Monday, March 31, 2014


I have mentioned this before, but I want to mention it again:

I have a waterfall outside my house.

I said to someone at work that I'm pretty sure that MAYBE 1% of the population has a freaking waterfall outside their windows. I'm in the one percent, I said, gleefully.

She said, I don't think it's EVEN one percent.

My apartment, by the way, is not large or fancy. It's teeny and very simple. Great room. Bathroom. Galley kitchen. The end. Three rooms. 

But the view. Oh, kids, the view. Especially now:

All of this is, I think, a way of pointing out that you are wealthy in ways beyond money. We all are. While some of us are also financially wealthy -- and that's great for them -- every person I know carries wealth and abundance in some aspect of her or his life. While financial wealth is nice, it's those other areas of wealth that really fill the soul.

Find the wealth in your life. Recognize it. Embrace it. Celebrate it. 

And in the meantime? I will be enjoying my view.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

10 Things

Ten things I have learned in the last year or so:

1.       If your intentions are good, then acting on them will not lead you wrong.


2.       Sometimes, you have to go through some really shitty stuff to get to some really good stuff. You just do.


3.       It’s important to have friends that you can rely on – and the best way to have those kinds of friends is to BE that kind of friend.


4.       In comedy, timing is key.


5.       When you’re sorry, say you’re sorry – but make sure that your apology is real and focuses on making the other person feel better rather than making it about you. “I’m sorry that you were hurt by the terrible thing I did – is there any way I can make this right for you” is light years better than “I feel bad about what I did.”


6.       When you realize that other people only have power over you if you hand that power to them? It changes everything.


7.       Never stop fighting for what you believe in, because your beliefs define who you are – and how you express them? That shows people who you are.


8.       Be kind. Even when you’re pissed. Actually, especially then.


9.       The truth is never the wrong option.


10.   Life is better with a pet.

Monday, March 24, 2014



“And then he says, “We’re family! If you’re upset you should come talk to me.”


“Yeah, he’s CLEARLY never met my family. We don’t talk about our FEELINGS. We brood. And drink.”

“But you do it with love.”


“She drives me up the wall. Talking to her makes me want to poke myself in the eye for the pleasant distraction it would give me.”

“Think of every crazy-assed conversation as material for later. That’s what I do.”


“The thing about trying on pants is that my butt is, like, separately sized from the rest of me.”

“Like it needs its own zip code.”

“That would be insulting if it weren’t true.”


“So did you guys break up or what?”


“Did you tell him it wasn’t him, it was you?”

“Why would I do that? It was DEFINITELY him.”


“I mean, it’s almost ALWAYS me. So when it’s not? I’m gonna say!”


“I’m sad.”

“I know, bunny.”

“There’s only one thing to do.”

“What’s that?”

“Give my sadness cannoli.”

“So … sadness wants sugar and chocolate?”

“It wants wine too, but it can’t have that for lunch when I’m working.”

Friday, March 21, 2014

One More Day

When I go to the gym, I always want to hang up my sneakers and hit the showers after about twenty-five minutes, because I'm inevitably bored, sweaty, and convinced that someone is judging me. I realize, however, that less than half an hour on the treadmill does not a workout make, so I play a game with myself. I call it "Five More Minutes." If you could hear my internal monologue (and honestly, I'm not entirely sure that I haven't muttered it out loud on more than  one occasion), it would sound like this:

"Yes, Yellie, I realize this totally sucks, but give it five more minutes. You can do five more minutes. After five minutes, you can reassess."

I do my five minutes, and then usually realize I can keep going... Or I still want to bail and then play Five More Minutes again, and then, again, consider where I'm at until my workout is done. Because as it turns out, something like a half an hour doing an activity you don't love is an eternity. But five minutes is doable. Six five minute stretches in a row? They're tiny. 

Break it up into what you can manage, and go from there.


The Five More Minutes game is a holdover from a darker time in my life, one where I was in quite a bit of emotional turmoil and struggling. Every day, I thought, I'm not sure I want to do this anymore. I don't think I can stand it. Time stretched out before me, and that time looked bleak, dark and empty. 

