Apartment 96

Apartment 96

Paper thin walls are both a novelty and a curse. I hear the way he begs for her attention with the opening of his patio door to the semi mediocre sunset views. And I wish a stranger good luck as he runs the bases of a game I quit playing a while ago.

She’s cute, you’ve got this 94.

The music. It’s terrible. And not because of the bass. Or the constant blatant disregard for the permeation of sound from his bedroom to my diary.

Alexa volume: 0, please god ZERO

Two people I’ve never met giggle at each other over dance breaks of a song most likely on the radio I’ve lost touch with, engulfed in a feeling I haven’t felt in a while.

I’m her. The single woman in Apt 96 who judges the noise because she forgot how to make her own.

I pick up a book.

A glass breaks.

A roar of laughter ensues.

I lay my head on my pillow.

A hum of pleasure they make.

Likely a product of booze.

A decade ago, I kept the dial turned. The music loud. The sunsets on my radar. And I swore to myself I’d never stop making memories even if the crotchety old lady in apartment 96 called the cops on me for the third time.

When did we become what we fought so hard to dodge? Unruly neighbors becoming reminders of an unfinished past.

I want to play.

I blinked and I’m here. Checking my clock for quiet hours. Trying to google common courtesy codes of conduct in an apartment 100% attached to a stranger. Ten years ago I was attached to strangers… without courtesy codes; without quiet hours.

The paper thin walls are a veil to my jealousy. Nobody would ever know unless I told them, and I have to tell you…

Kids these days don’t know what they have until it’s gone.

Sincerely,

Gone

5 Ways To a Better Day

5 Ways To a Better Day

There are 53 Mondays in a year and not a single one of them excites me as much as a Friday. Why? Because starting anything over is never as fulfilling as finishing strong.

Like completing a sand castle.

Monday’s are just the rogue wave to Sunday’s flawlessly sculpted beach creation equipped with a perfectly dugout moat. Insert Monday:

Frankly, I’ve never met a Monday I didn’t want to put back in the deck. Thanks for dealing me a bullshit hand Mr. Work Week but I’m gonna fold. You know what’s a good work week draw? Four day weekends. You know what I’ve never had while working in the medical field? a substantial pay check, mental stability, Four day weekends.

So while the rest of the world anxiously awaits the next national holiday–or for some really well oiled companies–fuckin’ any dead presidents birthday, I look for ways to make all 53 of those god forsaken Mondays a little less Monday-y. (Also, I’m great at sharing so I listed them below)

Listen to good music. I’m too busy listening to said good music right now to research any statistics on this, but I imagine someone did the dirty work to prove that “feel good” music isn’t just a nick name. ( you know, like how Siri calls me ‘Sugar Tits’ and I know damn sure she means it ) Feel good music makes us feel….good. If you’re feeling good, chances are your day is probably getting better. This equation is as 101 as it gets.

Go through your contacts and delete anybody who doesn’t serve a purpose. There’s nothing that makes me more bummed out than clutter. Add shitty people into that clutter and we have ourselves a clean up on isle-Iphone. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that this lunch time excursion brings me so much joy. Mostly because taking my phone out of my pocket by dinner will likely ensure a “Hey, what’s up?” from a “Maybe: Kyle”….and I get to pull my favorite line out of my ass: “I’m sorry but, WHO IS THIS?” Plot twist…..Spring cleaning isn’t only necessary in the spring. Take the trash out weekly my friends.

Sweat. Hydrate. Repeat. No matter how many times I’ve groaned my way to the gym, I’ve never left it pissed that I spent any amount of time there. ~Except that one time I had a nipple slip on the smith machine trying to rack weights that never should have called for that kind of bodily exertion.~ Anyway….Can’t say the same for the mall. Buyers remorse is a real life urban dictionary option whereas gym remorse falls into the category of what many would consider a sin. Monday might be a steaming pile of dog shit by the time you get to lift a single weight or chug a glass of water, but even dog shit needs a pick me up sometimes. Literally.

Plan life events. So, it’s a Monday and you’re coming off the high of 48 hours straight of pure debauchery, what will inevitably peak the interest of your inner sinner? MORE DEBAUCHERY. Nothing says let’s forget about the pain of right now like catapulting your thoughts of future bad behavior into it’s place. The best way to cure the Monday Blues is to pretend like Monday doesn’t even exist, or better yet…what the next Monday you won’t be showing up for work looks like because you will likely be on a Caribbean island sipping cocktails equipped with bigger umbrellas than your work insurance policy. Give yourself something….anything, to look forward to and any day can go from “why did I even wake up?” to “I can’t wait to wake up 43 more times until my vacation!”.

