part of me has always hated self-help stuff. part of me knows that it’s the best dealio out there. i’ve taken a long break from this blog but now i’m ready to do it again. this time with slightly new eyes.
the main reason i think blogging is important is not because every sentence one utters is mind blowingly amazing, but it’s a reminder that the act of writing is important. and when you see someone else blogging and taking their thoughts seriously, i think it’s a good thing. it helps you do the same.
in some ways, i am so tired. soooooooo tired of my life being the way it is. predictable. same job. same house. same situation. it’s winter. it’s dark. i don’t like it. at the same time, i know that it doesn’t matter where you are and how much money you have and how fancy your stuff is, if you don’t enjoy you and yourself then the surroundings don’t matter. you have to enjoy yourself.
so it starts with you. can you enjoy you? are you proud of you? do you like you? and sometimes you have to learn or relearn how to toot your own horn because as you get older you don’t necessarily have a parent or coach or partner or bff always there to root you on. you have to learn how to do it for yourself. it sounds cheesy and dumb and annoying but you really have to do it. you have to learn how to be your own cheerleader.
so excuse my vanity now but i’m going to try to toot my own horn, as weird and awkward as this may sound.
- i’m good at making an instant latte: instant espresso powder and heated up milk on the stove. it makes less noise in the morning and it’s fast.
- if i get enough sleep and time to myself, i am a very patient person. if i don’t, i turn into a sourpuss. but when i do, i am really good at spouting self-help affirmations and advice whether people want to hear it or not. i believe self help affirmations are better than me yelling at people and i think they would agree.
- i like and i’m pretty good at talking to pretty much anyone. except maybe that homeless person wielding a sharp object but other than that i can talk to pretty much all folks. except maybe my old boss who had a beehive and a shrill voice and who wore outfits that i’d never be caught dead in and who made me feel very small and who i had absolutely zero in common with in terms of a sense of humor. but everyone else, yes.
- i’m pretty good at complimenting myself.
- i like writing and i do it quite a bit. occasionally i say something funny or deep stuff. much of the other time it’s just dribble drabble but somehow or another people put up with it or at least my friends are nice enough to just let me ramble on and do my own thing because i’m not generally hurting anyone with it. and for those whose eyes or ears i do hurt with it, well… no one is forcing them to read it. so if you’re one of those people, stop reading this. thanks.
- i like dmitri martin. a lot. and i just realized that i am now starting to sound like dmitri martin. but, you can’t help imitating your mentors, you know? your idols? i didn’t do this on purpose. i just loved pretty much every chapter he wrote in his book this is a book so somehow, like the actor that i am, i internalized it. so sue me. but please actually don’t sue me. i’m really writing this on my own and i promise to combine my style with his eventually to forge it into something new. i promise. please.
- i really am good at doing nothing. some people aren’t. some people need a plan. a direction. a purpose. a goal. an itemized ‘to do’ list for every day of their life. if i didn’t have to worry about money or anyone besides myself, i would have NO TROUBLE keeping myself entertained 24/7 and it would definitely involve zero plan making. plan making is for the birds. and, to be honest, i don’t even think they like it very much.
- i’m ready to start living the rest of my life.
- i really love lists. they separate your thoughts better than periods or paragraph breaks.
- but this is not an itemized list. no way jose! i don’t like ‘to do’ lists. not at all. nada.
- i am a really good procrastinator (i don’t even know what the theme of this list is anymore… maybe that’s a good thing). but i did learn something powerful recently. when asking a friend how she deals with her pile of things to do every day, she said, ‘you just have to do it.’ sound familiar? i didn’t realize she was using a variation of the Nike motto at the time so it had more of an impact on me than the Nike motto ever has had. just do it. it really makes a lot of sense. like right now. i don’t want to do it. i want to do what i’m doing. but in a few minutes, if i do want i want to do right now for a while, then i will DO IT. i really will. i know what i have to do and i don’t want to do it but knowing that i had some of my own real fun for awhile, then i’ll do the annoying stuff and just through it. that’s the best trick i know for combating annoying stuff you have to do.
