New York is more confusing than usual

I was in New York last month recording the audiobook for FURIOUSLY HAPPY and I just realized I never wrote about the stuff I saw.  So here we go…

First off, am I the only person who sees human faces in non-human things?  Is that normal?  Because I kept seeing panicked, screaming faces on the plane:

airplanebloggess

Victor and Hailey came down for a few days after I was done so we took her to a toy store and Iron Man was there.  We didn’t get a picture with him because he was on break, and by “on break” I mean “hiding behind the green screen and looking as if he was taking a shit in the trash can.”  A normal person would have looked away but I am not normal so here you go:
ironman2 thebloggess

Then when I thought it couldn’t get any weirder I realized that there was a small crowd of people on the street watching Iron Man possibly poop into his ironman toilet.  These were the people:

ironman3 thebloggess

“Um…what is happening?”

Then I looked back and saw Iron Man flash his hand-light-thing at them.  I tried to get a picture but I missed it and this is what I got instead.

ironman thebloggess

Don’t fuck with Iron Man when he’s pooping, y’all.

At the same store they were selling a really unfortunately named candy:

thebloggesscandy

“DINGLEBEARIES”

So, does “dingleberry” not mean the same thing up north?  Because in Texas, dingleberries are the dried balls of feces that get stuck to the hairy buttholes of farm animals.  Is that not common knowledge?  Is this a tongue-in-cheek joke by Big Gummy Bear, or was someone in marketing fucking with them when they offered up that name and the execs were like, “DINGLEBEARIE?  THAT IS FUN TO SAY.  PRINT UP A BILLION.”  I suspect it’s the latter because I saw a ton of people stop by the display and all of them were like, “Yum!  Let’s get these!  Dinglebearies sound delicious!  What will they think of next?”  And that’s a good question and one I don’t think I want to know the answer to.

Then I decided to do a sight-gag by taking a picture of myself in the NYT building so I could tweet “I’M IN THE NEW YORK TIMES TODAY, Y’ALL” but turns out they keep those doors locked.  But then someone was walking out of the building so I grabbed the door before it shut and snuck in as he was leaving so Victor could take the picture:

nyt thebloggess

Security didn’t think it was as funny as I did but on the bright side I did think it would be more entertaining to tweet pictures of me possibly being arrested.  And then I felt like this picture was a little boring compared to the picture I didn’t get of me not getting arrested so I didn’t share it.  Until now, that is.  Because I didn’t want to end with dingleberries.  No one wants that.

Why are we even using letter-based logic in these arguments? That’s not how words work.

One of my Facebook friends posted a status saying “There’s no I in TEAM!” and I was like:

I still don’t understand this quote.  I can’t manage to get my shit together even when I do have help from a whole team.  Who is purposely turning down the help of a team so they can do everything alone?  I can’t even go to the post office successfully by myself.  Or is this your vague way of telling someone that you are quitting their team? Because that’s sort of brilliant.  I think if I was asked to be part of the PTA I’d probably also say “There’s no I in TEAM!” because that way they’d think I was being helpful and saying yes, but really I was just saying, “No, I am not in the team.  There is no I in your team.  Sorry.  I thought I was quite clear.”  I mean, people never pick me to be on their team anyway because I can’t get my shit together but frankly it still seems a bit vague. What if we changed “There’s no I in TEAM” to “You can’t spell FAILURE without U and I”?  Because that seems more accurate.

I don’t think she’s my friend anymore.

*******

And now, the weekly wrap-up…

shitidid

 

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

  • It was a rough week and when I’m depressed (much better today) I cling to the couch and watch a lot of TV.  Two of my new favorites: AN HONEST LIAR (fascinating documentary) and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (A bizarrely beautiful Iranian Vampire Western).  If you have Netflix they’re free right now.

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by The Chronicles of Ara: Creation, which looks like a pretty darn good book.  Here’s the summary:  When J.R.R. Tolkien is summoned to authenticate a recently-discovered “lost” book of Beowulf, events are set in motion that years later will unveil an imminent tragedy: The entirety of the world’s art and invention has been inspired by a corrupted muse, who has implanted a series of codes within the works of history’s most influential authors, warning of humanity’s end and a new dawn of time.  You should check it out here.

You’ll get through this.

