(19) round and round we go

April Awakening: Day 19

I’ve spoken about this before, and those who’ve followed my internet career already know this, but I’m still paying attention to all those “internet lolcows.” Not ones who’ve ‘put me on the map’ so to speak, but there are a few I still watch from afar. It’s mostly obese women who go on ‘weight loss journeys’ yet never succeed, thanks to (more than likely) some kind of narcissistic personality disorder. I think that says a lot more about me than it does them. I’d love to be able to put a YouTube video together to compile my thoughts, but I don’t really see a point anymore. I may completely be past that stage in my life, and this entry isn’t about them necessarily. They’re just a jumping off point. Because when someone puts themselves out there as much as these women do, it’s entirely possible to form a picture of a person one can project their own personalities onto. People do extensive deep dives into a lolcow’s background and come up with some interesting psychological profiles. Considering I’m someone who has struggled with her weight her entire adult life, it only makes sense I’d attach myself to this brand of lolcow. The advantage of looking in is you can see plain as day how these women keep themselves in a ‘cycle’ of weight loss and depression. I just haven’t been able to look outside myself long enough to find out what my cycle is.

I like to think I’m self-aware enough to change when things go wrong. I’ve had more than my fair share of run-ins at work to where I can just be myself without letting my insecurities out on everyone else. But this weight loss thing has been plaguing me for years. I do really well and then I stop doing well. I feel like I have all the tools I need, and then I fall right back off the map. I don’t exactly know what the trigger point is for me, yet I can see it so clearly in all these internet entities. I guess it’s not exactly fair for me to compare myself, as these women don’t really see it for themselves either, but it gets me thinking: How much can any of us see how round and round we go?

Is it possible to be so aware of oneself you know when it is to get back on track? Perhaps. Maybe it’s more common than I think. Maybe there’s a lot more people out there with healthy coping mechanisms than I assume there is. Because for me, I see someone spinning and rarely do I see them change for the better. I just see the rotation rerack, the music begins again, no chance to stop, no end in sight. I’ve spoken about it before when it comes to smoking pot, as I know I’ll have at least one more joint after this month is over. When does it end? Does it ever end? Is it actually possible to break free from the cycle and begin anew?

Part of me still hopes so. But right now, I’m so static, I can’t see any way out of the spin cycle. I don’t want to be morose or a downer, but it’s just how I feel right now. I’d like things to be different, but I don’t know where to start. Perhaps it’s not as easy as handing over a ticket to ride so your new life can start. Maybe it takes more time and patience than I’m willing to put in right now. I wonder if that can be different, but even if it’s not, I can find contentment elsewhere, can’t I?

These entries help. Writing it out helps. Even if I don’t get superchats for being an absolute trainwreck, for all I know, something may be clicking in me to get my gears running smoothly again. I’m on a constant ride toward bettering myself. I just hope I’m not at the point of no return when the music finally stops.

(18) turned off

April Awakening: Day 18

I don’t think I’ve ever been this static in my life. I feel like the most boring person on the planet. There’s absolutely no motivation to do a thing right now. The day didn’t start like that, though. I actually got up early and had breakfast at a neighborhood restaurant. I brought my laptop and did a little writing. I want to revisit a story I began six months ago, but instead got desperately sidetracked. But then that was it. That’s all I did. I sort of kind of cleaned up my house, but then just played games all day. I did things that don’t have any bearing on anything on my life going forward. I’m just a big powered-down lump and it’s not fun anymore.

I always get a little iffy before my birthday. Once the novelty of aging wears off and you don’t have birthday parties to attend, it just becomes another day in the year. I don’t feel like I have any reason to change the channel at the moment, yet I can’t help but complain that this show absolutely sucks.

I’ve taken this entire week off, so I don’t really know the ins and outs of what’s going on in the news. I’m of course reading it, as I do every single day, but it’s just not the same. I know what’s going on, but it’s all fuzzy. I can’t even be relaxed because I know the dam is about to burst. I just wish there was something else I had in my life to make this transitionary period feel less cold and changeless. Because right now, I just don’t. Sure, I could put all the focus onto eating better and working on transforming my body, but I don’t even want to do that. I could barely bring myself to take out the recycling today, what makes me think I can do any better right now?

I do need to stop relying on the outside forces into making me feel better. It will come from within. It just feels impossible right now. I want to feel more positive, but it’s hard. It’s up to me to find the station that won’t just be static. Maybe I’ll discover my own show that keeps the plotline going for many seasons to come.

