DECEMBER 10, 2017
I am very tentatively resuming this project of writing every day. As stated in my last post, a conversation I had made me question the personal content I was putting out there. I, perhaps naively, hadn’t realized I was being scrutinized. I also didn’t realize that occasionally subtweeting someone I never once named and that none of my followers knew was considered “running an online campaign against them,” which was never my intention, but to each their own.
I realize now why I write. I’m an introvert by nature, and was never graced with the gift of conversation. I can’t speak my mind, so my only alternative is to write it. That being said, I was concerned when I initially began the 365 project that trying to pump out a piece of writing every day meant sacrificing quality, or just became a place for me to complain. I still fear that, but I am determined to be more vigilant.
I’m also determined never to let anyone or anything scare me away from HCYHM again.
DECEMBER 11, 2017
There is nothing more wonderful than coming home to a flurry of activity. The sounds run together into a singular roar: chatter in the kitchen, a pot hissing on the stove, and the television on. The little murmurs that blend together to joyously shout, “you are not alone!”
DECEMBER 12, 2017
Receptionists are the most under-appreciated people in the workplace. They heed the shrill cry of the phone to forward executives calls they rarely take, bear the brunt of the frustration of a client who hasn’t had his emails answered in 10 days, and make excuses for their superiors to avoid ruining the entire company’s reputation. “He’s unavailable at the moment” is code for “I have zero frickin’ idea where he is because he doesn’t tell me, my guess is a smoke break, AGAIN.”
AND YET, all anyone does is yell at them when the break room isn’t stocked with creamer.
DECEMBER 13, 2017
“Continue to make good decisions.”
Those were the words from my therapist a few weeks ago. They’ve swirled around in my head ever since, as I twist them with different inflections, trying to make sense of them. Continue to make good decisions? Implying that I have already made good decisions? Implying that I’m not the utter trainwreck I consider myself to be? Impossible.
DECEMBER 15, 2017
Today I Am Grateful For:
- My roommate, who was kind enough to help me rearrange my room
- My job, and my coworkers for being so kind
- Vegan pizza
DECEMBER 16, 2017
Caramel candle, hot lemon tea, and blankets are the fastest way to pure bliss.
DECEMBER 17, 2017
Like many of you, I recently learned what my Top Songs of 2017 were on Spotify. On that list was “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” by Bebe Rexha, which, if I’m being honest, was sort of the theme song of my year for many reasons. The main reason was this was the year I was forced to confront a lot of issues about my own mental health, unhealthy mindsets I’d had for years but had always been able to push aside. I became more aware of my own toxic, self-destructive habits. I became aware, for the first time in my life, that maybe I wasn’t the colossal, embarrassing failure I had always seen myself as- and that it wasn’t my fault that I had that perspective.
DECEMBER 18, 2017
Redemption is a word I never understood. Forgiveness isn’t an emotion I often feel. Letting go and I are strangers.
Grudges and I, though? We’re the best of friends.
DECEMBER 19, 2017
Add under “TV Episodes That Have Not Aged Well in The Wake of the Current Sexual Harassment Scandals”: virtually all of Gossip Girl.
DECEMBER 20, 2017
Snap, add to My Story.
After a recent cleanup of some Snapchat contacts, I’ve come to the sudden realization that I have no one to impress on that app anymore. Perhaps “people I want to impress” puts too fine of a point on it, more like “people I want to see what I’m doing.”
Ever since I begrudgingly downloaded it 5 years ago in my freshman dorm, Snapchat has existed as a “look at me” tool. There was always someone that I, on some level, cared about seeing what I posted. I always timed that perfect selfie or party video in hopes that the guy I was hooking up with (or wanted to hook up with), some girl who hated me, my ex, my on-again/off-again drinking buddy, etc. would see it and know I looked hot or was having fun without them. Boy didn’t text me back? There was only one natural reaction to such a slight: snap a mirror selfie in yoga pants so that, like clockwork, he’d ask me to come over within the hour. Yeah, that’s what I thought, asshole. Heard a rumor some girl was talking shit about me? HA, have a video of this party and feast your eyes on how exciting my life is!
It’s freeing, but also strangely sad.
DECEMBER 21, 2017
A spine I shall grow.
A heart I shall mend.
An ego I shall fix.
A self I shall save.
DECEMBER 22, 2017
The other day, I overheard the term “enneagram” and today, I found myself Googling it. “The Enneagram of Personality, or simply the Enneagram, is a model of the human psyche which is principally understood and taught as a typology of nine interconnected personality types.”
Huh, one of those dumb personality things. Seems simple enough, I thought as I bubbled in the quiz. My results popped up: I’m Type 4: The Individualist. Sounds about right, but what does it mean?
What I ended up finding out left me feeling gutted, exposed, and understood in a way I had never dared to speak out loud. I felt like I was naked in front of my computer screen. I had never seen such an uncomfortably accurate depiction of my soul before. From https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/type-4/ :
“Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and self-pity.
