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

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

Desperately Seeking Substance

I’ve been intensely bored lately.

Having no job seems like it’s all fun and games. You have all this time to do whatever you want, the world is your oyster! … As long as it doesn’t cost any money.

This summer has been both awesome and lame. I’ve gotten to do a lot of things with family that I may have not been able to do on a 9 – 5 schedule. I’ve gotten to go away for a weekend and decide to turn it into a week at the last-minute, which fits right into my hatred-of-all-things-planned kind of lifestyle. But what to do with all the other times when there isn’t anything to do? The random Thursdays where everyone else is at work and you’re stuck in the house trying to decide if you should go for yet another walk or just find a new bench to read that next chapter. And by the time you figure out which one sounds less monotonous today, you’ve spent the whole afternoon on Facebook.

Oh yes, my life is so glamorous.

And you’re probably like, ‘hey dumbass! You live in New York-fucking-City! There are thousands of things to do!’ True. Although, just about all of those things cost money. Surely I can go to a museum and skip paying the ‘suggested’ donation price, but then I’ll just feel like an enormous dick the whole time I’m trying to enjoy beautiful art. Plus, how many pictures can you really stare at before your eyes go goofy? I get bored easily, especially when alone. And don’t get me wrong! I love being alone. I cherish my solitude more than most, but after spending much of my time flying solo I would prefer to enjoy my art-gazing with a side of conversation. I”m just kooky that way.

So, what else is there? Shopping? No. Trying a new restaurant? Nope. Head for the gym? Can’t afford it. Get my nails done? Even if I had the money, I wouldn’t waste it on that. And so on.. you get the drift. Therefore, I try to get creative. I crochet, try to learn new things, I’ve even picked up cooking. Nice, low-budget hobbies that can keep me entertained (and productive) in the hours that I’m taking a break from the job search. But the problem today is that I’m still dog-sitting, which means I’m not at my own house. No yarn, because I chose not to lug my two current projects (already in full blanket mode) across the city and I don’t really enjoy cooking in someone else’s house, I can get messy. So, I’ve taken to walking with and without the dog. Walking at least five miles a day, up and down the city.

I realize this all seems very trivial. Most people would kill to have so much time on their hands and when I do finally get a job I’ll look back at these times with envious fondness. But the problem is that I’m bored with freedom.

That’s a huge problem.

I’m so bored that the Lisa who started looking for jobs with such a huge amount of dread and loathing for the working world doesn’t really exist anymore. She has turned into someone who would be willing to take just about anything just to have a purpose, and that’s not a good place to be. I don’t want to settle. I don’t have time to settle. I’m thirty-years-old and have to pick my next career carefully because chances are it will be the last one I’ll have. It’s a scary thought that has left me paralyzed with fear many nights. I didn’t go to college with dreams of falling into a position that didn’t leave me fulfilled at the end of the day. I don’t want to end up being the one who cheesily exclaims ‘I’ve got a case of the Monday’s’ after each weekend, dammit!

I suppose I’m still naive about it all. Chances are I’ll become the same blurry-eyed, office zombie that most people are because I have to make a living. It’s a realization that I’m slowly starting to slip into, though will never wear happily.

Now I will answer the question that everyone probably has on their minds, especially my parents’: Why are you still unemployed, I’m sure there’s something you can do?
I shall reply with two simple answers:

  1. I said it above, I’m scared. I’m scared to become a corporate drone just going through the motions in a beige, lifeless office. I can’t imagine spending the next thirty years of my life waiting for five o’clock to slink along. Contrary to popular belief, I kinda like being busy!
  2. (And this is the kicker). Out of all the applications I’ve sent in, I still haven’t heard back from one person that wants to meet with me. This fact, of course, throws me down further into the lack-of-a-job death-spiral. Maybe I’m not as creative as I thought, maybe I’m not capable of having the kind of job I’m hoping for, maybe I’ve been totally wrong about myself all these years. Maybe I’m just not destined to write. These aren’t thoughts I like to entertain, but they are hard to ignore at times. Then I grab some vodka and drown my sorrows. Just kidding! …?

