Confidence, Feelings

Making Gold

This weeks sermon comes to you from having your own personal crisis in the most seemingly hostile of environments. And living. And learning that you can do that and not only be fine, but better than you were before. Absorbing rejection and living anyway, to realize that you can make it through anything. You can experience your worst fears and get confirmation on your cruelest thoughts about yourself and still wake up the next morning.

And if you are lucky then you get to the next morning and look around at the people who were there with you and you get to be grateful for them and love them harder than before. It may have been your worst day but it still wasn’t the worst day you could have had. Because you didn’t have to do it alone. And the people who supported you are not always the ones you expect. Maybe you have a family you never knew about before. People who help you climb by picking your feet up and placing them where they need to go. And people who listen and give zero advice, just hear and reflect back.

These are the things you learn from having the worst day imaginable in the most hostile environment imaginable.

That you are the strongest you imaginable.

Confidence, Feelings

Normal, Facts, And Feelings

There are two sentences I keep using to sort through my moments recently. Two questions I apply to situations I’m in, feelings I have, things people say to me.

Is this a fact or a feeling?

Is this normal because it happens so often or is it normal because it is natural?

Lots of things are feelings, not facts.

I’m ugly.

I’m unworthy.

I’m not good at this.

Everyone is looking at me.

Everyone will notice that I’m secretly not qualified to be here.

Lots of things are facts, not feelings.

This subway train is not moving.

The person I’m talking to is yelling.

There are lots of things that are normalized because they are frequently occurring.

When I was in college, a teacher once said that all women live by a ‘rape schedule.’ I was baffled by the term, but as she went on to explain, I got really freaked out. Because I realized that I knew exactly what she was talking about. And you do too. Because of their constant fear of rape (conscious or not), women do things throughout the day to protect themselves. Whether it’s carrying our keys in our hands as we walk home, locking our car doors as soon as we get in, or not walking down certain streets, we take precautions. While taking precautions is certainly not a bad idea, the fact that certain things women do are so ingrained into our daily routines is truly disturbing. It’s essentially like living in a prison – all the time. We can’t assume that we’re safe anywhere: not on the streets, not in our homes. And we’re so used to feeling unsafe that we don’t even see that there’s something seriously fucked up about it.

Jessica Valenti, Full Frontal Feminism [x]

And things that are normal because they’re average, natural.



Feelings, Hope

Things To Look Forward To

I like to read and all, but I have a friend who Loves Books.

Capital L, capital B. Loves. Books.

He’s a writer.

He said that it makes him happy knowing that there are too many books in the world for him to ever read them all. That he’ll get to the end of his life and there will still be books left that he hasn’t read.

I do not agree. I feel like this fact means that when I read a book and don’t like it I’ve made a mistake. For every book I read and dislike I’m missing out on the opportunity to have read 3 books that I loved and couldn’t put down.

But there’s something comforting to me in the idea that there are umpteen feelings in this world that I haven’t felt yet. That though it may take time, though the variety of the feelings until then may be muted, one day I will experience a feeling that is unlike any I’ve had. New.

Something vibrant and alive.


That’ll be so exciting.

Dating, Feelings

Mourn What Was, Not What Might Have Been

You can’t mourn the relationship you could have had. You can only mourn the relationship you did have.

You can say “he’s a great listener” all you want while you’re together. After all, he does give great advice. And he can memorize numbers for work.

But when it’s over then it’s time to look at the whole collection, together.

Is he a good listener? Maybe.

Did he listen to you? Maybe not.

It’s ok to hold both truths at the same time.

But holding on to what could have been won’t help anyone. And you have to be on team you.

this love went bad long ago.
it’s like the half-full expired container of milk in the fridge-
i know i should throw it out, but can’t stand
to see so much of a once good thing
go to waste.

Lora Mathis [x]


I Don’t Want To Be Around This Face Either

A few weeks ago I was working a new job. Everyone around me was really experienced and whether or not it was actually true I was really self conscious that they were judging me, hating me. They were used to working with people who were veterans at this and I was slowing things down.

I don’t like doing things that I don’t feel I can conquer immediately.

But too bad for me.

The guy who was in charge of training me was so accommodating. Sitting right next to me and answering my every question no matter how inane.

I’ll never forget the day I turned to him with tears in my eyes. Facing away from the rest of the group so only he could see. His face melted. “Ok, I know that my face is doing this thing right now but it’s just my face. Ignore it and tell me that this is actually going just fine and I need to relax and just do the job. I know that the fact that I’m crying is written on my face but just ignore it and it’ll go away. It isn’t real.”

And when he ignored the thing my face was doing, it went away. And my gratitude at having him in that situation was immense. For all the things I appreciate about him, that moment was one of my favorites.

Plus, it helped me feel better.


I’m In A Funk

I’m in a funk.

All I want to do is watch Netflix and tell everyone to piss off. It’s all I can think about. And it’s not helping me out of the funk.

But I’m allowed to be in a funk.

I’ve worked hard lately, I’ve done great things. And I’m allowed to spend a few days doing relatively little, feeling all the feels and enjoying the fantastic company of my numero uno.

A few years ago I called up a friend in the middle of the weekend. She’s had manic depression for years and I wanted to know what the depression felt like. Did what I felt qualify as depression? What she said was that what I was feeling was grief. Grief mixed with guilt that I didn’t deserve to be sad. That other people had it worse and I should put the sadness away and be better, be more grateful, be putting better feelings out into the world.

When I was a kid it was helpful when I threw a fit, “Did you eat today? Do you have clothes on your back? Do you have shoes on your feet? Good, I thought so. Stop crying and do your homework please.” But as an adult now, that qualifies as advice that isn’t always helpful.

