Tick My Box

It’s nearly 1am, on a Saturday. (Sunday, I guess technically). The moment I walked through the door today, I ate about three brownies, and fell into an accidental four hour nap. Tomorrow is my only day off, so naturally, i’ll be up for the next five hours bouncing back and forth between my book and podcasts. Tis the season!

It’s funny- these last couple weeks have been extremely challenging for me. I’ve started up at a new job that i’m very up in the air about. I love the people and the industry, but I keep having the sense that it’s not my place. Not that it’s not an amazing company to work for! It’s not you..it’s me.  I left my last job because I had this same wrenching feeling, and hoped to get fulfillment upon entering a new role. I get that a lot though, and it can be extremely aggravating feeling like I don’t have a place yet. Sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyone else seemingly having their “shit together” for lack of a better term, and here I am, floating around, hoping that someday something is just going to click. One can’t help but think, maybe its me? Maybe there is something wrong with me? Why can’t I just be happy?

I just quickly want to add here- I’m not one of those people that solely believes in fate, destiny, paths, yada yada yada, BUT, i’m more of a shy believer. Kind of reminds me of the time I bought my first Cosmopolitan magazine at a Walden’s bookstore. They were held behind the counter at the time and you had to ask the person at the til to grab one for you. I was maybe 13, and after mustering up the courage to ask, and letting out a squeak whisper, only to get said person on the loudspeaker asking for more Cosmo’s from the back. I probably wrote about it later in my Harry Potter diary. I had the one where it looked like The Monster Book of Monsters and would actually let out a horribly overly-electronic sounding growl of a monster when you opened it. Also had a key to get into it. Classic. This actually has nothing to do with fate or destiny. I just needed to talk about it.

I think some folks like to play the fate card when they have no idea what the fuck to do or are unsure on how to handle a situation that life throws, but it’s okay! It’s our destiny! It’s our fate.. it will all work out in the end. If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. I get it. Everyone has to believe in something, right? Somethin’s gotta help pull us through. However, that can be a tricky path to go down. For me personally, relying on fate, destiny, paths, etc, this can cause us to be bleak and desolate. We just exist and stop working at bettering ourselves because we are under the impression that it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to- lazy, might be a better word. That being said, I can’t help but get a little caught up in some of this mumbo jumbo.  This whole, everything happens for a reason thing.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend whom I haven’t spoken to in a long time tonight that really enlightened me.  We chatted about a topic that was so out of the blue, so random, yet has also been so loudly present and reoccurring for me these last two weeks. A topic that i’ve been silently tossing around in my head and trying to navigate by myself. The topic was simply, following your dreams. I know how disney princess, la-la land that sounds, but it’s fuckin’ true and not taken as seriously as it should. We chatted about how life has this gross way of trying to rip our dreams and real ambitions out of our tightly grasped hands and filling our open, empty palms with distractions that don’t actually matter but are disguised as things that should matter. These ‘things’ are the gremlins that take up all of our time and energy, leaving us with exhaustion and not enough time to devote ourselves to our passions. We’re left confused, ushered on, and following the rest of the heard. Like cows being corralled up for feeding time. Mmm..slop for dinner! By the way, that friend of mine has left his corporatey bullshitty job and has gone freelance now. His lasting words to me tonight were: It’s always fear that keeps you in the same position. But once you break out, life is 1000x better because the universe actually wants you to succeed. Ha! Killer.

But what happens when you have so many dreams and so many different things that interest you? How can you possibly narrow it down to one thing for the rest of your life to fulfill your emotional, spiritual, and physical needs? How could anyone confidently answer that question?!

Here I was, in my post-brownie coma, 1:15am, reading an email from the director at Creative Hub sent two days ago, informing me that I had missed the deadline to enroll for my creative writing course that was starting up next week. I felt a huge rush of devastation fall over me. I had been so occupied and caught up in work, doing 6 day work weeks, life admin, etc, that I had completely missed the deadline for the enrollment fee for the one thing that I wanted to do. The one thing that was for me. For itching my creative scratch. Tuning in and logging off. Luckily, he has enrolled me for the next semester, which I WILL be at, and will be 100% ready for. Anyway, after reading that email, I received a random follow from an author on instagram. Her name is Marianne Cantwell and I stared at her name for a good minute because it seemed very familiar. I quickly stalked her profile, as ya do, and discovered, oh! She’s the author of “Be A Free Range Human” that’s been on my “To Read” list for quite some time. I also saw that she had done a TED Talk called “Hidden Power Of Not (Always) Fitting In.”

