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

Back in February, I wrote one of my personal favorite pieces that I’ve ever written, and I never shared it. I wrote a series about a specific encounter (I.e. breakup) and I loved them all. They all flowed right out of me and it was so cathartic. But I didn’t share them because the ex was still in my friend circle and I didn’t want to cause drama. Our mutual friends didn’t need to know how ugly it got between us, and we were trying to stay friendly.

Our friendship recently ended, and although I’m not proud of the things I said (when are you ever proud of telling someone they can fuck right off?), I realized that I can now share this and be proud of it. I haven’t been writing a lot of poetry lately so it was disappointing to finally have new material that I liked and yet I was afraid to share.

Recently stumbled across that famous quote by Anne Lamott:

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

So while I’m not trying to cause more drama by sharing this, I am no longer afraid, and I want to share my work. Enjoy.

Moment of Humility.

I avoid dating because while I have become pretty good at managing my mind in normal single life, I have always been afraid that I’m not quite ready to let someone in again, and that trying to do that before I’m ready would unleash some old behavior.

And hey, I was right.

I don’t trust men. Chalk it up to daddy issues, blame it on the fact that almost all of my serious relationships have been extremely manipulative, it doesn’t matter. I don’t trust men. I also have a tendency to get paranoid when I’m not grounded.

I like to have the power. So I walk into relationships with men that I know are way more into me than I am to them. I never have to really open up, they just look at me with gleaming eyes and I get to stay safe, fully able to walk away unscathed if I decide that I’m bored.

And I always get bored. Because I’m just not that into them. The men that I fall head over heels for never want me. So I settle with the ones that do but I wind up bored or annoyed or bored and annoyed because I don’t view them as an equal partner.

“Why even date them?” is the logical question to ask.

Because I convince myself that I’m interested. Because I’m lonely. Maybe there is an inkling of attraction there. But I’m an all or nothing kind of person, and when things are right for me I’m 100% in and know to my core that it’s the right decision. If I’m “not sure” or “trying to figure it out,” then it’s not for me.

So I either talk myself into going out with someone I know is very interested in me or I let myself be talked into it by someone trying to set me up. Neither situation ever turns out well for the guy.

This is my dating pattern. I’m fully aware of it.

I’m sorry to all the guys that have been a victim of this. Y’all should start a club or something. I recently realized every single one of these relationships looked exactly the same, down to the personalities of the guys involved also being super similar.

I’m forcing myself to be hyper aware of it because I’m going to try my best to not do this again to someone. My next relationship is going to be with someone I truly care about and know I want to be with, and if that means there’s a decent chance that I could be truly heartbroken by it, then so what. At least I’ll know it’s genuine.

Cannonball.

I’m holding myself accountable to keep writing. Especially when my last post was about how I want to write my way out of this slump I’ve been in and then I go a week without writing at all. So we’re off to a great start.

I lifted today for the first time in awhile!! I made it to the gym on Monday morning and I was so exhausted and still somewhat depressed that I just did some cardio, but hey, it’s better than nothing. Today I was just feeling it. The temperature finally dropped a bit, and this morning it was 75 so my dog and I went for a two mile power walk. It was great. We almost kept going for another mile but people were beginning to take advantage of the cooler weather and do yard work, and the fresh cut grass smell was really hitting me hard. I cleaned up the kitchen, did some dishes, ate lunch, lounged around for a bit, and then finally got restless enough to go hit the gym.

I am weak AF. Again. But it’s okay! I’ll get it back. It’s not like it’s permanently gone. My body is naturally really athletic so the nice thing is that if I’m just consistent then I can build strength pretty quickly. Plus it just feels so goooood.

I ended with abs and I literally just laid on my mat for a good two minutes before I got up, and the biggest smile was on my face. I love working out. I love lifting.

I’ve been at a crossroads lately at work. Another new opportunity presented itself to me.

I haven’t even been with this company for a year yet. I’m almost there, I started on August 1st.

On March 5th, I moved into my current role that’s a pretty boring desk job that I’m already kind of over.

