You Guys Rock

Obviously this is a teeny tiny little blog. The readership is small and I’d guess that more than half the folks who stop by know me in real life. I am grateful for everyone who does read. It still surprises me that anyone would take time out of their busy day to check out my stuff. I realize what a raging narcissist you have to be in order to blog and I feel guilty about it. Besides the narcissism I really am motivated by the hope that writing about hard stuff (mental illness, parenting, struggling to exercise, poop, poop, and more poop) can be helpful to someone who is reading-I know, pretty narcissistic in itself, who the fuck do I think I am? Some self-help guru?

Since I started jogging I’ve been talking about it a lot here, on instagram, and on FB. The posts have been a mix of “I’m so proud of myself” and “If I can do it anyone can do it!” and “sometimes this sucks ass”. As a self-loathing narcissist (I know, I’m rolling my eyes, too) it has been weird to feel this much pride about an accomplishment. The friends who have commented or messaged me that they are working out because of the stupid selfies about my progress have helped me keep going. And made me feel better about the unflattering photos I’ve posted and stories I’ve told. I have a rule-when it comes to exercise pictures I don’t use filters. I’m doing hard stuff, it’s ok that I look like ass. It is certainly more honest.

The well wishes and support I got from you guys before the race actually helped get me through the 5K. I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job of explaining myself here, but I just wanted to thank you. I want you to know how much your kindness has meant to me. And I wanted to apologize. You guys were rooting me on, telling me I could do it. And I am embarrassed that I let you down. I’m embarrassed I didn’t run the whole thing. I’m embarrassed that my official time was even slower that I estimated at 38:01 minutes placing 311th out of 333. I wanted to let you know that I don’t take your presence or support or friendship for granted. So seriously, thank you. And next time I’ll try and do better.

The race humbled me. Usually I hate that word. It has been appropriated by the famous. When an actor wins an academy award and says he feels humbled I roll my eyes and think “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” According to the online dictionary it means “lower (someone) in dignity or importance.” Winning big doesn’t make you feel lower, it makes you feel like the king of the fucking world. Well, let me tell you what. I was big time humbled by the race. It was not a fun experience. But I guess the lesson is to pick myself back up and move on.

Usually I jog on Mondays, but being the weekend was so exhausting it seemed like a smart idea to take a rest day. Getting back out there this morning was almost as hard as the race itself. I didn’t want to go. What is the point? There isn’t anything to look forward to. Honestly, the race was such a shitshow for me running-wise that I was scared to go back out. On top of that it was cold. Yes, I’m a huge baby.

But I went. I put on the shirt I was given at the race and I went. I ran the whole two miles–mile 1 in 10:41 and mile 2 in 11:14. You know what? I was proud of myself. The accomplishments might not feel as “real” to me when they are not part of a timed race, but perhaps I need to get over myself. I am going to keep chipping away at this motherfucker.

T medal

Just past the finish line a guy handed all the runners medals. T is in love with mine. He keeps asking if I won the race. I keep laughing and telling him no. He says he thinks he would have won if he was running. There is a a family 3K after the women’s race and Z and I promised him we will do it with him next year.

c gold medal

Because T wants the metal C wants the metal. Oh brotherhood.

Gryffindor wins

About a year ago my folks went to Orlando and got me this awesome patch at Harry Potter World. Two nights ago Z sewed it onto a hoodie of mine. I’ll be rocking it everywhere from now on. Go Gryffindor!

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In Which I Am an Ungracious Little Shit

Back in February when I decided to move the old blog over to WordPress a big reason was the sense of community on this platform. It bugged me that I was unable to “like” WP blog posts because sometimes you don’t have a comment, but you’d like to acknowledge you enjoyed reading. I liked the template designs here more, they feel cleaner and airier. It was a good decision, I really do like it here.

Part of the WP community seems to involve giving “Awards” as a form of encouragement and inclusion. I haven’t paid much attention to them because they just aren’t my thing. But last night Beadstork nominated me for the Liebster Award, which is for blogs with under 200 followers. And to be clear, the nomination is the prize. It is a way to tell the folks who read your blog about the smaller blogs you enjoy.

Here’s the part where I’m a total asshole and uncomfortably honest as usual. It freaked me out. I didn’t want to participate. I was embarrassed. Naturally that made me think and I decided I need to address it. Beadstork was being kind and encouraging, what the fuck is my problem? Well, there is the whole I-hate-compliments-with-my-entire-being thing. For the newer readers-I had a pretty big mental breakdown almost a decade ago and an eventual diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. One of the larger parts of that situation manifested in me believing that everyone was constantly laughing at me/pitying me. Any time I received a compliment I thought I was being mocked. I no longer am categorized as borderline (yay therapy and drugs!) But the compliment thing has continued to be a struggle. “Now wait just a minute,” you say, “Did you not post three pictures of yourself in a bathing suit the other day? Were you not practically begging for compliments?” Listen, I know. I know it looks that way. And I’m sorry about that. I really was not looking for compliments. I was doing something that was very hard for me. I’m trying to not feel so bad about myself. I’m trying to encourage you to not feel so bad about yourself. The second part isn’t hard for me. I really think you should not feel bad about yourself.

