For the love of (insert whatever deity you worship here), please vote.

Tomorrow is election day, I am begging with whoever might read this to pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease get off your ass and vote. I’m going to guess that anyone reading a blog by a self-proclaimed feminist who has also written about gay pride and anger over gun violence might share some of the same views that I do.

Here’s the deal- Democrats have been historically lazy in elections. I surmise (at least in recent history) this is because so many people on the other side of the table are driven by bullshit paranoia like that their guns will be taken away, or that all the Muslims will kill us and if they don’t kill us, we’ll have to start living under Sharia Law. None of this is true, of course. And the people who believe this live in a sad world governed by fear. Fear is an incredibly powerful tool, and it’s incredibly effective in getting people to take action like vote for a racist, sexist, xenophobic, misogynistic buffoon who hasn’t coherently outlined a single policy in his entire campaign.

Fear like this is far more powerful than the fear of a Donald Trump presidency because surely he can’t win right? Wrong. He could.

So this year, rather than being governed by facts, logic, and reason, I beg of you, please let this fear of a Donald Trump presidency drive you to get off your couch and get to your polling place. This is absolutely the only time I will suggest letting fear drive you. Please please do not let this man become president.

Need to know where your fucking polling place is? Click here.

vote-for-hillary-clinton-free-vector-409
Duh. I’m supporting Hillary Clinton because I’m not a loon. You should, too.

Remember that time I didn’t drink for 4 weeks?

 

I made it. I went 4 weeks without booze. Okay, that’s a little bit of a lie. I allowed myself one beverage when I was in Atlanta on that work trip. The best part of traveling is eating the food and drinking the drinks. Period. I allowed myself one, and that is a serious testament to my willpower.

There was nothing particularly mind-blowing. I might have lost a pound or two. My skin was not noticeably better. However, it does seem noticeably worse a week and a half after this booze fast has ended, which is great. A friend told me my face looked thinner, but this particular friend tells me I look thin a lot. I’m not saying it’s not true. It’s just a hard thing to gauge. It could have been the way the dim restaurant lighting complimented my face that night.

The biggest change I noticed was in my quality of sleep. I slept easier, and I slept through the night. I even stopped taking Valerian Root for a while, and I was completely fine. Maybe not completely, but mostly. In any case, that’s a huge deal for me. I also generally felt better. I was in a better mood most days.

The downside was that it was a very lonely month. I spent just about every weekend alone. No one called me (or texted because let’s be real-millennials don’t call people), and I didn’t call anyone because I didn’t know what on earth I could suggest as an activity for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon if alcohol wasn’t an option. I think alcohol has robbed us all of our creativity. It didn’t help that Harrison was playing guitar for a local Rocky Horror production the first 3 weekends of October. He wasn’t even around most of the time. I watched A LOT of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc…

By the way, Amanda Knox on Netflix is bonkers. I highly recommend it. If you get through 13th without tears, you’re a monster. Oh, and You’re the Worst is actually hilarious.

Since I’ve been “back on the sauce,” I’ve said “no” to alcohol way more than I would have before, and I think that will probably continue. When you spend a few weeks sleeping better and generally feeling a little bit better, it’s important to acknowledge that. I love having drinks with friends, and I really love craft beer. There is no reason I need to have a beer with dinner every night, though. There just isn’t.

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Work trip recap- when I did some serious #adulting

When I told my parents I was going to a conference for work, my stepmom’s response was, “That’s a very grown-up thing.” I think my parents forget that I’m almost 30 and that I occasionally partake in grown-up things. You know… like have a functional relationship with my live-in boyfriend, pay rent, care for pets, contribute to a 401k… shit like that. I don’t know this this will have anything to do with the rest of this post (I’m winging it). I mostly thought it was a hilarious response.

Since I am an “adult,” I (maybe selfishly) used this trip as an opportunity to work towards finding some answers for myself about a few things– not only about my “career,” but some other recent life developments. Sometimes, simply being away from home and by yourself can provide fresh perspective.

Can you tell the words “adult” and “career” make me a little uncomfortable?

One of the presentations I went to while I was at this conference was about fear and the role it plays in different parts of our lives, not just work. This one hour presentation forced me to look at some things I had been going back and forth on in my mind, and ask myself if the direction I was leaning in either of these situations had to do with my own fear or if it was something else. I’m trying not be too long-winded about my boring life, but maybe this will help someone.

Situation 1) I was presented with the opportunity to sing in a band, but after going to a rehearsal to try it out, I was really leaning away from it. I had to ask myself if this was because I was scared of doing something I hadn’t done in a very long time and was out of my comfort zone.

Situation 2) My manager at work told me that she thinks I should apply for a leadership training program. My immediate reaction was that I would absolutely not do it. I had to ask myself the same question.

