Involuntarily her shoulder meets her ear in a reflex reaction to the echoing in her head. It starts slow, idling in the background until suddenly the bullet train rips her down a dark tunnel dull lights passing in and out of focus as the train speeds along faster faster faster the words hitting her getting heavier and heavier more insistent until all she can hear is a jarring rendition of all her insecurities pushing and tearing through her an involuntary passenger on a train of relentless falsities masquerading as truths until…nothing. Her body aches, her lids heavy with unshed tears, as reality comes flickering back into focus one frame at a time.
Shoulder meets ear.
“Go away.” She whispers.
Shoulder meets ear.
A cold tingling river starts in her head trickling down her neck, her arms, her torso, down her legs, reaching her feet, stretching to her toes.
Shoulder meets ear.
Worthless. Disappointment. Unattractive. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible.
She knows depression lies. It feeds on insecurities and lays in wait, festering, gobbling up any nuance and waiting for its opportunity to regurgitate it with a vengeance.
“What’s wrong?” People ask, seeing the fear in her eyes they mistake as anger.
“Nothing.” She pleads with her eyes. “I’m fine.” She lies.
Sometimes I want to run away. In the middle of the night. Under the cloak of darkness. Because sometimes it hurts too much. It hurts too much and I want so desperately to reach out and tell someone but I think only of how much of a burden I have been in my life and how little I want to continue being a burden. Most often I don’t even see what’s going on until it’s too late and I…I hurt myself…in one form or fashion, in the end. My mind moves at the speed of light and my anxiety and depression shoulder devils, whisper sweet nothings into my ears that befuddle my already confusing thoughts.
The worst part is that I should know how to do this by now. I should know how to calm myself down at 3:45 a.m. when I wake up crying with a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me curl up into a ball for fear my insides will tear open from the pain that may or may not even exist inside me. I should be able to dispel these thoughts and feelings and the raw, nagging insistence that I will never amount to anything because I have nothing to show for my life thus far and probably never will. I should. Should, should, should. There are a lot of things I should do and people will tell me to “just do them.” People will tell me that my thoughts are silly and I should just get over them. And I will. I promise. I always do. But now, right now, I don’t feel that way. I KNOW I will get past this, but I don’t FEEL like I will. Even that is exhausting – battling with yourself over what you know versus what you feel. Especially when what you think you know isn’t always right.
My thoughts are filled with lies but I’m not always sure what is a lie and what is a truth. I tell myself lies all the time: you’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not witty enough, you’re not funny enough, you’re not enough. A freight train rumbles through my brain, clattering around, billowing out steam, ripping through sanity and rationality, leaving behind chaos and destruction, getting louder and louder as the thoughts become worse and worse until……silence. Nothing. No more noise, no more anything. A void so vast and incomprehensible suddenly appears blanketed with dark, glistening, beautiful lies. So beautiful and enticing that the darkness almost becomes comforting. I enshroud myself in words that are not true. Hiding behind the lies that comfort me. But they don’t really feel like lies. They feel like truths. And maybe, deep down, on a good day, I KNOW they are lies; I just have trouble sifting through those to get through to what is true.
I’m old enough now, I should have this figured out. I shouldn’t have to talk about it anymore. I should be better. Until then, I’ll be just fine. F.I.N.E.
Also, I’m going to go stand outside. Where I will be outstanding. Because that joke is stupid and makes me laugh and feel a twinge better.
May your day start with stupid jokes, be filled with unexpected surprises, and end with tacos. All the tacos. Happy Tuesday, ya’ll.
If you aren’t female, you probably shouldn’t read this.
Turn back now.
This is a bad idea.
But if you ARE female and have had those special talks with Mother Nature that delve into your finest and most well kept insults, slurs, and vituperations full of vibrant language only a sailor could be proud of, then please do continue and unite in a universal detestation of that loathsome bitch we love to hate.
