Playgrounds

For the past few weeks I’ve been taking a circus class. More specifically, an Adult Intro Aerial Silks and Trapeze class.

There are six of us in this class, all women in our mid-to-late twenties and none of us are amazing at what we’re doing. Some of us are naturally more skilled or have a background in dance or gymnastics, but we’re all beginners - and when it comes to hanging by your ankles from a wooden bar for 10 seconds straight, it doesn’t matter what you’re physical background is: it all hurts like hell.

I love this class so much. I’m awkward and gangly and move with very little grace, but I look forward to this hour and a half every week.

Because I’m trying something. All six of us are. We’re all walking into a room as adults who are ready to keep pushing ourselves to learn and grow and acquire a - let’s be honest - rather pointless skill.

I mean, sure, it’s a good workout and it’s building strength and flexibility, but at the end of the day, I don’t know how my newfound ability to do a candy-cane roll up is going to help me in life. Maybe if someone is stuck in a tree and there are some conveniently placed fabrics hanging from a branch? Even then, a cute little artsy move like that would be a real show-off moment in that situation, right? Like, everyone watching would be all “Okay, lady, stop trying to look cool and get that kid and his turtle down from that tree.”

Yes, some people learn these things so that they can perform in a circus show, but I don’t think that’s going to be me. I’ll never say never, of course, but that’s not the point. I’m not doing this with any sort of end goal in mind.

It’s just that as I age, I’ve noticed a serious lack of “new” in my life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I think many of us assume that once we reach adulthood, we’re done. No more development. We’ve become ourselves and now all we have to do is maintain that and/or pass our “wisdom” on to the next generation.

But here’s the thing: I’m not done. I don’t think I ever will be. Maybe it’s because I refuse to grow up completely (I know a trap when I see one), or maybe it’s because I work with children and children’s books all day long, but I don’t want to be finished yet. I want to keep learning and growing and adjusting.

I also hate working out. It’s right there in the word: working out. Immediately, it’s not fun, and if you think it is, more power to you, but I think you’re a liar.

I love playing, though, and aerial silks and trapeze are exactly that. Remember the playground? THAT’S WHAT THIS IS. Just with some structure, which I have come to appreciate (I am a domesticated animal and I thrive in fenced-in pastures). Plus, it’s giving me all the benefits of working out in the process! I essentially get to build muscle and flexibility (and maybe even friendships) while pretending to be a monkey or a mermaid. It’s awesome.

So, if like me, you are a “grown-up” (gross), I encourage you to find something new (or maybe something you can return to from childhood), like a dance class or ice skating or rock climbing. Even something more sedentary like painting or knitting or, hey, writing. Explore. Dip your toes in. Play around.

Because I don’t think you’re done yet. Do you?

GO HOME, VOICE, YOU'RE DRUNK.

I like to consider myself a positive force in people’s lives. Or rather, that’s what I aim to be and on my best days, I accomplish it with at least one person. I’m sure there are several people on whom interacting with me is a chore, but ultimately, I think I’m supportive of others’ ambitions and goals. I like to cheer people on and offer advice when I have it. I like to tell people to shoot for the stars and I don’t like to allow people to insult themselves in front of me. Essentially, whenever I hear even the hint of someone asking “Can I really do this?” I’m screaming “YES! YES YOU CAN! I BELIEVE IN YOU!”

Which is why I find it fascinating that I am spectacular at saying no to myself, especially on behalf of other people.

Seriously, the number of things I never end up asking for or going after purely because I am certain that the answer will be a no is astounding.

This is especially true in my writing life. I have been writing this blog, if you can believe it, for approximately nine years. The size of my audience wouldn’t make anyone think so, but it’s true. Nine years of weekly (at times more and at times less) posts about how ridiculous and silly I am. And I’ve loved every minute of it. This blog has helped me find my voice and explore myself and my writing in a way I never thought I could. I’ve connected with people both in the “real world” and the digital one. I’ve befriended other writers and impacted readers. I’ve even been trolled.

And while I don’t intend to stop any time soon, I’ve convinced myself time and time again that this is as far as I’m going to get.

Sure, I have dreams of one day seeing my work in The New Yorker, of publishing a memoir or a collection of essays, of being “in conversation” with David Sedaris or Jenny Lawson before signing hundreds of copies of my latest book for fans. But those are dreams for me, because those things happen to real writers.