It might just be me but it seems like the last few weeks have been more hellish than usual regarding mental imbalances.  Friends and family who struggle occasionally are in deeper holes than normal.  Friends who almost never seem to struggle are suddenly feeling emotions they don’t understand.  I don’t know why this is.  Is it just a coincidence, or is it that my small world of people are affected by each other?  Is it that the planets are aligning in ways that make us all raw and exhausted?  Is it that we’ve seen such hard things in the news lately?  Is it that facebooks algorithms decides to send me mainly statuses of people who are angry or in pain or desperate or scared?  Or maybe it’s just me.  Maybe this circle of joy and angst is always here for all of us and I just notice it more when I’m in a deeper hole than usual.

I don’t know the answer.

But I do know this.  A week ago I was at one of the lowest points I’ve been all year.  I was at that point where you start to wonder if you’ll ever get better.  And you tell yourself that depression lies (because it does) and you remind yourself that it has always gotten better so it’s utterly irrational to believe otherwise and you keep breathing until it passes, but always with that little doubt in the back of your mind.  And the doubt becomes larger each day and you get more tired and you have to rely on others to watch over you and keep you going.  And yet you breathe.  And yet you live.  If not for yourself, for the thought that it will get better.  And if not for the thought that it will get better, for the people who need you even when you are at your most broken.

And then something happens.

It gets better.

For me, my depression comes with a physical sign…I lose my peripheral vision.  It quite literally becomes darker and I feel more alone.  And each day I wake up and look around and hope that the shadows surrounding me have passed.  Often it’s just for a few days.  Occasionally it’s a few weeks or longer.  And then – suddenly and without reason – my vision starts to clear.  The light comes back.  I laugh without having to force myself to.  I see such beauty and joy and I wonder how I could have ever doubted that this was worth living for.

A few days ago my darkness started to fade.  Slowly, but it’s fading.  I never know how long I’ll be in the hole or out of the hole but I know that I feel stronger today than I have in weeks.  I wish I could go back to the me of a week ago who was struggling and tell her it’s getting better.  Tell her that the drugs kicked in or my chemistry went back to normal or that bastard moon stopped fucking with me or whatever it was that caused this dip to be darker than usual.  But I can’t.

But I can tell you that if you are struggling right now you are not alone, and that you will be better.  It might take meds or therapy or time or possibly for us to destroy the moon with lasers, but it will happen.  I promise.  I promise you now and I also promise the me that will read this post again one day when she’s back in that hole.

There is sunlight.  There is joy.  There is a world of laughter you haven’t used up. There are people you haven’t even met waiting for you to make their life complete.  Keep going.  Keep breathing.  You’ll get through this.

PS. Sharing pain helps, but strangely enough sharing joy helps even more, so if you like, please share something that brings you joy in the comments.  Maybe it’s something you’re proud of or something you’ve accomplished or maybe it’s a quote that helps you through or maybe it’s a video of a screaming goats:

The one at 1:08 is pretty much exactly how I fight with Victor when I know he’s right.

Keep breathing, y’all.  The light is there.

This is me freaking out. I realize it’s hard to tell the difference from normal.

So yesterday I spent a great deal of the day in a vaguely weepy fetal position trying to distract myself by binge-watching bad horror flicks on Netflix.  (Sidenote: I recommend HouseBound because it’s awesome.  And Zombeavers because it’s awful.)  This isn’t an unusual position for me to be in every so often, but yesterday I had an actual reason (other than just my mind being broken) because yesterday Hailey left for sleep-away camp for 2 weeks and it sent me into a panic which only increased as the news told me about how suddenly babies were drifting off to sea and children were exploding.  Then Victor said that the news didn’t say that at all and I was letting my anxiety disorder take over.  Then I told Victor that we should maybe call the camp to make sure they haven’t accidentally replaced the horses with bears and he told me to go lay down and then I might have screamed, “WHAT IF SHE GETS LICE AND LOSES ALL HER SHOES?   WHAT IF SHE’S BAREFOOT RIGHT NOW AND THE FLOOR IS MADE OF LAVA?  TETANUS FLAVORED LAVA” and then I took some medication and had a lot of nightmares about that fact that I haven’t taught Hailey enough about how to prepare for knife fights and to not eat razor blades.  Then I consoled myself by remembering that I had at least told her not to go off with strangers but then I reminded myself that basically all the people at the camp we’d just abandoned her at were strangers and so I was sending mixed messages at best.  In fact, she’d probably already forgotten the millions of safety warnings I’d tried to instill in her.  And Victor agreed but he said that was probably a good thing.