If you are like a good portion of the population out there you have both met and gotten very friendly and comfortable with birth control. That lovely little pill that makes it okay to hate condoms! And when I say tiny, I am NOT exaggerating. I mean, really! We get it, birth control is frowned upon and we don’t want the world knowing we are sexually active – modesty, and all that jazz – but why do you have to make it so easy to lose? What is the thinking behind that?…Oh, so you wanna GO AGAINST THE WISHES OF THE ALL POWERFUL BEING?? Fine. But don’t expect it to be easy. You whore!
So you take this teeny, tiny, super pill that gives you the ability to alter your body into a state of confusion so great that it thinks it is with child and treats you extra special because, well, there are myriad reasons why a person might treat you special!…don’t make me spell them all out for you. But eventually the reason we all end up continuing to take it is because we know it will save us from anything untoward happening. However, untowardness aside, an attention whore is still a whore, girls. You don’t need that extra special treatment from your BC to know you are loved! I want all of you to get up right now, stand in front of a mirror, and hug yourself. Go, my little minions.
…did you do it? No?!? Yeah, me neither. But it’s the thought that counts. *air high five* You go girl! You THOUGHT about it! Anyway, back to BC – For many years you are accustomed to keeping a close eye on the time lest you have to excuse yourself to swallow the microscopic super power, and you don’t ever go anywhere without it because you and your BC must be one. Without it, well…you, boy, and baby could make three, and what an impressive quantitative equation for only one night. One plus one equals…what? THREE??? What madness is this?? Oh, that’s right. It is the law according to THE ALL POWERFUL BEING. Remember kids, you can only control so much and nothing is 100%. But you keep taking it and relying on it and…not having any real clue what it is doing to your body. Until that fateful day when you forget to take it for three days in a row, which brings me to my situation. Suddenly, and rather unexpectedly, my breast began to throb with pain, swell, and form a lovely lump resulting in my paying 600 dollars in doctors bills to find out that it is “hormones.” Fuck. That. Threw those left over bitches in the trashcan and have been BC-less for almost two months now. You know what? It doesn’t suck as bad as I thought it might. Yes, my back does hurt significantly more (the easing of the back pain is why I originally began taking it in High School when I was so sexually inactive that I would have made a great abstinence billboard) but that seems to be the only downside. Except for the raging bitch epidemic. But I’ll get to that later.
This all brings me to my Jesus talk with Mother Nature and it went a little something like this:
MN: Okay, I know I make life a living hell for you for a week, and I’d like to make it up to you.
Me: Fuck you. I don’t trust you.
MN: I understand. I haven’t been kind to you in your life. And I feel genuinely bad about that.
Me: Damnit! I left my wellies at home. Would you mind cutting back on the bullshit?
MN: I know you have lost your appetite and your sex drive – two things you have always been proud of – and I would like to help you get them back.
Me: Make your point, you bitch.
MN: That’s my point. I’m going to give them back to you once every month.
Me: Oh. My. God.
MN: Now instead of having something to dread all week, you will have something to look forward to!
Me: Please tell me that you’re fucking with me.
MN: Is that your way of saying “thank you?”
Me: YOU ARE GOING TO GIVE ME A SEX DRIVE FOR THE ONE WEEK DURING THE MONTH THAT I SHOULDN’T HAVE ONE?!?
Me: AND!! …And! You are going to let me eat during the one week that I feel the most disgusting and don’t want to want to eat?
Me: This is you being nice?
It never ends well when we get together but we have yet to completely cut ties. I suppose that means I actually love her….whatever. This conversation took place not long before my birthday rolled around and people started asking me what I wanted to for birthday dinner. Food? At a time like this? Who did they think I was?? Oh, I know!! ME! That’s who they thought I was!! The person who can eat an entire pizza by herself and follow it up with ice cream and salt infested potatoes. Exactly how was I to explain to everyone that I could no longer be at the top of the eating contest list? That I physically could not eat? The answer is, I couldn’t. Nobody wanted to believe me because, well, watching a “skinny” girl eat is apparently always a treat. People. Keep. Feeding. Me. It may seem as though I am complaining, but how can a monetarily challenged person refuse free food? You can’t. You just can’t. So, here my friends think I still have my normal appetite and I begin to accidentally horde food at work. Sometimes I go to work with a practically empty lunchbox and come home with some food. It’s awesome.
