Essay, LGBTQ, Life, pop culture, Pride 2017

COMING OUT IN THE AGE OF YOUTUBE

My first laptop was a thick black Dell that required a near-constant source of power and hummed louder than a barbershop quartet.

It took minutes to load up and froze frequently, which I’m sure is entirely unrelated to the buckets of shady porn websites I was searching. Also unrelated to my search history was the Dell’s untimely and unseemly demise at the hands of a Trojan virus.

On that laptop I wrote my stories, a thousand beginnings to stories where beautiful (sometimes mythic) girls fell in love with hot guys and I wrote a 200-page novel that languishes on my bookshelf. If I ever published it, I would get slammed with copyright infringement because it is essentially a patchwork of every book I read as a tween. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and honey, I must’ve been really sincere. It’s the laptop I created my Facebook account on and took photos of me wearing two polos layered over each other and a dog-tag with my camp girlfriend’s name on it. This laptop was PG (pre-gay).

After the Dell died—a fitful, restless death—I got a Macbook Pro, lightyears faster and sleeker. That was the laptop I came out on, in a few lines typed out over Skype because I was terrified to say it out loud. It’s bizarre to think that, technically if I could remember that username and password, I could access it again because those first moments of truth are forever immortalized in the ether.

But before I came out (at 15, around Easter) I knew I was gay for months. Well, technically years because I don’t know many straight five-year-olds who wrap a blanket around their waist to pretend to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid and claim that they’d love to marry Prince Eric. I know even fewer straight people who, at eight years old, would put on Radio Disney in the dead of night and pretend to be in a school hallway talking to my boyfriend Aaron Carter.

But in my sophomore year of high school, my feelings for a Certain Boy, a crush of mine which is also forever immortalized on my teenage blog, shifted from “buddy” to “booty.” I could no longer pretend I was admiring his gym techniques during track practice as I traced my eyes over his abs (fourteen years old!) when he lifted his shirt to wipe off sweat in rest moments.

In fact, much of my coming out process was centered on running track. In the endless empty hours while we ran, I thought. I thought about the way that Boy’s hair shifted from caramelly-brown to golden blonde, how his eyes shifted from blue to green under thick dark brows and framed by thick dark lashes. His vocal fry. I thought about how I wish I could talk about him to my friends, but I couldn’t because of the Big Reason. Because in the cloister of my heavily religious, heavily regimented life—private, all-boys prep school; small, chatty town—I knew that this Big Reason was a Big No-No.

So when I couldn’t turn to any people in my real life, I buried myself in online friends—YouTube. In 2010, YouTube was only five years old and the content was still very unpolished. But, in the nascence of it grew this weird phenomenon of collaboration channels, particularly gay collabs. One of the firsts, from what I could find, was “5AwesomeGays” which was slightly before my viewing time but introduced me to people like Joseph Birdsong, Korey Kuhl and Tyler Oakley. While I never watched 5AwesomeGays, they inspired an entire new genre of YouTube, and I became hooked on one of the copycats, “AGayADay.”

Five days a week, Monday through Friday, one of the collab members would upload a video. The video was based on a theme decided for the week, and they talked about everything from fashion to music to dating to politics. It was my first introduction to actual gay people, not caricatures or stereotypes or negatives. Just gay teens and twentysomethings living their lives on the Internet.

I devoured this content and began unsteadily tracing out my own gay identity. Much of early queer life—at least my early queer life—was like that. For better or for worse, they taught me about what it meant to be gay, in the slightly un-PC way that only existed for that brief window in the late ‘00s. I based my own identity in resistance or attraction to these gay men. They were everything I wanted to be in some ways—out, open gay guys who dated boys and wore skinny jeans and cooked and were sassy and sharp and clever.

YouTube also wasn’t anything like it is today. You didn’t talk about what YouTubers you liked; it was, for most people, exclusively viral cat videos and hair tutorials. So the experience of watching—to an obsessive nth degree—these young men was entirely solitary and intimate. No one knew who these guys were—at least in my world—and they were mine.

