THE FAB DISASTER

just another hot mess trying to make it in the city

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Shout Out To Resilience —Just Some Thoughts From a Whiny New Yorker

It was a typical September night in New York, chilly-ish and humid as hell, and I was returning home around 11:30. I’d spent my evening making notes on a pilot, practicing improv and eating a large pile of greasy onion rings my body hardly even craved, let alone needed in the slightest. I was tired, and I had to get up in just a few hours for an early meeting at work.

I was already in NO MOOD to take bullshit from anyone. And then, not five feet from my doorway, a figure scurried quickly across my shoes and brushed against my bare ankles. That’s right. A rat. A rat touched my skin. Before I could realize what I was doing, I jumped in the air and yelped like a Looney Tune who’d be stuck with a hot poker. A parody of a Woman In New York.

Perhaps it was my exhaustion or the onion rings flaring up, but as I was washing the possible (likely) plague off my skin, all the drawbacks of the city started getting to me. For most of my time here, though it’s been stressful, I’ve shrugged off things like insane rents, rodent corpses and #commuterproblems as merely a price to pay for living in such an exciting place. I figured soon enough the stress would pay off and it would all be worth it. Typical transplant delusion.

Now I’m in year five, working a day job and several unpaid side hustles, sometimes wondering if the other shoe is ever going to drop. I know it will, I tell myself, if I just keep working hard and don’t quit. Eventually I’ll succeed, and get to be one of those happy New Yorkers (they exist, right?) who don’t have to run into a random man on their block holding a giant pet snake, or worry about getting crickets thrown on them on the D train. Maybe things like this and this will stop happening, and I won’t be so angry at this place and everyone in it. Maybe, in the meantime, I should stop reading Gothamist (but I can’t. I can’t stop.)

I know, I know. I complain about my life as a ~creative in NY~…but I’m aware I don’t have it that bad. I’m a white girl with a job, her own apartment, two cats and a few friends. I eat, like, 4 meals a day. And I have cable, for Christ’s sake! It’s not convenient, but no one is making me live here. I made a choice. Maybe it’ll pay off, maybe it won’t. The grass is always greener, ain’t it?

But I sure do love this place. I love the diversity, the skyline, the opportunity. The feeling that your life could change with the turn of a street corner. The people. Our spirit and resilience when we are targeted by terror and face that risk every day. The people.

I also love North Carolina, where I’m from. I love it in spite of Pat McCrory’s hateful ass and HB2 and the oh-so-many laws against queer rights and black rights and reproductive rights. In spite of the ignorance and anger and violence towards protestors in the wake of the murder of Keith Scott.  

I have family there. I have friends there. I grew up there. 

But injustice, well, that’s everywhere in this country. Even your so-called “blue state” is full of “blue lives” who will murder someone for being black. It’s really happening. And it’s happening over and over and over again. I count my privileges every day.

I stand in solidarity with black people in my home state and everywhere fighting for their right to live. I stand in solidarity with New York as we continue grinding in the face of the threat of violence toward our city. 

I left North Carolina, and I may even leave New York someday. But both places are forever dear to my heart. I even think I love America, as hard as it is to do. It just has so much potential, you know? Like an absent father who keeps promising to show up. And I’ll keep coming out to the doorstep, hoping for things to turn around. It’s why I’m not writing in “Beyoncé” on the presidential ballot. That, and I’m not a fucking idiot.

I admire those who continue to show up, who aren’t just waiting but speaking out, sharing their influence, shouting in the streets and refusing to take shit from this broken system. I admire those who thrive on ambition, who will stop at nothing to achieve their dreams, even when it seems like the world is set up to make them fail. I also admire those who have failed, those who are tired, those who don’t know where they’re going or can’t take anymore. We are only human.

I respect you and I am here for you if you ever need.

To all my friends, everywhere, look out for one another and take care of yourselves.


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FUCK POLITENESS. ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

Allow me to interrupt our regular programming (me starting great posts and not finishing them) to make a good old fashioned rant. 

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual harassment and assault are discussed in this post.

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Everyone knows about catcalling. Street harassment is basically “old news” at this point, which is a shame because even though it had quite a moment in the press in 2015, it remains a huge fucking problem. Every woman has likely experienced it at least one time in her life, and those of us in cities with high pedestrian traffic, well, it basically rains on you daily. 

I am an adult woman living in New York working full time and doing comedy. I live alone. I walk around alone. I take the subway alone late at night. Sometimes I follow those “rules” about being extra safe (don’t wear your headphones late at night!) and sometimes I don’t. I prefer to have my earbuds in most of the time because men yell disgusting things at me consistently throughout my commute that I could simply do without. It happens all the time, no matter what I’m wearing. That’s just what happens to us.

At the beginning of this summer, a date asked me if I felt nervous walking around Brooklyn in my skimpy clothing, like I was somehow increasing my chances of harassment or sexual assault. Like I would somehow be responsible, even in part, for a humiliating or possibly violent act committed against me. This person is a fucking idiot, and not so coincidentally, a cis gendered male who has clearly enjoyed the privileges of our systemically sexist, victim blaming culture his entire life. If you’re a reader of my blog, I bet you can guess how I responded. If you’re new to this kind of discussion, Google slut shaming and victim blaming to find out why those things are bogus mechanisms of the patriarchy. If you flat out disagree with me, you can just go away. I value my mental state too much to engage every misogynist turd who has no reason to leave the comfortable doodoo pile that is his ideology. 

I have harassment stories of all varieties! Workplace, school, Internet, street — you name it. I could literally start an entire new blog just on this topic and never run out of material, but I won’t do that bc it wouldn’t be fun to write. But I will say that it doesn’t just happen in the dark, spooky alley ways when you’re not paying attention and wearing a dress and your hair in an easy-to-grab ponytail. FUCK that. One of the weirdest, scariest experiences I’ve had with street harassment was earlier this year in broad fucking daylight, after being caught in a rainstorm with a big jacket and no makeup on: I was chased down the sidewalk by a loud, possibly intoxicated or unstable individual, who proceeded to grab me and yank me toward him until I screamed and ran away. Just your typical Sunday after brunch!

What REALLY fucking pisses me off is the catch 22 where if we ~overreact~ in a situation where we feel pressured, we’re made to feel guilty for not being polite. So, is it “women are paranoid” or “women are bringing this on ourselves?” WHICH IS IT??

I bet we have all been in a situation where we didn’t feel safe, where our instincts were telling us something wasn’t right, but we were worried about speaking up for fear of being wrong, for seeming rude unnecessarily. 

BUT HERE’S THE THING

WE ARE LITERALLY BEING SCREAMED AT AND FOLLOWED HOME BY STRANGE MEN ON A DAILY BASIS.