Confidence, Feelings, Sisterhood

Why I Sometimes Heed Eating Disorder Trigger Warnings

As a privileged young white woman in America I naturally have a number of friends who have had some sort of struggle with an eating disorder. In fact I recently started seeing a shrink and one of the first sort of funny moments we had together was during my first session. She cautiously asked me about my relationship with food and I told her that I eat it, I love to eat it and I feel no guilt whatsoever about eating it, and then I pulled out the wrapper from the chocolate croissant I had eaten on my way over there.

Compared to pretty much all of my peers my relationship with food is pretty insanely good (if only I could cook it).

And I know exactly how lucky that makes me. And I have a lot of people to thank for it because I know it is the result of some pretty conscious hard work from some people who love me (and food).

And as someone who benefitted from those people I feel like it’s my duty to pay it forward, and help other people not be afraid of food too. Because I wouldn’t be here without the people who took it upon themselves to make sure I saw them eating whole gallons of Cherry Garcia ice cream.

It’s important to talk about it, to think about how I got where I am and to hear from friends who have been less fortunate about their experiences, the potholes they fell in along the way and the triggers in pages of magazines and on red carpet shows.

A common thread I often found when talking to my friends about their ED’s was that they felt ashamed of not just their bodies being seen but also of all those negative thoughts about their bodies. And so it was harmful for me to shut down their negative self-talk without hearing it out first. It taught me that even when your thinking is disordered, the answer isn’t just replacing the words with healthier more accepting ones but sussing out why the negative words feel like the ones with greater fit.

Which leads to the question: If I feel so passionate about this then why do I sometimes have to not read them?

It’s not because I’m afraid of being triggered into skipping dinner. If I don’t eat dinner we’re going to have bigger problems.

It’s not because I don’t care about the fact that my friends are having a rough day and need to get the negative words out of their mouths so they’re not bouncing around their heads.

It isn’t even because I’m bored of the topic from spending every day watching it unfold, penetrating my friends, my family, noticing the tones in the voices of shopgirls as they try to sell me anti-cellulite lotions.

But every once in a while as I pass a friend bemoaning and apologizing that she can’t just be better, that everything is just so hard and so much, I get scared. Not that I’ll stop eating, but that some days everything is too hard and too much, and if I were to take that as an answer I’d be the biggest disappointment I could ever imagine being, to myself and to my family, to all the people who have leaned on me for that same support.

And so out of self-preservation (something else my shrink says I sometimes do too little of) I just press the skip button and continue on my merry way.

On the days where it’s all too much I cry for myself and for my losses, I cry for the friends who can’t just snap their fingers and eat pie guilt free, I cry for the friends stuck in jobs and cities and relationships and families where they aren’t happy or loved and I cry for the people in harms way, sick, injured or scared. On the days I cry I spend the entire day doing it. It’s exhausting and time consuming and god forbid it happens in the morning I better hope I have nothing else to do that day unless I schedule in a nap.

Everyone has days that are dark, obscure, and terrible. And you should live those days to their darkest, obscurest, and terrible-est. And then tomorrow enjoy the kittens.

Death, Feelings, Grief

Keeping My Emotions In Check

First I will say how happy I am to see another Vlogbrother video which features mostly just John Green in different locations talking to the camera and occasionally himself, other humans, and things. Those are my favorite kind.

Then I want to say that I am one of the people who is excited and nervous about the The Fault In Our Stars (go read it now) movie. And also express excitement that it’s being filmed in Pittsburgh which means it’s possible that some classmates of mine might be in it.

And now I will get to the reason for this post.

In the first 30 seconds of the video John says “I’ve been laughing and crying, I think they think I’m crazy because I can’t keep my emotions in check at all.” And that is how I feel all the time, especially this week.

Sunday was my dad’s unveiling and since then I have felt just about all the feelings all the time. And about those feelings I have other feelings. And so on and so forth. Add that to the bar fight (yes, you heard me right, I was part of a bar fight) and it just feels like all of me hurts every moment of the day.

I make plans with a friend only to then ditch them for being 8 minutes late so I can walk down to the river and cry on the phone to another friend.

I pick fights with the people who love me because they do the things we planned, just a little differently than we had planned.

I pick fights with anyone and I tear up at the drop of a hat. Literally. If you had a hat and it was beautiful and it fell to the floor I might cry.

I’ve gotten really good at “pretty crying.” The trick is to not notice that you’re crying, to be so OK with the fact that tears are rolling down your face that you stop trying to control it. That’s what takes the effort and makes you all red; restraint.

I had a cry at work today and said “I just feel so needy.” And my co-worker said “You’re not needy, you’re grieving.”

So I guess that’s the permission I’m gonna get.

Not like I was planning on getting any permission at all. But I’m feeling really needy. So I’ll take it where I can get it.

Dating, Feelings, Friendship

Stop Apologizing And Be Better

A friend of mine was asking for boy advice the other day.

The guy he was dating totally blew him off after they made plans to go out that night. He clearly believed in “ask forgiveness later” over “ask permission now.” Not always the worst policy but also not always the best.

So the next day this guy called and apologized and tried to reschedule, and my friend was asking me if he should forgive him.

When someone you care about makes you feel bad about yourself apologies don’t really help. You like him so seeing him feel bad, feel sorry, doesn’t make you feel better.

I don’t want you to apologize, I know you’re sorry. I want you to show that I’m important to you, that I’m worth an extra 5 minutes or hour of your time, that the things I care about are important to you simply because I care about them and you care about me. And an apology doesn’t do that. So shut up and do.