Category Archives: Uncategorized

Am I sitting in a recliner on my husband’s patio?

Yes.

Was the recliner always there? No, I just moved it because patio chairs are universally uncomfortable and I want to be comfy as fuck right now.

Am I wearing storm trooper socks? Yes. They are at target in case anyone is interested.

This is heavenly.

Today is Friday and I am in South Africa with my dogs and hot husband. Well, he’s at work. In any other time and place during my adult life, I would have been working. I’m actually mildly petrified about not working. Not working leaves a whole lot of time for me to think, which means I am really good at it in the worst way possible.

You may be asking yourself, “Well, why don’t you work?” The answer, as with all things in my life, is complicated. I am taking some extended leave and going back to my other job every sixty days. Teleworking wasn’t an option and being apart from hot husband was probably going to give one of us a nervous breakdown (by one of us, I think we can all agree, I mean me). I love working, but I wasn’t happy and we are financially stable enough to afford this situation temporarily.

I am probably on the cusp of taking a two year leave of absence because hoorah, marine corps. Part of me has a sinking feeling about this, but the other part thinks that maybe it’s time for some changes. Or something different. Maybe its time to do the things I want to do. All those things I put off or didn’t do because I was focused on work.

So, I made a list and I’m going to do the things I want to do. Except go shopping because let’s face it I have a minor obsession with clothes and shoes. And stuff.

Sometimes it’s not even big stuff. It’s just putting the recliner on the patio because I can. Or insert any other thing you want to do here. Write. Photograph. Go see things. Eat good food. Have fun.

I know this is coming from a place of privilege. I know many people do not have this option. I am lucky. I also need some time to figure out who I want to be when I grow up separate from the ideas of others.

#yolo

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It’s one of those days

Dear MJ,

We’ve never met and I’m sorry about that.  It’s an unfortunate part of the life/death thing.  It sucks.  I am writing to you, because I don’t have many people to talk to and I feel like I’m stuck in an emotional earthquake right now.

As you might know, we have a common person in our lives (or…we did when you were alive) that we love.  I feel like I am failing that person. I mean, I feel like I am generally failing, too, but I don’t think that matters as much for the purposes of this letter.

Have you ever felt like you aren’t good enough for the person you love? And, that makes you scared that they are going to wake up realize that you are one of those lame ass marbles in comparison to the shiniest marble in the pack.  You know, like the cool one that reminds you of a galaxy.  You are so happy that this cool marble likes you even though you are dull and have cracks all over your frame.  This marble saw you when no one else ever did.  Really saw you.  Or that’s what you thought at least (and thinking is almost as good as reality, right? Ok, maybe not). But other fabulous marbles come around and the galaxy marble likes to be around other cool ass marbles.  Here you are, still a dirty marble and you are sitting on the sidelines watching them go be awesome. It just hurts, because you miss your marble and no matter how much you call out to them – they don’t see you anymore.

So, you get more cracks and chips.  You fall apart piece by piece.  You are jealous.  You are pissed off. Generally these are not good costume additions to your lackluster-ness.  Then you start to disappear.  You become a ghost again.  Watching but never acting.  Waiting but they don’t see you anymore.  And, that’s generally where I am at, MJ.  I am so sorry.  I promised you that I’d take care of this person.  I’m still trying to do my best, but I fear it will never be enough and I’ll disappear for good.

That’s pretty scary.  How do you love someone without trying to change them and still preserve yourself?  How do you love someone when the situation is so difficult that it makes you hate everything?  How do you love someone when your heart feels so broken? How do you love someone knowing they will hurt you? How do you keep going when things have been so hard? Also, how do you do this when they suck?

You’d think I’d have this shit figured out. Sorry in advance.

I feel like I’m trying to fill my cracks with Elmer’s glue when I need superglue.  I feel like disappearing is the best option even though I promised I would stay and protect the marble.  I feel like I’m trying so hard to make this work that I’m losing parts of myself.

I know you don’t have the answers, MJ.  I know you can’t tell me how to care for this person.  I know you aren’t here.  I just feel like I’m in quicksand and losing my marbles. Simultaneously.

I know what you are thinking. I sound crazy as fuck.  Feelings are just feelings.  And, they suck.  I’ll be better.  I’ll get better.  I’ll get up tomorrow and try again.  I’ll put the pieces together even if no one can see me anymore.

And, I’ll keep loving the marble.  No worries.  Write when you can.

