On Mental Health

Hello, and what the fuck is going on.

What is transitioning back to “regular/real life (??)”

And do I even want it???

I am not speaking for the collective we, because I know some people did fuck all during the pandemic to “slow the spread” (I fully expect to see my future fifth grade child make some awful history unit diorama on the 2020 pandemic with a little clay man holding a sign that says this).

I am just speaking for me.

I spent over a year inside. I spent almost 400 days seeing the same 4 people (with tiny treats seeing anyone else and I was BEYOND privileged to get to do that). I binge-watched every episode of The Crown, plowed my way through Michael Douglas and Al Pacino’s oeuvres, cooked fancy meals, defrosted tater tots, stopped eating, worked five days a week while mass chaos ensued, called my therapist, went for long walks around the neighborhood, had family die, continued to do every day that wasn’t Sunday, drifted apart from friends, stopped working, called my Grandma more than I ever have in my life, went further into debt than I ever have in my life, still had to work, learned how to give myself a fucking fantastic manicure, gave up on laundry, filled my apartment with plants, acted as a therapist to my parents, got in fights with my sister, drove down PCH blasting showtunes with my boyfriend and convinced and unconvinced myself that I should get a dog like 15 different times.

And now, New York is back, baby!

Or so I’ve heard.

I don’t fucking live there.

But over here in LA life is resuming too. People are going into the office. Or at the very least, going to indoor malls. We’re seeing our friends again. We are going to bars. Some of us are finally going on vacation and posting bikini pics WITHOUT a caption to justify the action!

So why does the whole thing kind of feel like shit?

I’m delighted that I get to see more of my friends again. I can actually go see my grandma and worry less that I am going to kill her! I’ve started taking pilates classes (with a mask on) and on June 15 the mask is coming off.

But a lot of things look and feel different to me and it’s making me fucking uncomfortable to pretend that I am eager to enjoy them.

I’m scared, dude!!!!

I grieved my 2019 existence for over a year. What am I supposed to do now? Dig it up out of its grave and dust it off? That version of me died and didn’t get a funeral (like my step Grandma!) and I’ve been struggling to make up for the loss.

I had a social life and now I’m at square one. I was having fun and now I’m at square one. I felt secure with what I wanted my life to look like and now I’m at square one.

It doesn’t help that this shit started when I was 26 and now I am going to be 28.

The only good thing about being 27 was that I survived.

But I also don’t have the same wants that I did when I was 26 (naturally). However, I also don’t have the same wants that I did when it seemed like the 5 second rule applied to dropping food on a table.

Now it’s like, how the fuck did I ever eat food that I dropped on a public table that hadn’t been cleaned?? That other people sneezed on or wiped their ass on (idk what people do, I’m just saying)???

Like what the fuck, who was that and why did she not fear for her life then???

Someone hit the play button on the world (LOL just the U.S.) and it’s all so loud and fast.

I feel 10000000 steps behind and at this point I can’t tell if I want to try to keep up or just quit.

I’d start a new life and move to the desert but I don’t think the man I live with and love very much would appreciate that.

This was traumatic. 2020 through now. The world has PTSD. Why are we just moving forward and not dealing with it?

Logically, I know I have the choice to opt out. I could sit at home and do more therapy and see people in little bits and work my way up to something sort of like comfortability.

But life will blast past me.

I will feel even more steps behind.

I could throw up.

I don’t even know really why I am writing this. I guess to see if anyone else feels this way? If anyone wants to talk about it? Just so someone knows that they are not alone. Including me.

If you spent the pandemic doing everything that you could and it fucked your mental health and now you feel painfully emotionally slow while everyone is blasting past you to enjoy life and you feel like you can’t or don’t….I am right here with you.

2021 doesn’t have to be a botch if we treat ourselves right. We just have to figure out what that means. And I won’t make any more depressing posts. I swear. (Maybe.)

Hopefully we can add some cham to all our pain….

like champagne

get it?

that was stupid.