On one particular day a coworker brought me three tacos which I promptly put in my lunchbox, fantasizing about the lovely taco dinner I would be having when I got home. Unfortunately, when I got home, my stomach was not as excited about the tacos as I was and I was only able to enjoy a few bites before my stomach protested. But I wanted that damn taco so I made him shut up until I was finished. My stomach can be so dramatic! So, into the fridge the two leftover tacos, conveniently packaged to cover my next two meals…damn you stomach. Later that night, while dead asleep, I was awoken by a rustle. A paper rustle. A paper rustle that sounded suspiciously like a taco wrapper. I yelled out at roommate, “are you eating my taco?!?” The look on that mans face when he came in eating my taco…priceless. It was three in the morning, I woke from a dead sleep, and proceeded to yell at poor roomie. It was like watching a puppy back into a corner – this was only the beginning of the raging bitch I mentioned earlier. With little to no provocation, I was making men quiver. Thanks Mother Nature, you know how to make a girl feel super awesome *thumbs up!* Soon I was capable of making every living creature I encountered fully grasp why I was so vehement about my ability to emulate the stereotypical “angry New Yorker” when I witnessed an injustice being done to someone I felt protective over. No longer did I need any kind of provocation to yell out a string of perfectly placed obscenities mixed in with some semblance of a sentence mostly hidden by the insult baring its ugly teeth. All I needed was a little oxygen. Apparently.
If you made it through all that, I applaud you. It felt very meander-y. Because I wander. Anywho…
May your days be filled with tacos that aren’t eaten, cathartic conversations with imaginary beings, and lots of serotonin to fill the gaps.
Two fail dates and several conversations with POF “matches” later we come to fail date number three which is sadly not as interesting but probably the fail-y-est of fails. He, as a person, I’m sure, is a very fine specimen of male…just not the specimen for me.
Fail Date Guy #3
To begin with I knew he wasn’t my type based on his pictures but, as I said in Step #1, I was trying to be more open minded and had not yet learned from my mistake in Step #1 so I wasn’t listening to the little voice in my head that kept erupting into paroxysms of laughter over my complete lack of dating competence. Want to know the only reason I even answered his message on POF? Because he was tall. I swear. That was the only reason. Clearly this was doomed from the beginning. I didn’t find him attractive, didn’t particularly like the conversations we had, and it took him a good three weeks to finally ask if I wanted to meet up. Usually I get so fed up with carrying on in long conversations that I suggest meeting up after only a few exchanged messages; but for some reason, with him, I let it slide. Okay, really! Barely a paragraph into this and I already realize this was all my fault. Poor guy…never stood a chance. As Mr. Perfect pointed out to me in a recent discussion I am the bitch, the men are all fine. I couldn’t deny that one, I knew it was the truth, but these still make for interesting reads. And, honestly, who does that? And by “that” I mean the things I pick out to share with you lucky readers! Please, comment with corrections if I’m wrong, but what these guys do isn’t kosher, is it? (If you haven’t read Step #1 and Step #2 yet, please do and let me know because I am genuinely curious. Am I just asking too much? Is this in fact normal male behavior?)
So, three weeks and an uncomfortable amount of superficial conversation later, we have a date set up that we both agree will be very short. He didn’t explain why he wouldn’t stay long but I knew I didn’t want it to go on for very long because of fail dates #1 and #2 – subtlety is not my strong suit and the longer I am around someone that I dislike the more difficult it becomes to hold on to the few tiny shreds of restraint I have remaining. I become blunt with unfiltered speech which translates into being a royal, haughty bitch. It’s actually quite impressive if you are used to my usual bubbly, affable self. I can switch bitch mode on and off quickly, it’s a gift!