‘Hmm’.. I thought. First my thoughts in my head of not fitting in, then my random chat with a friend, now an even more random trail that has brought me to this TED talk that was SO relatable. I highly encourage you to check it out, btw.

Marianne talks about “Liminality.” This word is actually a little bit hard to find a definition on the web, or even in dictionaries. Liminal Space is like this massive in-between state. The word “liminal” is actually derived from the latin word limen, which means “a threshold.” During a liminal stage, people hover at a threshold between their previous ways, but not yet onto future ways. This can be anything from, forming your identity, a relationship, a new job, etc. At least that’s my understanding of the word. The way Marianne talks about Liminality, is in a positive one. She expresses that it’s totally OK to be a liminal. If you’re different than all the rest, bravo! This is good! Don’t suppress your differences or the things that make you unique. Don’t shush those attributes. Shed light on them. Pull them up and assemble them. People don’t have to feel like they need to have one main purpose in life or know exactly what they should be doing. Not all of us are like that. What about the others? Those are the badass creative people that inspire us! Those are the people moving mountains and setting themselves apart. The people that seem to have their hands in different baskets, grasping for straws, trying to figure out where they fit in. The only reason, I think, that this causes disorientation, is because we are living in a society that makes us believe that we should all be on a path and stick to that path. Find one thing and stay with it. A little chaos and uncertainty is a good thing. A mess can create beautiful new opportunities that never would have arisen had it been white picket fences and begonias. I fucking HATE begonias.

Well, I haven’t found that “one thing” and I don’t think I ever will, thank you very much. I have such a wide range of interests and things that fascinate me..it would be impossible to try and narrow that down! I love writing, singing, acting, making coffee, traveling, performing, eating, growing plants, being a homebody and alone, but also out and amongst it all, extroverted but also highly introverted, happy but depressed, stable but very emotional.. I have it all. And i’m done trying to narrow that down to one thing.

I think i’m doing the right thing by exploring my creative flares and even if it doesn’t fit into my schedule whatsoever, i’m making it fit, because this is what I want to do. I don’t know where it will lead or what will come of it, but I have to do something! I can’t just waste this and let it rot at the bottom of the fridge. I don’t want any of the other stuff that takes up my day. How is that fair? How does life get to dictate what takes up our time? I’m doing my best to demand the time for myself and I feel everyone should. Fight back on what life tries to claim as “normality” and get back whats yours. This is your life. Not anyone else’s. Not everyone has one box to tick. Or one genre to stick to. Tick all of the boxes! As mom always says and as Anne Rice has famously said, “Don’t be a pawn in somebody’s game. Find the attitude which gives you the maximum strength and the maximum dignity, no matter what else is going on.”

Don’t follow the herd. Don’t follow the line to the same barrier of a  water trough. Don’t let barriers turn into barricades. Venture off and find your own fresh water stream that leads to much better things.

Photo credit: The amazing, Sally Nixon @sallustration

New Stress, Who Dis?

IMG_5815When I am suuuuuper stressed out, I seem to take on more jobs and tasks to basically turn my stress ball into a stress planet. I’m not sure why this has always been my “coping mechanism” or why I thought it would ever work.. but I keep doing it and i’m still alive, so, I guess something good is coming from it.

Like most people out there, I’ve currently got a lot of shit on my plate. I’m not talking, tiny chihuahua in an orange sweater shit- I’m talking giant mammoth/T-Rex hybrid shit.  I’m applying for residency here in NZ, which, contrary to belief, is really FUCKING hard and extremely time consuming; think of.. applying for admission to Harvard.. a bit like that.

