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Quick Chicago Trip Wrap-Up

Our trip to Chicago was successful. We split an AirBnB with my friend Glen and his wife. We stayed in an area close to the Empty Bottle, since the show we were going to was there on Friday night. We also went to a bigger festival that Saturday night, after a great breakfast, and then a lot of record stores, music stores, and a bit of photography. Our roomies were a lot of fun, and the shows were great. I'm glad we could figure out a trip out of Ohio. And it always rules to be able to see The Hold Steady two nights in a row.

I also got to see two incredible malls. On the way home from Chicago, I was able to stop at Concord Mall in Elkhart, IN. The mall is notable for two things: the incredible closed Carson's wing, with all the wood paneling and dark colors, and for it being the mall of my longtime friend, Absurdist Writer and Lunchables Connoisseur, Jon Konrath.
It was cool to be inside of a mall that was so significant to someone that I know. I got a bunch of photos, and wi…

Everything Good Can Be Bad.

I feel like i've made a breakthrough in my own writing.

I have lived a life that is full of situations and people that make for great stories. I've run around with bands, broken into buildings, stayed the night with strangers from the internet,  things like that, and the stories I come up with are always hilarious.

But with some of the other stories (which are also good), I struggle with telling them, because in telling them, I look like an asshole. And I'm not comfortable with that, so I just don't tell the story, or I tell them in a way that comes off as defensive. And I don't want to be defensive anymore.

Over the past eight years, I have gone through some insanely tough restructuring of my life, and how I live within it. And during that time, there were some situations where yes, I was in the wrong, and yes, I acted like a total asshole. I've been the other woman. I've used people. I've lied a lot, because it was less painful than telling the truth…

9/11/01

I've never really written about where I was when the towers fell. I wasn't actually in NYC, so writing about it has always felt so navel gaze-y. But it's been seventeen years, so I also feel like at this point, it's just a good story.

I was in college, and had an early public speaking class. I had given a speech about the movies of Kevin Smith, because of course I did. I also did one on John Waters later in the semester. After class, I walked back to my car, and turned on my giant Motorola cell phone, which incidentally was my first cell phone ever. Back then, you didn't leave them on all the time. I got into the car and turned on Howard Stern. My mom had left me a message to call her back. But I listened to Stern for a minute, and he was frantic. The first tower had been hit at this point, which my mom relayed to me when I called her back. "I think you should just come home, something weird is happening in New York," my mom said in her message.

So I drov…

Out of Focus.

My mom was approved for a liver transplant and added to the national list about two weeks ago. She's been sick and shuttling between the hospital and a skilled nursing facility close to the hospital. She wants to come home, but she can't. She doesn't have the constant supervision that she currently needs. While everyone else in the family thinks her constant care should fall to me, I can't do it. There's always this guilt trip because I'm not working, but the thing is, I AM working. It just doesn't pay any money. It pays in things like me being able to look at myself in the mirror and not hate myself. Or, I'm writing again.

Small steps and deep breaths get me through those moments, those conversations.

I started yesterday with every intention of getting shit done.. I have a writing job that I need to wrap up. I have website updates for a client that I need to finish. I woke up early, felt great, and then the phone rang.

It was my mom. She could barely …

Late Night Revelations.

I can't sleep. You'll see that this is a common theme. So it's time for me to tell you about something:

I'm really proud of myself.

This is what happens when you go into a therapist's office and autopsy your entire life and belief system. I've been on the slab for a few years, cut wide open, removing each part, examining it, weighing it, taking notes of anything remarkable. And I've had to go through the proper burial.
But, I've also already been reincarnated into this newer, less anxious, more creative, still nervous person who I am now. Only, instead of having new skin, I am stapled and stitched back together. I can feel my guts rattling around sometimes, those ghosts coming to knock, but I'm alive and I'm really different.

I had to learn that it's ok to do things for myself. It's ok to change things that don't work for you anymore. It's ok to fail, and it's ok to try new things. It's ok to tell people no. It's ok…

Musicals as Movies, Birthdays, and More.

Tuesday ended up being pretty eventful. I got up a little later than usual, because I  had stayed up too late and forgot to take my sleep meds until later. I try and take them around midnight, because if I don't, the hangover the next day is horrible. One of the fun features of my PTSD is my complete lack of ability to sleep. My anxiety is at its absolute worst at night. I lay down at night, and my heart starts racing. My brain doesn't shut down. I feel paranoid and scared for no reason. So I've been taking Ambien on and off for years. It's the only thing that works for me. Anyways, I took it late, so I slept in a bit.

My sister's birthday was Tuesday. She's in her late thirties now, and pregnant with her first kid, a girl. My sister has always wanted to be a mom, but was also always waiting for the perfect time to do it. Life has pretty much shown us all that there's really no such thing as perfect timing. She's excited and I'm happy for her.

She …

Feeling Stuck.

I used to write daily, in my Livejournal. I would make time every day, before and after work, to go through and read what my friends wrote, and to also write something of my own. Even if my day was dull, I wrote. Writing always made me feel better, especially when I was honest about what I was feeling. Writing helped me process everything.

And then I quit writing. I was in an abusive relationship, and he told me repeatedly that my words didn't matter. Nobody cared about what I had to say. So I believed it.

Since leaving him in 2010, I've been in various phases of recovery. Not all of it was good, either. But recovery never seems to be a linear thing. Change takes time and work.

My last therapy session was last week. I did a lot of writing while I was going through the program, because writing helped me process all of the dark, awful things that I had been carrying around for so long. But now the structure of therapy is gone, and I know I need to keep processing.

I sit here a …