I’ve got myself an update on my new year glow-up plans. Having slept on it a bit, I’ve decided to accelerate everything I want to do. Upshot? Dark circles under my eyes and my stretch marks will be worked on even before I leave for Europe in April. Indeed, I’ve got an appointment just next week to get PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) put into my under-eyes, which seems promising; my nurse practitioner says that’s the next thing to try after the medical-grade eye cream proved insufficient. Still, the cream has helped; my dark circles aren’t nearly as bad, and I’m now to the point where my under-eyes look like the “before” part of the before-and-after PRF pictures I see online where the treatment was a success.
Typically a series of three treatments spaced a month apart are used, which puts me into early March. Fine by me. I’ve decided that although it frontloads up to a few thousand dollars in costs it’d behoove me to become as photogenic as possible as soon as possible, because otherwise without that I won’t have the self-confidence to out and get some life experience and promote myself.
I’m even getting a dermaplaning for my face as part of the same treatment, which is supposed to give you a glow and be more effective than a normal facial, usually marketed toward older people as an anti-aging technique but I found out it benefits younger people too! It’s an affordable and simple procedure to get done, and I’m just too curious to see what the effects will be.
Stretch Marks Begone?
As for the stretch marks, I’ve got some in the upper arms and all round the abdomen area, even extending to the lowermost back. The quote I got at the clinic I went to, the best-reviewed in my region and indeed about the only one among the best-reviewed and beautiful-looking places that advertise they even deal with stretch marks, amounts to several thousand dollars.
I’ve opted to receive a series of three treatments with Vivace microneedling for those entire areas. Total cost? $5600. 💀 That sounds monstrous, and indeed is monstrous by the standards of the prices usually quoted for microneedling, which run in the hundreds, but that’s for one treatment in the face area. I’ve got a much larger area to treat, and for the treatment of a larger area of the body it comes out to about the going rate at most other places, in terms of the cost per treatment. The place I’m getting it at is a high-quality facility, so if anything I’m getting a relatively good value (indeed, I get the impression the cost is one reason my nurse was skittish about recommending I go get it!).
I could save about $1000 by opting for regular microneedling, but the word is that would require twice as many treatments to achieve the same results as Vivace, and that puts the final resolution well beyond when I’m going to Europe. I’d rather just get it done with now.
I was presented an option for 6 Vivace treatments, which amounted to $9900 (!); a lower cost per treatment, but honestly if I don’t more or less see my stretch marks cured in 3 treatments I’ll let the matter go, at least for the time being. Besides, researching online it’s not uncommon for stretch marks to more or less resolve in just one treatment, assuming they’re going to respond much at all. The good news is that the stretch marks that the Vivace microneedling device cures the best online, as seen in before-and-after pictures, look a lot like the ones I have, so I’m optimistic. Optimistic enough to give it a try, even if it is expensive.
My first treatment is scheduled for late January, and like the PRF they will be spaced a month apart, so late March would be the timeline for completing my series. Just in time for what I wanted to get done.
Going full Zao? Oh no…
My teeth whitening is proceeding slower than I hoped it would, but the most glaring issue is the bottom half of the bottom teeth, which are still markedly yellowish, much more so than the near-pearly-white the topmost parts of them are. According to the person at the dentists’ office I spoke to the other day that’s actually normal and expected; because of how the bleach settles the lowermost parts of the teeth are the most difficult to treat. Huh. I’d have assumed it would be the opposite, considering how gravity draws fluids downward. But at least everything seems to be going well?
I definitely want my teeth to be fixed up to a perfect Hollywood smile by the time I leave for Europe; otherwise I’ll be like Zao in “Die Another Day”: roaming the world with an unfinished treatment that makes him look hideous (in my case it’d be a composite bottom half of a front tooth that’s all yellow while the rest are white…).
“Toying” with an Idea? Ha! More like “Let’s Go!”
I said in my last update that I’m toying with the idea of going all-out with the gym work to get myself in the best physical condition I can before I go, and I have been going to the gym every day since the classes opened back up on January 2, a near-record streak for me. It’s tiresome and dull, but I’m getting through it, though without taking double the dose of corticosteroids I usually do before a workout I definitely couldn’t stand it; at least this way I can power through a treadmill run or a strength exercise on the weight floor and not even feel it.
I seem to need this bit of performance enhancement anyway; I’ve noticed I have a hard time following what the coach is saying and I lag behind what the rest of the class do (in terms of keeping up with their intensity and switching stations and machines as quick as they do) unless I take the stuff, and even at that sluggish pace I find that sans drugs I can’t stand to come back for several days after just one hour-long class. Needless to say that won’t do, hence why I’m getting a little bit of help from my medicine cabinet. I can’t help but wonder if I might have some kind of medical problem, but god knows what the rest of them are juicing on (whatever it is it’s not enough, judging by what their bodies look like, but that’s another story…).
So Aloneable, so Stuckable, yet so Unbearable…
But anyway, everything seems to be in place. The hard part is just standing my current lifestyle long enough to get through it all before I head out on my biggest round of traveling yet. It’s getting to be crunch time, where I’m going to cash out everything and try to make myself a success in life.
Hindered, of course, by the fact that I’m lonesome; nobody seems to really like me or consider me a first-rate friend, and I’ve never been offered much opportunity to do anything or be anybody. I’ve never been treated right, and have always been looked down upon in some way. Despite the fact I know some people, I feel like I started too late to really get into the club or be on track socially, at least like I need to be to feel fulfilled in life.