MEN ARE LITERALLY ASSAULTING US, RAPING US, AND THEYRE NOT EVEN BEING PUNISHED.

IT IS NOT UNREASONABLE FOR US TO FEEL UNSAFE. EVER.

I felt this stronger than ever yesterday at 7PM on the A train. I got on and noticed a young man staring at me and grinning wide, almost laughing. He was looking me up at down. I gave him a furious glare and turned the other way. I felt violated and gross, but, I’m sad to say, I was used to it. The man got up from his seat like he was about to exit the train, but then he stayed on, and he walked toward me. He pointed to the seat next to me (one of those perpindicular orange seats closer to the wall, on the older trains. I was sitting on the aisle side). There were several other seats available on the train, many with no other passengers next to them, and this man was requesting to sit next to me. 

“Don’t sit there,” I said. I could feel the other passengers looking at me. Or maybe they weren’t. Maybe I was worried I looked like a jerk. Worried I was having a bad day, possibly imagining things. The narrative of the patriarchy had poisoned me.

That’s when the man proceeded to step over my legs and squeeze himself into the corner seat next to me. Remember, there were open seats EVERYWHERE on this train. Immediately, I got up and stood by the door. At the next stop, at the last possible second so I wouldn’t be followed, I ran out, then ducked into the next car.

And even though I knew in my gut I had a reason to be scared and upset and to react the way I did, a part of me still worried maybe I had overeacted. Maybe I’d been wrong. Maybe I looked dramatic and stupid.

BUT WHO FUCKING CARES?!

Tonight I was listening to the true crime podcast My Favorite Murder, and they were reading survivor stories sent in by the listeners. I’m new to the podcast, but I love hearing about mysteries and how crimes are solved, so I’m enjoying it so far. One listener wrote in and told a story from her teen years where she was riding in a car with some strange guys she had a bad feeling about. She knew she’d made a mistake by getting in the car with them and insisted they drop her off immediately before making it to the second location –thankfully for her, they did drop her off. Because the two guys ended up later sexually assaulting a female in a nearby field and beating her beyond recognition. The listener felt it had been a close call for her, and cited it as the moment where she learned to trust her instincts and to FUCK being polite. 

I am NOT saying that had she not been brave enough to speak up, to get out of that car and out of that situation that any resulting trauma would have been her fault at all.

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF HARRASSMENT OR ASSAULT IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT.

What I am advocating for, though, is women trusting themselves. The narrative of rape culture hypnotizes us and tells us we’re wrong, turns our own testimony as victims against us so often that of course it affects us. Of course it makes us question ourselves. But fuck that shit! We are our own last line of self defense, so when it comes to preserving our safety and our RIGHT to live without being violated and threatened, FUCK being polite. FUCK feeling guilty. FUCK that sweet, non-boat-rocking disposition they want us to have and look out for YOU, no questions asked. 

I advocate #RADICALSELFTRUST


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Rambling about Rambling

mariah overthinking

You know what I kinda miss, just a little? I miss 2010 when I first started this blog as a Tumblr, posting for my 3 consistent readers about the dumb shit I did that past weekend. I don’t think I even promoted the posts. It was mostly a cathartic experience for me, where, after having a run-in with the cops, or hooking up with some now has-been/possibly never-was DJ on a tour bus, I’d work through the anxiety of my hangover by turning all the stupid things I did into jokes. If I had embarrassed myself, I figured people would talk about it. So I wanted to be the first one to get the story out, in my own words.

Looking back, I must have known that no one was really going to talk shit about the time I drank so much I peed on Alex’s borrowed couch, or the time I got yelled at by my boss at the diner for showing up to work with whiskey breath. We were all garbage in college. Every person worth a damn, at least at my university, was deeply tormented during those years, making mistakes like it was their job and underachieving their potential. Probably had something to do with the cocktail of post-adolescent malaise plus a newfound freedom mixed with the giant QUESTION MARK a good liberal arts education will cause you to place on society. It was hard to believe in anything except how fabulous we’d be in the future, and how fun the next party would be.

So if I was making fun of myself to silence any critics, the only critic I can think of is me. Forget the collective critic of the Normal Majority–they didn’t know who I was to begin with. It was all in my head. “You fucked up again. You slept too late again. You’re hungover again. You acted a fool. You’re not taking care of your mental or physical health. But if you’re going to have fun, you might as well back yourself up.” So I did, and it always made me feel better. Plus, it was fun. And then a few people, just a few, started paying attention. So I kept doing it because I like entertaining people. But over time I started to think more about who was reading, which made me overthink what I would put out there. I wanted my stuff to be a little more polished, shareable, all the annoying things they tell you your content should be if you want to get people to notice you.

That mindset, of course, got me just the opposite. Now I’m overthinking it. I’m not just opening my computer and letting it flow like I did back then. Okay, part of that might have to do with the fact that I don’t really party anymore, that my laptop is as old as this blog, or that I have a full-time job and “several other projects.” But the biggest factor that keeps me from writing is pressure. Pressure to have 3,000 words every time I sit down. Or shit, even know what the fuck I’m going to say when I sit down. I have posts that I outlined and worked on over the course of weeks, only to end up publishing them well after the event they were referring to. Not a total waste of time, no, but if I’d chilled out a little bit I could have so much more fun.

I always say I don’t have enough time, and yeah, I work hard. I’m doing a lot of things. But I want to get back in that mindset of freely telling stories, not thinking about the outcome, just messing around. That’s what the writing was supposed to be for in the first place. I just need to get out of my own way.

I don’t miss being a hot-ass mess, but I do miss not giving a fuck.


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100 Things White, Straight Men Can Do With Their Time Instead of Starting Ignorant Arguments

Spaghetti Man

Hey there white, straight male. Things are getting pretty crazy for you these days, huh? It seems like everywhere you turn people are mad at your kind for something. Sometimes it’s for raping women and getting away with it, sometimes it’s for killing innocent black people and getting away with it, sometimes it’s for upholding the system that allows for everyone but those like you to have their lives as they know it taken from them. I mean, where will it end?

I get it. You didn’t create the world we live in. Must be tough for you to just sit back and listen to all these people express their outrage at the Straight White Man for killing their black brothers and sisters, for putting guns in the hands of homophobes, for telling women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, raping them, and then doing nothing when they come forward. I mean, they’re talking about you, right? And they don’t even know you. That must be why you’re so upset.

