Monday, December 8, 2014

The Death of Sanity

Okay, so I said that my NaNoWriMo material would be used for blogging purposes now...since it seems unlikely that I have much more to spew out at the moment. Maybe some day I'll get those 50,000 holy words.

I won't lie. This may have been the heaviest thing that I wrote, and this is the first time I've ever written about postpartum depression at length. So I guess..be warned? But here we are, for posterity. And with maybe even a small touch of hope that it'll help someone some day?



I've given birth to three children. It is probably the only truly worthwhile thing I will ever do with my life...the only thing that could potentially have an impact on the world or make anything better. With each pregnancy came months of puking in every nearly every parking lot in the OKC metro area, various bags found in the floorboard of my car, and so many toilets I couldn't have kept count if I'd wanted to. Then there was the heartburn, intense rib pain, swollen everything, and loss of all bladder function. That last one is still a very real problem even nearly 6 years after doing it for, what I hope oh God I hope, the last time.

But the worst part came after having our third. Giving birth to him was the most intense yet euphoric experience I've ever had. He was an enormous baby. I mean, gigantic. I pushed him out then Cory set him on the floor and he immediately ran across the room looking for a football to throw, that’s how big he was. I will gladly tell you all about the entire ordeal of shitting the floor while standing there as he was trying to make his way out, not even giving me the satisfaction of pushing. I will tell you with great pride that I did it all without a single drug in my body and that my vagina took it all like a fucking champ and didn't even tear like it did with my first two. I imagine that if we were to have a fourth I would probably be one of those women who squat on the kitchen floor, push the thing out, then go back to stirring my giant pot of stew.

They say that most women experience what they laughingly call the baby blues. There’s even a Sunday paper comic strip about it. A really hilarious one that I adore, with its breastfeeding and attachment parenting agendas. Baby blues fade. They get better. Maybe you cry in the shower...maybe you snap at your significant other during a moment of weakness. I had the baby blues after having our first two kids. What I experienced after giving birth to Otto was something completely different. I grew up in a depressed household. My mom used to spend hours in her closet, weeping and praying to God to save her children. My dad would shout and scream to make himself feel better. Yet somehow I had defeated the odds. I mean, sure I'd cry while reading Nicholas Sparks novels in college. My heart isn't made of stone. But for the most part my sanity and emotions were kept in check.

Once while at a tent revival (You know what a tent revival is, don't you? There are tents, the speaking of tongues, dancing with tambourines and ribbons..basically everything but the venomous snakes.) I had a young preacher point at me from the stage. There he stood in his fancy suit with his curly mullet, pointing his bejeweled finger at me. “You will be happy, child!” he shouted..spit flying out from between his teeth. Then mom wept and half a dozen men put their hands on me, shouting prayers up to the Heavens. But the thing was, I was mostly a happy kid despite so many of the things that were going on around me.

So when the baby blues progressed to something much worse I didn't know how to deal with it. This was something overeating so much food couldn't cure. Watching “Steel Magnolias” and crying about Shelby didn't make it any better. I think the most shocking part was that there were so many times when I couldn't even cry. Everything just felt numb. Dead. Asleep. I couldn't even talk to Cory about it because I couldn't find the words. There were no words. I just felt...not me. I didn't want to be me. I didn't want to be anything, feel anything, do anything.

Cory knew I wasn’t right. He’s always known when something was wrong. Our usual tactic when I was feeling overwhelmed was for him to take all of the kids and give me breathing space. I love being alone, so if you think about it it makes total sense that I had three kids. Being alone, in the quiet, gives me time to reflect. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I watch horrible television. Sometimes I read. But this one time, not too long after having Otto, the only thing I wanted to do was die. I thought about that scene in “The Craft” where Bonnie grabs Sarah’s wrist, eyes the scars, and says, “You even did it the right way.”. I remembered what Sarah used to give herself those scars. “A-a kitchen knife,” she said. I found myself wondering which one of our kitchen knives would be sharp enough. By this point in time our marriage had been going strong long enough for all the shit that we'd gotten in the beginning to be faded, dull, and nearly useless. I pictured myself sawing at my wrists just trying to get a good cut. I pictured Cory walking back into the house with three children, one of which would probably a screaming, hungry baby since he'd been without my breasts for too long and finding me.