Love always,

Lindsay

 

Representation Matters

TW: body image

No doubt, you have seen many of these posts and you are rolling your eyes right now. It’s ok. I get it. You can leave.

For those of you staying… *ahem*

Caveat 1: I have a lot of privilege and I have no idea how it feels to wake up every day and be told my skin color is wrong or that my gender identity is offensive or that my desire to represent myself according to my beliefs means people have the right to treat me badly. There are so many people out there suffering because society hates who they are. My self image issues are small in comparison.

As you may have previously read, I am on the fatter side of things. I also have problems with anxiety and depression and sometimes these diseases manifest themselves in a particular hyper-fixation on my body and how it looks. Or how much I weigh. Or if my lower belly pooch looks particularly large today. Or if my dress is too obscene because i have beast (from Beauty and the Beast) legs. Why is it that if I wear a dress and heels I feel particularly scandalous?? Is my face getting fatter? Do my arms look too much like sausages? Am I gaining weight? Did I really need to eat that bag of m&ms? Did I walk or run for one hour today? Are people noticing that I eat a lot? Are people noticing that I eat really fast and clear my plate? Are my shorts too tight? Can I feel my pelvis bones when I lay down or is it layered with fat?

That’s about 50% of the things that I think. I am 20 pounds heavier than I was 4 years ago. At the end of 2012, I was massively depressed and suffering from PTSD. And while I relished the one time the scale said 129, it wasn’t healthy.

Circa 2013

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This was at (almost) my lowest weight. At the time, I thought I looked awful and bigger. I probably only gained 3-5 pounds. I used to weigh myself every day and feel bad all day if I weighed more. I wasn’t starving myself, but I would torture myself.

Fast forward to five years later and 20 pounds more (approximately because I don’t weigh myself right now).

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Note: Not actually that tall. Heels.

Note 2: I know I used a wedding picture. We are making progress but I’m not at full fledged bad picture level of sharing.

So, here I am. Five years later. Still working on accepting myself and trying to be healthy. I’m a lot stronger now which I remind myself is important. I try to eat right even though I get pickle cravings. Intense pickle cravings. But I also try not to restrict myself from good food that I want to eat.  Which brings me to my point as to why representation matters.

I shop online and I look at social media. I see all the fabulous people with their beautiful bodies and both admire them and look at myself like I’m disgusting. Which brings me to my point:

Being able to see different bodies, races, sexes, beliefs is so important to being able to figure out self-love. There is nothing that makes me feel better than to see someone feeling beautiful being who they are and rocking it.

Nothing makes me feel worse than to see those same people being told they don’t deserve to feel good about themselves because they don’t fit a mold.

I love going onto websites and seeing different models rocking clothes. I love seeing people walking down the street with all kinds of swag and rocking their bodies.

I hate when the general public sees someone in wearing clothes and being happy and tells that person they can’t/shouldn’t feel good in their bodies.

So if no one tells you today, I want to tell you this:

1. You are worthy.

2. Your body is beautiful and it is like no one else.

3. I hope if you try a new style or wear something you were afraid to wear out in public that you think of me cheering you on.

4. Your body deserves to grow, exist, and change.

5. Please don’t torture yourself to look a certain way.

Summer Blues

Last week, I had a melt down at work. The reason for the meltdown isn’t really the point – but I was reminded that people don’t really care all that much about anything outside of themselves (case-in-point I am writing about myself). Because of the type of job I have, I give too much when I shouldn’t. Part of it is guilt and, I guess, the other part just wants to make things work. I want to do a good job, but I do a good job at the expense of myself, sometimes. For example: We needed pizza for an event. My car was getting worked on that day. Instead of getting a ride, I walked to the pizza place (which was closed FOR NO REASON ON A MONDAY) and then walked to the location of the event (probably 2 miles from work). Ordered pizza online and it was delivered in the nic of time. However, why didn’t I just get a ride? Or have someone else order the pizza? Why did I feel the need to make it so hard on myself? Sure, its funny because its so insane. But, its not a good pattern.

It happens like once a month. Maybe, it’s because I find it difficult to ask for help.

I have found over the last year or so that sometimes things, places, people, organizations are just broken. This proverbial jenga tower cannot be rebuilt. Or at least, I am not the person to do it. Or maybe my jenga tower is broken. It’s funny despite everything that has happened over the last 6 years, I still haven’t figured out to how to let go or give less of myself. And, it tears me up because I feel too much, too strongly, too often. I am literally feeling down because of two fictional characters right now. I am literally anxious about trying to move in with my husband and encountering people at his work. It’s not for a month.