Maybe you’re upset because you voted for Bernie and you hate that people don’t see you as “one of the good guys.” Maybe you want to learn more about inequality but instead of educating yourself you see that as the burden of the oppressed. Maybe you’re so blinded by your own privilege that you can’t help but give the benefit of the doubt to a system that is so far beyond it. Or maybe you really are, deep down, so rooted in your own weakness and hatred that you don’t even believe in the right for black people, queer people, women and those that intersect to be as free, as alive as you.

I don’t know. I don’t know what it is exactly that fuels you to be so loud, so indignant, such horrible listeners when shit hits the fan. I imagine one might be a devil’s advocate if they were the child of the devil himself. But I really don’t know. I tend to keep my distance from those of you who refuse to stop talking, refuse to stop inserting your feelings where they don’t belong. I block you from my social media and from my life. But sadly, I see people I care about having to engage with you every day. I feel for them, because we shouldn’t have to shield ourselves from your ignorance, your hatred, your entitlement, your ego that compels you to share your opinion like it’s some heroic act when literally no one even asked you. You should just know when to stop talking.

The thing that baffles me most about all of this is you are the most privileged group of people on the planet. If you don’t want to help our causes, there are so many other things you could do with your day besides clog up our timelines with bullshit. All I can deduce here is that you just can’t think of any. So, I’ve decided to help you.

100 Things White, Straight Men Can Do With Their Time Instead of Starting Ignorant Arguments

  1. Shave your face
  2. Play ultimate frisbee
  3. Watch an action movie! I think a new Independence Day just came out or something but I really…I really don’t know.  
  4. Take yourself out to a nice dinner for one, or bring a date. Or bring a friend. No homo!
  5. Go to a strip club
  6. Work on your physique. For all the time you spend criticizing women’s bodies, you should all be in perfect shape.
  7. Travel to another country. Literally any country. Even North Korea! Just don’t steal a poster.
  8. Sleep for 10 hours a night and show up late to work without getting fired
  9. In fact, go job hunting for any of the thousands of opportunities out there for you to work with other people just like you turning money into more money
  10. Go actual hunting
  11. Smoke marijuana in the comfort of your own home
  12. Smoke marijuana on the street where it isn’t legal and get a slap on the wrist
  13. Adopt a dog
  14. Go to the beach
  15. Enjoy a leisurely bike ride
  16. Enjoy a Coca Cola
  17. Have someone take a picture of you in hiking gear standing in front of a mountain
  18. Binge-watch something. I can recommend so many things. Have you ever seen House of Cards? Have you ever seen The Sopranos? Have you ever seen Mad Men? They’re all wonderfully written shows about white men abusing their power that I think you’d find very relatable.
  19. Get on ancestry.com and find out which European countries your great great grandparents are from!!!!!
  20. Buy a plant
  21. Call your mother
  22. Hydrate
  23. Take your vitamins
  24. Barbecue something
  25. Watch Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (it actually is a great show)
  26. Get a journal. I find it really helps me when I’m feeling like an anxious entitled baby to write my thoughts somewhere no one will ever see them.
  27. Pumice your calluses
  28. Go condom shopping. There’s no excuse for running out of condoms.
  29. Skiing
  30. Water skiing
  31. Jet skiing
  32. Wakeboarding
  33. Surfing
  34. Fishing
  35. Sailing
  36. Powerboating
  37. Get really drunk and fight another annoying white guy
  38. Attempt to flirt with a girl without harassing her. This is a tough challenge for you but I just know you can do it.
  39. Shop for clothes. J. Crew is having a sale, probably. If that’s not your thing, try REI. Target always has great prices. And you can usually find old “No Fear” t-shirts in the bins at Goodwill.
  40. Walk around your neighborhood at night wearing a hoodie.
  41. Buy cigarettes
  42. Just get a hot tub for like, no reason
  43. Have children!
  44. Adopt children!
  45. Get a vasectomy!
  46. Get tested for STDs
  47. Shoplift something
  48. Stroll confidently down a dark alley
  49. Go to a brewery, or a beer hall, or a gastropub. I don’t know the difference between these things.
  50. Learn a new language
  51. Apply for a loan
  52. Have a house party
  53. Get an adult coloring book. No one has to know.
  54. Have a game night with your girlfriend and her best friend and her boyfriend and play Cards Against Humanity and giggle your hearts out at offensive things that people would otherwise find extremely problematic
  55. Clean out your closet
  56. Clip your fingernails
  57. Get a massage
  58. Enjoy different ethnic foods and over-congratulate yourself when you pronounce a menu item correctly
  59. Gentrify something
  60. Change your hair. The man-bun’s getting kind of old.
  61. Watch a historical film that takes place in an African country but stars people who look like you so you feel more comfortable
  62. Masturbate
  63. Have consensual sex
  64. Have a consensual threesome!
  65. Have a consensual orgy!!!
  66. Try some butt stuff, on your end this time. You know you’ve been wanting to do it and there are plenty of women out there who would love to touch your butthole. Really.
  67. Drive around with a broken taillight
  68. Change lanes without signaling
  69. Get wild and grab a cop’s gun. He’ll safely disarm you and you’ll spend a couple nights in jail but everyone will know you as a badass from then on.
  70. Get really into graffiti
  71. Hitchhike across the country
  72. Play that game where you try to name all the states and their capitals
  73. Hit up the 7/11 for a Coors tallboy and just spend the afternoon playin video games
  74. Golf
  75. Bowling
  76. Watch sports on the tube
  77. Play fantasy sports with your bros
  78. Obsess over male athlete’s physical characteristics without even noticing how homoerotic it is
  79. Learn to skateboard. If you already know how, skateboard.
  80. Swipe on Tinder for hours and hours and hours until you can’t remember what your standards are or why you thought you ever wanted to date in the first place
  81. Call a phone sex line
  82. Monster Truck Rally
  83. Look at old pictures and get really nostalgic for the Good Times aka Undergrad With The Bros
  84. Go be the weird lonely guy at a bar
  85. Get really into your dental hygiene. You really can never be too into dental hygiene.
  86. Hit up the aquarium
  87. Stare at a wall
  88. Check your horoscope
  89. Meditate
  90. If you pray, pray
  91. If you don’t pray, try praying. Hey, it’s worth a shot.
  92. Go for a run
  93. Cook a meal for someone you care about
  94. Sing a song
  95. Learn an instrument
  96. Read. Read the news. Read a novel. Read a memoir. Read a comic book. Read the white privilege knapsack.
  97. Call that one black friend or that gay cousin you keep bringing up and ask them how they’ve been feeling lately. Then just listen.
  98. Look inward. Dare to be critical of your role in the world. Dare to be critical of the hand that feeds.
  99. Be still.
  100. And if and when you’re ready to contribute something productive, speak up.


