New year, who dis

I’ve never been one to make a big deal out of New Year’s Eve. Sure, my friends and I have had some awesome parties for it and there was that one time on Bardstown Road, but really, it’s just another day/night for me.

I do try to think of a resolution of some sort – usually involving some sort of cleanse after the massive amounts of eating done during the holidays. And by resolution I mean like 25 things I’m going to start doing, stop doing, or do more of in the year ahead. Because #overachiever.

Then we get to like, day 4 of the new year and I haven’t done any of the things I said I would (or I have even though I swore I’d stop) and the anxiety kicks in. Welp, the year’s a waste. You fucked up. Set the bar too high, try again next year. Because I am nothing if not really easy on myself…

It is fun to go around the room before the countdown begins on Dec. 31 and hear what everyone’s best moment of the year was or what they want to do looking ahead. But for someone like me, who is a ball of anxiety at all times, it can also be a little bit stressful.

Now before you remind me that NOBODY is making it stressful for me but me let ME remind YOU that DUH. That’s what anxiety is. Hi. Welcome.

And it’s not like, the soul-crushing anxiety I get from other things like choosing a good Halloween costume or baking something (more on that here on the blog soon). But it’s me wanting myself to do better. To be better.

Don’t get me wrong, life is steadily improving for me year after year.

Aside: As more and more people I know are joining me in the over-30 club, I am telling them (and meaning it) that my 30s have been so much better and more fun and awesome than my 20s ever were. So, you’ve got that to look forward to, youngins.

But even though life is getting better – I’m getting better – there are still things that gnaw at me. Things I want to start doing: learning how to cook better, taking compliments without deflecting them somehow, giving money to the offering at church. And things I want to stop: being so hard on myself for basically everything, taking other peoples’ bullshit personally, wasting nice days indoors doing nothing.

And I don’t know if it’s the anxiety or the mild OCD or what, but for some reason I seem to get in my head that these things can ONLY be started/stopped at the beginning of a year or else they don’t matter as much. Because I AM THE WEIRDEST.

Here’s the thing though. Couldn’t tell you what my 2017 resolution was if I tried. Maybe I wrote it down somewhere? But I have no idea what my plan was for last year and if I accomplished it. Let’s say I did, just for fun.

I tweeted Dec. 31 that one of my goals for the year was to write every day. I wrote Jan. 1 and 2 but on the 3rd I didn’t make time for it. FAILURE. REDO. START THE YEAR OVER, RESOLUTION IS BROKEN. And that’s when I realized I was going about all of it the wrong way.

All kidding aside – my goal/resolution/what have you, for the past few years has been to take care of me. To get me better – mentally, physically, everything. And that’s been an uphill battle sometimes but I 100 percent believe that the person you see before you today is far and away more healthy than she was a few years ago. I’ll have a story for you soon re: dating that will show you just how much, actually.

I talked resolutions with my cousins and sisters at our family Christmas and everyone mentioned what they were going to try and do or not do this year. One of my cousins said her plan for the year was the same as it was every year – to kick ass.

That’s all. To KICK ASS. Not: “Make sure to eat vegetables with every meal.” or “Go to the gym 4 times a week.” or “Volunteer 40 hours a month.” It was simple. Kick. Ass.

That’s all any of us should strive for, right?

At church recently, the message was about purpose. And getting up every day and saying “Alright, what are we going to do today to live out our purpose?” And he wasn’t talking about your job, or your volunteering or anything like that. He was talking about “What are you going to do today to live out being YOU.” Because that’s our purpose.

And to do that, you have to first be OK with yourself. Be nice to yourself, accept that maybe you can’t do it all. But you can do some. And you can continuously try and get better every day. And that’s a resolution that doesn’t have to start or stop when the date changes.

So, I’m stealing my cousin’s resolution. And continuing down the path I started a couple years back. I’m going to kick ass this year. I can’t wait to see what that looks like.

On breaking up with church…

Church. As in the building. Not religion, which is completely different.

However, before I go ANY further, a disclaimer: Everything in this post – like in any others I write – is completely my own opinion and experience. I don’t claim to know everything, especially on this topic, but I know what I feel in my heart, and that’s really what this is about. All of this came about not because of one person or one thing, but a multitude of stuff at once. That said, I don’t want anyone to feel anything is their fault or problem, I just wanna express my feelings on something that’s been an important part of my life, and, for the last couple years, a really challenging part of my life.

I have written and re-written this post in my head about 6 times in the past few months. It never felt right, and I still had all of this guilt wrapped up in it and I couldn’t write it from a place that wasn’t just hurt. Now? I’m a little tiny bit removed from it and need to write. So. Here goes. (Also it’s a long one, so get a cup of coffee or something.)

For 20 years, I went to the same church. We joined when I was about 13, after a few years drifting from where we were previously. I was in the youth group the entire time I was of age to be. I got confirmed in that church and it helped to build on the spiritual foundation that got me where I am today.

I have so many great memories from that church. I met people without whom my life would not be the same. I don’t have many memories of elementary school in terms of church, so I consider SPC to be where I grew up.

