Everything in Moderation, Even Moderation (Part 1)

I’m an all or nothing type of gal these days. When I find something that excites me, I want it all. Now! There’s no such thing as patience. Why wait? What’s the point in that? That’s no fun! BUT, if I don’t cultivate said excitement-inducing thing and make it a constant fixture, I’m over it. I suppose you can say that this is where our whole culture is right now, the social media age is all about instant gratification, but I think the situations are a little different. I have passion, a love of new experiences, an interest in creating a fuller life. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing, right? But it can be.

I suppose this new mindset is rooted in my struggle with anxiety. An affliction I’ve been dealing with for over 10 years and only now, in the past year, am overcoming. Previously my anxiety would manifest much like everyone else’s who has the disorder, in a full-blown panic attack. The fear and dread would take a hold of me with (what at the time feels like) a literal death grip, curling up on the couch with eyes locked on the television being the only comfort or release from the nonsense going on in my head. It’s fiercely paralyzing, as well as good old-fashioned torture. If the government had a way to inflict panic attacks on terrorists to make them talk, waterboarding would go out of style. It keeps you trapped in this prison of ‘what ifs’. What if it happens when I’m out with friends? What if I get stuck somewhere and freak out? What if people can tell something is wrong? So little by little you find yourself receding from life in order to keep the monsters at bay and before you know it you’ve created this cage, a mental map consisting of approved and restricted areas for your consumption. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? Yet we allow it to happen because the disease tells us that it’s the only way.

So coming up on a year ago I decided to stop medicating my depression and anxiety because I didn’t think it was doing anything anyway. This was both true and untrue, I came to discover. This process has been sobering, humbling, an incredible blessing and the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life, and the most amazing outcome of me sans Zoloft is that I have feelings. FEELINGS! What are those? I always thought I was just extremely easy-going. I was pretty sure I knew what happiness was, I laughed at things, I got mad, I had good and bad days like everyone else. But now, without those antidepressants keeping me level, emotions are raw and they mean something.

Now I covet the rush of running out of the house to go somewhere, partying until dawn, meeting new people, being present, hearing a good joke, listening to a song that makes me think of someone, being locked in an amazing kiss. I crave vitality. These phenomenons register differently in my brain these days. Even being angry is comforting because I am thankful for being able to feel the sensation of my body tensing in reaction to adversity. These aren’t just motions to go through anymore, they are experiences in life that make it worth living. They are proof that living life passively is the greatest sin of all. Then I began to process just how much I’ve missed out on simply by being despondent for so long, and decided to make up for lost time.

To Be Continued…

 

-xo

Putting the ‘Y’ in Gym

In seventh grade, I had this insane urge to join the lacrosse team. My sister had done it years prior, and my friends were joining. The thing I didn’t realize was that they all had natural athletic abilities, and I did not. I run like Peggy Bundy and get nauseous after the first two minutes. I never got the ball, let alone scored a goal (or whatever they call it in lacrosse). But during the last game of the season, I had a chance to shine. It was a total inspirational sports movie ending, all in my hands. Last couple minutes, down a point against the rival school, I was at the goal… totally open. My teammate tosses/throws/lobs (?) the ball to me and I watch it breeze right by my head in slow motion. No sports glory for me. To this day, when my nephew throws me a ball I flinch as if I’m about to get a Marsha Brady nose job.

I’m terrible at sports. All sports. It’s just not my aptitude, I don’t even look good in a hat. In elementary school I managed to stretch my required ‘run’ of the mile to a stealthy twenty-six minutes, so after the mile I didn’t have to also play basketball. And when I did attempt to put some effort into it I broke my wrist during the shuttle run (you know the one with the erasers?), followed by a nice old vomiting session. So I went back to my old ways, doing everything I could to do exert the least amount of effort in gym class. There was no reason to hurt myself for nothing, I wasn’t going to become an Olympic athlete. So I worked on entertaining myself by seeing how long I could sit in the locker room before being called for, how loud I could yell ‘get the fucking ball!’ to someone before I got detention, and wishing for mono so I could have a couple of weeks off. Those things worked, most of the time. That is until a high school gym teacher forced me to run the time, with her, while she sang girl scout songs. I didn’t think gym class could get any worse.

Today, I know my place. I won’t play football in the park with you, I can’t go ride bikes with you (those things terrify me), and as much as I love it for some reason, I don’t think you want me playing tennis. I’m happy in my natural habitat, the couch, with a beer, watching General Hospital or a Hoarders marathon.

And for exercise? I walk. Just walk. Because I know how to do that pretty well… most of the time.

-xo

*This short post brought to you by the fact that it’s my birthday! So back to enjoying the day, my way.

The Horrors of Halloween

Way to go, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. Way to ruin Halloween for everyone. This shocking piece of news has sent me into a death spiral that only huge amounts of sobbing, drinking and sessions in an extreme fetal position can cure. I mean, how can I go out dressed as a slutty ghost/pirate/french maid tonight and grind up against random masked men with any gusto? I’ll just be going through the motions, it’s not even worth it. Now I’m questioning everything about my life. If two super rich people can’t keep a commitment to the vows they recited at a beautiful, huge, multi millions dollar, made for TV, lavishly staged wedding then where’s the hope for me? Am I doomed to a life of poverty and loneliness because no one cares about my every move? What if I only end up marrying just for love, have I failed? If I forgot to wear underwear out last night and no one was around to see it, did I really forget to wear underwear?