And he’s probably right.

If you’ve been here long enough you already know I have severe anxiety disorder and the feeling of dread (which I hid from Hailey until the second she was out of sight) was the same one I had when I was a child and never made it through a sleepover because I’d panic that I’d never see my mom again and she’d have to drive over at midnight to get a teary me.

I used to worry that I’d pass on this dread and fear to Hailey but she’s honestly almost too unafraid.  To the point that if there are accidentally bears in the horse pens Hailey will probably ride them.  But it’s a lovely relief to know that she’s strong enough to be her own person and to do all of the amazing  things that I’d never (want to) do.  So today I’m going to do what my therapist suggests.  She told me I need to “channel my inner warrior” and remember that things are going to be fine.

Except that I don’t really have an inner warrior.  She says I can just pick one I like and try to embody the strong traits of them.  Joan of Arc or Sun Tzu or She-Hulk.  Except that I don’t entirely relate to any of them so instead I’m choosing someone a little closer to home.

I’m channeling my inner-Hailey.

Hailey one minute before leaving for camp.

Hailey one minute before leaving for camp.

Someone send me a bear.  And tell me everything will be fine.  And remind me that camp is a good thing and an excellent opportunity to grow up and mature.  (For me, I mean.  I suspect Hailey has already passed me in that area.)

19 years is angry men making you feel bad about peeing.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary and that means that Victor and I have been married for 19 years.

15 years was giant metal chickens and I think 17 years was when I rented that sloth and a tiny kangaroo to surprise Victor in our living room (he was very surprised) but I didn’t know what to do for year 19 until I saw this painting for sale in the lobby of a children’s pizza restaurant:

anchor2

Yes.  It’s the Anchormen, ready for a fight and armed with grenades and guns and  clubs.  And it is majestic.

Victor didn’t entirely see its magic and claimed that it didn’t match anything but in fairness I think that speaks to how uncolorful and non-violent the rest of the house is currently. But turns out that it totally goes in the guest bathroom.  The same one where I stuck a six-foot surprise bear mural on the wall.  So now it looks like the anchormen are fighting an angry grizzly, and that is the magic of our bathroom.

anchor

Victor says it’s unsettling to have an agitated Champ Kind’s junk staring him in the face while he’s peeing and I was like, “Why would his junk be in your face?  What are you doing in the bathroom?” and then Victor reminded me that men pee standing up.

And I was like, “Oh, right.  See!  19 years and we still have mystery in our marriage.  We are awesome.”

Victor disagrees that men standing up to pee is really “a mystery” but I think it’s all in how you look at it.  Plus, it’s nice because now when other men are peeing in our bathroom they’ll be less likely to make a mess because now there are four angry news men glaring at them threateningly, plus a giant bear waiting behind them.

Our bathroom theme is: "DON'T PEE ON THE SEAT. ASSHOLE."

Our bathroom theme is: “DON’T PEE ON THE SEAT. ASSHOLE.”

In fact, it might keep people out of the guest bathroom altogether which means less cleaning.   So basically for our 19th anniversary we got the present of people peeing in our bushes because our bathroom is now too intimidating to use.  So it’s a present for us and for our neighbors who I’m certain will be entertained by it all.

PS.  I just turned off the light in the bathroom and turns out that this painting FUCKING GLOWS IN THE DARK.  Sweet baby Jesus, y’all. It’s like if the Mona Lisa smelled of cinnamon rolls and also cured polio.

PPS.  Happy anniversary, Victor.  I love you madly.

1000 ferris wheels

I once read that about people who make and fold 1000 origami paper cranes.  Some do it for luck or longevity or luck or wishes or hope.  Some do it for love.  Some do it for peace.  I assume some do it for the same reason I make ferris wheels.

I make them over and over again, from tiny kits that arrive in small envelopes whenever things get difficult.

bloggesswheel

I turn the small metal tabs in.  I fit the speck-like tabs into the delicate, almost invisible slots.  I place 100 tiny metal pieces -like forgotten shavings- together to make each car, each strut.  It’s comforting to me when I need comfort most.  When life gets too large.  When the world is too loud.  When my skin is to raw and sensitive to be touched.  It’s then that I go into this tiny world I have perfect control over.

