Fighting with My Husband About Finding Shit

Daily, my husband and I have at least one argument about his inability to find stuff. Usually, he wanders through the house as though he’s never been there before, eyes wide, scratching his head, yelling, “Babe! BABE!” It’s about this time that I decide to take a shower or walk the dog or pretend to read because I know what’s coming.

Earlier this week, I was in the laundry room folding clothes when I hear the water in the shower turn off. “BABE? BABE!” he starts, “Where are the towels? Babe? Where do we keep the towels?” I grabbed my clean clothes and ran upstairs irritated and ready to murder him. I barged into the bathroom,

“Can you please tell me how it’s possible you can’t find shit? Like ever? HOW!? Babe, we live in the same Goddamn house!”

He tried to look helpless, all dripping wet and cold, “I don’t know. You’re better at finding stuff than me!”

I put my hand on my hip to indicate a level of seriousness, “Yes, F, that’s it. Finding stuff is my fucking superpower.” If any of you out there are thinking about marriage, this is it, guys. Bask in the glory. It seems that in every relationship there is one person who is the all-powerful finder of shit and the pitiful loser of shit.

For a second I thought, wow, I am better at finding stuff but then I realized it was a trap. He was complimenting me so I’d take pride in my seemingly magical abilities to find his shoes, socks, jock strap, cereal, and the dog’s leash on a weekly basis. I remembered the way he made his mom locate everything for him last year when we were staying at his parent’s house in Italy. Light bulb moment: He sucks at finding stuff because for his entire life he’s feigned helplessness and everyone (his mom and me) jumped to help him.

“You’re just saying that so I’ll keep helping you! I’m onto you, fuckface!”

He started laughing, “Yes, babe, it’s a big plan to enslave you into being my finder helper.”

“Exactly! Well, drip dry, buddy! I’m not helping.”

“BABE! PLEASE!”

And I caved and got him a towel, swearing I’d never do it again.

For the sake of fairness, I ask him if he’s seen my stuff, too. The difference is that it’s like once every two months and he never gets up to look. He’ll usually just get all blank faced and go, “haven’t seen it,” before he goes back to binge-watching American Idol or Ellen on his iPhone.

I’ve wondered many times why I do it. Why do I rush to find his beanie or face cream? I’ve asked my friends who are also finders why they do it. We’ve come to this conclusion:

It makes us feel like martyrs.

It makes us feel important and elite.

We are control freaks and would rather do things ourselves which turns our partners into helpless asshats.

Their mother’s or fathers broke them and we take pity on them for it.

In my case, I think it’s a little of everything above, in addition, there’s a part of me that helps because in many other areas F is by far more on top of shit than I am. I’m the one who falls down all the time while trying to pet a stranger’s dog, I’m the embarrassing one that will start singing Dolly Parton in the soup aisle of the grocery stores, and I’m the one who will “accidentally,” spend 90 dollars on Amazon for a “very cute bread box.” I give him shit, but deep down I’m also aware that relationships are given and take and while he couldn’t find his ass from a hole in the ground, he’s very good at remembering to change the oil, is an expert at yard work, and only yells hysterically for a short period of time when I internet adopt various animals in Africa for an obscene amount of money.

This is marriage, guys.

 

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My Unapologetic Love Letter to Coyotes

Something you should know about me is that useless animals facts are like my superpower and also the reason nobody wants to invite me over for cocktails. What better place to share all of the random information stored in my head, than here? Taw-da! And we’ll start with one of my all-time fave creature, the brilliant and fuzzy coyote.

I love coyotes. And I know that this is an unpopular opinion but I think it’s mostly because they’re misunderstood. Afterall, if you look at them, they’re a mix between a badass wolf and an adorable dog and who doesn’t love dogs? The answer: Psychos, that’s who.

You’d be surprised by how cool these furry little beasts are, in fact, they’re a lot like us. One of the foremost coyote researchers, Bob Crabtree, wrote, “The similarities between the social and breeding systems of the coyote and humans are striking. Coyotes like humans, attempt to mate for life, are territorial, and build social units consisting of family members with parents, brothers, and sisters helping to raise the young.” How adorable is that? Every coyote family is basically like the Golden Girls if the men had stuck around.

Recently, I read an article that explained that once in a while a female coyote will mate with a domestic male dog and most of the time the puppies die because the dog runs off (and never pays child support) and the coyote mom doesn’t know how to raise them alone. When she first met Fido, she thought that everything would be different, but then everything went to shit, her life fell apart, she started drinking and before she knows it she’s an alcoholic living behind a nail salon in Reno. It’s tragic.