Was that rock bottom? I honestly don't know. I do know that I didn't go any further than those thoughts. They all happened while I was sitting on the couch, frozen in place. I never walked to the kitchen to actually inspect our cutlery. I never considered other, less messy alternatives that wouldn't leave my already filthy house in even more disarray. (Hello, type A.) I just knew that it was time to get some help. Somehow, some way I needed to get help.

What do you do when you need to seek counseling to stay alive yet have no health insurance? When you're too proud to ask your parents for help because you know your mother thinks that therapy is of the devil, where do you turn to? The only sensible solution was to go to our local county’s health department. I took a deep breath, acted like a real adult, and called them. Gathering up check stubs, W-2’s, bank statements, and a sleeping baby in his carseat I shuffled self consciously into the building.

I walked back into a young woman’s office and sat down in an uncomfortable metal folding chair, keeping Otto’s car seat in my lap because I didn't want to set him on their disgusting floor. Even after three children I still had some sense of pride and awareness of germs. She informed me in a monotone voice that I was poor enough to qualify for free counseling and medication if they decided I needed it. I wouldn't be allowed to talk to a counselor today, they would have to assign me one and that could take up to a week. I was crushed. I needed help and was sent back home with nothing but an acute awareness of how poor we really were. We've had to use the assistance made available to the way too many people struggling to get by at various points in our marriage and the one thing that remains constant is the humiliation. The feeling that everyone is watching you pull your WIC checks out of the giant envelope in your bag thinking, “Why did they have kids if they can't afford them?” “Why should my tax dollars feed your family?”

I got a phone call a few days later from a woman with an even more monotone voice informing me, begrudgingly, that she had been assigned as my counselor. I could see it all go down in that moment. I would drive to the saddest building on the planet, sit in a room with truly crazy people, hold my baby in my lap because as a way to torture myself even further I insisted on breastfeeding exclusively so he could be a permanent fixture attached to my nipples, and struggle to gain enough trust in a woman who didn’t sound like she was interested in helping me to tell her my deepest, darkest secrets. At this point in time I didn't even trust my husband enough to tell him that I had thought about slicing the veins in my wrists open. I never called her back.

Obviously this wasn't healthy, and I realize that. I also realize that I knew immediately that that environment wasn't going to work for me. I told my brother over the phone that I needed counseling because I thought that just maybe I was suffering from postpartum depression. He made sympathetic noises and told me to let him know if I needed anything. I never told him how bad it was either.

The only thing that did help was a camera. I bought a used camera off some random college kid I found on Craigslist. I made Cory go with me so the children and I wouldn't get murdered, and I took some of the worst pictures anyone has ever taken. I took pictures of fences, brick walls and random junk in our white trash yard. There were pictures of the kids’ feet that were meant to be artistic, but only appeared so when I used the built in sepia filter. I love looking back at those pictures. It’s like I can almost see myself starting to get better.

I don't know if postpartum depression ever truly goes away. I heard someone recently discussing a mother who drove all of her children into a lake and drowned them. “But wasn't she a severe case of postpartum psychosis?” I asked. “I don't even think all that’s real,” she said. I have no idea what was going through that mom’s head on the day she did what she did, and I can tell you that the thought of hurting my children never crossed my mind. But I can tell you that postpartum depression and psychosis are very real. Mental illness makes people uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable, which is why I've never written about it before. I keep saying, “I'll write about it some day, when the time feels right.” but it just never does. I don't think it'll ever feel right.

Cory tells me that I'm still not the same person I was before having Otto. In all honesty I would almost consider having a fourth child if the fear of sinking back into the black hole wasn't too real to handle. I don’t pick up my camera for my own benefit as much as I used to. I can't even remember the last time I took a picture of a fence or an Oklahoma sunset. I do know though that some days are a real struggle. There are some days when I think to myself I can’t do it today. I have to stay in bed. I can't talk to people, look people in the eye, drive a car, eat any food, stop eating all the food, or even breathe. Then I drag my ass out of bed, take a too long shower, feed my kids dry cereal and cart them off to school wondering to myself Did they brush their teeth? as I drive away.

