Author Archives: M.E. Evans

About M.E. Evans

I have no idea what I'm doing.

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.

Self-Care Lessons I Wish I’d Known Before my Breakdown

After suffering from chronic depression, unbearable anxiety, and panic last year that lead to an all-out mental breakdown, I’ve been on the long, hard road to recovery. I’ve had good days and bad, perfect weeks and weeks of relapse where I slip backward, but all in all, I’ve been on the mend one act of self-care at a time. I’m happier now than I’ve ever been because for the first time in my life I’ve actually learned how to take care of myself. Specifically, my mental health. I don’t mean I’ve finally got on top of the laundry because honestly, I’ll always suck at that.

I grew up in a pretty tough family. My great-grandma was institutionalized after a breakdown, my grandma suffered in abusive marriages, and my mom experienced the kind of childhood that people make movies about. The women in my family have been through some serious shit and because of that they’ve got grit to spare, but absolutely no patience for wimps. Like zero tolerance. If I fell down as a kid, my mom would lean down and say, calmly, “you’re fine, if you’re going to scream and carry on, I’ll give you something to cry about,” when we moved eleven times and I changed school after school, I understood that I wasn’t allowed to complain. Not because my mom is an asshole, but because she knew the world could be dangerous and unforgiving and above all things I needed to be strong. And even though I don’t feel strong most of the time, I’ve learned that I am. My therapist once said I’m “one of the most resilient” people she’s ever met.  But sometimes, being able to cope with horrible things can work against you, like when my brother died in 2008, and I shut down and did my very best to forget him as quickly as possible–I couldn’t even begin to process something so terrible, so I didn’t. Feelings are not a thing that I do well and after decades of numbing out and pushing forward, my body had had enough, my brain basically imploded, and I ceased to function as a normal human being. It sucked. I cried. I panicked. And luckily, I got help. The entire thing has forced me to examine myself up close and learn for the first time ever to identify feelings, toxic behavior and to use fancy words like “post-event rumination.” Which basically means, obsessing like a lunatic about things that happened and driving myself crazy in the process. Once you can identify it, you can manage it. And, most importantly, I’ve realized the true value of listening to myself and taking care of myself.

I wish I’d known these things before my breakdown.

Self-Care Lessons I’ve Learned

Knowledge is Power: Reading is it’s own act of self-care even if you’re not reading about mental health or ways to heal. Although, bonus points for reading books that help you work on yourself and, most importantly, understand yourself. My friends and I started a self-care group and we read a book every month about self-care. We talk about it, implement the things, and support each other through our wellness journey. The things I’ve learned have been so valuable. As kids, so many of us are taught how to take care of our teeth, our skin, how to do our hair and dress nicely, but very few of us are taught how to take care of our mental health. I mean especially those of us who grew up in the 80’s. I was lucky if my mom even cracked a window when she chain-smoked. AmIRight?

Stress Catches Up With You: Eventually, after years of stress, trauma, or depression, shit will catch up with you and you’ll pay the price. There’s a strong correlation between complex trauma and immune disorders, gastrointestinal problems and things like fibromyalgia. You might not have a total mental breakdown, but your body will pay the price for things you’re not dealing with. Women are especially resilient and we think, “well that horrible thing sucked but I got through it.” But the truth is that all of that pain is in your body somewhere, hiding. And when it’s the most inconvenient it’s going to resurface all, “HERE’S JOHNNY,” to fuck with your shit.

Bodies Talk: For years, my body had been sending me signals that things were not okay. I’d lost my appetite but just thought, “eating is boring! Meh!” I slept poorly but just assumed it was because my husband tossed and turned or my dog moved around a lot. I yawned constantly for years for no reason. I became super jumpy and would scream when someone would come around a corner quickly at the grocery store. And I have no idea how I didn’t find that bizarre. But the truth is that living things are shockingly adaptive. Feeling like crap felt normal because it happened so gradually. It wasn’t until I started to have full-blown panic attacks did I realize something was seriously wrong. In retrospect, I wish I’d gotten help at the very first sign I needed it. It would have saved me a lot of trouble (and money on mental health services).

You Can Fix a Wounded Brain with a Little TLC: There is no such thing as a broken brain. Suffering from depression or anxiety is scary and I was terrified of being told I had a problem because the last thing I wanted was to be told that I had a disorder. But diagnosis doesn’t mean you’ll have it for your entire life, in fact, a good healthcare professional should reevaluate you annually to see if your diagnosis has changed. I was diagnosed with a panic disorder, chronic depression, and anxiety. Now? No formal diagnosis. My Dr. changed it.That being said, if your diagnosis is lifelong, that’s okay, too. The stigma that used to exist around mental health is lifting and people are coming out in droves to talk about their own mental health challenges. Self-care can help you manage and treat even the most complex issues. Anxiety, depression, panic, irritability, stress, migraines, fatigue, and pretty much any and all physical and mental issues can be improved through self-care. But most importantly, it can prevent issues from forming in the first place.

Prevention is Better: It’s so much better to learn how to manage stress and prevent larger issues from forming than to wait until your body and brain freak out on you. What’s that saying? Prevention is worth a pound of cure? I wish that I’d learned growing up how to pay better attention to my body and my needs. Seriously, self-care and mental health should be taught in school alongside sex ed. For decades we’ve known so little about the way the brain works and only now are we starting to really understand it at a basic level. We need more education so that we can take action sooner and prevent ourselves from slipping into something worse.

