Thursday, April 20, 2017

Things About Therapy

Because I am a spoiled white girl living in a developed country, I have been having a little bit of a rough time lately. Because I am a spoiled white girl living in a developed country I also have an entire library of self-help books, feel-good movies, meditation strategies and plenty of alcohol. Even so, I have been having a little bit of a rough time lately. I think it's because things are TOO good. Too many jobs, too many kids, too many friends and dogs and obligations and opportunities and decisions and options and responsibilities and priorities. There are too many things going right, these days, and it's wearing me thin. Also, as the Best People in my life like to point out: self pity.

I am usually pretty good about talking myself off of the emotional ledge that threatens to heave me into a sobbing heap at the foot of a Very Tall liquor cabinet. I am usually pretty good at rationalizing all the reasons why I have no excuse to feel sorry for myself at all and how to pull myself up by the bootstraps of my newest pair of Fryes. I am usually pretty good about developing a mantra to chant silently as I drive the 7,896th mile of the week without crying or getting really mad at the 1987 Lincoln Town Car going the speed limit in front of me. Granted, sometimes my mantra is something like: "It doesn't matter. Nobody cares." Which helps in that it keeps me from spewing my spoiled-white-girl-living-in-a-developed-country-self-pity everywhere.

But an emotional last night carried over into a torrential this morning that none of my self-talking or mantra-chanting seemed to be helping. So I moved into the next phase of auto-therapy (it's auto therapy both because I am in my car AND because I am practicing it on myself): music. This is the stage of therapy wherein I let the Universe speak to me by putting my entire music library on shuffle and see what messages it produces.

I should have known I was screwed when the first random offering was Nat King Cole singing Silent Night. Don't get me wrong. I love me some Nat - and we're all aware of my die-hard Christmas Music fandom - but seriously? I skipped it. Then I skipped a Matt Kearney song because I feel like Matt Kearney just isn't connected enough with the Universe to be speaking to me. And then the real therapy began. It was Sinead O'Conner. Because Nothing (ever) Compares To You and it was exactly the mournful fist shaking song that I needed to finish a cry that had started in the HellMart parking lot.





Once I had gotten All Of the Tears out and snotted all over the steering wheel, the Universe sent Garbage to cheer me up. Because what better than a reminder of how not-together your life is than When I Grow Up. Thank you, Universe. Thank you, Garbage. Luckily, this was immediately followed by James Taylor You've Got a Friend. I hate James Taylor. Also more crying - apparently not all of the tears were out. Nothing is worse than crying to music you hate. But I was brave and didn't skip it. I did reach out to one of my besties for a tell-me-everything-is-gonna-be-ok text. Just testing that unconditionality thing. It worked.

The last few minutes of my drive/autotherapy were a combination of Usher (go ahead and judge me) and The Killers. Because there is no better note on which to end a therapy session than Mr. Brightside. Now I am home. I am whole. I am well. I am a spoiled white girl in a developed country writing a blog on a brand new mac with a brand new job and a series of amazing things that have happened in my life in the last few weeks. I am rich in ways that nobody can count or quantify and I have even more amazing things to look forward to in the next few weeks. And best of all - I can handle ALL of it.

P.S. you're welcome for the Garbage. <3



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Things about Things about Things

Ok, so here's the thing. I have been doing a lot of soul searching, ruminating, philosophizing, reading All The Right books and talking to All The Right People. Recently, a Very Important Person loaned me a book which most of you have probably already read called Feel The Fear and Do it Anyway. I read and reread this book and while some of it resonated as ideals that I have been operating in unwittingly, there were many new and convicting truths that I needed to hear, oversimplified in this quote:

"...begin to discover which, for you, is the path of the heart. Which path in life will make you grow? That is the path to take."
– Susan Jeffers

 What has come out of this (drumroll please) is that at long last, a semi-clear and mostly-defined goal for my life in the immediate future. This is exciting for many reasons, which I am sure you are waiting with bated breath to hear.  For one thing, you won't have to listen to quite so many what-am-doing-with-my-broken-wheel-of-chaos-life stories anymore. (Don't worry, the swirling vortex of terror will always remain). Also, I might not have to hit you all up for advice about broken toilets, help fixing the water heater, or how to potty train a 5 year old dachshund (no, I am not getting rid of Dagny), because my plan involves, wait for it: SUCCESS! But the most exciting part of my new plan is that I NEED YOUR HELP!

I was thinking about going back to school. Again. To be a New Thing. Because I am not Enough Things already. Because teaching, waitressing, EMTing, PIOing, writing, PRing, volunteering, mothering, cooking, etc, aren't enough? It seems, on some level, like a reasonable idea. Become a Physicians Assistant and make All the Money traveling All the Places and helping All the People. Get a teaching certificate and do the job I am already doing, but for reals. You know, smart stuff like that. But the problem with those plans is that I don't WANT to be a PA. And I don't WANT to be a teacher. and I don't really know what I want to be except one thing: writing. And why be bothered to double the student loans that I already can't even think about if my heart isn't in it?

But as I examined All the Pathways, and knowing that what I am doing now is becoming and endless spiral in my life, I realize I need to stop spinning like a broken compass and point myself in a specific direction. You know, follow my heart. Follow my arrow. And the arrow, for me, always leads to words.

So writing. How do I get to the place that I am not working so many jobs that writing becomes more like a cute hobby than my Lifesource and Mainstay? My end goal, or more correctly, the end of my beginning goal, which kicks of PHASE 2 of THE PLAN, is to get a book done. And by done I mean published and in the hands of random strangers that I am not related to. This is where you come in.

Me getting published happens one of two ways: 1) Some rich eccentric who owns a publishing house sees one of my blogs, is swept away with my profundities and immediately demands ownership of all of my written material, transforming it into an international bestseller. OR, more realistically, 2) I develop the material (working on that), get brave about sending it out for rejection (working EXTRA hard on that) and the credibility of my popularity and current audience help sell me to potential publishers. Which means I need a bigger audience.

Which means, if you read something I write, and you like it (you don't even have to love it, although that would be preferable) - share it! If two of your friends like it and share it, and two of their friends... well it's like multi-level marketing except it doesn't cost anything and you don't get anything out of it. Except maybe a signed copy of my first published masterpiece which might be the Book of Poohology that you've been waiting for your Whole Life, or it might be a young adult novel about a redhead named Billee. See what you have to look forward to?

If you're all "yeah... I am just not a sharey type person. Because you know, then people know that I am on social media and I prefer to maintain the illusion that I am NOT scrolling Facebook 24/7..." (you know who you are, lurkers) then the next time you are at a wine bar, or a brewery, or a play date at the dog park with your friends, you can just tell them about the super great blog post about  [insert topic here] that your friend Liv wrote and how totally pertinent it is to whatever conversation you're having. Even if it's not, I don't care. Or tweet it. Or whatever. As long as you plug livstecker.com as many times as possible. Shamelessly. Forever.

If all of this is way too much commitment for you, that's fine, I will also take cash donations towards a new laptop that will actually let me load pictures into my blog posts without making me switch devices three times.

(PS, you don't have to share THIS specific blog post because then all my new readers will think I am just an attention seeking wannabe... which might be true, but still, unnecessary advertising.)