There are enough people in my life that know I battled postpartum depression to ask me for advice. They just had a baby and feel sad. Their friend/daughter/spouse just had a baby and they feel sad. And I always offer whatever quack advice I can. “Counseling didn't really work for me, but I found something that helped me escape it.” What I should say is, “Don't ask me, please, because I'm still severely fucked in the head.”

After playing with my camera for a couple of years I started taking pictures on the side for money. I meet the loveliest people doing this on the weekends. One of those lovely people is a beautiful, blond psychiatrist who lives in the most magnificent house, has a handsome husband who is also a psychiatrist, and two gorgeous children who both play musical instruments. She even owns two English bulldogs who are perfectly well behaved and adorably fat. One day, after taking pictures of her family leaning against trees in their neighborhood, I sat on her couch while she wrote me a check. She lectured me. “You need to be charging more. That picture we used for our Christmas card last year got so many compliments.” I took it as an invitation to dump all of my mommy issues onto her lap. I sat there for a solid half hour on the verge of tears, telling her all about my mom’s need to try and buy my love and why that gave me a serious hatred of money and all things related to money and stupid useless possessions.

Are you grasping what I'm telling you right now? I, the professional, sat in the home of a client who did nothing more than offer me a simple piece of advice and psychoanalyzed myself. I told the therapist, who wasn't even my therapist, what I thought was wrong with me. She is still one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Not only did she endure it all with the grace of a saint, but she smiled and nodded offering grunts and sounds of sympathy that I took to mean, “Your mom is an absolute bitch and you deserve better. Here, let me be your new mommy.” She even hired me two more times after that to take their pictures again.

Bottom line? I should still probably be in therapy. I still get streaks of the baby blues even nearly 6 years after having an actual baby. I try to figure out ways to trick people into slipping me Xanax or weed, even though I'm too terrified of getting caught to actually take someone else’s pills or even be near anyone in possession of weed. For now I try and hold onto the knowledge that it’s never gotten that bad again. I'm still okay. I’m still here. I’m still standing. I haven't had a day when I couldn't get out of bed in a really long time. It’s like I'm forever hiking and don’t know when I'll reach the part where the plateau where I can take a deep breath and head downhill finally happens, but at least the climb doesn't feel quite as steep any more.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

hey, guys

When I feel the need to write I tend to do it in random spurts of verbal nothingness, so excuse me while I type.

When meeting your idol it's good to write a list of the things you want to say to them. Or perhaps even just write them a letter to be read at a later date should they remember to open it. That being said, snuggling with Amanda Palmer with your big sister in a blanket fort is just as beautiful as you'd imagine. 


I attempted NaNoWriMo. I really did. I gave it a good effort, guys. But after approximately 18,000 words mostly about my childhood I had nothing left to say. The good news is that I'm viewing those words as potential blog material for the future, so hang onto your hats...it's heavy shit. Except for the things I wrote about Katy Perry and my letter to Chris Evans. 

Cory is currently rubbing my feet and legs. We've had the last five days together and it's been magic. I'd almost forgotten how absolutely perfect he is.

I don't have strong convictions in many things any more, but I'm hardcore anti book shaming. That being said I'm way too humiliated to tell any of you what I've been reading. Don't ask. I won't tell. Seriously. Don't. Fucking. Ask. 

This picture makes me feel pretty. It's amazing to me that I can be completely disgusted by what I see in a mirror, yet a decent picture can make me reevaluate everything. 


I want pizza. 

I want cereal.

I want fish tacos. 

I wish I had something important to say. See? Verbal nothingness. 

Here. Listen. Maybe cry. Maybe miss your brother. Maybe wish that certain aspects of life had turned out differently. But most of all be grateful for what you do have, because these days time seems to moving even faster than its normal way too fast pace. I cut 30 tiny toenails yesterday and was shocked by the size of the feet I held in my hands. I must remember these things...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bed Time Rambles


I dusted off my sad ukulele tonight & learned how to play this very poorly. Life feels pretty fucking beautiful right now. Maybe it's the hard ciders...maybe it's sleep deprivation..maybe it's that life really is beautiful...who knows..