Of course, if you, my dear reader, and I, this quirky writer, switched roles right now, I’d be screaming at you. “YOU ARE A REAL WRITER! YOU’VE EVEN HAD YOUR WORK PUBLISHED!”

And yes, you’re right. I am.

But then… there’s that voice. That nagging, annoying, stupid yet so smart-sounding voice that chimes in when all the other supportive voices die down and says, “Yeah, go ahead. Send that essay to that major magazine. Waste that busy editor’s time with your redundant thoughts on how annoying having a uterus is….” and then it rolls its eyes before saying, “Come on, Emelie. We all know that even if they respond - and that’s a big if - it’s just going to be with a no.”

It’s time for me to shut that voice up and kick it out of the party. Because the thing is that I’m never going to grow as a writer or get published anywhere if I don’t actually try to do exactly that. If I don’t push myself and give others the chance to say no (or maybe yes?) to me, I’m only ever going to be this: a silly blogger. And don’t get me wrong, I love being a silly blogger and I am so proud of this thing that I do, but I want to be a silly blogger and a published writer in magazines and books.

And I think I’m finally ready to start asking.

But maybe I need your help… will you say it with me?

Ready?

Three.

Two.

One.

GO HOME, VOICE, YOU’RE DRUNK.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., Katie G., Trish G., and Sonya P.

Stalling

We bought our new Jeep Rubicon back in January. At the time of this post, that was approximately 10 months ago. I wrote all about our new purchase here, and before I go any further, I want to tell you all that I still adore Rubi as much as the day we brought her home.

It was a big purchase, one that The Mr and I had never made before, and while that was exciting in many ways, it was also terrifying. For me, this terror wasn’t just a financial one. It was also mechanical.

Rubi is a stick-shift.

I did not at the time know how to drive a stick-shift and this would be our only vehicle.

Why on earth would we choose such a thing, you ask? There were a few reasons:

  1. The Mr really missed driving stick.

  2. We had opted for the leather interior to help manage the dog fur situation (oh, Huskies…)

  3. I was determined to force myself to learn how to drive stick.

So we started our lessons. First in parking lots, and then gradually to driving to and from work every now and again with The Mr’s supervision, but I feel obligated to paint a general picture: my commute is 5 minutes with no stops or turns.

But there would be days when we were running late or I didn’t feel like driving or the weather was nasty, so these practice sessions were infrequent.

But the real truth, if I’m being honest, is that I have a lot of anxiety around driving stick. I had tried to learn when I was a teenager, and I still have this vivid memory of stalling so many times in the parking lot that my dad got frustrated and started yelling, which made me frustrated and I started crying, and then it was decided that I would be inheriting an automatic, and that was that. (In my father’s defense, I was not an easy student.)

But I was managing to drive to and from work every now and again and in my mind, progress was progress.

Until The Mr got a call that he needed to head to Nashville for work for a couple of days last week. Which meant I would need to drive myself to and from work. That part was honestly fine with me. I’d done it with him in the car several times at that point and I felt good about.

But he also needed a ride to the airport…about an hour away.

To make matters even more fun his flight also left on the same day that we were coming home from a trip to Montana.

Our red-eye flight from Montana landed at JFK at 6am. The Mr’s flight from Hartford, CT left at 4pm.

Now, it’s been well documented that when The Mr leaves town I have a tendency to get pretty depressed pretty quickly. I’m not proud of it, because so much of me wants to be that strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to make her happy, but dammit, he’s my person and I thrive on human interaction, so there. Sorry feminism, I’ll try harder next time. The point is, I was already dreading the fact that he was leaving, but then when you added the anxiety of the driving thing, and the exhaustion of travel on top of all that…. Disaster.

So, fast forward past my nap and pot of coffee to 2:45. I start the car and we head off. Things are… fine. I stall at a couple of red lights and stuff, but I’m okay, The Mr is with me for now and he’s talking me through it, and I keep telling myself that I just need to drive for a bit and then I’ll settle in and by the time we get to the airport I’ll be comfortable. I’ll be fine. The anxiety is all in my head. I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

We pull into the airport drop-off spot and it’s time to say goodbye. The Mr is going to get out fo the car and I’m going to drive myself home. Alone.

