stay tuned.

Till tomorrow Midgard,

The Internet Struggle

Nobody’s life is that perfect. I don’t know if anybody needed to hear that today, but I hope it helped.

Social media as we know it is about 20-ish years old, give or take. It has now been linked to increased depression and anxiety and FOMO (fear of missing out).

I know this because I have worked in social media marketing and influencer marketing over the course of 7 or 8 years now. I have read so many reports and have seen so many people go from liking themselves to hating every minute detail of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think Social Media is the inherent villain. I think so many of us just didn’t bother to teach ourselves good and grounded habits before jumping on… myself included.

It is real easy for people to preach positivity and self love and not practice it themselves. They get caught up in this loop of pretending to be happy and never dealing with the more complex issues in their lives.

The thing is, I don’t have an answer and I think most people who are not professionals don’t have one either.

I took a long step back from interacting with many people on social media about a year ago. I still post and throw my shit-posting thoughts out into the aether …

But I stopped coming back to check every few minutes. I stopped obsessing about my likes, comments, and retweets…

A year later with some minimal emotional growth, I realize it’s okay for me to want to post nice photos, or to share my thoughts, and for me to not want to engage.

Even if my photos or posts get less interaction because of it, at the end of the day, I am not trying to sell people on an illusion of myself.

My social media is for me to express my creativity or emotions in a way that I struggle to do verbally. That’s why I am here online, and it has always been the reason why I logged online in the first place.

And I still struggle, don’t get me wrong. But at least the load feels lighter and that’s kind of a win.

Til tomorrow Midgard,

Friday is for Fuck! it’s hard being an adult

I have an extremely hard time committing to myself and my health. I am generally better if I have to be accountable to someone who I don’t know, or someone who I have an established relationship with… other wise I just continually let myself get away with things.

I reached out to my friend Carolee, who is a health and wellness coach, to help me.
I also have problems asking for help.

Over the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve kinda let myself slip into a rather bad habit of eating, of not caring about myself, not checking up on my mental health, or emotional health and it really shows.

I have gained about 50lbs over the past 3 years. I also suffer from body dysmorphia and have had a battle with eating disorders in my 20s.
I have little to no energy or desire to do “fun” things. Yes, I do them. But I often have to drag myself out of the house.

The issue isn’t that I don’t want to do these things. It’s that I either have extreme anxiety about leaving the house or I have become so apathetic that I can’t find a fuck to give.

Leaning on someone is something very different for me. I generally try to be very independent. I don’t have high or low hopes, I just have hope. I hope that I can meet the small goals I set, and I hope that I can forgive myself but not let myself off the hook if I fail.

I’m going to be 38 this year and I always feel trapped some where between being 15 and being 37.

Here’s to always trying to get better and trying to hold yourself accountable, even if it means asking someone else to help you stay on track. Adulting is hard because we’re all told to accept how hard it is and not encouraged to reach out. It’s okay to reach out.

til tomorrow Midgard,

Life after Instagram

I thought a lot about what I want this blog to be.
There is a huge amount of “what should i market this blog as?”
“what is the audience I want to attract?”

I’m not actually sure.
I think I stopped blogging in the first place because I started to feel so frustrated by how much I was beginning to hate the content I was making.
I hated feeling like blogging was job and I was here to somehow perform for others.
I think it was a bit of lack of emotional maturity on my part.

Of course I want to share the photos I take, and how I edit, my creative process…
I want to show off the outfits I put together, just like I used to.
But I also want to have some kind of point.

Why does this blog need to exist?
That’s the question.

The answer is, I don’t know.
And I am just gonna work through it until it comes naturally.
It feels like it needs to exist because I exist.
Trying to force a “thing” or “point” to the blog seems incredibly artificial and disingenuous.

Isn’t “authenticity” what everyone is chasing after now?

Blogging post instagram is weird.
It seems a bit dated but it also gives you more space to think and breathe and just be you.

There will always be people that fly by just to see you on the surface.
It’s like the people you meet in LA that you constantly tell “lets get together sometime” but you never actually set a date.
A blog seems more like a commitment.

This is me, trying to be committed.
Commit to my process. Commit to myself.
Commit to having a venue to do something other than work.

til tomorrow Midgard,

Midgardians, I return.

Wow.
It has literally been years since I last blogged.
I stopped blogging probably sometime in 2012 or 2013.

Lets just start off by saying, I am returning to blogging because I realize how therapeutic it was for me.

How often will I post? No mere mortal could possibly know this.
I’m just going to put the digital pen to paper and see where it takes me.

Join me on this journey.

til tomorrow Midgard,