Season Three, Episode Six: Curveball Thrown

Man, it’s been a while.  Like two months.  I feel like we went out on a really bad date and then I decided that things were too awkward for me to like your statuses on Facebook, favorite your Tweets, or call/text you back.

My bad.

Fret not, kiddos.  I’m back.

That's right.

That’s right.

Shit got a little real after that last post I wrote about the Single Chick Bucket List (which I have been trying to get done and will start to blog about in the near future).  Six days after that post was published, my dad was rushed to the hospital for severe swelling and leakage in his neck.  He received emergency surgery the next day, and on Valentine’s Day (because nothing good ever happens on that fucking day) he was diagnosed with advanced stage throat cancer.  So needless to say things have been quite the rollercoaster since then–with the exception of a week and a half at the end of February, he has been an inpatient at the Cleveland Clinic and its sister hospitals.  Three weeks ago he had to have his larynx, lymph nodes, both thyroid glands, and a major vein removed from his neck–he has a trach and hopefully in a few weeks he can begin to try to learn to talk again with speech therapy.  Once things settle down and he gains the weight he lost (he was admitted to the hospital at 115 pounds;  he is 6’4″), he will start radiation.  He is supposed to have a lung and bone biopsy in the upcoming days, and hopefully things slow down a little and the results come back good.

My dad has taught me a lot about strength in the past two months.  The things I worried about in January seem so damn trivial compared to what we are dealing with now.  My dad being sick really made me get over my ex–seeing him still sucks ass in ways that I can’t eloquently describe, but I changed shifts in the shift rebid we had at work and I won’t have to worry about seeing him except for an hour or two depending on my schedule.  For some reason I thought that maybe my ex would come up to me and ask me how I was doing or how my dad was doing–his younger sister has stage IV cancer and I love her like the sister I never had, so I thought maybe he would show a shred of compassion.  Yeah…I was wrong.  He acts like I am invisible.  So I had to suck that up and tell myself right then and there that his lack of being a nice person just shows that there was no point in being brokenhearted over him.  I have learned to appreciate my friends and I love them all so incredibly much.  The texts, hugs, kind words, and phone calls have all meant more than you would think.

But strength.  My father has faced every step of this bullshit with a positive attitude.  He smiles and cracks jokes and just holds it together for our family.  I think maybe he always knew that this was a possible consequence of being a smoker for nearly 60 years.  I did, but I never really thought it would happen.  It has made us stronger as a family, it has made me stronger in the fact that I have realized that life isn’t a given.  Things change.  Moments occur that can shake our every belief and thought to the core.  I laugh a lot more and I have decided to become more self-assured and more self-aware then I was before.  If I don’t like something, I make it known.  If I don’t want to do something, I don’t do it.  I decided that you don’t get anywhere in life by shrinking back in the background and not making waves–I’ve always been an extrovert, but I hate confrontation and I hate hurting other people’s feelings.  I have also decided that if I know what I want, I should try to figure out how to get it.  There are no do-overs, no rewind button (old school VHS reference), no backspace.  Everything is constantly moving forward and you have to move forward with it.

It’s like the Modest Mouse lyric, “And we’ll all float on okay”.  We need to stop taking everything so goddamn serious and just let it go.  Time hurtles on through the great void, with or without us…just stop worrying about the little things and let go.

It’s good to be back.  I missed writing, but I figured that I would find my words when I was ready.

Lamp tripping

Quick Blurb:

I started a new shift last week and I’m adjusting to working during the day like a normal person.  No more 8 pm to 4 am…I don’t know what it’s like to be awake during the day and asleep at night.  It’s like the world flip-flopped itself on me.  I feel more rested and maybe I’ll get more accomplished.  And accomplished means more blogging, which is always excellent.

I just have to get used to it.  Sunlight?  What’s that?

when did they put a lamp here

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Season Three, Episode Five: The Single Chick Bucket List

So I got dumped.  And fell into a depressive rut.

It’s kind of weird and liberating to see that typed out.  Kind of painful too.  But anyway, I was dumped by someone who I thought loved me and it made me fall right on my face…and then I decided that I would much rather wallow with my face stuck in the rug of despair than to get up and face the world like the cruel bitch that she totally is.  I spent all my time outside of work sleeping to avoid the sharp ache in my chest and lost weight grieving for the relationship that was no more.  I was a sad and emotionally lost mess of a person for a while.

I was a sad, depressive mess.  I wasn't even witty or funny like I usually am.

I was a sad, depressive mess. I wasn’t even witty or funny like I usually am.

