What I Did When I Wasn’t Here (December 2015)

What’s up, guys?! How’s the family? How are you? Did you survive all of the awkward Holiday conversations relatively unscathed? I hope so.

So: It’s January, and despite the fact that the little box on the right side of the page claims that I am an “aspiring storyteller” I’ve barely written anything in months. In my defense, life has been pretty crazy for a while now. Usually, this is the part when I would start apologizing for my absence, hoping that you didn’t ask too many questions about what I was so busy doing, but not today! This is an update post! So without further ado, let the updating begin.

I Had A Surgery! 

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A classy, sophisticated post-surgery selfie

Last Spring, I started experiencing mysterious aches and pains across my lower back and abdomen. At first, I shrugged them off; that was an extremely busy time for my family, and there seemed to be a reason to get together every other week. I simply didn’t have time to think about whatever was going on with my body. I pushed my pain to the back of my mind and moved on.

But the pain got worse. It got so bad that I couldn’t ignore it any longer and I did the unthinkable: I typed my symptoms into WebMD. *Cue lightning here*

Needless to say, after reading about my symptoms on the internet and learning about all of the horrible things that could be wrong with me, I became concerned. By that, I mean that I became unshakably convinced that I was about to die.

But I didn’t die! After countless tests and doctor’s appointments where I was basically repeatedly told that I was crazy and that nothing was wrong with me, I was finally sent to a specialist for a second opinion. She ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen. That was when they discovered two growths, each about the size of a fist, on both of my ovaries.

My primary doctor stroked her chin contemplatively when the results came back. “Huh,” she said. “I guess there really was something going on with you!”

I definitely had to suppress an eye roll at that comment. But I’m not bitter: after the ultrasound, I had a CT scan to get a better read of the tumors. Thankfully, they weren’t cancerous, so the worst of my fears were discarded.

On November 17’th, I went in for surgery to remove the tumors in a procedure that was basically like a c-section. The first couple weeks after were a little rough- I had to take things really slow- but now, it barely feels like I had surgery at all! There have been several occasions where people have come up to me, asking how I’m doing in low, concerned tones and I’ve felt confused for a second before realizing Oh! Because of the surgery! 

So yeah. Everything worked out in the end. My surgery went well, I didn’t have a mysterious, exotic disease, and I waked away from the whole thing with a pretty sweet scar.

The only downside is that occasionally, people I vaguely know will come up to me and ask, “Is everything ok with…” while gesturing wildly towards their vaginas. By that, they mean, “Did they take your ovaries away from you?” and I have to awkwardly mumble that no, my reproductive system is still in tact. But things could definitely be worse.

Thanks, Dr.Votel!

Meet Dexter!

This is Dexter:


He used to be my aunt’s dog, but he lives with me and my family now. He’s pretty great.


Me and Dexter have a lot in common. We both enjoy lazing about the house, basking in sunshine and eating extravagant meals.


Me and Dexter are pretty tight, but sometimes we get on each other’s nerves. I get on his nerves by making up random songs about how cute he is and forcing him to listen to them while perched on my lap (Dexter likes to sit on laps, but only for a little bit. He needs to have his space).

He gets on my nerves by ignoring me when I talk to him; he always stops what he’s doing and looks up at me blankly for a couple seconds, like he’s deciding if what I’m asking of him is too much to bear. Then, he turns around and continues doing what he was doing before I interrupted him (Usually eating chunks of snow off the porch). In the moment, I usually feel overcome with frustration, but this never lasts. After all, Dexter is just trying to live his best life, and who am I to stand in his way?


Suffered an Early Quarter-Life Crisis and Reevaluated My Entire Life!

I’ve been writing about one day being a nurse for years on this blog. Last semester, I finally had the opportunity to actually apply for the nursing program. I was getting ready to join a TEAS test review class when it suddenly occurred to me: Huh. The idea of being a nurse fills me with disgust. 

Well, that may be a little harsh. Nursing doesn’t fill me with disgust, it just doesn’t make me happy. It involves aspects of things that make me happy, like interacting/helping people and a busy work environment, but it just isn’t my passion.


I…didn’t expect this to be so creepy.