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The Pains and Pleasures of Moving, Moving On

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The day my two and half year long relationship ended I also happened to have an improv show. It was my 401 class show at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Chelsea, and it was a semi-big deal, if only to me and my classmates. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to perform. I had, after all, just had the proverbial rug ripped out from under life as I knew it. It was the lump-in-throat stage of being dumped, and I was feeling a different emotion about it every moment: anger, frustration, that thing where you go “pfft” and roll your eyes that’s supposed to make you seem flippant but is really an obvious trick for holding back tears. Could I really make someone laugh right now? Please.

I considered bailing for about a minute before I got real with myself. I knew there was no way this would help my situation. I would stay home wallowing in my tiny apartment, OUR tiny apartment, and then afterwards I’d kick myself eternally for wimping out and being a fucking quitter. Yeah, the show was going to be really hard and possibly humiliating, but so had every single day since I started doing comedy. I decided to face it and step up 2 the streets. At least then I wouldn’t have let myself down.

Much to my surprise and delight, not only did I not burst into tears or throw up on stage, I may have had my best show to date. I got laughs. REAL, non-pity laughs, I think! An achievement that left me with such an inflated, manic high that immediately afterwards I had 4 drinks and proceeded to hit on someone I decided on a whim to have a crush on. For no reason whatsoever. Just to prove to myself I had the balls, I guess.

I spent the next few weeks on that exact vibe, a combination of intense flirtiness and creative energy. I was enrolled in the final core sketch course at UCB at the same time, and my indie improv team Hot Cheese was just getting on its feet. Alex and I were putting finishing touches on a script we’d been working on for months. And all this was on the side as I maintained my day-gig managing a rapidly expanding design studio. Between that and the impending drama of my lease (too expensive for one) ending on April 30, there was no time to really feel sorry for myself. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly spent a few of those cold, not-spring-at-all days in April standing under an umbrella listening to “Same Ol’ Mistakes” off Rihanna’s Anti and its Tame Impala counterpart on repeat, nursing my moody energy. But almost instantly after my breakup–and I mean this–the feeling of what it meant to be ME and only ME, pre-relationship, rushed back and filled me with motivation. Not to return to the person I’d been before, but to remember her, and fuse her essence with my new, positive transformations to form one mega bad bitch.

“You’re taking it so well,” everyone kept saying. And yeah, I guess I was. In fact, I was a little concerned about it. Shouldn’t I have been more devastated? I had certainly relied on my ex for support through the stress of the day-to-day, and now I was alone. Why wasn’t I feeling the void? The truth is, I was. But with the void, other things opened up, too. I got my alone time back. I could be more impulsive. There was one less person expecting things of me, and while those expectations were welcomed when we were in love, a part of me felt free. I could focus on myself and transform into whatever person I am destined to become without the fear of derailing a relationship I depended on. The decision to be alone was made for me, but I already knew it was the right one.

I took myself out to lunches, read fashion magazines, listened to new music — things that please me and make me happy that I had just stopped doing in the past. No one can really say why I’d stopped. I wasn’t feeling inspired, I guess, but now I was back. I felt energy and motivation and success on the horizon. There were still nights that I felt lonely and desperate and totally lost, but I knew the feeling was temporary. I kept thinking, what would I tell another girl going through this same thing? I wrote little mantras on post-its and put them by my mirrors in the house. I was absolutely dedicated to staying strong and focused. And I knew I would be okay.

It was time for some self care. Some radical catharsis. I had to clean up my life as I moved forward.

The first step was to watch all the shows on my DVR that my ex didn’t like, such as episodes of the smash hit Oxygen reality show Funny Girls from last spring (a heavily produced show that takes awesome female comedians and pits them against each other making them seem petty and ridiculous. Extremely relatable content.) One of the stars, Stephanie Simbari, is a favorite of mine for obvious reasons (vocal fry, tattoos, phone by her toilet) and through googling her I found her wellness podcast That’s So Retrograde, which takes every new age trend and philosophy you can think of and white-girls the shit out of them. Right up my alley since I’d been DIYing my self help lately and could use a little more mindfulness in my life. After all, 5 planets were about to be retrograde and I could only take so much emotional scrambling. Hey, nothing a bag of crystals and a turmeric shot can’t fix!

Truthfully, I’m not one to take any of that stuff too literally. But what I could get behind was a good old fashioned form of emotional cleansing: getting rid of shit.

After neatly folding all of my ex’s forgotten items and placing them in a trash bag for his friend to retrieve, the next step was to tackle all the physical baggage in my apartment I’d been hoarding for the past several months. Perhaps I’ve mentioned before that our apartment was tiny. Like, sailboat cabin tiny. Janitor’s closet tiny. Litter box tiny. So last summer my friend Hannah helped me go through all my things and weed out the stuff I didn’t want or need that was taking up too much space in my life. We put them in bags and labeled them “donate” or “sell.” I’d been collecting vintage clothes for over a decade, and those that I didn’t lose in my 2009 house fire or pass along to better homes were either valued items I wore constantly or, I thought, possibly worth a little bit of money. Like, for example, this super soft Bill Blass maroon denim jacket straight out of the early 90s that I never wore because maroon just SO isn’t my color. It brings out all these red tones in my skin, you know?

The thing was, I never did make it to Goodwill with the donate bag or start my own vintage denim Etsy site that year. What a surprise! Instead, all that crap remained in bags, stuffed below the clothing racks I was using as a makeshift closet. Collecting dust and so, so much cat hair.

I truly am lucky to have a friend like Hannah, because her idea of a HELLA LIT weekend is helping me finally get rid of all my baggage. We dragged suitcases of dusty clothes to Beacon’s Closet, where to my surprise I made about $80 selling about 1% of my crap. And while some of it was undoubtedly undervalued, I felt a huge weight lift as I got rid of all that clutter almost effortlessly. I felt so light! So free! So free, in fact, that I decided to spend those 80 dollars right away at the club.

When you finally remember dick exists after going through a breakup, it hits you like a fucking freight train. There is no feeling like it.  And that weekend my thirst level was worse than the time I mixed ecstasy, coke and vodka at an LA warehouse party, stayed out til lunch the next day and walked back to the hotel in 90 degree heat. And that was pretty bad.

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“I just want to FUUUUCK” I remember yelling at the top of my lungs from Moe and Emma’s couch that weekend.

“So get a Tinder.”

Oh yeaaaah, Tinder! I hadn’t used it since it first became popular in 2013 and not long after that I was in a relationship. I’d done such a good job of stuffing any sexual desire for another person so far in the back of my mind that I had forgotten how easy it is to get laid in this city!

…or maybe not.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. God, all these guys were such Barneys. Ooh – a match! Hmm, I’ll keep swiping. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.

