Amelia Kanan

Writer + Photographer + Producer

Category: Real Life Essays

Citizens of Seniority: Growing Old in America

www.ameliakanan.com

When venturing into the modern world with my grandmother, it’s clear to understand how she feels as if the world is pushing her out.

We hadn’t even stepped into the local Trader Joe’s before I witnessed her feelings of fear and invisibility. Shuffling through the busy sliding doors, a stranger unknowingly brushed past her and the gentle impact had set her off balance. As she grasped my arm, I felt her sway with the ebb and flow of patrons.

It dawned on us both that she should be better equipped for this grocery-foraging journey. She retrieved her confidence with a shiny, red cart and surged forward with her hands gripping the handle.

Every time she stopped for an item, she parked the cart, as if she was ready to sit and read the Encyclopedia among the frazzled shoppers.

Yet the time she took was not leisurely, in the least. It was cautionary; time well spent. Constantly on guard, she protected her ghost-like frame from a carelessly swinging basket and a grabby limb that desperately jabbed for a $1.99 bag of Organic Spinach.

Despite logically validating her struggle, my impatience groaned inside. Noticing that after 15 minutes, she had only gathered two of the five items on her list. Ignorantly,  I offered to “go ahead” and “quickly grab” the last three things she needed.

Her annoyed, but polite rejection prompted me to take note. Perhaps this was another instance that will make her feel pushed, just like the unassuming stranger’s neglectful nudge.

Finally, with her collection of five provisions, she turned toward the checkout lanes, the finish line.

However in this stretch for victory, she noticed a rogue toddler with a mini, child cart.

Her panic gave way to survival strength and she swiftly swerved the cart – the wrong way. Luckily, the nimble toddler pivoted to avoid a collision. Everyone walked away without injury, but my grandmother did make a plea for emotional distress on the car ride home.

Later that evening, she would share our grocery journey with her 95-year-old boyfriend over dinner.

Recounting emotions of fear, insult and neglect, she would make large and general accusations like, “everyone” has become too busy, too preoccupied with themselves to care about little old ladies.

I cannot argue, because I agree. I am unfortunately one of them.

So, I listen and attempt to understand. Try to recognize how the world that she gave love, and good, strong-hearted children to, is telling her to leave. Notice that no one depends on her opinions, actively seeks her wisdom or honors the struggles she’s had to endure to keep surviving in this mad, chaotic place.

Maybe, if I can uncover those challenges and feelings of elderly invisibility today, the pain of tomorrow will be less. Or, when they do begin to arrive at my doorstep in years to come, I will be able to embrace them, as they will be packaged with the memories of my grandmother.


This is a small glimpse of the inspiration behind my new photography series, titled “Citizens of Seniority: Growing Old in America.”

According to the article “The U.S. Isn’t Just Getting Older. It’s Getting More Segregated by Age.” age segregation and age-awareness are growing issues.

It is my mission to educate myself and others about senior issues, from healthcare and financial to behavioral and death. Exhibit how aging struggles unite every human being.

Visually compare the living histories that walk within today’s modern world, from those living alone on sidewalks to others who are surrounded by support. Reflect the confusion, worry and embarrassment in wise eyes. And display examples of how this demographic is too often not considered.

If you would like to learn more or know of a potential subject who would like to participate, please contact me at info@ameliakanan.com or ameliakanan.com with the subject “Senior citizen series.”

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Speed Limits

Recently, a friend told me an interesting fact about driving. The gist of it is: humans aren’t biologically comfortable traveling at speeds over 30 mph. Although airplanes fly at a much faster speed than cars, we don’t see clouds speed past us as we do trees or buildings while driving. Thus, frequent and fast-paced driving can induce physical and mental stress.

Just thinking about my weekday commute makes my heart race. If I leave before 7 am and take the quickest route (the 10E to the 110S to the 91E), I can get to my office in 28 minutes flat. But that means I’m at work at 7:28 am flat. Yet, when I wait until 7:01 am or any later and take the same freeways, I have to deal with brake-gas-brake driving for 45 to 60 minutes.