But the real tragedy is how we, humans, treat coyotes and I blame it largely on greed and the agricultural industry. Note, I grew up on a farm and support small family farms. Still, we have to acknowledge that maybe the way we do things isn’t all that good for our ecosystem. For example, when European settlers moved to the US in droves, they thought it was a super good idea to kill off all of the Buffalo, an animal native to the US. Then they brought in cows for reasons that don’t make any sense because there was plenty of Buffalo to go around. Then, this insane murder domino effect happened that is honestly a total mindfuck.

Let me start by saying I don’t have a problem with people hunting to feed their families (again, spent lots of time on a farm as a kid). Honestly, it’s a lot better for the environment and the animals than, say, a factory farm. But I definitely disturbing when people hunt purely for fun. Seriously, if you go out and kill things that you don’t eat because you think it’s a jolly good time with your homies, I can only assume that you weren’t hugged enough as a child and you’re broken on some deep, deep level that is very, very sad.

In addition, I don’t get this logic:

–>Kill all the buffalo and replace them with cows.

–>Kill all the wolves to protect the cows.

–>Kill all of the deer because now, without predators, they’re overpopulated.

–>Kill all the coyotes to protect the cows and deer (because we didn’t have adequate research to tell us that coyotes mostly eat RODENTS which is important).

–>Kill all the rabbits because now they’re overpopulated because we’ve killed all the wolves and coyotes.

–>Kill all the rats because now they’re overpopulated because we killed all of the coyotes.

–>Etc., Etc., Etc., FOR ETERNITY.

Basically, being human is just making bewildering decisions until we die.

In Utah, there’s a bounty on coyotes and people go out and kill them by the hundreds and the taxpayers of Utah pay for it. A lot of the arguments for the culling is basically, “there are too many of them, it’s necessary,” to which I say, that is some shockingly egotistical batshit. We’re a part of the world, not in charge of it. Every single thing on this planet was perfectly designed for a purpose. The worst part is that our short-sighted solutions often cause the problem in the first place. National Geographic recently published an article that explained how humans are actually the cause of urbanized coyotes, “In recent years coyotes have discovered what you call “a new refuge … chock full of food and cover where no one ever shot at you.” Because lunatics go out into the world and kill hundreds of coyotes at once, using them for target practice, Coyotes have learned that the wild is unsafe for them so they’re moving into cities where they’re safer. Also, when you kill Coyotes, they breed more, so our uber primitive methods of control actually cause more coyotes. They are the Harvard grads of the wild west, my friends. They’re sitting in sagebrush solving quantum physics while we scratch our asses and bang on stuff “Bam-Bam” style.

It’s not that I don’t understand the fear of coyotes. Sometimes they kill livestock, sometimes they kill your neighbor’s Shitzu, Fifi, and that really sucks. I’d be super bummed if something ate Oliver. But at the end of the day, that’s just part of living on a planet with other things. For our own good, we need our ecosystem intact, and the planet is better at regulating itself without our help. We need to learn how to coexist with the rest of the planet because it’s just the most logical and mutually beneficial thing to do.

In the book Track of the Coyote, Tom Skeele is quoted as saying “I think the future of predator control is dependent largely upon our ability to get away from looking at wildlife as being either good or bad but simply to respect its higher purpose, and I don’t mean its purpose for humans.”

And to that I say, HOORAY. Then I fist bump absolutely nobody in particular.

Books to Read in March 2018

I’ve always been a book nerd. In elementary school, they tested me for a learning disability because instead of turning in my homework, I’d sneak a book under my desk and read all day. It just didn’t seem like Mrs. Smith could teach me more than “Max, the Dog That Refused to Die” could. In college, I majored in Literature and Sociology and later in Fine Art (and had the time of my life). Obviously, as an adult, I appreciate teachers, podcasts, and Ted Talks but I still spend a borderline unhealthy amount of time reading. It’s my way to disappear into another life or world and grow as a person while I do it.

And, I’ve decided it’s double the fun to read as a group. So, I’m going to post the things I’m reading here and if you want to read the same stuff, we can talk about them in the comments below (note: lots of spoiler alerts in the comments). It will be like our own deranged little book club.

Books For March: 

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

All The Lives I Want by Alana Massey

Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

The Beaver Show by Jacqueline Frances 

Full disclosure: I’ve already read The Beaver Show but I’d like other people to read it so we can talk about it here (Full FULL disclosure: I know the author, but that’s not why I chose the book). I’m also halfway through High Fidelity (and loving it). I’m planning to start All The Lives I Want next weekend (in the tub with Prosecco and cannot fucking wait).

