Try again, fail better.

Being on the verge of tears for about a thousand different reasons while at work is a really interesting experience. I’ve been mildly depressed for pretty much the majority of the year due to the fact that I went from one crap-paying stressful job to a slightly better paying yet mind-numbing one. My days are completely routine and I spend most of my time alone in an office staring at a computer screen.
It hit me today that I have to go back to school, which is an idea I’ve been toying with for about a month now. The thought is enticing. The reality, not so much. As much as I wish studying for the GMAT would be some sixty second montage with an upbeat, get-down-to-business pop song playing in the background, that’s not actually the case. At all. Like, not even a little.
Then there’s the thing that has ruled all of my life decisions: fear.
What if I don’t get in?
Which was, of course, the first question my mother asked me when I first mentioned this idea to her.
What if my mediocre undergrad GPA,and nonexistent extracurricular activities other than what I did at Truman (the school I didn’t even graduate from) aren’t enough?
What if I’m not good enough?
Do admissions boards actually care that I’ve since found a passion and want to pursue it? Do they give a shit about my personality sob story that makes it really fucking hard to apply myself when I don’t see a point to the effort? Or will they just think I’m lazy?
The fear got to me a couple weeks ago and I actually abandoned this idea until today.
Today, I was bored out of my mind. It was one of those days at work where I finished everything I needed to do within my first hour of being there. Which just left 7 more hours to kill. I’ve felt like I’m slowly dying all day, and the thought came to me again:
I have to go back to school.
And then the fear creeps in. But today, instead of succumbing to the fear and abandoning the idea again, I remembered a conversation I had with a mentor when I was seventeen and applying to colleges.
He played into my fears, and ultimately convinced me that I wasn’t talented enough to bother auditioning for my dream school out of state. I believed him. He had this idea that failing is the worst thing that could possibly happen to you, and would continue to influence my decisions with that line of thinking throughout the next couple of years. I became terrified of failing.
Sometimes I wonder what that version of my life looks like, the one where I ignored him and auditioned for my dream school anyway. I think I would have been accepted. After that, I’m not sure. I know the 26 year old Becky in that version of reality is nothing like this one, though.
So,
what if I don’t get in?
Then I figure something else out. I take some classes outside of a degree to boost my GPA. Try again. Maybe fail again.
At least then I’ll know. I won’t be cowering behind some hypothetical situation in my mind that’s not the ideal outcome.
So, yeah.
I’m going to go back to school.

Wanna-be cool girl.

It’s interesting to me how different the character version of myself is than my real-life persona.
Character-version? What the hell are you talking about, Becky?
The version of myself that I imagine when I’m daydreaming. The version of myself that is cool and calm and collected. I use this visual of myself to either play out potential situations that I might find myself in, or just to kill time at my insanely boring desk job.
I have somewhat severe social anxiety. I’m like a goddamn deer in the headlights in brand new situations that I didn’t have time to mentally prepare for, and if those situations occur in an atmosphere that I’m already uncomfortable in, watch out, I might totally freeze and have an epic fail.
I practice things I’m going to say. Sometimes it’s out-loud in the mirror at home while I’m getting ready, sometimes it’s in the car (I’ve had entire hypothetical interviews with myself in the car), and sometimes it’s just mentally walking myself through a situation. It helps. It sounds crazy, but it helps. Practice makes perfect, or at least as close to perfect as I’m ever going to get.
When I imagine myself in these scenarios, it’s this character of myself, and goddamn she’s so much cooler than I am. Because she doesn’t have social anxiety, her hair is never frizzy, and her makeup doesn’t start to break apart during the last hour of work (goddamn hot and humid office). She doesn’t stutter when caught off guard, her eyes don’t get all big and give away her poker face when something new is put on the table, and she waits to think something over without getting excited right away at a new opportunity.
She’s so damn cool. Cooler than I’ll ever actually be.
My high school band director was the first person who ever told me how read-able I was. He said I should never take up poker. I haven’t.
I’m a very emotional person with a very expressive face and it’s very hard for me to keep my feelings to myself. This is also why I write, it’s like a pressure valve for whatever I’m feeling, and honestly, the more I write, the less major meltdowns I have so it’s gotta be doing something.
As much as I know that my emotional capacity is a huge part of what makes me who I am, I gotta say, there are many days where I wish I were a little more of an Ice Queen. A little more calm and collected.
Instead of the girl who gets so excited over animals that she’s practically in tears.
Eh.
Maybe it’s not so bad.
That character in my head is a nice daydream, because the truth is, me without high emotions or anxiety isn’t me.
…I could do without the stutter though.

