Season Five, Episode Four:  Un Peu de Prose Contre

I’m that unconventional kind of pretty, I suppose
If one were to try to define one’s features and retain modesty.
Sometimes I think I’m cute, other times I hate my reflection
I constantly feel too big for such a small person
A walking contradiction
Unsteady yet confident,
The girl who doubts herself in a room full of women
Who feels most like herself in jeans and a tee shirt,
At her best with just lip balm, mascara, and a smile.
I stumble over nothing when I walk,
Clumsy but certain.
Athletic grace has not once entertained me
Just look at my ankles as proof.
I stay up all night and wake up early,
Partly because life is so damn short
But mostly because I’m afraid to miss all the things the Muses have to offer.
I wear my hair up almost at all times
Because life has to be lived and I don’t need hair in my eyes.
I say things over and over in my head,
Because I worry that I’ll trip them up once I say them aloud
And I usually do,
Words have a way of getting stuck in my teeth like caramel popcorn.
I suck at guys, and am perpetually single.
The real world Liz Lemon.
I chew on the edges of my nails when I’m worried,
I make jokes to cover up my nervousness and thin skin
Because I’m a tough girl on the outside,
Who will never let them see how deep they cut her
And who keeps her insecurities inside.
She is braver than she realizes
And stronger than she believes.
Lazy but a dreamer
I’m a mom and a person,
A badass and a debutante,
Indie but mainstream,
Naive but jaded.
I might stumble but I’m never completely down
My glass is eternally half full.

–“autobiographie”, 07/01/2016

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Season Five, Episode Three: 32/26/49

I will never forget

One of the most terrifying moments

In my life thus far

 

The night is forever etched in my mind

I was seventeen

I still believed I was invincible

Because when you’re that young,

You’re convinced that you will live forever

 

I was at work

We were getting ready to close up

I was in the dining room of the Burger King

Checking the garbage cans

 

And there were two of them

Two males

One in a gray hoodie, his face covered with something

I think maybe nylons, I can’t remember exactly

The other is a blur in my memory

 

They opened the door

And stepped into the vestibule

I remember seeing a glint of silver

And time both slowed down and sped up

I remember thinking “gun”

How crazy is it that I just knew

Instinctively I just knew

 

And the door flew open

Everything froze but raced forward

I wish I could say that I was brave in that moment

I wasn’t

I was so so scared

 

The one in the hoodie, whose face I couldn’t see

He pointed his gun in my face

I remember that I was shaking

And all I said was “please”

Because I was seventeen

And I didn’t want to die

 

He stood there, his face unseen

The gun pointed at me

My life did not flash before my eyes like they all said it would

Instead my heart raced in my chest

My pulse thudding in my ears

My thoughts moving slow like mud

Thinking of my mother and brother sitting across the room

In danger because they had come to take me home

 

The other jumped the counter

Ran in the back, grabbed my manager

She was crying, she was so scared

He made her open the register

Her hands shaking

Tears streaming down her face, gun pressed to her head

 

Sixty-five dollars

Our lives were in limbo over sixty-five dollars

 

Miraculously they left after that

We could have died that night

All over sixty-five fucking dollars

So many lives worth more than what was in that register

 

I’ll never forget that night as long as I live

The night I realized I was not invincible

And that is why,

All of you people who don’t understand why

Because you weren’t there

All my nightmares end with bullets

 

I don’t dream of that night

But all my nightmares end the same

Guns are not sacred or special to me

They are heavy reminders of the violence they bring

They sicken me

All of these shootings sicken me

And solidify why I could never revere firearms the way some others do

And that is why, in case you wondered

That is why I want gun control

 

You might not understand,

But I will never forget.

Season Five, Episode One: The Essay (2005-2015)

I turn 30 tomorrow.