Pay it Forward. No agenda, no expectations. Karma is a bigger bitch than I could ever be, and she lurks in the shadows of everyone’s philanthropic moments. She wants to know what kind of player in this game of life you are and she’s ready to change an entire day for you at the flip of a coin (the coin you either paid for the person behind you’s coffee with or the one you didn’t). There are no rules about the frequency or size of a good deed, but there is for sure science that equates feeling good with doing good. That’s bad English, but it rolled off the tongue better, so we’re keeping it. Altruism brings human beings bliss; plain and simple. **If this doesn’t apply to you, you’re dead inside…go home.

Bad days are still just days. Which means they are never-the-less tiny 24 hour gifts that we have the option of altering based on events, mood, opportunities, people, how much money I find on the ground, what kind of puppies show up to my work, how many chocolate shakes I get offered for free…the list goes on. If you’re having 99 problems, and a bitch is more than one of them try one of my top five quickest ways to tolerate a bad day and see if you can’t turn it around with a little shake up from the norm.

5 Steps To Overcoming Heartbreak

It’s hard to write about heartbreak when you are actively heartbroken. You know, like watching the waiter march to your table with a bowl of piping hot oatmeal when you’re hung over.With that said it’s taken me almost all of 2018 to put together how to be more put together when all you want to do is pour some accelerator and light the match.

Aw yes, that balance between knowing you’re a human being with feelings and wishing you just fucking weren’t for five minutes (shout out to my dog who I constantly call a shit-head and she knows none the wiser)

It’s not easy, but it’s doable…

Below, I give you: the five steps I’ve personally taken to help me overcome that overwhelming feeling that someone has essentially rung you out to dry; but like…in the rain

1. First of all, why can’t I ever have a step one without thinking about who’s responsible for cutting the hole in the box?

1B. Know what hurts.

Ignorance isn’t bliss; it’s just ignorance.

It’s funny, cause when I was a kid and I’d try to express my feelings to my father in a snot-filled-traumatic-mumble-tantrum, he used to verbally face palm me with the same question every time: “uhhhhh, your what hurts?” Great question, I HAVE NO CLUE. It was such a vague and blanketed response to my belligerency that it actually made me stop and try to figure out who my real father was what was causing my pain so that I was more equipped to not only explain it, but ease it. Science has proven that both heartache and grief are both legitimate forms of measurable physical pain. Which means painkillers as simple as Aspirin are actually equally recommended for the heart as they are the head. For the record, I mentioned over the counter aspirin, so don’t go buck wild on prescription opioids cause Tommy from Tinder ghosted you after he asked you to be his arm candy at this years company Christmas party. Or do. Natural selection.

2. Be present.

I have a habit of extremes. The power of living (or not living) in the here and now is no exemption. I am either extremely engulfed in a moment to the point of full acceptance OR, I fly so far off the handle about future anxieties that it’s almost like you are all invited to the opening of my new theatric production of “I Am Nothing Without Him”. Solid soundtrack. The cast is a little iffy. I used to think that the first step was just admitting it, right?

Wrong, the first step is taking a deep breath and remembering that if the future seems like it’s already overwhelmingly hard, how’s right now going for you? I imagine if you aren’t starting by being really good at today, there’s no hope for tomorrow. You’re cheating on today’s happiness with tomorrow’s what if’s and frankly everyone loses. Except the guy who broke your heart and sent you into this uncomfortable spiral. He’s winning all the chips.

3. Distract.

If we’re all being honest with ourselves, there’s no easier way to get over heart ache than with a distraction. We have a scientifically studied part of the brain called the reward system that often is directly linked to the biological effects of rejection whilst being in love. When that reward system is unmanaged, it’s addictive patterns appreciate a diversion from pain and explore a more sought after feeling of pleasure.I imagine there will be backlash with how I achieve this step, and to that I say…get a hobby. Even if his name is Jared. As much as I’d like to suggest picking up a a new interest in a less taboo subject like hot yoga to “decompress and center yourself”, investing time into getting to know someone new has always effectively kept me from running back to the fire and placing my hand directly in it. Can’t say the same for the Child’s Pose.Maybe that’s a reflection of how much I see the good in people, even the bad ones. But if it takes me diving into a whole new batch of potential-bullshit just so I don’t skip back to confirmed-bullshit…let us all be stoked to be dealt another hand.