And recently I was offered yet another move within the company.

It scared me. When I’m mentally in a good place, I love constant change. It’s thrilling to me. I lean into it and just see where it takes me. That’s how I wound up in Saint Louis. Something was calling me to this city and instead of questioning it, I just went for it.

But I haven’t been in the best mental space lately. So this new opportunity, this new change, scared the shit out of me. I’m terrified of disappointing people. This is something I’ve never done before, what if I’m not good at it?

I turned it down at first, and about a week later I realized that was a mistake. Lucky for me, the offer was made by a woman who fully understands that sometimes you just need a little more time to think.

I’m going for it. Once again, this newness is calling to me. There’s something in this decision that I honestly feel like I am supposed to do. Plus there’s a slight pay bump, which is always nice.

I think deep down, we always know what is right for us and what isn’t. The trick is just not letting other people or our own fears and insecurities get in the way of that.

On top of all of this, I’ve spent the majority of my previous weekends doing nothing. I got an offer to go out tonight with some friends, and I’m going. It’ll be fun. I need some fun in my life.

Lean into the new. Forget wading into the pool from the steps, just do a motherfucking cannonball in the deep end.

Day One.

So. I’ve mentioned that this year has not been the best for me. I’ve been slowly coming out of a several month long depressive episode and I’m rather overwhelmed by the amount of damage control that I now have in front of me. So I’m going to try and make it fun.

Consider this my own personal Find Your Happy Challenge. I’ll be documenting how it’s going, things I’m doing, etc. in a series of posts. I haven’t decided how often I’m going to hold myself accountable to write, but I want to put out at least a couple of posts a week. This isn’t a self-help series. I’m not going to be telling you how to get your shit back together if it recently all went to hell, I’m just going to be talking about things that I’m personally doing to get my personal shit together, and if something I share strikes a chord with you, then fantastic.

I’ve been drinking WAY too much. And I don’t mean partying, I mean drinking at home by myself. Over the past four weeks, I’ve spent about five days per week drinking. That’s way too much. For my own personal self-challenge, I’m not going to drink alone. Maybe for the rest of the summer, I’m not sure. Social drinks are fine, but no more getting drunk on my couch by myself. And yes, drinking with my dog is still drinking alone, I’m not using that loophole.

I’m going to push myself to go to the gym regularly, take care of my skin, and even cook more, so you guys may get some recipes/cooking epic fails out of this as well.

For today, I’m off to Schnucks to buy groceries for the week, and then I’ll probably clean the house a bit and head to the gym this evening. My body is the thing I’m most disappointed in. I worked my ass off in 2017 to drop about 40 pounds and I was in incredible shape at the end of last summer. While I’ve only gained a little, I’ve lost a lot of muscle mass and my body looks very different. I miss lifting heavy, and I’m going to get that back this summer for sure.

For now, I’ll end this with the song that I’ll have on repeat all day, Birthday by All Time Low.

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.

 

 

 

 