The work is both challenging and mindless.  I close a tiny door.  I add a hanging car.  I straighten a spindle.  I imagine myself in this little world, an invisible guest on this fragile and exquisitely imperfect wheel.  It does not spin exactly but the cars gently sway.  One car breaks loose and plummets to the floor.  I find it, a minute later, hidden in the seam of the tile and I rescue it and return it to it’s place, giving the metal tab an extra twist with my tweezers and holding my mouth just so as if I am casting a spell.

Stay put, I command in my head.  You are where you belong.  To everything there is a place.

And I line the pieces up into their places.  I make them right.  I make them fit.  I put things the way they are meant to be, even if only in a tiny world that rests in the palm of my hand.

In the morning I show my daughter the shiny metal ferris wheel.  She oohs and ahs and rocks the small cars, probably imagining real ferris wheels she will ride one day when she is grown.

I lay the tiny wheel down, my invisible anxieties and worries sitting calmly on each seat.  I say a prayer to keep each worry in its place.  To glue it there.  One for “fear of going under water.”  One for “one day she’ll leave me”.  One for “I’ve forgotten something important that I can’t remember”.  One for “paralyzed with doubts”.  One for “broken”.  And those small passengers all sit in silence, quieted at last, as I place the wheel with all the others.  And there it will stay while I take up life again.  Until, that is, the next week when I can’t think for all the worries and anxieties and angry voices screaming in my head.  And then I will place last week’s empty ferris wheel on a sidewalk  or tree branch for a small child to find, and I will open the thin envelope in my desk drawer and slip out the new metal sheets waiting to be cut and folded and pinned and pressed into life.  Into fear.  Into both.

And the wheel comes around again.

ferris bloggess

Note: I know many of you have noticed I’m not quite myself this month.  I’m fine…just crawling out of a depression that has taken more out of me than usual.  I’m coming back, but slowly.  Thank you for being patient.  Thank you for being you.

 

Jesus, Siri.

Victor and I were having an argument about why we say that a pig says “oink” when really they make that piggy snorting noise.  I said it’s because the pigs snorty noise is impossible to spell but Victor disagreed so I turned to Siri and asked her for help:

jesus siri bloggess

Jesus, Siri.  

You need to get some help.

*******

And now, the weekly wrap-up…

Usually I use one of my weekly graphics here but I’m mixing it up today because my friend Natalie made me this and it makes me smile:

bloggess life is expensive

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

Shit you should buy or steal because it’s awesome:  

  • Nimona: A graphic novel.  (Nemisis!  Dragons!  Science! Symbolism!)  I finished it last night.  Hailey is devouring it now.

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Jethro Collins, author of Love in The Time of Contracts.  (Which is on sale now for only $2.99)  A little taste: Would you live a sparkling, glamorous lie for a few million dollars?
Hollywood action movie superstar John Hamilton has a secret, and he needs the perfect trophy wife to cover it up. Xanax-popping has-been actress Jenna Wells needs a miracle.  John’s double life is meticulously planned and concealed by the Association, a cult-like religious group made up of the Hollywood elite. The Association has the ability to make and break careers, forcing Jenna to play the part of the perfect fiancée.  Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul. Will Jenna take the money? Or will she follow her heart?  Click here to find out.

This is my house.

The greatest gift in the world is to grant a kindness to another. The amazing thing though is that the aforementioned gift is one you give yourself. It may be a small thing. Leaving a flower for the tired woman at the coffee shop. Telling a stranger that they have such kind eyes. Listening happily to a story told by an elderly friend or relative who has told you the same story a million times. Nodding in solidarity even when you don’t completely understand. Letting a friend or a stranger yell hurtful things at you because you hope it will help them let go of a small part of that anger…that it will open up room in them for the greater things that they deserve.

This is the way the world goes. Small, mean acts affect the next person who in turn amplify that anger or sadness and take it out on others who suffer as well. Then small, kind acts of grace work their magic and pull the world back into balance. Those acts echo into the world. They reverberate long after we are gone. And sometimes? Sometimes they bounce back to us in unexpected ways.

