It’s snowing, and I’m spiraling.

Woke up early today to get caught up on writing and emails and editing and all the things I’ve been dreaming about doing since last weekend ended and I find myself hitting a familiar point of distress: all the things that seemed to manageable in the abstract feel daunting when time finally allows me to do them.

I find myself gravitating to my usual distractions: scrolling through Facebook, simultaneously Googling/researching several other things that I’ve been thinking I should look at/work on/get around to doing until I begin to feel so paralyzed by on the things that I have yet to do/have yet to accomplish, not just today, but in life. This suddenly turns into clicking through one of those slideshows that catalogs the transformation of celebrity child stars after they’ve grown up followed by amazing “then” and “now” weight loss successes. If by this point I’m feeling particularly self-destructive, I might begin to look up creative rivals or enemies who seem like they have shit “figured out,” who somehow seem blessed with the ability to stay on task, disciplined enough to diligently produce successful results.

Usually by this point, I’m left with a half-finished blog draft and a very strong desire for a nap.

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I Ain’t Down Yet.

The stages of Alzheimer’s are so difficult and complex to try to explain to someone. I know hearing someone say “you just wouldn’t understand” almost sounds aloof, but it’s not even like that. It’s more just like–where do you begin? It would be like trying to explain something like city trash pick up to someone–it’s shit that’s so commonplace background noise that you don’t even know how to dissect it from what the rest of “normal” life is supposed to look like.

I never really know what to say when people ask about my mom. I don’t know how much detail is fair to give, or really necessary. It’s a kind gesture on their behalf to acknowledge that they care and recognize this thing happening in your life, but it also makes you feel like you’re always exposed and vulnerable to this fact, especially on the days you’re feeling particularly exposed and vulnerable about it.

It’s funny because I always think that I’ve gotten over it to a certain point–that this shit has been reality so long that there’s no reverting to complete sadness about it anymore because how can you legit cry over something that you’ve been carrying around that long? But then something happens–I smell her perfume while I’m out running errands, or for a brief second, some brain glitch makes me think that she’s just at work or reminds me of what it felt like to sit in the passenger seat while she drove to the mall. Suddenly I actually remember that these things were once real and happened. I used to have a mother. She used to know who I was.

These moments are easily the hardest to deal with because for a second there is so much happiness and hope and then suddenly everything snaps back into place, like some shitty reality rubber band, and it’s back to remembering that point and time is Over. Continue reading

2014, go gently into that good night.

So, I was recently having a discussion about the Play-Doh device that looks like a dick, and it evolved into talking about how Facebook is trying to get us to reflect happily on 2014, and well, how that doesn’t work for everyone. And the discussion got me thinking about my own 2014, especially since I’ve been penning to blog to mark this year’s end in my head for days now… Continue reading

Challenge Accepted.

So, my lovely writer/Internet friend, Kate, recently tagged me in a writer/blogger challenge to answer questions regarding my writing process. And true to my writing process, I’ve been writing this in bits and have been dragging out actually posting it. But it’s Saturday morning, I’ve got nothing to do for the next few hours, and it’s time to finally get to writing! It’s hard to believe how many years have passed since Kate and I first had the pleasure of working together on Lucy Magazine (RIP), and in that time, I’ve had the pleasure to watch her pursue her writing dreams full force. No smoke blowing when I say that it’s been an inspiration, and I’m super stoked to see all the ways she’s continuing to kill it. So, please, go check out her latest endeavor, and follow the project on everyone’s favorite NSA tool.

And so, without further ado, my responses to the challenge (followed by the people I’m tagging to complete it next!) Continue reading

Now I’m overcome by the light of day; my lips are near but my heart is far away…

“Thanksgiving was nothing more than a pilgrim-created obstacle in the way of Christmas; a dead bird in the street that forced a brief detour.”
― Augusten BurroughsYou Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas

I like being awake when the rest of the world is not. It’s one of the few times during the day where I don’t feel some crazy sense of urgency to get somewhere, to do something, to accomplish something before the day is done. I’d like to get better at getting up early, but that also means I have to give up my beloved late-night routine. I’m realizing that I love both for the same reasons–the feeling of being the Only One Awake, the calm of not having to answer to anyone… The benefit to switching this routine to the morning hours is that I’m able to more easily transition into a functioning adult after getting up early vs. staying up hella late. Continue reading

I feel unique, not yet complete…

So, I have this blog I’ve been working on now for a couple of months and it’s just not panning out the way I want it to. I think it’s good, interesting content, but it’s just not writing the way I want it to–I have plenty written and it seems cohesive enough, but there’s something very much missing… not enough connective tissue, not enough soul… not enough something. 

