Turns out rock-bottom is hard.

I’m so out of touch and out of control when it comes to my own emotions that I can’t even decide if I’m happy or sad. Which seems like a pretty basic A or B quiz that even a small child could pass. A recent change in my own behaviour has lead me to wonder if maybe I used to be depressed because I always wanted to be out, drinking, socializing, making terrible decisions. Or maybe I’m depressed now because I don’t want to do any of those things and choose to be alone whenever possible? Or third option, I’m always depressed and it’s evolving because that would be just my luck. Evolving depression. The stupid thing will probably grow wings and a tail soon and then it’ll be able to follow me everywhere.

The only self-control I’ve recently developed is my ability to NOT drunk text. And that’s probably just because I’m never drunk anymore ’cause it gives me anxiety and I’m too old to survive hangovers and I don’t go out or do anything where I might get drunk. Oh, and also I delete all contact information that I have for anyone I may feel compelled to message negatively. That helps. I have a lot of regrets when it comes to the things I’ve said and done while intoxicated, things that have probably completely changed the direction of my life. I hope any of the people who’ve been involved in those moments know how sorry I am, and realize how often I wish time-travel was a thing (that I had access to). I’ve luckily developed a recent trigger that makes me second, third, and fourth-guess the things I say to people. Out of a paranoia of destroying relationships that are important to me. Which is weird for someone who’s never once in her life had a filter, or thought about the things coming out of her mouth.

There was a time that I would embrace every second of child-free not-working time that I had. This random miracle combination happened today. Y’know what I did? Sat in my underwear chain-drinking black coffee and watching the Amy Winehouse documentary. Which, in retrospect, is a fucking terrible idea if you already have a wicked case of the sads and feel horribly alone.

I can’t tell if I’ve just hit rock-bottom, or if that already happened and this is how it feels to claw your way out of it. Either way it means that I can only go up from here, right? I don’t think I have the ambition to try and get lower than rock-bottom. That seems like it would involve a lot more effort than just getting out of the pit and seeing the sun shine again. So that’s it. I’ve chosen the lazy way out. Happiness it is. I’m coming for you, surface-dwellers.

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Why you shouldn’t love a writer and other fun stories.

I’m constantly pushing myself to write more. One of my consistent motivations is writing snippets in my phone throughout the day. Unfortunately, it mostly all happens between 10:30pm and 3am. Which is why I end up with this:

  • Sometimes you listen. Other times you lie in bed with tears in your eyes, because no matter how many times the universe tells you they’re not the one – your heart and your body ache for them.
  • Don’t fall in love with the kind of people who close their hearts as casually as the front door.
  • The emotional density of a single sheet of tissue paper, and the personality of an amputated thumb.
  • Last night you got too high and ate all the sugar peas.
  • As far as my emotions work, it seems I’m capable of falling in love with at least four people at a time. And their dogs.
  • We say we want to meet people at book stores, shows, bars, and museums – and yet we walk around these places with our eyes glued to our phones and so the only way we can find love is through an app.

I think you get the point. Random chunks of unspent brain waves, none of which form a full cohesive thought. And yet there’s a theme. Well, if you squint your eyes and tilt your head a little to the left… There! Do you see it? I am one lonely, bitter, and yet still (hope)(point)lessly romantic son of a bitch. And also I like sugar peas.

I’ve painted myself into this splendid metaphorical dating corner. My taste in men and my place in life are horribly contradictory. Or as someone very recently, so wonderfully summed up: “LOL, you need a weirdo dirtbag with his shit together that doesn’t want kids but likes yours.”

I have kids. They’re lovely. If you try to give me any more though, I will burn you with the fires of Hell. I’ve been married. I’m over it. I think. Probably. I don’t have any “career goals” aside from writing, creating. I’m intrigued by people with similar motivations. Turns out – not the most “stable” way to have a “family”. Plus those people tend to be a little wanderlust, and unfortunately my wander is stuck here. At least until my kids can be trusted to, like, make Kraft Dinner without dying. I’m also an unpredictable, emotional whoopie cushion. But that’s like a whole other thing and I’m trying the whole Tinder dating crap right now so maybe I shouldn’t air all of my red flags on the internet… HAHA JUST KIDDING HI TINDER MATCHES… NO WHERE ARE YOU GOING GET BACK HERE AND LOVE ME DAMN IT.

In all honesty, no matter how many times love fails me (or I astronomically fail at love) – I still dig that shit. I would rather fall into it a million times, than never feel it at all. And some people are worth losing your sanity over, not that I really have any to sacrifice in the first place…

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Single and ready to mingle. Maybe. If I can find a sitter.

