Category Archives: Dogs

Haven’t done this in a while

God, how long has it been since I’ve blogged? Since the election? Since I started my new job? I’d have to check, and it’s taking enough effort for me to even write this thing, so, I’m going to say it’s been at least seven months or so.

I’m going to try to get back into blogging at least 1x per week from now on. After the election, the plan was to wait until the rage-and-despair-fueled fire burning in the pit of my soul subsided before trying my hand at this blog again, but then things got even worse, so, like, fuck it, whatever. I like to be funny in this space, y’all, and not much has seemed funny for the last six months, but I’m just gonna have to make some lemonade out of the shitty, moldering, Russian-grown lemons Cheetolini has given us in lieu of a future for Americans’ health care and, you know, the planet. First, though, an update on my life.

I started a new job eight days before the election. The job is great, but twice since 11/8/16 I’ve dipped into suicidal-ideation-level depressions. Twice. In six months. That’s not good. I’ve just come out of one of these troughs, so now’s a good a time as any to make this thing work.

That’s…kind of the whole update. I got a new job, been working, been depressed, been trying to make it through each day without bursting into tears and/or making a papier-mâché Trump and burning it in effigy in front of my apartment. Also been eating way too much and not working out enough/at all. WOOHOO ISN’T THIS UPLIFTING AF?

I’m better now, though. I swear. I hope. Please, God, let me be better. I mean, I feel better today, but that might be the rosé wine and Carly Rae Jepsen combo I’m jiving to right now. Also, I bought new cleaning supplies for my apartment and that always makes me feel awesome (I’m not kidding. I love cleaning supplies.). I walked 10K steps each of the last three days. I ate, like, a salad yesterday, with minimal cheese in it*. These are all good signs, right? Honestly, I feel like I accomplished a lot more this week than Donald Trump did in Europe. Like, at least I didn’t insult and alienate the United States’ closest allies and follow the rest of the G7 leaders around on a golf cart like a toddler who’s overdue for a nap! See, lemonade!

Depression is pretty funny though, I have to say. Like, last week I broke down and collapsed in a ball on the floor because I dropped a towel on the floor when I meant to hang it up on the hook on the back of my bathroom door. This was apparently more than my sick mind could bear. I just lost it, and sobbed uncontrollably as I stared at it for a moment before bending over, picking it up again, and finally managing to hang it on the hook. I was convinced that I was a terrible, disgusting, evil person because I had a moment of clumsiness and accidentally dropped a towel, which, in case you’ve never encountered one, is a soft, unbreakable object which is not spoiled from resting on a moderately clean hardwood floor for 3.5 seconds. Honestly, I should have been celebrating instead of crying– in getting that towel on the hook in only two tries, I still accomplished more for the good of our nation in one day than the President has in 130 days, so I’m just going to go ahead and pat myself on the back for that one.

Maybe I’ve been looking at this “our president and his entire posse are traitors” thing the wrong way – really, this guy just gives all of us a pass to be our most incompetent selves at all times. I mean, my dog puts more effort into shitting on the lawn than Trump puts into leading a nation of 330 million people, so let’s give that (literal) bitch a gold fucking medal, right? RIGHT!

Huh, I feel even BETTER now. More rosé! More Carly Rae Jepsen! Depression, go fuck yourself.

Till next week!IMG_20170528_193437

*minimal cheese means a lot of fucking cheese but whatever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Thirty-First Year of the Jackie

So, it turns out that–despite the existence of alcohol and chocolate–I have made it to my thirty-first birthday. A year ago today, I was in a sort-of-impressive-sounding corporate job with a four-hour round-trip daily commute and an email addiction. I was really depressed, and so, shortly after turning thirty, I took a leave of absence which ultimately led to me quitting my job. It was the scariest thing I have ever done in my life, with the possible exception of going into that super gross hot tub at Myrtle Beach during our senior trip in college (those flesh-eating viruses are NO JOKE).

Now, one year into this journey off the beaten high-achiever path that I’ve dutifully followed for most of my life, I’ve achieved a new milestone: being proud of myself on my birthday.