A Quiet Place: feat. my inner dialogue while sitting next to the loudest girl in America.

I don’t go see movies in theaters very often. Occasionally something will come out that I just won’t want to wait until digital release for, so I’ll consult with others who I’m fairly sure have seen it and then decide if I actually want to go.

It’s not that I don’t like the experience of a movie theater. Big comfy chairs, surround sound, and a giant screen are all things that I thoroughly enjoy when watching a movie for the first time. It’s that I hate the other people in the room nine times out of ten.

For example, I went and saw Black Panther, it was magnificent. But the man in the seat next to me fell asleep and started snoring. He started snoring so loud that he woke himself up. Then he proceeded to constantly raise and lower his recliner chair, despite the fact that it squeaked loudly while moving.

It wasn’t the worst experience I’ve ever had, but it was annoying.

Last night, on the other hand, well…

I went to go see A Quiet Place, by myself. I love a good thriller movie and just felt like getting out of my house for a bit. I got there, found my seat, and reclined enough that my feet were up but I wasn’t horizontal. Then the waiting game of who I would be sitting next to began.

The woman who sat on my left, in the seat that was grouped with mine, showed up with no food or drink. Huzzah, I’m probably not going to hate you.

I normally dgaf if you have snacks during a movie but snacking during a movie that is mostly silence is a dick move.

We proceeded to ignore each other. Another point for this lady. She’s cool.

Then two girls came giggling down the aisle.

Oh god, please no.

They started walking down my row, and plopped down on my right, talking loudly as they unloaded what can only be described as $50 worth of movie theatre snacks from their purses.

Fucking hell.

I try to stay positive, surely they’ll know that they need to be quiet during a film that is literally titled A QUIET PLACE.

I don’t really notice them much during the previews, other than their comments about, “Why are they still making Mission Impossible movies?” which I can’t be mad about because I was thinking the same thing. Tom Cruise is broke and needs money, I guess?

But then the feature starts, and I become hyperaware of how much I loathe listening to people eat. Just when I think she’s done, she whips out another fucking package of sugar.

We’re maybe halfway through the movie when she finally finishes eating.

Halle-fucking-lujah.

Just when I think I can go back to not wanting to punch anybody, she starts talking to her friend.

“OH my god. Oh my god. Oh my god. That thing is so SCARY”

I definitely gave her the human equivalent of this Unamused_Face_Emoji a few times, but she didn’t seem to get the message.

She was the type to be like, “Oh my god, there it is! It’s right there!! Be quiet! It’s RIGHT THERE! Don’t move! Don’t die!” every. time. the. creature. was. shown.

Ron

I really don’t understand why people can’t just be quiet? I’ve talked in theaters, but only when there’s like nobody else there. Which is actually really fun! I remember in high school I went and saw The Strangers and we were the only people there and we just made fun of it the whole time. Thats fine! Nobody was there for my friend and I to bother! I would NEVER do that in a full movie theater.

A full movie theater for a movie where the silence is part of what makes it so fucking good.

Anyway,

go see A Quiet Place. It’s really, really good. I jumped a couple of times and definitely cried a little (no shame!). I recommend eating before so you don’t feel the need to get snacks and don’t piss off the people you’re sitting near. I will send you good movie vibes that you don’t wind up sitting next to garbage people who ruin the experience.

 

TL;DR? Best summary of the movie:

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Truuuuue.

