MY INSTAGRAMBuilding tiny houses into the tiny hours. (The paper ones are so much more colorful...and so much more challenging.)My mom’s phone doesn’t get texts so I’m putting this here so she can see it. This is the dress I got for renfest. It’s cheap and loose enough to allow for giant turkey legs. Getting one with an Irish nod for Hailey. Victor says he’s wearing his Boba Fett costume. I think he’s joking but I don’t even know anymore. Love you guys.Why is it when you’re naked and wearing socks you look extra naked?
You Searched For: elf
I’m too tired to type so here’s what’s happening now:
Have you had this flu? If so, what helped?
Going to sleep on the couch and have fever dreams now. Please send cat pictures.
Last time I googled “Jenny Lawson likes” google auto-suggested “to fart for you” but those auto-suggestions change every few weeks based on what people are searching for so I thought I’d check to see what Google is thinking about me at the moment.
I thought I’d check “Jenny Lawson was” but before I even finished google gave me this:
PS. Hang on. I just remembered that last time I didn’t use my last name. Let’s try it again:
Stop judging me. I’m already judging myself enough. And I’m fine. Except that I’m surrounded by rats. The usual.
This is not a real post. It’s a tiny bit of advice for people like me who have anxiety and depression and sometimes get trapped in their own homes because their brains are being assholes and it’s too people-y outside. I’ve been talking about my own mental health issues for years and I’ve shared so many important things that help: medication, therapy, community, etc. but today I have something even more important to share.
Today I was at my shrink’s office and I told her that I’d found a new tool that’s seemed to help with my anxiety and agoraphobia and she was like, “Is it PokemonGo?” and I screamed “IT IS POKEMONGO! WHAT THE FUCK?” and she was like, “What level are you? Let’s trade tips.” And then we did. Because apparently this super embarrassing thing I was going to admit is helping lots of people because it sort of forces you to get out of the house to play and suddenly you’re at the park at midnight and there’s a live possum next to you. That’s a bad example but it’s going to happen. Get ready.
But it’s nice because my OCD makes me want to collect all of these invisible creatures and that means I end up in parks and in malls and on road rips and in places I would never normally go in a million years. And then strangers who also never go out come up to you and say, “HEY DID YOU CATCH THAT BULBASAUR NEXT TO JAMBA JUICE?” and instead of running away from strangers and small talk you’re like, “OF COURSE I DID. What am I, some kind of amateur? And also, what’s with all the rats?” Because seriously, what is with all the rats? They’re everywhere and I’m always yelling “GO AWAY, INVISIBLE RATS. I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY.” Which gets stares from normal people but empathetic nods from other weirdos playing PokemonGo, and technically I was already freaking out the normal people, so not much has changed except that now I’m the middle of Macy’s while it’s happening.
This post would be much longer except that so many ridiculous things have happened to me while playing this ridiculous game that it turned from a blog post into a chapter in my next book. But I still want you to know about it. Because it’s awesome and makes you accidentally live life and walk dogs and take your kid hiking. It’s distracting enough to ward off the pre-panic attacks that keep you from leaving your car and suddenly you’re playing a game with the rest of the world. Also, you can rename all of the Pokemons. (Pokemen? Pokemi? Whatever the plural is for things that don’t exist either way.)
Also, Victor loves it too. And by “loves it” I mean that he’s getting used to me pretending to take a picture of him to capture how amazing he is even though he now realizes I’m really just catching nonexistent animals that have landed near him.
Sure, some will say that it brings you away from real life because you’re staring at a screen but once you’ve fallen into a few canals (2 is my record) you learn to stick your phone in your pocket and just pull it out when it yells that invisible monsters are near. Like a totally normal person. Almost. Close enough.
First off, thank you for yesterday. Thank you for listening to me and for making me laugh and for making me feel less alone.
Secondly, today I’m having a rare bout of energy. I showered and took Hailey to camp and facetimed with Victor (he’s traveling with his new job) and finished a few things only slightly behind deadline, and I can already tell that soon I’ll need to crawl back in bed to rest, but before that I saw that today is #nationalselfieday and although (as you can tell from my instagram) I’m not really a fan of selfies I decided that today I would make an exception and post the only sort of selfie that I think people really enjoy, which is a selfie that includes sloths or explosions or David Tennant or cats. I am out of the first three so I made do with Photo Booth and grabbed all of my pets (except for Atticus Fish II and Monster Mash because fish fucking hate cameras and aquariums are sloshy) and did a series of shots at my desk. And it made me laugh. And bleed a little. But that is the price of a good selfie. Or at least one that includes 3 cats and a dog who made me legitimately smile and feel human.
Unless you don’t want to be in a selfie. Then just photoshop your face over Hunter S. Tomcat’s and it’ll be like I’m giving you the biggest sqwunch ever.
I haven’t been quite myself for the last few weeks. I’ve told myself that it’s hormones or my arthritis acting up or allergies or an infection and it’s probably all of those a little, but the truth is that it’s a low level depression that I’ve been fighting off. And that’s harder to admit because even though I know I’ll always deal with depression it’s so much easier to pass it off as something that everyone can relate to and that doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable or nervous. I say that it’s low-level because I’m still able to leave the house and laugh and be functional, but the level of exhaustion (both mental and physical) is so utterly wearing on me. I have so many half-finished posts or stories I want to tell you but I don’t have the energy to finish them or the self-confidence to think that they’re as good as I know they can be when I get my head back. Instead I take my frustrated artistic energy and draw ridiculous things and make notes to myself of things will be fun to write about when I get that part of my head back again.