I do know this song gives me goosebumps and makes me want to shout happy profanities while jumping around in circles celebrating everything that's perfect.

My music tastes of lately have consisted of Cory's Redneckin' playlist on Spotify and all Amanda all the time. I feel like driving in my car pretending to be Amanda one day, then Patsy the next will keep me perfectly balanced.



After drowning in the sea of YouTube the other night I thought, "Why did I start shaving my armpits again? I can't remember." 




God this Vanessa was such a different creature. I was so much more confident and sure of who I was. This Vanessa gave literally two flying fucks what anyone thought about her. She was happy. Genuinely happy.

My highest priority for the rest of 2014 is to find her again. She's in there..buried deep down... 

Anyway. Good night. Find your own YouTube tunnel of happiness, okay? Okay.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Self-Portraits & Kimya

::singing:: selfie time..it's selfie time....

Thank the heavens no one's ever tried to tell me I could be a songwriter. Great lyricist I am not. Great worrier and drama queen at times I am.

I used to love taking a good self-portrait, even before the days when I always had a camera in my back pocket.

I heard recently that the more selfies you take the less people like you. Someone actually did a study on the matter. Someone who obviously needs to get laid and has no friends.

So until I have the free time to share with you my favorite Tom Hiddleston picture and explain to you at great length why exactly it's my favorite (not a joke, guys) I'll leave you with tonight's selfie.


It was fueled by a starcrunch, a brownie, and one of those peanut butter wafer things.

Theme song for my comic book chaser before bed:


(There was this one time when I learned how to play this song then sang it for a small, teeny tiny crowd....it was mildly successful in that I didn't shit my pants while doing it.)

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I'm still here

I don't know why I'm here, blogging right now. It just feels important to say something...to prove that I'm here, still standing. (Mostly)

Last weekend was a tough one. Exhausting..an emotional roller coaster...but I think that we came out on the other side feeling stronger some how. More stable.

I've been pretty fucked up emotionally for the last couple of weeks. I could dig up all of my mommy issues and hang them out on the line like dirty undergarments, but all that needs to be said right now is that I've finally taken charge and put measures in place to protect myself and my family from a hurtful situation.

Since then I've experienced every emotion possible.
One moment I feel remarkably happy, so glad to have finally taken the much needed step.
The next I'm experiencing the most horrendous tension in my shoulders directly related to feelings of guilt and disappointment.
My dreams have been nightmares really...all revolving around a simple email and blocking some numbers on my phone.

Emotional eating has become a problem again, with me drowning my sorrows in everything within reach that's even remotely edible. I'm torn between allowing myself to wallow in comfort food and being terribly disappointed with myself after working so hard to lose all the weight. I just keep packing it back on.

A big life decision about one relationship tends to bleed into every other relationship in my life...mostly my marriage. And my short temper while telling the kids to brush their teeth for the 10th time in the morning.

My mantra:

Keep breathing. Keep moving. Eyes straight ahead. This is what I need right now. This is what I deserve. I deserve healthy, loving relationships..not fucked up ones that make me feel less valuable.

I'll get there....

Monday, August 18, 2014

On Writing, and Talk of Menstrual Blood

I had a friend ask me Saturday night, "What's your dream?" My answer was a blank stare and mental "fuck if I know."

But I did tell Cory recently that this year (my 34th year that is, not 2014) I wanted to work on writing a book and learn how to play the guitar. Those are both goals I've had for the last 20 years or more. Procrastination is a gift. If only I could've majored in such at college and gotten a $54k/year salaried position procrastinating and worrying about things that never matter in the long term. (Please advise is this is a thing I can do.)

That statement coupled with finally reading Bird by Bird has kind of forced me to go through the deep dark pits of my google drive account (where I keep all the things I write then let save automatically never to be looked at again).

For me, writing has always been a form of therapy. What that translates to is bitterness and sarcasm. There's hurt there as well. And pain. But rereading those thoughts from the past me has cast a weird aura of calm and everything is gonna be okay-ness that I haven't had for quite some time.