(17) where’s my modern-day fairytale

April Awakening: Day 17

I romanticize this city a lot. I grew up hearing about how my parents met in a butcher shop on 9th avenue that’s still there to this day. It was happenstance for them both ending up there at the same time. My mother walked in in a large muskrat coat. It caught the attention of my father, who was with my future godfather at the time. He turned to him. “You see that woman over there? I’m going to marry her,” he told him. He approached my mother, who was intrigued by the large video camera that was in his possession. My mother was an actress and at first thought about getting some gigs. She also thought he was a handsome guy, but a lady’s gotta think of herself first. My dad ended up giving my mom his number only, and a few weeks later, on a whim, she called him. Eight years later they officially tied the knot, and I followed soon after. It’s a lovely story that I always felt would happen to me at some point; Some man would see me and just fall head over heels for me. There was a lot of back and forth between them for sure, but they eventually got each other. I still would love for that to happen to me.

But it’s a little difficult when everyone’s head is buried in his or her phone.

I get it. We’re all attached to our smartphones. It’s where all our stuff is. It’s where the entirety of the world lives right now. Never leave home without it. I would just like to see it less at the forefront. There’s no chance of even making eye contact when the focus is ever downward. It just feels impossible to make any sort of connection with the millions of people in this city when they’ve already made one with the glowing screen before them.

I can’t say I don’t ever be on my phone. I’ll listen to some stuff as I walk to barre or the gym. But when I’m doing mundane tasks, like waiting for my pizza slice or sitting in Columbus Circle, I don’t need my phone as my entertainment. My patience kicks in and I’m just there in the moment. Being off Twitter this month has really made me appreciate that, as I don’t have to update everyone with how I’m feeling in a particular moment, or relay what’s going on around me at any given time. I can’t say the same for my fellow New Yorkers. The phone is always out, even when folks are out at restaurants together. It’s can’t be that boring to have a nice meal with someone you like, can it?

I just don’t get it, and it’s looking more and more like my urban fairytale will be nothing more than a myth. Whenever I used to feel down about dating, my mom would always relay her meet-cute story with my father. “I walked into a butcher shop and there he was,” she’d say. And I still love thinking about it. But I’d always throw it back at her, saying people just don’t do that anymore. There’s too many distractions they’d rather take instead of opening up their eyes to see what the world around them has in store for them.

I’m trying not to let cynicism win. There’s always a way. There’s always the chance I’ll become a focus one of these days. After all, I wouldn’t be here if these two didn’t want to make it a real thing.

Mom and Dad and the muskrat coat

(16) online love story

April Awakening: Day 16

I’ve gotten back on the dating apps. I don’t know how serious I am about it, though. It’s just recreation at this point. Something to do. People to talk to, maybe. I’ve met plenty of people off them in the past, ranging from quite a nice time to “Oh dear God let me go home.” But that’s pretty much how it goes in all aspects of life, isn’t it?

I just find these services so fascinating. The potential to meet and converse with virtually anyone who wants to, all right there in your phone. Swipe left, swipe right, you have every opportunity to meet Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Right Now. And I just love seeing what these guys all do to optimize their profiles. It’s different for guys, I know that. So I try not to judge too hard. But it is crazy to see the lengths people go to pique interest and hopefully get laid make real, meaningful connections.

The apps have also come a long way since I started on them shortly after college. They used to be relatively straightforward: Here’s some photos, what are you looking for, how old are you, how far do you want to travel. Now they really want you to showcase all aspects of your personality, right down to putting a straight-up badge of personality right on your profile. On Tinder and Bumble, you can tell the ladies if you’ve gotten all your shots. On OKCupid, you’ve got a laundry list of sexual orientations to choose from. Have you ever heard of akiosexual? How about recipriosexual? Aroflux? Don’t worry. you can find that identity right then and there. Even your gender identity. Feel free to put your pronouns down, too. Because that’s a thing we’re apparently supposed to care about.

I’m just torn between saying ‘to each their own’ and ‘what the literal fuck are you all talking about?’ Doesn’t anybody just fall in love anymore?

I think I’m just far too cynical at this point in my life. I don’t want to meet my future husband on a dating app, especially not one where you’re expected to box yourself in. I know people who have, and I’m not passing judgment. I just want it to go differently for me. But maybe I’m not that far off course. I still think the love of my life is just going to knock on my door one day as I spend yet another day feeling my ass grow into the couch. What’s so weird about doing the same while swiping into my phone?