Have you read any of these? Thoughts?

Depression Thoughts: I’ve Got the Blues

I’ve been pretty good for months now but last week was rough. Last week, I caught feelings and they weren’t fucking good. One day I felt fine, the next I felt like a storm cloud that got gangbanged by the Cure. I had no energy, I got all weepy, and sad and empty and…depressed? My first thought was, “Oh shit, the depression is back!” And I started to get a little panicked because depression for me isn’t just sadness and fatigue, though those things are worse, depression in me manifests as constant panic and terror, insomnia, nausea, and vomiting. It’s like my entire body goes on strike and just implodes. It sucks.

My therapist once told me to be extremely careful with labels. She said, sometimes people dip down and get sad. Everyone has low moments but that doesn’t mean you’re depressed. In fact, telling yourself you’re depressed can actually make you feel worse and cause the issue to manifest. So, I stopped myself and started that weird internal babbling that I’ve learned to do, the fancy self-talk. I told myself, “I’m not depressed, I’m feeling blue. It’s going to pass.” I got out my notebook and went down the line of self-care acts to stave off shitty feelings. I hit the gym, put on my depression meditation on my headspace app, wrote a long list of things I was grateful for (the list included: air, shiny things, books, puppies, gravity, paper, notebooks) and looked forward to my sister coming. Against my therapist’s advice, I tried to look for a cause. What triggered it?

For a lot of people, depression comes out of nowhere. But mine usually doesn’t. Usually, one small, seemingly insignificant thought snowballs in my brain like a silent bomb and days later I feel the painless explosion. What had triggered it?

I traced it back to a thought. One single thought: I’m not good enough. I revisited something I’d done not too long ago and thought, “Wow, this is way worse than I remembered it being.” Then that turned into, “I’m never going to get where I want to be with writing, with my projects, in life, I’m decades behind.” Instead of stopping the obsessive loop like I’ve been doing for the past year, I just let it go. I took my foot off the break and just let my brain speed toward a crash for most of the day. In addition to the shitty thoughts of inadequacy, I’ve been spending a ton of time alone. I need solitude to write, but too much does bad things to me. The day after the negative dialogue with myself, the blues came and obliterated my mood.

My husband came home and took one look at me and said, “Jesus, what’s that look on your face? Are you okay?” At my dad’s house that night, my stepmom did the same thing, “I’ve known you forever, I can take one look at you and know something is wrong. What is it? Why do you look like you might cry?” Three days of that. Three days of what’s the point? Everything is dark and cloudy and shitty. Three days of feeling like my life didn’t matter and 5.6 moments of fantasizing about my death. When I get the blues, the first thing that happens is I either become terrified of dying and panic or I start having fantasies about what people might say at my funeral. Will they even go? And if so, will they say nice things?

Then my sister came and I spent two days laughing and talking and getting out of my house. I wrote more about being grateful and to a few Barre classes and took Omega 3 and 6 oils, Vitamin D, B, C, E and wrote a letter to my therapist that I haven’t given her yet. And the blues lifted, slowly.

The clouds always lift at some point.

But it was a really important reminder that I’m in a space right now where I can’t skip on self-care, I can’t let my brain go rogue, can’t skip exercise or meditation, and can’t avoid people for long periods of time (not even if I’m working on a book). It’s a reminder that self-care needs to be a part of my daily routine for pretty much ever. And, a reminder that the stories we tell ourselves matter and have a large impact on our happiness (or unhappiness).

And honestly, this post is a reminder that I need to GTFO of my house right now and go stalk my neighbor’s new puppy because I haven’t talked to another human in person since yesterday and puppies more or less fix everything. It’s science.

While I was finishing this, someone left an invitation on my door to attend Jesus Christ’s funeral next week. So, if things get bad again, at least I have that to look forward to?

Urban Jungle

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk, gazing out of the window when I saw a rabbit sitting right smack in the middle of my yard munching on grass. I immediately assumed that the rabbit was a pet gone rogue because I live in the middle of the city. I worried that maybe some asshole had abandoned the little thing and now it was forced to live off of my shitty grass. But, after hours of Googling, I learned that the little bunny with its gray-brown body and white tail is a wild Mountain Cottontail. Apparently, there are loads of them in Utah’s mountains. How it got here, I have no idea. But I like him, a lot.