Time heals wounds slowly, and even though I’m still kind of sad and still really hurt, life goes on.  I have some amazing friends, and they helped me tremendously.  I figure I am one awesome, badass chick and if my ex-boyfriend couldn’t see that and had to go back to his ex, then…that’s his loss.  I’m still beautiful and smart and funny.  It still sucks for me, though.  I’m trying to keep my head above water, and I am getting there, one day at a time.  It’s even harder because I have to see him every day, but when life throws you lemons you mix those bitches with vodka and simple syrup and make grownup lemonade.  And then proceed to drink a lot of it.

Screw you, shitty life lemons.

Screw you, shitty life lemons.

But anyway, I was inspired one night while on the dice table (the most random shit comes to me while I’m dealing) to make a list of shit that I can do now that I am single.  Sure, I could have done it while I was in a relationship, but it wouldn’t help me heal and feel better about myself–nay, it would have just become more memories for me to cry over at 5 am.  So I have jotted down little things in a numbered list (I don’t usually make lists, but when I do, they are either bulleted or numbered) in the Notes app on my handy dandy iPhone.  I plan to knock these babies out as an awesomely single lady and make some amazing memories sans dude that I can look back on when I’m an old lady with no regrets.

Get it, girls.

Get it, girls.

I call it…The Single Chick Bucket List.  I plan to blog about each one as I go, and hopefully I can add to the list as I go and cross off as many things as I can.

1.  Go to NYC alone.

I went to New York in 2012 with my ex, and I would really like to create some new memories of my own.  Plus, I had always dreamed of moving there after high school, but life kind of got in the way.  I would like to spend a few days there alone just to indulge in my Girls-meets-Sex and the City fantasy.

2.  Learn to drive and then get my license.

Little factoid about me:  I don’t know how to drive.  My parents sold their car before I started Kindergarten and they never bought a new one.  I’m a boss at public transportation, but I have only driven a car two or three times, and I was kind of horrible at it.

3.  Have a random hookup/one night stand.

This one makes me nervous.  I keep reading that one night stands are the best way to get your mind off a breakup, and that girls should be able to have meaningless and empty sex just like guys can without feeling guilty.  This one is a huge step out of my comfort zone, but I missed out on dorm life and parties and I hear that these things went down like whatever in college.  And my ex is obviously having sex, so why shouldn’t I?

4.  Be moderately successful or even slightly successful at this online dating stuff.

Ugh, yes I am attempting this shit again.  If other people can have success with this crap, I should too.  I still feel like it’s for life losers, so even if I have just a decent or funny story to come out of Match.com I feel like it won’t be a complete waste of time.

5.  Take sexy photos at a professional photography studio.

So since February 2012, I lost roughly around 40 pounds.  I went from 162 to about 124.  I am at my post baby weight circa 2005.  I have always wanted to go get those sexy little pinup boudoir shots done, but I always felt chunky and not sexy enough naked to be immortalized on film.  I still catch myself stopping and staring at myself in the mirror when I get dressed because I can’t believe how amazing I look now that I lost all that weight.  I feel like now I can get those pictures done and feel proud of myself.

6.  Get my passport.

I have always had wanderlust, and I want to do something about it.  I want to travel the world and see all kinds of wonderful things.  I plan on getting my son his passport too in a few years and we can travel together.

7.  Write a novel.

I always start, but I never finish.

8.  Record a song in a studio.

I’m a phenomenal singer and I never did anything with it.  I would love to record an EP just to have so I can say that I sang in an actual recording studio.

9.  Go to Alaska/London/Ireland.

I would love to do all three, but I will definitely settle for Alaska.

10.  Learn French or Italian.

I want to feel worldly.  Spanish doesn’t make me feel worldly…it makes me feel like I had to learn it to graduate from high school.

11.  Go back to college.

I want to get my bachelor’s, even if it takes longer than four years.

12.  Be brave.

I’m non-confrontational, and I don’t like to stir up drama.  I need to learn to find my voice and use it more often.

13.  Learn how to finally play the guitar.

I have owned a guitar for years and never figured out how to play it.  I want to sign up for lessons and be able to be that angsty-yet-cute musician girl at the coffee shop by my house.

14.  Run a 5K.

I hate running.  I’m clumsy and uncoordinated and I feel like I should attempt to run a 5K just so I can say that I can.  Plus maybe I might turn out to get better at it and actually enjoy it.