I complain all the time about things not feeling “real,” and I think that’s been the problem for me on these apps. An entire personality has to be showcased in just a few words or photos. The quirkiest one always wins. On Bumble they tell the girls, who have to message first, to be witty! Make sure you’ve got a great opening line, or else he won’t message! I can’t do that. I can’t muster anything else other than a “hi,” and I’ve yet to receive a message back on that. I don’t know what people expect on these sites, or what they expect from them, I just hope there really is a pot for every lid. Casting my net can’t hurt, even if I don’t come up with what I’m ultimately going to be dining on for the rest of my life. Might as well dive in with both feet. Even if nothing comes of it, it’s yet another fascinating observation of the human condition. Personality badge and all.

(14) s.o.s.

April Awakening: Day 14

More crazy news broke during our show. Elon Musk wrote a letter to the board and made a hostile takeover bid to buy Twitter. A $43 billion deal. Huge news. So we did what we did by reporting on it, all the while handling bank earnings at the same time. It was a great day. I’m not chalking it up to anything other than being on a great team who knows how to come to one another’s rescue. It’s the Musk story that’s kind of blowing my mind right now and making me rethink the deep dive into where I put my faith.

The sentiment I’m getting is that people think Musk is out to “save free speech,” or “save the platform,” or “save democracy” in and of itself. It’s a huge weight to put on just one guy’s shoulders, whether or not he’s the richest guy on the planet or not. People did, and still do, the same thing to President Trump. They end up deifying a human as the one who will solve all our problems, while putting valid criticisms on the backburner. I don’t want to act like a doomsayer but I’ve believed for a long, long time that no one man can “save” anyone. I don’t believe that power lies with man, period. There’s no one in this world I can rely on who’ll wave a magic wand and make it all better. But I see many who think that’s the case, though I see it beginning to dwindle as people wake up and extricate their own selves from all the destructive thinking.

And I can’t blame people for feeling that. Because I’m still waiting for that one news story to break that’ll save my soul, too.

I’ve always thought a higher power was up there to help us out and guide us through life. If there’s anyone who deserves my full devotion, it would be Him. Like I said, that’s not reserved for man. But I don’t know why it seems impossible for me to put just a little bit of trust into those who actually might want to make the world a better place. Could Elon’s takeover of Twitter be a good thing? Maybe. I still maintain that someone at that level, with the money he has to burn, knows more secrets about how the world operates than we could ever even conceive. But maybe all that knowledge can go far when we’re adrift in a sea of confusion. At least it can be a helpful voice after the shipwreck.

No one can give you your freedom. You have to find it for yourself. I’ve got my internal freedom that I wish other people will find for themselves. But the circumstances around me are still restrictive to some extent. I’m hoping that lifts soon. It feels like a life preserver is coming my way, letting me know it’ll all be fine once I’m pulled out of the angry seas. It’s just not going to come from anyone here on Earth. Elon’s not the answer, Trump isn’t the answer, and I’m starting to believe voting isn’t either. Maybe it’ll help, but it’s never the be all end all. Those folks who have “the intel” may just be spinning their wheels as much as the next guy. I’d rather have my inner freedom. My inner safety. No matter what chaos lies beneath the waves, I know I’m safe within me. It’s where my soul resides after all. That’s the one thing I have no problem clinging onto for dear life.

(13) it happens

April Awakening: Day 13

I used to create these little microchallenges for myself in the hopes that something good would happen the next day. Like if I didn’t do X past a certain hour then I’d be setting myself up for a fine happenstance. If I did give in, I’d simply be pushing it back. Take this challenge for example: like I said yesterday, no THC this whole month means the world will really open up for me. At least that’s what I hope. It was always something I’d flush all my weight into anyway. But today proved to me that shit happens, no matter what kind of course of action I take.

Everything started out great. In my hour, JPMorgan Chase released its quarterly earnings, something my network, and all business networks really, watch very carefully. We get estimate times, but it’s not always accurate. We had just gone into commercial break when I saw the numbers break early. I shouted out that they were out, and made the ‘executive’ decision to bust out of commercial so we could hit the numbers. By doing this, we beat our competitor with one of the most important numbers of earnings season. I felt great. I knew I executed my job as I’m paid the big bucks to do.

And then everything went to shit.

Tech issues, guests not being ready, guests names missing from scripts, breaking news on the New York City subway shooting ‘person of interest’ being upgraded to a ‘suspect,’ conflicting reports, shots freezing on air… if one thing went wrong, a million things followed. All this while we were short-staffed and not enough bodies to cover it all. I put my head in my hands more than once, muttering “It doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter” over and over again. We just couldn’t make it work. We kept faceplanting in one pile of cow flop after another.