If I scoop out all the bad memories (the ones I can access in my brain that haven't been blocked out) I can only assume that I'll have more room to insert happy memories. Good, healthy memories that I'm building with my husband and children. The memories of laughter with my platonic life partner on porches while getting attacked by june bugs and drinking whiskey sours. Those are the things I want to hold on to, not the bitter bitch inside who can't decide whether causing someone else pain to bring about piece of mind for herself is actually worth it or not.

There's a part of me that's always hesitant to share too much of what I write, or even what's in my head. Suffice to say that there's some shit in there not everyone needs to hear..or would even find remotely interesting. I'm guilty of "god would they just quit complaining" syndrome, when really all any of us are trying to do is survive. Staying afloat is a full-time job for most of us. One we work on top of our other full-time jobs. And if any of you are anything like me (which I gather most of you are) nurturing and taking care of ourselves is always last on the list.

I've gotten better about letting other people take my kids so I can have a night alone with a book or a bad movie coupled with a glass of wine. These few hours here and there have become vitally important to maintaining my sanity. I think it's why I've been known to take 2 or 3 showers a day. There's something about the scalding hot water and quiet that calm the persistent voices in my head screaming all of my responsibilities at me.

Anyway. In 2014 I want to write a book. I don't know what it'll be about. What would be best for me? That would be to write about my family. Have you guys seen "Peep World"? Premise: Writer dude writes book about his fucked up family (that makes mine look like a walk through Disney World) and family gets pissed. Yea...that's what I want to write. 99% my mother. Anne Lamott told me in this book to "write as if your parents are dead". Words to live by...

When I decided to write that book about my family two years ago I wrote this as the first chapter. (I'll spare you the introduction..it was all self loathing and shit)

This I offer up to you as a piece of me...

Warning: it's about my first period. Because it doesn't get much worse than your most embarrassing day ever. So there's menstrual blood. Don't read it if you're a pussy or it'll cause you to be even more socially awkward around me at some point in the future. Group hug, Ladies. I know y'all feel me. 


Denim Jumper
Since I’ve already told you about starting my period this morning I may as well continue with the uncomfortable feeling you already have and tell you about my first menstrual cycle ever. I’m channeling Judy Blume; don’t judge me.


The year was 1991. I was a young, naive 11 year old. My mother’s sex talk went something like this: “Don’t do it. It’s a sin to think about boys. Your body is a temple, don’t masturbate or you’ll go to hell. Unless you’re a boy, then it’s medically necessary.” It was a Sunday night and I was at church, as was to be expected since we went three times a week. Minimum. A little Pentecostal church in small town Oklahoma. And there I was, in the tiny bathroom in the back of the long corridor. And there it was. The blood..there...on my underwear. Oh God, this is what they’ve all been talking about. My period.


I did what any average 11 year old girl would do. I stuffed some toilet paper down there and opened the bathroom door, hoping to find my mom. Only I didn't take into consideration the fact that I don’t have an average mom. It’s something that constantly escapes my memory, because I’m still shocked when she disappoints me. Thirty-two years of life and I still hope that things will change. It’s the very definitely of crazy, doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.


“Mom, I think I just started my period.” Whispered, wallowing in my shame. “What?” Shouted, like everything else she’s ever said. “I started my period.” “Oh my baby! Oh! Oh!!” That’s when I saw him. Down the hall, just right there, was Brandon Joshman. (I changed his name here for obvious reasons. Although if he managed to get a hold of this ridiculous display of self indulgence he wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this was totally about him.) Brandon, with his short curly hair filled with massive amounts of hair gel. Brandon, with his perfectly cut Levi stone washed jeans. This boy was the epitome of all that was hot in my 11 year old mind. He was everything. And there he was, at the moment the crimson gates opened, witnessing my mother’s tearful moment. Because, say it with me, “Why wouldn’t he be?”


The thing about getting your first menstrual cycle is that it should most definitely be a private thing, right? Not something to be shouted about in church corridors in front of hot boys, or shared with your brother who’s 9 years older than you. “Your sister became a woman.” And it should absolutely, most definitely, not share itself with your entire 7th grade class in the cafeteria on your first day of junior high. But it did.


