One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, One belonging to me and one to my Lord. After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the ...(11回应)
One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."
He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Depression is like... when you don't have any scissors to cut that thick plastic safety tie off the new scissors that you just bought because you couldn't find your scissors. And then you just say, "Fuck it," and try everything else in the world to get the scissors to open, but all you have are plastic butter knives and they aren't doing anything, so you stand in the kitchen holding scissors th...
Depression is like... when you don't have any scissors to cut that thick plastic safety tie off the new scissors that you just bought because you couldn't find your scissors. And then you just say, "Fuck it," and try everything else in the world to get the scissors to open, but all you have are plastic butter knives and they aren't doing anything, so you stand in the kitchen holding scissors that you can't use because you can't find scissors and then you get frustrated and throw the scissors in the garbage disposal and sleep on the couch for a week.
Depression is like... when you don't want cheese anymore. Even though it's cheese.
I suppose we're all possessed in some way. Some of us with dependence on pills or wine. Others through sex or gambling. Some of us through self-destruction or anger or fear. And some of us just carry around our tiny demon as he wreaks havoc in our mind, tearing open old dusty trunks of bad memories and leaving the remnants spread everywhere. Wearing the skins of people we've hurt. Wearing the skins of people we've loved. And sometimes, when it's worst, wearing our skins. These times are the hardest. When you can see yourself confined to your bed because you have no strength or will to leave. When you find yourself yelling at someone you love because they want to help but can't. When you wake up in a gutter after trying to drink or smoke or dance away the ache— or the lack thereof. Those times when you are more demon than you are you.
Jessica used a stick to trace out in the red sand what Uluru actually looked like: the long shaft hidden, rising slowly upward until just the tip penetrated the surface. I stared at Laura with wide eyes and she stared back at me as we realized our guide had totally inadvertently drawn a penis on the ground that all of us were looking at in amazement.
We were sent to explore the desert and find out what might want to murder us. After an hour of heat we suspected it was Jessica, who kept pointing out new rocks.
I never saw any live snakes but apparently Australia is lousy with them, and they have so many that even the lizards are snakes. Please note: If you’re a lizard but you don’t have legs, you are a snake. That’s how snakes work.
Kangaroos also drool on themselves to keep cool [because nothing looks cooler than a drooling kangaroo] but that’s helpful to know because when you see them drooling at the mouth it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have rabies. It just means they’re hot [hot referring to their temperature, not sexiness]. If you find drooling kangaroos sexy you probably need help.)
I tried a plastic boomerang that was sitting in a bin outside the gift shop but it failed to return and then I realized I’d basically just tossed unpaid merchandise as far as I could throw it. I considered going to get it but then I was concerned that when I picked it up it would be considered shoplifting and it seemed like that would have a stiffer penalty than just throwing merchandise into the desert.
You can’t just leave boomerangs out in the open and expect people not to throw them.It’s like Australian entrapment. I thought about paying for the boomerang but then I considered that it didn’t come back when I threw it so it was probably broken anyway. If anything I was doing unpaid boomerang testing.
“Everything is a boomerang if you throw it straight up in the air,” I explained.
sweatily struggling to pull a pair of too-small pants over your hips as you heard an unfortunate ripping sound and hoped that people thought it was just gas
Technically, if I were farther away from the center of the Earth then I’d be subjected to less gravity and then I would weigh less. So I’m not really fat. I’m just not high enough. Victor says I sound pretty high already but I suspect he’s just being insulting.
Weight depends entirely upon the gravity of wherever you are, which is why if you weigh yourself on the top of Mount Everest you’d be closer to outer space and you would weigh slightly less than you would at home. But you’d have to lug a scale up to the top of Mount Everest to prove it, which would suck. Honestly, they should just leave a scale up there for people.
Frankly, I never understood why people climb that thing in the first place, but if there’s a scale up there telling you that you’re skinnier than you think then I guess I can see the draw. I’d hike× helicopter up a mountain for a scale that says I need to eat more. Or for a magic bean that turns me into Jennifer Lawrence. Or for a nice basket of cheeses. Preferably cheddars.
because no one knows what the hell is going on with them so no one expects anything special from them.