I start sweating.

But I breathe.

He looks at me. “You’ve got this.”

I nod.

I breathe.

And then the tears start flowing.

And we both feel awful.

I wish I could explain why. I wish I could walk all of you through what exactly makes the idea of driving stick so terrifying or nerve-wracking for me, and I’m sure given some serious inward-looking and therapy I would have all the answers, but they probably aren’t answers that I’m ready to face or write about publically yet, but also Anxiety is not a thing that really shows up with a suitcase full of logic or valid reasons. It just sort of shows up unannounced with no logic whatsoever, but it’s super convincing. It’s like that guy at every party - you know the one: He says every opinion as if it’s fact and seems to have all these weird bits of data that just spew out of his mouth to back up every point and because he’s so freaking confident in everything he’s saying, and because he’s talking about a thing that you honestly don’t know that much about, like, let’s say, the ethical dilemmas of eating bananas, you don’t really have a way to shut him down or disagree with him, and then before you know it, if you’re not careful, you’re just going along with everything that he’s saying. Later, when you get home, you might google the banana industry and be like “Wow, that guy was wrong about literally everything,” but in the moment, when he’s word vomiting his confidence all over the room, you’re like “Man, I should really re-evaluate how often I’m eating bananas….”

That guy is Anxiety. And he sucks.

So I’m crying, but The Mr has to go, and so I pull myself together for a moment, kiss him goodbye, and promise to call our friend if I get into any problems.

He leaves. I cry some more. And then I take a deep breathe and put Tessa Violet on shuffle on my phone, and I set my GPS for home. This time, however, I decide to tell the GPS to avoid highways. This would ultimately mean that I have to stop at more lights more often, and it would take me over an hour and a half to get home, but for some reason (Anxiety), I thought that this would be worth it because it would mean being around fewer vehicles. Also, I thought, it would force me to practice starting and stopping more.

And so I drove.

And it was… bumpy.

But I did it.

It took me almost two hours.

But I did it.

At one point I had to maneuver around a flock of wild turkeys (thanks, rural Connecticut).

But I did it.

When I pulled in the driveway and shut off the car, every muscle in my body finally released. I got out of the car and collapsed onto the steps of my front porch where I pulled out my phone to tell The Mr that I had made it home. It was then that I saw a text from him.

The Mr: Made it to my gate. I love you.

And then I ugly-cried for a solid twenty minutes. I’m talking snot everywhere, puffy eyes, and that weird Smeagol mouth that people get when they cry. All of it. It wasn’t remotely pretty. Thankfully, I was running out of tears when our friend pulled in the driveway to drop our dogs off (She had been watching them while we were away and I had texted her explaining the situation. Because she’s amazing, she didn’t even hesitate before saying she wouldn’t make me come pick them up).

Once I got the pups inside and hugged my friend goodbye, I texted The Mr.

Me: It was bumpy, but no accidents, and I’m home…. and I think we need to text around and see which one of our friends is willing to pick you up from the airport when you get back.

The next day I drove myself to and from work and it all went fine.

Anxiety sucks. There’s no other way to put it. It’s uncomfortable and embarrassing and I don’t wish it upon anyone, but if I’ve learned anything it’s that everyone has it in some form or another.

I felt so stupid when I got home because it’s just driving. It’s a thing that almost everyone I know does every day. In fact, I’m the daughter of a former racecar driver and the sister of a guy who rebuilt his car’s entire engine when he was in high school. It should be in my blood.

But it’s not. I didn’t inherit that gene.

And you know what? That’s okay. Not in an I-won’t-keep-trying kind of way, but in an I-can-accept-that-this-isn’t-my-natural-calling kind of way. A this-is-harder-for-me-than-most-and-I-have-to-push-through-it kind of way.

And that doesn’t mean I’m a failure or an idiot or less than.

It’s just a thing, like jerks who act like they know everything about bananas, that I have mentally work around every now and again.

Maybe you can’t drive stick either, or maybe you have stage fright or the thought of meeting new people is paralyzing to you. Maybe knowing that you have to see your family makes your blood pressure skyrocket before you head home for the holidays, or maybe even just the idea of leaving the house today is too much. I don’t know what makes the banana-jerk show up and bang on your door, but I do know this: You are not alone. You are going to be okay. And you can consider this a safe space. Go ahead and share your weird anxiety-inducer in the comments below if you want to, and if you see one that resonates with you, reply with a little something of support. Virtual hugs, digital I-See-Yous. This is a No Judgement Zone.