I DON’T KNOW ANYMORE!

But in reality, I like the idea of Halloween more than the actual event. I love fall. I love gathering with friends, drinking cider and doing ‘fall’ activities. I love breaking out my hoodies. I love seeing pumpkins at the store. I even like seeing other people dressed up, but I’m too lazy to do it myself. I normally get struck by a brilliant costume idea the week after Halloween, and am never able to remember it the next year. I have since given up on the whole thing. Anyway, I don’t have to wait for that one time of year to tell me it’s ‘OK’ to dress slutty. I’ll do it whenever I want! The bars are super crowded, and the chances of seeing two unattractive people, barely dressed, getting it on in the middle of the bar go up fifty percent. I still like to stop by for a drink to see what people are wearing, but it only reminds me of those elementary school costume parades that read more like a sad chain gang. I don’t eat candy any time of year, and I don’t want a candy corn martini, so unless you can trick or treat for ice cream or beer I’d prefer to make room for the others. So, by the time Halloween actually rolls around, all the excitement (and pumpkins) have rotted and I can’t wait to get on with November. That means my birthday is right around the corner!

Please trust me, I don’t hate Halloween. I don’t even dislike it. I guess I just like all of fall better. I have really fond memories of the holiday as a kid, though I didn’t always dress up and/or go trick or treating then either. It’s just that by the time the 31st rolls around, the hype has gotten to me and it’s not so great anymore. And now. Now, I’ll be plagued with the visions of Kris Humphries quietly weeping into his pumpkin spiced latte as he carves a huge ass in his jack O’lantern wondering what went wrong… and why did he sign that damn prenup?

Have a terrific Halloween everyone! Whether you go all out or stay under your blanket!

These costumes haunt me. My Halloween in Hong Kong 2008

None of these are me, or anyone I know.

-xo

*If you read this and think to yourself, ‘wow, this girl really doesn’t like Halloween’, give it a few months. You’ll see how much I really hate a holiday when New Years comes along.

Oh (S)no(w) You Didn’t!

Yet another crazy day outside my window

 

OK! Whoa there Mother Nature. Settle down tiger. Don’t get all ahead of yourself. It’s only October and you’re thunder-snowing, sleeting and freezing all over the gosh-darn place. What did we do to piss you off, huh? …Besides all that pollution, over population and global warming stuff. I just hope this isn’t a foreshadowing of things to come because:

One snow storm = Yay for a snow day!
Two snow storms = An inevitable acceptance that it is, in fact, wintertime.
Three snow storms = Come on, it’s getting a little out of hand.
Anymore than that, and you’re just a total bitch.

Three strikes and I’m moving to the equator. (Maybe.)

Apparently this kind of pre-Halloween snow made an appearance in 2002, but I just don’t remember. Not one bit. But I’ll tell you one thing: It better not become a habit, missy!

I understand that a lot of people actually enjoy the snow, so you have to turn over that little salt shaker every-once-in-a-while. But I don’t get it one bit. This particular event isn’t going to produce anything worth ‘playing’ in, so what’s the point? Though for me, the threat of snow only gives me the impetus to curl up in bed with some good/bad TV (but, admittedly, it doesn’t take much for me to want to do that anyway).

Maybe I’d feel differently about your ‘frosted flakes’ if the pretty powder didn’t turn into black mush within hours of finding their final resting place. It’s no longer a peaceful stroll when you have to trudge past waist-high mountains of muck just to cross the street. And once it does start to melt, the threat of wading ankle-deep in Coke-colored Slushie-like puddles looms at every cross walk. How fun is that, really?

Now, to reiterate. It’s only freaking October, lady. I want to be walking around in a hoodie on a crisp, sunny day, not piling on layers so I can fit into my goloshes that are one-size too big. I’m just not quite ready for all of this, like a surprise pregnancy or a rogue, airborne beer bottle finding its way across the crowd right to your head. (The latter has actually happened to me.)

But if you’re doing this to get it out of your system, oh (hopefully) benevolent Mother Nature, have at it and go nuts. It would be nice to have a mild winter this year, one where I can actually leave the house without tears streaming down my face from the bitter cold. Though I’m not optimistic.

So, what’s it going to be? I don’t think I can bear this sight much more. It’s not even daylight savings yet for Frosty’s sake!

The date says October, but I want to guess January

What’s your least favorite part about winter?

-xo

When I’m 64

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful daddies out there! I’m off to see my dad, as well as a whole crap load of my family, this afternoon. There will be beer at this shindig (thank goodness), so it should be fun!

Yesterday I called my dad to ask him what time he would get to the party, so I could plan accordingly. During our less than five-minute conversation he managed to get that dreaded job question in.

Me: I applied to a whole bunch of different stuff today, so fingers crossed!