That night we went out to a club that shall not be named, not just because it fucking sucks, but because I am about to put one of their employees on blast.

I’m really not opposed to going out to shitty clubs when I’m tryna fuck. I figure the douchiest bars are often where you find the Young, Dumb & Hung boys, who have enough money to pay for the uber to their place and then your uber home. But I was having no such luck. All the guys at this particular locale were kinda short, and if I’m being honest, seemed like the breed of “bro” that’s hiding in the closet behind Carolina Basketball tshirts posting headless photos on Grindr with the caption “Masc for Masc.”

“DOES ANYONE HERE ACTUALLY HAVE SEX WITH FEMALES??”

And then I spotted him. A bartender, 6’3 with tattoos and a babyface. I gave Reid, my wingman for the evening, a mischievous grin.

“It’s on.”

I went up and ordered a drink and our eyes locked immediately. And for the next hour and a half we chatted it up, made each other laugh, flirted shamelessly, blushed and made plans for when he got off work.

Then the bar got busy, so I hung to the side and gossiped with Reid, peering at this cutie from the corner of my eye. He returned carrying shots for both of us.

“I have a confession to make,” he said, smirking guiltily.  “I can’t come home with you tonight.”

“And why is that?” I asked, thinking he must be messing with me.

“Because…I’m married.”

DA FUUUK? I’m pretty sure the Mr. Krabs meme was invented specifically for situations like these. I was so annoyed! I spent two hours talking to this bozo! That’s two hours of flirting time I will never get back. And now it was late and I was going to have to have sex with one of these gay guys. God damn it!

I spent the rest of the evening throwing myself at a muscular dude who “had to work in the morning” but still offered to give me a ride home. I mean, I accepted, of course.

I figured it was time to start setting up some Tinder dates. The first one was with a drummer who wanted to take me to a comedy show. When we got there, although he was nice, it was abundantly clear that our personalities were incompatible. Coincidentally, another one of my Tinder matches was on a date two seats down from us. I tried my best to hide my face and get through the show, which by the way was really good. So good, actually, that I wanted to stay and talk to the comics when it was over. Just not with my date. I walked him home and said goodnight, then walked back to the club to see what was up. They were all gone, so I went to the bar across the street for a drink and ended up hooking up with the incredibly short stranger next to me who was surprisingly very well-endowed.

My next Tinder date was with a guy who became attached very quickly and yelled at me for not deleting the app after our first hookup.

My Tinder date after that was as a guest on a podcast. I literally went to this dude’s studio (his apartment), met him for the first time, and within minutes was doing a live show and first date simultaneously. It was definitely an interesting experience, but didn’t work out romantically whatsoever.

Listen to the trainwreck here!

Somehow, between all these dates with randos, I managed to squeeze in some apartment hunting. Although, as I’m sure you know, finding an apartment in New York is less like a hunt and more like a wild friggin’ goose chase. Just like every other time I’ve moved in this city, I had about 6 different apps and 20 email tabs open at once for the first two weeks of April, using everything I could to find a one-bedroom in my budget in North Brooklyn. Fat fuckin’ chance. The only places I found that could afford near me were a totally run down shack of an apartment that looked like my Great Grandaddy’s garage (complete with a large, paint-splattered basin in the “kitchen” that served as bathroom sink as well) and an attic apartment with a ceiling that slanted so low I could only stand up in half the unit. I thought I had a lead on a converted loft above a funeral home in Ridgewood. That’s right, above a real life funeral home, where they literally take dead humans and pump them with formaldehyde and place their bodies in wooden boxes for people to cry over them. It turned out I couldn’t afford it.

Finally (by the suggestion of one of my Tinder dates, actually), I decided to check out Crown Heights. I had been avoiding moving south in Brooklyn since I’d always lived off the L train, and I wanted to be a short distance to my brother who does as well. But I had a few friends in the Crown and had spent a little time there, so I figured it was worth a shot. I set up a few showings.

The morning of my Crown Heights viewings began with a 1 BR on Utica that, upon arriving by uber, I was able to identify via the man emptying his bladder on the front step. Once inside, I was met with other horrors. The smell of natural gas in the hallway, cracking brown tile floors, an tiny, crusty bathroom easily 3 decades old. How was this a mere $100/month below the TOP of my budget, which I believed to be very reasonable? What part of Crown Heights was I even in? New York real estate had officially lost its mind. As I was leaving that showing feeling very down, I received a text from a strange number. I was used to this as I’d been harassed these past few weeks, not by brokers with apartments for ME, but those trying to rent out my current place. I must have scowled at 50 Nooklyn agents that month as they invaded my space day after day. This time, though, the text was from a broker I’d reached out to about a cute little studio in Bed Stuy. I had scheduled a viewing with her for right after this one, and was very excited to check it out.

“Sry. Landlord has keys and won’t be back til 4pm. Can u meet then?”

It was 10:30.

I did want to go back home to Greenpoint, a good 40 minute ride on the B43 or $20 uber away, so I walked over to Brad and Monday’s to mope and scroll through Craigslist.

AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, an ad was posted while I was sitting on their couch for a large studio with high ceilings and exposed brick walls, just at the top of my budget not 15 minutes walking distance from Brad’s place. I called the broker and screamed that I wanted to meet him ASAP. Of course, just as I was about to head out, it started pouring down rain. I didn’t care. I grabbed a broken umbrella from behind their couch and marched my way to this gorgeous mini-loft.

When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how nice it was compared to the utter shitholes I’d seen for this same amount. Was I being played? No time to find out — I was so excited and relieved to find something actually livable that I immediately signed my life away on a rental application. I waited for the B43 in the freezing cold rain with my broken umbrella, smiling.

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That was in early April, so it wasn’t time to worry about the moving process just yet. The weather was about to get nice, I could feel it, so I attempted to put my worries aside and have a good time for a few days. Sarah visited from Asheville and I spent some time with her being at least somewhat carefree, taking tequila shots and eating all the food. I continued going on dates, random hookups with cute strangers I never wanted to see again, and even catchup hangs with some boys I knew pre-relationship. It was an interesting feeling, all this freedom and fun flooding my life again after my domestic lull these past 2 years.

Then Lemonade came out. The beginning of the end of my recovery after breaking up. I had wanted to see it air for the first time on HBO, initially because I was excited for the bangers. What I didn’t expect was something so moving, so important, so visually captivating. How it allowed me to express the emotions I felt like I was supposed to feel after breaking up, but that I hadn’t let myself experience. Insecurity, demanding to be respected, not giving a fuck, being free, working hard, moving forward, but still being in love with love at the end of the day. Ugh, it was life changing. And beyond my own experience, beyond how it related to me specifically, Lemonade is such an important work socially and politically that the world desperately needed. I mean, it’s just…everything.