Wine Drunk on a Monday

So, to state the obvious, I haven’t written much recently. I mean, duh, I haven’t posted anything in for-fucking-ever, everyone who reads this blog knows I haven’t written anything long form recently. And even with my poetry, it’s not original. It is, it’s my work. But it’s from old emotions and shit I felt 1+ years ago, and it just doesn’t feel authentic.
I haven’t even really had writers block either, I’ve had ideas of things to write, things to discuss. I’m just at this point in my life where I don’t feel like what I think matters. It’s part of the reason why I don’t tweet that much anymore. I used to live-tweet situations. It was mildly obnoxious, but looking back on my timehop is hysterical because here are these quotes from moments I would have otherwise forgotten about. But now? When I want to bitch on twitter, I think, “Oh my god, nobody cares, just get over it,” and when I want to celebrate an accomplishment, I think, “Oh my god, nobody cares,” It’s this endless cycle of wanting to communicate but feeling like my voice doesn’t matter, and that nobody is listening. So why put in the effort?
I’ve grown up so much over the past couple of years, and I love it. I have my mini-meltdowns about how the hell I’m ever going to be able to afford to fully support myself and buy a new car, and live in a decent place, but overall, you couldn’t pay me to give this all up. I really feel like I have an actual life and that’s the most incredible thing. I look back on my younger self and I cringe. Not because of what I struggled with, but with how I dealt with it. I bragged of being “mature for my age,” yet coped with very serious issues in an extremely immature way. It’s hard to regret it though, because I grew through that and into the woman I am now, and I know I wouldn’t be this version of myself if I hadn’t gone through all of that in the way that I did.
I don’t know. I want to write. My dream since I was a little girl is to eventually have a hard copy of something with my name on it. I want to be published. But I suck at writing fiction, and I can’t help but think that my blog posts are just the voice of another white girl who used to drink too much and once attempted suicide. None of it feels original. None of it feels special. I don’t think I’m some literary genius whose words will touch people. I’m just a normal person, and after years of trying to convince myself that I was special and unique and going to live some incredible life, admitting to being normal feels somewhat comforting. Maybe that’s what this is all about?
Lately I’ve been finding a lot of joy in just being a good friend to people. Making people laugh is one of my favorite things. I like being real and genuine, and I think maybe that’s what’s always made me a decent writer. I’m very in touch with my emotions and I’m not afraid to just say what I feel. I’m very genuine, and have found it’s actually really fucking hard  for me to lie nowadays.
I changed positions at work recently, and walking away from sales was incredibly clarifying for me, and I think that if I had stayed in that position for much longer, I might have gotten totally wrapped up in materialism.  I even told my manager that if I didn’t get the promotion, then I would probably leave because I just didn’t see myself there anymore. While I’m a sucker for a good pair of shoes, at the end of the day, the name on the stuff in your closet doesn’t fucking matter. I’m now working in operations, doing a lot of tedious things, but it feels more like me.
I turned 26 last month and I’ve just been reflecting a lot and laughing at my younger self. It cracks me up. I remember being younger and thinking, “I’m NEVER going to get married and have kids! I want a fabulous life!” and literally the only fabulous life I can imagine myself having involves being the matriarch of a family. I couldn’t ever see myself being a mother, and now that’s one of my life goals. I have to be a mom at some point. I’m not in some crazy rush to make it happen tomorrow, I’m aiming for like, my thirties, but I really want to have kids. I should probably find someone to father them, but ya know, we can figure that out later. #singleaf.
Also, where the fuck did the past twenty-six years go? HOW AM I THIS OLD? I mean, I understand logically how I am this old, but HOW? Also, why are all of my friends married or engaged? Did I miss some memo that we all need to be hitched by now? Because I’m obviously failing miserably at that. Which, I would like to rant about for a bit, so buckle up.
The other day, someone mentioned to me that I used to date a lot. I basically had back-to-back relationships when I was younger. I was rarely single. I’ve been single for most of the past five years of my life. I’ve dated people, felt nothing, and walked away. I don’t think it’s necessarily that I’m avoiding dating, I think it’s more that I have higher self-esteem and higher standards for the men that I date. I want to have something in common with them. I keep going out with these guys who look at me like I’m some magical unicorn and it freaks me out. I’m not special, as I already said. Also I somehow wound up dating a guy who doesn’t listen to music recently and that’s one that really baffles me. My hobby is literally going to concerts and I was dating someone who didn’t listen to music. Wut.
I’m fine on my own. I wouldn’t MIND having someone but I’m so much happier on my own than in a mediocre relationship (isn’t everyone?) and I’m sick of listening to veiled jabs at my relationship status. I’m single, so what? I’m happy. Isn’t that what really matters here?
I realize this is such a rambling rollercoaster, but I haven’t written in SO LONG and this is just what’s been on my mind lately. Thank you for witnessing this clusterfuck of a blog post while I take out a bottle of wine.

TL;DR: I feel like I am a fraud of a writer, but life is going pretty decently otherwise. So, yay?