At the end of the day, the world goes on with or without me. Work will go on. People will go on. I am not a necessity. I’m not sure why I find this such a hard concept to understand. I am not the life-saving screw. I am just one piece.

I just want to turn off my feelings for a few weeks and catch up on sleep.

In other news, there are some photos that came out nice.

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2 Years

Dear Brian,

It’s been to years give or take a few days.  I didn’t forget my promise and I kept taking photographs.  We’ve seen so many different places this year.

I try to do better because I know how you would have lived.  I don’t always succeed and sometimes I question why I am here. But, I guess all I can do is try.

I’ve been so on edge and irritated lately and I wasn’t sure why until I remembered what day it was (even though I reminded myself a few days ago that I needed to make sure that I wrote this).  Then I remembered again that I am here and you are not.  Oddly enough, a storm rolled in during my realization.  I can see the lightning from my window.

I can’t say good things about the world right now, but dogs are still pretty much the best.  Our group of friends are still making their way in this life and I can’t believe its been 10 years since we first met.  I am not sure if we would still be friends now (as I regret we drifted before you died), but I know I still love you.  I know that you showed me so much about loving people and seeing the world differently.

These are the things we saw this year.

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I used my Affinity program to create collages of all these photos – and it came out pretty cool.

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Love,

Lindsay

A Story of Caution

I was around 16 years old living in Connecticut. I didn’t have many friends so I spent a lot of my time at the library or with my sister. I felt creative one day and decided to do some constructive editing of my clothes. I’ve always been rather round so at 16 I was probably pudgy with braces and I probably was cutting my own hair. 

Anyway, I think this shirt ended up as a crop top and shorts that were probably a little short. I was walking with my sister down the street and there were a group of boys playing basketball. 

As we were walking away, they were yelling at me because apparently I was fat and gross. I remember being hurt, but I must have found an alternate way home so I didn’t feel humiliated again. 

I think everyone has stories of being called names or feeling out of place or feeling just plain hideous. 

So, here is my life lesson. 

People are cruel and the world is cruel. Don’t add meanness to it, just because you feel entitled to it. You don’t need to go out into life and tell everyone what they are doing wrong. You don’t need to go out into life and tell a person they look fat. You don’t need to go out into life and tell someone their life’s work is meaningless. You don’t need to go out in life and ruin the cashier’s day by yelling at them. You don’t need to point out to the quiet person that they are such a loser.  

You don’t need to put that badness in the world. You may be able to forget all these things but the person you did this to might be sitting in their car 14 years later thinking about it. 

A letter to you

Yes, you. 

I know you are in the other side of the screen, so I wanted to write you a letter.

Maybe you woke up today and wanted to stop living.

Maybe today was a bad day and you want to throw in the towel.

Maybe your face is swollen and puffy from those tears.

Maybe whatever demons you fight are winning right now. 

Maybe you’re so quiet but the voices in your mind are screaming “I can’t do this.”

Take a deep breath. Nothing you are feeling now is wrong. I’m not going to tell you it gets better or easier because most of the time it doesn’t. 

But, you are strong. You are a fighter. And between battles, I pray, there is a lull in your pain. 

Some of us go through life bathed in fires. Our pain makes us stronger, but it also means we don’t find much peace. 

But, this too shall pass. Keep fighting. 

Falling out of windows

#tw

I have been known to run in races. I ran one today. It was a 10k in a wine cellar and limestone mine. I did pretty well considering I haven’t been so focused on running.

The one thing after races that always bothers me is I sink very low afterwards. Sometimes I get kind of hysterical. I seem to forget until it happens. I’ve run so many longer, tougher races that I didnt think it would hit me like this. 

Between the news and all the pain I see on the internet, I’d really like to fall out of a window in the least suicidal way possible and give someone my life. 

I will not fall out of a window. I have dogs to take care of and a life to deal with. I just am trying to find the line between staying engaged in my civic duty and trying to donate where I can and write letters and sign petitions, but not let all of it eat me up.

But it eats at me. I’m so far away and its hard to feel connected to my country. So much of the pain is so intense and it doesn’t have to be this way and yet it is. I feel like my heart is being squeezed by a demon. And sometimes it goes away for awhile and then there is another death or terrible thing and it comes back. 

And, I have no right to feel this way.