As soon as I got off work I headed to the meeting place that I had to come up with since, apparently, POF men are incapable of making decisions. There I sat, alone at the bar, hoping that the hour I had to wait for him to get off work would pass swiftly and painlessly. The bar began to fill up and soon I was not sitting alone and happy, I was instead flanked by one foul smelling gentleman and one obnoxious frat-tastic bachelor suffering a mid-life crisis. Where before I had been content texting my soulmate and joking about how odd it must look for someone to be sitting alone and talking/laughing to themselves, I was now dealing with attempting to not overhear the crude comments coming from Mr. Mid-Life Crisis and practicing breathing through my mouth so I would be able to finish my beer without gagging off the stench emanating from the foul smelling gentleman.
Not soon enough my date informed me that he was finally off work and headed my way but asked how the bar was…how was the bar? Well…how to put it? I believe I responded with something like, “it was good when I got here but it is getting crowded. I am no longer sitting alone!” Being the gentleman that he was he suggested switching venues and asked if I had any suggestions. Sure. Why not? Let me make another decision for you, dear sir.
I hadn’t planned on taking him to my bar knowing all that would occur was judgment from my friends but I was already fed up with him so I gave my suggestion. He agreed quickly enough but confessed he didn’t know where it was (even though he had already mentioned that he worked down the street from it…meaning he passed it every day) so he would still meet me where I was and then he would follow me to the final destination. (<– get it?!? okay, okay, I know. I’m a dork.)
As I continue to sit at the bar I shift my gaze between the bartender whose attention I am desperately attempting to capture and the door whose opening and closing could potentially mean time for a great escape from my none too pleasant neighbors. Twenty minutes later my tab is paid, my glass is empty, and I no longer care who is walking through the door because all I want to know is how it is taking him so long if he was actually where he said he was. And then my phone buzzes. It’s him. He is sitting in the parking lot waiting for me to come out.
What. The. Fuck?
The minute I open the door I see him in his champagne compact, idling across the way, staring at his phone. Feeling a tad creepy I walk up to his window and cough to get his attention. After pointing out my car and once again establishing that he would follow me, we make our exit. Unfortunately it was prime traffic time and what should have take five minutes took twenty and I had lost all patience by the time parking was completed.
Upon finally picking out a booth and ordering our drinks I was able to fully observe (and, if I am being COMPLETELY honest, judge) my newest suitor. There was unfortunately nothing I found attractive about him. Generally beards give me a little happy feeling in my nether regions but this one was attached to a face that I couldn’t even invent any good will towards. He reminded of my moms best friend’s husband growing up. This is not good. Not good at all. You don’t want someone that reminds you of the father of your first ever crush (I was young and he was older and basically the only male I knew since I was home schooled and spend 90% of my time in the gym practicing gymnastics…it’s awkward, I know) in almost every way including the way his lips slowly moved across his disturbingly large teeth as he smiled. Or smirked. I honestly couldn’t distinguish.
I can’t say that the conversation was in any way lacking but what was lacking was his ability to show emotion. He had one face and he kept it on practically the whole time. The only effect alcohol had on him was to make his mouth open just a tad bit wider when he spoke as if the more he opened his mouth the funnier he would be because he seemed amused by himself when this would happen. Somehow we made it so far in conversation that my Elf showed up to work and we ended up moving from the booth to the patio bar where she was working. At this point his charm really began to work its magic. You know that line that every bartender has heard more than once on a daily basis. The one that makes everyone around the offending person it groan? The one that goes a little something like, “you don’t need a tip! You get to look at me!” The look Elf and I shared could have turned him to stone had we made better use of it.