I’ve been writing for years and it’s only in the last year that I’ve let myself feel bad about what I write. Well, not about what I write exactly. I write about my life. I write funny stories that I hope make people smile. I write books that I hope make others laugh loudly and inappropriately in airplanes. I write honestly about difficult things I’m haunted with, like depression or self-harm. And occasionally I veer off into strange waters where I don’t quite know if I’m the best person to say something, but I know that I’m the best person to say the things that I think. You sometimes get small glimpses of those things but in such light amounts you could be forgiven for missing them. If you look closely you probably know that I’m a feminist. That I’m a big supporter of gay rights.  That I don’t believe in church but do believe in God. That I believe racism is institutional and exists far deeper than we see. That I don’t deal well with authority. That I have eternal hope in goodness. That I am quick to anger and quicker to forgive and that I don’t believe in picking sides because the world is flexible and moving and ever changing. The only side I pick is the one with less assholes, but even that is fluid because people change. Sometimes the assholes are later the people who have come so far, and who we revere for their ability to change. Sometimes we find that our heroes were undercover assholes, hiding amongst us until they let down their guard. Sometimes the assholes are us. In fact, if you aren’t prepared to recognize that occasionally you will look back at your life and think, “Wow. That was a real dick move. What the shit, me?” then you are the most dangerous of all the assholes.

This is a long post but in my defense I’ve been very quiet for the last week while I sorted this out.  I do have a point and I’m coming to it.

In the time I’ve been writing I’ve had thousands of people send me emails or links or tweets asking if I would weigh in on something, or support their cause, or ask everyone I know to donate to their personal fund or charity. I’ve read other blog posts by friends who tell me if I don’t write about their personal beliefs then it means I don’t care. Then I remind myself that if someone would potentially not know where I stand if I’m not screaming it on my blog then perhaps they aren’t as good a friend as I thought. I’m asked to stand up for people being bullied. I’m asked to stand up for the other people who are being censored and being called bullies. I hear:

“How can you not go to our Gay Pride parade when you yourself are bisexual?”

“Today is International Suicide Awareness day. Why aren’t you promoting it?  Don’t you care?”

“You’ve spent time in wheelchairs and hospital beds from your autoimmune disease so why aren’t you promoting our walkathon for chronic pain awareness?”

“If you don’t publicly take a stand against racism on every platform you have then you are a racist.”

“If you don’t write about 9/11 every year the terrorist win”.

“If you don’t write a post explaining that most Muslims are peaceful and lovely then their blood will be on your hands if they are killed.”

“If you don’t write about my personal version Jesus Christ then you’re sentencing your readers to everlasting hell.”

“If you don’t promote my kickstarter about my journey to adopt 56 Chinese orphans then all orange kittens will spontaneously lose all their legs.”

These are all real things said to me in the last year, except for the last one which I suspect is probably just stuck in my spam filter.

Here’s the deal.  I just can’t. I can’t use this blog to tell you that testing makeup on animals is bad or that if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint our children will suffer the consequences. I don’t have the stamina or willpower to denounce every shitty thing in the world that I assume everyone else here already agrees with. I don’t have the strength to write about ISIS and kidnappings and poverty and children starving and bombs and other terrible things because I know I will become fixated and depressed and unable to function.  I know my limits and I know that without self-care I will fall into those dark holes of depression where I’m no help to anyone.

And I’m okay with that because I don’t have to tell you that Nazis are bad and mass murderers are fuckheads and that racism is bullshit and suicide should be avoided and rape is shitty and water is wet and cats will scratch you if given enough time. This is all common sense. If I have to say this out loud for you to get those things then you are in the wrong place. Mostly because I’m typing and so I can’t say anything out loud, but also because if you know me, you already know these things. We may disagree on the finer points. I may have a looser definition of what it means to be a feminist. I’m in the middle ground when it comes to gun control so if I ever decide I’m educated enough to have a salient point of view worth sharing out loud we may disagree. I suspect I view racism as being more of a problem than the average American (or average white Southerner at least) and occasionally I’ll say something about it and lose followers…both those who are angry that I believe racism is systemic and deep-seated, and those who agree but who are mad that I don’t say even more. And that’s okay. Sometimes they come back, later, with open minds and less fear or anger. Sometimes they are replaced by others who are here to laugh and smile at the ridiculousness that comes out of my head. Sometimes (mostly) it’s read and then forgotten. Just one tiny voice in a world that won’t shut up. In a world so busy speaking that it can’t hear.