It was through this church I got to learn how to serve others. I learned how to practice what was preached. Literally. I was able to expand my view of the world, and more importantly, my heart, into Jamaica and make some lasting relationships I’m so grateful for. This church family got my family through some very hard times, in losing three of my grandparents. I never doubted for once that they were all there for me and for my family.

When I was in college, I didn’t go to church when I was at school. Any breaks or trips home, however, I was at my home church. It felt weird going anywhere else, so I didn’t. When I graduated and moved out of town, I didn’t go to any church in the city where I was living either (well, I did once, and it was nuts so that ended that). It was the same thing. It felt weird going anywhere else. I didn’t belong there. I belonged at SPC.

In 2008, when I moved back to Louisville for a job, my youngest sister was in youth group. I noticed that several of the younger adults who had been youth leaders when I was in had moved on…they had kids of their own now, and couldn’t devote the time they once had. A couple of my friends who had gone through youth group with me were also moving home at that time, having just graduated from college. I floated the idea that maybe we could be youth leaders, and try and give the youth the experiences we’d had at their age, and the friendships we’d had with our leaders.

After a few years, the reins were handed to us when the youth pastor left the church. And the rest – as they say – is history.

You may have seen on this very blog posts from my time as a youth leader. Those relationships with Jamaica I mentioned? I got to go back three more times after that initial trip, all three as a youth leader. And our Jamaican friends came here. And I watched as our respective groups solidified friendships that stretched across the ocean that separates us.

Some of the most redeeming moments in my life – and especially in my faith – came from my time as a youth leader. I am beyond grateful for my time with those youth I was able to lead, and with whom I am lucky enough to still have relationships with. They are some of the very best humans I know.

I did the youth leader thing for 8 years. Eight. Eiiiiiiiiiight. 5+ of which where I was basically in charge of the whole shebang. I hosted fundraisers. I planned lock-ins. I lead games and helped with youth-led worship and variety show-type skits. (One of those friends that started the youth leader thing was with me through it all. And she got her husband involved, and we gradually got other young adult couples in our church to help out as well. I was not a lone wolf here. Just clarifying.)

I knew everyone’s allergies. Food preferences. How to de-escalate the situation if they got mad or upset at something or someone. Who would speak up and who was terrified of any kind of attention. I knew everyone’s moods and tempers and drama like they were my own. When a new young person came to church, I was usually dispatched to go talk to them and tell them to come to youth group, because somehow I was doing something right. I did not take a vacation that wasn’t youth-related for three or so years.

All of this was awesome. Fine. Good. It was what I somehow felt called to do. I hadn’t gone to seminary, I hadn’t studied religion, I was just good with teenagers. They liked me (or at least one of the youth leaders) and kept coming back…to the point where that group grew to the biggest numbers I’d seen since my own days in youth group.

What it also was, was exhausting. Keep in mind that I was doing this in my free time – I had a full-time job (and in more recent years, one I was MISERABLE at), and somewhat of a social life. My vacation time and some weekends were going to youth retreats, ski trips, mission trips, etc.

For a lot of years, this was fine. Until it wasn’t. It became a full-time job. And with having a full-time job already, and a bit of a life, it was a lot. And I unfortunately stopped getting as much out of the experience as I had before.

I was losing God in it all. I was doing all these things for Church. At least, that’s what it felt like. The youth were all still awesome. People were constantly telling me how awesome they were and how awesome I was doing with them, but something had changed.

A little over a year ago, I realized what was happening. It wasn’t about God for me anymore. It was about Church. I was doing a lot for a lot of other people – which is fine, to me that’s what Christianity is about – but it also had stopped making me as happy as it once had. I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons anymore. I was doing it because I had been for so long, and if I didn’t, who would? I was doing it because I wanted to see these kids through graduation and make sure they had a good experience and relationship with the church and their spirituality. But I sat in church on Sundays and didn’t pay attention.

Physically, I was there a lot. Mentally? Rarely. Couldn’t tell you a message that stuck out to me during that time, because I wasn’t paying attention to them. I couldn’t. My mind was racing – and sometimes stressing – about things with the youth: Which ones are here today? Are they staying for PYC? Did the person assigned to make lunch remember to make lunch? Do they remember we have vegetarians and one with a tree nut allergy? What if they order pizza again for like the third week in a row? Will the youth pay attention to the lesson I prepared? Or like the games we came up with? Oh, there’s a new kid in the back – should I go invite them to youth? Should I have a youth invite them to youth? Which one? Has everybody paid for the trip next month? Who still needs to get a passport so they can go to Jamaica?

It was nonstop. And it was stress. Constantly. So I decided to take a break. I stepped back considerably on my responsibilities with the youth and tried to get back to where I used to be – get back to that feeling I’d had before, that I was where I belonged and doing the right things and working on my relationship with God.

I gave it time, and gave myself time. I attended on Sundays as just another worshipper, putting youth-related anxieties out of my mind and trying to focus on the Word and its meaning in my life.

And… um. I couldn’t do it. As time went on, it became more apparent. Whether it was because of the previous 8 years or in spite of it, I no longer felt I had a place in that church. Not Church. Or Religion. But that specific church. 20 years there, and I felt like it wasn’t mine anymore. I felt like there wasn’t anything there for me. And that thought? That was pretty devastating.

