Saturday, May 28, 2011

I'm Back (Again)

Dear Internet,

I know what you are thinking, "Oh she's depressed again and when she comes back she's going to tell us about how she's sorry and how she hasn't cleaned her house or answered phone calls in ages.  And how she swears it will be different this time because she'll talk about it, and take her medicine, and do yoga, and all around become a better person, and blah I've freaking heard this crap before blah blah."

Well you're wrong.  I wasn't depressed at all. 

No seems I've solved that little problem and have moved on to what now.  What now that I've graduated grad school?  What now that my money is running out?  What now that my roommate is gone and the whole world is open to me?  What now, Internet?

Answering that question has consumed a considerable amount of my time.  Time that I've spent making lists, and writing resumes and cover letters, and cleaning out my junk drawer.  Because there's really no excuse not to be organized just ask Martha Stewart.

And while I haven't found the answer to that particular what now question, I found a lot of other interesting things as I cleaned out and rearranged my life.  Like my skinny jeans, green smoothies, fantastic friends, my backbone, and my sixth grade diary. 

I promise I'll tell you all about them.  But for now I need to find myself fast asleep.

I love you and I miss you.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stopping the Crazy Train

Dear Internet,

It's 10:30pm on a Wednesday night and I just did the craziest thing.  I got up off the couch.  Put my face on.  Dug through my clothes.  Made a mental note to do laundry.  Settled on something subtly sexy.  Unlocked the door.  Then turned around.  Kicked off my shoes.  And plopped back down on the couch.

I was going out to see a boy.  A man rather.  A man who treated me badly rather, rather.  All because my life is sort of falling apart right now and I'm pre-programmed to beat the hell out of dead horses.   To grasp at straws.  To reorganize the kitchen cabinets.  When shit hits the fan. 

Turns out I'm not the only one.  We're masters of distraction.  Of avoiding pain and seeking pleasure.
We're also hardwired to crave connection.  Love.  Belonging.  And we'll go to great lengths to get it.  Even getting up off our lazy asses in the middle of the night to see a boy.  A man.  A man who treated us badly.

Luckily, I stopped myself before I numbed the chaos with drinks and smiles.  It would have been bad had I walked out that door.  Because sometimes finding connection with others isn't worth losing the connection we have with ourselves.

Love you,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Decisions, decisions

Dear Internet,

I had an existential crisis in the underwear aisle at Target last night.

Yes, the underwear aisle for those of you who know me well.  For those of you who don't-on any given day there's about a 70% chance I'm not wearing underwear.  What?  This is a blog.  Over sharing and inappropriateness is its raison d'etre.

But back to my crisis.  As I stood and looked at all the choices, I was overwhelmed.  Cotton.  Lace.  Boyshorts.  Thongs.  Too much.  Too little.  Even Goldilocks would have had a hard time figuring out which $5.99 pair was just right.

Part of me is tiny black french whore of a thong.  While another part is most definitely polka dotted cotton brief.  So how do you decide?  In world of so many choices which woman am I?

It's a question I ask myself a lot these days as I'm on the eve of a major transition.  Everything has become an exercise in dichotomous thinking.  Grocery shopping.  Full fat pizza or gluten free, free range, organic lentil soup?  Deciding on jobs.  Over worked career woman or stay at home mom? Putting on my face.  Au natural or painted red lips?  Getting dressed.  Jeans and t-shirt or skirts and fuck me pumps? Dating.  Long term or one night stand? Deciding where to live.  Old country home or apartment in the city?

I get stuck sometimes because I love all those things.  I do yoga religiously but often have one too many glasses of wine.  I own Manolos and Toms.  Cotton and lace.  I contradict myself.  I am large, I contain multitudes. 

So deciding which one is just right is hard because I want it all.  Want them all.  Want a life big enough to hold eating a whole tub of Ben and Jerry's while watching chick flicks in boyshorts.  And eating five star meals in a designer dress, killer heels, and a black thong.

Last night, I bought both pairs of underwear.  I figure I'll decide as I go.

Right now?  I'm not wearing either pair.