1991. The 80’s were technically over, but socks with dress shoes and denim jumpers were still completely acceptable. So was curling my bangs and aqua net hairspray. And this particular denim jumper was so great, you guys. Like, first day of junior high great. I was finally allowed to shave my legs, a good year or more later than the rest of my friends. I had become a woman and put the humiliation of the night before behind me. It was in the past, and I was ready to conquer. Junior high was when all the good shit happened. I was gonna kiss a boy, smoke cigarettes, and have my very own locker. The locker happened. The other stuff? Well, kissing came at 19. Cigarettes came around 16, with the window of my red Pontiac Sunbird rolled all the way down and Green Day in my tape player. I was basically a delinquent.


You should know that I went to a school run by Baptists. A school where girls weren’t allowed to wear jeans, but boys were. Where self expression and free thinking were not only frowned upon, but grounds for immediate reprimanding and demerits. I had been going to school with almost the exact same group of rich, entitled brats since the third grade because my parents were trying to shelter me from books about witchcraft and being a virgin sacrifice offered up to Satan himself. No, really. My favorite book in junior high was about a teenager who listened to rock music which led her onto a path of self destruction, Satanism, and tantric sex. It sounded awesome.
My hair was big, my jumper was starched and ironed, and my socks were perfectly folded down to the point where they met my white keds. I even had a tiny brown leather purse to match because I was obviously an adult who needed a purse. In that purse? I had done it. I had managed to put make up inside it without my mother ever knowing. A compact with pressed powder and lip gloss. Rebellion is of the sin of witchcraft, and I was ready for my burning at the stake.


On my hourly trip to the bathroom to cake on more powder and smear bubble gum scented lip gloss all over my lips I turned and saw it. There it was on the back of my beautiful denim jumper. The crimson curse had placed itself firmly on my ass for all the world to see. Because in that sacred moment of buying sanitary napkins the night before my mom, as she always did, bought the cheapest ones possible. Wings? Fuck that, they cost an extra 74 cents. And the talk about changing that pad every couple of hours? What talk? There was no talk. If only the internet had been around then. Raising my daughter will be so much easier. I can just avoid the whole uncomfortable period and sex talks by saying “google it”.


Naturally I did what any terrified 11 year old girl would do. I ignored the problem and went to my next class, because surely I would be accused of some kind of mortal sin if I pointed out that I had period blood on my ass. Lunch happened, in the cafeteria, in front of everyone. Then I saw them there, the thin popular bitches, pointing and laughing. I’ve given birth three times, and shit myself every single time. The third time I was standing when it happened. The shit left my body and hit the floor right between my feet in front of my husband, my mother, and what seemed like 17 nurses. Those skinny bitches laughing at 11 year old me is still the most humiliating moment I’ve ever had in my life.


That’s when it happened. That’s when enemy number one saved me. The uptight Baptist principal of my school, with her gloriously huge permed bob, became my savior. As I hid from my shame in a bathroom stall, that woman became a saint and scrubbed the blood out of my denim jumper. In that moment she became more nurturing that my mom had ever been. As I left the bathroom she whispered, “Just use your purse to hide the water until it dries.”


My period has been nothing but a total bitch since that first Sunday night when she appeared. Interrupting hopes of sex, causing me to swear and cry over nothing important, and forcing me to get pregnant three times. Yet there was a lesson she was destined to teach me that day. Never judge a book by its cover. That saint of a woman was my principal until the day I graduated from high school. And while everyone else around me cursed her for ruining their lives by not letting them wear dangly earrings or blue nail polish, I knew that there was a caring tender woman underneath it all who rescued clueless little me and my denim jumper. I know what you’re wondering. The jumper lived to tell the tale, and was my companion through the rest of 7th grade. Sometimes I think that I should’ve saved and framed it. On days when my kids think I’m the worst human in the world and our dog has pissed on my kitchen floor for the third time in an hour, I could set my gaze upon it and remember that things could, in fact, always be worse. So much worse.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hi, 34