Where was I supposed to go? Am I just done with church now? Do I just continue to live in my beliefs and leave that community of faith? That community in general?

The good news is – we had something to talk about in therapy again, as I had started a new job that I loved so no longer had to talk about my old boss and why I thought she hated me and all things good in this world.

My therapist, again, who I love a lot (hi i know you’re reading!), said something during this time that stuck with me. She talked about how I was kind of going through a breakup. I was breaking up with Church. And getting back together with God. I’d done so much work in the past couple of years to get myself mentally and emotionally to a really really good place. It was OK to want to take care of myself in this situation too.

So I did. Started to, anyway. I started 2017 off attending a different church. I went fairly regularly, but gave myself permission to skip when I felt like it. And I was just Laura. Regular ol’ worshipper there in the pew, to listen to the message and take it out into the world and apply it to my life and be reminded why I believe and why my faith is what it is.

I started looking forward to Sundays again, and to being in church and singing and listening to the prayers and the preaching. I came home re-energized and unstressed, and I had nothing to worry about church-related except showing up on time for the service again the next Sunday.

This new church I was attending never pressured me to join, which was good, because the thought of that scared me. Because if I joined over here, it meant that it was really over with the other one. And that’s kinda heavy. There was guilt and more stress and “who am i letting down” by being here instead of there.

Until 2 weeks ago.

The message was part of a series about the book of John. The pastor was saying how a lot of times there’s a word in John that people have translated to mean “believe.” But, in fact, an actual translation of that word really was “trust.” And that changes everything.

He talked about trusting in what’s ahead. Trusting in God and not worrying about it all because he’s there, and he will be no matter what. You just have to let go of what’s holding you down or back and just trust that it’s going to be OK.

And then he finished the sermon and we sang a song and all of the sudden I was crying.

I hadn’t cried this whole time about the church thing. I’d been stressed and anxious, but I hadn’t cried. And now I was. Because I was finally letting go, and trusting all would be OK. I trusted that everyone around me  – and most importantly God – wanted me to be where I felt I belonged, where my faith felt strongest. It would be fine. I would be fine.

I joined that afternoon, and have sense felt a peace about my decisions that lead me there. I still mourn the 20 years I had at SPC. And am still so grateful for all it gave me. It was where I belonged, and needed to be, for a very, very long time.

And now that I’ve gotten this all written out I feel even better – because my heart comes out best through my fingers. In writing.

Whether you go to a church building or have your “church” experience in your own way, or whether you believe in God or not, I hope that you have a chance to find the peace that comes with knowing you’re where you need to be.

310 seconds. Give or take a few.

Last year, on my 32nd birthday, I decided to start recording a video. More specifically, I’d heard about an app through my cousin, called 1 Second Everyday. The plan was to end it on my 33rd birthday and try and get as much cool stuff in it as possible.


But then…roadblock. This past week, I had finally had enough of my storage notifications popping up on my phone. I couldn’t download any new apps, podcasts, was constantly having to delete photos, just to make room for this thing.

Yes, I realize I could just have not gotten the iPhone with the least amount of storage ever, but it was the cheapest!

So my self-imposed challenge to take at least one second worth of video daily for the past year came to an end about 55 days early.

I’m still pretty proud of the effort though. That’s a lot of videos.

So here it is, for your enjoyment. And I realize it seems like I watch a lot of TV. It’s because I do.

(It’s also because that’s where I was on some of the days that I realized I hadn’t taken the daily video yet, most likely. And my mild OCD would not let me skip too many days in a row.)

In case you’re curious as to how my dating life is going…

I had this metaphor in mind for how online dating was like Pokemon Go, but not in a good way, because you catch all of the crazies and you don’t want to and then I realized I may not understand Pokemon Go and it all fell apart. But I also don’t really understand dating these days either, so maybe it does work? #fullcircle #inception

I know what you’re thinking – L, you are SUCH a catch. How on EARTH are you not spoken for yet? And to that I say – I guess this screen on my Bumble account speaks to that.



Dating is exhausting. Or at least, thinking about dating is. Movies and TV shows where you just run into each other at the grocery or something are bullshit. I go to the grocery on the reg and have yet to be hit on. Even on days I don’t wear my yoga pants.

I just looked and it’s been over a year since I’ve updated you on my dating life. I’ve been on a good amount (in my mind anyway) of dates in that time. So I haven’t given up ALL hope. But you guys.


I made the mistake of staying on Tinder until earlier this summer. Because I guess I needed attention.

About this time last year, I met a guy, Jared, through there who was in town for the week from work from Pennsylvania and I figured we’d get a drink, why not.

A drink turned into much more – including him continuing to text me once he went back to Pennsylvania and making plans to meet up when I went up to see my cousins because he was only a couple hours away. OH. And he managed to finagle his way onto another work trip down here a couple months after we originally met. He picked me up from the airport when I got back to Louisville, yes there was distance but we were seeing what happened because we’d had such good chemistry and conversation and stuff.