Anyway

see you on the bull at Saddle Ranch!

x

The Zodiac Signs As Quarantine Snacks

Did I do this already? I don’t remember. Doing it again!

ARIES

Iced Coffee

You love to start your day by absolutely ruining your empty stomach with a large iced coffee. Then, when it’s well past lunch and you still haven’t eaten, you get a second one!

TAURUS

Leftover holiday candy

You survived off of mini-Snickers bars and packets of M&M’s from Halloween to Dec. 1. Thankfully, your Reeses cups don’t taste too much like the Lush bath bombs your mom put in your Christmas stocking.

GEMINI

Any Kind of Chips

You love that CRONCH!! Potato, tortilla, even pita. Just be sure to brush those crumbs out of your bed in between episodes of Bridgerton.

CANCER

Microwave Quesadilla

Every quarantine snack pretty much doubles as a depression meal, but nothing says I HAVE GIVEN UP ON MY LIFE PLEASE LET ME SLEEP FOREVER quite like a nuked tortilla with a few slices of Kraft American cheese.

LEO

Bell Peppers + Cream Cheese + Hot Cheetos/Takis

You’ve been watching a lot of TikTok and this seemed like a fun snack to try. Now you’re really into ALL TikTok snacks, but you can’t bring yourself to try those TikTok egg salad pickle-boats just yet (thank god).

VIRGO

Charcuterie Board

No one has any control right now, but at least you do over this charcuterie board. Make a salami river! Cookie cutter a fun shape into your brie! We’re all gonna die.

LIBRA

Apple Sauce/Yogurt Pouches for Babies

We get it. You’re baby.

SCORPIO

Gabagool

Whether you are Tony Soprano or someone who took a trip to Gelson’s for hummus and left with a lot of expensive food items you didn’t really need, it is powerful to eat loose cured-meats. You can’t tell me otherwise.

SAGITTARIUS

Expensive Cookies Your Roommate Bought

Okay, THIEF!!! The next gluten-free double-chocolate chip Tate’s box is on you, I guess.

CAPRICORN

Alcohol

Drunk since March, drunker in September and now DRUNKEST in 2021! Maybe you can get a Cancer to make you a microwaved quesadilla to soak some of that up.

AQAURIUS

Fruit With Alternative Nut Butters

Isn’t it nice that someone has a nutritious coping mechanism??? You go for apples, bananas, persimmons, dates, figs, etc… all with almond, cashew, sunflower, whatever the fuck else butter!! You’re getting some good protein and fiber god damnit!

PISCES

Ice Cream

At least you’re more upfront about your need for comfort food than a lot of these other signs. Good thing it’s never too cold for ice cream — especially when you’re parked in front of your space heater.

Why I’m Starting Again

Sometimes it feels so singularly embarrassing to exist. If you’re anything like me — which I hope you aren’t — it’s exhausting. Remembering anything, making a small (or large) mistake, saying hello to a stranger and garbling the words, committing, realizing what you’ve committed to, comparing yourself to Instagrams, living in America amidst a global pandemic, living in Trump’s America (idk why that feels worse than living in a global pandemic, but it does), being invited to a Zoom call and then immediately trying to figure out how to get out of it, not finishing a craft (OR A WRITING PROJECT) that you started, surviving inside a burping, sneezing, digesting, hairy human body, can be soul crushing.

So that’s why I’m here. I guess.

To show myself (and you, if you’re reading this) that yeah, it’s embarrassing to live, but life does go on. There is a large sliding scale of discomfort and sometimes you’re at “getting your ears pierced” and sometimes you’re at “full pelvic exam.”

Right now, I’d like to think I’m at “rigorous cheek swab.”

So I’m writing again.

I do believe this is the ….third? fourth? millionth time? Maybe? That I’ve said HIIIIIIIIII I’M BACK!!!! And let me tell you, it feels embarrassing! But also, really nice to have a place to write. Because I have a lot of things to say and sometimes you read them and that’s good. I hope it makes the both of us feel less alone.