This may not sound like a big deal, but for me, it really is. Once I was legally able to drink, I stopped enjoying my birthday. Every January 5th brought on a contemplative funk during which I lamented my lack of achievement and progress during the previous year: “Some people my age are olympic medalists! Half my friends have graduate degrees! Look at that guy; he’s only twenty-three and he makes so much more money than I do! Look at that girl; she’s only twenty-five and she’s married with a baby!  What have I done? Look at how worthless I am!”

I once expressed this attitude to one of my coworkers at Google a few years back. She was a pretty cool chick and refreshingly honest, and she was baffled by my view of aging. She’d lost a close family member at a young age and birthdays inspired gratitude in her–she was always happy and relieved to make it another year. I remember nodding and chastising myself internally for not being grateful enough for my birthdays and for not having cancer or losing an arm to that Myrtle beach hot tub, and then going right back to dreading early January and berating myself.

This year, however, is different. When it comes to traditional measures of success, this year certainly hasn’t touched most of those that preceded it. I can’t say that I work at a fancy company. I can’t say my salary is XYZ bucks per week. I can’t talk about awards or kudos or performance scores at work, or drop the name of any executives I work with.

What I can say, however, and what I’m proud of, is that I’ve had the most new experiences in the past year of my life than in the previous eight put together. These experiences ranged from good to bad to everything in between, but they made me think (and blog) about myself and the world deeply, and in different ways than I have before.

I experienced the joy of realizing that I could write, and write well(ish), and write enough words and sentences and paragraphs to make a whole book-type document that people might want to read. I experienced the excitement of getting an agent, and the subsequent anxiety and boredom of submitting to publishers.

I experienced the love of my family, and the grief of saying goodbye to a family member, albeit a furry one. I also experienced the excitement of welcoming a new love into my life, though this created drama with my old love, which was iced coffee (sorry bae).

I experienced the stress and exhilaration of travel, from people-watching the crazy costume-clad nerds of San Diego Comic Con to getting knocked up by food in Florence and trudging through the rain in Paris in super ugly shoes and seeing Britney dance way worse than when I saw her on tour when I was sixteen.

I witnessed two amazing couples get married on opposite-ish sides of the country and cried my eyes out both times because I AM A SAP, OK?

I experienced breakdowns and bad nights, and discovered new coping mechanisms to pick myself up when I fall or when the world seems too much to handle.

In short, I experienced life, and I had the time to really take it in, as opposed to watching it all pass me by. And, for the first time since I was a little kid, I’m proud of myself for that fact alone. I’m proud of myself for trying to live well, and I’m grateful to all those people (both IRL and on this blog) who have come along on the journey with me this year.

So, here’s to the thirty-first year of the Jackie! May the thirty-second be just as interesting, and may you still be interested enough to tune in and read about it once in a while 🙂

Love,

The Birthday Girl

 

 

Visualizing Utopia

I took an involuntary blogging hiatus over Thanksgiving due to the DeathColdwhich laid me out flat for a good eight days; I’m still hacking up phlegm on an hourly basis (you’re welcome for the mental image).

As a return to blogging post-DeathCold, I was going to do a beauty post with my recommendations from my latest Allure Beauty Box, but I couldn’t because my mind is still spinning from the latest high-profile incidence of domestic terrorism that took place on Black Friday at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs as well as the revelations regarding Laquan McDonald’s murder at the hands of police last year, among, as usual, other horrific things.  Hell, as I’m typing this, my Twitter feed is telling me that there is a mass shooting incident ONGOING in San Bernardino with as many as 20 injuries possibly reported (Update as I finish this article: 12 dead possibly. My God.)

I’m so, so, so tired of this. Exhausted, in fact. Aren’t we all?

I’m so tired of the culture of violence, especially against women, children, people of color, and the poor. Tired of the racism and Islamophobia. Tired of the unwillingness of so many people to see that things need to change, from rape culture to reasonable, commonsense restrictions on gun ownership and use (BTW, if you want to post a comment here on how gun violence is solely a mental illness issue vs. gun availability, please just don’t. As a mentally ill person myself, you’re not gonna convince me and I’m sure I won’t convince you. Feel free to ignore this post and go find someone else to talk to about it; the internet should have plenty of safe spaces for that. Thanks in advance.).

