Underneath my yellow skin

Baby Steps and a Shimmy

fuck the heat.
I can’t go on. Tell Shadow I love him.

First of all, it’s hot as balls today, which means I’m even grumpier than usual. I’ve griped about the heat before, but it’s frustrating to try to make some people understand why I hate it so much. It’s not just me whining (though I do plenty of that); it’s not me being a delicate snowflake (though I’m that as well). It’s a physical impediment to me being able to do what I want/need to do. When I feel overheated, which is at about 70 degrees for me, I can feel the energy literally drain out of me. It’s akin to depression in that it makes it hard for me to move. My bestie and I used to have a running joke about the heat versus the cold. When we went out during the winter, she’d shiver and say, “Doesn’t the cold make your spine crunch?” I’d reply, “No, it makes me feel ALIVE!” When we went out in the summer, I’d say, “Doesn’t this heat drain you of your will to live?” She’d reply, “I love it! It energizes me!” She’s from Florida, and I’m a born and raised Minnesotan, so that might account for a large part of our different outlooks.

Last Saturday, I was in the co-op parking lot when it was 92 degrees out. I felt the energy drip out my body in a profusion of sweat, and I could barely force myself to go into the co-op. All I wanted to do was sit down where I was and cry. I found myself mentally snapping at everyone in the co-op for the stupidest things. I had to grit my teeth to stop myself from being a bitch, and by the time I got back in my car, I was in tears.

I hate having to defend myself, but I feel it’s necessary because it’s hard to constantly be judged (even if it’s not directly aimed at me) for being almost inert in the summer. It’s a weird disconnect to hear other people talking about how gorgeous the weather is when it’s eighty degrees out and wanting nothing more than to shoot a million ice arrows into the sun. My brain slows down when it’s hot, and that’s the worst part of all. The one thing I pride myself on is that I am a quick thinker. Anything that impedes my ability to think is on my shit list. Valerian is another. I took it once in desperation as a way to sleep, and it slowed my thinking so much, I wanted to kill myself. That’s not hyperbole, by the way. It was bad. Alcohol and drugs are also on the list.

My ideal weather is zero degrees or below and three feet of snow. It’s one reason I hate spring and summer so much. Two more are mosquitoes and allergies. Heat is the main one, though. I try not to use my air too much because I know it’s bad for the environment. I used to have it set on 80, but a few years ago, I realized that 78 was my absolute threshold for heat. I recently had an argument with my mother when she and my father visited about it my father was complaining about it being too cold. I said the air was set for 78, which is much higher than most Americans have it set. She said there’s a law in Taiwan that you can’t turn on your air until 80 for eco reasons, and while I appreciate that, it’s also 80 nearly every day in the summer in Taiwan. It makes sense for them to have that as their basement, but not in Minnesota. In addition, when my mother used to visit in the winter, she would complain because I have the heater set at 62 during the day, 60 at night. When she’s here, I turn it up to 65. So she has no problem with me hurting the environment in that way, but not with the air*. In addition, I don’t have kids, so I think I’m allowed the two degrees of leeway in my air conditioner setting.

I’m so defensive about it because I’m used to being told I’m the wrong one by my family. Not explicitly most of the time, but implicitly. I’m viewed as the weirdo (which I am, but it’s not fun to have it pointed out all the time) in just about every way, and it’s wearying on the psyche. It’s one reason I’m currently struggling with when and how to voice my opinion and to whom. I have a hard time believing anyone really wants to hear what I think or that I have anything worthwhile to contribute.

Back to my general health. I’d say I’m at 80% and impatient to get to 100%. My sleep is shittier in general, which means I’m getting better. The aliens are mostly quiet and not munching on my face, but they show up unexpectedly now and again. I wake up with a load of gunk encasing my teeth, which is never a pleasant feeling, and I’m still exhausted much of the time. I need to get my thyroid meds checked, but I don’t want to go back to the clinic because I got sick after my last two previous visits. Intellectually, I know correlation is not necessarily causation, but I can’t help linking the two events, anyway.

I also feel progressively more fatigued as the day goes on. Not tired, but physically fatigued. I know I have to start beefing up my taiji routine, but I’m wary of a setback. It’s the conundrum of being sick for a long time. On the one hand, I want to increase my physicality so I can continue to get better and feel stronger. On the other hand, I don’t want to overdo it and put a strain on my immune system. I have a shitty one to begin with, and I have to be more careful about it than some people.

Still. I’ll take 80% and general exhaustion over what I’ve been feeling for the past five months. It’s definitely a step up.



*To be fair, it was my father who was complaining, but true to the family dynamics, she took it upon herself to bring the complaint to me.

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