Happy New Year.

Here we are. The ending of another year, and so I’m going to keep with tradition and try to write yet another insightful reflection of the past 365 days.

This was an off year for me. There were parts that were fucking terrible. My depression had moments this year where it was on par with 2012/2013. It got pretty bad. I self-harmed for the first time since 2014 back in June. I called out of work one day because I couldn’t force myself to get out of bed. I’ve spent the majority of this year feeling trapped.

I’ve felt trapped by my own decisions. I had been so hyper-focused on getting a degree and trying to prove something to myself and everyone else — that I wasn’t a psycho fuckup of a human being — that I never stopped to think about what happens after I finish. What am I going to do next? Not that there’s anything wrong with just having a bachelor’s degree, I truly used to believe that would be it for me. I’d just find a job that paid the bills and work forever and that’s it. That’s what I get this time around.

I began to reject that reality in June, which is coincidentally when my depression began to beat me into submission. I began to think about going back to school for a master’s, only to realize that my undergrad GPA isn’t competitive. Like, at all. There’s reasons for that, reasons that I’ve clung to and argued when people would bring it up, but at the end of the day, my undergrad GPA sucked because I didn’t put enough effort in.  The classes I loved that were taught well, I aced. The classes that didn’t have an attendance policy, I aced. But unfortunately, the majority of undergrad classes aren’t taught well. The majority have attendance policies —which I still think are fucking stupid and an easy way to dock points for no goddamn reason whatsoever. If you can be absent and still produce quality work I think you should be allowed to but WHATEVER, that’s just my arrogant self still being annoyed for getting B’s in classes where I got A’s on all the work… Some are classes that you love but are taught with zero effort because the professor just wants to get back to his research lab and doesn’t give a shit if you learn or not. Some are boring, mind-numbing courses where it’s a miracle if you can force yourself to show up and waste your own time for an hour. Some are taught by sociopaths whose sole purpose is to see how many students they can fail. The value of college isn’t necessarily education, I think it’s discipline. Which is sad, because it’d be nice to learn something while forking out thousands of dollars to an institution, but alas, c’est la vie.

So I’ve been facing this harsh reality. Yes, I have a bachelor’s degree. I crossed that milestone off my list of life accomplishments. I was so happy and proud that day when I walked across the stage at Mizzou Arena. But now what? There are very few grad programs that I can currently apply to and be considered just because my undergrad GPA is below a 3.0. (That actually causes me physical pain to admit.) So… what? I take classes outside of a degree to boost my GPA? I get a second bachelor’s? Non-degree seeking courses aren’t eligible for any sort of financial aid. Oof. That’s a lot of money. How many courses would I need to ace to boost my GPA? 3? 4? 5? Throw in money for textbooks, etc., we’re looking at a few thousand dollars.

This is where my depression found an opening in my otherwise healthy mental state. I felt trapped. Trapped by money. Trapped by my stupid, impulsive ideas at age twenty-three to try and be pre-med again even though I tried that out TWICE at Truman and both times I decided it wasn’t for me. Yeah, sure, let’s try it again. Oh hey, you don’t like it? It’s not your thing? For the third time? What a shocker.

It’s not that good things didn’t happen this year. It’s just that the bad things that happened outweighed them. Going to NYC for work was so fun. So fun. Highly recommend visiting NYC and I look forward to going back just for fun so I can really explore. But then as the year progressed, and high season arrived, I found myself walking on eggshells at work, trying to be perfect, and being terrified of being fired because someone else messed up something. I jump every time I get a text message because I’m worried it’s about work.

This year beat the crap out of me. I found myself in situations that made me feel small and insignificant, from work to the relationship I wound up in this year. All the while I’ve been clinging to alcohol to fix all my problems, a lesson that I’ve learned over and over again doesn’t work.

The past four weeks I’ve adopted a new way of dealing with my stress. When I get home from work and feel like drinking an entire bottle of wine, I go to the gym. When I feel insignificant, I go to the gym. When I feel worthless and invisible, I go to the fucking gym. I sweat, I pick up heavy things, and I leave feeling like a goddamn person again. People could say that I’m just going from one coping mechanism to another, but when I wake up the next day and can begin to see the product of my hard work, I feel powerful, and sexy, and good. Alcohol has never done that for me.

 

So here’s to 2019,

to not dating fuckboys you know aren’t right for you,

to being honest and upfront and putting yourself out there,

to having the guts to say, “Yeah, I fucked up, so let’s try and fix it.”

 

I refuse to be paralyzed by fear.

I refuse to let myself believe that I don’t deserve love.

I’m moving forward,

and I’m going to find a way through all of this.

 

Happy New Year.