A big part of dating as a single mom is coming to the realization that you will never have a partner who’s life is identical to yours. Ever. No, seriously. NEVER.

It doesn’t matter how much they love your kids, or how many things they do to help you. When it’s bedtime and the devil spawn are asleep… they’re not trapped in the house. They can go out. Drink 100 beers. High five their friends. Buy sixteen lap dances from eight strippers. If you split up, they can move on with their lives and are in no way obligated to maintain contact with you or your children. If they want to join a traveling circus, well, those might be hard to find nowadays but they’re welcome to try. If they want to run away to Australia and live with poisonous everythings, y’know, they’re fucking crazy but they’re allowed.

I’ve spent a lot of time bouncing between jealousy and anger and guilt in relationships, wanting and expecting people to give up their free time and spend it with me and my kids – and then feeling terrible for making people do that – and of course then emotionally pushing them away with the expectation that they’ll leave eventually anyways.

Nobody is obligated to live the life you choose for yourself, and so you can either fit theirs into it and around yours – or you can be alone. And this means having to find the line between compromising and settling. If you can find a partner who’s willing to give a little to get a little, and the meeting in the middle involves a lot of love and maybe some heavy petting, I think you’ve found a winner. If you find yourself giving a lot and getting very little? If anything? Get the fuck out. Being a single mom doesn’t make you damaged goods, or a stray cat begging for scraps. You created life, you dumbass. LIFE. So you deserve to have an awesome one.

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“Oh, you’re getting married? Congra – HOLYPOOPNOPERUN.”

I’ve never been well-equipped for rational decisions. I’m more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, “what the hell pile of nonsense just came out of my mouth”, WHOOPS – kind of girl.

I throw drinks on people who insist on dancing on speakers in front of bands I like. I frequently cut my own hair when I’m bored and thriving on cabin fever. I tell men I’ve met one time that I love them… in German. I go for walks in snow storms at 3am to buy beef jerky because it’s better than staring at blank walls. And I get married because I felt like that’s what I was supposed to do, and hey the guy was pretty rad.

If I were a rational person, I would have thought about all of the changes that would come with marriage. The financial aspects, both in case of a “happily ever after” or a ” ’til stupid fights do us part”. I would have reminded myself that my track record with commitment and monogamy was basically non-existent. And my second, third, fourth, and infinite thoughts pre-wedding would have been heeded.

Now don’t get me wrong – if I could go back in time I may not have done anything differently. Choosing marriage gave me my son, it taught me a lot about other people and conflict, and shone a light on some personal character flaws I was in a pretty strong denial about. But it also left me feeling trapped in unhappiness. Being miserable is miserable. Knowing that you’re making someone else miserable? That’s excruciating. ESPECIALLY if this is a person you love and swore to make happy, for better or worse. Not only was I in an emotional trap, but it was also a general life one. Financially, practically, logically with children involved – separating seems wrong. And bloody fucking impossible. Last week we would have celebrated three years of wedded “bliss”, but instead we celebrated a year of “being somewhat functional but we’re still really trying to learn and get our messy lives under control co-parents”. Yes, same date. Yes, it’s been a year. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not figured out. No, we don’t always get along. But YES, it’s still better than making each other bald due to the stress of forced loving interactions and constant guilt over our misery.

I’ll probably never get married again. Love is fucking splendid, and the idea of being someone’s wife and saying “I ONLY WANT YOU FOREVER” still has that magical shine of hopeless romantic nonsense to it. But I’m fairly positive there are other ways to show people this shit without piles of government official documents that cost comical bags worth of money which would be much better spent on cheeseburgers and beer. Throwing someone a #wcw or #mcm on Instagram is way cheaper, and also delete-able because sometimes life just needs a good takesie-backsie.

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What’s My Age Again?

I know that I’m aging. I can see it in my face, hear it in my voice… hell, I can feel it. As much as I’d like to maintain a dreamworld where I never ever turn 30, it’s not possible. At least I don’t think it is. And if it is and no one has told me then I’m going to be all kinds of pissed off.

There’s a point to this, and it’s that I’m terrified. I catch myself in moments that feel like a combination of deja vu and time travel, with a pinch of nostalgia thrown in. They happen a lot when I’m listening to music – I suppose because my taste hasn’t changed since my early 20s and pop-punk is really spectacular at making you feel youthful. But seriously, throw a pop-punk soundtrack behind my purple hair and absolute boy crazy tendencies and how could you not assume I’m 22? And then I remember that I’m not. And I panic.