Any mental health lessons of your own? Put it in the comments below. And please share if you liked the post.





This Little Shit That I Love

Every morning I walk my dog, Oliver, around the block in the freezing cold begging him to make a doody so we can go home and I can get to work. Yesterday while walking him, bundled up like Ralphie’s little brother in A Christmas Story, we’d rounded the corner to come home and he still hadn’t gone. So I began to plead with him, “please for the love of Jesus, just go. All of these spots are great! Look at this patch of grass!” I walked onto the grass and hopped around a little like, “oooh, aaaah, isn’t this glorious,” in an effort to show him that it seemed like the right spot to me. He stared at me for a second, taking in the whole scene, then continued to trot down the street. I tried making him run for a second to get his digestive system working. I even tried to get him to smell other dog’s poop to see if that would inspire him. “Look! Look at what this good dog did!” He just stared at me judgementally and continued on.

When we were two houses away from ours, he ran on my neighbor’s grass and sniffed around. Then he spun in a circle and did his business. The neighbor in the house next to this one, came out to warm up their car. And I started to get nervous. What if they think I’m not going to pick up Oliver’s shit? Or, worse, what if I pick it up and then another dog goes here later and they think it was Oliver?

We like our neighbors, a lot, and I’d argue that we live in the best neighborhood in the state. So, the last thing we want is to be labeled as, “those assholes who sprinkle their dog’s turds all over the city.” So then I got really showy about the cleanup. Once Oliver finished, I held his little bag dispenser up for all to see, sort of waving it in the air before taking a bag out. Then I shook the bag out in every direction so anyone looking would notice, “ah, yes, she has a bag. She’s not a terrible person after all.” Then I called to the neighbor warming up their car, “Well hello! Good morning!” I said in this weird Mr. Rogers voice that I’ve never used before in my fucking life. I waved hello with the bag in my hand. Once they waved back, I leaned down and scooped up his nasty little lawn ornament. While bent over and holding a handful of steaming crap, Oliver decided it was a good time to kick the grass and snow with his back legs, showering me with debris. I yelled, “stop it, you little fucker,” and looked up to see the other neighbor shuffling her kids into the car for school.

I stood up and dangled the bagged turds in my hand and waved, “Morning!” The mom shot me a “gross, good morning you freak,” look and I quickly made my way home to dispose of the doody, wash my hands, and pick grass out of my hair. Oliver stood in the window and screamed at people passing by while I searched for my laptop cord and keys.

He makes me crazy.

Later, a friend of mine was like, “so I’m thinking about getting a dog,” and I practically screamed, “No! Don’t!” at her while removing a small bit of leaf from my sweater. I love my dog, a crazy amount, but some days he’s such an enormous pain in the ass. But the other days? The other days he makes up for it by providing laughter and cuddles and love. Just focus on those days, I tell myself.

On Getting Pregnant

I spent my entire adult life doing everything in my power to not have a baby. Condoms, the morning after pill, the trusty pull-out method, any and all means necessary to just not be pregnant. And turns out, it’s not all that easy to get pregnant in the first place. I mean, not when you’re actually trying to do it.

Isn’t life strange?

A few months ago I decided that maybe, just maybe I’d gotten to a place in my life where I felt somehow “ready,” to be a mom. I mean, not ready, ready because I don’t think that anyone ever feels totally ready unless they’re insane and just not thinking about what it means to be a parent. Because here’s the reality: It’s incredibly difficult. And if we’ve learned anything from movies like Star Wars, it’s that you can try really hard and still end up with an asshole like Darth Vader or Kylo Ren. And who wants to take responsibility for either of those shitheads? Nobody, that’s who.

It’s one of the few things in my life where I thought, “I need to actually be prepared for this,” hence waiting until my mid-thirties to make my vagina rain a baby. I’ve been in therapy for over a year working on my shit, have read a billion books on self-care, have done a lot of work on my marriage and trained my dog a little bit more (although you’d never be able to tell because he’s still a psycho). And, most importantly, a few weeks ago my therapist was like, “you will be a really good mom. Really. You don’t have anything to be afraid of,” after one of my long rants about my fears of being a parent. And since I trust her I came home from my appointment and was like, “IT IS TIME. Put a baby in me!” to my husband who was confused but also like, “Oh, cool,” because that’s how he reacts to all things. But, turns out, it’s not actually that easy to get pregnant and I’m learning that it’s miraculous that anyone accidentally gets pregnant at all.

My sister is a nurse and she instructed me to buy these weird ovulation pee sticks to find out when my little egg skydives into my uterus every month. They’re like pregnancy tests but they look for a specific hormone, LH (Luteinizing hormone). Been doing that every single day and it seems that the sticks and my ovulation app are at odds. Mainly because my app claims that I have a fertility period but according to the sticks I haven’t ovulated at all yet. So, that’s interesting. Is it possible to have used up all of my eggs already? Can wine dissolve eggs? Can they be incinerated by too many hot showers? I’m asking for a friend.

I find it interesting (and ironic) that after a decade of fighting off sperm like a foreign invasion I’m like, “wee, a baby!” but now my body is all “LOL this is fun,” and is apparently holding my eggs for ransom.

Cross your fingers. This is going to be interesting.