I thought, "Yes, Yellie, this totally sucks. But give it one more day. You can do one more day."

And so I would. Because while I was in too much pain to figure out how I was going to cope with something as big as the rest of my life, I could sort of work out just tomorrow. After a whole bunch of One More Day talks, I found myself in a better place, surrounded by the people who had stuck by me the whole time, who had helped me get through each twenty-four hour period, and who were more than happy to help me to look at and plan for longer stretches of my life as soon as I was ready -- which, eventually, I was.


It can be hard -- in times of loneliness, in times of sadness, in times of struggle -- to feel like you can climb over those feelings to get someplace else. But you can. I promise you can. You are not alone. You are loved. You will be supported. You will not always be sad. When you want to give up, remember that you don't have to figure out all of the rest of your days. You just have to figure out one tomorrow at a time, one by one, until you find yourself reaching up towards the sun, out in the light -- which is where you always belonged.

Let the people who love you help you.

Believe in the possibility of tomorrow. 

Remember that every tomorrow brings you another chance, and that you will always deserve another chance.

Believe in one more day. 


If you think you just can't manage even one more day? Let people help you. Reach out. Reach out to family. Reach out to friends. Reach out to clergy or a doctor or a neighbor. You can also reach out here. But reach out. Because you really are worth another day ... you are worth so many more days, and we need you here. I promise. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Looking Glass

Let's talk about the other day.

Have you ever had a day where you left the house knowing you looked good? I mean, I try to be presentable almost every day, but the other day, I checked the mirror before I left and was actually pleased. Hair was doing something fun and kicky. Eyeliner wasn't wonky. Outfit was appropriately quirky. "Hells yeah," I thought, and out the door I went.

During the day, a couple of people said, "You look nice." That was fine, because I did look nice.

Here is what would strike me as not fine: it is not fine when someone comes up to you and is very, very close to you -- so close he is touching you, so close you can smell his breath, and you have no room to back up or step away -- and says, in a low voice, so that you and no one else can hear him, "Has anyone mentioned that you look goooooood?"

Reread that last bit and tell me of it makes you uncomfortable. I'll wait.


I will freely admit that, on occasion, I have worn clothing that shows some leg. Or some cleavage. The day I left my house thinking I looked super snappy, here's what I was wearing: 
A long sleeved shirt that literally comes to my neck. The collar is so high I would have to push it to the side to take my pulse.
A blazer

I could not have been more covered, y'all. I was COVERED. I was all kinds of appropriate. 

I was ashamed nonetheless. 

I should say, here, that I don't think that the speaker intended to make me uncomfortable. (I should also say that the previous statement makes me feel conflicted, because ... How do you not realize that is not going to make someone uncomfortable? And does intent matter more than result?) However,  it did make me uncomfortable, and it also made me feel guilty about my discomfort, as though a nice girl would just appreciate the praise, and a nice girl wouldn't say anything about how unpleasant she found it.

It also did make me ashamed, as though I had invited the kind of attention that made me so uncomfortable. After all, didn't I acknowledge that I looked cute before I left the house? Wasn't looking cute my intention? What was my problem?

On a personal level, my problem is that I am VERY selective about who is invited into my immediate space. I like to have the room to step away if I find it necessary. For me, in most situations, space equals safety. As a result, this situation made me feel unsafe.

On a political level: if I was a man, this is not how it would have gone down. It just wouldn't. That makes me uncomfortable as well, that I find myself in these kind of situations because I am a woman, because my default is politeness, and because I honestly have no idea how to respond when shit like this happens. (This, by the way, is not to say that these things don't happen to men. I believe they do. I also believe that it happens to women more frequently.)


Today, I left the house feeling like I looked cute. I also feel very self conscious and awkward -- more so than usual.

Not sure what to do with any of this.

Monday, March 17, 2014

For a Smart Girl...

... I sometimes do stupid things. Here's a list, so you can laugh at my doofusosity.

*went grocery shopping and then realized... Um... My wallet was in my other purse.

*lathered up with hand lotion and then tried to open a bottle. Let me tell you, that is not happening.