I'm hoping one day I'll find someone who adores this about me.  Not just my lack of underwear but my love of so many different things.

For the time being, I appreciate my wonderful friends who laugh and roll their eyes as I stammer out my opus on underwear in the middle of Target's aisles (I'm looking at you, B).  And I'm thankful for you Internet, you're always so good at letting me tell you my most private of things.

Love you all,

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Dear Internet,

I moved my easel to the storage room.  Putting a puja in its place.

Once upon a time ago I was an artist.  Went to art school.  Studied in Paris.  Drew in the Louvre.  Had a nose ring.  Purple hair.  Discussed Les Demoiselles d'Avignon as being a seminal work in the Modern Art movement.  It was who I was.  How I defined myself.  An artist.  Made it easier to be weird.

But then I grew up and life happened.  My sketchbook traded in for a paycheck.  My paints drying up as I slogged to work everyday.  But I kept my easel in a corner of my house.  Passing by it.  Watching as it collected dust.

It was like a crutch I depended on long after my leg healed.  A prop in the corner telling me who I was.  Explaining to people.  Oh that girl-she's a little odd because she's an artist.  It gave me an excuse.  Made things easier.

But as I've evolved.  Grown into an adult.  A graduate student.  A yogini.  A reader.  A writer.  A friend.  A daughter.  A mentor.  A therapist.  A cook.

I realized I didn't need it anymore.  It kept me stuck.  Limited me to this one slim definition of myself.  So I took it out.

And is it scary to get rid of something that for so many years defined me?  Yes.  But my god the space it opened up to become so much more.

What can you get rid of that is no longer serving you?  What spaces can you clean out so something better can come in?


Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Spoon Full of Sugar

Dear Internet,

Sundays have always been melancholy to me.  The ebb of the weekend being over but not quite the full on flow of a new week.  It's a quiet middle time I often spend alone.  Which leads to rumination and navel gazing at times.  Especially when I should be doing something else, like studying for the comprehensive examination I have tomorrow.  But why do that when I can sit and ponder the everyday struggle man must endure?

Which leads me to my own struggle-to take antidepressants or not to take antidepressants...

I come from a long line of depressed and anxious people.  Hippies too.  People who thought if it wasn't bleeding or you weren't dying then you suck it up and get over it (which is funny considering they were all medical professionals).  My mom once refused to take me to the ER when I broke my arm.  Stating that all they were going to do was wrap it and tell us to make an appointment with the orthopedic guy in the morning.  As there was no way he was coming in in the middle of the night just to set a fractured arm.  Plus, it was too swollen anyway.  So, she put an ace bandage around it, fed me four ibuprofen, and sent me to bed.

If a broken arm didn't merit immediate treatment how could my feelings?  Things that don't bleed.  That you can't definitively measure or see or quantify.  So, I suffered.  I dealt with my moods swings.  The crushing sadness.  The heightened anger.  The best ways I could.  Which wasn't good.  I hurt a lot of people (just ask most of my exboyfriends) including myself.

Because swimming in pancake syrup is hard.  You can't see where you're going.  You get no where fast.  And no one is ever strong enough to pluck you out.

Then one day I just gave up.  I'd had enough of the ace bandages and over the counter meds (i.e. alcohol and sex).  I decided that what I had was real and deserved some actual treatment.  So, I started swallowing pills.  And talking about my feelings.  Running.  Committing to my yoga practice.  And eating well.

And just like that it wasn't syrup anymore.  It was water.  Crystal clear water.

Sure it gets choppy sometimes.  And I lose my way.  But it feels a hell of a lot better than what I used to fight against.

Do I sometimes look at that pill and roll my eyes?  Do I want to be able to do this on my own?  Yes.  But I've tried that way and failed.  And isn't life about joy no matter how you find it?  Even if it is in something you have to swallow with a glassful of water everyday?

I promise to be more joyful tomorrow, lovelies.  But I just wanted you to know that it's ok.  Fuck Tom Cruise.  Do whatever it is you have to do in order to have the life you deserve.  And you deserve the best.

