(22) slightly stranded

April Awakening: Day 22

My dad told me today that I’m not a quitter and I’m not lazy. That was incredibly surprising to me, considering I see myself as both those things. Maybe not a “quitter” per se, but definitely someone who doesn’t follow through on absolutely anything she begins. What else would you call that? And lazy? I’m not lazy? Me, the person who comes home after work and sits on the couch until it’s time to go to bed. Unless the mood strikes me to go to the gym, but even that’s starting to run aground.

I told him today I can’t put my finger on what’s got me down, but I don’t think it’s that hard to figure out. I’m just more isolated these days, on my own little island where I’m finding it less plausible that someone will ever swim out to see me. Not just someone, anyone. I’ve put up enough hazards in the water surrounding me, making it damn near impossible for anyone to get close. Yet I complain internally that I can’t find anyone who wants to stop by. It’s maddening, and worse yet, it’s all self-inflicted. I know how to navigate my way out of it, but I’m choosing not to. I’m too comfortable crisping out in the sun, lounging and eating because I haven’t found anything better to do. I can’t even be bothered to take a swim anymore. I just don’t see a point.

I really don’t want to be a quitter. I do want to change and make things different for myself. But it still feels like the only way I’ll get there is if I send up a rescue flair and let someone save me first. As if a person needs to be the catalyst in order to get me to change. And if that were to happen, it’d fall in the face of everything I’ve been espousing all these years. “You don’t need to rely on someone else for your happiness.” But having at least one more soul in your lifeboat can’t hurt, can it?

I’m rapidly approaching the point of no return, where I’ll be lost in my own Bermuda Triangle if I don’t set a new course soon. I have to be unafraid of the uncharted territory out in front of me, rather than retreating back into the uncomfortable. Because what I’ve been doing all these years isn’t working. I’ve grown and learned things, but I always slide right back into my old ways. And no one is answering my distress call. So I have to forage to find a way off this island myself. Cobble something together. I can do it. I know I can. I can be a captain if I so choose. Even if I have to be my own first mate, too.

(21) the ‘wrong’ side of thirty

April Awakening: Day 21

I don’t know what it is I’m trying to recreate for myself on this day, the day of my birth thirty-six years ago, but I know whatever I’m doing is just not working. I spoke of cycles recently, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. But it’s different this time. I really don’t feel like a child anymore. I’ve taken one more step upward on the adult ladder, and while I know it’s the right path, I feel like I went about it all wrong.

I think it’s time to admit to myself that what I want may actually not happen in this lifetime. I can spout all the mysticism I want about it, but reality really set in today. Shit sucks, it’s sucked for a while, I don’t see any of it changing. No matter how much I think I’m doing right, it just never seems to stick. I don’t want a bleak outlook for myself but it’s my day today; I can feel however I want. And maybe it’s not wrong for me to just get it all out of my system.

I took this entire week off. I planned a trip to the Jersey Shore to get my mom out of the house a bit. My aunt came along too. But we had to cut it short. My mom just wasn’t handling things all that well. I really saw her differently. She’s having a much harder time than I let on to people. And I don’t know what else I can really do for her. I had hoped it would have been different, but I was incorrect it seems. So that feels like another bit of hope crushed under my own thumb. And I don’t feel like I have the right to complain about it because I can’t for a moment fathom how hard it is to be my mother right now. We’re all suffering in our own way, and it just doesn’t feel right to bitch and moan about how it makes me feel.

I don’t know. Part of me wants to throw away all this ‘positive’ thinking and just indulge my baser instincts: be sullen and crabby, not let anyone in, complain all the time and just generally be a sour person until I wither off the vine and die. Eat what I want because it doesn’t matter. Smoke what I want because it doesn’t matter. Go about things the ‘wrong’ way because it feels ‘right’ of me to do so. What’s the point when life just seems shit wall to wall right now?

I know this is not what I’m ultimately going to do. I’m just in the doldrums right now. Like I’ve said, I always get a little iffy for my birthday. Maybe next year I won’t start my next year on such a down note. I’ll find it in me to not let the wrongthink win, and actually find the inner peace I’ve been touting all these years.

I’m only thirty six. I ain’t dead yet. Right?

(20) just visiting

April Awakening: Day 20

I’ve been having vivid dreams lately. Last night’s was so intense, I had to physically pull myself out of it. I remember being so unsure of whether or not I was dreaming, I pinched my forehead to see if it would hurt. It didn’t. That’s the only way I knew. There was a distinct feeling of needing to extricate myself from the spot I had found myself in. And it wasn’t like I was having a bad dream. Bret Michaels was there. But either way, it was the first time in a long time I felt the need to escape my own mind. It was like a desperation to wake myself up and let myself know this wasn’t real, even though a part of me so wished that it was. Because last night, I asked God for a sign, and someone decided to pay a visit to my subconscious.

I always put so much weight into dreams like this. I wonder if it’s actually possible for those you miss and want to see more than anything to actually stop by and see you as you slumber. But that doesn’t explain all the random people who also show up. Like Bret Michaels. But the authenticity of who it is just seems to keep me going. It doesn’t allow me to give up on what I’ve been thinking this entire time. So I let these visits continue, and let them carry me through the next day. I don’t need to worry about it as much. I can find the confidence that it will one day be what I want it to be, even if it takes much longer than I would like. Something gets captured and stays with me, allowing me to wake rather than sleep on what’s not present.

I don’t mind living in the ethereal. It’s where all my great ideas are. But I know I just can’t rely on my dreams only. I have to be in the here and now, and live with what I’ve got. Whatever has a hold on my heart can be revisited from time to time until it’s time for it to spill forth and be here with me. It’s always possible. Anything is possible.

See you in my dreams.

(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.

(15) down the middle

April Awakening: Day 15

Sometimes, just when I think I’m over the hump, something happens to make me realize I’m not. It’s the midpoint of the month and all this clarity has just caused me to think about how real it all is for me. How everything I thought was impossible is entirely possible. And not only that, is also inevitable. I was never “over it,” I just evolved with how it’s evolving in and of itself. I haven’t wasted my time. I haven’t let all this happen for nothing. What I want is coming, as long as I stay the course, and remain steady as she goes. And I don’t need to make it harder than it needs to be. I can cry it out when I need to, which I sure did today. No shame, nothing wrong with that. It just seems to be something I so sorely needed. This just feels like what I need to do right now. I can take other people’s advice on what to do next, but ultimately, I’m going to keep on the path I’ve already chosen long ago. No matter how dramatic I may be over it. No need to veer, it’s all going according to my plan. I really do believe that. I can see what lies on either side of the road as I walk right down the middle, and both are still viable. But I know what’s waiting for me at the end of the line. The life I could have lived on the other side of the street will always stick with me in spirit. Who knows, perhaps I already lived it and it’s time for something new in this life. But I’m right where I need to be. I’m somewhere over there between the land and the sky. I suppose we all are. So I guess I’ll just keep walking. We’re halfway there.

(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?