“AGayADay” gifted me with my first gay crush. One of the boys (Thursday?) was named Brandon, probably a year or two older than I was. He had spiked hair, a turned up nose and deep, dark eyes. It was my first experience with having a crush on someone who, hypothetically, would have a crush on me back. He lived in Pennsylvania and his videos were always more tentative than the others; he was the youngest, he was in the closet, and this was early enough in YouTube’s formation that there wasn’t “Internet fame.” He could be out on the Internet and closeted in real life and no one would know. Later, it seems, people did find out and he was the first of the collab to drop out—his videos disappeared like the snap of a closed book—after he went to college.

His awkwardness and vulnerability and cuteness made me so deeply attracted to him in a way that can only exist when you’re fifteen and closeted and angsty. I hated his boyfriend, Alec, (who I later unwittingly matched with on Tinder and had to unmatch because how weird is that?) for loving him and when he left the group, I left too. The phenomenon of gay collabs petered out eventually as members splintered into individual channels. There was, it seemed, more power and marketability, as we entered the 2010s, in the individual brand.

It’s probably a direct result of watching so much YouTube that I started a blog a year after coming out. The idea of creating content online was so bizarre and fresh and new to me that I wanted to emulate my “idols.” It only occurs to me later as a young adult the absolute chutzpah I had to write about all the boys I had crushes on while being in class with them in my very small, very straight, very religious all-boys prep school. My generation of queer people were the first ones to be able to look to the Internet for advice and guidance, and the first ones to not really know what to do with it. I in particular really didn’t know what to do with it.

It was also Brandon and the other members of AGAD that spurred me to come out. The perception that they were living their lives out made me worry (here it makes sense to realize I was struggling with undiagnosed anxiety and depression) that, at fifteen, I had somehow missed the boat and was too old. Only years later did I understand that Brandon was closeted, that half of the guys were in their twenties when they came out, and some were estranged from their families. But that nuance was lost to me then, and so I came out at fifteen to my parents.

I’m now almost a decade older than when I first realized I was gay (14 to nearly 22, that’s like, what 7.8 years?) and the world has changed so much. Everyone has an online presence—a blog, or a well-curated Instagram or a LinkedIn—and the market is so saturated with people wanting to cultivate their “brand” that it’s easy to forget the beginning.

I don’t miss being fifteen—who the fuck does—but in some ways I miss the intimacy and blindness of the Internet. When I could log on and watch a seven-minute video of someone filming on a grainy laptop camera, my Skype chat minimized until the “boop-BOOp-boop” started ringing. I missed having a crush on someone so intensely and singularly that I thought I would literally die if I didn’t see them. Slowly shifting my library seat until we were sitting next to each other, or watching through videos and memorizing the lines on someone’s face.

There’s such an intense innocence to being gay and closeted and fifteen and in a small town. I’m not yearning for that again, but it’s nice to remember that before the world was cracked wide open, it was just me with the volume low and the door shut, watching five gays on the Internet.

Standard
Essay, Life

“ONE—TWO—THREE!”

Neon-green teeth against deep, dark violet skin. A ceiling fan broken from too many hands flinging into the air. Too many bodies crammed into too little square footage, forcing the heat to climb upwards until your white shirt has turned filmy as it clings wetly to your skin.

We see the host, and I grab the drink out of his hand to take a sip of artificial margarita. We set up residence against one wall, some girl’s long strands of hair whipping against the small of my back as she dances with someone else.

Talking becomes a post-lingual experiment. The mouth forms words that will never reach someone else’s ears, instead swirling out and upward into the collective cacophony. You communicate by mouthing simple words, by pointing, by the arching of eyebrows.

That’s a college party. Sound so big it forces you into the corner, heat so high everyone loses water weight against their will, and a Babel tower of red Solo cups.

It’s the kind of thing that could only occur in college. Only occur when there’s an uneven distribution of wealth. Top-shelf liquors mixed with liters of lukewarm Sprite, the kind that our teachers brought in for class parties. J.Crew button-downs with beaten-down Converse splashed with various liquids. You bypass the club with their $10-covers and instead cram in with sixty of your Facebook friends-of-friends and sweat it out to Childish Gambino.