I finally had a reason to stop listening to Anti.

The next week, I packed up all my things, hired movers and settled in my new spot. I was so happy that it felt wrong. I was comfortable in my own home, not even scared to live alone in an unfamiliar neighborhood like I thought I’d be. I felt liberated, or as liberated as you can be with half your income tied up in the place you reside.

That’s when, out of nowhere, my body alerted me of its needs. In the rain of the first week of May, I slipped on the subway steps on the way into work. Nothing major. I caught myself on the railing. But when I moved my arm to do so, I somehow threw out my entire neck and completely lost all range of movement. Strange – I hadn’t felt any tension in my back recently even though I’m used to having bunch of gnarly knots. I guess there was some tension after all, and I’d been holding it in, not noticing.

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I spent that day on the couch at work with ice on my back, and for the next week I couldn’t turn my head or look down or bend over. Cleaning the litter box was a very profane affair. I was a robot at Reid’s birthday party and during Hot Cheese’s first official improv show. Sleeping was even worse. I decided to try acupuncture, which was very zen or whatever but did not completely solve my issue. I tried muscle relaxers, which only made me loopy and confused enough to give my number to someone who hit on me in a Duane Reade. I was useless and smelled like Icy Hot for ten days.

It’s funny how that happens. You get so busy with life, chasing dreams, fulfilling obligations and stuffing fun experiences into every free moment leftover, that you don’t even realize what you’re putting yourself through. I thought my mind was okay, but my body hated me.

Once I got back into working order, I decided to pump the brakes. What I really needed to do was sit down, have some chill, and watch a Kardashian marathon on my brand new cable box. I needed to love myself, take things slow, be patient and enjoy the long awaited warm weather.

So I stopped for a moment, took a good look at my life and all the things I’ve accomplished. And I realized I was no longer in pain, physically or emotionally.

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“Island Time” or “The Calm Before The Shitstorm”

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Having a blog where you talk about getting drunk and being bad at your job is one of the hardest things a person can do.

Ugh ok fine shut up. I know. I need to stop waiting so long between posts. Literally dozens (less than one dozen) of people have been urging me to post a story lately, and I’ve wanted to, but the longer I wait, the more things pile up and change and I don’t know where to begin.

And girl. When I say things have changed…woo. Have they changed.

My last post was all about self-love, and growing up, and trying to focus on doing great work. I talk about that stuff a lot. And I don’t have any less to say about those topics than I always do, but I do want to save the nitty gritty of my life as it is now — a beautiful disgusting mess, like a perfect sandcastle that some little kid took a runny diarrhea on — for another time. All I’ll say for now is that I am no longer the Settled-Down-Soccer-Mom-In-Training-Ass-Bitch I was a few months ago, and I’m back on the scene, so watch the fuck all the way out. That is all I will say. Plus, I told all the guys I’ve been hooking up with recently that I wouldn’t blog about them. Ha ha ha ha.

Instead, I’d like to take you back with me to a trip I took before things went awry, to an island on a different side of the world, called FUCKING MAUI YEAH THAT’S RIGHT I WENT TO MAUI AGAIN THIS PAST FEBRUARY. LITERALLY WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

Let’s begin.

Oh wait, one more thing – I’m writing this on my phone right now because I don’t have wifi yet in my new apartment (sometimes when you break up with the person you’re living with you have to get one of those) so shut the heck up about my typos.

Ahem. Anywho.

It all started when — fuck, how did it start? I think it was, as it always is, with my brother Nate planting the seed over text that he’d soon be traveling somewhere exotic:

“Available Feb 20-27?”

It’s always that simple. And my response is usually “Um, working? And being so busy raising these two cats, and practicing comedy in a room full of strangers, and ignoring the fuck out of my blog. Like, do I look like a person who has free time? My life is fully booked and I am not okay.”

To which he usually responds “I have miles.”

So, I took an entire week off work in February (can’t complain about that PTO) and spent the weeks leading up to my trip slathering myself in tanning lotion and trying on bathing suits in my bathroom at 1AM. I was concerned because I had eaten nothing but Chick Fil A for the past two months, and I wanted to look sexy on a resort that I knew was just going to be filled with retirees and honeymooners. What I’m saying is, I wanted to look sexy for instagram.

I don’t think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. I think I’m just always affected, and cold weather is an extra annoyance. Either way, I cannot tell you how excited I was to pack my duffle with bras and coochie-cutters and take a flight to Someplace, Arkansas, then LAX, then Maui, while FaceTiming my fake-ass drunk-ass jealous friends at every layover with a shit-eating grin on my face. I didn’t even mind how uncomfortable my back gets on long flights in “the back of the plane,” as Nate always refers to coach. Or how expensive the airport margaritas are that I always insist on drinking. I was living, I was looking cute, I didn’t have a coat on, and most importantly I was not checking my email.

Arriving in Maui is always fun. The airports are open air which never fails to blow my mind, and then I get to take a taxi — or this time, a shuttle — to the hotel with some very talkative driver who is originally from Milwaukee but has lived on the island for 35 years and since lost the ability to read human facial cues. It was clear as day in this particular driver’s rearview that I was not in the mood to chat about his childhood after my 24 hours of travel time, but was instead more concerned about why he’d made four wrong turns and couldn’t stop swerving onto the shoulder of this mountainside highway. But I survived.

I made it to the Marriott Ocean Club (which everyone kept pronouncing like it rhymed with Harriet. What the fuck is that about?) on Ka’anapli beach which is where Nate’s conference was. Yes, he was there for a conference. Yes, he was able to expense all of this. And no, I would not take his job if you offered me a lifetime of luxury because what he does for a living is outside of my realm of comprehension not to mention my ability to remain sane (anesthesia).

One thing my brother and I do have in common, though, is a strong affinity for alcohol. So the first thing we did that night was find the nearest bar/restaurant open at midnight – a feat more difficult than you’d imagine considering I thought the whole point of Maui was to get wasted and eat all the foods and stay up late partying. Turns out it’s mostly old people.

You know who does party? The wait staff after a long day of serving tourists. And when we arrived at a nearby beach bar that’s exactly what was going down. We rolled into this unusually lit locale, past the 4×4 pickups in the parking lot, to find sunburned brahs throwing back shots and heckling the bartender, a petite surfer girl with long mermaid hair who appeared to be training on her first day. She also appeared pretty drunk herself. We sat back and enjoyed our beers, along with the view of the hazing session, and I updated Nate on the happenings of my millennial New York life.