Things I’ve Learned About Mountain Cottontails:

  • They’re more solitary than other rabbits and typically live alone in little burrows they often find abandoned by other animals.
  • Unlike their gluttonous cousins, the domestic rabbit, cottontails only grow to be about five pounds and they prefer to eat grass and tree bark.
  • Their mating ritual is a lot like the tango: tons of eye contact, hopping and twisting, and at some point the female actually stands on her hind legs facing the male, holding eye contact, and repeatedly boxes him in the face and ears. Yes, she punches the shit out of him and he’s into it.
  • They only live for a year or two because literally, everything eats them, including twitchy ass squirrels (if the rabbit is sick or maimed). I’ll never trust a squirrel again, the crack heads of the urban jungle.

Ever since I first saw him, I’ve become a little obsessed. Every day, I sit at my desk and watch for him. He usually comes hopping out of his house, a shed with a hole in the wall that sits next to my yard on the east side, to engorge himself on foliage around seven a.m. Me, my computer, a latte, and Clark (my husband named him), the bunny, makes for a perfect morning. When he’s not there, I worry about him. When it snowed heavily last week, I put some spinach out so he didn’t go hungry. And, I’ve banned my husband from making smoothies in the morning because “STOP BOTHERING CLARK WITH THE BLENDER.” I mean, he’s got it bad enough being trapped in the urban jungle with the sketchy squirrels, the last thing he needs to wake up to is the screaming Blendtech.

I realize it’s a little, crazy. But I can’t help it.

I’m fascinated with nature and how resilient it is. I mean, for whatever reason, we just keep trying to fight it and it comes back fighting harder, in the shape of vines growing through cement, or rabbits converting old sheds to mansion bunny dens. It’s like nature is shouting at us, “YOU CANNOT STOP ME! I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.” It has to shout, we don’t listen.

I haven’t seen Clark today, or yesterday. I’ve worried a little but I can see his unique paw prints in the snow, the little front feet, and the longer back feet, almost on top of each other. I’m not sure why his paw prints or comforting or why I look forward to seeing him so much. Maybe it makes me feel closer to the universe or gives me something to look forward to, maybe I’ve become attached to Clark, or to the little hope he gives me every day. Who can say, really?

Maybe I’ll see him tomorrow.

 

19 Things I Wish I Could Go Back in Time to Tell My Younger Self

I wouldn’t say that I regret any of my adult decisions because my choices made me who I am and I’m pretty okay with myself. With that being said, things could have been a little easier and sometimes I fantasize about what I’d say to younger me if I could go back in time. I think I’d still do the same things, still have dated the same people, for example, but I’d tell younger me to move on the moment I realized that person just wasn’t right for me. I wish that the moment I realized I wanted to be a writer, I’d have sat down and wrote and sent things off for publication. Instead, I studied sociology and researched  things like human sexual fluidity and the social impact of after-school programs because just going for what I really wanted seemed somehow “irresponsible.” That’s not to say I didn’t love doing research, but I’d much rather write about that one time my dad told me that humans are born with 567 bones but when they die they only have 426 bones. Or that time I went to visit my grandma when she was dying from cancer and I walked in to find her smoking a cigarette and drinking whiskey while hooked up to an oxygen machine. I love people and storytelling.

So, if I could go back in time to have a conversation with myself, this is the advice I’d give M.E. Then I’d high-five myself and say something like, “damn girl, red lipstick does look good on you.”

