The Tangled Ones A 20-something living with AVM blog

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How do people actually find each other? I think this to myself every time I’m on an airplane, flying over a city and observing the seemingly endless expanse of buildings with people coming in and out of them. The tiny toy cars are streaming down streets and highways. Look at all those people. How do people actually find other people to get along with, with so many to choose from?

The internet makes it a few steps easier for people who have the time and access to computers (and are using websites that are actually accessible, as many still are not). Yet I’m still always pretty stunned and delighted when the connection happens.

I was recently contacted by a lovely woman named Brittany, who affectionately goes by Minty Brittany. Personally, I love that because it’s really hard for me to remember names of people I haven’t met yet. The Minty part made her given name, Brittany, unforgettable. Side note to all you folks out there who swear you’re terrible at remembering names: try adding something delicious and see if that helps. I don’t know. Maybe it won’t, but it can’t hurt. Cooler yet, she lives in Texas. So those times I’m flying to visit home and looking out the window of the plane, who knows? I might’ve looked at her house once and not known it.

I want to invite people to go check out her extremely intriguing, well-written blog. It’s called “The Tangled Ones,” which is a cute reference to the malformation of tangled blood vessels in her brain. Brittany takes on winding, intimate journeys through her personal experiences with having thyroid cancer at 18 years old and an AVM. The AVM (the tangled blood vessels) led to a hemorrhagic stroke last year when she was 23 years old.

This is a fantastic place to go for personal stories that cut right to the chase. She doesn’t cut corners or try to pretty things up. Brittany has this wonderful way of zooming out to the bigger picture and zooming right back in close to precisely describe the state of her bed head at a time when she’s thinking about the possibility of losing her hair from a possible cancer treatment. And zoom, right back out. Very cool style. And clever. Like this morsel when she writes about still not being able to wear some beloved high heels because of the effects of the stroke and brain surgery on one side of her body:

“It’s not just about the shoes, it’s about the little piece of freedom that you lose when something happens. It’s about the choice that you want to make but your body is telling you no. It’s that dress in the mall that you saw but it wasn’t in your size. It’s your favorite dish at a restaurant and they’re all out of it. It’s your favorite bar but you can’t get a drink when you want because it’s packed. It’s a decision that you’ve already made but there’s that major piece that’s preventing you from being able to do what you want, or get what you want. Life, man. You keep picking yourself back up but it throws another banana under your foot.”

Minty Brittany. The Tangled Ones.