Originally I was going to make this post a list. But that felt too impersonal. Come back for pasta recipes, pictures of my new apartment (I got a purple rug), good TikToks, tru sad girl hours, TV recommendations, astrology, weird shit I’ve found on Amazon and beauty/skincare ideas.

love u

L

5 Things That Really Suck About Being A Writer

I am sitting here writing to you while I enjoy Whole Foods sushi and Cheetos. It is my “cheer up! meal,” not to be confused with my “cozy meal,” which is Trader Joe’s butternut squash ravioli with a lot of marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.

And why might I need cheering up you ask? Because sometimes being a writer really fucking sucks.

Yeah, I could have chosen to become a scientist or a doctor or a lawyer or a ballerina, but I didn’t. I started doing the one (and seemingly only!) thing I know how to do semi-well as a profession about four years ago. Even though I love it deeply and do it daily, sometimes it makes me cry and feel like I would be better off supporting myself financially and emotionally by selling pictures of my feet online.

Jk my feet are too ugly for that.

5 THINGS THAT REALLY SUCK ABOUT BEING A WRITER:

#1 You’re Rarely Paid A Living Wage

If you can get a salaried job as a staff writer or on an editorial team, good for you!!! You’re probably barely making enough money to move out of your parent’s house and get your own apartment, but at least you’re juuuuuuust making it. But if you’re a freelancer or a contributor or anything of the sort– you’re fucked. The $25 an hour (for not guaranteed hours btw) or $20 per story you’re pitching to write and be paid, is not going to pay a single bill. You might as well spend it on tissues to sop up all your tears or to at least wipe the spit off your face.

#2 As A Freelancer You May Get Paid At Different Times– Or You Know, Never

Some freelance jobs are awesome. You send them an invoice and BAM, money is in your direct deposit 1-2 business days later. Most jobs will take a week to two weeks to pay you, which is not ideal but it’s to be expected. What’s not expected is when a job tells you that haha oh yeah! It’s going to take 4-weeks after the invoice is approved for you to receive payment. You might be spending 8 hours a day on the computer, eyes burning, and not see a dime for a whole fucking MONTH! And there are those places that don’t pay you at all. You’ve invoiced them. You’ve emailed them. You’ve had it written in the sky. The only next logical step is to call the police I guess idk.

#3 You Have To Prove Yourself With An Editing Test That You Don’t Get Paid For

RARELY, but it happens, someone will pay you for the work and effort you put into this long ass editing test you are sent to prove yourself as a writer/editor. It’s like giving away a free sample! Only the free sample is two 300 to 400 word pieces on current events in the entertainment news cycle plus 5 pitch ideas plus social and SEO headlines. It’s almost as if media doesn’t value the skills of a writer at all…. ;;;;; )

#4 If You’re Any Sort Of Lifestyle Writer, Straight Men Will Act Like Your Job Is Foofy*

No, I’m not out here curing cancer but it’s not like your sales job is saving the world either, Jake! Just because a work emergency for me means I need to access a computer and wifi ASAP to write about Kylie Jenner’s new hair doesn’t mean what I’m doing is stupid. People love this shit! I LOVE THIS SHIT! And yeah, this embargoed news piece about Olive Garden’s breadsticks is important. It’s my fucking job, Brandon. You can go ahead and take a long walk in your boat shoes right off a cliff.

*Foofy: meaning excessively frilly, fou fou, superfluous

#5 You Constantly Beat Yourself Up

Whether you’re trying to write the next great American novel or just trying to write about your new favorite skincare, it’s easy to get down on yourself. There are so many people writing, and it’s good and they’re incredible and those voices–especially the marginalized ones–need to be pushed to the front so that they are heard because they have something important to say. But what you have to say matters too. Even if it’s foofy. Somebody out there is reading it and smiling or sharing it with a friend. Even if it’s shit, your grandma loves it. Your sister is proud of you even though you missed a word or forgot a period or fucked up SO badly you had to delete it and start again. Yes, it’s an endless nightmare but you do it because for some reason it feeds your soul. Ugh. Put down the glass of wine and keep writing. You’ll strike genius someday.