Of course, with the people I know, even if I did get into the inside club, would it really do me any good? I don’t even like most of them, and the ones I do like it feels as if I have to give ten times as much effort as I get back from them in the relationship. It’s all just toxic. Even if I did want to reach out and network with the people I know so they could help me be a success…I honestly wouldn’t consider any of them to be real successes in life, period, and certainly I don’t feel like they’re successes that I’d like to emulate for myself in my own life. So what would they know about becoming a success story or winning at the game in life, at least as I see it? How would they go about helping me, even making the (almost certainly erroneous) presumption that they’d want to help me in the first place?
How do I find my people? Assuming there even are any social circles out there who could be characterized as “my people”? What if it takes me many years to make a real friend? What if I never find any? I really needed to have had successful friends who connected with me in meaningful ways when I was younger, and although it probably sounds stupid to you I feel it’s true that I’m starting to get washed-up socially now that I’m approaching the age of 30. I’ve been disappointed and let down by everyone I’ve ever tried to connect with (my own family, my friends, online, offline, childhood, adulthood, it’s all the same sad story…) I’m honestly about done for; I have to make a real effort to even want to try anymore.
What is to be done?
There is a way, however, to guarantee that I’ll be number one in somebody’s life, that I’ll have a built-in best friend who’s a lot like me: have a child. Yes, making a baby when you feel too alone to bear living anymore is generally thought to be exactly one thing you shouldn’t do, but in my situation I feel like it makes perfect sense. An especially good sign is that when I’m at especially low moments the thought of having that baby with me brings me back to the track, giving me the will to go on.
Just yesterday I missed a party that was scheduled but I didn’t put in my calendar by mistake, which nobody reminded me about until it was already underway and far too late for me to make the two-hour drive needed to get there, and it really made me upset at how stupid I was, how much of a failure I was (I can’t even coordinate a workout and a party in one day!!!), and how little anybody cares about me, likes me, or wants me.
So much so that I took one pill of dramamine thinking it would have a salutary tranquilizing effect, but all it did was make me feel like I was looking at the world through a fishbowl and like my vestibular system was loosy-goosy (considering this was right before I worked out this morning, that wasn’t good…). One pill did that! Even a dose of prednisone pushing 10 milligrams never makes me feel that weird or dysfunctional. And I’m someone who gets airsick pretty bad. Upshot: I should stick to the steroids (which, curiously enough, tend to do more to stabilize and improve my mood than make me an aggressive emotional wreck; huh).
Anyway, when I thought of the companionship baby would provide me and the new frontiers that would open up for both of us, I felt a lot better. I’m planning to go to another party tonight, which I was smart enough to put in my calendar long beforehand, and before then go to the mall and look at all the pretty things in the luxury stores as I sip on a slurpy icy drink.
You know, that all does make me sound like a materialistic person: “all that makes me happy is cosmetic treatments to make me look better, browsing pretty things at the mall, and having a baby as a single parent so I won’t have to be alone…oh, and lots and lots of money!”. But really, if I followed the advice of the goody-goodies who tut-tut about life’s cheat codes I’d be even worse off than I actually am. I already lost a lot of good years by not sinking my money into making myself look as photogenic as possible, not moving to where all the hot rich people are, and not taking whatever kind of chemicals might be necessary for me to achieve my goals; you know, all those things you’re told not to do in order to be “happy” in a way that’s “not materialistic”.
I really should have had some guidance and mentorship that told me as a teenager at latest that all that was just BS, but I’ve never had anybody with any real life experience who took an interest in me. No one ever thought I was worth it; so I have to pore over the Internet and figure it all out for myself. At least my future daughter won’t have the same handicaps in life…she’ll be able to be a real success from the ground-up, thanks to what I’ve learned over the years.
And perhaps that’s why I feel I should go ahead and have her as soon as possible, start the process as soon as I’m settled into the sort of geography I’d like to raise a child in: because I really need something big, some “hail Mary!” pass, some miracle even, to reset my life and for me to not feel like I’m a useless and unwanted failure of a person. I can’t guarantee that I’ll make any real friends; I can’t guarantee I’ll find anyone to fall in love with. I can’t guarantee that I’ll even be able to make the big money I need to have the lifestyle I want. Other people have let me down and failed me so much for so long the prospect of any goal that relies on them *gasp* treating me right fills me with fear.
But I can guarantee that I can get whatever treatments I need to make my physical appearance the best it can be, that I can do more traveling, that I can move out to where I want to be, and that I can make a test-tube baby. I can do that all by myself with the resources I have left, and I can get started on all of it by the end of the year.
It makes me feel good to accelerate all these things, even if it does put my finances under great strain for the third consecutive year; but after I liquidate my house I’ll have an unprecedented infusion of cash in my brokerage account, which will, even with rent being what it is, tide me over for a good long time. Long enough for me to figure out something.
What that is, I don’t know, but I somehow doubt it’ll be a conventional career path, what with my résumé at the age of 30 consisting of dance instruction, managing my own investments, and an MBA I earned in a few months. I have no idea what sort of business I could start or what sort of a job I could get that would get me some real income and maximize my chances for a big payoff on the West Coast, but I intend to do whatever I can to make that happen, and accelerate the day I’ll feel comfortable enough with myself to make it all happen.