Bye Bye Millenial

The email I imagine my boss sent around the office after I quit my job last summer to “become a writer.”

Dear colleagues,

I know you’re going to miss her bright hangovers on Thursdays, Fridays, and even Wednesday mornings, but Florence has decided to abandon her 401K to move back to suburbia with her parents. So brave. We will remember her fondly at least until the end of the week. Never have we had an employee use the bathroom so frequently in a sixty-minute time frame nor single handedly eat all the Twix bars from the vending machine. (Will someone please remember to tell the new assistant to tell Gary he can resume a restock schedule of every other week?)

As you all witnessed, Florence gave New York City an honest try, but felt too uncomfortable in the company of rats, cockroaches and museums to fully thrive. Totally get it. In addition to the inundation of vermin and culture, Florence realized she wasn’t quite comfortable with authority. She prefers to be called “Sweetie,” which has lead her to the conclusion that her personality is best suited for relationships with loving aunts and the elderly, rather than bosses and colleagues.

As sad as we are to see her go, we knew something had to change when we found her crying in the bathroom about not being able to pursue her passions. “I want to take a macramé class and brew kombucha,” she’d wailed. Having logged innumerable hours on Microsoft Outlook, the elliptical, and the subway, we hope Florence will now have time to do more Instagram worthy things. Though we were surprised when she handed in her letter of resignation the week after we hired her, after a quick vote,  we all agreed to love the card stock she chose from that Brooklyn start up that only uses invisible materials. Such taste.

We’re really excited for Florence and feel this giant step backward is one of many on her true path. Indeed from the moment she interviewed with us, we knew Florence would make a great unemployed millennial and we wish her nothing but the best in this new role.

x’s and z’s

(so many z’s)

-Corporate

Salve (My Version)

Maybe it’s an ocean swim, summer rain, strong coffee,

to hear my mother’s voice back when she could save me.

Maybe it is love, the filament in every lightening bulb: the juice, the nectar, the buzz.

Every season a peach falls in winter only because it didn’t know it couldn’t, but to tell you the truth my lips are cracked.

I don’t know if you were right or I was wrong, and anyway maybe

it’s not what you give, it’s how you apply it

I’m sorry

Gently now, honey, where the skin is torn.

The Blue Prison

I thought buying a jumpsuit that makes me look like a banana would cheer me up, but alas, I just look like a banana that needs some cheering up

Last week I set up a challenge where I tried to write about my pretty uninteresting life in a way that was amusing, and if not amusing then at least readable. I was hoping to get my creative juices flowing, but I only made it to Thursday (day 5 of 7) when I found myself in the Blue Prison, that unforgiving place where I’m both the inmate and the guard, stuck in my negative, compulsive thought processes with seemingly no way out. I don’t know when I started calling it the Blue Prison as opposed to my mental illness or something like that, but honestly “mentally ill” feels vague and impersonal and scary. Coining a phrase for the place I descend to gives me a sense of ownership and therefore power.

For me the Blue Prison can be a combination of all sorts of things– anxiety, depression, a bad hangover, what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-oh!-having-a-quarter-life-crisis, etc. It always feels like a permanent sentence even though  I do eventually break out. I’m coming out of it now, slowly, but it takes a toll on me mentally, physically, emotionally, and creatively. I don’t want to see friends, I can’t keep any commitments, writing becomes incredibly draining, and I spend all day trying to get out of my current situation, no matter what it is. I try to escape the figurative Blue Prison by literally escaping in my life– I run out of coffee shops, flee to my parents’ house then flee back to the city, eat whole boxes of cookies, drink whole bottles of wine. Of course the issue isn’t my physical location, but my mental one, and at 24 I’m only just realizing how to release myself in a healthier way. These are some things I’m doing:

  1. Socializing with people creatively. Yesterday a friend and I got a group of people together to write. We each came up with a prompt, then put them all into a hat (it was actually a helmet) and chose one randomly to do together. We set a timer and wrote stream-of-conscious style, then shared what we wrote. It was cathartic AF, but also nice to socialize in a way that was creative, since usually writing is a thing I do alone. There was none of the silly small talk that usually comes in group settings and I left feeling like I had genuinely connected with people I didn’t know that well. We’ve made plans to meet once a week and I’m looking forward to a hang out that isn’t centered around alcohol. Speaking of alcohol!
  2. Cutting back on alcohol. Hangovers reduce me to something about as lovely as a booger and the lack of sleep makes the world seem full of doom. Feeling like shit physically translates to feeling like shit mentally. I’m not 21 anymore people! I can’t have more than two drinks without seriously regretting it, so I’m working on not putting myself in situations where heavy drinking is hard to avoid (which includes not drinking when I’m in a mood where I know I’m trying to escape).
  3. Finding a therapist that doesn’t suck, which finally happened on Saturday after months of searching. Obviously it’s hard to tell after only one visit, but I just have a good feeling about her and it’s nice to feel like I’m no longer patrolling the Blue Prison alone.
  4. Meditating. This isn’t a quick fix (do those exist?) but the more I sit on my cushion the more I learn to stay with myself without believing all of my thoughts. So much of the Blue Prison is a voice in my head shouting “Get out! You can’t do this! It won’t get better!” The voice is very persuasive, but in learning to disengage from my thoughts when I meditate, I’m learning to also disengage when a tough mood strikes.
  5. Swimming. Or anything else that makes you feel ten years old and great about it. As a Pisces, the water is that thing for me so I’m making an effort to get out of the city and into the ocean at least once a week.

I liked this post about loving your dark side. Also if you have your own Blue Prison I’d love to hear what gets you out…

A Hemingway Day

Day 5 of a 7 day self-imposed writing challenge to write about my day in less than a thousand words

In which I write a lot then drink a lot and end up borrowing a lot of fun from tomorrow.