*it's generally a good idea to check to see how many prongs are on a power cord before you buy an extension cord to use with the power cord. Sadly, I failed to do that. But ... Yay extra extension cord?

*who was shocked to realize her phone touch screen would work much better if she CLEANED it? Yeaaaah. This kid.

*when you go to the store for, say, paper towels? Do not get distracted by other things and then walk out of the store with three bags of items ... And no paper towels. Trust me on this.

*when confronted with a pump bottle that  is not dispensing because it is empty, I seem to believe that continuing to depress the top will cause some magical refill action to happen. It will not, but I do it anyway.

Hope your day is a little less stupid than mine!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Not That Girl

I recently met someone that ... Well... I instantly loathed.

This? I am not proud of.

I have friends ... Good friends... Who like this person. People I really respect and admire like this person. 

I do not like this person.

Not even a little.

Every day, I think, triumphantly, "Wooohooo, I haven't stabbed X yet," and then I feel bad, because failing to stab someone isn't really something you should be patting yourself on the back for, I don't think.

Here's the deal: X rubs me the wrong way ALL OF THE TIME. From handshake to conversation, this is a person who is all wrong feet in a pair of ugly shoes. No. Just no.

And yet.

This bothers me because I know without a doubt that there have been people in my life -- many, many people -- for whom I have been the irritant that X is to me. People who loathed me for no real reason but that I zig when they zag. People who wish I would sit the eff down and shut the eff up and for whom the very sound of my voice (written or spoken) is nails on a blackboard.

I get it.

Because I get it, my reaction -- my instant loathing -- of X shames me. I want to like him. I want to give him a chance, so I wrestle with myself and tell myself to try. Try hard. Make an effort. Make it for X's sake, but also make it for your own, I tell myself. Make an effort.

I'm trying.

That's something, right?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Lucky For Us That We're Friends

"Once upon a time," she said, "I was just a girl who loved a boy. This was many, many years ago, before I understood that  love wore a lot of different hats."

I nodded, because she had paused and it seemed like she was waiting for it. She accepted my nod, looked out of the window, and then said, "I would have followed him anywhere. I think he knew it. I think he always knew it. And I know now that he loved me back because... Because he never asked me to."

"Oh," I said, but without meaning to -- and my eyes welled up, equally involuntarily. 

"Yeah," she said. Her voice was quiet. "Sometimes, the best way to show someone that you love them -- sometimes the only way -- is to let them go. Like when you can't love them the way they need you to. Like when your wish for them is that they find someone who needs them the way they need you. That's love, but maybe not the kind that anyone appreciates right away."

"And he taught you that."

"Yes. I mean, I didn't get it at first," she said. "No one does. But eventually you do."

"And now?" I asked. The question hung there for a moment.

"Now?" She smiled. "Now we're the kind of friends that we always should have been."

"And it's enough?" 

"It's more than I thought we would have," she said. "And it's amazing."

Then she added, "You'll understand when it happens to you. One way or another."

And I did.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


It's funny how the way I have defined home has changed over the years. When I lived in North Carolina, I kept thinking "I want to go home" -- home being New England, of course, the place I thought I belonged.

When I came back, I was so happy. I was home! Yahoo!

I still love it here.


If I get plane tickets and fly to North Carolina, and you ask me where I'm going? I will tell you I'm going home.

I don't get it either.

When I lived in North Carolina, I longed for New England. I missed everything about it. I dreamed of it. Now that I'm back -- and firmly established -- North Carolina likes to sidestep into my dreams. I don't wish for it the same way I wished for New Hampshire, but it makes its presence known.  For example, I had a terrible day today. Terrible. When I asked myself, "Yellie, what do you REALLY want right now? What would make you feel better?" The answer was "Carolina pulled pork, hush puppies, and scuppernong wine."

And yet. As I thought that, I listened to my waterfall, snuggled with my cat, and knew my best friend was only two floors away in my apartment complex.

I guess that the truth is that home is where you love and where you are loved. In that I am lucky, because while officially I may have been homeless for a bit, I unofficially have two homes now. I get to have my beloved New Hampshire and my equally (if oft-maligned) North Carolina.