- i’m running out of things to add to this list, but i’m not ready TO DO IT yet.
- i’m going to go check the heading of this list again to refresh my memory, get new ideas, etc.
- oh yeah, tooting my own horn. that’s what i’m supposed to be doing. hmmmm. let’s see. what else? i’m good at rambling. i’m good at meandering. i’m good at diversions. i’m good at deluding myself. i’m good at ignoring stuff that’s annoying. i’m good at going inside myself and burrowing there to hide from annoying stuff. i’m running out of things… i’m….. going……. to…….. do…………..IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“Love – by which I mean attachments to things outside the control of our will.” Martha Nussbaum
Whether it’s love of coffee or chocolate or people. I love traveling. I love to laugh. I love people. I love being alone. I love writing. I love being goofy. I love having no plans.
I can’t travel as much as I’d like to. Not enough money or time. Too many responsibilities. So the corner store has to be my moment of excitement each day.
If I could laugh all the time I would, but sometimes you have to be serious. Which fucking sucks.
I love people but sometimes I lose too much of me. And one of these days I’m probably not going to find my way back to me if I’m not careful.
I love being alone. I could be alone for long stretches of time. I could be alone so much that I virtually don’t need anyone or anything but then I might forget the joys and new ideas that come with hanging out. Plus being around people reminds you to bathe more often.
I love writing. I love it so much that I’d rather write sometimes than talk. But then I’d be missing out on the wonders of touch, eyes that dance, holding hands, hugs, and smiles, and feeling close. And it’s hard to spoon with a pen.
I love being goofy. But then I’ll be goofy at times when I need to take people seriously and they need tenderness, not distance. And you don’t necessarily want to be TOO good at being goofy. Or you might end up alone ALL the time. And I’ve already figured out why THAT’S not totally the best plan.
I love having no plans. But then I might end up poor and destitute and homeless someday so it’s good to have a plan.
I’ve known people who have too high of an opinion of themselves. And I’ve known people who don’t have enough. I’m somewhere in between. Probably like a lot of people but today it doesn’t feel right.
If anything, I veer towards not having enough of a high opinion of myself. Not because I don’t like myself but because I really don’t think that what I do is that different from what anybody else does. And it surprises me when people come to me with questions as if I have answers that they could never dream of. Or when they look at me as if I’m something special because it’s not that I don’t feel special. I just think that we are all special. Nobody is not special.
So that’s what I mean by having an opinion of myself that’s somewhere in between too high and too low.
And I’m pretty sure many of the people who go around with a high opinion of themselves are really compensating for a pretty low opinion of themselves and vice versa. In fact, it goes without saying that people with real self-confidence don’t have to announce to the world how special they feel. Yes, I announce it. But I do it as a joke. Some people get it. Some don’t. But whenever I do announce how special I am, I am channeling the spirit of Mr. Jelinek from Strangers with Candy, the art teacher who would begin his class by saying, ‘So how is everyone today? Well… let’s ask the really important question: how am ‘I’ doing?’
In so many ways, I’m just done. I’m done maneuvering the slippery slope of social affability. I’m done aiming for false modesty and done trying to toot my own horn. Sure people toot my horn on occasion and sometimes it feels like a genuine toot, but often the toots come with strings attached. So in the meantime, I’ll just toot my own horn facetiously. And maybe someday someone will get it.
When you’re writing, you get to be close to your own mind. Super close. You notice your thoughts microscopically. You come to terms with them. Maybe at first glance they seem strange and embarrassing but then with more thoughtfulness comes understanding and perhaps acceptance. You tease out any knot in your brain eventually just by writing about it. Or talking aloud about it. But stifling it in your head doesn’t work.
Just like making love. You can’t just make love to someone in your head. Well, you can but it’s not that satisfying. Ok, well it’s a teensy bit satisfying but what’s really satisfying and unforgettable are the moments, the snapshots of closeness that never fade once the event is over. You don’t realize how important those moments are until they’re over. You can smell them in your mind. Taste them. Touch them.
