Month in Review

june 💢 month in review

June’s been over for a bit, and this time it really fuckin’ crept up on me in a way that hasn’t happened in a bit. I woke up on July 1st, looked at my phone, and was like “FUCK, July already?!” June was a teeny bit of a mess in my mind, I’d say. It’s been a shitty month of a shitty presidential administration and I’ve started my summer classes and it’s fucking boiling hot and we’ve seen some really fucking awful wildfires near where I live and my lord I’ve just been so harried. The prevailing feeling of June has been how I feel whenever I go to the airport – when I feel like I’ve forgotten something but it’s too late to turn back and I’m not even sure what that something is and I’m kinda behind schedule anyway and I marinate in anxiety for the entire journey to the plane.

1. suicide, kate spade, + anthony bourdain

Not to get super heavy, but sort of definitely to get really heavy because that’s what ya gotta do sometimes, the suicides of two really prominent people in American culture got us all thinking and talking about depression and what goes up in our brains. Mental health is something I think about a lot, mostly because I have hella anxiety and occasionally depression and if I don’t think about how to deal with it, it’s a real bad time, but it’s something I wish everyone thought about much, much more.

This is not a think piece about Kate or Anthony or how to prevent suicide or mental illness or get better, because all I have are my own experiences. But I just wanted to say something about it, as a thing that’s so goddamn near and dear to my heart. I try to be really open about my mental health struggz in the hopes that it might help anyone either deal with their own mental illness or be more empathetic and understanding of someone else’s. In our office a couple weeks ago, I was chattering away and oversharing (as usual) and another intern shared that he was going to his first therapy session for anxiety and depression and was having a really hard time talking about it with his friends and family. We had a talk about it and at the end he said something like ‘thanks for being so open, it really helps to see someone on the other end who understands’ and I almost cried from relief.

Anyway, to close, I hope everyone out there is doing OK, and if you’re not, that you’re still hanging on. If you’re in the US, our national suicide prevention number is 1-800-273-TALK, but if you hate talking on the phone like me you can text 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. If you’re worried about someone you know, there’s a Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) that’s a series of simple questions to gauge risk and what kind of support someone may need. There’s hope somewhere for all of us out there even if it’s hard to find right now.

(Image from Hyperbole and a Half, the truest gem on the internet that there ever was, and probably the first big positive influence on my mental health. Allie speaks so hilariously and so truly about a shitty fucking thing. Also I think of her alot probably every day.)

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i am here for you

Welp, I’m back, after another blogging break where I just dropped off the face of the WordPress earth. I think these statements like “I’m back!” would be more appropriate had anyone noticed that I was gone in the first place, but you know. I noticed I was gone.

Today is July 15th. I’ve spent just over a month back home in my sleepy town in California, and I feel like I’ve gotten very little accomplished in this time. For fuck’s sake, I feel like I’ve gotten very little accomplished in the past year-slash-ALL OF MY LIFE. Where does this bizarre expectation/ambition come from? Is it just a ‘my personality’ thing or is it a product of being asked when I was little where the last 2% on a test I got a 98 on went? Who fuckin’ knows.

I’m thinking about things like – how to take care of myself. Where to draw the line between pushing myself and letting myself rest. How to shift the foundations of how I think so I can breathe easy. What kind of person I want to become.

It’s just you and me today, blog universe. So let’s sit and I’ll pour out my heart, my uncertain, frantic, depressed heart, and maybe I’ll glean something from it after it’s all done.

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A lot of the time people will tell you they’re “here for you”. They’re here if you want to talk, if you want to cry, if you want to be distracted. I want to be “here for you”, too, only “you” is “myself”. So I guess that would make it here for me. I need to be here for myself, because I am the biggest constant in my life; I am my own home.

I want to work on being present and conscious. I’m very focused on how lacking I am, and so I’m constantly not really “there”, wherever “there” may be at that time. I’m not touching smelling tasting seeing hearing whatever is happening, because I’m thinking about where I think I should be instead of where I am. I’m fixated on how to get there, and where that actually is, what that actually entails. But I’m only breathing now – I’m in constant conflict with myself and the present, because all I’m thinking of is how lacking it is and how I can change it for the future. I want to stop and let myself be. (i.e. subtweeting myself @maxine CAN SHE LIVE) I live in my head so damn much, always talking to myself up in that noggin (another subtweet I’d like to direct @maxine y do u talk like an old man from the Highlands), and I want to get out sometimes. It’s hard shutting yourself up though, when I could replay hours of awkward exchanges on command. (I can even do that unsolicited. Hours upon hours of saying the wrong thing and doing the worst thing, comin’ right up! Roll in for a full theatrical masterpiece of self-loathing!) My point is: I want to get out of my head, stop constantly being unhappy with myself, and let myself LIVE.

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There’s a line to draw here, though, and it’s subtle and blurred and I have no idea where the line actually is. The line might even not be a line at all! It could be dots!!! Very small and very close together!! At the same time I’m letting myself just be, I want to be bettering myself. Are these two ideas fundamentally at odds? I have a feeling they might be, but I don’t want them to be like that. I want to live at peace with myself, while also constantly striving to craft a life I am at home in. That’s a balance I think I’ll be figuring out for the rest of my life, but goddamn if I don’t want to arrive at the rest of my life right the fuck now, instead of stuck in this place I feel like is a stagnant, festering cesspit of a dental waiting room.

But!!! There is no such thing as the waiting room. I was listening to an episode of the Monocycle podcast, hosted by the one and only Leandra of Man Repeller (we are on a first name basis because she’s one of those Internet greats that spawn deep internal questions like, “What would Leandra do? Clash patterns?”), on a walk home through Kensington Gardens when I was still in London. This was a while ago, because it was still chilly and I remember wearing gloves and having to yank them off quickly because I needed to get down what she was saying. The thing I wrote down, the thing that I’m trying desperately to get my thick head to understand, is that the waiting room doesn’t exist. I can’t just be “waiting” for my life to happen. This period of stagnancy is still my life, this period where I feel lost and adrift in an ocean – it’s still my life! My life isn’t on pause. It hasn’t stopped patiently, waiting for me to get back on my tricycle and keep plodding along. My life is the waiting room; my waiting room is life.

I can’t just “wait” to be called out of this waiting room. This is something I’m going to need to figure the fuck out of by myself. There are doors and escape paths, and I just need to find them. I’m here for me. I’m the only one who is going to give myself everything I’ve got.

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