Now if only I could figure out where to get hush puppies up here...

Friday Randoms

"It turns out that I loved the kitchen furniture more than my ex."

"Oh, I loved lots of things more than I loved my ex. Like pinkeye!"


"I just... I mean ... Today is sucking. Painfully. I can't even."

"I know. I want to give you a hug but I won't, my little hedgehog."

"Awww. You get me."


"I love that not only is Jared Leto your fake boyfriend but that other people recognize this and refer to him as your fake boyfriend."

"And let me tell you-- we don't fight, he doesn't leave the toilet seat up ... "

"He won an Oscar..."

"He's the kind of fake boyfriend you could take home to your mom!"


"Okay, yeah, that even sounded crazy to me."


"Every time I think, 'I'm gonna drink less' I have a shitty day."

"That sucks."

"The universe clearly wants me to keep drinking. I can't argue with the universe."


"Ugh, My ear is bleeding."

"Oh my God! Are you okay?"

"Oh! Yeah, I'm fine."

"You're very calm."

"Yeah, I should probably warn you that this is a thing. You should be more alarmed if I'm NOT randomly injured."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Born This Way

Some of my earliest memories are of feeling like I didn't belong. I didn't fit in at school. I didn't fit in at family events. I didn't fit in at church. The world was a puzzle and I was a piece that was all the wrong shape. 

It wasn't a particularly enjoyable way to feel, as I'm sure you can imagine, but it resulted in the development of some personality traits of which I am particularly proud:

I will always fight for the underdog.

I will always speak out against injustice.

I will never be silent in the face of intolerance.

The beauty of not fitting in is that being unpopular is never an issue. I don't have to worry about people not liking me when I speak my mind because I NEVER think that anyone likes me. My main concern is that the world becomes more inclusive, accepting, and fair for the people who come after me.

Not everyone will get it. Not everyone will agree. But that doesn't mean that I will ever give up; I can't. I remember much too clearly what it's like to be picked last, to be looked at with disdain, and to be talked about to be comfortable with feeling as though I'm guilty of allowing it to happen to someone else.

I write this now because I know that there are people currently in my life who wish I could just shut up about some things. I get that my refusal to stand by silently makes them uncomfortable. I understand. 

I also understand this: I felt as though I stood on the outside, and no one invited me in. I will do whatever I can to make sure that no one else feels that way because they are, in some way, different from the mainstream. 

If that makes you uncomfortable. You should ask yourself why, and consider the answer very, very carefully. 

In the meantime, I'll keep talking and fighting and arguing. It's who I am, and it's how I found my place when I didn't think I had one. THIS is my place. THIS is where I belong.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Love. Actually.

I got a message from a friend that said:

"I know I suck. But I hope we're still friends."*

For the record? My friend soooo doesn't suck. My friend is actually awesome. (Dude. You are. I can't hear you arguing right now.) His message, however, made me think about friendship as a whole, and the ways we (or, um, I) talk about it, and the way we (haha me again) don't. 


To my friend who thinks he sucks: you, sir, are an amazing example of humanity and I love you. I loved you yesterday. I love you today. I will love you tomorrow. FOR REALZ, YO.

And for the rest of my friends? Same goes.

I don't know why people -- and by "people" I mean "me" but I do know others with this affliction -- are so shy about confessing love. Because the truth (which should be told as often as possible) is that I love my friends. LOVE THEM. Even when I'm all wifty and distant and not accessible. I don't know how to say it other than to say it, but, sadly, sometimes I forget/feel awkward/ don't know how. 

As a result, I do want to say it here: I LOVE YOU GUYS.

And the truth is that sometimes I suck. Sometimes I forget to check in and let time pass and don't tell you what's going on. Please -- PLEASE -- don't interpret that as a lack of love. Interpret it as an inability to escape from my own head, or poor time management, or insufficient medication. But not an absence of adoration. 

Because you -- all of you? -- you're my family.

And I love you.

And you could never, ever, suck. 

*eh, paraphrasing.