So that is the list for now.  I’m sure I will add to it, and hopefully I will achieve success to most of the things I have typed out.  I feel like this is a great confidence booster for me and will help me to discover more of myself as a person.  And maybe someone who went through a terrible breakup or some other horrible life experience will read this post or one of the others where I accomplish these things and be inspired to do something great too.

That would be wonderful.

Season Three, Episode Four: Queen Bees, Mean Girls, and AM Minds in an FM World

Before you read any further, I suggest you click the video below.  It will set the tone of this post…plus I really like this song right now and I wanted to share it.

Okay.

As some of you may know, I am 28.  I graduated from high school in 2004.  For those of you who aren’t mathematical geniuses, that was roughly ten years ago.  Recently it seems like I just woke up one day and stepped out of bed and into the plot of my very own teenage drama on The WB (Does anyone remember The WB?  It was the big sister of The CW…pretty much the same audience, but it was in the late ’90s and had less supernatural elements and more teenage angst.), complete with heartache and confusion and angst.  Stupid angst.

So much teenage angst.

So much teenage angst.  Michigan J. was a frog full of drama.

I suddenly care about what people think about me and if I am invited out places and if people like me.  I haven’t done that in ages.  It’s like I went back in time to 2000 and suddenly I’m 14/15 again and doubting every single thing that I do or say.  I feel awkward and like I don’t fit in.  I’m starting to question who I’m friends with and if they are really my friends or if we are just friends based on convenience.  I worry if people genuinely like me or if I’m just that girl who they invite to certain things because they feel like they have to.  I am constantly hyper aware of everything I do and say and think.  It’s honestly like I am back at St. Joe’s and it’s my freshman year and I want everyone to like me.  I feel like I should be wearing a bunch of black eyeliner, straighten my hair, and pout a lot, a la Avril Lavigne circa “Complicated”/2002.

She looks so misunderstood...but that eyeliner is flawlessly 2002.

She looks so misunderstood…but that eyeliner is flawless.

I want no part of it.

High school wasn’t particularly terrible, but I struggled a lot with myself on the inside, as all of us did.  I felt like I didn’t fit in, but I think I did a pretty good job of pretending like I did.  I was skilled at smiling when acceptable, laughing when necessary, and saying the right thing so that people liked me.  I had plenty of friends and was well-adjusted and liked.  You would have never guessed that I felt alone a lot of the time and that my thoughts weren’t on the same frequency as everyone else–that I had an AM mind in a FM world.  I felt like I thought about stuff that the average teenager didn’t think about and struggled with things that a lot of the girls at my exclusive, all-girl Catholic high school didn’t deal with–I had a lot of anxiety and stress.  My dad was still drinking very heavily and gambling heavily and was rapidly becoming more and more physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive by the day.  We were also getting poorer by the day–my entire freshman year we didn’t have a home phone and we used the pay phone on the corner to make phone calls (I did a really good job of making light of the situation and cracking jokes about it to try to hide my embarrassment).  We didn’t drive.  I struggled with an eating disorder all four years of high school.  I had to keep everything that was going on at home inside.  All of that made me feel like I was older than my peers in a way, that I was more mature than most of them were at our age.  I felt like an old woman at times…but I was good at pretending.  I cracked jokes and was loud and funny to try to hide the fact that I had incredibly thin skin and was constantly afraid that no one liked me or wanted to be my friend.  I worried all the time that there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t preoccupied with makeup or boys or clothes or the latest trends as much as my friends were.

I had my son at 19 and that made me grow up even more.  I didn’t go away to college, so I didn’t have the four years of drunken debauchery that most of my peers did.  Because of my dad (who has been sober for nearly 8 years), drinking never really appealed to me anyway, and even though I am outgoing, large parties fill me with a kind of social anxiety that I have never understood.  The older I got, the more I figured that none of that mattered once you were an adult because you were an adult and left all that childishness behind.

But I have realized that it is actually the opposite.  You never leave high school behind because that is where we found ourselves and started to carve out our identities.  I read something where it was speculated that we physically grow up, but mentally we are forever intrinsically who we were back in high school.  Adults still have cliques and gossip and show off around certain people.  The mean girls never leave the cattiness and bitchiness behind.  They still have to be the center of attention and brag about how “bad” they are.  The claws still come out, they still try to intimidate others and make them doubt themselves.  The nerds are still as awkward as they were as teenagers.  People like me still feel like they don’t fit in with the world and that perhaps they aren’t supposed to fit in.  I have always found it strange that I can be surrounded by groups of people and still feel alone.  I’m extroverted but painfully introverted at the same time.  My skin is still ridiculously thin.  I still struggle with an eating disorder.  We all suffer from self-doubt and self-esteem issues and a lack of self-confidence and crushing self-consciousness.  We all have a desperate desire to fit in and be accepted by our peers.  We like to pretend that it went away after we graduated from high school and became adults because we don’t want to admit that most of us are just physically older versions of our teenage selves, because if we did, does that mean that we never really grew up?  That opens a whole can of existential worms.  If we never really grew up, does that mean that our parents never really grew up?  That they feel the same way we do about life?  That they are just physically older versions of their teenage selves who have just gotten really good at hiding their insecurities and fuck ups?  Do they worry about the same things we do on a daily basis?