It didn’t seem to appease him at all.

I know a lot of his concern is for my future. If I’m not able to contribute to social security now, what will happen when I’m at retirement age? What about savings? Bills? What will happen when he’s not around to lean on? Well, fear no longer dad! I have come up with a list of jobs that I could pursue in my golden years that will keep my twenty cats stupid in wet food and cat nip for years.

  • Cute old lady extra on a TV sitcom.
  • Elderly spokesperson for low-cost insurance.
  • Greeter at Walmart.
  • Test subject.
  • Reality show contestant based on seniors finding love. (My generation is destined to be the first to do this).
  • Playing a corpse for mortuary cosmetology students.
  • Wheel of Fortune contestant.
  • The crazy cat lady that ends up on all those Animal Planet shows.
  • Nursing home tour guide.
  • Corpse on a cop drama.
  • Tapioca pudding taste tester.
  • Door-to-door denture salesperson.
  • Teaching ‘origami for arthritis’ classes.
  • Coach of the musical wheelchair team at the community center.
  • Bingo caller or community bingo shark.
  • Geriatric call girl.

So… I’m totally thinking about my future. Happy Father’s Day, dad!

-xo

My Fortune Teller, My Friend

Oh man, it’s been a while. I was on vacation from the vacation I call my life. I took a very long weekend ‘down the shore’ to celebrate my cousin’s birthday. Two days turned into five (because, let’s face it, I had no where else to be), then time started getting away from me.

Oddly enough, getting away was just what I needed. A chance to stop thinking about how I’m going to avoid my bills, why I’m not hearing back from my job applications, what the hell I’m doing with my life. It was just all walks on the boardwalk, surrey rides in the morning, afternoon drinks by the pool, boardwalk pizza, and amusement rides at night. A super escape from the boring ordinary.

One afternoon, my cousin, a friend, and I went for a stroll down the boardwalk to load up on some very necessary junk food. We decided to get our palms read when we saw the ‘special $5′ sign. I was certain all of my life’s questions were going to be answered, and I wouldn’t even have to break the bank!

My cousin went first. The lady was so ‘mesmerized’ by her soul that she was able to convince her to also get a tarot card reading.

I, apparently, wasn’t that interesting.

My reading took all of three minutes. But I learned a lot! I shall live into my late 80’s, which is promising, I guess (though I have no idea how I will be able to survive without any social security or savings. This might end up being a curse!) My third and last love is on his way and GET THIS, he’s going to own either a tattoo or motorcycle shop (I’m sure this had nothing at all to do with the fact that she could see a couple of my tattoos. Ps. None of my tattoos involve a motorcycle.) At least he’ll have a job!

Then she said something that really hit me hard, I worry too much. So much so that she insisted I start taking more time for myself. I need to relax, enjoy life and stop worrying about my responsibilities. I insistently thought to myself, ‘should I tell her that I have so much time to myself that I’m currently on a vacation that I can’t really afford just to get away from the day-to-day of lying on the couch checking monster.com?’ Nah, she knows best, right?

So, you heard it here first. My psychic said that a job would just complicate my life, and I can’t argue with that!

-xo

Please Fill This Out and Leave it at the Door as You Exit. Thank You.

I’m the spinster of the family. My brother and sister are both married with a child, and I haven’t had a successful relationship in a number of years. Don’t confuse this with complaining. I’m not looking to settle down and pop out a bunch of kids. I enjoy being single, probably more than I should, but at some point one has to wonder what’s wrong. I happen to think I’m an OK catch. I’m fun, relatively intelligent, creative, and attractive to at least some people (guys working behind deli counters seem have no problem telling me that). But the guys I’m interested in and I never really seem to jive. I’ve decided that from here on out, I’m going to conduct an exit interview with all of my potential suitors once I realize our first (and maybe last) encounter is coming to an end. This way there are no guessing games, agonizing staring contests with the phone or shoulda, woulda, couldas over the course of the next weeks. I look at it as a learning experience for both him and me. Here it is:

Lisa’s Date Exit Interview

If you are receiving this, it means I have enjoyed our time together. Please answer all questions thoughtfully and honestly.

    1. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being bad, 10 being spectacular) how would you rate your time spent this evening?
    2. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being dead, 10 being institutional) how would you rate my crazy level?
    3. Did I say anything to offend or terrify you? Please specify. (If you need more room, use other side).

    4. What was your favorite event of the evening?

    5. What was your least favorite event of the evening?

    6. Would you recommend me to your friends?
    7. If we had any physical intimacy, did you enjoy it enough to want to do it again?
    8. If you’d like to continue seeing me please leave your phone number here. (If you chose not to, you can kindly fuck off now).
    9. If you left your number, would you prefer to be a booty call or go on dates?
    10. If you answered booty call, please state days and times that you would prefer to be contacted.

    11. Please add any additional information here that hasn’t already been addressed.

Thank you for your time, both this evening and during the exit interview. I look forward to future meetings with you.
Keep the pen (it has my phone number on it), but please leave this form in the tray by the door.

Lisa

Totally reasonable, right? I think so.

-xo