Like any love-hate relationship, I have a lot of respect for driving and the rules of the road. I’m not a perfect driver, but I am a passionate driver. Meaning that I apologize when I accidentally cut someone off (even if they had been driving super slow in the LEFT LANE and only sped up the second they saw my turn signal go on). Also, I’m passionately dedicated to educating my fellow road companions via a polite horn beep, an informative hand signal and sometimes, if they’re lucky, a window-to-window pep talk about being mindful and present in their lane of traffic.

Look, I am a very patient and calm person when it comes to most things. After years of working with all kinds of personalities, I’ve mastered the art of not taking things personally and truly letting things roll off my back. I have a strong aversion to grudges and passive-aggression. And, I believe that remaining authentically kind, especially when my face wants to explode with frustration, is always the most beneficial and logical choice.

But I draw the line at bad drivers.

Drivers who don’t look before they change lanes or use their turn signals. Drivers who tail you even when there’s a mile-long traffic jam. Drivers who cruise at dangerously s-l-o-w speeds…in the carpool lane. Drivers who go 10 miles SLOWER than the flow of traffic and are TEXTING while driving on a MAJOR freeway. By the way, are traffic police ticketing frightfully slow af drivers because, frankly, roads are most endangered by fear-driven motorists who are clearly not confident enough to safely operate their vehicles?!

I digress.

Sharing a city with more than 4 million people can unfortunately make strangers feel like obstacles, rather than other humans who are also stressed out because they, too, are driving at biologically unnatural speeds.

In an effort to lay off the innocent drivers who don’t deserve the shade I throw, I’m learning how to slow my roll with a scenic commute. Calmly coasting past trees, shops, schools, churches and people at a speed that feels innately comfortable. Yielding to bicyclists, eager students and hurried pedestrians. A new commute that now makes me, unbelievably, wish that I get stopped at a long, red light.

Nothing Special

Tree (1 of 1)-2

That would be the title of my book. “Nothing Special.”

Inside would be a random collection of colorful images that I’ve lovingly captured and categorized as exactly that. A young girl waiting for a bus alone, a home cooked meal that isn’t stylistically plated or professionally lit, an oversized tree on a small lot and tress. There were would be lots of trees.

At 15 years old, I took my first photography class at 15 years old and never thought, or even hoped, that it would become my career. Photography was like that childhood best friend who you could always count on for candid connections, edgy mischief, and unfiltered self-discovery. The one with whom you’re secretly in love, yet maybe too shy to do anything about it.

Just like the first whiff of darkroom chemicals, it wasn’t love at first sight. At any rate, sparks of true kinship were there. I felt it, venturing into neglected areas hoping to catch something new and feeling protected despite being alone. Or in the nervous excitement that came through the lens, as I pulled focus on something small and unseen.

And that was just the beginning! There was pulsing anticipation, loading a spiral in the pitch dark. Then thrill, once the film dried and displayed crisp, well-balanced frames. Soon thereafter, calming comfort in the chill darkroom, calculating exposure and developing an enlargement. And finally, the best spark of all – the final print. With each one, I could feel my heart expand, knowing that such a long, arduous and triumphant journey would forever be safely preserved.

When you’re young, experiences or relationships such as this can often get whitewashed and taken for granted. You may also be a little unaware that although something has taken root, doesn’t mean you can stop watering it.

Time and time again, my contact sheets were full of nothing special. In the beginning, that was okay. But, after awhile I discovered some troublesome themes. An abandoned home with broken windows and graffiti. A crying baby and a distressed mother. Shattered glass in a bed of roses. A lone stranger, deep in thought. Gravestones at night, lit with my flashlight.

The dry roots were ejecting my buried vulnerabilities from the dark, bursting aberrations into my viewfinder.

Being the novice that I was, troubleshooting was out of the question as was asking for help. Instead, I turned a cold corner and retreated from the negative space.

