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Disclaimer: This tweet by Twitter User @CTWarriorMonkey inspired the following story. Their tweet compiled a list of side effects people reported after receiving the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines against COVID-19. Please remember that correlation does not equal causation. Thank you for reading.

Hi. My name is Jimmy. I want to warn you about the severe side effects my wife Vicky Lynn and I experienced after receiving our COVID-19 vaccines. We went against our better judgment on this one. After all, why would my mom’s half-sister’s babysitter Christy go on Facebook and post about vaccines being unsafe if it weren’t true?

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The first gift I ever bought my mom with my own money was a magnet with a coffee pot on it that said, “Is there life before coffee?”

Mornings have always been a struggle for me. Maybe it’s because no one in my family has ever been a morning person. My parents were chronically late to everything — a bad habit they’ve passed on to me. They drink coffee from the second their eyes pop open in the morning until 1 AM, when they’ll have their last cup to “settle down for bed.”

Believe it or not, they’re pretty high-strung.

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“We’re all addicted to hope — hope that the doubt and mystery will go away.” — Pema Chödrön

My partner convulsed on our bathroom floor for several minutes before I stopped panicking long enough to call an ambulance. As I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, he finally stopped moving. His eyes snapped open. He gasped and immediately attempted to stand. Through tears, I begged him to lie back and relax, but he couldn’t hear me. It was no surprise.

My own voice — even to me — sounded like it was coming from somewhere far away. He…

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My beloved cat Calvin came centimeters away from blinding me with his claws. There’s a cool scar under my left eye as a reminder each time I see my reflection. As I mentioned in another piece, Calvin’s semi-regular attacks landed me in both the minor med and the hospital. When I first brought him home when he was a kitten, he was sweet and playful. His aggression didn’t begin until he grew up. Instability in our living situation during his development is one likely culprit of his occasional aggressive behavior.

Oh, how I can relate.

My cat’s life changes were…

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I had to lock myself in a room to write this. My cat, Calvin, chased me in here, trying to attack me.

Calvin has sent me to the minor med twice and the hospital once.

I have scars on my body that will always be there — including one from an attack that nearly cost me my eyesight in my left eye.

There are mental scars, too. It took me a long time to fully trust Calvin again after these attacks. Repairing our relationship was no easy task.

If you’re reading this, you’re probably a cat lover, so I know…

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Sometimes it’s fun to ask yourself random questions and try to figure out the answers.

Recently, when I felt frustrated with how slowly my career is progressing, I asked myself, “how can I be more patient with myself as I pursue my goals?”

Maybe you’ve asked yourself that too — not just about your career, but about anything you’re trying to do. Why can’t I get there faster?

Searching for the answer to that question required me to reflect, appreciate, and learn to respect the slow ascent to where I am right now in my life.

I remember a few…

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The first Halloween costume I ever chose for myself was the Grim Reaper.

Being surrounded by the other Kindergarten girls dressed as Disney princesses didn’t deter me or make me feel left out in the slightest. Behind my black hood — with a scythe at least two heads taller than me — I felt powerful.

After all, princesses are mere mortals. Death reigns eternal.

Sure, I loved watching Disney movies as a kid. But I loved watching dark, frightening things even more. That might be what led to my choice of costume.

Growing up, I also had a lot of…

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As a Southerner, if I introduced myself to someone new and told them my pronouns were they/them, they would probably look at me like I had said, “I just flew in from the Moon.”

Wild, considering the existence of the gender-neutral word “y’all,” we use so much down here. Still, the South tends to feel like a place where the only acceptable way to refer to a stranger is “sir” or “ma’am.”

I’m not saying that’s the way it should be, but that’s the way it is here — and many other places around the world.

Those reactions fully justify…

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A few years ago, I spent two years working for my local Home Depot’s HVAC contractor as a lead generator.

If you don’t know, lead generators are those annoying salespeople in khakis and monogrammed polo shirts who approach homeowners to convince them to schedule free in-home estimates. You know — those people you try to avoid eye contact within the hardware store or in Costco hoping maybe they’ll go away. When they persist, you lie, pretending to be interested — giving them fake information so you can shop in peace.

Before I got good at remembering peoples’ faces, I would…

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Shortly after graduating from college, I lived with strangers from Craigslist.

Dealing with their behavior was challenging, to put it mildly.

I learned, though, that there were steps I could have taken to prevent my bad experiences with them.

I certainly could have communicated a little better.

The whole situation taught me a lot about what it means to be a good roommate and a responsible adult.

It also taught me what a person should ALWAYS do when they have a new roommate to make sure that things go as smoothly as possible — and what they shouldn’t do.


Megan Brown

Professional weirdo. Late bloomer. “Gifted” burnout.

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