Teaching is my passion. I’ve known that for years, but I’ve been trying to let go of that dream. Everyone in my family is in the healthcare field. It was just assumed that when I graduated high school, I would join them.

But I can’t.

I know it sounds cheesy, but I just can’t go down a career path that doesn’t make my heart sing! So I switched my major to education and got a tutoring job at my old middle school. The new semester hasn’t even begun yet, and I already feel better about my life. My mother approves, but still occasionally shakes her head at my decision, but I feel confident that I’ve made the right choice.

Here’s to making major life decisions that will almost certainly end in poverty!

On a less entertaining note, The loss of my aunt is something that completely changed me. For many months, it surrounded me like some kind of haze, clouding my vision and seeping into every aspect of my life. I don’t think that the death of a loved one is something you ever really get over, but I’m finally able to see a future beyond it. Now when I think of my aunt, I’m able to focus on something other than the hole her death left in my life. Instead, I think about all of the happiness that she brought into it, and all of the ways her presence changed me for the better. I’m still sad, but progress is happening!

I’m not exactly sure  what changes the next coming months will bring, but I’m looking forward to welcoming them with open arms. I hope that you are, too 🙂







This is one of the pictures that comes up when you google “power move”. Feels accurate. 

I’ve been thinking about new years resolutions a lot lately.

Usually, when someone asks me what my goals for the new year are, I say “My only resolution is to be a bad bitch,” and ignore the angry glare that always follows. But this year, I’ve decided to take things a bit more seriously.

I think we can all agree: 2015 was a garbage year full of garbage things. On a large scale, we saw various acts of terorism, bigotry and the rise of Full body contouring. On a smaller scale (i.e. things only relating to me) we saw accidental breast grazing, unfortunate hair decisions, and endless stains on cardigans. I am more than ready to leave all of that behind me.

So I’m making a resolution. I saw one of my Facebook friends resolve to do this, and I am jumping on the bandwagon: 2016 will be a year of power moves only.

Now, you may be wondering: Kiana, what exactly does that mean?

Well, dear reader, let me start from the beginning.

I have always had trouble asserting myself. For example, when I was seventeen, one of coworkers wished me a happy Kwanzaa, assuming I celebrated the holiday because I am African. A normal person would have just told him they didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa. A normal person would have said it with poise, and grace, and maybe a dash of charm for good measure. Instead of doing any of these perfectly normal things, I fell into a little something I like to call an insanity spiral.

For some unknown reason, I became convinced that just telling him I didn’t celebrate Kwanzaa was too awkward a situation for me to bear. So I thanked him…and he went on to ask several very specific questions about the nature of Kwanzaa.

“It’s…really just about togetherness, you know?” I mumbled dumbly.


Is…is this Kwanzaa?

And that is just one example of many when I had the opportunity to stand up for myself and say one simple thing and I just…didn’t.

Well, I’m sick of it! I’m sick of being timid and quiet when it matters the most. I’m sick of sitting in the background while interesting things are happening all around me. I’m sick of being a supporting actor in my own life. From this moment on, POWER MOVES ONLY. 

This, of course, begs the question: What exactly constitutes a power move? 

Unfortunately, I cannot give you a true answer as the essence of the power move is vague and undefined, but I will try my best: A power move is a subtle way of taking back dominance.

If employed correctly, a person will not even realize that a power move has been played on them. Not right away, at least. They will just wake up one morning feeling weak. Any sense of pride and ambition they once felt will be dashed down, replaced only with a deep, newfound respect for the you. This will seem perfectly normal to them; they will feel as though things have always been this way, with you as the alpha, and them as the beta. It won’t even occur to them to be concerned, so complete will be your rise to superiority.

You are victorious: It’s time to claim your rightful place on the throne, scepter in hand, and bathe in the warm glow of the adulation of your former superiors. This is your kingdom now, and you will rule with an iron fist.

…Or, in my case, it just means actually using my voice. I want to dedicate this year to speaking up when someone is making me uncomfortable; I want to speak up when I see someone doing something wrong to others; and I want to speak up and actually communicate how I think/feel (something that has been notoriously difficult for me). I know that this will be an uphill battle- being passive is one of my dominant personality traits- but I’m feeling hopeful about the new year.

What are your resolutions?