Example text, and in case you want to know my flirting style:


Until he went back to Pennsylvania after that second visit and CEASED EXISTING BASICALLY.

The fuck?!

Aside – Will we ever be past ghosting? I hate it. So much. It’s a common theme these days. Because why actually tell someone how you feel when you can just disappear? HA. Feelings.

If only that was the end, y’all. But it wasn’t.

Earlier this summer, he apparently needed to feel better about himself and his shittiness so he messaged me on Facebook and acknowledged that he was an asshole and what he did was wrong. And that he regretted it because he liked me and he fucked up.

To all of that I said… Yup. You’re right. He asked if he could text me again and I allowed it because I wanted to see how far he would take the apology and try and figure out why he even bothered. We talked for about a week before, to nobody’s surprise, he disappeared again. I wrote a strongly worded message in response to that one and then sent three middle finger emojis the next time I got drunk. Because I am a classy lady that way.

Then I had this exchange and was done.


In the winter, I changed it up and tried Bumble – a novel concept in that it’s basically Tinder but the girl has to initiate the conversation. No problem. I’m a feminist. Within a few weeks, I’d re-met someone from my high school who I kind of knew back in the day and he asked me out after a few days of talking.

We had an awesome first date – one of the best I’ve had in a while. Great conversation, a lot in common, he was really smart and I liked making out with him. Here’s the catch – he was unemployed. And living at home. I get extenuating circumstances and stuff, but the way he made it sound, he’d gotten fired. And he had no idea what he wanted out of a new job, his future, anything really.

I’m not nitpicky, but you gotta have some direction.

We went out a couple more times – had a conversation about how he was a horrible texter/communicator which should have tipped me off – and then he decided he didn’t want anything more serious than a hookup. Which I had to get him tell me after much prodding because he again, didn’t have his shit together in any way, really.

I deleted the app. Then re-added it.

Got some shit like this…


I’m all about flirting but I’m not gonna play a game with you. Especially when I’m not entirely sure that it’s not gonna end in an unwelcome and unrequested dick pic.

A couple months ago I went on a couple dates and was talking fairly seriously – and fairly long, actually – with a guy from Indiana. That right there goes against everything in me, because Indiana.


Long story short since hopefully you’re seeing the theme here… all was good until it wasn’t. Meaning three dates in he suddenly “didn’t have time to date right now.” Which is funny cause he was on an alleged dating site trying to meet people. To date. Allegedly.

So. In conclusion. I have trust issues. And need a break. And am taking one. I’m not going looking. A relationship can come find me. Maybe in the grocery.

#tbt, a little early

I cannot believe it’s been a year. I cannot believe how much has changed in that year.

365 days ago, I walked away from a steady paycheck, health insurance and a chance to go to the Derby for free every year (ha), because none of those things were worth me staying in a job I hated.

363 days ago, I became partially employed at what is now my awesome, wonderful, fun full-time job.

You all have heard me talk about that day and that job and what it was doing to me psychologically. For those that haven’t – here’s the post I wrote not long after I left:  On hold.

Today, I went to lunch with five close girl friends, none of whom I would have met (possibly, who really knows though?) were it not for that job I hated. Only one of the six of us still works there, and even she’s a week away from leaving.

As we caught up on our lives and jobs and everything that’s happened since we previously got together, I just kind of sat there and took it all in.

I’ve been bitter about my previous job. Obviously. And, I believe, rightfully so, because of some of the things I went through. But it was never and will never be a total loss of those four years of my life. I got some of the best friends I could ever want from that place (partially because of shared trauma) and all of them are worth every bit of the shit I endured. I cannot imagine my life without them.

One year later. And where am I?

In a much better place. If you’d have told me on this day last year how good things would be a year away? I’d have been skeptical. Because I am was a pessimist.

Not anymore.

A lot can happen in a year. I can’t wait to see what’s to come in the next 365 days.

The Hardest Thing

For the past year, I’ve started and stopped writing this post. Couldn’t bring myself to do it, say it, whatever…

It’s not that I wasn’t constantly thinking about it because I was. I am. All the time.

Around this time a year ago, I made a hard choice. I said goodbye to Charlie, the first dog that was just mine, the first roommate in the first house that was just mine. And it broke my damn heart.

Charlie and I had a rough start. Correction – Charlie had a rough start. A really rough one. Before he even got to me. Me, the one who so badly wanted to fix him, make him better, give him a good life.

He came to me in September 2014. When I heard about him and saw his face I thought: “This is it. This is my dog.” I knew he had anxiety, knew he had some fear, but thought I could love him enough to make him better.

So I tried to. God I tried. I didn’t make him sleep in the crate he was petrified of because he’d been obviously locked in there constantly and was fearful of it. I was gentle with him in how I treated and talked to him, trying to make up for the way he cowered after he’d done something he knew was bad because before me, he’d gotten hit.

Aside – Anyone who hurts any animal is a fucking coward and awful human being and deserves to have the same abuse they inflict on an animal done to them. End of aside.

We took classes. He improved so much and learned and did so well by the end of the two months of classes he won the “Most Improved” Award.

But there were times it was still hard. Times he’d tear things up because he was terrified, no matter how sweetly or calmly I talked to him or dealt with him.