It’s not uncommon to have days like this. Everyone has a shit day once in a while. Sometimes you feel like shit, sometimes you have to deal with shit, put up with shit, act like a little shit, who cares what kind of shit it really is. What it’s boiling down to here is that it really doesn’t matter what kind of mindset I’m in. If I’m clear or not, bad things may actually happen to me. Things may not necessarily go my way, even if I stick to my goals. Is it a setback? A clog in the pipe? It could be any number of things. What I have to remember is that not every day is going to be bad, just like not every day is going to be good. I can’t keep hanging all this pressure upon myself solely to make good things happen for me. I choose that. I don’t need to wipe away any progress I’ve made thus far because “it doesn’t matter,” but I can stop beating myself up over every little setback. Sometimes it’s my fault. Sometimes it’s not. The universe aligns in its own way, and maybe it’s not up to me to force it out.

I’ll report back tomorrow on whether or not I had a drink after a hard day, as I’m actually going out on this beautiful Wednesday evening. No need to flush thirteen-plus days without a sip down the toilet, is there?

(12) green out

April Awakening: Day 12

I don’t mind telling you there’s a few times I’ve snuck a peek at a couple Twitter feeds, but I haven’t checked my own notifications. I’m planning on a former coworker-getogether tomorrow where I may or may not sneak some alcohol. I haven’t decided yet. And at one point, I slipped and broke rule seven for this month. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Don’t judge me. But one thing I haven’t done as we near the middle of the month is smoke pot. No THC. There’s pot in the house and edibles in the cabinet. I’m just not doing it. This one feels like the direst rule to stick to this month. If I don’t, it’s possible everything I’ve ever worked for could go up in a puff of smoke.

I mean, I know I’m just being dramatic. But I do feel like I have an issue with how much marijuana I ingest. The last time I went a month without pot was October 2020. I did “Sober October” just to see if I could, and I did. It felt good to fulfill a promise to myself, and it was nice to just give my brain a break. I’ve always had an addictive personality, especially when it comes to satiating an oral fixation I still haven’t figured out how I obtained. I smoked cigarettes for ten years and was able to quit. I knew it was time as I was worried about my health. Yet I never really had the same fear about smoking pot. Sure, I’m inhaling and exhaling into my lungs, but it didn’t seem “as bad” for me. I wasn’t addicted, I could stop at any time. Yet for a long time after I initially quit cigs, I was heavily smoking pot to at least be smoking something. So clearly something kept me reaching for the rolling papers over and over again.

Now that I’ve had more “clear” time under my belt, I’m wondering if I should just keep going after I’m done not smoking for this month. Sometimes I think I’m just sitting around, waiting for the clock to strike midnight on May First so I can light up that joint that’s just sitting on my desk. What’s so wrong about quitting the pot just like I quit the tobacco? It feels much harder to let go of for life. Cigarettes were no problem once I made the decision, and I’m coming up on six years without them. Perhaps the light hasn’t gone off for me yet about quitting pot. It’s like I have no reason to quit. I would love one, and I truly mean that.

And yet, the anticipation of it always feels much better than the actual act of it. Once I take a hit, I enjoy it, but it always seeps in that this isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be. So when comes the time when I decide the risk isn’t worth the reward?

I won’t get high this month. That much I’m certain of. But I can’t lie, I’ll probably light up the moment May hits. I’ll have done what I set out to achieve, and therefore can go back to my old ways. But perhaps something will happen to make that mindset change again. I do feel like the clearer I stay, the more the world opens up for me. Maybe this time it’ll stick, and I won’t have to run into the arms of the sticky icky again. It’s looking less and less worth it as time goes on. Who knows. The next hit may very well be my last.

Maybe I should have waited until 4/20 to post this.

(11) i don’t know what i want from me

April Awakening: Day 11

I don’t think I’ve ever been this comfortable with being me. I’m not necessarily ‘set’ in my ways, as I still feel like I have the ability to grow and learn from my mistakes. But who I am is shining forth more than I think it has in the past, and I can only chalk that up to getting older and maturing. It’s coming more and more natural to me, as I’m sure it does to myriad other people in this world. I’m not special in that regard. But lately I’ve just been wondering what it all means in the end, and how I can express it without sounding like a self-centered jackass.

I’m in a state where I’m constantly questioning my wants and desires. Similar to what I said yesterday, I’m putting all this undue pressure upon myself to come forth with the grandest gesture of all to wow the crowds and change the world. I know how arrogant that sounds. I know how impossible it sounds too. But it somehow feels wrong of me to sit here and tell you I don’t want to do anything else other than what I’ve been doing. I get up, I go to work, I come home, I nap, I’ll read the news, I answer texts from my show host, I’ll clean my apartment, I’ll cook for myself, I’ll go to the gym, I’ll call my parents, I’ll wish and hope and pray for brighter days ahead, tell my cat I love her and then I go to sleep. That’s it. Maybe I’ll play a video game or if it’s nice out I’ll sit outside with my laptop. But really, that’s it. That’s all I do and that’s all I want to do these days. Why do I feel so uncomfortable letting you know I actually don’t mind the monotony of it all right now?