I love you all,

Friday, March 11, 2011

#36-Build a circle of dependable, creative, supportive friends, #102-Drink a bottle of Veuve Clicquot

Dear Internet,

I've never been the popular girl.  The one who tosses her perfect hair, and smiles with her perfect teeth, and has a laundry list of perfect friends so long she never gets to the bottom of it.  The one who has twelve bridesmaids at her wedding and was voted most likely to succeed by her sorority. 

No.  I've never been that girl.  I'm more the cool loner girl.  The girl with too many opinions.  Odd clothing.  Even odder music.  And a very small circle of friends.  Apparently because I'm intimating and unapproachable from what my bffs say.

Being that girl, the loner girl, is hard in the south where everyone has Greek letters and "sisters."  Even harder when you come from a long line of perfect women like I do.  Women who all are chairwomen of this and president of that.

That pressure, to be perfect and popular and fit in, is something I've always struggled with.  Wanting simultaneously to be that girl yet hating it and rebelling against it all at the same time.

But having a circle of dependable, creative, supportive friends is something I've wanted.  Longed for.  It's just been hard to find in a city full of people I have little in common with.  Because while I would like to be popular, I'd like to be popular with people I adore who adore me back.

And I finally did it.  It took me 28 years, but looking around the dinner table at my birthday party I realized I had become that girl.  My list might not be a mile long but my friends sure are perfect.

I couldn't help but crack open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and toast to that.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Excuses, Excuses

Dear Internet,

Raise your hand if you read that article about why you're not married yet.  Yeah I know it's angry.  Funny.  Truthful.  Over the top.  Ridiculous.  Spot on.  I'm not here to argue or rebut or agree.  That's been done very eloquently here and here.

But it is a question I've been pondering lately, especially in light of my recent you're now in your late twenties birthday.  A birthday that here in the South means I might as well go ahead and get cats and sweatpants and live out my life as a spinster.  Because I'm now more likely to get struck by lighting than to get married.

So what happened? How in a culture that celebrates going to college to get your Mrs. degree did I fail at that? 

If I'm honest it is because I've been some of those things Ms. McMillan says.  But it's more than that too.  If I take a look back at my dating history I could have been married several times (The Duke, The Boyfriend, The Musician).  Just to the wrong person.  And I'd take a lifetime of dodging lightening and feeding cats over sharing I do's with someone who is a don't. 

Which brings me to this

Let's just recap the men I've gone out with since finding myself single shall we:
  1. Towel-a man so boring not even I could coax more than a yes no answer out of him.  And I have a history of being able to make friends with a signpost.
  2. Indian Man-he was already married, to his job.  And I didn't appreciate only meaning something to him once a week between the hours of 5 and 7.
  3. Old Guy-he jerked me around so much I had knots in my stomach at all times.  Not to mention that thing with the brownies and the note.
  4. Paramedic John-he thought what I did was hooey.  "People should just get over their stuff."
  5. The US Attorney-tattoos and indie rock were too counter culture for him.  He wanted J. Crew and a W sticker on a SUV.
  6. Steven Number Three-his job was training to be an ultimate fighter.  I'm democrat.  It would have never worked.
  7. Toy Story Three-he "REALLY liked me" but you know "wanted to see other girls too."
  8. The Psych Professor-his hair was longer than mine and he was getting ready to go on sabbatical to Holland.  I don't speak Dutch.
Not to mention the countless others I've turned down because they:
  1. Sent me a seven point outline of what they wanted to do to my shoes.
  2. Told me I was unoriginal and unstable.
  3. Talked in rhyming couplets.
  4. Lived halfway around the world.
  5. Or were otherwise rude, crude, uninteresting, or not at all my type.
So see, Internet, I've tried.  And yes, I've been a bitch, shallow, a slut, a liar, selfish, and not good enough.  But they have too.  Because we're all human.  And that happens sometimes. 

But what I'm looking for accepts that and sees past it.  And that's something I'm willing to wait for.  Because in the meantime I've found it in myself, my friends, my job.  My life.  I hope you have too.