Gut Feeling

Gentle Readers, today I introduce you to my big sister, Rachel. She is one of the strongest, most determined ladies I have ever had the pleasure to know in such an intimate way. As many of you probably know, your relationship(s) with your sibling(s) is(are) always unique to any other relationship you have. Ours is no different. Sometimes I’m convinced we should have been twins; others, I’m equally sure that we can not be related! We are the same and different simultaneously. But in addition to our similarities and despite our differences, we love each other. Muthafuggin UNCONDITIONALLY. No one else I know can quote Tenacious D faster than the shortest challenge on ‘name that tune.’ So, check out her blog. It’s insightful, honest, and a beautiful narration to a struggle that more couples than you know face. Enjoy,

Lerv, L’s

Pregnancy: An Ethereal Goal

Couch Buyer Drawing

I know many of you that are closest to us have been patiently awaiting this post… NO, we don’t have a positive pregnancy test, yet, but I DO have an uplifiting anecdote, which is most definitely helping with my 12 day wait jitters. Ok here goes.

The picture above has only been actually been seen by a few, but I assure you, it exists. Justin and I are devoted to changing the complicated story of how we acquired such a fine piece each and every time we tell it. The hope is that once our children are old enough to share the story that they will never really know the truth and will continue the tradition of just making it up. We LOVE improv story telling at our house.

But here and now, loving friends and family, I will present the truest form of the story as this lowly little…

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[no title]

When you met me I was wrong,
just wrong n’ worn out on love songs.
Became accustomed to washin’ away the tears as they
built up through the years…..
 

Oh fuck it. I’ve got writer’s block today, kids. Like, constipation-sized writer’s block. I was all, ooooh I’ve got a few hours to kill before dinner with the ‘rents, I’ll just post up at my fave restaurant/bar and let the creative juices just explode all over my keyboard! Yeah, right. My creativity appears to have erectile dysfunction today. I’ve got about 3 short stories, 5 or so poems, even some erotica in the works, but nothing appears to be pluggin’ along with much speed. LAME! I say. LAAAAAMMEEE!!! *deep inhale*

 

But srsly...
But srsly…

 

So instead I just doodle in one of my many ‘random crap’ notebooks that my oldest friends know too well (remember the wide-ruled composition books in high school ya’ll??)

 

This is the only defense for cargo shorts I could come up with...
This is the only defense for cargo shorts I could come up with… kitties.

 

FUCK. Alright, since erotica’s the easiest thing to write, text me something naughty and/or racy to get me goin’, haha. Thanks!

Kisses, L’s

 

Current Jam: Re-discovering Red City Radio before tonight’s show at Loosey’s!

 

 

Oh Cheez.

For the first time in a while I ate an entire sandwich last night, and this is what came out of my brain (with some minor grammatical edits the next morning) Obvi, the stream of consciousness mutates with each passing song… and that’s all the disclaimer I’m going to provide:

Lying in my bed, in the pitch black listening to music. “Lion’s Roar” by First Aid Kit is on the rotation currently. When’s the last time I did this? …Not since high school, easily… it feels like a liminal space between waking and sleep, where your brain runs the gamut of emotions as you skip from thought to thought before they finally slow and you drift off: betrayal, loneliness, fear, anger, anxiety. I’m overwhelmed with a wave of nostalgia and a little bit of bitter sweet melancholy. Forced focus like this makes you approach the darkest corners of your soul. If you let it… And sometimes you should… The pangs and swells of those negative feelings, the ones you never want to entertain in the light… Take away all sense of security, and you confront the fragility of the structure your brain concocts to get you through the day to day.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: I’m remembering one of the best vacations I ever had. The guy I was dating for a while, his parents owned a cabin in Black Hawk, NC, just outside of Asheville. Me and him, we went up one October with Poofl, Huzband Zero, my sister and her husband. So many adjectives apply to that trip: beautiful, hysterical, breathtaking; the sharp contrast of reddish, dying foliage against a brilliant, azure sky. The shivers as a cold mountain gust kissed my bare neck (I had stupidly forgotten a scarf for that hike, the cloudless sky belying the elevation). Late afternoon drives down hairpin curves to the town below, for football and the most delicious craft beer. The smell of fall, of cider and smoke and earth and… a little bit of burnt sugar…