Aside from requesting FBI reports, birth certificates, writing up essays, finding receipts, ALL in the name of seeking residency, I’ve also started up at a new job. Yay!  Timing is an actual bitch. As most know, i’ve been working behind a coffee machine for most of my working life. This has always worked in my favor, er most of the time at least, because of my anxiety and sometimes anti-social tendencies. A big coffee machine is a great shield to hide behind. Fantastically enough, after trying for a few years now, i’ve been accepted on with my favourite coffee company in NZ, Coffee Supreme! I’ve laid the tools to rest, and am now apart of the salary world, working in the head office. The only glitch? There’s no big coffee machine to hide behind. I’m thrown out onto center stage and i’m a flaming ball of fire.

(Ima just take a deep breath right here real quick..)

On top of all that shit, my mom has been going through a big rough patch in her life and i’m not able to physically be there to help. This has been weighing me down quite a lot and it’s hard to be 100% focused on anything else right now/for the last month, other than that. I keep buying lotto tickets, but for some fucking reason, i’m not winning a damn thing!

I’ve put my health/fitness on the back burner, my relationship at arms length, my mom and the rest of my family is clear across the globe, my fate is literally resting in the hands of NZ Immigration, oh- and I have a visa that is about to run out in about six months time, which doesn’t line up with the one i’m applying for now. To break that down for anyone confused, if I don’t get a yay or a nay by immigration before my current visa runs out, I am considered an “illegal immigrant” and will be chucked back over the wall into Trumpland.

Starting at this new job, I can slowly feel myself starting to recluse a little bit when thrown into social settings which is a huge no-no. Everyone I work with is awesome, super outgoing, friendly, and positive. Although I would love to be all of these things, I have to constantly bicker with my brain, back and forth back and forth, to put on this face and try my best. Before work each day this week, I arrive to work about a half hour early. I sit in my car, without any music on, and try to mentally calm myself down. My heart is pounding through the roof, and often feel as if I could throw up. I so desperately want to burst through the doors and be the confident, careless, passionate woman that I know I feel and want to be, but it’s held down by the demanding vines of insecurity and anxiety. This whole anxious thing isn’t really new to me, but it definitely has slipped through the cracks and grown back up like a reoccurring weed.

I want to reach out to anyone that experiences thoughts like this or thoughts of dark sadness that seems to cloud over when the time is never right. I’ve contemplated anti-depressants, but I seem to shy away because of horror stories from friends in the past. What are some ways that you deal with stress? How do I calm the shy and sad girl down and help the passionate and happy girl rise?

 

I want to be better on here, and I apologize for how all over the show this blurb is. When i’m insanely stressed, feel like I have no time, not sleeping well, feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day..THIS is when I want to write. This is when I want to make time for the good stuff. The juicy bits. Life can be so greedy and it will try to dictate what is priority and what consumes your time. It will try to takeover your ambitions and hobbies, things that keep you grounded, things that make you who you really are. It will try to throw you in the deep end and drown you with work, life admin, and things that don’t fulfill you. Acknowledge these times and fight back. Say, “fuck you, world! I do what I want!”  I’m not completely myself right now, but I feel it’s vital to speak about it for others and.. for me.

And for FOX (Scottish accent) sake-  write about it.

Cake is awesome. Diets are for pussies.

I always thought that as I got older, my sugar addiction would surely diminish. Yet here I am, aged 28, and still waking up out of a dead sleep to plow through a whole tray of chips ahoy at the strike of midnight. This is not an exaggeration by the way, and I need to remember to ask my doctor about this…

I like to think that I live a relatively healthy lifestyle. I work out, (usually) and i’ve recently converted to vegetarianism about three months ago. To my shock and surprise, I did not drop ten pounds on the second day of my new vegetarian lifestyle. Where’s the abs? (Calm down, i’m not that dumb and know that this is not how you get abdominals.)

They obviously come from detox tea and booty bands.

In all seriousness, I did finally decide to cut out meats for good because I just overall felt a hundred times better not eating it, I love animals and would like to not eat them, and I do have a small health issue: a faulty kidney. Plus I love a good challenge, and this was something I had never tried before.  The doc has said red meats are not helping my kid whatsoever, (I like to abbreviate my kidney to ‘kid’ just to fuck with people) and I could really benefit from changing my diet. I think what he also said, that i’ve chosen to zone out, is that surviving off of tofu, coffee, and sour patch kids will NOT help my condition though. Side note: If you’ve never frozen your sour patch kids, you’re doing it wrong..