I came to different conclusions for each of these situations. My biggest aversion from being in this particular band was not a fear of not being able to do it. I knew I could do it, and I knew I could do it well. I just didn’t want to. My biggest fear was that saying no would let some people down, but ultimately, I knew that saying yes would put me in a situation where I was dragging myself to rehearsal every week to sing cover songs that, for the most part, I find annoying. The saxophone player would continue to ask me for rides and would not reciprocate if I needed the same. I love singing, and I miss performing. But this wasn’t the right outlet for me.

In the second scenario, that was definitely fear. I’ve spent a lot of time at my job trying to fade into the background and not be noticed. I work hard to do well, but I tend to avoid risks or putting myself out there in ways like leadership opportunities. So, the day I got back to work after the trip, I asked my manager for the application.

I felt a sense of optimism at the end of that week. I felt a new sense of legitimacy in the work I do everyday, while also recognizing where my particular employer is behind. I also felt a new sense of confidence in myself and my ability to work through decisions and the anxieties I have that sometimes stop me from doing things that could benefit me.

I’m afraid a lot. I have hard time with new people at times, and I have serious fear of screwing up or sounding like an idiot. Letting that control me, I’ve realized, is a really good way to become stagnant in life and work. As much as I love and cling to stability and routine, doing the same shit all the time sounds real boring, and being an adult can be really fun and sometimes even exciting if you let it.

Hooray for being a grown-up!

I’m going on a work trip

How adult of me, right?

My name was drawn from a pool of people who said they were interested in attending a conference in Atlanta. It’s not a reward or recognition of my hard work. It’s a literal luck of the draw. I had a 1 in 6 shot of having my name chosen. Really, it was 2 in 12, but I know how to fix fractions or whatever.

A weird thing happened when my name was pulled. Shock that my name was actually picked and then panic. I willingly put my name in the proverbial hat. It was actually a lime green colored bowl. I went back to my desk, sent Harrison a text to tell him that he would have to hold down the fort for a few days in October, and I panicked. I panicked about having to talk to strangers, flying (which I used to enjoy but don’t as much anymore), having to sleep in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar bed without Harrison. Then I thought about the possibility of having to share a hotel room with a co-worker I don’t know well. I have found out since that we will have our own hotel rooms. I panicked about being away from my cats. I had a flashback to when I walked into Freshman Orientation in high school and saw nothing but hundreds of people I don’t know. I cried a little bit and tried to hide it from everyone nearby. 

This little thing that a lot of people do on a regular basis brought up all of the anxieties that I sometimes forget I have. In the logical part of my brain, I know that everything will be fine. I’ll go, I’ll learn some things that will make me better at my current job, and I can even use it as a resume builder. Then I’ll come home.

I cling so tightly to my routine. I know basically what to expect every day, and I feel safe. I cling so tightly that it scares the crap out of me to deviate, and there is no logical reason for that.

I don’t know what the point of this post is. Maybe I’m trying to talk myself into leaving my comfort zone more often. Maybe this is just my way of working through this weird fear, so I can enjoy my trip. I don’t know. In any case, it seems I have an undeniable logic to my thinking most of the time, but logic doesn’t make you immune to anxiety and fear. Clearly.

Also, you should probably follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram because social media is going to be my only friend to confide in when I start feeling out of my comfort zone, and that’s when shit gets fun.

I’ve been busy; now I’m back. Let’s talk about it.

You guys! I have a sister-in-law! WEIRD! My brother got married last weekend, and I totally thought he was still like 12.

This was a very odd trip, and I was not sure how exactly to sum it up here without boring everyone to death. Here are some more amusing realizations I had. Okay, maybe they won’t all be amusing, but they’ll be something.

1)      If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably read my tweets about how I sweat profusely in yoga class while everyone else seems to be sweating a less and more reasonable amount. I know now that I have my grandmother to thank for this annoying and smelly trait. My brother got married on a mountain, and we had to walk up a hill to get to the ceremony location. My grandmother had some sizable beads of sweat on the nape of her neck when we arrived at the top, and I thought, “There we have it, folks.” Can’t argue with genetics, unfortunately.

2)      I think my parents might be high all time at this point. I’m obviously kidding, but I don’t know what the hell happened to them. They’re the cool parents all of a sudden. The people who wouldn’t even allow me to have an adult beverage at dinner on my 21st birthday are amused by the drunk antics of my youngest brother’s underage girlfriend. Oh, and I drank whiskey with my stepmom while Harrison was taking drinks to my stressed-out dad. What the hell, parents?

3)      My sister and her fiancé drink a disgusting amount of Red Bull. Watching people drink something that looks like antifreeze and may have some of the same ingredients makes me sad for their insides.

4)       I almost never wear proper footwear for my environment.

5)      Wyoming lacks common-sense. Liquor and Fireworks are not a good thing to sell in the same place. I’m not sure how one would come to the conclusion that those two things should be sold in a store together.