Mostly though, I’m a big fat introvert. I’ll wait for you to stop laughing. How can I be an introvert? Me, a reckless internet over-sharer? Well, most of my (teeny-tiny) readership are not folks I see regularly. In fact, when I find out that local in-real-life people read here I get really weirded out and guilty. Like I’m imposing on friendships by shoving really intimate stuff down their throats. For some reason I feel comfortable letting it all hang out online and I don’t feel like it impacts my daily life much. I know, I’m inexcusably naive when it comes to the realities of the internet.

So what to do? The introvert in me is worried that nominating other people will make them uncomfortable-if I am afraid of group activities then everyone must be. I do keep a pretty up to date blogroll. Wish I could share an awesome blog of a friend of a friend who is writing about parenting her foster-to-adopt daughter, but the blog is private for now. The minute it becomes public it’ll go right on my page, though. Recently I’ve gotten back in touch with someone I knew in college. We worked closely together, but I don’t think either of us cared much for the other one back then. Probably because I was insufferable and prim. Turns out we have a lot in common these days and if we lived in the same city I could see us being close. She’s a playwright. A proper writer. And her blog rocks. Did you guys know that Z writes about the found object instruments he makes? Or that my amazing sisters-in-law are blogging about their daughter? Really, if you are in the market for more blogs to read please just check out the blogroll. I haven’t included anyone that isn’t in my RSS feed, they are the folks I think are awesome.

And that is the point of this whole award thing I think-encouraging each other to write more. So to Beadstork I’d like to say thank you. Thank you for being encouraging and big hearted and for participating in community. I’m sorry I’m so sloppy about accepting it. The truth is even though I didn’t/don’t know how to gracefully respond to that encouragement, you did make my day. It delighted me that someone I’ve never met has enjoyed this blog enough to share it with her friends. And I’m sure the other folks you nominated feel the exact same way.

To my friends who write. Please keep writing. I love reading your stuff. You brighten my day, it stands to reason you are brightening other people’s days as well.

I like this WordPress situation. I like the community. I like that people seem to want to lift each other up. I’m going to try and get better about participating myself. I want to, I really do. Just got to learn to stop tripping on that damn anxiety disorder.

kels and t

Speaking of my sister-in-law, she dropped by the other day on her way to Minnesota. Strange, but true.

violin

Speaking of Z’s instruments, he made this cigar box violin a while ago. This week he met with the Kronos Quartet and the founder and first violinist played this very violin. Z’s life is amazing and I’m so very proud of him.

checkered lily

These crazy checkered lilies are in our front yard. The first spring we lived here it was so cool to discover them and all the other flowers that previous owners had planted.

Back In the New York Groove

When Z and I made the decision to get married we also earnestly made plans for our future. We talked about what we wanted-kids someday, but not some day soon. To live in New York forever. I’d been chasing that need to belong for my whole life. New York already felt like home, when I came back the city after being away something inside me relaxed, I breathed easy, it felt right.

It’s hard for me to look back at the kids we were nearly fourteen years ago when we got engaged and not feel distain for our hubris and naiveté  Yes, we thought we knew marriage would be hard. We didn’t know anything.

Those kids we used to be could not have imagined that I would have a spectacular mental breakdown within in a few years. Hell, we would not have believed that the World Trade Center would be destroyed one year and eight days after our wedding. The thought that we’d be on the verge of divorce five years after our big day would have been ludicrous to us. And Z, who adored New York City would not have been able to wrap his brain around the fact that he would grow to despise his home in under a decade.

We wouldn’t have believed what life had in store for us, but our ignorance didn’t prevent any of it. Eight years after we met, six years after we wed I was presented with a choice-stay married and leave my other love, the city I’d called home for longer than anywhere else in my life, or stay in Brooklyn and get a divorce. There is no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice. Although I do think that marriage should be renamed Never-Ending Compromise. And I’m not trying to sell this like I made some huge sacrifice while Z just gets to do whatever he wants. Deciding to stay married to someone who struggles with mental illness means you are putting that person’s needs in front of your own with soul crushing regularity. I could write a novel outlining all the compromises he’s made for me.

I made the right choice. That doesn’t mean that I stopped loving New York. I just decided I loved Z more.