After 3 years, the time had come to break up. I masked my special love, along with my tender inner truths and said goodbye to my high school sweetheart. Clearly, I thought, the relationship was dead and it had nothing to do with me.

It was time to discover something new, something more mature, something special.

Mysteriously and problematically, photography wouldn’t let me go. Like that ex-love that always comes back, it seemed to always find a way to thread itself into every pursuit I embarked on. College, jobs, gigs and projects – it found a way to reconnect with me no matter where I went.

Begrudgingly, I took it by the hand and worked with it. Capturing all kinds of scenes, faces, events, new businesses, causes, families and even a few celebrities.

Before I knew it, I found myself depending on it financially. But, more incredibly, we had discovered a new kind of nothing special. One that was full of brightness, alive with vibrancy and composed with clarity.

My settings had adjusted and my aspect ratio was corrected.

My “nothing special” hasn’t only been a career-saving grace, it has been my insightful guide, partner in crime and better half.

Photography overexposed my truths – over and over again – until I acknowledged and embraced them. It gently nudged me to work on underdeveloped traits, such as patience, direction, focus and being quiet. It provided me with filtering and diffusing techniques and helped me widen my view. And made me understand the real value of background and memory.

What’s more, it instructed me to listen, look at the same thing from different angles, remove myself from the picture and remain still in the midst of a chaotic scene.

And, the most transcendent of all, photography taught me that old, sturdy roots are not necessarily restricting or prone to decay. They can push you to stretch and sway freely in the wind, but ensure you’re secure so you don’t get lost in a strong gust. It can be your daily source of great escape.

Photography was the prime picture I needed to trust and release fear so that I could expose myself to better, ambient light. It was the proof I needed to understand that if you allow nothing special to develop at its own speed, it could become your most valuable life treasure.

“I love everything that’s old, – old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine.”

Ameliakanan.com (30 of 31)

Stephanie and I were best friends before we even met in person. Two months before we moved into our college dorm, we talked on the phone almost every day and told each other everything.

Steph wanted to experience as much as she could. She wanted to travel, share awkward moments with strangers, write about the things that impacted her, capture life and create the most epic catalog of memories.

As for me, I just wanted to find a husband. Feeling like I had already done everything on her list, my naiveté led me to believe that my next chapter was supposed to involve a minivan, the PTA and a husband who had sex with me in the garage after our kids’ soccer games.

Looking back, it’s funny to see how obvious it was that both of us desired lives that weren’t necessarily true to our natures. For instance, all I wanted was to be a homemaker, yet my nomadic spirit kept me from sleeping in my own bed most nights of the week. And as determined as Steph was to be spontaneous and free, she was quick to nest and root down in our neighborhood.

Gradually and unknowingly, we learned each other’s tricks. Stephanie shared her important tools of dependability and commitment and I exhibited survival skills for living life spontaneously.

For better and for worse, our friendship had no boundaries. We served up reality checks and called out flaws. Yet even with the harshest of fights, our intentions were never to hurt, but to inspire growth within the other. We didn’t just help each other identify the flaws, but examine them. Was it a scar or a wound? A fear? Or was it just a character trait that hadn’t been built yet? She wanted me to embrace the reality of roots, rather than run from it. I wanted her to learn that goodbyes didn’t always mean that you had to lose something, but maybe gain something better or more evolved.

We didn’t just live together, we developed who we were together. We learned our strengths, weaknesses, dislikes and needs vs. wants. She helped me find pride in my independent life and I helped her see how much of nurturer she truly was. Most importantly, we learned that life was not a stark contrast of black and white, but instead the most beautiful array of gray.

16 years later, 1,000 miles apart, we still talk almost every day and tell each other everything. Although I still tease Steph about living in the same neighborhood and frequenting the same businesses, I am in awe of how she has managed to achieve all of the goals from her 18-year-old list and then some. She has not stopped traveling, sharing awkward moments with strangers, writing about the things that impact her, capturing  life and creating the most epic catalog of memories now with her husband Ryan and their son, Ro – both of whom I adore more than words can begin to describe, but that’s a whole other blog.