I like to surround myself around like-minded people who enjoy sweets and caffeine just as much as I do…which is why one of my first jobs in New Zealand was working at this amazing Cakery for a woman named Danielle, who like me, was obsessed with cookies, cakes, lollies, you name it. She is a fucking badass babe who, I swear to god, makes the best fucking cupcakes I have ever placed inside my mouth. If you’re ever in Mount Maunganui, GO TO SPONGEDROP CAKERY. When working there, I literally got paid to occasionally make coffees, but mostly sit on the floor behind the counter eating cake scraps out of a massive bowl with copious amounts of icing on it with Dan. (As seen pictured below.)CAKE

God bless that woman. To this day, she still remains one of my closest friends. Cake really did bring us together.

I come from a family that would choose sweet over savory any day. (Kiwi friends, calm down. I realize y’all spell ‘savory, as ‘savoury’ and ‘realize’ as ‘realise’…christ.) There is never a time, where a Rogers doesn’t have some sort of shweet little snack conveniently always located on the kitchen counter as a welcoming gesture. For example, recently I visited back home and stayed with my uncle. Like a true Rogers should, he had not just a normal size bag, not even a party size bag, but one of those COSTCO sized bags of peanut butter m&m’s in one of those holders that your paper towels are supposed to go in. Not only was I proud of the m&m flavor choice, but also very impressed with the innovativeness.  You do you, Ron.

I was raised by my mom..and basically my aunty, grandma, uncle, grandpa, etc… but for the most part, it was always just Mom and I. This woman is a queen and has taught me everything I know. She is also the sweetest (pun intended) human being I know. One time, because she knew how much I loved Cookie Dough, she made a whole batch of cookie dough, froze it, and let me eat it just as is periodically. Salmonella? Psshh. Who cares. Throughout childhood, we feasted on Disney movies, ABC Family Christmas marathons, and delicious AF foods. A few core lessons learned from Mom: First and most foremost, NEVER use a bowl when eating ice cream. Plop yourself up on the kitchen counter, and dig into that shit with a spoon. Not only are you saving on clean-up, but you’re not having to portion control. Nobody has the time nor energy for all that. Secondly, brownie batter is actually even more delicious than the actual brownies! Studies HAVE shown. So grab a spoon. Another fact, Rosarita Traditional refried beans and corn chips are a staple meal and are best consumed when either watching Days of Our Lives, The Price is Right, or anything on Cartoon Network. Lastly, it is 100% okay to order a whole ice-cream cake from Dairy Queen for yourself on a Tuesday night. Tell people at the DQ you’re going to a party, or just own it and say, “Yes..this is for myself.”

I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent here. There really isn’t any point to this blurb. I just wanted to confess my love for carbs, sweets, sugar, and I guess just calories in general. I also adore all other humans who share the same guilty pleasures that shouldn’t even be guilty at all. I’ll never pretend to be one of those people that live off of green smoothies, kale chips, and lemon water, which if you do, you go girl!  Sure your skin might be amazing and people will mistake you for a 10 year old child, but there is no harm in treating yourself every once in awhile. The key is moderation. Do I practice an ounce of moderation? Probably not. That’s where exercise, lemon water, and buddha bowls come into play.

Anyway! Dinner is cooking, my book is calling, and i’m eating a cookie. Why the fuck not. Give a mouse a cookie, and she’ll probably write a blog about it.

*(For the Record, myself, and my fam, surprisingly are not in the slightest obese, nor diabetics). Praise be.

I used to work on a Cruise Ship and it sucked balls.