The trip this weekend excited the hell out of both of us. We know we need to be paying more attention to our marriage and this opportunity was the perfect break. So when we were driving down the highway on Saturday afternoon and the Manhattan skyline came into view I was horrified by the sudden and severe anxiety attack that took hold. And on top of the anxiety I was enraged. Suddenly I hated Z for making me choose between him and the city, even though that choice happened years ago. I hated him for not missing the city. I hated the city itself for changing, for leaving me behind. I didn’t belong there anymore. And I hated myself for feeling so betrayed by Z, by the city, by life, by myself. I hated that the vision of life my 22 year old self imagined didn’t come to pass. I hated that part of me still expected it to. I guess I’m still naive nearly a decade and a half later, or to be blunt I’ve failed to grow the fuck up.

But here is the good part. Z immediately recognized what was going on. He got me to take a chill pill. He went to his work event while I stayed in our room and calmed down. We were able to talk about my reaction and strategize about future visits. Next time before we get close enough to the city for me to see the skyline I’ll take a pill. We’ll talk about how hard it is for me not to be there anymore ahead of the trip so remembering won’t seem like such a slap in the face.

The rocky start did not ruin the trip. We met up with two of my favorite people on the planet. She is the chef of a new restaurant in Brooklyn. The first review kicked ass. If you are anywhere near Prospect Heights you should go and get the duck confit sandwich. It was criminally delicious. He’s the one that set up my wordpress account and moved over all the content from blogger. He’s smart like that because he is the Product Engineering Director of a cool news website. If I’m going to be honestly uncomfortable, and you know I am, I’m jealous of them. That doesn’t mean I’m not proud as hell of them or that I begrudge their success. I mean, I’m an asshole, but I’m not that big of an asshole.

But I look at them, and Z for that matter, and I see people who made intentional and thoughtful decisions about what they wanted from life and worked their asses off to get there. They didn’t magically become successful, they put in the sweat and tears, they had setbacks, but they persevered. They are in their mid to late 30s and their careers are blossoming. And I feel inadequate compared to them. I’m 36, a Stay At Home Mom without the skills to find a job that would cover the cost of day care for my boys.

But here’s the thing. Only I have the ability to change where I am in life. I can decide it’s too late for me and feel sorry for myself, or I can made decisions and do the hard work and open myself up to facing failure as I try to make something out of myself.

So it was an eye opening trip. It made me think about where I am and where I want to be. It reminded me that I’m the one standing in the way of my own dreams, dreams that scare the shit out of me so completely that I don’t acknowledge them. On top of all that I still managed to have an excellent time with friends who I love dearly and who somehow love me back. I continue to love New York while loving Z more. And speaking of Z, let’s just say it was a fantastic trip for our marriage.

I love new york

This skyline never fails to break my heart, to exhilarate me, to make me feel like I’m coming home, to make me cry.

home again

We were happy to get home and see our boys. Man, did it feel nice to miss the boys.

porch in the rain

Hanging out on the porch for the first time this year.

And bonus dork points to anyone who knows who sings New York Groove…

You Are Already Here

Welp, this is probably really confusing for a first post on WordPress, but I’m pretty confusing so it kind of fits. What follows is my final post on the blogger platform. So when it’s asking you to follow me to the new site? Um, you are already here. Hi.

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Back during the holiday party frenzy of December a very dear friend of mine posted a picture somewhere in the social media universe of the WordPress holiday party. I’d been considering making the move over to that platform for a while, but I had no earthly idea how to do it. And it hit me. I should ask him for help. He was at the party because he is a, well I’m going to be honest, I don’t know what he is. Because I don’t understand anything about anything when it comes to computers. But he was part of the team that made Quartz this fall, which is a really cool news site. So yes, he was part of a really big website launch this fall. He’d been working insane hours for months. His wife, who is one of my best friends in the universe, hadn’t spent time with him in ages. I thought I’d be an all around super human and ask him to spend his precious free time helping me. Seriously, I am an asshole.

 

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I actually contacted him about it. Not because I was trying to give him extra time to get acclimated to life now that Quartz was live. Remember? Asshole. It was because I’m lazy. Being he is a unfailingly kind person he totally hooked me up. And today the blog is up and running in its new location with its new domain name.

 

So now I’m going to be that jerk who asks you to do extra work in order to read my blog. And I hate that. The fact that anyone is reading my stuff continues to thrill and delight me. I know you are using your valuable time, I don’t want to ask you for more when you are already showing up. But I’m not going to update here anymore. Will you please come join me at unhonest.com?  I think that most of you guys who are kind enough to read come through the link I post on FB. So you won’t have any trouble finding me. Am I in your RSS feed? Will you please update the address to unhonest.com? Thanks. And if you aren’t interested in sticking around to hear more about my scintillating bowel movements I totally get it. Thanks for staying as long as you did.

 

 

T. You know, standing on the heating register and making out with a corn chip.

 

Don’t be fooled by his sweet little face…he really is so wonderful and cuddly and…Damn it! He fooled me again.