I had a point and I’ve strayed from it a bit but this is it: I appreciate the links and suggestions and tweets and probably half the time my posts come from something one of you has sent me because you know me and you know what fuels me. I read what you’ve sent me and laugh or cry or learn. Sometimes I write about it.  Sometimes I keep it for myself.  Sometimes there isn’t a better way to say it so I’ll just retweet it, or forward it to others who I think might need it or be inspired to write more about it. But I will never tell those people that it is their responsibility to write about what I want to read. And that is the difference.

Please keep sending me links. Tweet things you think I’ll want to see. Email me your thoughts, or posts. Or share them here. But there are two things you should know: One– I almost never share fundraisers because if I do one then a million people will ask why I don’t share their equally valid fundraiser and then I’d suddenly turn from a writer to a very annoying PR person who only tweets fundraisers.  No one wants that.  And two: I will never write about something because someone else is trying to shame me into it. I have plenty of my own shame and guilt over here myself, thankyouverymuch, so I don’t need you dropping yours on me. Not only is it shitty, but it also makes me question everyone else writing about whatever that current event of the week actually thinks, and that’s not fair to anyone. Are they just writing what they think people want to hear? Are they pandering because it’s fucking easy as hell to say “I’M NOT FOR MURDERING GAY PEOPLE” and “CANCER IS NOT WHAT I LIKE”. Not only that, but if you aren’t saying something thought-worthy then you are adding to the roar that is the world and while it’s a wonderful thing to have the nation rise up as a whole against bullshit, it sometimes has the unintended action of  making it that much harder for people who DO have brilliant and amazing things to say to be heard. People have a limited attention span and if they spend their lunch hour picking through posts that say nothing new or personal because they are written solely out of fear of missing out on the topic du jour are going to miss the chance to read the people out there who have something unique and intriguing and personal and brilliant to say. Those posts that make you say, “YES. FUCKING EXACTLY. THIS IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY BUT I COULDNT FIND THE WORDS FOR IT.” They are the posts that make you say, “Oh. Oh, shit. I get it. I get it now and I didn’t before and now everything has changed.” The posts that are so beautifully written that you immediately link to them on the Facebook disagreement you were having with your great aunt Agnes and she reads it and says, “Hmm. Well I never thought about it that way. I guess I’ll have to think about it.”

Those brilliant posts exist. I hope I’ve written a few. Probably not nearly as many as I’d like but I’m limited in my areas of expertise. I get humor because that’s how I survive. I get family because I’ve been blessed to have a dysfunctionally functional group of people who challenge me and make me laugh. I get mental illness because I survive it. I fight it as a regular demon and I haven’t a choice but to become a savvy warrior because that’s how you live. We don’t always get to choose our causes. Sometimes our causes choose us.

There is another thing I write about on the regular and that is kindness. Because we can’t live without it. Because it keeps us afloat. Because it keeps us worthy of survival as a species. Because it helps me forgive people who demand that I use my voice for their words because if I don’t it means I’m unworthy or low or their enemy. Because it helps me remember that that kind of anger comes from pain or fear or desperation that no one should have to feel. And because that same kindness is what I depend on and hope for from them when they read this.

This is my house. You are welcome here. You are wanted. You are allowed to leave links of posts or articles you think this community would say “Oh, I needed that” to. You are welcome to talk and visit and make friends and to realize that each of us is flawed and human and (in the grand scheme of things) knows nothing. Because I’ve come to know that the only thing I really know is we could all do with a little more kindness. Both in giving and getting.

Be kind to one another. And more importantly, be kind to yourself.  You deserve it.