That girl in Amélie is so tiny I could fit her in my vagina.I would have said “pocket” but I don’t have a pocket in this dress. But I do have a vagina and that’s sort of like a pocket, although not one you should store paper money in. Or coins, probably. I guess it depends on how strong your vaginal muscles are. More power to you if you can keep a roll of nickels up there.
And it was then that I vowed to never take personal responsibility for other people’s spoons/attitudes/stupidity, because frankly I have enough to worry about with my own shit.
Popularity is a big bunch of bullshit. Recognizing that popularity is sometimes the equivalent of human mange sort of cured me from wanting it.
I’ve tried many torturous techniques to make my outsides fit the ridiculous standards society has set but it never ends well because my body lives in reality and it’s a reality that has too much cheese in it.
Where does the skin come from? What if it’s penis skin? Or ballsack skin? No one wants the skin of someone’s nut sack injected into their lip wrinkles. In fact, when I see heavily cosmetically altered people my first thought is “I wonder how much of their face is genitals?"
The world always looks nicer when it’s a little blurry—that’s why so many of us have a second glass of wine at dinner.
Your eyesight continues to fade as you get older, which ends up being a nice coincidence because the older you get the less clearly you want to see yourself in the mirror.
As the doctor walked me out he told me to “stop worrying so much” because it’s possible that some of the rash actually is hives caused by nerves, and I made a note to tell my shrink the breaking news that the medical world finally found the cure for my severe anxiety disorder and that the prescription is “Just stop worrying so much.” My God, we’ve come so far with science.
She seemed fine with my answer, I think. Or she was really mad. That’s the bad thing about talking to someone whose face is slightly paralyzed. You never know if they’re leaning toward you for a hug or to punch you in the neck.
Then I sit there, perched in a fetal position, and feel ridiculous, physically hiding from the world. The cats look at me strangely. I’m being judged by cats. Mostly because they wonder where my lap has gone since it’s their favorite chair.
You learn to appreciate the fact that what drives you is very different from what you’re told should make you happy. You learn that it’s okay to prefer your personal idea of heaven (live-tweeting zombie movies from under a blanket of kittens) rather than someone else’s idea that fame/fortune/parties are the pinnacle we should all reach for. And there’s something surprisingly freeing about that.
It is an amazing gift to be able to recognize that the things that make you the happiest are so much easier to grasp than you thought. There is such freedom in being able to celebrate and appreciate the unique moments that recharge you and give you peace and joy. Sure, some people want red carpets and paparazzi. Turns out I just want banana Popsicles dipped in Malibu rum. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure at appreciating the good things in life. It means I’m successful in recognizing what the good things in life are for me. This makes sense because at the end of your life no one ever says shit like, “Thank God I got to ride an elephant.” Instead they say, “I wish I’d spent more time with loved ones.” So if you spent an hour playing the-floor-is-made-of-lava with your kid then you’re better off than the girl who traveled all the way to Sri Lanka. Plus, you didn’t get cholera. Probably. Depends, I guess.
I’m just very picky about what I do because I know I don’t have enough spoons to do it all.
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should.
The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning.
But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because
you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?”
Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in
your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-butnot-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives.
Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine.
I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
It’s not that I’m afraid of homeless people any more than nonhomeless people. I’m afraid of something much more complicated. I look at them and think, “Is that my future?” Because that’s what I’d become if I got stuck and was forced to be around people without a break. Screaming and terrorized and stuck huddled in a doorway each day. Lost. Never moving. No options. It’s how I feel now, except that I’m blessed to be stuck in a room with clean sheets and a bottle of pills that I carry with me that I hope will give me the numb courage I’ll eventually need to call a cab and go to the airport and do a myriad of things normal people don’t think about, but that I obsess about over and over until I’ve taken that taxi and gotten lost in the airport one hundred times in my mind before I actually have to do it for real.
I’m lucky because I have options. I have medications and therapeutic tools and breathing techniques. I have friends and family I can call to come rescue me if things get too bad. And I have the Internet.