Then the crowd starting getting a little too drunk for my taste. I know that sounds fake coming from me, but seriously – looking around I would swear every guy in that bar had dateraped someone at least once. This was further proven when they screamed at the bartender to the point that she had a breakdown and walked out (a little dramatic, though, I will say) and then again when one of them tried and failed to hit on me.

“Hey, you’re cute. Let me buy you a drink.”

*pointing to my brother* “I’m here with someone.”

“Fuck you, bitch. You’re not that hot anyway.”

The verbiage of rape culture at its finest, no?

So we left, and tucked ourselves in to the sounds of the ocean. Overall, not a bad start to the vacay.

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To say that a lot happened over the next couple of days wouldn’t be entirely accurate. Instead, it was mostly nothing: $5 mimosas all morning, poolside maitais and cranberry cocktails, hammocks and sushi, noodles, Hawaiian box lunches. That sort of thing. A tropical penguin sanctuary here, a whale watching boat trip there. And when Nate’s friend Mel arrived, we met her at the grocery store where she greeted us with a handle of Titos under each arm. We’d been gloriously unproductive. I had sand in my hair and salt on my skin.

Although I’d taken a week off work, this was still a short trip due to all the travel time. I only had 3 full days on the island. And by the third, I was determined to hike the famous 13 Crossings trail Nate and I tried to complete on our last trip, but failed for various reasons. We just had to revisit it, Nate because he’s a perfectionist, and me because I’ve never swam in a fucking tropical waterfall before and there was one at the end of this hike.

So we strapped our backpacks on, decided to leave before sunset and not get wasted this time, and after a couple hours we finally made it. The water was freezing but it was completely worth it. I’m not even that mad that Mel’s photos of us are just mediocre.

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So here’s where it starts getting complicated. As we came up on the last 24 hours of my time there, I just started stuffing every delicious food and drink items in my mouth that I could. First, I washed down some of that stream water I swallowed with fish tacos, rice, beans and guac, 2 beers and 3 vodka cranberries. Then the next morning I thought I’d have a delicious Hawaiian breakfast of, like, rice with meat, gravy and avocado on top. I don’t really know what that was called, but it sure was danky kang. Then, since my flight was at 6pm that night, it seemed like the smartest thing would be to finish off the vodka, then buy more, and finish that off too.

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So we did. And I packed up my stuff, got in the rental car around 3:45, and headed for the airport where I was to be dropped off so Mel and Nate could finish their vacation in peace. But there was SO much traffic. Way more than we’d anticipated. If I hadn’t been so fucked up and singing Mariah at the top of my lungs with my hands out the window, I would have been really nervous about missing my flight. But I figured, fuck it. I just have to get through security and run to the gate. I’ll probably make it with just 5 minutes to spare, but what are they gonna do? Leave me in Maui? Pfft.

So anyway, they left me in Maui. And because I was a really drunk white girl who had never missed a flight before, I started to cry.

“But it’s right there! I can see the plane! Please!”

“I’m sorry but they’ve already pulled back from the gate. We can get you on another flight that departs in 5 hours, connects in Dallas and arrives in Newark.”

“Newark??!!??!”

I begrudgingly took my boarding pass they were so gracious to give me for the flight I didn’t even deserve, and walked over to a corner to whine. I called Nate –

“Aw sorry boo, but it doesn’t really make sense for us to come get you. You’ll just have to wait there.”

What a fuckin fail. I was wasted. My stomach was all bubbly from the food I ate or the alcohol or the giardia I contracted in the waterfall. I was in Maui but I wasn’t in Maui. I was in tropical limbo with a bunch of tourists from the Midwest, only to return to a winter wasteland back in New York. My serotonin was at dangerously low levels, my blood-alcohol at the opposite, and all I wanted was to be in my bed with my two cats and my boyfriend who I missed so freakin much.

So I slept. I slept on the floor of a major airport walkway. I slept across chairs between jabbering family members. I slept with my mouth open, heart racing, sucking in oxygen with a strain that rivaled even the most withered of surrounding geriatrics.

And then I needed nachos. I had a bit of money left, so I dragged myself across the carpet to the nearest Airport Restaurant Bar and Grill to order some.

Waitress: “Just so you know, the cheese on these is Velveeta.”

God bless this woman for trying to warn me. But she didn’t understand how hungover, and still drunk, and far too depressed I was to truly hear her.

“Bring it on.”

Now, when I tell you this was some of the most vile shit I have consumed in my entire life, please know there’s not a lie to be found. However, not only did I finish it – oh no – I licked the plate clean, in what will probably be one of the saddest scenes ever witnessed by anyone on that high school volleyball team two tables over.

I never said I make good decisions. I would never lie like that.

It should come as no surprise to you, then, that about 30 minutes later I found myself running to the bathroom at full speed with all of my luggage to spew yellow liquid into the toilet. I was surprised, though. For some reason I hadn’t seen this coming. I suppose alcohol and sun exposure give me rose-colored glasses. But, you know, the kind of rose-colored glasses that make you think to yourself “You’re gonna die anyway, you idiot. Who gives a shit? Eat the Velveeta Puke Chips.” And you know, there was once a time, just a few years ago, where I could eat weird nachos and not immediately become a weapon of mass destruction. Not anymore.

I got out as much as I could, but the saliva in my throat and the rumbling in my belly told me I was still experiencing something digestively volcanic.

“This is the final boarding call for American Airlines flight to Dallas Fort Worth.”

Fuck. Once again, I dragged my bags down the carpeted walkway to the gate and joined the queue to board, with a very suspicious look on my face as I tried not to faint or shit on anyone.

Once I got to my seat, I thought things might calm down. I tried putting my head between my legs, I tried sleeping — no chance. As the lights dimmed and our in-flight presentation of The Peanuts Movie began, my body realized she’d had it. The color drained from my face and my vision started to go white, so I folded forward out of my chair and booked it to the lavatory.

So.

Ever had diarrhea on an airplane before? Yeah. It really sucks.

But I bet you haven’t had diarrhea on an airplane while SIMULTANEOUSLY projectile vomiting into the tiny sink next to you with no signs of stopping. I honestly thought I was going to die in that tiny, plastic, stinky room as I writhed, choked, barfed and gasped for what must have been…could it have been hours? Days even.

Somehow, though, I survived. I slept the rest of the way, and when I got to Dallas I spent what remained of my travel money on pepto bismol and Dramamine, and flopped on the floor next to the phone charging station to text my boo and eat airport mac n cheese. Again, I don’t make the best decisions. You guys know this by now.

So that was that. A wonderful trip that ended poorly and probably could have been planned better.

Sometimes things go wrong in paradise, but I’d do it all again.