And if even the idea of doing that is too much, just do this with me:

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

And read this: I love you.


P.S. Another friend was loving and understanding and did go get The Mr from the airport the next day and I am forever in her debt.

P.P.S. It’s been less than 6 hours since I published this post and already several DMs and comments have made me cry. You’re all wonderful.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., Katie G., Trish G., and Sonya P.

CIRQUE DU EMELIE

I hate exercising.

And before you head straight down to the comments section to tell me how amazing that runner’s high is or how much you love your crossfit community, just wait, and hear me out. I’ve tried a lot of it.

Running? I gave it a real good go, and you know what? Not once did I ever get high. All I got was short of breath and cramps in my ribs.

Joining a gym? All I got was social anxiety and more debt. I will say, though, that the smoothies were delicious and I do miss the Get Girly, a delicious smoothie meant to help with hair and nail growth because those are things that men absolutely do not and should not want. Healthy hair is for LADIES ONLY, and totally worth the $149 a month that got me full access to equipment I didn’t know how to use and locker rooms that made me deeply uncomfortable. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I still had to pay extra for those smoothies… Rude.

Yoga? Okay, I actually do love yoga. It’s pretty great.

In fact, while I hate working out, I weirdly love being active. I hike a lot, and I paddle board, but those are more activities that happen to also benefit my health and fitness… and i think that’s the key: I’m only going to work out if it’s fun and if the benefits exceed “getting swol.”

Which is why my latest new adventure is perfect:

IMG_5973.png

That’s right: I’M TAKING A CIRCUS CLASS.

More specifically, I enrolled in an Adult Intro to Aerial Silks and Static Trapeze class, which means I spend a lot of time upside down and shouting “I AM A GRACEFUL WARRIOR” when I’m feeling particularly awkward.

The class is every Thursday night and there are five of us taking it, which is kind of the perfect number, I think. It’s small enough that we can all get to know and support each other, but just big enough to not feel like I’m forced to become best friends with anyone.

So far I’ve learned how to sit, stand up, roll over, (and give paw, and lay down…), and other cool moves like “the archer” or “treefrog,” which is pictured above.

I’ve also learned that I’m kind of built like a T-Rex. My legs are strong AF apparently, but my arms? Not so much. There’s this one move where you get on the silks and the push them outward with both your legs and your arms so you’re kind of in a starfish position in the air. When I attempted this, my legs shot out with no issue. My arms, however? They stayed pinned against my sides and just sort of… trembled.

So, I guess if you ever need anyone to kick down a door, I’m your lady, but if you need me to lift you out of a well or something, you’re kind of SOL, but also I don’t know why you decided to jump into a well in the first place. I mean, wells are notoriously terrible places to explore. Several television moments have been dedicated to this fact, so maybe you should stop blaming me for being weak and you should really be doing some serious re-evaluation of your life and your choices.

But I digress.

Where was I? Oh right, the trapeze. This is an exercise I can get on board with. It’s basically like being on a playground again, but without any bullies or those terrible woodchips that were essentially just thousands of splinters threatening you while you were on the monkey bars, and I love it. All five of my classmates and our teacher have already proven to be awesome, and if that wasn’t great enough, I’m one step closer to fulfilling my destiny as a circus weirdo I’m meant to be.

Assuming I can get my arms to function.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., and Katie G.

Sleeping In

I slept in until 9:45 this morning. For some people, I realize that this is normal, but for me it’s weird. I’m usually awake around 7 depending on what time I went to sleep the night before, so to sleep soundly through most of my morning without being sick feels strange. It was weird and unsettling. I mean, obviously I needed the sleep, but for whatever reason there’s a real sense of guilt that settles in on me whenever I sleep in, which I would understand if it meant that I was late to work or something, but today is my day off and I have very little on my to-do list. In fact, the first thing on my list was a pedicure at 12:30pm. Actually, other than this blog, that pedicure was the only thing on my list today. Everything else I might do is just fluff.

I’d like to think that waking up earlier would have meant that I would have done something really amazing, like taken the dogs to the park and gone paddle boarding. I would have cleaned the house when I got home from this sunrise hike and baked zucchini bread before settling down to crochet an entire blanket and start working on my new novel.