We all miss high school on some level because even though there were cliques and drama and endless teenage bullshit, deep down…we were all equals.  We were all kids trying to find ourselves and find our places in the world.  And in all honesty…we are still all just kids trying to find ourselves and find our places in the world.  And even though going to the bar on my off days and getting drunk doesn’t appeal to me, I just want to know that my friends thought about me enough to want to include me in their plans.  I don’t want to feel like I’m an afterthought and that I’m the odd one out.  I don’t like feeling like I’m not included because no one wants me to be.  I don’t like this do they/don’t they internal struggle.  I’m tired of feeling 16 when I just turned 28.

That’s quite enough, Dawson.  Can we change the channel?

“Your clothes are soaked and you don’t know where to go / So drop your chin and take yourself back home / And roll out your maps and papers / Find out your hiding places again…”–Lorde, “The Love Club”

Season Three, Episode Three: That Goddamn Metaphorical Horse

So I’m going to take a moment to state the obvious.

Why thank you, Captain.

Why thank you, Captain.

Breaking up sucks.  A lot.

I mean…there’s a lot of shit that happens in a relationship that is pretty wonderful.  You become best friends with your partner.  You guys have cute moments together.  You can do stupid stuff around them and know that they don’t find you weird because they think you are pretty.  And hey, that’s nice.  There’s a certain amount of comfort in a relationship.  You know their quirks and even though you think it’s weird that they turn the water off when they brush their teeth and that they like to wear Crocs with socks, you don’t judge them because they could easily judge you pretty hardcore for snorting when you laugh really hard and that squirrels freak you out more than the average person.  You don’t feel the need to wear pants or mascara when you are with them.  You’re comfortable.  And that’s nice.

It’s nice.

But then you break up, and…it’s not nice.  It’s pretty fucking horrendous.  You go from loving that person and wanting to spend every moment with them to hating their guts and hoping they fall off a cliff, Mayan sacrifice style.  One person generally doesn’t really care about the way things ended, and the other person finds themselves underneath a desk, crying and drinking from a bottle of merlot.

crying under desk

And then comes the whole grieving and healing process, which inevitably leads to the moving on part.  One of you typically moves on faster than the other, spurring the other one (who hates relationships and love and dating in general at the moment because their heart has been ripped out and soaked in cheap wine) to jump on the metaphorical horse.

Fuck.  That.  Horse.

I don’t particularly like horses anyway.  I rode one once at Girl Scout camp, and I was not a fan of the experience.  They are okay if I don’t have to climb up on one and ride it.  But anyway…jumping on the metaphorical horse.  It sucks.  That person feels like they have to half ass their attempt just enough so that people don’t think that they are crazy and just enough to convince themselves that they aren’t going to grow old alone and die without anyone finding their body for weeks.  So you kind of dip your foot in the shallow end of the kiddie pool.  Kind of like how I wanted said horse to be a Shetland pony and was promptly told that no, the metaphorical horse of dating is a noble steed.  (I can’t exactly jump up on a noble steed seeing as I’m only 5’1″.  Maybe I can climb up if someone puts a step stool next to it.)  You do what you have to do to shut people up.  And hey, maybe you make it just weird enough so that they will quit bugging you to start dating.

Because you aren’t ready and you want to stay under that desk and cry a little bit longer, damn it.

So I tried, just to shut everyone up.  I started actually doing my makeup when I went to work and smiled, because nothing makes you look like you are back on the market like eyeliner and a smile.  Jesus.  I tilted my head and laughed at the appropriate moments in conversations with attractive men.  But I’m not particularly feeling it.  So I have my moments of angst circa 1997 Dawson’s Creek and pout and feel sad because damn it, I’m sad.  I’m allowed to be sad.  But society wants me to get over it and there are more fish in the sea and you’re gonna make it after all because that’s life.  I made an eHarmony profile.  I feel embarrassed.  Maybe there isn’t a social stigma attached to online dating, but I still feel like it’s for the weird lame people who can’t carry on a face to face conversation with a person.