Early on someone said it wouldn’t mean I was a horrible person if I gave up on him. He had a lot of problems, more than I could fix on my own – with my schedule and income and my own worsening depression and anxiety.

I remember a night I sat on the floor of my kitchen, crying as Charlie licked the tears off my face and tried to climb in my lap to comfort me. I buried my head in his neck, sobbing, and said “I’m not going to give up on you.”

And I never did. I tried so hard with him. I did all I could possibly do to make my home better for him, my schedule better for him, life better for him. All the while my own life was a mess – I HATED (yes, all caps) my job. I wasn’t happy. And as unfair as it all was to me, it was even more unfair to him. He deserved better.

In the week or so around my birthday last year, I’d come to the end of a particularly rough stretch of time with him. He’d been tearing things up through the house which were getting more expensive to replace. He was having to be left alone longer and longer because I worked for a tyrant who didn’t care about anyone’s time or life but her own. I called my parents and cried and they reassured me over and over that there were places I could contact about Charlie that would get him exactly what he needed and insure that he was in good hands.

So I called GRRAND. They’re an amazing organization that takes in dogs that need new homes and doesn’t let them go to those new homes until they are sure it’s the best thing for them. In the meantime, they live in a foster home, with someone dedicated to working with them and loving them and taking care of them. I told them Charlie’s story and through tears all the reasons (in my opinion only) I felt like I’d failed him. They said they’d take him in within the week.

It was shit timing. My parents were out of town, my sisters were unavailable as well … I almost had to take and drop him off on my own, the thought of which terrified me even more because I would likely have been a blubbering mess stuck in their parking lot for two days because I was crying too hard to drive. Luckily, my friend Katherine, who had been through something similar with a pet recently, was able to go with me. And for that I will always be grateful to her.

I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried that hard – and all of the other times were funerals of loved ones. And even as people kept telling me over and over that I was doing the right thing and what was best for him, it still hurt like hell. In my eyes, I had failed him. I couldn’t fix him. I couldn’t help him enough. I said my goodbyes and my sorrys and over and over that I loved him so much. And after a while, I left.

So it’s been a year. I think about him all the time. I wonder how he’s doing and have actually recently heard. I feel like I’m at a much better place in life now – mentally/emotionally, financially… to have a pet again. I applied, through GRRAND, to potentially give a home to another dog sometime (hopefully) in the near future. In one of the phone calls with them, I’ve found out that Charlie is headed to Wisconsin, to a family that will be working with him more on his anxiety and fearfulness, which has apparently not improved much in the year he’s been in the current foster home.

When I was unemployed for a while last summer, I stupidly thought I’d made a mistake and given him up too early. But then I realized at the time I was barely able to buy groceries for myself, even though I had all the time in the world for him now, I still couldn’t provide what was needed.

It’s taken this whole year to come to terms with the fact that I did do the right thing. That no matter how much it hurt to let him go, it was what I needed to do. Loving him wouldn’t fix his issues. I couldn’t do it alone, and I didn’t have the resources available for what he needed and will continue to need as he grows up and hopefully gets better. Deciding to let him go was the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but ultimately for both of us, the right one. I hate that it came to that, but I love that I had the time I did with him.

I miss his goofy face and personality all the time…

I hope he ends up with a family who can give him everything he needs to get better and live a long, happy life. I’m sad it isn’t with me, but I’m glad we’re part of each other’s story.

Love and miss you, Charlie Buddy.

When you think you’re OK

In the past 9 or 10 months, I have been happier than I can remember being anytime before that. Things are good for me. Good family, good job, good friends, good extracurriculars, I can afford all my bills including cable, etc., etc…

Since I quit my previous job last June, I have tried to keep busy non-stop. As my bff once put it, I was the busiest unemployed person she knew.

And then I became employed again and got even busier.

And I love it. Don’t get me wrong. The nights I sit home with nothing to do – no options of anything, nothing I’ve said no to – are few and far between. And I like it that way.

However, when you have anxiety/depression, that way of life still comes with a catch.

Last week I needed a break. I chose to work from home one day, rather than go into my AWESOME job (and it is so awesome, I’ll tell you all about it soon) with people I love being around, because of anxiety. I needed a day away from people.

You guys, I’m outgoing. I will talk to basically anyone. I am a good time at parties and other celebrations.

Case in point, St. Paddy’s. I have no idea who these people are and also I bought that Captain’s hat I’m wearing (backwards) for $10 because YOLO.


But you know what I mean. I like being social, I like being outgoing, I am what you would call a people-person.

Until I’m not.

Did you know there’s a thing called an introverted extrovert? I didn’t until the idea was posed to me a couple years ago in therapy. (GOD I LOVE THERAPY).

It basically means you are outgoing AF, but to recharge your batteries, you actually need to be alone, rather than around all of those people you normally love to be around. Weird, right?

In my case, it apparently makes itself known that it’s time for a reboot when I just get grumpy for no reason until getting out of bed one day seems like a bad idea, no matter how great things may be. Oh and in addition to the random grumpiness (for no reason), there’s also the BLINDING fear that because everything’s so great right now, soon it won’t be. That other shoe will drop. That’s anxiety and depression for you… Welcome.