It’s the kind of thing that could only occur when you’re on the razor’s edge between childhood and adulthood.

Before, we stood in her bathroom, me balancing a water bottle of Patron and two shot glasses on the ceramic lid of the toilet tank. I poured the Patron into the glasses, alternately labeled in ridged letters “Don’t Mess with Texas” and “Malibu”. I took care to make sure they were level with each other before handing one off. In between her putting black eyeliner on, we licked the bony tops of our thumbs and dumped salt on the damp.

“One—two—three,” I said as we clicked the shots together.

Lick the salt. Suck down the Patron. Hold the two in your mouth for a second before gulping. We didn’t have limes so I grabbed a bottle of lemonade. The sickly-sweet-sour taste of the lemonade, from concentrate, cuts through the tequila as I made a hasty gulp before passing it on to her. We stagger the second round of shots so that we can have equal access to the chaser.

Lick. Suck. Gulp.

I perch behind her as she tries to balance out her eyeliner. I pull thick swathes of auburn hair into place. We preen, and something warms in the outline of my ribs.

Later it was a bottle of red wine that we passed back and forth. We had to clench our teeth to avoid consuming the coils of foil from the twist-top that had fallen to the bottom of the deep dark red. Afterward, we would have to comb our tongues free of the aluminum scraps.

We went to a birthday pre-game first, one we drastically overestimated the punctuality of its occupants. By the time we strolled in at 9:45, they were already platonically grinding to Top 40, and That One Girl was yelling at people to start requesting their Ubers.

“FIVE MINUTES PEOPLE, CALL YOUR UBERS,” she waded through the clusters of drunk people. “FIVE MINUTES.” This was not a Lyft crowd.

We had enough time to say hi to Birthday Girl & Co and mooch some Smirnoff Raspberry into thrown-together cocktails. But they were annoyingly punctual, and by 10 p.m. we were the last ones to swirl out of the apartment, shoving potato chips into our pockets for snacking on the sidewalk.

At the second party, the purple light burned through the window even as we were approaching from outside. Inside, sweat mixed with liquor mixed with burnt weed. Hawaiian shirts glowed hotly against dark violet skin. Synthetic leis lit up the undersides of chins and matched eerily with the neon whites of people’s eyes.

Inside, everyone is a stranger, even the people I know. The darkness coats everything, so that familiarity becomes a moot point until they’re in your face. I run into people from class, old half-forgotten acquaintances, and former besties. In a party, old frictions are limned over in the alcohol haze.

She and I stand by the bar counter, a square hole in the wall between the living room and the kitchen. Separated by a narrow line of strangers are friends from my collegiate nascence. Friends whom I knew when I hardly knew myself. That clogging nostalgia rises from my chest and coils behind my tongue. The sense is that identity is a series of rolling hills.

You climb one with some cluster of people, crest over the top and skid to the bottom. Then you begin again. And suddenly people begin to drop off. After one hill without them, they become a little blurred. After two and three, you have lost sight of them entirely. But they’re on their own hills, cresting and skidding endlessly over and over. Run up, hover, run down.

And eventually you realize that if you keep looking back, as the hummocks replicate, you’ll trip. So you force yourself to look forward, cresting with new people, ending at the bottom of the hill with new people.

Sucking the foil from my tongue, I lean down to say something to her and come face-to-face with a yelling landlord. Party’s over, he says. The purple light weakens as yellow-bulbed rooms are opened up, the crowd thins, but the music thumps on, as loud as before. It blankets over the scurrying people, grabbing coats, appearing from cracks in the walls and hidden spots like cockroaches.

As I wrestle our coats from the pile, she spills a cup of something over me, her and the floor. Margarita, probably, or Sprite. Something sticky and sweet that dots my jeans like rain.

As we leave the purple light party, our laughter trailing behind us at this long-ago failure of a night, we cut through back alleys to our familiar place. Two identical beers and nearly identical burgers—fries to split between two people.

Our hills have neatly aligned, I realize as we tuck into burgers, the kick of spicy secret sauce hitting the ridged roof of my mouth. Bite of burger, snap of fry, sip of beer. Sloppily sopping up that secret sauce, too drunk to care about appearing proper.