In the end, it all swirls around in this vicious cycle that is very hard to break out of. It renders me useless at times and ferociously determined at others, but the result, so far, has remained the same. But I know one day it’s all going to change and I’ll be lamenting the horrors of my working life too. Because apparently, I’m never happy. But let me make this clear; I am happy, but I also know there is more out there for me and I want to know what it is. I’m ready to leave limbo behind.

So! Whose got a job for me?

-xo

No Money, Mo Problems

I had the great pleasure of having my car, Sassafras McGillicuddy, break down Tuesday night. Technically, you could call it Wednesday morning since the time was about 12:30am. My car did that awesome thing where it just decided to go to shut off mid-use, on my way home from a bar.

My first thought was: ‘Oh shit, I hope a cop doesn’t come and think I’m drunk.’ Because I wasn’t, though I had a few. But I know the cops in this town have nothing better to do than harass people about their drinking. I once was pulled over, stone cold sober (and 17) and accused of driving drunk.

My second thought was: ‘Oh shit, this jerk-of-a-car just did this last year.’ And it cost me a couple hundred bucks.

My third thought was: ‘Oh shit, I have to pee and now I have to wait forever for a stupid tow truck.’

My fourth thought was: ‘Yay, my car was just in the shop getting new brakes. What else can go wrong?’ It’s great when these things happen while I’m out of a job!

In my moment of shock, some random kids came to my car window offering to push me out of the street into one of the guy’s driveway. I accepted the generous deed, since I wasn’t completely stoked about sitting in the middle of the road, only to find out the driveway didn’t belong to anyone in the party. I graciously told the dudes to fuck off while I watched them run around the corner, laughing. This driveway belonged to none of them! Fuck.

Within minutes, my friend came to the rescue. My knight in bearded armor pushed me to the library parking lot, and waited with me in to the wee hours of the night. At least I got to cross ‘pee in the yard of a public library’ off my bucket list.

And into the night we sat. I got home around 3:30am with cravings for a half eaten hoagie waiting for me in the fridge. I ate the crap out of that thing.

Only a couple of sleepless hours later I found out what was wrong with my car and more importantly, what it was going to cost. In an attempt to cheer me up, my mom suggested we go to the casino. Penny slots to bring me out of my funk. A perfect place for a broke, jobless person! I just wanted to get drunk so I agreed, also she baited me with some cash. She’s an enabler.

I didn’t win anything, but I could have told you that before I even left. My luck wasn’t going to allow any jackpots to occur. But I did get drunk, I had control over that.

Now it appears my luck has rubbed off on my nephew. He has pinkeye and a cold. What else could go wrong?

Fuck. I have a zit.

-xo

A Weekend of Fun and Sunshine

It’s the unofficial start to summer and I’m on my way south of the Mason-Dixon line to celebrate with my best friend, M (among others)! How do I celebrate Memorial Day, you ask? Like every other holiday (or typical weekend with the amazing Miss M.), I say. With lots of food, booze, and dance parties til dawn. This time, I think we’re adding some bowling in too, just for good measure. A-meri-cah!

In the spirit of summertime, mini road trips, and dance parties I present to you a sampling of some of my favorite warm weather tunes!

Summer of Love – B-52′s:  So airy with a nostalgic feel, it always starts me off with a huge smile on my face.

Promised You a Miracle – Simple Minds: Perfect song to dance to with a beer in your hand while mouthing the words along with your friend across the dancefloor (or living room floor).

(Not Just) Knee Deep – Funkadelic: Great for cruising down the back roads with the windows down.

I Can’t Go For That – Hall & Oates: A karaoke staple of mine, and also a chill outdoor summer party tune.

Cruel Summer – Bananarama: Duh! You can’t go wrong with the Karate Kid soundtrack & a poppy girl group!

Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello: What a better song for your Memorial Day playlist than a tongue-in-cheek song about the armed forces!

World In Motion – New Order: Yes, was a song for the World Cup in 1990 but it always gets me pumped and ready to dance.

Club Tropicana- Wham!: And lastly, it’s so hard to not have the silliest time dancing after having a few too many to this song. It makes me feel like I’m on Dance Party USA or something.

There are so many more where this came from but I’ve got to get on the road. What are your favorite summer tunes?

Have a great weekend everyone!

-xo