I don’t exactly know how I feel about this. I keep wondering where the past ten years have gone, and I simultaneously feel as if I haven’t grown at all and like I am an old woman trapped inside the body of a 29 year old. My twenties were tumultuous to say the least–I became a single mother at 20, I had my heart shattered twice, lost friends who I thought would be around forever, gained new friends who are like family, changed jobs a few times, moved out on my own, struggled with an eating disorder, and am now somewhat content with where I am currently at. I like to think the first decade of your adult life really isn’t even about being an adult. How can you possibly be an adult when you don’t even really know what you want yet in life? I remember when I was in high school, thinking that I had my life all figured out–I wanted to move to NYC, live in a chic itty bitty apartment, bartend at night and go to NYU during the day and major in journalism…write witty and vaguely acerbic fiction based loosely upon my life in the Big Apple, and then somehow make it big as a writer and then singer. Naturally I hadn’t quite learned yet that life typically does not follow the timeline and plans that we create. I got pregnant literally right after prom (I always joke that I got knocked up during prom weekend), became a mom at 19. I tried college, but my head wasn’t in the right place and I didn’t take it seriously. I screwed up my grades and when I tried to go back at 20/21, I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket and kept changing my mind about my major. Being a glamorous and clever New Yorker went out the window once I had my son. I suddenly was expected to be an adult when I wasn’t even sure I was an adult yet.

But I think being confused and realizing that you can’t live up to all the crazy expectations that we made as kids is a pretty common feeling when you are in your mid-twenties. I still don’t feel like I’ve got my shit together. I’m not good with money. I hate domestic house shit. I don’t fold laundry and put it away. I wash dishes with a clear sense of loathing. I make questionable school lunches. BUT I have a 401(k). Whenever shit goes south, I remind people that hey, I have a 401(k) so I must be adulting at an acceptable level. (It’s not even at the default 3% either, it’s at like 9% so suck it haters.) I’ve only ever had three jobs, which is either a sign that I’m reliable or something, or it’s a sign that I develop Stockholm syndrome pretty quickly. I kind of pay some of my bills on time and I do an okay job at grocery shopping. I buy yogurt that is trendy and hip and very low in sugar but high in protein. I read The New York Times and The Washington Post and talk about current events. I go to the gym and pretend that I like to run, but I really hate it and prefer the stationary bike so that I can watch Amy Schumer and pretend to ride majestically over tall mountain peaks. I sometimes post witty things on Twitter, even though I’m still not completely sure what Twitter is all about. I have a LinkedIn page that I never use but made because I heard it was an adult thing to do.

I wear sweatpants a lot and don’t wear makeup when I’m not at work because I’m not 19-24 anymore and don’t feel like the world is going to end because I did not put mascara on before going to CVS. I pretty much only wear eyeshadow when I make plans to go get drunk–which basically means that I go out with my friends, nurse one or two drinks all night long, and then proceed to make sure none of them kill anyone else or end up in jail. I’m so over hangovers and spending half the day slumped over the toilet bowl or puking in my shower. I’ve developed a general disdain for people that I’m not friends with because I have learned over the past ten years that you don’t have to like everybody, so I limit the list of people I like down to the ones who like me already. Making new friends is exhausting and I like to limit the activities that wear me out physically, emotionally, or mentally. I don’t pretend to like things that I don’t like anymore. I don’t hide my dislike of anything “lite”, “light”, “diet”, or “fat/sugar free”. I like food and I’m going to eat it in all its fatty, sugary, caloric laden glory. I drink whole milk because I like it. I still live for the sprinkled up sugar cookie madness that is the McDonald’s holiday pie every December.