Balancing between childhood and adulthood is like that. It’s the razor’s edge, the series of hills. The ravenous eating of two dollar burgers after wine and tequila and beer. Patron in plastic and curls of foil on tongues. Too many metaphors because I haven’t learned yet that one will do. It’s the here now and the not there yet.

We stand at the bottom of the hill and I reach my hand out towards hers. She clasps it, sweat against sweat. Chipped baby-blue nail polish.

“One—two—three.”

Standard
Life, Mental Health

CALLING IN SICK WITH DEPRESSION

Sometimes it’s really, really unfair to have depression. Like, duh—obviously, but bear with me.

Sometimes it’s really unfair that I can’t just call out of a meeting “sick with depression.” It makes me really, really mad. And I’m using “really” a lot because…because that’s the only way I can describe it. It sucks. It’s annoying. And it doesn’t stop sucking.

It’s hard explaining it to people; it’s hard saying to someone, “I have depression and it’s bad right now but it’s not like ‘bad bad’ so stop looking at me like I’m a puppy.” With other things, you can explain them in a few words.

“I have a stomachache.” “I have the flu.” “I’m hungover.”

But I can’t just say something like that and have it explained away easily. Most people don’t process things like that—they don’t have the experience to understand. Everyone’s had a cold; everyone’s had a stomachache. But not everyone’s had depression. So you can’t just explain it away.

“Sorry, I would totally come to the meeting but I keep getting sad at unrelated things and then I want to smash a window.”

“Sorry, I want to hang out but I’m going to burrow under a pile of blankets and not move for multiple hours.”

“Sorry, I can’t meet up today—I’m feeling tumultuous.”

I have good days and I have bad days. Being on medication means that my bad days are fewer now—they almost become like bad dreams. Half-remembered and explained away. And I don’t realize a bad day until I’m knee-deep in it. And it’s not that I want sympathy or a pass or anything like that. I just wish we had the vocabulary for us to express ourselves. I wish I could make it clear without couching it as a blanket “mental health day” or lie and say that I’m sick with something else.

I’ve got a touch of depression. Sorry, can’t come to your meeting.

I can still function; I’m not incapacitated. But I’m weak; and I’m sad. It’s not forever, but it’s now. This now sucks completely. This now is me wanting to kind of cry and watch covers of songs from Hamilton and just not have to worry about work or school or romance or jobs. But I can’t say that.

Standard
Life, Rambles, Things Happening RN

I’M HOT ENOUGH TO COCKBLOCK AND YOU KNOW ME, TIFFANY

Written after seeing a bunch of “If”s—you know. I saw a “Bulbasaur if he was, like, the hottest guy at CrossFit” and “Prince Harry if he was a Science teacher in The Breakfast Club or Robin Williams in Flubber.”  

I really don’t have a lot to write about today. I know it’s hard to judge my blogs when they have veritable content versus when they don’t, because everything is relative and eventually we’re all going to swirl into a black hole or be consumed by a supernova, but I have really no content today.

I’ve been basically out of the house from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and I went to the gym before that, so that’s about eight more hours of work than I’m used to. Usually I do one twenty-minute activity before taking a twelve-hour nap, and then repeating the cycle. I don’t get very much done in my day. I had two English classes, a meeting with a professor, a quick nip downtown to request court records because I’m a journalist and enterprising as fuck, and then a coffee hang with my friend. Then I just laid in bed for an hour and a half and now I’m cooking a shepherd’s pie. Wait, actually my day has been so eventful.

Since I don’t have, like, a cohesive blog, but things have been happening to me l8ly, I figured I could just do a stream of consciousness because WHO CARES, THE BAR IS SET SO LOW.

1). I went over to Nina’s house Sunday afternoon, recuperating from a long weekend, and we got underneath her covers in her bed—it’s cold and we’re college students—Grey Gardens-style, and did homework. I wrote a piece about Taylor Swift and listened to Frank Ocean, she read some law book (idfuckingk) and passive-aggressively requested that we change it to something without words.