I am 100% grateful that I am able to recognize this need in myself to take a breather, because many don’t. I am 1,000% percent grateful that I was able to text my boss (who understood and supported me) and tell her exactly what was going on rather than fake an illness or maintenance appointment or some crap (which I would have had to do at my last job, because that job was the reason I stayed home. Eventually the PTSD from it will subside. I hope).

And by the next day, I felt better. I felt like me again. Ready to take on the world and all that.

(Aside..ish) I recently read the amazing Jenny Lawson’s second book, Furiously Happy. I highly recommend it because I about peed my pants at least 5 times from laughing. And I also recommend it if you want to understand the person you love with anxiety and/or depression or to feel like you’re not alone because she articulates it so much better than I can.

Even on the days I want to be alone, I’m still not alone. And neither are you. And that knowledge is so helpful. You will get through it. I did.

One Hundred and Eighty

A week from today marks three months since I quit my job and everything changed.

Before June 1, 2015..I couldn’t tell you the last time I was legitimately, not-faking-it, seriously happy. I mean, y’all know. You’ve read this blog. How many times have I talked about my depression and anxiety and the toll it was taking on me?

(Answer: Three or four, I think).

Friends, I write to you from the other side…. and it is amazing.

Disclaimer: I’m not “cured” of depression and anxiety. That doesn’t happen. Nor do I want it to. It’s part of who I am and I’ve learned how to live with it.

The thing is.. now? It’s the most under control I’ve ever had it.

It’s ridiculous almost, how much one bad thing in one part of your life can take hold of the rest of it and completely bring you down. And I fully believe that one thing was that job.

So much has happened since the day I walked out of that office and breathed a huge sigh of relief because I never had to return to it. And now, I’m going to catch you up on (almost all of) it.

First of all, I only really had a week in there where I wasn’t sure what I would do. It was that first week after I quit, and it ended up serving as a little vacation, as much as you can call it that. I slept in a few days, but mostly I spent it trying to figure out my next move. Plus I went to that interview within two hours of quitting (that didn’t end up panning out but softened the blow of freaking out about income until I heard back haha).

Luckily, within the second week, I had not one but two amazing friends who stepped up and offered me things to do part-time. I’ve thanked them both about 100 times but probably will continue to, because they saved me a ton of stress in this interim. One of those jobs potentially could end up becoming full-time and I would take it in a heartbeat, because I’ve loved what I’ve been doing for them.

Not long after that, I got a three-day-a-week baby-sitting job through a friend of a friend. And then recently, I got a couple more regular baby-sitting gigs.

I got a part-time job running social media for probably my favorite restaurant in the city.

And soon, I will start work with one of my athletes from Special Olympics as a CLS worker, helping get him out of the house and involved in the community, working with him on budgeting and getting to appointments, finding employment and going back to school and just spending time with him.

I have said at least five times that I am basically Kirk from Gilmore Girls – which if you don’t get, I’m sorry, but this video should help some.

There’s been a little stress about the job and about money off and on, but I’ve managed to get every bill paid, even if they were a little late once.

I’ve gotten by, cutting back on things I don’t need while not becoming a hermit. I have paid much more attention to any signs I see about earning money — during a particularly stressful week, I saw a couple lost dog signs in my neighborhood offering rewards and thought about dedicating a few days to nothing but finding those dogs because that made all the sense. And money.

Here’s the thing though. That stress? Nothing compared to the stress I felt when I was at a job that made more than enough to pay my bills. Weird how that works.

What else… I have gotten a ton of stuff done for youth group-related events because I finally have time to work ahead. I got to go on a week-long trip with them to Montreat, which I am so grateful for because of the impact it had on every single one of us who attended.

I have become about 5 times more involved in Special Olympics, which I’ll discuss in another post soon.

A friend from elementary/high school got in touch with me early on this summer to join a group that focuses on accountability with getting healthier. It’s proved an awesome motivation for me and I can’t thank her enough. I have regularly hit up the gym, so much so that I need new workout clothes because mine fall off me. I’m not really a fan of my current situation, holding up my workout pants while I run, but it’s a damn good problem to have.

Everyone notices a difference in me overall. I was miserable before and it wasn’t hidden. At least 3 friends have said how much better I am to be around these days and I agree. I am happier to be around myself too.

The other night someone asked “So how are you? Are you ok?” And I said, with no sarcasm or irony or anything – “I am the happiest I have been in a very long time.” And I meant it.

As of June 2, 2015, I was venturing into the unknown, more excited than scared. I had no clue where any of it would lead. But going into it with the attitude that I would be OK and I would get better has made all the difference, because that’s what has happened.

I can’t say it enough, or really even in the right way I don’t think, but the support and love I’ve gotten since I made that decision almost 3 months ago have helped me maintain this new (old) way of living and looking at things. I am very blessed to have the friends and family I do.

Besides those that love me helping me in basically every way they could, keeping busy has been most helpful in preventing me from sliding into the sadness that could have come out of that decision June 1. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t have something to do that is either helping pay my bills or making me happy or both. And it’s usually both. Crazy, right?