Before I came to New Zealand, I was in that cliche phase that every young woman seems to go through. “I’m packing my bags and leaving this hellhole! I’m getting an Om sign tattoo and then I’m moving to Hawaii!” By bags I mean one bag because that’s all I was allowed, and by moving to Hawaii, I mean moving into a room the size of a closet shared with three others, that’s somehow below water level on a rocking cruise ship. Oh, and you bet your ass I got an Om tattoo. On my wrist of all places. I got an unlimited three month membership one summer at a yoga studio and naturally, decided I was some sort of yogi. First week into classes and I paid $80 for a scribble of a tattoo on the underside of my wrist,  that would quite commonly get mistaken for a bar stamp. “Ooooo…big night out last night, aye?” No. (I’ve recently ditched the yoga pants and covered that up with another tattoo). Classy, right?

ANYWAY. So I got this job as a “restaurant stewardess” working for, I don’t want to name any names.. Norwegian Cruiselines. The way the job was described seemed like a dream. “Are you someone that enjoys traveling and wants to get paid to work and sail around the Hawaiian Islands?” Um, yes?! The interview process for getting a job through this cruise line was insane. I think I went to about three different interviews, and they continued to get more and more intense. I had to get drug tests, medical exams, and a bloody maritime license! I saw this as my one-way ticket to finally have that Instagram perfect lifestyle. Javier would be taking photos of me constantly at some remote beach with a big floppy hat, and a boozy slushy hidden in a coconut. I was fucking ecstatic when I got the call congratulating me as I was hired. I was also half drunk as I was in Las Vegas lounging at the Treasure Island pool for my 21st, so I really lived it up after that phone call. I truly was a salty sea-dog now.

A few fun facts before we really dive in: There are four types of employees working on cruise ships- Officers, Staff Members, Entertainers, and Crew Members. Officers are very specialized positions and are the high-ranked guys. They range anywhere from First Officer, to Medical Officer, to Hotel Manager. To sum it up, they’re the head honchos and get paid the big bucks. They also get free reign to go wherever they please on the ship. Fee-fi-fo-fum. Not to mention they also get their own private cabin (which is very appealing to other employees if you know what I mean, but strictly forbidden). Next up we have Staff Members. SM’s are the people that work in the gift shops, massage parlors, salons, etc. They seem to have a pretty cruisey life and generally are paid through an outside contractor, which means they typically are paid relatively well. These people also get free reign of the ship and normal-ish hours. Now we have the entertainers. These people are the performers who put on all of those beautiful nightly shows for guests. They range from doing performances every night, to performing only a couple times a week. Some of the most beautiful human beings I have ever seen in my life came from the Entertainment department aboard Norwegian. Again, another pretty breezy position. THEN..we have the Crew Members. Crew Members are all of the cooks, cleaners, waiters, bartenders, servers, bussers, etc..the foundation of the ship. (Literally, crew sleep on the bottom floor, therefore, we are the foundation. Bow down). We, as crew members, have the worst of it all by far. We work the longest shifts, anywhere from 9-12 hours, only get access to the bottom three floors of the ship, UNLESS you’re working in guest areas, and we don’t get any days off. Literally. It is borderline slavery. It’s awful. Think of the crew member staff as the bottom of the barrel; the bottom of the barrel that is 1/4 full of lukewarm water and fish guts. The crew members, really are at the bottom of the barrel- barrel, meaning ship in this instance. Our corridors were literally the last three floors of the ship. We weren’t allowed to go above and mingle with guests, or even see sunlight, unless we were working in restaurant and silently mouthing, “help..me” to a family of 5 from Australia. (That is a slight exaggeration). In Crew Mess, (i’ll define this in a moment) we did have small air-hole looking windows that we could gaze out through longingly while scoffing down a PB&J for the 17th day in a row.  I shrugged it off thinking I would just be waiting tables, mingling with guests, telling a joke here and there, and earning some tips to go towards my jeep rides through Jurassic Park. Hehe, silly me.

So in my role, I was assigned to “Crew Mess.” Beautiful name, I know. Crew Mess is basically how it sounds. It’s the cafeteria/lounge area for all crew members and is conveniently located on the third floor of the cruise ship. It’s where crew go to die at the end of their shift, or go to talk shit while stuffing peanut butter and jelly sandwich #3 in their face. It’s weird. Keep in mind, all other employees don’t have to come to Crew Mess. They get the luxury of eating in the dining rooms up top, or some of the restaurants. Life isn’t fair.