“Dead Waltz” by Radical Face: It’s weird to remember past relationships, and I don’t mean in terms of recalling memories in the visual sense. I mean the way you phsyically felt in the relationship; at certain moments, overall. Have you ever tried? To relive every butterfly, every knot? Before you know it you find yourself walking swiftly backwards in time to try and remember the specific elements of initial attraction. What drew them to you in the first place, and you to them? Was it their laugh?… God can you even remember what it sounds like now? So much has happened, after all, can u remember how you felt the first time he kissed you? Can you make yourself feel that way again, that exact way? At will? Or does it fade in familiarity, like waking from a dream or a skewed recollection from childhood?

….change of direction, different question, can you still recall the smell? “They” say smell is the sense most tied to memory, even of the (seemingly, emotionally) distant past. Can you remember their scent? Can you remember the smell of the bed you shared, that particular hint of your own intimacy? The way they tasted? Or is our perception of the world and our experiences within it completed guided by something other (higher?) than our senses? Our perceptions can lie to us, can’t they. “They” say we see what we want to see… we hear what we want to hear, smell, touch… So, are our sensual memories really accurate at all? …or maybe I’m just using the wrong term here, maybe ‘accuracy’ isn’t really what’s important here…

*falls asleep after this…*

…I have a feeling I will regret posting these retarded ramblings…

 

I… I just can’t.

Those who know me personally know that I’ve been a gym-goer since 13, and I actually cared about my body from the age of 17 on (blame it on the rumors that birth control made you fat and crazy). Then, in my early twenties, my preoccupation with the amount of exercise received and what calories I consumed was borderline obsessive. The bonus was that it generated the first truly successful round of dieting that I’ve ever had (I lost about 15 pounds in 2 weeks after seeing photos of myself at a summer concert… and promptly untagging them in mutual shame and disgust). The downside? I was obsessed! So obsessed that I felt guilty for eating anything not on my list of ‘ok’ foods. And if I didn’t work out? Cut that ‘ok food’ list in half. I can only imagine how annoying it was to hear me prattle on about which foods had how many grams of sugar per serving (I was creepily accurate), or my severe depression over the thought of giving up potatoes, one of my alltime favorite (and comfort) foods.

Then my depression seeped past the borders of my physique and began to fester in others parts of my life. So I went to counseling, I got on medication, which tweaked and changed up to today. The main change I noticed was that I lacked the level of discipline I had before I started taking anti-depressants. Initially it really bothered me, especially as the number on that scale slowly started to rise. Yet strangely, as soon as I would feel the stress building, it would stop and begin to dissipate within a few minutes. Eventually I reconciled that the pros outweighed the cons; at least I wasn’t obsessing anymore. So what if I was a little fatter; that was ok. I was still healthy.

Then, I broke up with my boyfriend of the time. And so began an approximately 2 year stretch of endless drinkin and drug-doin’, which lasted through another relationship too. I switched up my meds to an anti-anxiety (which fit my needs much better), and got my ass back to productive pursuits like going back to school. But I couldn’t deny the weight I had gained (and had been unable to lose) in the process. The eventual stress and heartbreak of another break-up exacerbated that underlying insecurity. I had never weighed this much in my entire life (not even during my fat phase at 14!). Initially my depression just kept me from eating (and so I lost some weight… I know it’s sick but it made me feel better). But then, my appetite returned, but my predilection to drink away my feelings and the lack of energy to exercise packed the pounds back on again… so I started throwing up after meals…

…Since I was a little girl I have HATED throwing up. HATED it. I’ve always had trouble with motion sickness in cars, and the unsteady feeling of nausea just plain sucks. But then came my drinking years, where the occasional over indulgence led to porcelain god prayers. I learned that eventually it wasn’t so hard or so painful to expel the evil in my stomach. The trouble was, this evil went from whiskey and/or prairie dog shots to… just about anything. At first I’d just do it a little bit, ya know, if I ate too much at a restaurant… but then I found myself relishing in the ability to binge on those things I normally stringently denied myself (pasta, white bread, icecream, cookies, potato chips, you name it). I’d get (more than) my fill, and then I’d just get rid of it. Easy peasy!…