I think it goes without saying that when you put a family with a considerable amount of baggage in a situation where they are forced to be in close proximity, issues are bound to come to the surface. Of course, my biological mother, who I wrote about in a previous post, was there for the festivities. She was instructed by several people to not speak to me or to Harrison. To be honest, I was surprised by this. I’m more surprised that she actually complied, but I didn’t ask anyone to do that. I’m sure that they simply wanted to ensure a drama-free weekend. I mean, of course there was drama- it’s a wedding. She was involved (it’s her thing), but I was not, thank you very much.

In being around her for the for the first time in over 6 years, I definitely felt reaffirmed in the decision I made to remove myself from that situation and in how I feel about what family means. That doesn’t mean that it’s an easy thing for some people to understand. Harrison had a hard time seeing my sister and youngest brother obviously stuck in the middle and being pulled between the stability of my dad and stepmom and the feeling of being obligated to stifle any chaos before it happens on the other side. And this makes me wonder if despite the initial challenges of removing a family member from my life, did I take the easy way out and leave them hanging out to dry? Did I abandon them for a kind of stability they might never know?

Things are going to get a lot more challenging than they have been. My sister is getting married next year, and her attitude is that she is her mother. She should be a part of the planning and a part of the day. I was asked to be in the wedding, so I’m going to have to figure out how to navigate this new terrain while sticking to the path that I know to be right for me. It’s not my wedding, so it’s not about what I want. This won’t be the last time I have to navigate this. I’ll find the way. I don’t have a choice.

At the end of it all, last weekend was about my brother and his new wife. I’m so excited to have a sister-in-law and a new extended family-by-marriage who are pretty fucking rad. It’s still weird that my little brother is married.

My relationship is really a prison of judgment

Me: Can you get me a La Croix (pronounced La Crotch, which is what my co-workers decided on since no one seems to know how to actually pronounce this) out of the fridge?

Harrison: Ugh, I don’t know if I like that (meaning how I pronounce the brand of delicious sparkling water). Are you up to like three of these a day now?

Me: So? It’s zero calories.

Harrison: The only thing you’ve done more than drink these is watch this show. (He’s talking about the almost 4 whole seasons of Billy on the Street I’ve watched this week.)

Me: That won’t be the case much longer because I’m almost done with it. Also, they’re short episodes, and there’s only like 10 episodes a season.

Harrison is really judgmental.

P.S. I bet someone will judge my relationship based on the contents of this post. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Beer + Fireball = Bloated Fire-breathing Dragon

I haven’t posted here in almost 2 weeks. It’s been a busy couple of weeks, people. Sorry about that, but here I am to tell you a story of how I was reminded why I don’t partake in certain activities and drink certain kinds of booze.

Remember this post from WAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY back when I started this thing? I’ll wait.

You good?

Great. Let’s talk about Saturday night.

I went to a yoga class at 5:30 (more on this topic later). I was feeling pretty damn amazing about myself for getting to a class on a Saturday, at a studio that I don’t particularly enjoy, due to the height of the horse the yoga-bitches who work there seem to be on, so I wanted to get out of the house and take advantage of my momentary confidence. I ended up with a friend who was out celebrating with her friends celebrating a birthday.

This is a big fucking deal for me? I spent several hours with a bunch of strangers. Catch me on the wrong day, and the thought of this makes me curl up in the fetal position and sob.

We left a perfectly acceptable restaurant/bar with a lengthy beer list and moved to an awful place in the middle of Downtown where the worst people in Denver and ill-advised tourists go on Saturday nights. At this point, I had consumed 2 beers in 2 hours – the pace of someone who prefers to remain mentally intact. But I was in shithead territory, so of course, a couple of 21-year-old twerps plowed into me as a result of a hug turned tackle, spilling part of beer number 3 onto my friend’s husband.

I’m going to take this moment to address all the young, peppy, bar-goers who still have energy after 11pm. Stop. Please stop. Yes, I was on your turf, but someone needs to help you before you bring your shit behavior to the places adults go to drink. If you are in a crowded bar, it is not the time to run to your friend and aggressively hug them. They’ve probably been drinking for a while, making you the bowling ball to their wobbly pin. People will topple. I would also be pleased if I never saw a group of girls take a selfie in the mirror of a bar bathroom again. You look ridiculous, but at least that doesn’t cause injuries.

Later, my friend’s friend, whose birthday party I sort of felt like I crashed, REALLY wanted to do shot with everyone. Fireball. I don’t remember the last time I did a shot of any kind, but I didn’t want to be rude. And as much I loved the craft beer I’d been drink all night, craft beer comes with a price. You will pay in the likelihood that someone will mistake you for pregnant. See where I’m going with this? Bloated fire-breathing dragon.

dragon
This seems like an accurate representation.

I left that bar with a beer baby and cinnamon lingering on my tongue, but I was mentally intact even after the shot. I had an engaging conversation about feminism that I clearly recall. I came home and went to bed, feeling proud of myself for not sitting on the couch all night and for socializing with strangers.

At about 6:30am on Sunday morning, I was hovered over toilet.

Thanks, body. And also, fuck you.

The End.