4. Be reflective, not reactive.

For the longest time, whenever I got ghosted (I say ghosted because dumped would mean the man who stopped talking to me would have to tell me why he stopped talking to me, and frankly I’m 0/456) I IMMEDIATELY rack my brain for what I could have possibly done wrong. And then I need to know what exactly I did/said, how it made all parties feel, what I could have done differently, AND how I fix not only it but world hunger, the California water shortage, the war on drugs…EVERYTHING. I NEED TO FIX EVERYTHING, IMMEDIATELY. Basically, I react so hard I don’t even have the energy to reflect. And when I found this out about myself, I made it one of the steps in not only overcoming heartbreak, but honestly eliminating the length of time before you’re at peace with the situation.

Reactions are quick, take less thought, and are…come to think of it synonymous with defining most of my past relationships. However, reflections are how I further more chose to handle any future heartache. We don’t need to know why someone chooses not to like love tolerate us. All we need is to handle rejection with grace and selflessness which will in turn outline our character and keep us on a path to who and what we deserve.

5. Surround Yourself With Love

Endorphins are the gateway drug guys. You feel love one time and it’s hard to want to be in a state of anything less. Heartache is, in my opinion, the epitome of pain because it’s not just superficial. It’s mental AND it’s physical. Your legs are weak, your brain is foggy, and your eyes are swollen from hours of both of those things colliding, making it hard to want to do anything more than replay what you’ve lost and sulk about how hard it might be to regain.

This is a piggyback on distractions, but it deserves its own step. There are people who love and adore you who have been placed on life’s back burner while you danced to the beat of falling for another sucker. They rooted for you knowing this day might come. So keep them close enough to remember what it’s like to be unconditionally supported, and bring them closer when your heart isn’t sure what that feels like anymore. There are probably a plethora of additional steps that we as individuals practice on a heartbreak to heartbreak basis, but these five above really drill home the attempt at a quick turn around for me personally. This is coming from the girl who is just happy to be alive enough to feel, even the bad shit.

Youtoo

Youtoo

Bravery is contagious. And not contagious in a someone-sneezed-on-the-office-coffee-pot-again-cause-they-forget-that-some-of-us used all of our PTO in January catch-everything type way.

The thing is, the nature of the events of this week’s Ford-Kavanaugh hearing are a he-said-she-said ping pong match that ends in someone’s life ‘potentially being ruined’ and that other person being Christine Blasey Ford. She doesn’t get to fear the potential, because she’s already lived it. Maybe all of the revisited events were just moments he ‘cant remember’, but at the end of the day they are also memories she ‘can’t forget’.

Rape stories will be prevalent until rape is no longer minimalized to irrelevance. Sadly, we put people away longer for crimes of graffiti than we do sexual assault and people still wonder why it’s trending. Anything that bares little to no repercussion without a grand jury review is bound to be a trend in my book. Instilling the fear of potential consequences is barely a way to keep crimes off the street, but at least it’s not contrarily telling it’s offenders “we support your lack of moral compass”.

Even more sad are the statistics associated with said rising assaults. To a degree, some would say the rise of admission is to blame for the rise in percentage, but why is that even a rebuttal? Just because the story is new to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t haunted it’s victim for decades. With that said, I more recently googled just how many of my friends and neighbors might be holding on to an untold secret, and 1 in 5 women have or will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. One finger on each of my hands is a symbol for the reality of the proximity of these casualties.

When I say it’s hard being female, I mean it. Sure, we have a laundry list of societal standards; a basic biological clock constantly ticking inside a highly emotionally charged hormone filled body, but we also have the immediate danger of becoming a statistic 15 times faster than if we had been born a male. And for that exact reason, I write this article.

If I had the choice, I wouldn’t choose to hold my keys between my fingers as I walk to my car at night. I didn’t wake up this specific gender to be told that I couldn’t wear a skirt on a summer day because of how it made other people feel about my body. And I most certainly never expected that I’d ever have my own story.