There’s something about being fully clothed but snuggled in bed that’s actually the most intimate. Like, I’ve slept in the same bed with people but that’s when it’s like actually for sleeping. I don’t generally lounge in bed with friends, but this was super enjoyable. I brought sweatpants and lounging socks to really overstay my welcome.

2). Nina says that I cockblock her when we hang out. At first I was like, “Get over yourself,” until I realized that that meant that I’m hot/tall/masc/cute enough to appear to be her boyfriend. I try to remind her that if I were straight, she wouldn’t be attractive enough to date me (I’m a 9), but I think I’ve insulted her so much that she’s developed some sort of emotional callus to avoid my harsh words from sinking in. I need to start varying up my behavior towards her, so that—much like the Tasmanian Devil—you can never anticipate my moods.

3). I was talking with some friends about how annoying it is when people pretend not to recognize me. It’s happened twice in the same week, where someone has been like, “I feel like I recognize you,” and I have to scream, “YOU KNOW ME, TIFFANY.” It was no one named Tiffany, but I can’t—for legal reasons (?)—say who’s been doing it to me. My logic is that, even though we go to a school of 16,000 undergrad, I’m very distinctive. I’m 6’3, redheaded, and loud as fuck, so there’s no way you can avoid seeing me. And even if you don’t recognize my face, I scream enough in public that my voice has probably haunted your dreams on numerous occasions. So let’s not play these games, TIFFANY.

4). Today in my Pre-1860 American Lit class, I called Taylor Swift “petty as fuck, but not in a bad way.” I think it was probably as well-received as you would imagine a polarizing statement such as that could be. Previous things I have said in that class: “Sex and the City is an example of an epistolary novel” and “Have you guys ever seen Reign?” I don’t know if I’m doing well in that class.

5). I’m listening to Joanne, and enjoying it probably as much as one can with a high-concept album such as this. My favorite songs are “Diamond Heart,” “Grigio Girls,” “John Wayne,” and “Sinner’s Prayer.”

6). I was screaming about avocadoes in a coffee shop today, and how guacamole doesn’t give me the firmness I require from avocadoes for enjoyment, and I looked up to see a former classmate staring at me in shock/horror/amusement. SEE, I’M DISTINCTIVE.

Okay, nothing else has ever happened in my life, or anyone else’s, so I’m going to end the article here. Do I even have the right to call this, or any writing I’ve done, an article? God, that’s so demeaning to all of journalism. Whatever, I’m already the Kim Zolciak-Biermann of journalism.

Standard
Humor, Life, Love & Romance

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TRY TO BE HIP

In the Splash Zone.

“Okay, so take a candid photo of me looking away, but I want to be laughing, and I want to look thin,” I say, punching the emphasis on the last clause, hoping to impress the very dire nature of having a Thinstagram (making that happen?) onto JR, who is not exactly up to the onerous task but is the only person who is sitting across from me, thus giving him the ability to angle the camera in a flattering way.

In the swampy air of the bar, sitting on a reclaimed church pew and in a $10 Uniqlo shirt, I swivel towards Loren, because in this “candid” photo, she’s the one I’m “laughing” with. Sweaty fingers curl around the sweating glass, and as I turn and dive into the first “pose”, the cup slips out of my fingers. The G&T contents douse my left leg but most goes directly into Loren’s crotch as the cup bounces off her thighs and rolls into the nether regions of the Brooklyn bar floor.

JR was kind enough to capture my immediate shock and mortification, so here is that photo.

IMG_1548

Source: Danny McCarthy

After mopping up the church pew and Loren’s vagina, we sat back down and listened to a sixty-five-year-old man backed up by a black woman in Casual Friday realness and a drummer in a Los Pollos Hermanos t-shirt and wedding ring.

Do you remember in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Aberforth Dumbledore was introduced and you were like “Oh wow, there’s someone who’s an even bigger old hippie than Albus Dumbledore?” This lead singer was the Aberforth to Bernie Sanders’s Albus.

Thirty minutes previous.