My job, was to be the person behind the extraaaaaavagant buffet, (hint of sarcasm) wearing one of those paper boat hats, gloves, and a grease-stained red polo, serving up slop for my fellow co-workers. Here I was, 21 years old, doing a job lower than what I was doing at age 15 working as a busser for a small-town diner. JOY. My manager, was a very large woman who had a very large attitude. Her favorite pastime was telling me off, watching my every move, or standing over me like a gargoyle telling me to stop laughing. She was an actual demon and hated smiling, happiness, and probably puppies too. My friends would come through the line, sliding their trays along the steel long table, receiving their slop by yours truly, and we would quietly whisper to one another, telling jokes, trying not to laugh. Confessing our love to one another.. “Come to my cabin later for hot cheetos and a Harry Potter marathon.”  I swear to god, Large Marge (I actually forget her name) would always be watching, and sure enough, I would hear a, “Cassandra! Stop your chatting and get back to work..I tell you what.” Lovely.

Even though as a Crew Member, I did work seven days a week and had VERY limited time off, I still got spare hours here and there where I would be able to hop off the ship and go explore whatever island we were on. Sometimes this would include renting a car, hitting up a beach, shopping, hiking, but lets be real..these short breaks mainly consisted of finding the nearest bar in the sun, getting the drunkest possible, and then trying to sober up for our next shift: dinner service.

Aside from the hardcore labour, working on a cruise ship is pretty disgusting. Everyone is hooking up with everyone, and no, this is not an exaggeration. One minute you’ll be in your cabin watching Family Guy on Netflix, reaching for that bag of skittles, next minute you’ll hear the top bunk springs above you about to give way, followed by a disgustingly much too close for comfort sound of fluid swapping. Ahh, a true Hawaiian vacation..

Being sick was out of the question as a crew member. You had to be projectile vomiting in order to get the day off of work. And if that were the case, you were quarantined. Literally locked in your room until given the green light. Healthy!

I could go on for hours and hours about what really goes on as an employee aboard a cruise ship, but my fingers are tired and frankly, i’m hungry. Many people ask what made me finally quit or “jump ship” as we like to call it. My mom was on holiday over in Honolulu while I was working on the ship. I had asked three managers AND an officer if I could please just have one day off to go and hang out with my mom. They told me no, that it wasn’t possible. I had been working on this ship for over 4 months now without a single day off, and now my mom was on the very island I was on, but wasn’t allowed to go see her? FUCK this. Byyyyeeee. I literally quit that day. I packed my bags, left the ship, got threatened that I would never be able to try for employment again if I chose to do so, and spent a lovely week on Oahu with my beautiful mother and grandmother. I didn’t have an ounce of regret then, and still don’t know.

In conclusion, whew, I think that my time as a cruise ship employee was an amazing experience. Yes it was hard work, and borderline illegal at times, but I learned a lot about myself, and met some amazing people that are still very close to me to this day. I think my timing to try this experiment was perfect. I was freshly 21, hangovers didn’t exist to me yet, I could survive off of 2 hours of sleep for up to a week, and my body was bangin. Now? I need at least eight hours of sleep a night or I will die, and I suffer a hangover if I even encounter a scent of vodka. So for any of you out there that are thinking, “hmm..I want to join the cruise circus..” Give it a go! Live Laugh Love Lol.

“Bye Mom, I’m moving to New Zealand”…. (Flight 77: Honolulu to Auckland)

I feel like this story is a vital tidbit and also a fun glimpse as to how my life tends to unfold. My friends and fam always joke that my life is basically like one of those Bravo TV shows..kind of like The Real Housewives, except i’m not a millionaire, nor a housewife. I also don’t have lip injections, butt implants, or any of that fun stuff..so maybe that’s actually not me at all. However, I could drink Ramona under the table any day, any time.