I hate it.  I suck at dating to begin with, I hate the whole process and feel incredibly awkward–I would much rather just bypass that shit and go right to being in a relationship, but it doesn’t work that way.  I discovered that I am too shallow for online dating.  I want a man with a pretty face.  I met a guy and it seemed okay, we talked on the site’s messenger thing, but he suddenly stopped talking and I am past that point in my life where I am going to try to pursue a guy who will not initiate conversation.  I’m 28.  I’m too old for that shit.  So I brushed it off and had a moment of oh my god I’m going to die alone and the mailman will find my body.  I went out for my birthday.  Seized the night and all that glamorous glitter.  I posted a picture of myself from my soiree on eHarmony just because I wanted to see if there are any hot guys on there, and the non-initiater of conversations looked at my picture (because their news feed is kind of on the creepy stalker side and shows you whenever they go to your page).  I don’t blame him.  I looked good.  Much like Ron Burgundy in a suit.

I was rocking that dress :)

I was rocking that dress 🙂

So I was like well okay, maybe I’ll give this guy another go.  We started chatting it up again and exchanged numbers and started texting.  It was all good for a few days until he did the same thing as before.  I refuse to chase another man.  Nope.  So I have decided that I am going to be single and wallow until I’m damn good and ready.  Screw you society and your norms.  I will eat Reese’s cups and read Girls in White Dresses over and over until I’ve had enough of witty chick lit and peanut butter paired with milk chocolate.  Judge away.  I don’t care.

And as for that stupid horse?  I think I’ll walk.

Season Two, Episode Eight: Untitled Beauty

20130627-005921.jpg

It’s been two months since I last posted. I’m finally kind of all settled into my house, I’m liking this living on my own thing…I have been neglectful of this blog because I keep forgetting to buy a modem so I can get Internet. Life has settled into a pleasant enough routine, although there are some parts I wish I could change. I’m attempting to change some of it now, but things have a way of happening on their time and not mine.

The picture I took of this rose reminds me that even in the most vicious of rainstorms, there is beauty.

Season One, Episode Nineteen: Rocking the Boat

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
                                                                                                                                                                         —Oscar Wilde

I love that quote.

And how true it is.  Our entire lives, from the moment we can comprehend human speech all the way through young adulthood, we are told we are special.  We are told that there is no one else in the world that is exactly like us.  No one has the exact same fingerprints, no one has the exact same DNA, even identical twins.  We’re all different.

Except we’re not.

Especially now.  We live in a generation where it’s all already been done.  Hollywood, books, music, fashion, life…all been done.  So we try to recycle and remake our society‘s culture, try to recreate the past in a collective mash-up of old and what we think to be new.  We strive so hard to be that special kind of different that we ultimately lose touch with reality.  Our desire for uniqueness has bred a generation of narcissists who are more interested in their imagined self-importance.  And yet…Most of us don’t live a single unique moment in our lives.

We spend most of our time mirroring others, gauging others’ opinions of us and striving to be liked.  How many women follow the actions of the Kardashians and other “reality” shows with rapt attention?  How many of us spend painstaking hours following the latest trends and fashions in Hollywood, so that we can all look like generic re-creations of our favorite celebrities?  How many of us regurgitate what we read in the newspaper or saw on the news and try to pass off as our own intellect?  How many of us hide behind others’ words and try to make them our own, either through repetition or through our daily actions?

We all do.  We mimic each other as a way of safely assimilating into society, because we all want to belong.  It’s part of what makes us inherently human.  We need company, and we need to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of community.  The ones that think outside of the metaphorical box are thought of as weird, that there must be something wrong with the way they are wired because society doesn’t behave like that.  We blend seamlessly into the background and let the ones who are “weird” really do all the living.  We would rather be a community of muted shades of gray rather than change the world with our own brightness.  We all tread lightly on the surface of life just so that we have a full table surrounding us on Dollar Draft Night.

My parting thought to you this morning is this:  I want you, after reading this post, to ask yourself what you’ve done lately to break out of that metaphorical box of sameness and positively rock the boat.  I want you to think of one positive thing that you can do today to live a life not of mimicry, not of quotations, but of your own thoughts, your own actions.  What is one thing that you want to do for you, and not for the other seven billion lives on this planet?  And once you think of it, please do it…because, well, we are all different, and it’s in rocking the societal boat that we can celebrate our uniqueness.

The world was changed by those who thought outside of the box.