Sandwiched between Loren and JR and heavily aware that I’m blocking Cool Black Girl in Red Braids and Snapback from seeing the band we came to see, I’m staring at Hot Lead Singer. He’s lean in the way that all indie singers are, with large capable hands and artistic veins tracing up his smooth forearms. He croons into the microphone, the bulb of which nuzzles his hooked nose. The way he sings feels authentic enough, but it’s like watching a TV show of what an indie band should look like. The low, gravelly voice, the scrunched eyes, the intensity. The overlarge Hawaiian shirt open over a sharp-clavicled chest and clashing printed shorts.

As the sweat pools in my lower back, I realize that this could be my future. Dark, swampy Brooklyn bars, JR and Loren, making eye contact with cute boys in polo shirts. Sweating glasses of amoretto sours and clinking bottles of Blue Moon. The wreathing aroma of someone’s last blunt, the ember of which is probably scattered on the front stoop. For the first time, after the initial awkwardness fades, this feels like it could become something grounded in our reality.

IMG_1566

Source: Danny McCarthy// Be honest, is this an Instagram or a THINstagram??

I’m graduating in less than a year. In less than a year, I’ll have to be figuring out my plan for the next few months. If I stay in New York, manage to get a job, and eventually scrape enough money together to move out, I could make this—standing in bars, listening to alt bands, black tees and light-wash denim, gin and tonics splashing onto my shoes—into a life.

Back at Splashgate.

But this is what I get for trying to be a hip Brooklynite: drinkless and sitting next to someone whose vagina is wet because of me (yes, I hear it too. It’s a hilarious joke, but focus on Splashgate).

And when I think I’m all cool and hip, I remember that I ate a Frosty in the car on the way over, and that I still can’t properly pronounce “February.” And these are things—I’m imagining—real adults can do. Not the Frosty part; everyone loves a good fucking Frosty.

Trying to plan for the future feels a little premature when I still feel like such a kid. I mean, all around me, people are growing up, but I think it’s a mark of still being in school—and in that school mindset—that I see myself as a kid. I work with seven-year-olds, and really, their frame of mind is not that different than mine. I have a slighter firmer grasp on economics and a better appreciation for logic, but other than that, we’re the same.

*****

Anywayanywayanyway, this post has been sitting in my “Minimized” folder for almost a week, and I didn’t plan ahead for a blog today—spoiler, I write them ahead of time—so I figured I would just publish this one. Also I’m gonna do a quickie bonus post either today or some other time, of an article I thought was funny, but a little sparse. Kind of like a bald comedian—eyoooooo.

Literally what was I talking about?

BYE.

Standard
Life, Rambles

I’M NOT AN ADULT, LET ME DRINK MY CAPRISUN IN PEACE

Written immediately after watching a BuzzFeed video that included a “confidence and style coach” who had put his dreads up into tiny Miley Cyrus/Princess Leia buns, so know that that has deeply affected me and all that I will be doing for the rest of the day.

SOS ADDENDUM: After I went to sleep, #KimExposedTaylorParty happened and I didn’t have time to comment. Now I’m writing this on my way to work. I WILL BE devoting an entire post to this but my workplace doesn’t recognize “Pop Culture Hangover Mental Health Days” despite my lobbying, so I can’t rn. Long story short, Kim released a video via Snapchar proving that Kanye discussed the lyrics to “Famous” with Taylor Swift, who had said previously that the lyrics were a surprise to her. THIS IS MY WATERGATE.

I feel like I’ve spent the last four days just repeating “Writing is the only thing I’m good at” to people. Which, I mean, is basically true. I can’t do math, or science; I have yet to grab the concept of “stocks” (so you buy them, and then what?? You just keep them?); and I lack the patience to learn any other sort of trade. If I weren’t good at writing, then I would be Darwinned out of existence.

I think that if I didn’t have a blind self-adoration and narrow focus about my writing, then I might be deterred to being a little bit more realistic and proactive. As it is now, I just pretend that me having no job and writing with my laptop on my chest and my chin doubling is me “struggling” for my “art.” Also I get to refer to myself as a “creative” which omg is the literary equivalent of saying that you’re “studying kabbalah”.