Depression is a lot of things, but sometimes for me it’s like having people in. In my head. The same way it is when you have people in your house to paint walls or replace a ceiling or rip out the plumbing. You can still go about your life but you always have your guard up. You know that there are parts of your home that you relied on that are now torn up and filled with strangers. You know that in the end it will be worth it and that having people in, or having parts of your home raised isn’t the end of the world but it stops you, over and over. You switch on a light and remember that the power doesn’t work in that part of the house for now. You know it’ll come back, even though you don’t have an exact date when. You move in the darkness, a bit more slowly than ever. You avoid the mess when you can. You switch on the light (again) and remember (again) that there’s no power in that room. You do it again and again and again because even when you feel helpless you know that one day the light will come back. And to not try is to give up. And I can never do that.
So I’ll be here, trying the lights, and hiding in the rooms that are still safe and reminding myself that even when I think you’ll give up on me, you probably won’t. And I won’t give up on you either. I’m still here, even if you can’t always see me.
I’m just looking for the light.
Did you know that if you google your name followed by “needs” it will auto-populate some crazy-ass shit that google thinks you need?
Let’s try it:
Huh. So maybe let’s add another word?
Or not. Whatever.
PS. Am I the only one who got weird shit when they did this?
PPS. Can I borrow $16,000?
PPPS. Hang on. You know what? Let’s try this again to see what Google thinks I actually have:
Jesus, Google. Never mind.
And then that one time on twitter we all just became human and I laughed until I gave myself a headache.
Then twitter came to my rescue and throughout the night thousands of you shared your own cringey moments, which were so awesome that hotel security had to do a welfare check on me because I was laughing so hard the people next door thought I was dying. I tried to convince them I was fine but I had tears running down my face and they were like, “Are you sure you don’t need help? Is someone hurting you?” and I was like, “No, this is what I look like when I’m happy” and they left, as confused as most people who deal with me are. I tried to storify the tweets to share them with you but there were too many and it kept crashing so instead I just decided to do a bunch of screenshots and share them here. I waited until after 5 because you cannot read these at work. You will hurt yourself. In a good way.
Thank you, amazing people for reminding us all how stupid and adorable and ridiculous mankind is, especially as the rest of the world screams “ME TOO” at your mortifying confessions. Also, if you don’t laugh in recognition of doing at least a quarter of these yourself you are probably in the wrong place or just haven’t lived long enough. Just saying.
This is a follow-up to a post I wrote one month ago about my shy 15 year old niece who plays the ukelele and is full of stars. I shared a few songs and you guys filled her tip jar and her mailbox with magic, and music, and access to instruments she wants to learn.
So today I’m sharing Gabi’s latest song (which she recorded with one of her new instruments) as a way to thank you for being so supportive. And it’s especially lovely because so much of it is exactly how I feel today about you guys. Full circle. Thank you for being my worm. Or my dirt. Your choice.
PS. She doesn’t sell her songs. She just plays them for happiness. You can download them for free.
According to the internet, right now kids are setting fire to themselves on purpose. The Fire Challenge sounds (and is) incredibly stupid, but when I was a kid we did the eraser game (erasing the skin on our hands to see who could get the worst scar) and the fainting game (hyperventilating and getting choked in the bathroom until you pass out) and we even did the Chubby Bunny challenge (packing marshmallows into your mouth and saying “Chubby Bunny”) until some girl suffocated from it. Then you’re suddenly confronted with the fact that you’re mortal. I mean, death by marshmallows? Nothing was safe. So then we stopped doing stupid, dangerous things until we turned into teenagers and began doing different stupid, dangerous things.
But here’s the thing… Am I supposed to tell my nine-year-old child not to set herself on fire, or is it just a given that I respect her intelligence enough to know that she’ll instinctively know not to set herself on fire. Or will mentioning setting herself on fire just put the idea into her head? They never cover this shit in the parenting books. I mean, setting yourself on fire seems pretty up-front in the “DON’T DO THIS, YOU IDIOT” category, but then again, intentionally peeling off layers of your own skin and letting people strangle you for fun isn’t exactly “normal” in hindsight, so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to mention it.
“Hey, sweet girl,” I whisper to Hailey as she drifts off to sleep. “Sweet dreams. Sleep tight. Don’t set yourself on fire.”
My work here is done.
Question: What’s the difference between kids during summer vacation and kittens at any time?
It’s not a riddle. I just really want to know.
PS. Yes, that is Hunter S. Thomcat when he was still Hunter S. Thomkitten. He was very demanding. He still is, but now when he flops down on my neck in the middle of the night it’s less of a sweet nuzzle and more like a ninja has karate-chopped my jugular. And the ninja wants food. And some snugglin’. And he’s confused about why I won’t wake up because he doesn’t understand that cats and people are always in different time zones.
PPS. Cat pictures and happy songs. This is what I need today. Maybe you do too. So here are two that I’m listening too today. You might hate them and that’s okay. Feel free to share your favorite happy song or cat picture or whatever makes you smile in spite of yourself.