…Ugh. I hate that I was like that. Luckily, I knew I hated it. I knew it was bad for me, and I knew I was better than that. Once I arrived in Sarasota I vowed that part of this summer was to kick that dirty habit, because all it truly accomplished was an increased sense of shame in myself the second I shoved that toothbrush down my throat. Thus far,  I have only been partially successful, if I’m being truly honest with you gentle readers. It’s still an ongoing battle for me, but I’m working on it. I’m forcing myself to incorporate other healthy habits that aid in combating the complusion: getting more sleep, drinking less, eating healthy, exercising, etc. And then I run across shit like this:

Again, for those of you who have known me for awhile know that I’m always eager to learn new things about fitness, even after my decline in discipline. I follow all sorts of healthy eating and fitness website and blogs, and am always on the lookout for new tips and tricks to facilitate a healthy lifestyle. One of my favorites is FitSugar. They’ve got great material: kickass workout videos, articles on eating healthy and/or how to target trouble zones on your figure. And their message is really encouraging and uplifting. Solid. Well, I found a fitness/food blogger via them today named Marian, she’s at PeanutButterPlank… when I perused her ‘about me’ section, my jaw fucking dropped. I had to take a screen shot immediately:

From Marian's 'About Me' section. WTF You're embarassed by that?!
From Marian’s ‘About Me’ section. This is her ‘before’ photo…. WTF.

Ok, ok, listen: She seems to genuinely care about her readers, and wants to promote healthy living in all ways, and I respect that. Shit, I’m now following her blog. But seriously, you find that embarrassing?! That is a beautiful fucking body. She does go on to explain how her wheat allergy and lactose intolerance were making her feel like shit when she looked like this, and that played a part in her determination to get healthy and lose weight. I get it. But SHIT girl! That’s you fat?! My god, what is this world coming to. NO I’M SERIOUS, look at what feminine beauty USED to be:

Capitline Venus: an example of a Venus Pudica
Capitoline Venus: an example of a Venus Pudica, or ‘modest Venus’

That’s muthafuggin VENUS. VENUS… AKA APHRODITE… AKA The goddess of love!! Again, I have to say, WTF IS GOING ON.

*Deep breath* Again, listen, I feel relatively confident that Marian’s main goal is to feel healthy… the looking ripped is just a bonus:

Marian's 'After' photo
Marian’s ‘After’ photo

My indignance comes from my own insecurities. Because Christ, if Marian thought she was ‘fat’ looking in her ‘before’, how the hell do I compare to the general population’s idea of ‘thin’ versus ‘fat’? I’ve lost five pounds thus far this summer, but honestly I’ll never look like that. No way! I’m a petite girl with curves. There’s only so much I can do to combat that, and the inevitable slow of metabolism as I age. Besides, I look at photos like that and think, that’s a level of obsession that I’m (still…?) glad I no longer have chained to my conscience. I like to live healthy, I just still can’t seem to find the balance between accepting my figure in all its beauty and flaws, and taking care of myself… at least, not yet. Not entirely.

Remaining bonus: I am lucky enough to have a dude in my life who constantly praises my figure, and he’s never even seen me “thin”! So I’ve gotta give a shout out to Mr. Red for that one; you help me remember that there are all kinds of beautiful, all kinds of sexy, in this world.

 

Current Jam: “The Lion’s Roar” First Aid Kit

And I’m a goddamn coward, but then again so are you
And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Has me evading and hollering for you
And I never really knew what to do…

Well I guess sometimes I wish you were a little more predictable
That I could read you just like a book
For now I can only guess what’s coming next
By examining your timid smile
And the ways of the old, old winds blowing you back ’round

And I’m a goddamn fool, but then again so are you
And the lion’s roar, the lion’s roar
Has me seeking out and searching for you
And I never really knew what to do

*Yawn*

So, like, I’m still a single lady these days (please refrain from inserting Beyoncé reference here). I still talk to Mr. Red on the regular (like ever’day) but the discussion regarding, erm, the ‘definition of the relationship’ (YUCK I hate those conversations) made it apparent that exclusivity was not on the table at present. At the time I was all, ‘huh, ok…. bummer. Well, now what?’ I explored Tinder a few days later, ya know, for shits n’ giggs. I took my typical stance as of late and figured, ‘I’m here for the summer and that’s it, so why not have some fun?’ Surprisingly, much easier said than done….