When I wrote about my decision on Facebook, it got almost 200 likes and a ridiculous amount of comments. ALL of them supportive. One that stuck out especially to me was from a good friend’s mother: “You will be surprised where you are lead. It will be awesome.”

I was and it is. And I can’t wait to see what’s next.

The Tinder Chronicles Pt. 2

You guys, it’s hard to date these days. Anyone who says otherwise, well, send them my way then, because I obviously need a coach. Where’s Hitch when you need him?

I don’t remember exactly when I got it but I have been on Tinder, I believe, for about 10 months now. And it’s been an adventure.

I’m definitely learning a lot about what I like and don’t like (even more so than I already knew). And it’s simultaneously done wonders for my self-esteem while confusing the ever-loving shit out of me.

A few trends I’ve noticed/questions I have:

– Why have a Tinder profile if it has 0 pictures on it? This app begins (and ends sometimes unfortunately) with looks.

– Why have all of your pictures be of groups of three or more guys? I cannot tell which one is you, nor do I want to try because you have no bio information either.

– Your dogs are cute, but that’s not what’s gonna get me to swipe right.

– Are you trying to get more followers or a hookup? Because really, your Snapchat, Kik and Instagram info in your bio? What’s your angle?

– At least 40 percent of you look like serial killers.

– There are SO MANY COUPLES looking for a third. No thanks.

– It says you have four pictures, yet they are ALL THE SAME PICTURE.

– If you have a newborn in your picture, I’m assuming your wife/gf doesn’t know about your Tinder account, or she does and you all want a third, or you JUST HAD A BABY AND YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A HOOKUP.

– There are definitely 15-year-olds who made a fake account saying they’re 30.

– Why are all your pics in bathroom mirrors?

– Why is your shirt off in every one? Save something for later – be a little mysterious.

– Stop using memes as your profile pic.

– That’s so not your real name.

Now. About the all the “fun” I’ve had. I’m still too poor for Match, because unemployed. And I’m not all that worried about meeting someone at the moment, because getting a job again is priority numero uno. The bills don’t stop comin’, y’all.

There was the guy I swiped right despite only having one pic of himself and it was from far away. I liked his bio – we had a lot of similar interests. He messages me, starting a regular conversation….for about 3 minutes. Then, wouldn’t ya know it? He’s just here from out of town for the week for work and he’s at his hotel and lonely. Oh, and he added another pic, closer up, and his teeth are jacked.

Pause. I am not shallow. Personality is most important for me, for real. Because there have been really attractive guys who I could be with who have the worst personality so it didn’t happen. And I don’t have a type. But I have one requirement: Have good teeth.

They don’t have to be perfect. But if it looks like you’ve done meth/are related to a horse/been in a lot of fights where you got punched in the mouth, then I’m sorry. I can’t.

Anyways. Back to hotel boy. He would NOT let up. “Wish you were here babe.” Dude – all you know about me is my name and the limited info in my bio. You have not earned calling me anything but my first name and really? For all you know I could be a serial killer…providing that you aren’t already (see list above).


Then there was Snapchat Boy. He seemed normal enough long enough for me to be OK with exchanging Snapchat names but no phone number yet, which was so dumb on my part because despite me sending a couple pics of myself sitting on the couch (FULLY CLOTHED), it took 2.5 seconds for him to send me a naked pic.


There was this dude from the Navy who I actually saw out in the world a few days after we’d talked but didn’t go up to him because that felt weird plus I was working at the Derby at the time. He lived a couple hours away and wanted Derby booty though.


I went to get coffee with this guy named Charlie… and solidified that not only can I not date someone who has the same name as the dog I had, but that when your gut tells you they’re weird, a coffee date will not change that.


While we’re naming names, there was Seth, who seemed really cool for like a week (a record in Tinder world – though there is one I have talked to still on occasion for a few months now but nothing more). Seth was complimentary, actually wanted to know more about me than wanted to see pictures (usually it’s the opposite). We talked about some serious stuff that had happened to both of us – he was a recovering addict, he said.

We got to the point of asking last names (SERIOUS) and did a bit of Facebook stalking of each other, admittedly. So far so good, still. Until two days later when I guess he forgot to hide the latest post he was tagged in WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND.


There was Channing (not Tatum) and a few others who started out well enough but wanted me to come over within 10 minutes of saying hi so they all got unmatched real quick.

One I mentioned above – we went on a couple lunch dates and kissed in his car but that was that really. And another turned into texting for a bit but just kinda fizzled out.

And then, there was this next guy. I wish so much that I was making this up, but unfortunately, I’m not.

I don’t even remember his name because I am still trying to block the experience from memory.

He was cute, and a musician, according to his bio. We had some similar interests and he had a friend in common with me allegedly, from Facebook.

Oh, he was a musician alright, I realized when we began talking. A CIRCUS musician. In fact, according to him, he was on the train right now, feeling lonely.

PAUSE. Do they really travel on trains like in Dumbo and children’s books? I am not a fan of the circus or anything about it so I may be dumb here. But in my mind I’m assuming this guy is going to murder me on a train.