Stephanie, Ryan and Ro thank you for teaching me that new chapters can begin without having to say goodbye. Here are a few snapshots for that epic catalog.

Not pictured: the nightly strolls, Ryan’s professional driving skills, Nicholi’s story about catching on fire, the woman at Faros Beach, yogurt breakfasts and singing “Be My Baby” a capella – over and over again.

 

Input Mode: Sweden & Croatia

Recently, I took a trip to Sweden and Croatia. The intention was to get away from my life distractions to really focus on my personal creative pursuits. However, I should’ve known better than to take a leisure trip with the intention to work.

I quickly found myself displeased with every photo I took and every word that I wrote. But instead of feeling frustrated, I reminded myself that there is no such thing as a creative block. As artists, we have two modes: input and output.

Embracing my input mode, my soul slipped away from the tight grip in which it is usually held. I spent full days outside, basked in history, wandered with homeless dogs who oddly wore sweaters, climbed countless stone stairs, found a King’s tomb who had been buried with his mistress and wife laying on top of him, ate carbs without a care, scaled a cliff during a windstorm (totally by accident), drank delicious wines and laughed with strangers.

I also continued to photograph and write because that’s just what I do. Every single day. Whether I like it or not.

 

Weekend at Gammy’s

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My sweet, but tenacious Gammy.

Forgive the obvious title reference to the late ’80’s comedy where Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman try to pass their dead boss Bernie off as alive. Such a good movie. Did you know that movie was 18 years in the making?

Unlike Bernie, Gammy is alive and well.

Gammy is my 83-year old grandma, who lives in one of those bougie retirement communities where college dorm drama and country club dinners are thrown into a blender at high speed. The result is an overpriced, flavorless puree of dead ends.

#thefuturessobrightIgottawearshades

That isn’t fair, it’s not always depressing. One night, over 3 bottles of wine, a fellow resident named Mary vented her frustration with her daughter who had told her that she wasn’t allowed to drink anymore.

“My daughter thinks she controls me because she took away my car. What she doesn’t know, is that I’ve learned how to ride the bus to Trader Joe’s and buy my wine. I’ve lost 10 lbs with all the walking I’ve had to do to get to the bus stop.”

IMG_0510

Tom and Gammy browse the menu over pre-dinner cocktails in his apartment.

Mary is the best.

So is Tom. My grandma’s newest boyfriend.

Gammy, though she would never admit it, is a serial monogamous and so is Tom.

This 92-year old, a Princeton man and poet, has sailed all over the world, been married 3 times, and has 4 children. Since he can’t walk very well anymore, let alone sail, he founded a Yacht Club for remote control sailboats. Every Sunday, the flags would go up at the pond and a dozen or so people came to watch the 8 mini-sail regatta. And even though, Tom asked permission and had an off-site Harbor Master oversee the launching and lifting of the little boats out of the water, the retirement community shut it down.

“It just doesn’t make sense – you won the race. You won your human race for survival and it’s not like you get a trophy or special awards for anything. Instead, everything gets taken away from you.”

That was me speaking, not Tom. He’s too humble to say that he won anything. But, he did agree with what I said.

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Gammy and Tom get their mail after their nightly escapades.

Every month, I visit for a weekend and catch up on the latest gossip and hear about the current fight against “the man”, aka the administration. Among the complaints are gripes regarding the cheap processed food, lack of information, condescending communication, and, worst of all fake flowers.

There used to be strict dining attire rules until Gammy led a movement of rebellion. “There are silk flowers and soggy vegetables, I will wear whatever I want to dinner.” In an attempt to win my grandma’s affection, Tom began bringing an electric candle and a miniature, fresh house plant which he brings to dinner every night. It’s a little embarrassing going to dinner with the two of them who like to make a display of the removal and replacing of centerpieces.

To their credit, it has become a trend. However, I’m sure it won’t be long until “the man” puts a stop to that as well.