And then, after his knee slapper he throws his head back and lets out a high pitched cackle which I think was supposed to be a laugh but it was so disturbing that I immediately attempted to eliminate all memory of it. Clearly it didn’t work. I will never forget the sound that man made. I fear for my personal and physical safety. THIS is my dating life…
When I just couldn’t take any more, and we each had three shots and shared chips and queso, I decided to end the date. And then this happened: I was given the honor of paying for everything that we had consumed both liquid and solid at the patio bar. I am one lucky girl. Can I tell you how much I enjoy paying for things that other people ordered for me? It tickles my fancy! Also, I wanted to kill him. Once again though, as with Fail dates #1 and #2, he did not get the hint. He texted me on the way home and said he had a great time and would love to do it again. I responded with, “I don’t really think so. Sorry.” And that was the night I decided I was done with dating. Period! Over it!
Until the next guy that came up to me at the bar *coughcough* I keep my word so well…
So, where does this leave us?
Step 3: When you feel absolutely no connection to the person and you can’t for the life of you pick out one redeeming quality about the person after an hour, go home. Don’t waste either one of your time. Quit while you’re ahead and admit defeat. It is much better than spending $60 dollars at the end of the night on a person who makes a pretty good doppelganger for every corporate America clone in existence. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you don’t like a person.
Now that I have proved that dating is not my cup of tea I think cutting my losses would be a good idea. That is until I meet this next guy that will bring me to fail date #4. He is the best one yet. Mr. Perfect LOVED this guy!! It was a mutual attraction.
May your week be filled with blasphemous actions, sanguine expectations, and lost inhibitions.
On the day of that marked the 26 anniversary of my birth, I sat in my leopard hoodie footie and spent the day listening to the rain, reading, making pizza, eating cupcakes, and feeling no closer to being an adult that I did on the day I turned 18. Earlier in the week my friends asked how I would be celebrating I would simply laugh, and smile. Nothing. I would be doing nothing for my birthday. “But why?!?” They chorused loudly, unable to understand my protestations of small fetes or intimate dinners. The truth is, that for the first time, I just didn’t feel like admitting that I was another year older. So what did I end up doing? Shopping with my sister and pizza making with my family. And you know what? It has been a pretty darn great birthday. I got three new pairs of shoes, several comic books, a book on etymology, two linguistic books (my latest and greatest interest), a very large novel, and a visit to Build-A-Bear that enabled me to add one more My Little Pony to my collection. I may now be 26 but my taste still lies with that of an 8 year old – that now makes three My Little Ponies (in stuffed animal form, at least) and god knows how many comic books.
Admitting my age is not fun anymore but I must admit that the year leading up to this birthday has been filled with purpose and drive. No longer do I sit around wondering what I will do with my life, instead I have been taking steps towards fulfilling my life goals and actually crossing items off that nice long task list I have. It only took me eight long years to come up with my life goals and, honestly, they have changed one or two thousand times but I finally think I have landed on some solid goals that actually go along with everything that I stand for and want to accomplish. My first major step towards achieving these goals was deciding on a major and enrolling in school again. Check and check. I will officially be starting school again on the 25th with a major in Green Interior and Architectural Design and will be talking to a different school about enrolling in a program that will allow me to study business with an emphasis in innovation and entrepreneurial studies. Focusing on just one thing is just not my style…I thought about only one major but that lasted about as long as it took for me to register for classes.