12/28/18 part two

I never realize how much shit I have until I’m getting ready to move. And then all of a sudden, it becomes painfully obvious that I have a ton of shit. Every time I move, I clear it out. I donate the clothes I have no interest in wearing, I sell the things that are collecting dust in storage bins or closets. Yet every time I move, there’s always more. More shit. More clothes that I ordered online out of impulse and then didn’t love it as much in person as I thought it would, but didn’t return it because I might wear it for SOMETHING. I often complain that I don’t have the funds to travel, and yet I look at all this shit that I’ve purchased over the last year and a half and most of it I don’t actually use. How much money is hanging in this closet? In a moment, I felt that I needed it. In a moment, I felt that I would wear it. And I never did. Those moments that I thought would come never did, and that’s how I have a closet full of clothes and yet nothing to wear on some days. It’s batshit.

We’re basically programmed to shop. Advertising is everywhere. I’m slowly beginning to unplug from it. Working in luxury retail hasn’t helped me much. I begin to catch myself thinking about everything that I need for my work wardrobe. Not necessarily the brands that we sell at work, but just things I can buy to make myself look better. Constantly upgrading. Constantly buying new outfits so that I don’t become the girl who wears the same 5 outfits every week. I had to stop. I had to stop online shopping with a glass of wine after work, and I had to remind myself that even though my coworkers see me wear the same outfits every week, the customers don’t necessarily see that.

Plus, it doesn’t matter. I make $20/hour and because of where I work, it’s easy to try on the Gucci belt or the Jimmy Choo’s and think, “After my discount, I could pay this off with a couple of paychecks.” It’s stupid. It’s SO stupid. I make $20/hour! Why in the world should I be stretching the leftover money I have into designer shit that I would only wear to work — because I feel like a fraud wearing it anywhere else — when I could be throwing the few hundred into my savings account??

I’m currently planning a trip to Iceland with one of my best friends and her husband, and that’s helped keep me in check. I’m so excited for this trip. We’re tentatively going January 2020, and probably booking the flights and everything this summer. I’m so excited to see the northern lights and hike the ice caverns and yes, even take some swimsuit photos in Blue Lagoon for good ol’ instagram, that now when I look at something I want, I think, Does this matter more than a horseback tour? Or a whale-watching trip? Or eating at a nice restaurant in Reykjavik? Nine times out of ten, no. My wanderlust is much stronger than my materialism.

My materialism continues to diminish the older I get. My teenage self would be so obsessed with where I’m at right now, but I’m just like, Get me out of here. I want to move to Colorado like everybody else my age, and spend some goddamn time outside. I want to laugh. I want to not start my day with three cups of coffee and a pound of makeup. I want to set all the high heels that I own on fire. I want a job that doesn’t make me think about jumping off the roof every hour.

Sometimes I think taking a hiatus from social media would be good for me, but at the same time, I like creating content. I like messing around with new photo filter apps and posting to instagram. I like plugging my writing. (Although there hasn’t been much this year to plug). Yet at the same time, I hate how fucking shallow it all is. Everything revolves around it. We’re all just keeping up with the Jones’. Betty posted about her engagement so Erica has to take pictures with her left hand in front of everything to remind the world that she too is engaged. Meanwhile there’s single people (like myself) rolling their eyes whenever another cheesy engagement posts pops up on their news feed. So excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend and love of my life! I’m so blessed that this man found his way into my life!! If I had a dollar for every time I sigh heavily and tell my dog that I’m going to die alone, I wouldn’t be stressed about my budget for my upcoming Iceland trip. 

On an older, now deceased, version of this blog, I once wrote that my priorities changed after I attempted suicide. And they did. I still stand by that. As I slowly rose out of my depression,  I realized that there is a lot more to being alive than just what people think of you. It’s one of those cliche moments. It took a near-death experience to make me wake the fuck up, but it kind of did. I have a strong faith in the power of the universe and existence but I’m not big on believing in miracles, but the reason I’m still alive was almost an act of god. The person that showed up at my apartment had absolutely no reason to, he just had a feeling. I’m supposed to be here. I have no fucking clue why, but I am.

So I’m trusting my gut. Listening to my heart. Trying to spend more time with the people I find fascinating who set my soul on fire and want to travel the world with me. Meanwhile, I really need to start cleaning out my closets again so that when I finally pull the trigger on this move, I’m ready to go.

12/28/18

I haven’t been writing much this year. I’ve spent a good portion of the year not feeling quite like myself, finding myself in a relationship (twice) that had nothing good to offer me and I was fully aware of that, but I went through the motions anyway, because it made people stop fucking asking me if I was seeing someone. I walked deeper into the belly of the beast that I knew a year ago I didn’t really want to be a part of anymore. But they offered me more money, and I took it.