Dr. D: A Naturopath Fairy Godmother

Dr. D looks at my happy blood cells.

Dr. D looks at my happy blood cells.

My blood looked sad. At least that’s what Dr. D said.

It was my first appointment with the naturopath. For so long, I had felt like a hypocrite, preaching the natural way of life yet heavily reliant on Western medicine to “fix” any health problems.

Dr. D, reminded me of one of Cinderella’s fairy godmothers and even though I felt so comfortable with her, I was still riddled with anxiety. Before my blood came into play, she said “Honey, you need to breathe.”

Such a simple concept but something I had easily forgotten while on hiatus from yoga. I closed my eyes and did what she said. Her breathing got louder the closer she came to me. Typically, I struggle with loud breathers but since Dr. D was like a grandma, I found a calming comfort in her shallow lung capacity. My muscles relaxed even more as I listened to her hands rub some kind of ointment between them which she soon massaged into my neck and shoulders.

When I opened my eyes, she handed me a small plastic cup with purple fizz.

It was delicious and just as I thought I couldn’t be soothed any more, I melted another inch into the chair.

“Now, how’s that?” Dr. D asked like a proud grandma who just served up some freshly baked apple pie.

After studying my fingernails she kneaded my hands and said, “We need to throw your thyroid and adrenal glands life jackets -your estrogen isn’t getting properly dispersed.”

My hands never looked so small as they were engulfed by the doughy ones.

She was checking my pulse and crinkling her eyebrows. “Hm. You burn, on average, 1800 calories a day – without doing anything!”

“Wow, that’s awesome because I have not been working out at all.” Between my knee and sciatic nerve problems, I hadn’t been able to do anything other than walk on flat ground.

Her face got serious, “I don’t want you worry about that stuff right now. We need to get your muscles and organs clean and working properly before you push them any harder.” I liked the way she thought.

“You’re a natural athlete, your body never lets go of that.” I couldn’t wait to compose a mass text to everyone in my life, quoting her on that.

She sat back down behind her desk where she had her microscope camera connected to her monitor. I didn’t have any time to tell her I was scared of needles before she pricked me and dripped 6 beads onto a glass plate. Her screen turned on and there they were, my sad-looking blood cells.

The blobs scared me, reminding me of those micro-bugs that live in motel beds.The bitty goons were creeping in slow-mo all over her screen. Some were even thorny, which meant I was dehydrated. That wasn’t much of a surprise considering I drank a bottle of Tempranillo the night before.

“Oh, sweetheart you must be exhausted.”

I nodded, grateful for the sympathy.

“See how some of these cells have linked together and made chains – that means they are all deprived of nutrients and they’re trying to share the goods.” I felt like a bad mom – not providing my babies with what they needed.

“You’re very strong – and smart but you’ve just felt foggy for a long time. You probably don’t remember what it’s like not living in a fog.” Even though I was curious to know how she knew that by looking at my blood cells, I was too consumed with my guilt of being so awful to body. What she was saying was true. I’ve been apathetic, slow moving, foggy in my thinking, and unable to really focus. I nodded as tears puddled at the bottom of my eyes.

Dr. D was a little surprised by my drama. “Oh, sweetheart.” She took off her glasses and looked me in the eye. “You are one talented person, very smart. The world won’t know what to do with you once we flush all this stuff away.” She really knew how to hook me.

Next, she let my blood dry and wrote down an ideal daily diet plan along with the supplement routine. The only vegetables you should eat cooked: butternut squash and brussel sprouts. The only fruits you should eat are berries and apples. Also, applesauce to rid the metal in your body. Actually, at 9:30am, eat a combination of quinoa, oats and applesauce. Those are your only grains for the day. No Dairy. Coconut Milk or Almond Milk. ATP, PMG, progesterone, iodine, yadda yadda.