When I landed back in New York, James and I were so excited to see each other. And then a few days after that, things fell apart. I hadn’t seen it coming. It was no one’s fault, it just happened. One minute we were together, and the next we weren’t.

You know, breaking up is a lot like trying to sleep in a busy airport. It’s lonely, it’s isolating, you’re stuck biding time. Everyone around you is making noise and you’re too exhausted to move.

But when you open your eyes, if you’re brave enough, you can go anywhere you want.

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New Year, Same Me Because I’m Actually Pretty Great Already

 


Ok here we go. This is my first post of the year. And even though it’s the end of January, this makes it okay for me to still talk about things like My Plans To Instantly Become a Better Person Now That It’s 2016!

As last year came to a close, I got to thinking about New Year’s resolutions and why nobody ever keeps them. According to a 2-year-old article on Details.com (the premier source out there for sociological data/just about as far as I was willing to google) 1 in 3 people who make resolutions will give up on them by the end of January. That’s pretty depressing, since it seems to me nobody would bother to make a resolution in the first place if it wasn’t something they really wanted to do. I mean, people are really out here evaluating themselves and their lives, saying things like “you know what, I really need to get healthier,” and “this is the year I find the perfect job for me,” and “alcohol is destroying my life,” mentally committing to a change, and then four weeks later they’re hungover and eating an Egg McMuffin again on the way to their job at Stop n’ Shop.

On the one hand, this makes total sense to me. I get it – alcohol is amazing and hard to turn down, junk food is the best thing out there, and the Stop n’ Shop has surprisingly good benefits which is nothing to sneeze at, even if Donna from the bakery department is super rude to you in the break room, like, every day. And of course, there are plenty of limitations that make it harder for people to just manifest their mothafuckin’ dreams. Unhealthy food is often the cheapest, tastiest, and easiest to obtain, addictions are very real, and habits in general are difficult to just change willy nilly when you’re bogged down with So Much Life Shit. Most people can’t just quit their dumb jobs and pursue their passion of knitting cat sweaters full-time, unless they’ve somehow already tapped into the extremely niche market of people who own cats that will actually wear sweaters AND they have enough savings to sustain themselves while they crank out inventory.

Don’t even get me started on exercise. Who has $100 a month to spend on a Classpass? (And I’m not just saying this because they turned me down for a job one time – even though I don’t forgive them, and I still think I would have made a delightful customer service representative.) $100 a month for one of those passes would seriously cut into my meatball sub budget.

Sigh. Just like my fantasy Valentine’s Day vacation at an all-inclusive resort in the Cayman Islands to which I arrive by private helicopter, I guess “manifesting” is a privilege reserved for the rich.

So fine, there are obvious practical reasons why we’re not all skinny, sober Instagram fitness models who are also self-made artistic entrepreneurs with six figure incomes. But what about the emotional reasons? Many of us do have the tools to make positive changes, we’re just too lazy and mentally blocked to try. The “easiest” thing isn’t always the most practical, right?

For example, the majority of my spending money is wasted on overpriced food that is terrible for me. Name a kind of meat and I’ve probably eaten it in the last 30 days. Am I rich? Nope. It’s just a dumb thing I’ve been doing because it makes me feel good. Also, I have a gym in my building. It’s free, and I still don’t really go that often. My boyfriend pays for a gym membership even though we have one here, just to create a feeling of guilt that forces him to work out. I know lots of people who do this, actually. And it really works. The brain is on some other shit.

So when it came time to make resolutions for myself, I didn’t really want to do it. I was worried that, like most people, I’d bite off more than I could chew and eventually I’d just give up.

Still, I had things I wanted to do. Eat better, get in shape, write more, save money, film a web series, form an improv team, maybe even make some money from my writing? These things aren’t all that complicated, they just require focus, dedication, drive, guts…which, paradoxically, are really hard to constantly maintain when you’re tired from working and hungry from dieting. I could create a rigid meal plan and a schedule for my writing, but it’s not going to make it any more emotionally appealing after a hard day at my office job where I was literally thinking about eggplant parmesan for 8 straight hours.

That’s when I realized I was forgetting something crucial…I never congratulated myself for my successes in 2015! How can I be expected to be motivated to improve if all I’m doing is critiquing myself? If you’re trying to teach a dog to roll over, for example, and all you do is yell at him when he doesn’t roll over, he’s not going to learn the trick. He’ll just be afraid of you, and thinking “Man, where the heck are the Beggin’ Strips? This dude is a major A-hole, and my feelings are hurt.”

I recently watched the documentary Trophy Kids, about parents who push their kids to be the best at sports to the point of emotionally abusing them. All of these kids were ranked highly in their respective sports, but the parents would always find something to yell at them about. And the kids ended up resenting them for it – go figure! I don’t exactly know what this is like, because my parents are ridiculously supportive of me even though I’ve nearly always been a piece of shit. But I’m hard on myself, which most of the time just makes things worse. My dad has been trying to get me out of my own head since I was a kid. He tried everything from introducing me to meditation to playing “Don’t Worry Be Happy” on the way to my school in the morning. But I would still beat myself up over every mistake and inadequacy, and to this day I find it hard to shake off that mentality.

It’s a misconception that perfectionists and self-critical people are always overachieving. I can say from my own experience that fear of failure has, in some way, slowed me in pursuing nearly every goal I’ve ever had. Sometimes it would prevent me from turning papers in on time. Sometimes it stops me from initiating improv scenes. Currently, it’s holding me back from pursuing a full-time writing career. To get somewhere, you have to encourage yourself. Doubt and negativity are the enemies of success. It’s corny, but it makes sense. Why else would there be so many internet trolls?


Source: Singapore2003

Fighting your fears is a lifelong process. I’m never going to wake up one day and be afraid of absolutely nothing. Or maybe I will when I’m 150, and that will be the day I die. That would be a sick way to go out. #deathgoals. But I’ve realized that if I don’t take the time to recognize my successes, appreciate them, and congratulate myself for them, I’m never going to be truly motivated to be even better at life. After all, if I can’t be proud of myself, what is the point of any of this? Will anything ever make me happy? Where the F*CK are the Beggin’ Strips??!

So, this is just a reminder as you navigate the rest of this year to be kind to yourself. You’ve done great so far. Take a minute to look at yourself from the eyes of a younger you. I bet the 14 year old version of yourself would be beyond impressed by where you are today. And if not, you can at least be glad that you’re alive and breathing, and you’ve got time to turn things around. If you get your headspace right, then you can focus on the work. And that’s when the change will come.

And I should know. I’ve been to rock bottom. I have a timeshare there.

To get us started, here is my favorite song about self love from the past year 💖💖 Enjoy!