I asked him if he was full of shit – was he really a traveling circus musician? Is that really a thing? And you live on a train? No way.

He says yep to all of the above and, oh, how’s this for proof, his “neighbor” on the train is an actual CLOWN.

Him: “How does that sound?”


He unmatched me when I asked if this scenario has worked for him often.

I deleted the app from my phone for a bit because I was tired of weirdos. Then went back because it is true what they say, it can be good for your self-esteem, plus when I’m on there, these blogs write themselves.

I need to be taking screenshots of some of these for Tinder Nightmares, which you should be following on Instagram because it’s awesome.

I’m not holding my breath on meeting anyone from there but you never know. Maybe one day I’ll be telling my grandkids the story of how their grandpa and I both swiped right and he didn’t bring up dragons, clowns, or ask for a pic exchange.

One can dream, right?

On hold.

That’s what I feel like my life’s kind of been like for a while now.

Yeah, I’m moving forward-ish. Buying a condo was going in the right direction. But other than that? I felt like I was treading water. I was doing stuff, for sure, but wasn’t going anywhere.

And in keeping with this water motif… as time went on, I felt more and more like I was drowning.

This last year or so has been hard for me. In a time where I should have felt more freedom, having my own home, making it mine..I was sinking, deeper and deeper into that depression that I thought was under control.

SURPRISE. It wasn’t.

I have an idea of what kick-started it all. And there were things here and there that didn’t help at all.

And then, I know for a fact what made it all worse. My job.

It wasn’t always bad. It was quite pleasant, in fact, at the beginning. And for a long time, it was bearable. There were some frustrations about it, as there is in any job, but it wasn’t anything to get upset about.

However, about a year ago, it ceased being pleasant. It became something to “get through.” So that’s what I did. I got through it. I counted down until the weekends, I lost motivation to do just about everything because that required time not being stressed about the work and I didn’t have any of that.

When I did have time to not stress, I filled it with sleep. Or bad habits.

I started looking for new jobs. I started thinking the reason it was becoming more and more challenging to get up and go each day was because I was being punished, but for what, I didn’t know.

The stress dreams came back, constantly. The ones where I find out I didn’t finish a class in high school or college so my degrees and diplomas are invalid and I am not good enough or smart enough to be doing anything I’m currently doing. That does a lot for the self-esteem.

I started this “Me Project” and then laughed at myself because how could I focus on me when I didn’t care about me?

My stomach started hurting. Every day. And no, it wasn’t cheese or appendix-related.

Sometimes I slept. Sometimes I didn’t.

I prayed, every night. For a break. “PLEASE, God, just let SOMEthing good happen.”

I felt guilty because I had a job, which some do not. I had money to provide for myself. People were dealing with worse things, with better attitudes. I was ungrateful and an awful person because of it. Maybe that’s why I was being punished.

Then there came, a few months ago, the scariest time. The time when I was driving my car home from work, and had the idea to take my hands off the wheel.

“What if I do that, take my hands off the wheel right now?” I thought. “I’ll hit the guardrail. And it’ll hurt. I’ll probably have to be in the hospital for a while. But ya know, I’d rather be in the hospital tomorrow than go to work.”

I didn’t go through with it, obviously, because so much more could go wrong and others could get hurt or I could die, and I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to check out for a little while, to get away from the stress.

I told one person that night. And no one else until very recently. Because again, I felt guilty. What did I have to be so upset about?

This past week, I was given the option to resign from my job, with a severance. And because of all that I just told you and more, I took it. And didn’t look back.

I currently do not have a job. I have a few weeks’ worth of money for bills. I had an interview immediately after I quit at a place I would love to work. I have leads on opportunities to earn some money in the interim. I have the support of my family, friends, all of my loved ones.

It’s been two days. And I can’t remember the last time I was this happy.

When I saw my therapist today, she said the difference from when she saw me a month ago was night and day. She didn’t suggest increasing the dosage on my medication as she had before.

I’m MOTIVATED. The past two days I’ve gotten more done than in the past month, if we’re being honest. Because I actually WANT to.

I joined a gym. And can’t wait to go back to it tomorrow because I no longer feel the need to crawl back into bed and shut the world out the second I wake up.

I have absolutely no idea when I will have a full-time job again, or where that will be. But strangely, for once, something like that doesn’t have my anxiety at Threat Level Orange.

I feel peace. Beautiful, wonderful, all-encompassing peace. I will be OK. Things will work out. I am not alone, or doomed, or a complete idiot. I am someone who put herself first, for once. Someone who finally realized life is too short to be stuck somewhere you don’t have to be. Someone who realized, maybe, the reason she felt so negatively all the time is because she was in something so toxic, she couldn’t see otherwise.

I’m using this time to explore my options, fine-tune my resume, focus on myself and my health in all aspects. I’m applying to every job that catches my eye. I’m waking up every day with a plan that is more than “just make it to bedtime.” I haven’t a clue as to what is ahead of me. And I am finally at a place where that’s alright.

Change is sometimes scary. Sometimes necessary. Sometimes wonderful.

I am currently, firmly, in the encampment of the latter. In this case, it is wonderful. And I don’t plan to waste it.