I’m super single and I’m okay with that. I get my needs taken care of, but I’m not actively searching for a gentleman lover (haha I love using that phrase because it just sounds like something an old lady named Edna would use in describing her love life) to fill the void in my empty and meaningless life.  I do feel a bit of a twinge of something when I scroll through my Facebook news feed and see photos of engagement rings and weddings and new babies…but then I remember that I have a 10 year old who is pretty awesome and I don’t ever want to get married, so I drink some wine and go watch a Vine about thug cats. Seriously though, I have learned that men are no longer a priority in my life. I have been single for a good chunk of my twenties, and for the first part of the decade, I remember feeling trapped and panicked and hopeless and lonely because I was alone and all my friends were getting engaged and then married. I felt like maybe I was a failure because I hadn’t met my Prince Charming who would sweep me off my feet and give me my happily ever after. I learned that no one can give you your happily ever after but yourself. I can make myself happy, I don’t need a man to make that emotion possible. I have been unlucky in love, but I have learned some pretty amazing things about myself along the way. I have learned that I am strong, that I have standards for myself, that I am not desperate, and that I have both self-respect and know the value of my self-worth. I have learned that even the most beautiful of men can be pigs, and that people will say and do anything to get what they want from another human being. I have learned that life goes on, you do meet someone else, and you fall in love again–it’s a guaranteed part of life that stays on repeat. I’m in no rush to settle down, I don’t plan on getting married, and I am proud of my independence. If I want that brand new Kate Spade purse, I can go out and buy that new Kate Spade purse. I don’t need to rely on anyone but myself and it’s an amazing feeling.

I feel prettier now than I did ten years ago. I remember reading an article saying that women are at their most beautiful between the ages of like 34-36 or something (it was an old Allure article) and so I’m looking forward to seeing if that’s true. I finally grew into my face, and thanks to me learning about skin care, I finally got this acne nonsense under control. I am more comfortable with my body and it’s curves and my face that is quite the mix of ethnicities. I still have those days though where I look in the mirror and wish that I was exceptionally gorgeous, that my face was a little slimmer, a little more soft, a little more delicate, a little more feminine, that my skin was clear and less oily, that my eyebrows were more fuller and didn‘t betray the over plucked trend that we all followed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I wish that my nose was more slender when I smiled, that I didn’t have my mother’s strong and vaguely masculine facial structure, that I was the kind of girl that people stopped and stared at because she was that beautiful. But I have also learned that I shouldn’t care, because beauty is overrated. Mixed race kids are beautiful in their own ways because we are a fabulous blending of nationalities–my face is like the goddamn U.N.  And the oily skin that I hate so much is actually helping to slow the ravages of time, so I guess I can learn to hate it less.

All in all, I keep hearing from my old ass friends (love you guys) who have already turned 30 that it’s actually not that bad. They say that their thirties were their best decade so far and that there is less pressure from society for you to be a productive adult because they already assume that either you are good at being a grown up or you’re a lost cause. You become more comfortable in your own skin because you realize that there are people who are going to like you and people who just aren’t, and there’s honestly nothing you can do to change their opinion of you. I’m down with a decade of giving zero fucks after this emotional hot mess of the last ten years! I’m actually pretty happy with who I am and where I’m at, and I can only assume that there’s some room for self-improvement. I don’t need to be sad about not being that super trendy and funny New Yorker who drinks Starbucks in Central Park and writes super successful witty and vaguely acerbic fiction based loosely upon my life in the Big Apple, because I can be that writer from Cleveland who drinks Starbucks at Edgewater Park and writes super successful witty and vaguely acerbic fiction based loosely upon my life in the Big Plum (a nickname I still don’t fully understand). I just need to get off my ass and stop procrastinating.

So…bring it on, 30. I have a 401(k) and I’m ready.

  

(Me at 20 and at 29–literally taken today.)

Season Four, Episode Four: Wintered Out

I am so over this winter.

Like, completely.  And I’m sure that everyone in the northern United States can agree.

February, I hate you. Although I hated January almost just as much.

February, I hate you.
Although I hated January almost just as much.