It’s weird, because I’m being influenced on two fronts. On the personal peer front (the PPF) I’m being bombarded with friends and acquaintances with internships and (what’s another word like “internship” but not? Apprenticeship??) and omg even this girl who I hate/don’t know has her Twitter picture as something obnoxious like “I Won An Award”—I only hate her because she refused to follow me back on Twitter and now Twitter reminds me of that fact constantly by putting her in my “People You Should Follow” bracket; I also hate her because she’s one of those “ugh, over it” people—and people like that can suck an egg.

But on the other side, I’m being heavily buoyed by podcasts and Internet people and writers who are already successful and doing their thing. And usually that would make me want to body-check someone or roll out of a moving car, but for some reason I actually find it very inspiring. These are people who just grabbed what they wanted and decided to do it. And that makes me feel a little less like a loser; and it makes me feel more like “Hey, I could do this; other people did this and aren’t dying on the streets.” My greatest fear is dying on the streets/living with my parents forever. I Rihfuse to do it.

People put intense pressure on themselves and—more unfairly—on others to have things together at a young age. Things aren’t the way they used to be (to be fair, I’m only, like, twelve and a half, so I don’t know how things “used to be”). But here’s a general rule of thumb: if I’m not old enough to drink (legally)*, you shouldn’t be allowed to ask me what my plans are for the rest of my life. Let me drink my CapriSun in peace, you mutant.

*And when I turn 21, the rule will become “If I’m not old enough to rent a car (25), don’t ask me about my life plans.” This will keep updating until A) I figure out my life, or B) I die in a sample sale being half-Nelsoned by an Olsen twin. At this point, I’m open to anything.

Any successful creative will tell you that they probably didn’t know what they were doing at twenty, either. If they did know, then stone them as witches. And you’ll never hear anything from unsuccessful creatives because the Applebee’s where they work doesn’t have good cell reception. Applebee’s or bust.

Takes an eight-hour break whilst writing post.  

I don’t really know how to end this article. In the past eight hours, I have eaten an entire personal pizza, cold brew coffee and an ice cream cone, and somehow the mass-consumption of food has not elucidated any life answers. But I have realized that in order to maintain sanity, I need to eschew successful peers in my life. B’s only, B+ and above need not apply.

I think the weird/frustrating thing is that I do have goals—write a book, be funny, not die on the streets, have enough money to live on, write cool commentary—but I don’t know what is the best way to achieve those goals. Again, I really cannot stress how much I do not want to die on the streets/live with my parents forever. I could just wing, I guess. I don’t really have the easy-going nature to wing it, or the good skin to weather that kind of fiscal stress.

In other news, I have a crush on a boy who doesn’t get a lot of Instagram likes, and I have to admit that I briefly considered whether or not that was a dealbreaker for me; I saw two guys at the gym and had a brief internal debate as to whether they were dating or related; also I was able to lift a wooden pallet over my head (I s2g I almost blacked out though).

I coerced/encouraged/thinspired my coworkers to read my blog and those leeches immediately asked if I could write a post about them. I told them that I don’t write blogs about people in my life (complete lie, omg such a lie), but really I just think I’m prettier/more interesting/I’m not romantically into them, so what’s the point of writing a blog post if not a thinly veiled attempt at flirting?? If you, coworkers, actually read this, then maybe I will. (I won’t).

Also I took an Instagram (@dnnymccrthy) today (Sunday) and I looked so tan in it that I was filled with white-hot rage and an insatiable desire to actually look that tan all the time. also I need to start teeth-smiling in photos because I don’t do it (it’s a sign of aggression in the animal kingdom and that’s the rule I live by) but when I don’t do it, if the angle isn’t exactly right, I end up looking like a mental patient. I mean, I essentially am a mental patient, but I sure as fuck don’t want to look like one.

Standard
Life, Mental Health, Rambles

RUNNING AND SPILLING THAT ANXIE-TEA

Written on a Sunday evening, laptop on chest. 

I’ve had one of those weekends where I realize everything that’s ever been wrong/will be wrong/is wrong with my life. And I think it’s something only a rising college senior could experience, the compounded emotions of living life in your childhood home while simultaneously expected to grapple with the upcoming reality of post-graduate world. So that’s fun.