I feel like I do what I can, you know? A lot of you feel that way, too, I bet. We donate money to causes we believe in, support and vote for candidates to public office who we hope will be able effect positive change. And yet, it still feels like nothing gets better. Part of this, I know, is due to the fact that we have access to news of horrible events 24/7 thanks to social media. Awful things have always happened, but now we hear of them more often, with video and audio recordings of the carnage as it happens to bring the horror even closer to home.

So what do we do? What do I do, not just to make the world a better place, but to keep myself sane? Other than continue to donate money and vote and speak out where I can, I’ve had to rely more and more these days on a super-lame-sounding but effective technique to keep myself going: visualization.

About a month ago, I read the fantastic book The Feminist Utopia Project, which is a collection of about sixty stories, cartoons, interviews, fake news articles, etc. imagining a better future, courtesy of dozens of feminist thinkers in many fields. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not that big into feminism. Reading this book gave me a new tool to deal with the horror of the everyday world: visualizing utopia.

When things get awful, like they are getting right now in San Bernardino as well as in thousands of places around the world, I try to take a breath and imagine that fifty or one hundred or two hundred years from now, those who come after me (or maybe even me, if I’m lucky) will see a world that is measurably better than this one. One where the term “mass shooting” is only discussed in history class, the way we discuss the Spanish Inquisition today. A world where we take care of our planet instead of treating it like a disposable coffee cup. A world where no one’s life is better or worse than anyone else’s simply because of their gender identity, skin color, religion, sexual orientation, or where they live in on the map. A world where religion, if it exists at all, is ONLY a source of peace and inner strength for believers and a cause for generosity and love rather than an excuse for hatred. A world without violence. A world where gun control is a non-issue because no one feels like they would ever even need a gun to protect themselves. A world where a woman can go for a run in the park at 3 am with no worry for her safety. A world where no one is homeless. A world where no one is hungry. A world where fewer people are sick, and those who are receive free, top-quality care from medical personnel who are caring and well-treated themselves. A world where there are no borders, and people pass freely from one place to another, sure of hospitality and interest and love wherever they go. A world where I spend every day cuddling with doggies.*  In a word, utopia.

Today especially, we are really, really far off from that world. As it seems to do every couple of days, my heart is breaking for a new group of victims of violence as I type this. I don’t want to become desensitized to it, but I want to believe that things can be better. I want to believe in my utopia. I choose to believe in it today, and I actively wish for it. If the holiday season brings anything good with it, any sort of power, let it be the power to bring humanity closer to this utopia, or any version of it. I’m visualizing, hard. I hope you can take a moment today to visualize it, too. If enough of us do, it can only soothe our souls and bring us closer to making it a reality.

Peace. And I promise, back to beauty posts and funnier shit later this week.

*Ok, this one is a little selfish, but, come on, what is Utopia without doggies?

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Roxie would definitely be part of Utopia.

 

 

 

A New Love

So I know that last week I became engaged to Iced Coffee, but I have a new love that has supplanted him: Roxie.

Here she is:

Roxie Face

Now, she only weighs 7 lbs, and is also a dog, but I am ridiculously in love.  Just look at her PLAYING IN THE DRIVEWAY!

(That is my mom saving her from eating mulch at the end)

In all seriousness, I was a bit nervous about meeting my parents’ new puppy when I came to visit them this week.  As you may recall, we lost our family’s beloved 14-year-old black lab, Jazzy, back in August.  It was a lot harder on all of us than I had expected – even my brother and I, who don’t live at home anymore, were devastated.   So while I was excited to meet this new family member at my parents’ this week, I also felt weird – would I be constantly comparing her to Jazzy?  Was I a bad person for wanting to meet and love a new dog when we had just lost such an important part of our lives?

Well, it turns out that while there have been some bittersweet moments when I still miss my old girl, Roxie, like all dogs, has her own separate personality, and loving her is as effortless, in its own unique way, as it was loving Jazzy.  Despite the fact that Roxie has these SHARP LITTLE RAZOR TEETH OMG I FORGOT PUPPIES TRY TO EAT EVERYTHING INCLUDING YOUR NOSE AND FINGERS.

Welcome to extended family, Roxie!  You’re my new love!  (Sorry Iced Coffee 😦 You’re just not as cuddly as Roxie is, and also you occasionally make me jittery.)