Reflecting.

I think I’m going to start a new series where I drink wine on a Monday and ramble about whatever the hell has been on my mind.

Which, lately, has been a lot.

I’ve been debating bringing the podcast back but I feel like I have so much to say right now that I don’t exactly know how to script each episode to stay on topic without fully writing it out. And fully writing it out makes it a blog post.

Literally everything from here on out started as basic podcast notes that I started writing down while at work and it just expanded to the point where I basically had an entire blog post written in the notes app on my iPhone.  A lot of this I have touched on before, but I feel like the more time that goes by, the better I am at explaining things that happened to me in the past.

I’m in a very good place at the moment, and have been for about a year now. There are brief periods of time where I experience mild depressive states, but it’s nothing like it used to be, and it’s typically after totally exhausting myself by staying out too late or just generally not getting enough sleep. So it’s fairly controllable. Winter is hard to deal with, but thankfully that’s about over. The longer I stay happy and content, the more I start to think that I actually managed to put myself back together and grow into a functioning adult.

And the question that lingers at the back of my mind is, how the hell did I pull that off?

Which is a terrifying question for me, because really thinking about it and analyzing how I got to this point requires me to question a lot of the things I was taught.

I don’t view my medication as ever having helped me much. If anything, they mellowed me to a point where I wasn’t suicidal, which has some value, but they didn’t cure me. They were a crutch that kept me alive until I could get better.

I was in a small town where my resources for help were very limited, and I also wasn’t in a place where I actually wanted help for quite a while. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to get better.

Why would you not want to get better?

 Well, you’re in denial that anything is even wrong with you in the first place.  Admitting that you have a mental illness and actually need help feels a lot like admitting that your brain is defective and you suck as a human. It’s hard to understand if you’re standing on the outside but it’s very hard to get to the point where you’re like,

“Okay, this isn’t going to be my life anymore, I need to get better,”

And for me, it required me to slam my face into rock bottom a couple of times before I got the message.

I read in school that low self-esteem can contribute a lot to certain mental illnesses, mine included. (I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder in 2012). It’s not that it’s necessarily a CAUSE, but that low self-esteem can put you at risk for developing disorders, which makes sense to me.

I struggled with low self-esteem for that majority of my life. Like, twenty-five years, and I’m twenty-six.

I’m still not the person that walks around thinking their shit don’t stank. I notice how far I’ve come with my self-esteem the most with my body image.

I noticed it today at work.

I watched these girls in the break room with their diet shakes or their protein bars and that’s literally all they’re eating for lunch, and I remember being that girl. I remember obsessing about what I ate or what I was seen eating. If I was with a group of people and they all decided to go eat somewhere, I would usually make up some excuse or reason as to why I couldn’t join them. I knew I’d be tempted to eat too much, and I didn’t want to deal with it. So I’d go back to my apartment and chug water and eat an appropriate meal, usually with less than 500 calories.

God, I never thought I would actually admit my thought process for that.

I’m so obsessed with food now, but in a good way. I’m learning to actually cook and that moment when you sit down to a meal you made yourself and take a bite and it’s like a party in your mouth is just the best. I used to worry that allowing myself to love food would cause me to gain weight but that hasn’t been the case. My biggest weight gain came from a period of being extremely depressed and trying to stay sober. Without alcohol to help me cope, I used food instead. It had nothing to do with enjoying food and everything to do with my mental state. Which is typically where most of my problems stem from.

I didn’t use to have a sense of self. I didn’t really know who I was or even who I wanted to be. Because of that, I felt like I had to be the best. The best saxophonist. The best at some incredible awe-inspiring job. The skinniest. The most fun. The most sarcastic.

When I became more comfortable with myself, and who I am, all of that dissipated. Don’t get me wrong, I am an arrogant asshole when it comes to some things, and I will always be a sore loser. But I no longer feel like my job needs to complete me in some way. I don’t want my job to be my entire life, I just want it to support me.