I’m not sure if my experience to date is an accurate reflection of the male mentality here, but wow talk about a bunch o’ lazybones. There aren’t that many in my age group to begin with (Sarasota’s essentially q-tip camp), and those that are… well, they all seem pretty aloof. Like, in every way possible. They seem to fall into one of two extremes: they either go to the trouble of starting a conversation with me, only to drop off a day later, or they lead with the blatant ‘yo let’s fuck’ attitude, always so flattering *rolls eyes*. I prefer at least a lil’ romancin’ first right? Does it say DTF on my profile? Nowhere? Then maybe you should rethink your opening line bro….. ugh, ya know what nevermind. You just made the sifting process that much easier, keep doin’ what yer doin’.

However, there is another side to this coin. I have to acknowledge that my usual boy-crazy tenacity has definitely dwindled lately. I’m just… not super into it right now, and it probably shows. Dating can be just… exhausting. Mr. Red made it clear to me that I had no obligations this summer, but truthfully the thought of expending energy just to meet mediocre dudes is so unappealing. It’s a surprising development for me, someone who has always had boys on the brain. Traditionally they’ve been a constant, weaving through my romantical fantasy realm alongside dreams of travel and rockstar status. I’ve never not had some sort of ‘crush’. But these days? I’d rather binge watch Orange is the New Black and make spotify playlists for my sunset beach walks than put on concealer and a pushup bra.

There’s only one downside. I have the biggest itch. Like, monstrous itch. Seriously, ya’ll HAVE NO IDEA. *starts scratching the side of her chin compulsively like a jonesin’ crack addict* I’m a passionate woman, gawddammit. I’ve got major needs right now… mmmfph aaarrrghhhh! *runs off to consume massive amounts of chocolate*

Current Jam: “First Defeat” Noah Gundersen

Self Under Construction

The other day after work, I grabbed Britt and my new friend Jen and headed to the beach for sunsets and chilled wine in a Bubba keg. Well, I guess just the one sunset…. Anyways. our sunset party lived on long into the evening. The nearly full moon made the waves sparkle as they danced with each other. We faced the bay and did yoga.  We lay three in a row, nestled in the sand and stared at the sky. We made wishes and pushed them out into the universe. And I thought about the 12 laws of karma. This time I focused on the Law of Here & Now: “Looking backward to examine what was, prevents us from being totally in the HERE AND NOW. Old thoughts, old patterns of behavior, old dreams… prevent us from having new ones.” (See them all here).

I’ve embarked on a level of self-discovery this summer that has, so far, gone way beyond all previous introspection. I’ve sinced realized several inherent truths about myself, truths that speak to and illuminate where I’ve been and why I’ve chosen certain paths. How I’ve gotten to this very moment and how certain choices I’ve made have helped and hurt me in my pursuit of happiness and fulfillment. For example: my brain rarely shuts off. Meditation is all but impossible for me to date. A younger me constantly lived in the past, rethinking and rehashing my mistakes and cooking up scenarios where it all could have gone differently. As I got older, I shifted my focus to three steps ahead. I thought that was a vast improvement; it made me focus on my goals and my ambitions and helped me strive to go and move forward instead of constantly backstepping or standing still. It was better for me, at the time. But now? I’m not so sure. It’s effectiveness may have worn a bit, or perhaps I’ve put too much pressure on it.

The problem with always thinking ahead is that you end up missing the moments once you reach them. It keeps you from living and relishing the present. I’m so focused on the week, the month, the year ahead, that I don’t fully treasure the reward when I finally reach it. It falls by the wayside as I plan the next step. I stared into the infinite universe as I had this eureka… and then I forced myself to STOP – to stop thinking about the eureka, because that would contradict and belittle its gravity.

So I stopped. I released the ingrained tension in my muscles and sank deeper in the sand. I gazed at the moon and I thanked the universe for this moment. I made myself feel it, every bit of it: the sensation of my hand sifting through centuries of granulated earth, the smell of the sea: salty, dead and alive simultaneously. How the light reflected off my pale skin. The rhythm of my breath and how it complimented the breaking shoreline. It was beautiful, and tragic in its brevity, but mostly beautiful. It was one of the most pure moments of peace I’ve ever had.