PS. This post scares me a little to post because I know a thousand of you will think “Shit.  She’s talking about me” but I can assure you that 127 different people have asked me to share their stuff within just the last 24 hours (not an exaggeration) so I’m really not paying attention to names, and also there is a tremendous difference between suggesting that I write about something and demanding I write about something.  Still,  I feel a bit bitchy, because in a way I realize I’m sort of saying, “Stop demanding that I join you in your brave and valiant crusade, you well-meaning and good people with absolutely wonderful causes which I wholeheartedly agree with you on” and that’s not what I want to say at all, but it’s the closest thing I can say other than this:  I can’t always sing your song with you.  I listen.  I share.  I think.  But if I’m always singing everyone else’s song then there’s no room for mine.  I have a song to sing.  A terrible one about why Jesus is a zombie and the time I found a severed boobie on my lawn.  A song about horrible things and about wonderful things and mostly silly things that make the day a bit brighter for those twisted enough to appreciate it, or those offended enough to be able to use it as a terrible example to others.  A song that sometimes is out of tune and seldom rhymes and is sung loudly in the dark and in whispers when I’m not quite myself.  A song that sometimes overlaps with yours as we find ourselves unexpectedly sharing a chorus we never knew we had in common.  A song that sometimes captures minds and hearts and changes the world in good and bad ways…but most importantly, a song that is uniquely mine.  One that’s given silence to reflect and write, and information to grow, and that changes as I change.  It’s the same song you sing.  But different.  And all of those songs are beautiful…even the discordant ones of our enemies that inspire us to work harder to prove them wrong in hopes that one day they’ll find themselves accidentally humming a strange tune they’ve picked up along the way…a tune of joy and kindness and love and equality and acceptance.  Or at least something by Prince.  That man is a bad-ass.

PPS.  It occurs to me that I talked about those posts and stories and essays and books that make us yell “YES!  THIS EXACTLY” and that those lovely things are the things that it would be nicest to hear over the roar of kleenex advertisements and selfies, so I’m going to share a few of the ones that hit me personally because maybe you need to see them too.  And maybe in the comments you can share your own. A book, a song, a post, a quote that makes you strong or anything that makes the world a better place…anything that you keep coming back to as a reminder that you’re not alone or as an anthem to keep you going when it’s hardest.  Share your song.  Because I want to hear it.  And maybe, one day, we’ll find ourselves singing along together and you will know it’s because I am with you wholeheartedly, and not just because it’s the easiest thing to sing.

Okay, here are a few posts that stick with me:

This one is fairly recent but I used it so often recently when in discussions with people who didn’t understand why what Rachel Dolezal did is not okay and why it has nothing to do with Caitlyn Jenner ~ From Awesomely Luvvie:  About Rachel Dolezal the Undercover Sista and Performing Blackness

Someone sent me this years ago and it stays with me every day.  I even stop people in the middle of my next book to tell them to read this first:  From Christine Miserandino: The Spoon Theory

Which of you sent me this originally?  I don’t know but when I read it I screamed “YES!  YES, THIS!”  Boggle the Owl on surviving depression.  Boggle the Owl on Anxiety.

Okay.  Your turn.  Share.  Give me something you think needs to be heard.  Something that breeds kindness and makes the world a better place.  Sing your song.  We’re listening.

It costs nothing to be kind. Probably.

People always say “It costs nothing to be kind” but technically it doesn’t cost anything to be a real asshole either, so I’m not sure why we’re bringing financials into it.  It does, however, cost money to hire lawyers after you stab people you don’t like in the leg so maybe that should be the phrase everyone should remember.  Then again, if you bottle everything up and continue to be kind to people who are being real dicks you’re going to end up in some pretty heavy therapy or in a lot of bars drinking your resentment away and I can tell you that neither of those things are cheap.  Really they should just change the saying to “Life is already expensive.  There’s no need to make it worse by being a dick to people.”

It doesn’t quite sing like the first line, but it’s more accurate.

Dinosaurs are making me feel fat and I haven’t even eaten any of them.

I’ve read that our universe is constantly expanding but that we can’t tell because we’re expanding with it and so we are get bigger at the same rate everything else does.  So does that mean that if we traveled back into the past with a time machine that we might be bigger than the dinosaurs since they were around when the universe was smaller? Either way, I think it explains why I feel so fat today.

Unrelated:  Right now I’m in New York recording the audio book version of FURIOUSLY HAPPY and that is exciting and terrifying and exhausting all at once.  If you want to send good thoughts I would love to have them.  I would also accept random compliments, small kittens, or fried cheese sticks.  I’m not picky.  I’ll take whatever you have in your pockets, really.  Surprise me.

No, seriously.  What do you have in your pockets?  Or purses?  Or desk drawer.  What’s the weirdest shit you’ve got on you right now.