I realize that I’ve accomplished a lot in life and deep down I know that, but it doesn’t change the fact that I only have a few days a month where I actually feel like I was good at life. I know I’m a good person (as in “not evil or intentionally arsonistic”), but I’m not very good at being a person. I don’t know if that makes sense and it’s not me fishing for compliments. Please don’t tell me the things I’m good at because that’s not what this is about. It’s just that at the end of each day I usually lie in bed and think, “Shit. I’m fucking shit up. I accomplished nothing today except the basics of existing.” I feel like I’m treading water and that I’m always another half day behind in life. Even the great things are overshadowed by shame and anxiety.
I’m happy my first book was so successful, but I suffer with writer’s block so much that I’m always sure I’ll never write again and that I’ll never finish my second book.
I feel like from the outside looking in I seem successful and happy, but I can’t help but think that if people looked closer they’d see the cracks and the dirt and shame of a million projects that never get done.
This seemed to be an American problem, because the places where they lived (mainly Europe) judged success less by things and accomplishments and more by feelings. Happiness came from spending time with people, and more non-Americans seemed to think that spending a few hours watching TV with the kids on the couch was something to celebrate and enjoy, rather than feel guilty about.
“Comparison is the death of joy.” I liked this one so much that I looked it up and found out it was Mark Twain who penned it and then I felt like shit again because all the best quotes are from Mark Twain and he’s used them all up so now I feel bad in comparison to Mark Twain regarding his quote about how comparison makes you feel bad, so I’m basically just proving Mark Twain more right for making me feel like an asshole. I’m caught in a Mark Twain shame-spiral.
Stop judging yourself against shiny people. Avoid the shiny people. The shiny people are a lie. Or get to know them enough to realize they aren’t so shiny after all.
You’ll have to just trust me when I say that you are worthy, important, and necessary. And smart. You may ask how I know and I’ll tell you how. It’s because right now? YOU’RE READING. That’s what the sexy people do. Other, less awesome people might currently be in their front yards chasing down and punching squirrels, but not you. You’re quietly curled up with a book designed to make you a better, happier, more introspective person.
This is not to say that you can’t fuck up a kid by being an asshole, because children are small sponges and will mimic all of your worst behaviors at the least opportune time. But I believe that usually your kids’ positive qualities come less from your making them awesome and more from just not intentionally squashing the random things they’re inherently born with that make them awesome.
I’m terrible at being one of those moms who can sit in the bleachers or dance studios and make forced small talk with parents who all seem to know (and secretly hate) each other and who never seem to show up in pajamas or mismatched shoes. I’m continually saying something awkward and inappropriate, like “I thought this was just for fun” or “No, actually I don’t think that toddler is too fat for ballet.”
She’s a natural on the stage and loves performing in front of hundreds of strangers. I suspect she was switched at birth.
My mom read. Lots. To me, and (more importantly) in front of me. And that made all the difference. So I guess I also learned that my mom’s time was important too, and that’s a lesson I’m still trying to learn now when the guilt about Hailey’s not having a perfectly scheduled life creeps in.
Now we’ve set up our kids to expect to win at everything and they feel shitty if they don’t because they can see how unaccountably emotionally invested we are in their ability to beat other children. When I was a kid I never won anything and when I mentioned it to my mom she looked up from her book and pointed out that I had once been the youngest person in the entire world. Sure, it was only for a millisecond, but it was a record I’d set without even trying. Then I went back to my own book and forgot all about competitions until my own child was born. Then she took the title. Excellence runs in our family, I guess.
Kids totally understand you. So much more than you want them to.
Turns out that if you expose receipts to sunlight they eventually just fade away, much like my intentions to keep receipts.
“Well, my life would be much simpler,” I explained with perfect honesty. “I don’t know how the eight remotes for the TV work so I’d never use it again, and when the lights burned out I’d just sort of leave them if I couldn’t reach them with a chair, and when the computers broke I’d just throw them in a ditch, and when my car stopped working I’d probably just buy a donkey to ride into town to buy provisions from the gas station. I suspect I’d become accidentally Amish within a year. In fact, I bet the Amish are just a whole tribe of people who didn’t have someone around to turn the TV on for them for several generations and finally said, ‘Fuck it. We’re just going to live life this way.’”