ANYWHO. The point is- I get myself into situations that are stupid and hilarious, quite frequently. One incident that seems to stand out happened on my flight out of Honolulu, HI to Auckland, New Zealand. This was a few years ago, nearly four, but god damnit do I remember it. It was my first time heading overseas, and not only that, but going to live. So, you could say I was nervous but also tremendously excited. I was basically Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in Passport to Paris- except I wasn’t going to Europe and I wasn’t a twin. Anyway-

I got seated next to some middle-aged man who had a thick black beard and tortoise-shell glasses. I was immediately intimidated. Who cares though, right? Nobody ever talks to the person their seated next to on a plane. Especially when you’re on a flight that lasts 10 hours… WRONGO.

We started chatting, (fuck) and he proceeds to tell me that he’s a photographer heading to Australia to do some sort of super cool Aussie photo stuff, probably throwing shrimp on a barbie and hand-feeding kangaroos. I honestly barely remember what he was saying, because I was already trying to cook up some eccentric shrimp story in my head for who I was and what my mission was. Before I could even think, I started talking in an English accent. Side note: I love doing accents, and i’d say 70% of the time i’m talking in normal day to day chit-chat, it’s probably in some weird voice I made up.

For some reason, I told this man that I was from Surrey, and I had done a house-swap with a random girl online, and her house so happened to be in New Zealand. A couple things to note here:

  1. Why would I be flying from America if I was from England? Maybe I was on holiday in Hawaii? Who knows.
  2. Why did I just provide a synopsis of the movie “The Holiday” starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet but pass it off as if it were my own real life? I do not know.

I figured, ah what the hell, this conversation is maybe going to last all but ten minutes, why not make myself seem super interesting and posh. Oh no. NO no no no. This lasted the DURATION of the flight. Before I know it, I’ve made up a name, where I went to school, an imaginary boyfriend named Elijah whom I left back in England (he’s cheating anyway,) and a fake profession of: Freelance Journalist…at your service. ALL in this English accent. FUCK. I kept it up for far too long, too deep, to the point where there was no return. Bless this man’s soul, he ate up every bit of it. Or maybe not, maybe he knew my game all along and just pitied me. Poor girl, making up accents and fake lives.

By the time the plane landed, which honestly felt like an eternity, I had really gotten to know this man sitting in Row J seat B. Too bad he didn’t know an ounce about me. Before we parted ways, he asked to exchange emails, in a non-creepy way. I agreed, and without thinking, offered my mom’s email. Sorry Ma.

When arriving to customs, I was jet-lagged, exhausted, confused, what the hell just happened on that damn plane, and also extremely nervous. I was so caught up in my accent and lavish life I had made up, that I had completely forgotten this was my first time in new country. I didn’t know what the hell to do. I followed the herd, and made my way up to the very intimidating Immigration officer blocking my way into New Zealand soil. He asks for my passport…FUCK. I have left my passport in my seat on the plane. I must’ve been so distracted when filling out my paperwork onboard, ensuring my new Aussie mate didn’t see my real name I suppose, that I obviously just dumbly left in sitting in my seat. I try to explain myself to the officer, and start talking in that damn English accent again. I accidentally say, “shit!” in my normal American accent, and he gives me a sharp look. He makes a call, and next thing I know, i’m being escorted by an officer into a detaining room. I was there for a total of two hours having to explain the whole situation. The accent, the shrimps on the barbie, the tortoise glasses, and where to find my passport. Apparently, the cleaning crew “couldn’t locate the passport” which raised even more suspicion. Did I look like a terrorist? Miraculously, after a lot of gabbing, they let me go and sternly instructed me that I would need to go to the embassy first thing in the morning to obtain an emergency passport. I was in a panic for the remainder of the night. Didn’t sleep a wink. Luckily, I wake up to a phone call the next morning. My passport has been found! Oh- and it was found exactly where I said it was. Row J Seat A.

Moral of the story? Before putting on your best Mrs. Potts accent, know your audience, and know your flight duration.

I’M DOING GREAT, MOM.

 

Let’s get real.

I can be quite a bitch.

Sorry- er, I mean, I can have quite the resting bitch face.