Wanting and needing to be the best saxophonist led to completely ruining something I used to really love and enjoy. Also caused my first couple of major mental breakdowns. Good times.

Being obsessed with something that doesn’t exist (i.e. perfection) will destroy you, and trying to be better than everyone else (and make sure they know it) will lead to your entire life revolving around other people instead of the starring character, you.

This is starting to sound like a self-help book.

What’s that line again? You should be the starring character of your own life? Something like that.

You don’t have to live out some delusion of grandeur to have accomplished something.

I wrote last time that I’m very happy with my normal life, and I truly mean that. I think this is the first time in my life that I feel genuinely happy, and it all came about from being hyper-aware of my thoughts and constantly challenging them.

Why does what that person said anger me?

Is there truth to it?

Am I afraid there’s truth to it? (This is a huge thing that I may touch on in the future)

What’s going on in their life to make them say that?

Do their words actually have an impact on my life?

No? Then why am I concerning myself with it?

I’m obviously referring to personal social interactions, such as gossip, not necessarily things of actual importance like hate speech. By all means, get angry and punch all the Nazis.

People poke fun at the standard line of questioning from therapists because it’s usually just asking “Why do you feel that way?” or some other why-based question, but there’s a lot of value in training yourself to question your first reaction and analyzing your thoughts.

There’s always another perspective. Hell, there’s always a few hundred more perspectives.  A lot of the things that you think are about you aren’t actually about you, it’s about whoever is doing/saying it.

And I’m guilty of this. I have been emotionally abusive to people in the past, I will be the first person to admit that. I still feel a lot of guilt about it, but I’m slowly learning to forgive myself. It’s a work in progress. Those acts came from the fact that I was upset with my self-esteem and my life in general. It had nothing to do with the person I was hurting. That absolutely 100% does not make my actions okay, but I think the people in my life who stayed with me through that or came back to me at a later time understand that that wasn’t actually how I felt about them. That was how a younger, more immature version of myself poorly chose to deal with the crappy situation going on in her brain.

Shoutout to those of you who knew me then and still call me a friend now. You da real MVPs.

So,

how did I get through all of it?

I got to a point where I couldn’t keep living my life the way I was living it.

I wanted to be a better person that people actually wanted in their lives.

I trained myself to start questioning my mind, and thus became a lot more understanding and empathetic towards others.

I also just, well, grew up.

I hate saying that, because I don’t want it to sound like people struggling with serious mental illness just need to grow up because that’s not true at all. But I have a lot of confidence in myself now knowing that if my mind started to go south again, I would immediately seek help, instead of just being like,

Nah, this is fine.

One more long island iced tea, please.

Actually make it two.

I’m fine.

Nowadays I don’t even touch alcohol if I’m super anxious or mildly depressed. I don’t even go there. I just let myself feel whatever it is that I’m feeling.

Which is yet another thing that I want to talk about at a later point.

Emotions are valid.

Let yourself feel them.

I’ve gotta wrap this up or this is basically going to turn into a novel.

I’m settling into a very content place. I have this unwavering trust in where I am and what’s coming. I feel like my life is finally starting to line up and become something that I’ve always wanted it to be. I don’t know exactly what that is, but I have this weird trust in not knowing.

I’m happy, possibly for the first time in my life.

Life is good.

Also Kendrick Lamar won a Pulitzer and I’m so fucking stoked about it.

Anyway. Happy Monday. Thanks for tuning in.

Until next time.

xx.

 

 

 

 

Relationship status.

I’ve been getting a lot of comments about my relationship status lately, or lack thereof. It’s something I’ve never really dealt with much. I guess for awhile I was jumping from relationship to relationship, and then when I was finally single, people just recognized that I needed to be on my own for awhile. Apparently that time ran out, because I s2g every person I’ve spoken to recently has asked if I’m dating anyone.

Even my mother made a comment the other day about how my ideal relationship probably doesn’t exist. I’m sorry, but I call bullshit. What am I supposed to do, settle?