I’ve never actually enjoyed just being in the moment on a larger scale. At times, I find it kind of confining. I’m either thinking ahead, or too far behind me. But this feeling, oddly enough, is starting to become a thing of the past. I’m just really going with the flow right now, even if there’s a part of me that thinks I need to be doing more with myself. Maybe I don’t need to. Maybe right where I am right here in this moment is all I need to put the focus on instead of worrying about everyone else’s perception of me.

Who the hell even knows anymore. I set out on this journey to strip myself down to the most base ‘me’ I could. I guess I’m doing what I set out to do. Perhaps I’ll feel different tomorrow. It remains a real possibility.

(10) i don’t know what you want from me

April Awakening: Day 10

My mom used to describe me as being good at no matter what I picked up. I seemed to always have natural talent whenever I’d try a new activity. Drawing, writing, field hockey, fencing, painting, modeling clay, you name it, I did it, and I was good at it. Even things I did as a kid I always seemed to excel in. And yet I didn’t give a single solitary shit about pursuing any of the things. Not seriously, anyway. I was part of a “Futures” field hockey league that I voluntarily quit because I hated it so much. I only fenced in college because I got a scholarship. And even though I do like to write, nothing is coming of it from a personal standpoint. Jack of all trades, absolute master of none.

I see people all around me finding the mastery of their crafts, and it just feels like that’s escaped me my entire life. I wonder how much of it has been ingrained in me to get things done and wrapped up by the time I hit thirty, but that bus has certainly left the station. I’m clicking over into the “late thirties” soon and it’s upsetting I haven’t found the thing yet. I certainly haven’t found “the one” either, or at least their presence is not currently in my life. So what do I have to show for this life right now? It only feels like nothing, even though I know that’s not true. My mother also always used to say “look at what you have” every time I was feeling sorry for myself.

I know what I have. I have a lot. And I feel like you’re all waiting for me to finally show it off.

I’m not sure if I’ve built up such a status for myself that I’m putting undue pressure on me, but it’s almost like I’ve got the whole world watching and waiting for me to say my next great big idea that’s supposed to wow the crowd. See this clip from The Simpsons.

“How about…Ghost Mutt?”

And just like Marge, I’ll also end up coming up short. I’ve been touting this big, expansive idea that’s been in the works for years, when in reality I haven’t even begun to begin my passion project. I wish I could find it. I sometimes doubt I will. But what I do know is that I’d like just a little bit of input as to what people’s expectations are of me.

In a world where I do believe I can do anything I set my mind to, the security of outside affirmations would be very helpful. As an only child, I’ve had to rely on myself for all the years I’ve been on this planet. So what’s so inherently wrong with getting a little bit of outside validation? What do people hope to see from me? I hope I get an answer one of these days, so I can avoid looking like a total buffoon when I’m put on the spot with my one great idea. Especially when I think that idea could help save the entirety of the world as we know it.

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. I guess my work here just isn’t done yet.

(9) laz-z-zy

April Awakening: Day 9

There’s absolutely nothing to report. I feel like the most boring person on the planet right now. I did a lot today but it doesn’t even matter. Why regale you with my tale of going to a diner that’s been hidden away in my neighborhood for the past ten years? I never thought to go in but only today realized just how much I’ve been missing out? Do you care that I cried on the street today because I was dramatic over carrying five gallons of paint to the parking garage so I could drive downtown and properly dispose of them? How about I forgot my Zipcard to even get the Zipcar and realized I was at the wrong garage? There’s three of them on my block and I messed up three times trying to find it. Do you care? Does anyone?

This is the boring time. I feel like I’ve said that before, but this really rings true this time. I can’t for the life of me dig deep to find any sort of profound experience going on right now. Things are just what they are right now: Boring as sin. And I don’t mind being my usual lazy self about it either.

And it’s not like it’s even quiet out there. There’s so much going on behind the scenes, so I can’t even call this the ‘calm before the storm.’ It’s just boring. Lazy. Is anyone doing anything? Honestly, New York feels a bit more like the before-time than it ever has, even if people are still putting superfluous masks on here and there. But people are out. There are plenty of crowds ready to have a good time again. And I just don’t mind if I’m not one of those people right now.

Oh well. Something will compel me to get off this couch soon. It’s happening piece by piece, even if all my days consist of is a bunch of drama over paint cans. At least I’m spring cleaning. I needed to do it for my head, and I guess the rest of my life will follow soon.