I spent about 75% of my vacation last week in my house because the wind chill was below zero.  The actual temperature hovered around zero and dipped into the negatives this past weekend.  My off days this week are beginning to look the same.  I had been doing pretty well before this cold snap, going to the gym and watching what I was eating (we are having a weight loss thing at work) and I had dropped about two pounds before last week.  Ever since last Sunday, all I have done is eat and sit on my butt and watch Netflix.  I’m sure I could work out at home and eat right but ughhhhh I don’t wanna.  I’m miserable and I have cabin fever and I just want to sit and eat paczki wrapped in blankets while binge watching BBC dramas (The Fall was amazing, and I binged all four episodes of the first season of A Young Doctor’s Notebook tonight).  I’m pretty sure that is what one does when they are sick and tired of being stuck in the house.  This arctic snap of hellishness is making me feel like a depressed sleepy bear.

Sometimes I don't even realize how many hours I've wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix.  Hours I cannot get back.

Sometimes I don’t even realize how many hours I’ve wasted watching snarky British shows on Netflix. Hours I cannot get back.

My son is beyond bored.  He wants to go outside and play on the snow days he keeps getting, but you can’t really play outside when the wind chill makes it feel like it is -15.  You have to bundle up just to take out the trash.  I let the mail sit in the mailbox for like three days before I left the warm confines of my living room.  My Ikea couch and my legs have become one.  My son has exhausted his usual queue of cartoons and Minecraft YouTube mod videos.  If it is hard on a 29 year old grown woman, I can’t imagine how unbearable it must be for a ten year old boy.  He is frustrated.  The coldest day this month so far was his birthday, and since we don’t drive, we had to stay inside rather than go to the science museum like we planned.  It’s not worth potentially getting frostbite while getting from Point A to Point B on public transportation when it is 0 degrees with a -17 wind chill.  I’m sure people in NYC and Boston can certainly relate.  Sometimes I wish I lived in a city where it wasn’t odd to not own a car (but I suppose that will be another post for another time), because then I think others would understand the winter struggle a little more.

My son's sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday.  It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill.  When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.

My son’s sad snowy self-portrait that he drew while we were waiting an hour for our fifty minute late bus on Saturday. It was 12 degrees with a -8 wind chill. When I got home my lips were still tinged blue.  It’s hard for me to empathize with people’s “ohmigod I was so cold sitting in my car waiting for it to warm up” struggles.

I know March is coming and that spring is allegedly just around the bend, but let’s be brutally honest here:  I live in Northeast Ohio.  Lake Erie is like 94% frozen over.  I can expect to wear a winter coat until probably mid-April.  I just want it to warm up and be sunny and green and pretty.

So I can start bitching about pollen and my allergies.

Seriously?

Season Four, Episode Three: White Zinfandel

I get drunk alone
Sometimes.

And I have empty, meaningless sex
With a boy that I may or may not like
But I’ll never admit to it
[He makes me smile but he’s toxic and all wrong in all the right (but oh so wrong) ways]
Never
Sometimes.

I write drunk poetry
And I drunk text my closest friends
And tag them in random memes
On Instagram
Hashtagging random ass shit
Sometimes.

I drink entire bottles of wine
To chase away PMS-induced migraines
And sit on the cold wooden floor
Of my dining room
Sometimes.

And I sing sad songs
At the top of my lungs
Because I’ve had my heart broken
By men I’ve truly loved
Sometimes.

I am beautiful
And I am a mess
Because I am a hurricane of a girl
But my life is amazing
And it’s too damn short for regrets
Always.

–“White Zinfandel”

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Season Two, Episode Ten: An Early Morning Interlude

I smell the faint fragrance
of honeysuckle mixed with the lingering scent of rain
it floats on the humid, yet cool
early morning breeze
birds chirp in the otherwise quiet am
occasionally punctuated by the chirp of the gentlemanly cricket
dew laden grass adds the middle note of rainsoaked earth
this is my nighttime lullaby.
–“Untitled (08/09/13.)”

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Season Two, Episode Eight: Untitled Beauty

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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.