Just like writing. Once I’ve written something, it’s almost like I never have to go back. Like watching a movie and not needing to watch it again. I remember practically every sentence. I remember where I am when I’m writing it down. Especially if it’s a thought that hit me while driving or walking. Writing is like making love because I adore every word. Every word comes out and my brain feels a little less cloudy. It makes me happy knowing that it will travel into someone else’s fatty flesh in their head. And what makes me even happier is knowing that some tiny, weird thought that hit me might make someone else smile or laugh or feel some kind of emotion that I’m feeling.
It’s like sex. Writing is a reminder that we’re not alone. That we trust someone enough to take it all off and let them see how we really are. Weird sounds, cellulite, awkward grimaces and all. We reach across the empty space and feel.
If I learned anything in 2016 and that I will carry forth into 2017, it is this (sorry people who were hoping for handwritten blog entries…I WILL get back to writing those…I just need time to work up my finger muscles. It’s like playing piano after not playing piano for years. Pretty sloppy sounding. Thusly, my handwriting is sloppers, too, and I don’t want to put you through that misery. At least not today. Oh, and by the way, if I sound different at all today it’s because I am channeling the comedic genius of Maria Banford who I have been listening to non-stop for two days since my friend – the most amazing mechanic I’ve ever met – recommended her. With Maria, I have found probably the most kindred spirit in comedy that I’ve ever seen/heard and I can’t believe another human being exists on this planet who thinks/writes even remotely similarly to the way I think/write).
Ok, so here is what I learned. Nothing compares to the kissing of my cats. Well, within reason. I mean, I love my dogs. And I truly do. But there is something about my cats that is beyond compare. I think it’s the plethora of fur. It’s hard to nuzzle your nose into my dogs’ fur. Other people’s dogs may be fluffy but mine certainly don’t have enough. However, both of my cats, but especially Willow, have this bountiful rug of fur that is just bottomless. Delightful. There is virtually nothing as good as a good cat nuzzle.
I mean, Gizmo (the half Chihuahua/half-we-don’t-know-what-but-maybe-Corgi dog) is snuggable for sure. But his breath is pretty bad so if you get too close the fun of kissing his forehead starts to dissipate. And Daisy is deliciously delectable. Her fur is so soft. It’s as soft as it was the day we got her as a pup about a year ago. But it’s soooo sleek that there is just not much to nuzzle. I mean, it’s there but you can’t bury your nose in it the way you can Willow. Willow has girth and softness and a good smell that doesn’t include bad fish breath odor. I don’t know why she doesn’t have it but she doesn’t. Maybe she doesn’t open her mouth a lot. It makes sense. I mean, she’s not trying to lick me all the time like Gizmo so that’s probably why.
There are many reasons why I think more people should have more fluffy cats around to kiss. It would be hard for me to list all of the reasons why right here. I mean, I’m guessing eventually somebody might get bored. So let me just isolate one. Hmmmm, let’s see… I think the most important reason why is….. hmmm….the smell. Yup, it’s the smell. I mean, okay you know when you know a smell so well that it feels like home? Like, you go away on a long trip and then you come back and suddenly smell your house the way it truly smells but you don’t really ever notice that smell anymore because you’re in it all the time? Nevertheless, you recognize that smell. Something inside of you recognizes that smell as HOME. You know you’re home. That’s what Willow’s neck smells like. Home. Comfort. Home. This is where I belong. She is mine and I am hers. Home. We belong together, here. Maybe not always in this house but yup. She’s my cat. Our cat. I love her dearly. I can’t even imagine not having her someday. It’s not even possible. She’s just going to go on living ad infinitum. Yup. That’s it. There will always be a Willow. Whenever life gets to be too much (good or bad), all I need is a whiff of the space between her neck and her cheek and I’m fine again. Willow. The fat pillow. Willow. Phatty Fatmeister. Willow. The love muffin. Yummers.