Might as well be able to make my car payment while I figure it all out.

And I haven’t wanted to write about it. It’s been easy to write about the excitement. The excitement about something new. I was excited about going to NYC, that wasn’t a lie. But I’m reading Everything that Remains by the Minimalists and they make a point in one of the chapters that excitement and passion aren’t the same thing. You can be excited about something and not be passionate about it. I haven’t wanted to write about how I actually hate my job and hate that my day revolves around people buying stuff. People buying stuff they don’t need. Stuff that serves no actual purpose in their life other than it’s expensive and has a fancy name on it and they want it. No, I haven’t wanted to write about it because then if someone I work with actually read my blog, then they’d know I was a fraud. They’d know that I lie in bed in the morning calculating how long I could live off my savings account and credit cards if I decided not to go back to that place ever again.

As the year wraps up and comes to an end, I am finally done with being a fraud. I am done dating people I feel absolutely no connection to. I am trying to find another job, hopefully one that takes me back to my college town with a much lower cost of living and my two best friends.

2017 was such a good year for me, because I listened to my gut. And no, I’m not just wording it that way because I’ve been marathoning Scandal lately. I trusted myself. I felt like I needed to leave Columbia. I felt like I needed to see a little more of my home state. I don’t regret coming to St. Louis, at all. I almost ran back to Columbia last winter, when I first started to think about quitting my job. But I didn’t. I convinced myself that people to drink with were the same thing as close friends, and that it would get better. It did, for a bit. And then it got bad again. Better, worse.

I don’t want to work in luxury retail. I don’t want to live in St. Louis anymore. I don’t want to keep dating people that I have nothing in common with that I was talked into being with.

I want to give back. I want to help people. I want to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. I want to find someone that actually makes me feel something.

I have a gut feeling about all of this. So I’m trusting it. Because every time I’ve trusted myself, things have worked out.

Oh, and I’m also going to write a lot more. So stay tuned.

I think everyone at work just assumes I’m hungover today, because I’ve done it a couple of times and that’s usually their excuse when they’re mentally distant and out of it.

But I’m not hungover. I haven’t been hungover at work in awhile because I realized that wine isn’t going to solve any of my problems. No, today my heart is heavy.

My heart is heavy because I found out this morning that someone I went to high school with died. And even though I wasn’t incredibly close to him, it’s still jarring to me. He’s not the first that I’ve heard has left us, but each time always strikes a realization into me: life is really fucking short.

We graduated high school thinking we’d see each other in ten years. We graduated with big dreams about how great our lives were going to be. We graduated hoping we’d be able to leave our shitty hometown and never look back.

Nobody tells you that people are going to die before they turn 30. Nobody tells you that car accidents are going to snuff out the lives of the people you once sat next to in class. Nobody tells you that the fact that you get to make it to another birthday is a gift.

And I know, this is all part of life. People die before twenty, before ten. As someone who has endured her fair share of traumatic events, I’ve been lucky that death has not been one of them. This is not something I’m used to.

Don’t get me wrong. This sudden, painful reminder of the fragility of life doesn’t snap me out of my depression. I didn’t walk into work with a spring in my step and a new found love for life.

I feel like a prisoner to my job. I desperately miss living in the same town as my two best friends. The appeal of the newness of living in St. Louis has worn off and I want to pack up and go back to where I’m happy but I can’t because money.

I’m not doing so well.

But I’m alive.

And I think at this point, I’d rather be alive with depression, struggling, and have the opportunity to figure things out, than to not be alive at all.

Rest in Peace, Dakota.

I don’t do small talk.

I’m not good at smiling and talking about myself,

I don’t ask how strangers met their spouse,

or what college their child is going to,

because quite frankly,

I don’t care.

The pretty smile on my face is fake,

and my stomach turns every time someone asks me about my life,

where I’m going,

what I want,

where I came from,

who my family is.

It’s not a name they’d know,

I’m not from a town they’ve heard of,

I’m not anything that is remotely on their radar.

But it’s the polite way to exist in society,

and it makes me want to crawl out of my skin when I go home at night.

I wash the mask off of my face,

and I see the woman in the mirror.

The woman who got to where she is not by following her heart,

but by falling down,

over

and over.

After listening to older white men tell her how to live her life,

only to realize far too late that they didn’t want what’s best for her.

It’s almost hypocritical,

that I don’t like talking about myself,

but it’s all I can write about.

The pain,

and the trauma,

and the heartbreak,

and the breakdown.

I shattered.

There is who I was before,

and I’m still figuring out who the hell I am after.

It’s odd,

knowing that who I once was would adore to be where I am.

My younger self would think I was crazy to think about leaving,

to give up the glamour,

the labels,

the parties.

