The Failure Narrative

How do we cope with failure, and what is the narrative that we use to make us comfortable with telling that story?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. There have been a few times recently where I’ve heard about what one person has said that’s different from what I understood, and it has changed my perspective. I think that’s sometimes how we understand life, especially when we fantasize what we wanted and what could have been against where we are now. We all do that, but not everyone looks at it through a lens of reality.

In most of my youth I didn’t understand why people wouldn’t say what they were thinking at all times— like those bits in movies where there is something “better left unsaid.” But as I’ve gotten older, there are a lot of things I’ve left unsaid, uncorrected. Ultimately it doesn’t change what happened and what will be. It just is.

New Year, Who Dis?

I guess here is where I add my year in review.

Christmas Eve in quarantine

I became a statistic and got COVID-19. No matter how careful you are, how many masks you make, how often you disinfect everything, you can still get it.

It was pretty horrible for me. It put me out of commission for 15 days, with recovery on top of that being another 2 weeks. I still have a lingering cough, though it’s not nearly as bad as it was. I’ve talked about my illness ad nauseam already, but I thought I was going to die at one point.

I thought I could be one of the few who would get away from 2020 untouched, just like we did in 2016, which I personally thought was a pretty good year, other than getting a shitty new president. The latter part of this year went in a different direction. Still, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

2020 has really tested my relationship, but I now feel more certain about it. We’ve gotten to an unprecedented level of comfort around and dedication to each other. We appreciate each other more. We’ve had to scale back our wedding plans a lot, but I’m happy that we are going to even do it at all.

I’ve also become re-acquainted with an old hobby and have become much better at it. As a goal for 2021, I’m hoping to replace the bulk of my wardrobe with handmade. I hope to learn to be a better tailor, and I’ve been teaching myself to be a more patient seamstress.

Made these yellow trousers recently.

Here are my resolutions for 2021:

  • Sew 1 project per week (unless legitimately unable to do so)
  • Eat healthier (fewer refined carbs)
  • Consistent skincare routine
  • Spend less on going out to eat
  • Budget + Save 65% of my income
  • Get fit again

Quarantine Update

Did you know that if you had chicken pox as a kid, it can come back to haunt you as an adult in the form of shingles? Shingles is rare for my age group. It is also extremely painful because it affects your nerves. Like, imagine feeling simultaneously numb to the touch, yet having pain that alternates between burning, needle pricking and aggressive stabbing. And because of where it’s affected me, it’s also affecting my spine. The doctor said that it was very likely triggered by work stress. I believe it, considering what’s been happening the last couple of weeks. So take it from me: don’t stress.

Lesson learned.

Sometimes I just feel like life is a joke. It’s an endless cycle of not really getting things I want sprinkled with very tiny moments of times that I do.

I know I’m whining but sometimes I feel like I just keep struggling like my life is teaching me the same lesson over and over and over.

I get it already. I probably just make bad decisions and deserve everything. And I feel lost.

Frontier Spawn

I realized recently that Little House on the Prairie was on Amazon Prime, so I started watching it again recently. I grew up watching these but never in the order that they came out. I also somehow got Jordan to watch with me and I’m super happy that he also loves this show.

I’ve had an obsession with the Old West for a very long time. I was actually waiting in a dentist office today reading the BBC History publication about taming the Wild West. (By the way, there were a lot of grammatical errors in it too.) I don’t know why I feel so drawn to the lore of that era. Maybe because it’s close enough in time that it feels tangible, yet distinctly  mythical in some ways. Maybe because it’s a part of what made me who I am. My parents were frontiersmen in their own right. I’m the daughter of two people who were brave enough to move away from what they knew to forge a new life in a land that was unknown to them. I am lucky.

Self-imposed posting schedule

I think about writing in here a lot but then realize it’s not something worth talking about.

But I’m going to impose a schedule of posting every Monday (at the very least). It seems to be my least busy evening. Let’s start next week.

One thing I did want to write, even if just briefly (possibly to be revisited later): I have a difficult time accepting and being comfortable with the person I used to be. I don’t often like to reminisce about my past or childhood. I hate when someone brings up my old music or even acknowledges that I used to dance. I want to learn to be proud of it or at least be comfortable with it. But who knows how?