Then I would meditated, done yoga, and then I would have gone out to the garden to pull some weeds and harvest some vegetables before going inside to take a shower and shave my legs. At this point I would still have time to blow-dry my hair and do my make up, but because it’s my day off and because I’m super confident in my natural beauty (definitely not because I’m lazy in incompetent with a roller brush), I would have let my hair air dry and simply apply some moisturizer to keep my skin healthy.

With still a few hours before my pedicure, I’d sit down and have some more coffee while I read a book for a while. Then I’d call my parents because I’m a good daughter, and afterwards I’d clean out my closet and take a bunch of unneeded things to a charity shop with upstanding morals. On my way home, I’d pick up a bag of dog food and donate it to the local animal shelter.

And at this point it’d be 9:45am, a time when only gross, lazy slobs are just now waking up from their snoring slumber under a bridge somewhere.

Yes… had I woken up at a decent hour, surely this is how I would have spent my morning…

I certainly wouldn’t have just watched more youtube videos than usual. What kind of a horrid monster do you take me for?


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., and Katie G.






I've Picked My Friends

The Mr and I spent last week in Ireland for a friend’s wedding, and as one would imagine, the experience was magical.

It was also full of whiskey and Guinness. I have absolutely no complaints.

Of course while we were gone our vegetable garden was left to it’s own devices. And my, oh my…. did it have some fun.

Primarily, the zucchini…

It’s like that scene in Dirty Dancing. “I carried the zucchini.”

It’s like that scene in Dirty Dancing. “I carried the zucchini.”

I mean… what the heck am I supposed to do with these??? A girl can only make and eat so much Zucchini bread. Or Zucchini muffins. I mean… do I take them to the state fair?

No.

The Mr had to go into the office the day I harvested these, so I was left at home to my own devices, and like a good wife I decided to make something with them that I could surprise him with.

But I’m me, and as many of us know, cooking is not my strongest skill.

So…. Instead I went with something a little bit more…. romantic.

The Mr said I would never use that top-hat by the way. WRONG AGAIN, THE MR.

The Mr said I would never use that top-hat by the way. WRONG AGAIN, THE MR.

I don’t know why she suddenly looks so unsure… Look alive, lady, IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY.

I was going to just let The Mr see them when he got home, but I was too excited about my new friends, so I texted him the above photo.

The Mr: You need to see someone.

Me: What? They’re cute!

The Mr: Absolutely. But it is clear that you require human contact at least once per day. You’re literally making friends out of produce. because you haven’t seen another human being today.

Me: You don’t know that.

The Mr: Oh really? Who is with you?

Me: ZACK AND ZARA ARE HERE.

The Mr: Is that what you named the zucchini?

Me: No… it’s what they told me their names are.

The Mr: I’m leaving work early.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., and Katie G.

Flying High on Bad Ideas

So yesterday The Mr had a D&D craft night on our calendar. He had mentioned it a few weeks ago as something he wanted to attend at a game shop we frequent and I thought “Great! What fun for him!”

And then yesterday, I put on a dress I hadn’t worn in a while in the morning and The Mr was all “Cute! You look so nice! I want to take you to dinner before we go to the game shop tonight!” And while on the one hand I really like being told i’m pretty, on the other hand I was kind of confused for a few reasons:

  1. I didn’t think we were going to D&D craft night… I thought he was going to D&D craft night. I mean, I like D&D and I am crafty, but I don’t generally combine the two. I mean, one time I crocheted a beholder for The Mr, but I’ve never painted a mini or built any dungeon terrain. That’s The Mr’s department. But, I thought, maybe it’ll be fun.

  2. On our calendar, D&D night started at 6. And wanted to take me out for a nice dinner beforehand? What are we, 82?

  3. Okay, so maybe it was just those two reasons, but still, those are valid!

So because I’m me, I had a lot of questions. And he was being really vague in answering all of them.

Me: So you want me to come with you?

Him: Well… yeah!

Me: But I don’t do D&D crafting…

Him: It’ll be fun!

Me: Do I need to bring my own stuff? Because I don’t have stuff.

Him: I’m not sure.

Me: They didn’t say on the website?

Him: I just saw D&D craft night.