Every session I’ve had with my trainer, at some point during a recovery period, he’s asked me, “Dating anyone yet?” And I fully understand that he’s just trying to make small talk and I’m not bitching about my trainer whatsoever, he kicks my ass and it’s fantastic, but I’m just kinda sick of getting asked about this.

It started during my friend’s wedding weekend, which I was completely prepared for. I was the only single person in the wedding party, and there’s so much talk of love and relationships and marriage with a wedding, so of course I was expecting it.

But it also comes up with random people. “Are you seeing anyone special?” Then they give me those sad eyes, like they feel sorry for me. Which I don’t really understand, because I’m 100% okay with my situation right now, and when I say that out loud to someone, they seem more shocked than the fact that an average looking person is single.

“Oh… well don’t worry, you’ll find someone!”

Yeah… I’m twenty-five. Just because the majority of my friends have chosen to settle down, why am I being treated like there’s something wrong with me for choosing not to?

I’m twenty-five and single. Big whoop.

I’m okay with it.

Have I met a couple people along the way that I would have liked to have dated?

Yeah, absolutely.

But honestly, I think the way everything has worked out has been for the best.

I’m currently at a crossroad. I’ve spent so much time and energy just trying to finish college, that I didn’t really stop to take the time to figure out what happens next. My degree has been unfinished business since I dropped out, and just like I thought it would, finishing college has felt like finally closing the door on everything that’s happened up until this point. I’m in completely uncharted territory.

This isn’t just a new chapter of my life, it’s an entirely new volume.

I don’t particularly want to stay in Missouri, but I also don’t entirely know where I want to be.

I don’t know what I want to do next.

I’m also someone who loves very hard, and can be influenced by others. I’m working on that latter bit, but it’s still definitely something that happens.

I need to figure out my next move. I need to start my own life. I can’t build a life with someone else if I don’t have my own to begin with.

I’m also really fucking happy and content on my own. I know that’s hard for some people to wrap their head around, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt lonely. I don’t need someone else to complete me. I am enough for myself.

Do I want that to last forever? Nah, not really.

But for now? Yeah, I’m good. I’ve got shit to figure out.

Mind Over Matter.

I’m back to reading self-help/self-improvement books again because, well, I just feel so damn good while reading them. They give me things to think about and help teach me new ways to keep my mentality positive.

Anyway, I’m reading Jen Sincero’s new book, You are a Badass at Making Money, because I loved the original You are a Badass [which I highly recommend. It changed my life, go read it if you haven’t yet], and yes, I’m reading a book about making money. Why not? I’m twenty-five, fresh out of college, the world is my oyster, and I’d like to have the means to do the shit I want to do.

So one of the things she writes about is how our subconscious view of money can impact the way we feel about making money, and because I am the way I am, I set the book down and started applying that same idea to basically every part of my life that I’m still struggling with.

The brain solidifies what occurs the most. For example, I wound up in a string of relationships that all ended badly. So for the past five years I haven’t bothered with dating because I’ve just assumed it’s all going to be the same bullshit and I don’t want to go through with it again. I stopped looking for dates. I just kept my head down and convinced myself that relationships are overrated.

All is fine until life throws you a curveball to knock you out of your comfort zone. Then you find yourself spending half a semester fighting an internal war about how the cute guy sitting next to you is probably an idiot or a douchebag so there’s no point in talking to him, and if by some miracle he’s neither an idiot nor a douchebag, he’s probably not interested because you’re not that attractive or intelligent anyway.

I’m sorry, WHAT.

I’m so neurotic sometimes it makes me want to scream and then start laughing at myself because of how ridiculous it all is.

Just because all you’ve known in relationships is immaturity, lying, and manipulation, doesn’t mean they’re all going to be that way. Growing up helps, learning to pick better partners helps too.