In my productive state of school applying and class registering I decided I should add even more fun learning activities to my life because surely I had time to, say, learn a new language! But where would I find this time? I asked myself after a few days of NOT doing anything nearly as productive as I had so made myself believe I was capable of. Where did the time go? What did I spend my days doing? How do people get so much done?!? I decided it was time to take account of what I did during my days and document exactly what consumed my oh-so-precious time. Facebook. That’s what. Do you ever make not of how many times a day you check your Facebook? Or how many times you want to just look it at it for a few minutes because your phone has alerted you to some form of activity on your page and 20 minutes later you realize that it’s, well, 20 minutes later and you are now far too informed on your friends lives inner workings. What’s a girl to do? My initial idea was to deactivate my Facebook altogether because who needs it?!? Not me! Or so I thought. Apparently my friends and, more importantly, my sister, disagree. What’s the next best thing? Removing the app from my phone. Have I done this yet? No. Instead I have switched from checking Facebook when I’m bored to checking my email and actually reading the information contained in the numerous newsletters I convinced myself contained information I would be interested in but never actually took the time to peruse. Guess what? I am interested in the information I have been ignoring for all these years. For a person so thirsty for knowledge I sure have been allowing myself to claim ignorance far longer than I anyone should. FOCUS, Sara, focus!! This has become my new mantra, especially while at work. Why?
It’s simple, really. To continue my quest for productivity (kind of) I give you…My Current Obsessions!!! They are as follows:
1) Erin Condren – I had been wanting a planner for awhile feeling that if I was able to write down everything that came to mind as it came to mind that I would be much more productive (I’m sorry, this post has a key term). I have had my Erin Condren Life Planner for a week and I have already seen a difference. I know what you’re probably thinking, “don’t you have a phone?” Yes, yes I do have a phone. And I have often written down random ideas and made many a list. But guess what…there it stays. In my note app. Sitting in wait. Instead I bought THIS beauty and now get to be inspired each and every day by bright, happy colors and inspirational quotes. And what girl doesn’t love that?!?
2) Radio Lingua – After thinking I could use the all knowing Google to find a language program based solely in audio lessons I gave up and decided I would take a different approach. Enter – PODCASTS!!!! I have never listened to a podcast in my life so I wasn’t really sure if this would be my pot of gold or not. Turns out it was. The first language program I came across was Coffee Break French. Had coffee not been in the name I probably wouldn’t have been interested. The best part? You can buy the lessons and get pdf files and videos that correspond with each podcast. All for much, much, cheaper than that certain uber popular yellow boxed language program. They also have OneMinute [insert your desired language here] and it only cost…like…practically nothing!! OMG, I want. My two favorite language options? Flemish and Luxembourgish!!!! That is in addition to my top two desired languages to learn – Arabic and Russian. You can buy all 21 language courses as a bundle. HAPPENING!!
3) Pee and Poo – If you know me really too incredibly well then you know how oddly fascinated I am with…how do I put this delicately? The inner workings of the human body including the all important BM’s. I am oddly connected with my body and always know what I need to put in it to cure whatever ails me at the moment. Except ennui. Nothing seems to help ennui. Except chocolate. But only until it’s gone. Anyway. I found Pee and Poo and have wanted them ever since!! How cute are they?!? I mean, I’m already potty trained so I don’t need them for their intended purpose, but I do still enjoy a good stuffed animal and to be completely honest I would love to be able to randomly yell, “I need my poo!!” in a moment of anxiety induced panic that results in an immediate desire to be embracing something plush and comforting.
4) The perfect chocolate chip cookie – I have been on the search for the perfect recipe and therefore cookie for years now. Recently I tried the recipe from the Cooks Country baking cookbook and they sucked (just an fyi here, the link doesn’t really work since you have to sign up to use their website, but if you happen to be a Cooks Country member then you will be privy to the recipe). They were not ooey gooey like they were supposed to be and they tasted of something I couldn’t quite put my finger on. My parents thought they were just fine, but my sister and I are harsher critics. I am thinking of trying the New York Times recipe next. If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to bombard me with recipe links.
5) Naked Truth Beauty Blog – I have always enjoyed making things on my own. I hate the idea of spending money on something I could do or make myself and it just so happens that someone I went to college with started this wonderful blog. Now, instead of scouring the internet looking for the best home made beauty products, I can just reference what she has written!! It is so much nicer when you (kind of) know the person writing the blog. It’s so much easier to trust them!!
Tune in next time to find out what else has been occupying my time and, probably, learn how my first week back in class has been! You’re hooked already, aren’t you?