Me: And what about dinner?

Him: Yeah. I want to take you to dinner. You look nice.

Me: …. beforehand?

Him: Yeah!

Me: ….okay…..

Clearly I wasn’t getting any answers from him, so I decided to hop on the the game shop website and see if I could find out some details about this craft night. Would there be a teacher? Would supplies be available? Was it BYO?

Answers to all of those things: No.

Me: Babe…

Him: Yeah?

Me: Are you sure there’s a craft night tonight? There’s nothing on their calendar about it…

And then he sighed, stood up, and went into the next room, only to return and toss these at me:

If you’re not familiar with Tessa Violet, I highly recommend you fix that in your life because she is an absolute delight. I’ll admit I’m late to the party on her, but she started vlogging on YouTube back in 2007, but only recently started doing music and music videos. Now she’s on her very first headline tour and I’m weirdly proud of her. Anyway, check her out. Her music is so good, her lyrics are so genuine, and gah, I just adore her. I’ll put a video of hers down below. Anyway, back to the story…

If you’re not familiar with Tessa Violet, I highly recommend you fix that in your life because she is an absolute delight. I’ll admit I’m late to the party on her, but she started vlogging on YouTube back in 2007, but only recently started doing music and music videos. Now she’s on her very first headline tour and I’m weirdly proud of her. Anyway, check her out. Her music is so good, her lyrics are so genuine, and gah, I just adore her. I’ll put a video of hers down below. Anyway, back to the story…

Him: Why do you have to ask so many questions all the time? Happy early birthday.

He then informed me that not only did he get us tickets to go see the concert, but apparently he also bought the VIP tickets, which got us a meet and greet, photo, and private acoustic concert before the actual show.

I was freaking out on two very different levels. On the one hand it was exciting and unexpected, but on the other hand this was a gift for my upcoming 29th birthday and I was pretty sure that the average age of her fanbase was 14. Obviously, I know that shouldn’t matter. We should all love the things we love and be passionate about those things, but lately, for the first time, I’ve started to feel… old? And kind of boring? In fact, I had been planning on writing a blog post today about how dull I am and how I feel like I have nothing of interest to say anymore and that’s a really difficult thing for a humor writer to feel or embrace. And now I was about to go to a concert where I’d be surrounded by young, energetic, fun people who would look at me weird because I’m so obviously old enough to drink that it’s sad. Like… why even bother carrying my ID anymore?

Also, the dress I was wearing was completely wrong for this kind of evening.

So after trying on multiple outfits and putting on and taking off more makeup than I usually wear in a month, we were on our way to meet a famous YouTuber. I felt weird and excited and nervous, all of which kind of made me feel like an idiot, but all in the best way possible.

But when we got there and saw the line of maybe 20 people in line to meet her, it was a steady mix of 14 year olds, college students, 20-somethings, and even a few grown adults that were older than us. And when we went in and met her and got our photos taken, it was definitely weird and exciting and I was nervous and awkward. But all in the best way possible. Don’t believe me? I’ve got receipts:

And then she sang songs and answered questions (mostly from the 14 year olds who wanted to know her relationship advice and which hair dye brand she uses. They were adorable.) I felt out of place and weird, but at the same time I kept reminding myself to enjoy this moment. Here I was, at 29 years old, in the VIP section of a concert with my husband, who clearly loves me and understands that I’m still a teenager at heart.

Or maybe I’m simply a 29-year-old. And I like what I like. And what I like is poppy, sometimes angsty, fun music sung by a quirky, yellow-haired peer, who like me, has built a career off of the thought that much of her life is the product of Bad Ideas.

Thanks for an awesome night, Tessa. You rocked it.

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But the big thank you goes to The Mr. For all of my bad ideas, you’ve had some of the best ones. You made me feel young and beautiful last night.

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Like I said, if you’re not familiar with the delight that is Tessa Violet, here’s the music video to one of my favorite new songs of hers, although, they’re all pretty darn fantastic:


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Plus, all of my Patrons are receiving a birthday gift from me this month, so now is the time to join!!

Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., Grace V., and Katie G.

Bloody Hell

I wanted to do a lot of things today. I wanted to write a blog post, do laundry, start working on a new novel I have an idea for, take the dogs to the dog park, etc.

I’ve done laundry.