Rapid-Fire Thoughts

I’m 36 today. Here are 36 things I’m thinking about from 36 years of life.

  1. I started to feel older at 34. Muscles you never knew you had start to hurt. You suddenly have back problems. You have to work damn hard to be not-fat. And even though you don’t really smile that much, you will get smile lines.
  2. I somehow feel like I’m religious if I say “bless you” after someone sneezes. Therefore I choose to pretend nothing ever happened.
  3. I love it when people are like, “So, I’ve started my own business…” and then it turns out it’s some kind of pyramid scheme. 
  4. Now that I am older and chubbier, I have a fantastic ass. However all of my underwear have effectively become thongs, whether they’re thongs or not.
  5. ”Authentic food.” What is it? Authentic and good are not interchangeable, and I will choose good, always.
  6. Sometimes I wonder how people move so easily through life while I remain awkward and unsure about how to move a basic conversation forward.  I’ve come to appreciate silence.
  7. Not to generalize, but like, why does all modern pop music sound the same?
  8. Raisins don’t belong in regular, savory food. I might even go so far as to say they don’t belong in ANY food. It’s like everyone’s “cool” uncle who is actually dead inside. What happened to you, man?
  9. I don’t “get” meme culture. I feel like those who do spend every morning reading the entire internet to make sure they’re up to speed on jokes that will be irrelevant in 5 minutes to the 1% that understood the joke in the first place.
  10. These days, cookbook and food blog authors assume you care about their story and write an essay explaining why the associated recipe is relevant.
  11. White people, am I right?
  12. As a person who sits near the kitchen at work, I can tell you that polite office small talk is really awkward to listen to. Like, more awkward than being a participant in polite office small talk.
  13. The fact that I love hot sauce even more as I get older tells me that my senses are diminishing. Probably also including (but not limited to) my sense of impending doom.
  14. Every male Uber driver looks like a murderer or rapist in their photo, with and without a smile.
  15. Sometimes someone will take a pic with me and say, “This is a great picture of us.” But I know they’re really only looking at how they look.
  16. And sometimes when I see a bad photo of me, I just let it go because whatever, I guess that’s just what I actually look like.
  17. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are the worst.
  18. I don’t really care for Star Wars, and that seems to ruffle some feathers.
  19. I don’t really care for Beyoncé.
  20. I’m not good at sleeping and haven’t had a good night’s rest in years.
  21. “Lovely Day” is the worst and most cringeworthy Bill Withers song. When he holds that long and weak note at the end, I imagine him side-stepping back and forth, like a middle school kid being a wallflower at a school dance.
  22. Papa John’s is garbage pizza, even with the garlic sauce.
  23. Ultimately, you’re not a saint for hanging on to shitty friends. You just don’t know when to say “no more.”
  24. Few things are as delightful as a sleeping animal, cuddling with you.
  25. I don’t think I can forgive a human as quickly as I forgive my cat.
  26. When you take a job, it pays you, but you also pay to have it. Take the one that taxes you less.
  27. In a relationship, not arguing isn’t necessarily better than arguing. At least when you’re arguing, you’re talking about issues you care about.
  28. Fun isn’t always on the other side of a yes, but yes is a good answer. Sometimes you just don’t have a good time.
  29. Sometimes the best souvenir is the memory.
  30. They really try to sell you on sweet potato fries being fries, rather than garbage.
  31. Friends is basic and not clever.
  32. If it exists in pop culture, there’s a porn spin-off. Did you know there’s a porn for my favorite video game, Red Dead Redemption 2? It’s called Red Dead Erection. And Game of Thrones has Game of Bones.
  33. Your opinion isn’t always relevant. Shut your mouth sometimes.
  34. There’s no such thing as a classy bumper sticker. Prove me wrong.
  35. You can’t build a city on rock and roll.
  36. Keenan Thompson plays the same character in everything he’s in. Why hasn’t anyone else noticed this?!

Ask Away

If you want something, you have to ask for it.

I used to think that things would just happen if they were “meant to.”

No one will read your mind. No one knows what you truly want except you. So ask.