I logged on this morning to just say something, anything, because I haven’t posted in a bit, and I saw that blog sitting there. I spent another 45 minutes working on it, thinking maybe since more time had passed, it would be easier to shape it up and get it where it needs to be.

It wasn’t.

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Everyone has to eat and no one should feel bad about it.

Note: This actually started as a FB status, but by the time I was finished, I realized it was longer than most the blogs I’ve recently published. Consider this your lucky day, friends–you’re getting a 2-for-1 in posting. I guess this is a “thanks” for sticking by me while I’ve been dormant for so long…

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So, I went to ShopRite tonight–an errand that I *dread*, and tonight was no different–it was crowded, it was chaotic, I was hungry and tired. I just wanted to buy my few items and get OUT. I stood behind a family who seemed to be wrapping up their checkout and quickly realized that the mother was purchasing her items using her WIC (The New Jersey Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) check.

The clerk, who was probably 17 at most, was having trouble ringing up a couple of her items (eggs, tortillas, bread) because the computer was saying they weren’t covered and so he was asking his manager for help.

The manager, clearly annoyed, was giving him short answers to his questions, but would not just come over to help him through the transaction (granted, it was busy, but the kid was obviously unsure what to do and there were several other customers behind this family, which was making the kid even more nervous). The boy was trying to explain the situation to the family, and the manager yelled over, “Do they speak English? If they don’t, it’s not worth explaining. I’ll just have to get the things for them. Do they speak English or not?” Continue reading

Choosing Happiness.

Holy shit. Apparently, summer is over.

And as most of you have noticed (and some of you have nagged me about), the blog has laid rather dormant during the past few months, although I assure you it’s not for lack of trying.

In fact, I just went through and browsed the many drafts that had been started, left unfinished, trying to get an idea for what’s been going on/what my mindset’s been when I write this prodigal son blog after months of silence. And it seems all these drafts seem to center around a common theme, or at least a common emotion: melancholy. Continue reading

Really, Sallie Mae?

One of the blessings that has come from our whole apartment-we-were-moving-into-didn’t-have-a-certificate-of-occupancy-and-we-didn’t-find-out-until-we-had-moved-out-of-our-other-apartment-so-now-we’re-living-at-my-parents’-for-the-summer debacle is an increased cash flow, which means D and I can take this time to get our fiances in order and pay off our debt. My first order of business in doing this was paying off the remainder of my student loan, so I can officially say the degree that I earned is mine, and no longer partially owned by Sallie Mae.

I paid off the balance in May and excitedly waited for the “Congratulations–we no longer own your soul!” e-mail, but it never came. I finally logged back into my account to admire the zero balance and found that even though my payment had been processed before the actual due date for the loan, I was still charged interest on the balance. The amount? 2 cents.

I was slightly annoyed by this, slightly amused, and debated how to handle the remaining balance. Should I just go ahead and pay it online? Send them 2 pennies in the mail? Write a 2-cent check and mail it along with a snarky little letter? Or maybe not pay it at all and see what would actually happen… (I imagined one day I’d end up being featured on the yahoo main page for “weird but true” news stories: “Woman’s 2-cent student loan balance accrues to $10,000 after not being paid for 40 years”).

I finally decided to just bite the bullet and pay the pithy amount, and hope my opportunity for 15-minutes of internet fame would come elsewhere (and hopefully not come by way of arrest/public “wardrobe malfunction”).

However, I realized paying this amount would not be as easy as I expected… Continue reading

I thought I was smart, I thought I was right. I thought it better not to fight. I thought there was a virtue in always being cool.

Most of you who know me don’t necessarily equate “backing down” or being timid to my attributes, for better or worse. And, for better or worse, I’ve been happy to oblige this assumptions about who I am, about my character. Although being hard-headed and confrontational aren’t always the first two qualities you list in what you hope for in a potential friend, I’ve been proud to be known as someone too loudmouthed to step down from what she believes.

But the past month has been challenging this and making me question myself and whether or not I’m being smart and exhibiting proper self restrain, or if I’m becoming spineless. Continue reading