But actually that’s just me being hyperbolic because I realized that this weekend, and possibly the last week, I’ve been in the middle of a depressive slump. Being medicated while depressed is a weird thing because mentally you assume that the little blue pills you swallow every morning—I can swallow dry, tell your friends—will cure you. But really, they just help you manage the depression. I, and probably a lot of other depressed people, then operate under the assumption that we’re “better” or “normal.” This is confusing because when you go into depressive slumps, which is natural for anyone and extremely natural for someone with depression, you almost don’t realize what’s happening until you’re already chest-deep in emotion.

And the “you” in this situation is “me.” Or “I”?

I used to have these wild mood swings where for two weeks, I would be deeply depressed, then I wouldn’t be, and that joy would elevate into this kind of superior fervor because I wasn’t depressed at the moment, and then it would gradually swing back. Medication restricted that vast pendulum swing, and so my moods travel back into the regular range. And on one hand, that’s awesome because blah blah blah we get why that’s awesome. But on the other hand, I A) became addicted to the feelings of high and almost reveled in the lows, and B) was able to realize when I was in a slump because it was so obvious.

When you have a regular human range of emotions, mixed with the (wrong) belief that you’re cured of depression, those slumps can really sneak up on you, and BOI did they sneak up on me.

One way to realize that you’re in a slump is that things begin to resonate harder with you. Before I was on medication, I described it as if I were a well. Anything could happen and it would ping down into my well and reverberate deeply inside. When you’re on medication, the well seems shallower, so the things don’t vibrate as deeply or for as long. But in this slump, a lot of little things—the usual bunch of body image, boy weirdness, friend weirdness and job anxiety—compounded and suddenly became so overwhelming that I did something I never do anymore.

I ran outside.

Basically from ages fourteen to eighteen, I was constantly running. After I got into college, I dropped that like a hot stone and recently I’ve picked it up slightly in the form of highly regulated, 12-minute sprints on the treadmill. I hate going on runs. But I was so amped up and anxious and I had no car to go to the gym to burn away my emotions that I just started running in my neighborhood. I only ran three miles—okay ran/walked/stood and tweeted three miles—and it really helped to cleanse me.

I power-sprinted to Meghan Trainor, I walked to Matt Nathanson, and I boiled down some concrete things I could do. A lot of what’s been stressing me out has its claws in social media, and I took some action to alleviate some of that anxiety. One of it was unfollowing someone because following them only confuses me romantically and indulges my tendency to fixate and obsess. And even though I still meander over to them in my mind, I don’t have that digital bee-sting when I scroll past their stuff. And so that’s something that I could do to make myself feel better and did.

I think a lot of dealing with your emotions, whether or not you suffer from depression, is about taking distance. When I was in the full flush of all these emotions, I had to step back, recognize the slump for what it was, and realize that that was enhancing my anxiety. Not that these things wouldn’t have stressed me out on a good day, but they wouldn’t have made me as emotional. And having space from the things that are causing you to be stressed also allows you to evaluate them. Like, I’m an obsessive person sometimes, so I’ve been fixating on this one person and thinking that I like them when really maybe I do like them but I’m also looking for someone to fixate on and someone to rationalize current other emotions. Sounds complicated, right?

giphy

Source: Pajiba/Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the show I’m currently watching. V good, v good.

I’m rambling, but I wanted to write it out and idk get this thought out there? I reached out to people when I was feeling really spiral-y—Marco, Nina—and having their friendship and listening ears really helped me out. So I think putting stuff like this out there, that being medicated doesn’t mean cured and that’s not a bad thing, and it’s okay to get overemotional and stressed and anxious, validates a lot of feelings I think we all have. And that’s important—the validation of our feelings.

Anyway, anyway, anyway. I wrote an article responding to the Dallas shooting on The Odyssey Online, so if it’s up by the time this gets published, I’ll link it HERE (DON’T FORGET DANNY). I don’t want it to look like I’m ignoring last week’s events.

I LOVE YOU GUYS. Even you. Yes, you! I like that top. Most people would’ve be that brave to pull off something like that. No that’s not shade. OMG IT’S NOT SHA—

Byeee!

Standard