We have named this type The Individualist because Fours maintain their identity by seeing themselves as fundamentally different from others. Fours feel that they are unlike other human beings, and consequently, that no one can understand them or love them adequately. They see themselves as uniquely talented, possessing special, one-of-a-kind gifts, but also as uniquely disadvantaged or flawed. More than any other type, Fours are acutely aware of and focused on their personal differences and deficiencies. Fours are willing to reveal highly personal and potentially shameful things about themselves because they are determined to understand the truth of their experience—so that they can discover who they are and come to terms with their emotional history.
Nevertheless, Fours often report that they feel they are missing something in themselves, although they may have difficulty identifying exactly what that “something” is. Is it will power? Social ease? Self-confidence? Emotional tranquility?—all of which they see in others, seemingly in abundance. Given time and sufficient perspective, Fours generally recognize that they are unsure about aspects of their self-image—their personality or ego-structure itself. They feel that they lack a clear and stable identity, particularly a social persona that they feel comfortable with. While Fours often feel different from others, they do not really want to be alone. They may feel socially awkward or self-conscious, but they deeply wish to connect with people who understand them and their feelings. If, over time, such validation remains out of reach, Fours begin to build their identity around how unlike everyone else they are. The outsider therefore comforts herself by becoming an insistent individualist: everything must be done on her own, in her own way, on her own terms. Fours’ mantra becomes “I am myself. Nobody understands me. I am different and special,” while they secretly wish they could enjoy the easiness and confidence that others seem to enjoy.
Fours typically have problems with a negative self-image and chronically low self-esteem. Underneath the surface, they feel uncertain about who they really are. The problem is that they base their identity largely on their feelings. Because they want to create a stable, reliable identity from their emotions, they attempt to cultivate only certain feelings while rejecting others. Some feelings are seen as “me,” while others are “not me.” By attempting to hold on to specific moods and express others, Fours believe that they are being true to themselves.
One of the biggest challenges Fours face is learning to let go of feelings from the past; they tend to nurse wounds and hold onto negative feelings about those who have hurt them. Indeed, Fours can become so attached to longing and disappointment that they are unable to recognize the many treasures in their lives.”
Um, holy SHIT. What I assumed was a stupid personality quiz described the deepest depths of my neuroses better than my own therapist.
DECEMBER 23, 2017
Drinks with old high school friends. I can’t stop thinking of the people we all were, not so long ago, and the people we’re all becoming. It feels like a century has passed since I was some ragtag daydream of a teenager in ripped jeans, an array of necklaces clinking around my neck and my red hair twisted into a raggedy side-braid.
I miss being that girl. I envy her.
DECEMBER 24, 2017
Christmas Eve. Every holiday I get reflective on how holidays glorify binge-eating of extremely unhealthy animal products and America’s ridiculous portion sizes and what it says about our greatest killer, heart disease, and healthcare costs and how they’re all connected. I can’t express these opinions without everyone hating me.
As you can imagine, I’m great at parties.
DECEMBER 25, 2017
If you’re from San Mateo County, CA, you know what Eucalyptus Avenue is. It’s annual display of Christmas lights draw huge hoards and makes the news every year.
It also happens to be the street I grew up on.
Holiday lights: twinkling, wholesome fun for the whole family, right?
Well, if you actually lived there, you might say differently. Many a holiday night I saw a flash in my window, and realized it was a camera outside. Many a holiday night we couldn’t leave our own block, because of the people letting their children prance carelessly through the streets or taking our parking spaces.
DECEMBER 26, 2017
I never adhered to the old adage of “no regrets.” It’s okay to regret things. It’s okay to regret people. It’s okay to look back and honestly say, “I am worse off for this person’s involvement in my life” or “I wish I had not made this decision, I would be better off otherwise.”
DECEMBER 27, 2017
There are many, many atrocious things I’ve already said about the absolute dumpster fire that was 2017. True, it was the worst year of my life, but there were a couple good things that pushed their way through the smoldering cracks of the bad.
2017 was the year I discovered an actual skincare routine and started doing face masks regularly.
2017 was the year I started going to therapy and learned how warped my self-image was, and that maybe I wasn’t the hopeless failure I always viewed myself as. And hey, spiraling self-hatred isn’t normal. Who knew?
2017 was the year I hit my lowest points, and (barely) survived.
(The latter half of) 2017 was the year I actually started setting aside time to write, and made it a priority.
(The latter half of) 2017 was the year I moved out of the quiet neighborhood I’d lived in previously and in with girls my own age, in this artsy neighborhood on the East side of town.
(The latter half of) 2017 was the year I found a job I didn’t hate.
(The latter half of) 2017 was the year I started telling men my frank, unapologetic opinions about what I deserved; when this same time last year I was a co-dependent waif with no life outside her boyfriend. I asked the blunt “where do you see this going?” relationship question instead of allowing it to drag out for months. I stood my ground and straight-up told someone that if he couldn’t get his shit together, then I was done with him for good.
Despite all the heartbreak and the hellfire, I did survive and I did learn things. I suppose I’m (dare I say it?) almost proud of myself for that.
DECEMBER 28, 2017
What shall I be doing on New Years, you ask? Hiding in my room and avoiding triggering memories of last year.
DECEMBER 29, 2017
“But I will kick myself for weeks… months… years, if I’m being honest, if I don’t… do… THIS”
DECEMBER 30, 2017
I thought I lost myself. Perhaps I was really finding who, deep down, I had always been.