The beach just makes me happy. Despite sunburns and that annoying feeling of sand hitting the back of your legs as you walk, I love it. Because it helps me, it rejuvenates me, it helps me remember what’s really important. There’s a quote that always comes to mind when I think about the ocean; it’s from the movie Shawshank Redemption, when Andy (Tim Robbins) describes Zihuatanejo to Red (Morgan Freeman):

Andy: “It’s a little place on the Pacific Ocean. You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific? They say it has no memory. That’s where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.”

I pushed away my memory that night. It was difficult, but it was like a renewal. A fresh start towards a new mode of thinking. It doesn’t happen overnight, of course, I know that… but it felt like maybe I was finally beginning to reconcile old and new me. Maybe the tug of war is finally coming to a close… *fingers crossed*

Current Jam: “Let Her Go” Passenger

Well you only need the light when it’s burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

PSA: The biggest asshole in Florida lives in Sarasota and his name is Shane

If I have to hear another person’s well-intentioned advice on how to ‘fix’ myself, I’m going to fucking kill them. Granted, it’ll be in my dreams, but I’m gonna kill the shit out of them. Like, Freddie Kruger style.

Best part of last night, HANDS DOWN:

So I’m hanging with my girl Britt. Truthfully, I’m a little bummed and not in the mood to talk to anyone. Well this trio of 30-something’s starts chatting us up. Britt’s friendly and engaging enough for the both of us. They can tell I’m not in a great mood and try to inquire why. I nicely, calmly say, “Oh, haha, it’s nothing personal but I don’t really want to talk about it,” and smile. Britt heads to the restroom as they keep poking and prodding… which eventually gets me a little emotional. Well, this dude Shane starts in with an attempt to ‘help me’, ‘calm me down’, ‘zen me out’ or whatever the fuck. Again, I say as politely as I can, “Hey Shane, I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but again, I’m not really in the mood ok? I don’t think it’s gonna work right now,” and laugh. His face turned to stone, and he says, “Oh well, you can just go sit over there then,” his eyes darting towards our previous table. I stare at him. “…Excuse me?” I ask. He repeats himself, as if he’s talking to a spoiled child throwing a tantrum. “Well, I’m going to wait for my friend to come out of the bathroom,” I counter. “Well, she can sit over there too,” He says. Finally I’m just at a loss for words at the level of, not only 180 degree, bi-polar-esque behavior, but at how unbelievably rude this guy is. After a few moments of just staring at him, I said, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah I’m fucking serious, bye!” he says, and waves his hand in a mocking gesture. His friends of course are completely silent by this point. They avoid eye contact at all costs. So I get up and go sit by some younger dudes my girl and I had befriended a few days before. They take one look at my face and immediately ask what’s wrong. I forced a laugh and said, “Um, I’m ok. Will you excuse me for a second?” A small smile crossed my lips as I sauntered into the restroom… I nodded to the girl washing her hands as I closed the stall door behind me… and I burst into tears. Who talks to someone like that? I know I can be obnoxious, I’ll be the first to admit it, but I wasn’t loud-shitty-drunk L’s. I was on my second cocktail. I’m sorry I wasn’t feeling a faux-therapy session with someone I just met…

Actually? I’m not sorry. Fuck you, dude. You are by far the biggest asshole I’ve encountered this summer. You see a girl with the shiny eyes, the tears barely kept at bay to retain some semblance of composure, and when they reject your pathetic invitation to ‘help’ them, you turn into a completely dismissive piece of shit? Wow, no wonder you’re divorced. I hope you get syphillis, go insane and die in a puddle of your own excrement.

Some silver linings:

1) I came out of the stall to my waitress fixing her makeup. As I pulled myself together, she took one look in my direction and asked I wanted another round. I gave her a 30% tip.

2) One of the utter-piece-of-shit-on-the-bottom-of-a-shoe’s friends did come over to me a little while later and apologized profusely on his behalf… and admitted that U.P.O.S.O.T.B.O.S walked out on his tab… ya know, because he’s a stand up guy.