Back on her computer screen, my blood cells were dead. This time, the still images weren’t unlike the terrain of Mars. Dr. D traced the craters and geographic-looking patterns with her finger as she explained to me the history of my body. Jumping by 4’s, she told me exactly what was happening with my body from birth until today. She knew that I’ve struggled with anxiety since the age of 5. She knew that I was in a bad car accident when I was 15. She knew I was in the best shape ever at 25. She knew my fitness hasn’t been consistent since 29. She also knew exactly what sports I played.

I was sold, on Dr. D and was ready to subscribe to anything she put out.

30 days after that first appointment, I went back to see my fairy natural godmother.

“Amelia! Look at you!”

Truthfully, I really don’t think I looked any different but, I definitely felt different. I was happy to report her that my energy levels were soaring and optimistic demeanor was back. My sleep pattern was satisfying and even without afternoon coffee, my daily urge for a nap at 3pm was gone. And, even though she had told me not to worry about it, I was back in a fitness routine and not because of guilty but rather the sheer enjoyment.

Then, we looked at my blood on the big screen. Those little marshmallows were unrecognizable. Fluffy and bustling about, it was crazy how happy they looked. No thorns or linked chains trying to share nutrients with each other. My babies were healthy.

Well, that was all I needed to be a believer. I’m so grateful for Dr. D and reset she gave me.

Dead People

Growing up, I had a string of unhealthy obsessions and one of them was with dead people. Naturally, like most things, I blame my Catholic parents.

As a family, we said our nightly prayers before bed and they were usually followed by a philosophical discussion led by my dad. For some reason, bedtime seemed like his favorite time to talk about all things scary: angels, ghosts, and dead relatives. “You know – lots of people who love you are always with you, Amelia”. What the fuck? They are? Even when I’m naked?

One night, after watching a special on people who had near death experiences, I took the liberty of asking God for a bunch of things.

“Please God, make sure every single homeless person is warm and snuggling with someone, don’t let anyone in the whole world cry, and don’t let anyone I love die. Also, I wouldn’t mind if I have to get glasses and braces, I think they look cool. And please please please God, I know you love me – so, you don’t have to come visit me to prove it.”

My dad freaked out. He started yelling at me, “Don’t you ever tell God to leave you alone!”

As always, my mom calmed him down and I was left alone, with a racing heart, in my dark bedroom, that at the time was believed to be haunted by my great grandma who had died the year before. This theory became a confirmed fact when our housekeeper told my mother that she had seen my great grandmother in the mirror in my room.

With all this death experience and talk of spirits as a concrete reality encompassing me, I evolved into a dark pre-teen. But, not the cool kid kind. The weird kid kind. It was weird because I managed to find the one way you could be superficial with death.

Like when I came to school dressed in a black dress and white pearls and told everyone to call me Jackie Kennedy Onassis. It was wasn’t Halloween. It was a free dress day in February. No one called me Jackie and with the exception of recess when I wanted to play soccer with the boys, I stayed in character the whole time. But, Jackie would’ve wanted it that way.

When I was 13, I told everyone I wanted to die so I could be with John Lennon and the next year, I convinced myself of being the reincarnation of Virginia Woolf, which was the motivation behind me picking up a cigarette butt on the ground and smoking it. Virginia made me do it.

In my defense, I was trying to make the best of my fears. I would talk to dead celebrities all the time. They were my friends. Jackie taught me that there is so much power in silence (something I’ve always known but have had a hard time actually integrating into my life). John taught me that real strength is in kindness. And Virginia, she taught me that it’s ok to talk about how you really feel and that smoking doesn’t kill you- suicide does.

Finally, in high school, I was able to clear my head a bit with some Grateful Dead, herbal medicine and eastern philosophy.

Being crazy during my formative years wasn’t easy – I got teased a lot. Teachers, adults, my best friends, family – basically anyone who knew me. This could have perpetuated things. It could have made me an angry little soul. But, it didn’t. In fact, it made me resilient and taught me things that some people never get the chance to learn. Plus, by the time I got to college; I knew what I wasn’t good at: fitting in with normal people and I knew what I was good at: telling stories and method acting.