  1. Every relationship doesn’t need to work out. Every date doesn’t need to be destined for marriage or a long-term commitment. Don’t feel bad when a relationship tanks or never gets off the ground because all that means is that person wasn’t right for you. When you meet the dude you’re supposed to marry, you’ll know. Also? He has an accent. Raaaaar.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule, young M.E. There’s a huge difference between a bad relationship with great moments and a great relationship with bad moments. If your relationship makes you feel like crap most of the time, get out. I promise you, people always upgrade from one relationship to the next and you’ll find someone way better. At the same time, everyone is flawed. Remember that time you broke up with someone because you didn’t like how they chewed? Yeah…
  3. Be careful who you choose to invest time and energy in. Nobody’s perfect and everyone does shit that’s not ideal. But there’s a difference between shit behavior and a person who doesn’t contribute shit. It’s one thing for a friend to get too drunk and puke on your favorite shoes and say something they don’t mean. It’s another thing to have a one-sided friendship, a person who only calls when they need something, for example. Or, someone who tries to one-up you constantly or manipulate you.  Friends who are abusive or manipulative, judgemental or compulsively dishonest, you can do without. Get rid of people who consistently bring you down. You know those friends who get mad at you for studying instead of doing vodka shots with them at the local pub? Yeah, you don’t need that.
  4. It’s okay to tell people what you want or don’t want, like or don’t like. It’s okay to talk about how you feel and to set standards with people in your life, respectfully and with tact. You can do all of this while being nice as hell. You don’t need to be an asshole to be heard. Calm down.
  5. Self-care books aren’t nearly as lame as they sound. Work on yourself, grow, improve, and you’ll be so much happier. I mean, you’ll say douchey things like, “my self-care activity today is,” but you’ll be happy as hell while you do it.
  6. Black is the best choice color for all clothing and you’re on point, babe. Never change that. However, let’s discuss your excessive use of safety pins on t-shirts. You actually look like a sewing kit vomited on you. You’re going for punk rock but you actually look like Frankenstein’s monster.
  7. You don’t need to hang out with the people you’re dating 24/7. It’s a terrible idea. Go on a trip with your female friends, have a standing movie date with a bud, grab wine and sit on a friend’s couch. Don’t neglect your friends or family for your partner, ever, because you need both to be balanced and happy in the long term.
  8. Self-sabotage is a real thing and you need to stop doing it. Stop freaking out about not being good enough. Just write some shit, put it out into the world, and when it’s rejected just pick yourself up and do it again. It’s fine, you’ll survive. Which brings me to #9.
  9. Fail hard, fail often, make it a goal to fail. Failure makes you stronger and it’s the best way to learn and grow. Stop being afraid of it.
  10. You don’t need to be perfect or great. Instead, make it your goal to just show up and do your best.
  11. Stop taking yourself so seriously! Jesus, you’re 22! Laugh about it!
  12. Let go of your anger towards your dad (or anyone). Just sit him down and talk with him about how you feel. TALK ABOUT IT. Tell him you forgive him and move on. It takes a scary amount of energy to be angry with people, way too much energy, and it’s not worth it. Anger won’t protect you, it won’t stop you from getting hurt or keep you safe, it will literally just make one aspect of your life shit. Let it go.
  13. That thing you do where you replay things that happen over and over in your head? That’s called rumination and it’s an anxiety thing. Don’t let yourself do it. Tell yourself, “ah, anxiety,” and do something to distract yourself. Also, stop bottling up your emotions because later in life it causes fun little meltdowns and costs a fortune in therapy.
  14. Your siblings look up to you, a lot. No matter how annoying they are, just try to be there for them. Listen to them, give them advice, and compliment them often. You really don’t know what could happen. And in fact, you lose a brother in your late twenties. Don’t leave room for regret, it hurts too much.
  15. Learn about finances! Go to the library right now and check out a book. Learn how to budget, figure out how to invest, and for the love of the universe, invest in something amazing and open an IRA account. Saving early means the difference between retiring at 55 or 80.
  16. Exercise, you lazy asshole. Put down your Vonnegut novel and go hiking or something. When you decide you actually want to be in shape in your thirties, it’s way harder because you were so goddamn lazy in your twenties. I mean, seriously, how can you sit around so much?
  17. Move out of your hometown earlier. Your twenties will be the most flexible time of your life. You can always go back home but you won’t always have the chance to move to new places. Spend a year in New York, a year in L.A., a year in Charleston. Change is also great for writing, so do more of that. Yes,  you move out of the country at 29 and that was smart, but do it sooner.
  18. Find balance. It’s awesome to care about causes and to strive to make the world a better place, but you can’t do good if you’re depressed all the time from focusing on all the negative things in the world. Do what you can, be informed, but injustice doesn’t need to be your every waking thought. At some point, you’ll burn out. Also? Get off of your soapbox and just listen to other people. Believe what you believe but find middle ground with people who are different than you. Don’t write people off because they’re politics, ideology or worldviews are different. Ask questions and listen. I promise it won’t change who you are but it will help you grow.
  19. Stop getting in your own way, trust your intuition, and believe in yourself. Seriously, you’ve got this.

What would you tell yourself if you had the chance to go back in time and give yourself advice?

The Moth, Star Wars, and Facing my Fears

I hate speaking in public.  I really hate it. If you’ve ever been to one of my readings, you know that I’m usually three or four Ketal One and soda’s in before I can even approach the stage. This is because it terrifies me to climb up there and have everyone looking back at me, expectant when there’s so much room for error. I could die, for example, and piss my pants in front of everyone. The story could fall flat, or in the case of a storytelling event, I could completely black out and forget the story. But, at the same time, I like sharing things that I write in front of people because you get instant feedback on the story. If the audience is supposed to laugh but doesn’t, something needs to be fixed. If they laugh when you wanted to, it’s worth like a decade of validation. You see the conundrum (and how desperate I am for approval. Thanks, dad!).