I think the previously mentioned boy-craziness has a lot to do with my age related terror. The older I get, the more confused I am by dating. The more I miss how easy it was to meet someone – before Instagram, before Tinder, before I had to compete with every other female in the most terrifyingly large radius a.k.a the whole damn world. Back when I had a social life, never slept yet was always wide awake, and knew how to date without drama and anger and resentment and distrust and the fucking internet. I may be getting better looking with age (self high five!), but I’m not getting better at anything else. I miss actual dating and romance, and I’m not talking a dozen roses and formal dinner dates with candles or whatever. I’m talking meeting a dude at a show who bought you a beer, screamed his name over the music, gave you butterflies for days, and asked you for your phone number instead of trying to find you on Facebook the next day like a creepy third cousin twice removed. Remember when the Craigslist missed connections were the most addictive thing to lurk? WELL I DO. And that was a hell of a lot cuter than a freaking Instagram DM. DM isn’t even a word, people. I mean, c’mon. It’s an acronym. It doesn’t get any more lazy than that.

I’ve somehow turned into one of those people who say “damn these kids today” while still feeling like I’m their age. I know. I’m as confused as you are. Every night I go to sleep as a worn out mother of two, and every morning I wake up feeling like I’m in a Delorean and it must be 2009 again. Shit’s confusing, guys.

Every month that passes, hell – every week, I can feel 30 coming. And I want to be one of those nonchalant people who say age is just a number and I want to take on the future with a smile and I want to talk about how I laugh at my young self because I’m so much happier now and life has taught me so much and I’m in such a better place now and I was just a silly girl back then…

…but I’m still just a silly girl and I have no interest in outgrowing her, because she’s fucking awesome.


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If I Only Had A Heart.

Love is some straight up weird shit. “Oh hey, here are some super strong and uncontrollable feelings towards another human being and now it’s in their hands to do with that what they will”. THANKS, UNIVERSE. You’re swell.

It comes in so many ways. The temporary love of eye contact with strangers, first kisses, and impetuous drunken romance. The calm love of old friends and old married folk. Love between two sorts of people who unfortunately go together like oil and water and never mix up quite right. Then there’s love that’s actually just an overwhelming crush. Love for the one that got away, because the grass is always greener – am’I’right? And love that consumes, destroys, resets your brain, and turns you into an insecure shadow of your former self.

I’ve had all of those. Some of them repeatedly. When I think about how many years I still have left for things like falling in and out of love, I realize I’m actually really young – but I am bitter as fuck. Just like every other human in the world, I have insecurities and I partake in self-deprecation routinely (though at least it’s buried under how hilarious I am). “We accept the love we think we deserve” – and this means I basically feel like I’m going to end up with the troll under the bridge. Or hashtagging everything with #foreveralone while eating Cheetos in my underwear, FOR THE REST OF TIME.

Friends used to call me Mary (from There’s Something About Mary) because of the intensity of the crushes people would develop on me. I’d jokingly say “Always the dream girl, never the real girl” because the idea of dating me seemed more enjoyable than the actual act. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Now I can’t even imagine anyone referring to me as a dream anything. And yet in spite of all of this…I will always be a completely hopeless romantic. Oh, I won’t admit it (ever again after this post). And I’ll still be bitter and I’ll still be skeptical and I’ll still be cold. But deep, deep, deep down there’s a girl who tears up over songs of heartbreak and stories of love at first sight. She just only comes out when there are no witnesses present. Or alive.

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Grow(ing) up (kind of).

OddballPeople say you can’t be your child’s friend. They say there’s a fine line between being a “fun” parent and not behaving parent-ally. I don’t know where that line is. Probably under all of the laundry I’m not doing.

I found myself in an “oh-shit-I’m-going-to-have-a-baby?” kind of way at a pretty young age. Not 16 And Pregnant young, but I was definitely still an immature little shit. I’ve been winging it ever since. No, seriously. I have no fucking clue what I’m doing. I swear a lot (oh, you hadn’t noticed?). I don’t really have a filter between my brain and mouth. And I have definitely turned to my daughter when she’s being a nutjob and said things like “What the hell, man?”.

These moments aren’t shining parenting moments. I normally berate myself internally afterwards because, seriously, “What the hell, man?”. But then I just watch Gilmore Girls and Lorelai makes me feel a lot better about myself. Who needs self-help books when there’s Netflix.
My kids are alive, they’re happy, they’re healthy, they’re thriving. Yes, sometimes they don’t really seem to take me seriously. Sometimes strangers in public tell me I’m a great big sister (but that’s probably because most mothers don’t get stuck in children’s riding cars at the toy store). And sometimes I have week-long panic attacks thinking about how I’m going to deal with raising teenagers when I feel like I still am one. But I’m doing my best and I’m doing it with freaking buttloads of love, so I’m pretty sure that automatically gives me a few free passes. Love conquers all, or something like that.

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