And…the rest is history.

I’m proud to say that I am no longer scared of ghosts and I respect the privacy of all dead celebrities by not bothering them with my thoughts.

2 Boys and a Girl

I thought I fell in love with two men at the same time. Well, back then, they were boys. They both had the same name but couldn’t have been more different from each other. One was a jerk who always smiled and one was sweet but never smiled. One had stupid big, blue eyes, the other had small but cozy brown ones. One liked baseball the other basketball. One was tall the other was…well, taller than me. One had an inflated ego and the other needed to grow a pair.

They both made me laugh, even though neither one was very funny. More importantly, neither one ever pretended to be perfect nor even tried. That’s why I fell in love. And that’s how I felt worthy of being loved by both of them.

Not to mention, I was an insecure 18 year-old girl who craved constant attention from boys and they each fed different parts of my ego. I could be sweet and fun with the jerk and with the sweet one, I could be deep and dark. I was so easy then. They would disagree. Only because back then, I said ‘no’ a lot. They both called me a tease.

I enjoyed telling them both how in love I was with the other one – who happened to have the same name. I also enjoyed venting to one while already forgiving the other. It may come as a shock but they didn’t like each other.

if I really wanted to lie, I’d tell you that I still love them and if I wanted to be really honest, I’d tell you this saga still continues. But, thank god, I don’t feel like telling stories nor bearing my soul so I won’t say either.

Today, they both should hate me. Because I kind of do.

The sweet one kind of does. Well, he doesn’t hate me but, he doesn’t ask me to move in with him anymore. That’s ok though because he wants cats and he doesn’t want kids.

The jerk thinks we’re perfect for each other because he thinks we’re the same. We’ve hurt each other so much it’s as if we’re numb to it. He’s allergic to cats and definitely wants kids. Stupid me thinks “Maybe we are meant to be together…”

When I talk to both of them, I can hear my 18 year old voice. I can hear insecurities I haven’t heard in a decade. I hate that.

Yet, I keep holding on.

Why?

Why not?

For over 10 years they both have not only listened to me cry, ramble and even lie about stupid shit but they both have provided advice and condolences. They are two men who know every single ugly part of me. Every single annoying part. Every shameful flaw. And yet, they both are still here and still able to listen, sleep next to me and hold my hand. That – to me – is insane.

As sweet as this can seem it’s not healthy.

Spring is coming and I’m ready to clean.

Sucky Feelings

She definitely got mad...

She definitely got mad…

Once in awhile things are so good. Like, sunshine and lollipops good. Like, so good you’re kind of happy you had all those sad times so you can fully appreciate that goodness you get to snuggle up into.

Most of the time though, things suck. I’m sorry. That might be a little dramatic. But, it’s kind of true and we totally do it to ourselves. No matter if you’re in a happy relationship, you love your job, enjoy your life – it doesn’t matter. You still get angry, sad, hurt, lonely, or scared. That’s probably the worst of them all. Feeling scared. That stupid feeling ends up leading to all those other sucky feelings.

You’re in a happy relationship. You get scared it’s too happy. You start to read into stupid things. You start feeling hurt. That hurt makes you feel angry or sad. And then that anger or sadness turns into sadness or anger. You project that sadness and anger onto your happy relationship. You ruin the happiness. You ruin the relationship. Then you’re lonely.

You have a really great job. You get scared it’s too great. You start to read into stupid things. You want to protect yourself from the sadness that might come when they might fire you. You get angry. You project that anger onto your job, your coworkers, your work. You get fired. Then you feel hurt, lonely and sad.

You enjoy your life. You feel scared that a shoe’s going to drop. You try and figure out where it’s going to fall. On your job, your relationship, is your dad going to die, are you going to die? You isolate yourself, making you feel lonely. You get sad. You feel angry at everyone else who is happy. Then you feel hurt because life is so unfair.

Thank god I’m nothing like that.

Fuck those sucky feelings. Don’t let them bite you.