A man drove me home after a night of drinking and as he walked inside the gas station to get me a bottle of water, I quickly racked me brain for how it was I was sitting in a truck of a total stranger feeling completely taken advantage of. I immediately placed blame on myself for tequila shot number five. For not knowing how to get myself home safely. For trusting someone I had only just met (that’s how all great love stories start though, right? Wrong.) and as he got back in the car to a more silent version of my previous self he jokingly looked me directly in the eyes and said “You only said no twice.” To which I shrugged and said “Cool, that should hold up in court”. Its safe to say I think that I’m the wittiest, when I’m absolutely shattered inside.

And that was the last thing I said to someone I would never see again. Someone who would never know how uncomfortable I was because the lack of consent and humility turned him on and blinded him from the basic human concern of another person’s needs. He laughed at my expense as he handed me the water bottle- making sure I was hydrated while ironically dismantling me inside.

We don’t want to admit that abusers are our friends. That our friends are victims. That this world is filled with people who are selfish dishonest and cowardly. But, even if it doesn’t happen to you, it’s happening to people who you love and care about so by default it’s happening to all of us. I have to ask… if it’s happening to all of us, why are we still so afraid to believe the women of the metoo movement? Because of false reports?Because of political bullshit? Because publicly reliving criminal events in regards to sexual assault is sooooo uncomfortable….boo fucking hoo.

For the record falsely reported cases are so low in percentage that they aren’t even given a number.  Unlike the 20% of the people in whatever room you’re in right now suffering the pain of being an undeniable statistic of factual reports that will damage them for the rest of their lives. And politicians? They can go fuck themselves. Just don’t expect them to ask for consent when they do. 

Christine ford is the definition of bravery. I hold faith that her story was brought to the public eye not to haunt an already wounded supreme court justice nominee, but to remind the voiceless that although some may not believe you, enough people care and only in untold stories and silence, we may have never known. I believe these women because I have to believe that you would believe me too. And that is the entire basis behind the appropriately named movement that is bound to make history.

Suicide Notes

Suicide Notes

Disclaimer: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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This world can be a terrible place. Even in all of its moments of beauty, the allure of a full life expectancy can cease to exist within a mind so dreadfully lost. Those are the minds attached to the hands I wish I had enough of to hold.

People who commit suicide are brave, i’ll give them that. Not to glorify the act of killing yourself like every new Netflix Original Series, but there is something to be said about the kinds of people who are at peace with an expiration. They are the same people who look death directly in the eyes and choose it whole-heartedly.

Because nobody just kills themselves on a whim.

Like, “Is this whole milk in my caramel frapp? I asked for soy.”

*hangs herself*

or

“Fuck man, the first thirty seconds of this NFL championship game is the pits”

*shot gun to the noggin*

These people had time to think about what not being around to deal with the agony of losing control of their own thoughts may feel like. They are well paid celebrities. They are the quiet ones. They are the “Oh, yea I saw that coming’s”. But most importantly, they are the kinds of people who were looking for a way out, and found it.

There will never be less problems here on earth, just less people who can handle them. When I think of suicide, I often associate it with being selfish. I think about how those who make the decision to exit stage left prematurely, ruin the whole damn production for everybody else. But, who’s really being selfish here? Not my body; not my choice.

Society has taught us to reach out to the people who seem troubled; to have them hear our messages of love and to try and stop them from making a decision that could hurt more than just themselves. What society seems to be forgetting is that I don’t have control over anybody but myself; that my responsibility to others is solely to cultivate a safety net for mental health and open lines of communication in times of struggle. Suicide is not my answer; but if it’s somebody else’s…they aren’t wrong.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been so deep in the downward spiral of depression that I’ve contemplated not being alive to dispose of the burden. I’ve for sure thought about what kinds of eulogy’s will be spoken at my funeral (I see you guy I blocked after our sushi date in 2015), but that can wait another couple decades of agitation. With that said, after all the pain and unbearable agony that comes with even getting to the point of attempting suicide I hope that if there ever was a need to make the decision to die, that people’s words to describe me wouldn’t include “selfish.”

What’s selfish is the thirty eight minutes I spent trying to talk a friend off of the ledge the other day. I realized half way through the plea for understanding that I barely knew any of the struggles he was going through. I mean, I imagined it had something to do with a failed relationship and a deep-dark sexual assault skeleton in his closet, but what the fuck do I know about his purpose here on earth? I’m not a therapist, I just did what Facebook tells us to do. Watch for trigger posts, reach out with concern….mildly ambush with an intervention.