I turned 34 exactly one week ago.
The day passed without much notice. 
I went to work... I came home... I ate pizza... Cory went to the grocery store to get me a cake at 11pm... I ate some then went to sleep. 
It's how I prefer to celebrate birthdays really. I've never been a fan of being the center of anyone's attention, let alone a group of people who may not even want to be there celebrating the existence of me anyhow.
34. 
34.
34.
Holy shit I'm 34.
Next year I'll be 35. 
And 35 just sounds so....adult. 
Am I an adult? I don't feel like an adult. I still feel like a lost 17 year old girl playing house.
Yet here I am with my husband, 3 children, and 9-6 job. 
People depend on me to survive. They call me Mama. 
I don't know if it will ever feel real...this whole being a grown up thing. 
But here I am...
And this here. This is nothing more than me trying to keep the moment from passing without a nod of the head. A how do you do if you will.
In keeping with standard blogger tradition. (Hi I'm the worst blogger ever nice to meet you)
Goals for my 34th year. In no particular order, because that requires too much brain power.
1. Run at least 3 more 5k's. I'm only racing myself here though so..no pressure. Just do them and don't die. 
2. Learn to play a new instrument. At least one song on a new instrument. 
3. Either cut ties with people who bring me down or learn to just shut the fuck up about it. People can only make me miserable if I let them.
4. Read the Harry Potter series again.
5. Get completely wasted and go sing karaoke with Cory. This one is mostly for his amusement and enjoyment. He loves karaoke. He also loves laughing at me while I drink. 
6. At least attempt to learn to rap. I'm half Korean so chances are pretty likely that I'm an undiscovered prodigy.
7. Quit being a pussy when people bring up my outlook on things of a spiritual nature. This one's gonna be a toughie.
8. TP Wayne Coyne's house. This one's more of a I wish I could do it....
9. Learn how to cook more Korean food. 
10. Get back under 200 pounds. I was there last November (barely) then life happened. Translation: stress eating happened.
11. Build a dark room at the shop. Invite all my friends over for a dark room party.
12. Continue to stalk Rainbow Rowell on Twitter. She still favorites most of my tweets directed her way so I think I've nearly broken her down and convinced her to be my best friend.
13. Continue to resist tweeting Tom Hiddleston my thoughts throughout the day because that's really fuckin' creepy, he'll never see them, and could literally give two shits.
14. Learn how to shuffle a deck of cards.
15. Get a passport. Because you never know. 
16. Start a fist fight with my mom when she asks me if I've gained weight. 
17. Go hiking. In real hiking boots. With a backpack and North Face jacket. Because anything worth doing is worth doing well.
18. See Emily at least twice. Watch "Brokeback Mountain" with her (again) and drink copious amounts of whiskey.
19. Write Lena Dunham a letter/email and tell her how much she means to me.
20. Work on being more patient with my kids. This one is an ongoing struggle. I can be a real asshat sometimes.
21. Write more. In any capacity. Just write more.
22. Read all the existing Saga's because Cory's asked me to. And I love him.
23. Take a fishing pole to a body of water, put a worm on the hook, catch a fish, take it off the hook, bring it home, clean the fucker, cook it, then eat it. 
24. Spend more time with my daddy.
25. Get at least one pedicure/manicure with a friend. Because they make me feel pretty and doing something just because it makes me feel pretty is okay, Vanessa...it really is.
26. Drink more water. And no, coffee doesn't count just because it has water in it.
27. Chill the fuck out. 
28. Quit comparing myself to others. I can only be me, right? 
29. Continue to spread the good message of Rainbow Rowell, Langhorne Slim, and Josh Groban's twitter account. 
30. Take Faith's inevitable progression towards puberty with grace and dignity. Resist the urge to scream, "YOU DON'T NEED ANYONE'S APPROVAL" when she asks to shave her legs because all the other girls are doing it. 
31. Camera. Use it more. 
32. Hug like I mean it more. 
33. Party til I puke. Literally. Just once so I can say I did it. 
34. Photograph another birth.
And now it's time for the birthday selfie. (Taken 7 days late)


And the birthday playlist. Which is proof that I'm now an adult, because it's all mellow and shit. But I'm a cool adult, guys, because it has like..Bon Iver on it.


-V out. Good night.