So, for 2018, I decided that this year would be the year of doing things that scare the shit out of me. My therapist thinks it’s a good idea, too. In our last session, she said something about “cognitive behavioral therapy” and “exposure therapy” and then she called me brave. I smiled and stared at her, wondering what it would be like to curl up in the fetal position on her lap.

Then, things got weird. I went to see the newest Star Wars and out of nowhere, I got super inspired. I mean, I like Star Wars A LOT but I’m not crazy about it. But for some reason, be it the storyline, that badass female character, the cinematography, the acting, something made the hair on my arms stand up. I felt this strange motivation inside of me to just do bigger things. And the next day, I signed up for an acting class at the university. I figured if I can make an ass out of myself in front of strangers on the regular, I can probably get up on stage and tell a story without dying. So far, I’m on week three and every class is terrifying and I get really grossly sweaty just walking in, but I am getting less afraid, week by week, a little bit at a time. Almost everyone in the class is 18 years old. And I was expecting something really terrible, but it turns out that kids nowadays are so much cooler than when I was growing up. They don’t make eyes at each other or tease other kids. They say things like, “as a privileged white woman, I feel that the scene is like this.” And I’m just floored by how smart and aware they all seem to be. You guys, we don’t have anything to worry about. The next generation is going to fix everything.

Also, on January 22, I told a story at a Moth Slam in Park City during Sundance. I spent the week before memorizing my five-minute story obsessively. I must have read it 100 times, but regardless, I couldn’t get it right. The morning of, I saw my therapist and she gave me great advice. She said, “your goal should not be to be perfect, or even good. Your goal is just to show up. That’s it. Anything you do on top of that is a bonus.” On the night of the slam, my husband took me up to Park City and I shook the entire time. My palms were ice cold and I felt like I might shiver out of my own skin. My jaw hurt from being clenched so unbearably tight. We arrived early so we had a drink at Wasatch Brewery, next to Sundance T.V. where the Moth event would be held. That helped slightly. F, my husband, kept trying to talk to me but I couldn’t talk. I concentrated on sipping my wine and holding myself together. We went to the Moth event and I got another glass of wine. And for a minute, I thought, I don’t need to put my name in the hat to tell my story. I showed up. That’s enough. But then I finished most of my glass and thought, fuck it. If I get up there and freeze, I’ll just shrug, go “nope,” and walk off stage. I can laugh about it later. This eased the tension a little. I put my name in the hat and sat down, waiting for the show to start.

The next 10 minutes were a blur:

  • The host of the show took the stage.
  • She pulled out a name. It was me.
  • I stared into lalaland in total disbelief with my mouth wide open for a solid 30 seconds.
  • I somehow made my way to the stage.
  • “Oh, shit, you guys,” was the first thing I said into the Mic.
  • I took a deep breath and started, “I was 13 years old and it was two weeks away from my 14th birthday…” I told my story and shockingly, I told it exactly as I’d gone over it in my head. I didn’t black out. I didn’t vomit. Somehow, my brain showed up for me which felt almost magical considering what an asshole it’s been for the past year.
  • After, I found my way to my seat with adrenaline pumping through my veins which made me feel capable of anything. F gave me a big hug and said, “you did it! And you didn’t die!” And I was glad that neither of us had set the bar very high.

I watched the rest of the show and felt inspired by the other storytellers. The slam was two weeks ago, but my body is still recovering. The day after the slam I felt elated, on cloud nine. But, as the days progressed I started to think about it a lot. Did I do well? I felt increasingly anxious. I got a full-body massage that took the anxiety down a few notches, took a few baths, and that made it even better. I couldn’t figure out why I’d  have anxiety after the fact, especially since the whole thing went better than I expected. But I just learned that post-event rumination is a thing and it causes post-event what-the-fuckery.

After a week of talking to myself like a crazy person, the anxiety is mostly gone and I’m just feeling slightly more stressed than usual.

And? Totally worth it. However, next time I’ll be prepared for the weird things my brain might do even after a perfectly fine event so I can minimize the recovery time. Hopefully, I can scare myself often enough that at some point I’ll just be completely immune to all the terrible things.

Here’s to facing fears.