Committing suicide is a bold move. Maybe not as bold as the font people use to type up the note saying goodbye to the one person who possibly gave a shit, but I guarantee the signature at the bottom of the paper doesn’t belong to a human being writhing with anticipation for how guilty everyone feels about bringing this moment to fruition.  Some people like their gift of life, others just want to return it, no cash back…no exchanges. Countless people die everyday by accident and nobody bats an eye, someone purposefully and sometimes thoughtfully (fuck you guy who chooses to bleed out in a rental property bathtub) kills themselves and all of a sudden Robin funny-man Williams is a MONSTER.

I just keep circling back to being pro-choice. Pro-whatever the fuck your heart desires because this is YOUR life and adults don’t get to make decisions for other grown adults. Who better than oneself to decide when to die? Regardless of how I feel about what is right, or who should or shouldn’t feel a certain way, suicide is not my answer, but I’m not here to tell you that it’s not yours.

With that said, moments are often only just that…passable moments. Some of them are dark and painstakingly intolerable and…ugh…frankly I want to insert a bunch of insanely deep Pinterest quotes about hope and change, but if you’re on the edge of contemplation about being here or not being here, there isn’t a damn thing I can say to change your mind. That’s apparent in every single story about the rich celebrities who we thought had enough money to fix their sad’s. If you’re gonna go, go. Know that nobody wants you to. But, do you in the last moments of being a you. Authenticity; the truest form of a proper send off.

The Great Depression

The Great Depression

The other day I left work because I couldn’t breathe. I’m not asthmatic, I don’t suffer from anaphylactic allergies, but I do live with occasional debilitating depression, and that was enough to knock the wind completely out of my Wednesday.

I sat in the locker room and tried two separate exercises I had read about online. First, I’d put my head between my knees, breathe in for five seconds, hold for three, and breathe out for seven. Secondly, when those lamaze techniques failed me…I’d walk the fuck out and cry for the entirety of my drive home. Ok fine, that second one wasn’t a Facebook-found life hack, but turns out, watering my lap was crucial to ridding my mind of its toxins.

Side note: I just googled how many fatalities came at the hands of a panic attack and turns out nobody has actually died from one.Could have fooled me.

I beat myself up for hours about not being able to keep myself together enough to function as an adult at a job that hired me to literally just not leave when I’m having a bad day interact professionally. I realized at the end of my panic attack, between my depression and now-guilt for having either of the fore-mentioned mental health glitches that I didn’t need to feel this way about needing a moment. And if that moment turned into a couple hours, which ended up being a whole day…I deserved it, no questions asked.

Im totally aware that when I was a teenager I wasted very undeserved time off on nursing a hang over on a Monday, or bowing out early to Vegas on a Thursday night. And I wish I could go back and tell the drunk and irresponsible me that I’d need those Karma points for half days off work when life might be too overwhelming.

Who am I kidding, 23 year old me would have just handed 31 year old me a beer.Point is, mental health days should be a thing. And as much as them being a thing, they should be advised, not taboo, and if it were up to me…paid time and a half mandatory.

Half of my coworkers would throw a fit if I showed up to work with a cough, but I don’t see any of them cheering me on for staying home when I have the “sads”. I’m aware that you can’t catch my depression, but I’m certain you’d want all the H1N3’s over this prison sentence anyway.

I have to admit that my supervisor and office manager were both super supportive about my premature exit mid week, but I fear that maybe some people with the same prevailing symptoms might not be so lucky. And in that realization, I worry that people sometimes forget that we work to live, we don’t live to work. Unless you’re Britney fucking Spears. We’re killing ourselves pretending every single day we wake up is a day nothing hurts. Being “on” without fail is unrealistic. And covering up the need for a day without added distractions with a “stomach bug” is equivalent to pretending that guns kill people; not the mentally ill. When people asked where I went on Wednesday, I told them I needed a mental health day. And I told them they should take one too if they ever feel like they’re neglecting themselves to the point of tears. In a world of hashtags like #fitfam I can only hope mental health, in its continuum, shows more and more improvement. Having a proactive approach to self care starts with finding ways to avoid work place break downs and providing ourselves the ability to take the time we need to appropriately function. Or else…