At one point in time, when I was practicing multiple hours a day, I was a really talented musician. However, actually admitting that was incredibly hard for me because I felt like I was bragging. It shouldn’t really be a shocker that the performances where I amped myself up by telling myself how talented and kickass I was before I walked out on stage went SIGNIFICANTLY better than the ones where my backstage thoughts were about how I had no business performing this incredibly hard piece that only seniors play (I was a sophomore.) When I thought that I was good enough to do it, I nailed it. When I felt like I was a fraud, I sucked. Obviously this was all going on during my mental health decline so that didn’t help much, but you get the idea.

Mentality plays a huge role in everything that you do.

Decide it’s going to be a good day, and it will be.

Tell yourself that you suck and are never going to have your shit together, and you’ll probably be right.

What’s that old saying? “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right,”? Maybe there’s something to that.

Let go of the past. It’s over. It happened. Learn from it and move the fuck on. Don’t let shit that happened when you were nineteen affect the way you view the world and live your life at twenty-five.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. I just had a lot of thoughts so I started typing and now I’m here. That’s probably enough for now. I’m gonna get back to this book. Also I’ve had way too much caffeine today, so I apologize for any run-on sentences. Peace.

 

Declutter.

I’m about a month an a half away from moving out of an apartment I’ve been living in for the past two years. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in the same place, and it’s pretty easy to say that I have acquired some shit while living here. Exhausted from browsing through job listings and applying for a few new opportunities, I decided to do something that always makes me feel a lot better: clean.

The thing is, my apartment isn’t that messy. But I realized that I should start going through the shelves in my closet and also everything I’ve stashed in my storage closet, just to make the move a little easier.

I finally parted ways with six pairs of old platform heels that have stood atop the Bohemia bar on several occasions. Those shoes were so damaged, and they weren’t cheap heels either. However, they look like crap and I only wear heels for special occasions nowadays, so it was time to finally throw them away.

I also packed up some clothes that aren’t my style anymore. I held onto them because I knew eventually I would lose enough weight that I’d be able to wear them again, and I was right. I can wear them now. But I tried those old fitted Express button down shirts and looked at myself in the mirror, and it just wasn’t me anymore. So they’re in a donation bag.

I wasn’t ready to be done with my decluttering expedition yet, so I decided to take on my storage closet, which currently resembles Monica Geller’s secret closet. It’s the place I throw things that I don’t know what to do with. I saved boxes from moving in, and also have saved other boxes over the past two years for when I decide to move again. I started pulling things out and came across a box full of random things: some Nyquil that had expired, a lint roller, Christmas bows, and a small silver ring box.

I knew what it was, I had just completely forgotten that it still existed.

I think I threw it in the closet when I first moved in here, because I had no idea what to do with it. It didn’t feel right sitting on my dresser with the rest of my rings and jewelry, and I didn’t know if I should throw it away or try to sell it. So I put it in a random box and threw it into the whatever closet.

I actually put it on, and it’s still my size.  Silver ring with three heart shaped amethyst stones: the ring that I had picked out when a man I once loved promised that one day we’d get married.

It’s comical now. The ring doesn’t look anything like something I would currently wear. Nevermind the fact that my entire life, with the exception of the two years I spent in that relationship, I had/have always thought promise rings were kind of stupid. It’s a precursor ring to your engagement ring. What’s the point?

But I was eighteen and thought I had found the one, which actually just made me laugh out loud while typing that. I remember the day he made that heartfelt speech. I also remember the months that followed. I remember growing up and feeling more like a babysitter than a girlfriend. I remember it all falling apart, along with my belief that love is real. It was a breakup that took a few years to recover from, and I didn’t even realize that I needed to get over it until a couple of years later.

It’s just funny how life works out. I’ve spent the past hour going through clothes that I can’t believe I ever wore, and throwing out shoes that I’m not entirely sure how I used to dance and prance about Kirksville in, so it’s kind of fitting that I would come across a ring that also looks nothing like me.

My life could have been so different if I’d just been a little more traditional. Hell, I’d probably be married by now.

But where’s the fun in that?

 

Real talk though, what the hell do I do with this ring? Toss it? Sell it? Throw it into Mt. Doom?