I get the phrase, “You should smile more”…or “Turn that frown upside down” as if we are back in kindergarten. How many times do I have to tell people that this is just my face? Or just a normal human face that is just there, expressionless, but relaxing, being totally fine in life. Let me just start by saying that I am an overall happy person. I’m extremely goofy, immature, all that fun jazz. I do have my days where I feel like an orc that’s just been born out of the mud at the base of Mordor, or sometimes have the odd day where I need to sneak off to have a little cry in the broom closet, (broom closet? Is that a thing), or moments where I feel like I don’t have a voice and am stuck in an unfair situation, but we all have these, and I usually just stay quiet like a little shy girl and then bitch about it later to an unfortunate soul that has to take it.

Do I think it’s necessary to have a permanent smile plastered on my face at all times? Walking around like a juiced-up clown at a 5 year old’s birthday pool party? Nah. That’s just not me. And to be honest, sometimes encountering people like that is just plain exhausting and unrealistic. My biggest dilemma is that I wear my heart on my sleeve, or rather, my face. If i’m upset, it shows. But i’m also not walking around like a beaming ray of fireball whistling Zippitydoodah when i’m in an okay mood.

I don’t think that showing your emotions is a bad thing at all. Quite the contrary, I strongly believe that hiding your true emotions or putting on a mask, fake smile, false overly-intense positivity, is waaaaay more detrimental that good. Why do we have to feel ashamed to FEEL and show emotions? Unfortunately, Women get so much shit on a daily basis for this. “Oh she’s just really dramatic” or “she’s crazy and super emotional”.. “here come the tears” .. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING EMOTIONAL! The worst one yet? Being called psychotic for simply voicing your opinions and sharing your feelings. Psychotic?! When people start hoarding their feelings and true thoughts instead of expressing them, they’re basically turning into Nancy from that show Hoarders who lives in a trailer with endless piles of trinkets and possibly deceased cats. Nobody wants to be Nancy, or even worse, her poor cats.

Please don’t get me wrong- i’m not trying to hop aboard the Intense Feminism ride here, but I do feel like men hoard their feelings and emotions constantly. Women get such shit for releasing these words or burdens that live inside of us, when men are actually holding onto the same things. Difference is, we don’t hear men’s emotions until they’re a bottle deep in Grandma’s gin at Thanksgiving.

Feel like having a little cry? DO IT. Personally, I love a good cry. I live for it. It’s almost like an orgasm. A release. Being an adult is hard, and crying doesn’t seem to happen all that often anymore. Remember when you were a kid and would fall down and skin your knee? You somehow feel WAY better after having a massive snot-filled cry into mom’s arms. We now have this hardened exterior for skin, and crying only occurs when we are truly at our breaking point. Think about it..when is the last time you really cried? I can tell you mine- this morning. I woke up with an overbearing homesickness and yearning to be a child again, so naturally, I watched Mulan. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and still to this day is. It brought me back to being a child and not having one single shit in the world. All I cared about was Disney movies, fruit roll-ups, horses, and the countdown to Christmas.  This made me cry. Oh have the times changed. But the comfort in knowing that I can tap into my inner-child whenever I feel like adulting is too hard, just made me so happy and sad at the same time that the tears just came flowing. It was a damn good cry. Afterwards, I decided to make a veggie soup that took about 6 hours in total instead of going to the gym. MOOD LIFT.

So please think next time you make the “you should smile more often” comment. No one is that perfect all the time. This isn’t some weird HBO show where we all live in a flowery bubble with puppies and kittens and white picket fences and the men have comb-overs and the women wear swing dresses with bright red lipstick. No. You know what happens in the next season of that show? Alien invasion. The main character, Joe, is revealed as some demonic cyborg who is taking over the world by mind control. Meanwhile, your husband? He’s actually Satan himself. BOOM. Season finale.

Long story not so short, we are all feeling some shit. Am I right? Wouldn’t we be better off as being open and honest with all of that? Be honest with yourself. Spill it. Acknowledge when you’re emotional and don’t be ashamed of it. You are a human being and what you’re feeling is completely natural. Use it as your super power. Write it down. Turn it into music. Poetry. Or just have a meaningful conversation with someone. Or you could be like me and just pop your headphones in and dance around your room listening to Tool circa 2005. (It’s the best).