To be able to be in the same room as some of the wealthiest people in the midwest,

my younger self wouldn’t ever want to walk away from it.

But I just look around the crowded room,

filled with furs and fine jewelry,

and all I can think is,

I don’t belong here.

 

-I’m not sure what I want but I know it isn’t this

Pokémon: Let’s Go!

Oh boy, you know it’s good when I’m writing game reviews again. Not that I haven’t been playing lately, but after Breath of the Wild it’s hard to be really captivated by a game to the point where I feel the need to tell people about it. That is, until I heard that my twenty-six year old self was about to be playing Pokémon again.

I was a diehard first generation fan. My sister played Pokémon Red, I played Pokémon Blue, and then we both had copies of Yellow. I also played Crystal. After that, not much. Chalk it up to getting older and busier, but I felt attached to the first generation after watching the anime, and it was hard to keep up with the generations that followed. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE that the franchise keeps evolving for new generations of players and the original 151 is now accompanied by so many more Pokémon, but I didn’t personally get into it.

I wasn’t a huge Game Boy player. I could do it for awhile, but it was always much easier for me to park my ass in front of a TV and stay there for hours with a controller in my hand than to stare down at a tiny screen and log the same amount of time. Pokémon: Let’s Go got my attention because it was being released for the Nintendo Switch. Then I heard it was the OG first generation, and I was like “I know what I’m doing this weekend,”

I went with the Eevee version. I love Pikachu, but I love Eevee more. Sue me.

I had a brief moment of being annoyed when I discovered that I can’t use my pro controller with this game. The same thing happened to me when I downloaded Mario Party. What the fuck do you mean I can only use ONE joy-con? I have adult size hands, I can’t do this.

However, it’s not that bad. And last night I THOROUGHLY enjoyed being able to play Pokémon with my right hand and hold my wine glass with my left. It was great.

Let’s get to the real question though,

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Yes. Yes, it is. I don’t think I’ve ever played a Pokémon game for this long before. It’s so comfortable to play on the TV. I’m really into it. The graphics are beautiful, I actually squealed in delight when I saw how ADORABLE my Eevee is, and the battle graphics are fun and fresh. It all feels so new and exciting while still being classic. It’s amazing.

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Since I haven’t been a diehard Pokémon player over the years, forgive me if any of the features I’m about to talk about were added in later generation games. To me, this is the first time I’m experiencing them, or I completely forgot that it was like that.

I LOVE that you can actually see what wild Pokémon are around you. I’m so used to just being interrupted while exploring to find Pokémon, and in this game, you can see them. You can avoid them. It’s fantastic.

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If you want to bump into the Zubat, Geodude, or Clefairy and catch them, you can. If you don’t, you can avoid them and keep walking. Although I will point out that I finally discovered that catching Pokémon is a great way to level up your team. You don’t battle them, just catch them, but your entire equipped team earns EXP. I’ve always hated having duplicates in my PokéBox, so I’d usually avoid catching more than one. Then I realized it was a great way to level my team so I probably have about twenty Venonats now.

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There are some wonderfully familiar faces.

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Fighting both Jessie and James at the same time was really exciting to me for some reason. You decide your attacks, obviously, and can decide which one to attack as well.

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I’m really enjoying this game so far. While it was downloading on my Switch I also discovered that I still know the entire anime theme song by heart, which I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed of that. I don’t remember half the shit I learned in college but I can still sing the Pokémon theme song.

And now for some screenshots, and then I’m going back to Kanto.

I WANNA BE THE VERY BEST…

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LIKE NO ONE EVER WAAAAAS…

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TO CATCH THEM IS MY REAL TEST…

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TO TRAIN THEM IS MY CAUUUUUSE…

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I WILL TRAVEL ACROSS THE LAND…

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SEARCHING FAR AND WIIIIIDE…

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TEACH POKÉMON TO UNDERSTAND…

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THE POWER THAT’S INSIIIIDE…

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Alright, I’m done. About to board the S.S. Anne!

10/10 would recommend. I’m having way too much fun playing this game.

Gotta catch ’em all!

Election Day, 2018

Maybe I am such a nasty woman,

because I believe that we all deserve to feel safe living our lives to the fullest,

regardless of race or gender identity.

Because I believe that we all deserve equal opportunities,

regardless of what kind of family you were born into.

Because I believe that we all should have the right to marry whomever we want,

regardless of what they identify as.

Because I believe in a woman’s right to choose,

no matter what the circumstances are.

Because I’ve witness firsthand the effects of toxic masculinity,

and the double standards applied to women.

This nasty woman will take a stand,

because my whiteness makes it easier than some to do so.

This nasty woman will fight.

And most importantly,

this nasty woman will vote.