And I’ve laid in bed and watched a lot of Love Island.

Because my uterus (aka “Judy”) decided to rage out today.

It’s incredibly frustrating because on the one hand I don’t like when Judy renders me immobile. It’s not only physically a nightmare, but it also makes me feel like I’m a bad feminist. Which is ridiculous. I have a period and sometimes it means I’m in pain and that I just want to lay down.

But then I also feel like I should be like “I AM WOMAN AND I CAN DO ANYTHING. MY PERIOD IS NOT A PROBLEM” when in reality I’m feeling like shouting “I AM WOMAN AND SOMETIMES IT’S BLOODY TERRIBLE AND PLEASE BRING ME CHEESE AND CHOCOLATE AND DR PEPPER AND ALSO A BUCKET IN CASE I VOMIT.”

So right now The Mr has taken the dogs for a car ride while he acquires several snacks and I am at home watching attractive British people call each other muggy.

Here’s to us, ladies. At least we know my birth control is working.

Don't Box Me In Bro

I was facetiming with my seven-year-old nephew the other night. We were talking about the show he had just performed after a few weeks in theater camp, a thing I found particularly fun because I, too, was a theater kid. But he’s seven, so after a few minutes, he was kind of done talking about it. So I asked “What else is going on?” and he said, “Well… actually, is The Mr there, because I want to talk about a videogame.”

Me: I mean, yeah, he’s right here, but… you know I like videogames, too, right?

Him: Really??!?

Me: Yeah, dude! I play videogames all the time!

He was so pleasantly surprised that it was almost concerning, but also, I’m used to this reaction. From him it was because I’m a girl, and I don’t really think this is anything that has been necessarily said to him, as much as he just happens to be a part of a family in which only the boys are into videogames. I don’t think anyone actually said “Hey, kid, only boys do this,” but that’s all he’s known. And to his and his family’s credit, it’s not like he argued with me when I was like “girls can like video games too, you know?” Instead he thought about it and was like “Huh, I guess…. cool! So lemme tell you about War Robots. I’m a level 23!”

But most other times that I get the shocked reaction is because I’m a bookworm who works in a bookstore and therefore couldn’t possibly and absolutely should not be into video games. No way. There’s no way that I could simultaneously value the written word and the pixelated, silly world of games. NO! BECAUSE BOOKS! BOOKS ARE THE ONLY PURE FORM OF STORYTELLING. THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE.

Guess what, I also watch some reality tv.


And I like folk music and classic rock and punk and even some heavy metal and yet I also played classical cello and french horn for 9 years.

I’m a writer and a bookworm who barely graduated high school by the skin of my teeth.

I am so much more than the one thing some people want me to be and I have multiple interests.

And I’m sure you are too, aren’t you?

Let’s all be like a surprise lady in a cake and bust out of our spongey, frosting-covered prisons! Tell me all of your contradictions in the comments.


This blog is able to remain ad-free because of the awesome community of Awkward Ambassadors on Patreon. If you’d like to become an Awkward Ambassador and receive special perks (like bonus content or pictures of my dogs), please click here. Thank you so much to Ellen W., Rachel P., Hanna B., Lena S., Sara O., Leah B., Maddie G., and Grace V.

Brain Break

I’m back!

I mean, I wasn’t really gone gone, but I kind of went digitally MIA this past week because of some work I was doing on a fundraiser, and then I had a chronic pain flare up and it was all just a blur, really.

But hello! I’m here! Alive and well and awake! It feels good.

I sadly don’t have much to report because in my downtime I’ve not done much living… I’ve been working with dusty books, sleeping off the pain, and then in between I’ve been binge watching Stranger Things and UK’s Love Island (go on and judge me all you want, I love it.) like it’s nobody’s business.

And normally I would feel really guilty about that, but you know what? It’s been great!

Because sometimes you need stuff like that, right? You need to allow yourself to just veg out for a minute while your body and mind recovers from all the stuff that’s being thrown at it day in and day out and if watching a teenager fight paranormal goo or watching sixteen super fit people try and find love on live television for almost 50 hours straight is what’s going to help you through that, then freaking go for it.

And that’s all I really want to say this week. Today I returned to my journal and I’ll hopefully have a blog post of substance next week, but until then, here is an absolutely adorable video of Aloy dreaming: