Throwback Thursday: You Matter

Lives matter.

Your life. My life. That man at the crosswalk. That woman who just held the door open for you. Your first grade teacher. Your BFF from 7th grade who broke your heart when he moved away. The girls you played Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board with at birthday sleepovers. The musically talented, shy kid who nailed his surprise lines in the show. The dude who made the most affecting piece of high school art you’ve ever seen. The football player with a winning smile who could always make *you* smile. The boy from 11th grade who gave you butterflies and once made out with you for hours. The giggly girls with whom you sneaked underage booze and talked all night. The guy with the tattoos, piercings, and jeep up on shocks who went overseas. The kid you met in line while getting your college ID who brought you soup when you were sick and then got way too cool (he was *really* cool). The artsy ladies with whom you formed a secret society. The mischief-makers who found ways into off-limits theatre spaces to give your class lasting memories. Your first real boss who stressed you out way too much. Your best friends through the years who have given you love and laughter and doses of real-talk and are always there no matter what. The heartbreakers. The nice lady who chatted you up on the patio of the bar this summer and offered a hug just when you were about to crack. The chick in the car in front of you this morning who was driving 10mph in a 30mph zone and driving *you* bonkers. Your Mom. Your Dad. Your siblings. Your cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. The guy who always lets you interrupt his walks so you can pet his dog when you see them out and about. The person you just hit it off with at that thing the other day – you think you’re going to be good friends. The hundreds of people you haven’t seen since elementary school, middle school, high school graduation, college graduation, moving away from home, leaving a job, ending a show, ending a relationship, closing a chapter of your life…

The number of people who weave in and out of each others’ stories and histories is uncountable, and each moment and each life matters. And I am grateful for everyone who is a part of my story as I am honored to be a part of yours…no matter how small or large or in between, how pleasant or lesson-teaching. You matter; thank you for being.

Live beautifully and love big.

ADULTUESDAY

Mark it down, folks. The morning of January 27th, 2015. I have earned an Adult Trophy.

I…

  1. Did not hit snooze when the alarm went off at 7am – got right out of bed instead.
  2. Promptly got ready for work.
  3. Am wearing matching socks.
  4. Started my car from my apartment FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER so that it was warm and snow was melting off of it when I was ready to leave.
  5. Arrived at the office by 9:15am…
  6. …having already talked to one of my best friends about life business…
  7. …with coffee in hand because I made some BEFORE leaving my apartment.
  8. Have seen and talked to many of the execs and CEO of my organization because apparently people arrive before 10:30am and do things and make the world happen.
  9. Remembered to water my (maybe) dying office bamboo plant to keep it from (maybe) dying.
  10. Need a 10th…I need a 10th…OOOOHHH…and now I’ve written a blog post!

Just saying.

10 points to Gryffindor!!! Ok. Fine. Hufflepuff. I'm definitely more of a Hufflepuff.

INFINITY points to Gryffindor!!!  Ok. Fine. INFINITY points to Hufflepuff. I’m definitely more of a Hufflepuff. (Minerva is just gonna keep throwin’ them 10s forever)

But the fact that I need to pat myself on the back for this shizz should probably make me question the trophy at all… #fauxdulthood

Darwinism is Dead: Or Why I Would Not Survive The Zombie Apocalypse

I’m going to go ahead and make a bold statement:

Darwinism is dead.

How do I know this?  Because I am still alive after almost 30 years. I am walking, talking, breathing proof that natural selection is a fading, historical relic in the modern, 1st World.

I do dumb things all the time to prove that natural selection is not really a factor in my sphere of operation; if it was, I should have been picked off long before now. Case in point, this recent situation (which I posted to Facebook):

No. Words.

No. Words.

Clearly this was a joke. But shortly after sharing, I noticed a friend’s call for people to submit themselves as characters in something he’s writing by describing the role they would play in a Zombie Apocalypse. And I was watching an episode of The Bachelor that involved a zombie themed paintball adventure. * So I thought about it for a second; reflected upon the evening’s events and a history of behaviors/choices that one could label as anything from ridiculous to unnecessarily dangerous; and one thought popped into my mind: I would be DEAD.

I mean – I’ve seen The Walking Dead. And – while it’s not the Zombie Apocalypse – I’ve read THE ROAD. I am confident that I would not survive beyond the first month. Possibly not past the first week if I hadn’t gone grocery shopping and if there were issues with the water in my apartment. Because HELL TO THE NAAAAWWW would I be walking out of The Apartments of Eternal Christmas to go in search of things at the bodega around the corner. I would be a hunker-and-wait-to-be-rescued type. Which would most like evolve into a hunker-and-wait-for-death type.  AND on the off-chance that a well-meaning survivor were to find me, what skills could I provide to a group?

  • Defense?  Nope. Weaponry terrifies me.
  • Hunting? Nope. Again, weaponry terrifies me. And I’m a vegetarian for reasons relating to the killing aspect of consuming meat.
  • Growing food, then?  Nope. I have a black thumb. While I’m anti-killing things, I kill cacti and succulents on the regular.
  • Practical survival skills? Nope. I have no knowledge of how to wire electricity, dig for wells, build a shelter, start broken-down cars, track things in the wild, sanitize water, or tie intricate knots.

Also – my body’s natural response to scary situations?  To pass out.  Normal confrontations of life, I’m cool with. I can get through those. But if I become overwhelmed by even the thought of being in an escalated confrontational situation – emotionally or physically – my body is like: “Hey cupcake! Imma make this real easy for you. We’re just going to stop working and we’re going to avoid this mess altogether! And if things get really bad, we won’t even know because we won’t be conscious! Are you near soft ground? Nope? OH WELL! HERE WE GO!!!”

No fight. No flight. Just lay down and play dead.

The few things I’d have going for me?  I take direction well; I am typically a quick learner; I work well with animals and children and have a driver’s license (#specialskills); and I am told that I tend to provide a positive element to a group dynamic. Plus I’ve seen The Walking Dead and have read THE ROAD. All suuuuuuuuuper useful in a Zombie Apocalypse.

Read as:  I would probably be the first to be eaten by the group when it got to that point or eventually be used as zombie bait.

Fabian, on the other hand, would be just fine, I’m sure.

And these, my friends, are some of the deep thoughts that occasionally plague my mind. You’re welcome. #fauxdulthood

* A long time ago, I was in an acting class with one of the contestants on this season and have watched the first two episodes. #thesearemyconfessions

New Year’s Magic

I am not typically big on New Year’s Eve. While it’s a perfect excuse for a party and some champagne, it is just a measure of time. Nothing *actually* happens overnight. No extraordinary thing occurs as the clock changes over from 11:59pm on December 31st to 12 midnight on January 1st that doesn’t occur on any other day. Except maybe more people are more drunk than usual. It is mundane, daily magic that one day passes as another begins.

However, this New Year’s I’m banking on big magic. The kind of magic that shifts universes and starts the world anew.

Through all of December 31st, 2014, I will believe that with each tick closer to midnight, the roughness of this past year is being sloughed away. And when it chimes midnight in the District, I am going to believe with all my soul that the world is fresh. Clean. Smooth. Full of wonder and possibility in a different way than it has been before. Because 2015 is going to be a year of great things and grand adventures. It will be a year of change by choice, not by circumstance.  It will be a year of celebrations and creativity and self-discovery. It will be a year of love and laughter and full presence of being. It will be the start of a chapter that has yet to be fully imagined.  And while some ghosts may linger occasionally whispering 2014 in my ear, the bellows of a joyous 2015 will be louder.

Due to the immeasurable nature of what I want to do with the gift of this fresh year, I will make no resolutions.  Instead, I will say goodbye to the mantras I’ve been using as 2014 has slowly, drunkenly made its way to the door: “Get your house in order.” and “I am letting go.”

And I will say hello to a new one: “I will boldly go.”

So, friends, here’s to a magical New Year and all the good that 2015 will hold! Celebrate beautifully.

PSA: Know Your Side Effects

I recently started experiencing anxiety in a persistent, nagging way.  I have never been an anxious person in general. I have never been one to lose breath and have my heart race while driving to a friend’s house for a low-key evening of movies and wine with a small group of people I adore.  And the crying-attacks were unpredictable enough to take me by complete surprise and hijack an otherwise OK day – not to mention, they were exhausting.

Because of everything that has happened in the recent-ish past, I logically thought that maybe this was just part of how my body was continuing to deal with compounding personal stresses, the likes of which I have never dealt with before. It wasn’t until I had a panic attack in a bathroom at work for over an hour that I decided this was above and beyond what was tolerable.  And when I came clean to my Mom and admitted this was a problem, I was reminded to look into the side effects of an acne medicine I had been put on in early September.  And – sure enough – 2% of pill-takers experience anxiety while on this med.

I am not a medicine person. I don’t take them regularly and haven’t for at least 4 years.  I don’t like taking cough medicine or tylenol or even medicated cough drops which is why when I *do* take meds, they hit hard. My freshman-year-of-real-life roommate will attest that Nyquil would often knock me out mid-sentence; I would wake up hours later on the floor of our family room in a puddle of my own drool wondering why I wasn’t in my bed and trying to think of the last thing I remembered. Nyquil has since been banned from my personal apothecary. 7 years ago, I went on an acne medicine that during the adjustment period left me super light-headed and a bit out of it when standing; I warned my boss-at-the-time that if he heard a crash from my office, I’d probably just gotten dizzy while standing up and had most likely fallen over but was going to be OK. Normal. I think that poor man didn’t know what to do with me sometimes – it doesn’t help that my first week on the job with him, I suffered an allergic reaction that had me breaking out in hives and ransacking his medical closet for Benadryl. Again. Normal.

But I sometimes let my looks bother me more than I should and am newly single (I’m not going to try to stupidly pretend that had nothing to do with caring about my skin again) so when my dermatologist prescribed doxycycline hyclate in addition to topical meds, I decided to try it in attempt to finally get my skin under control.  I looked up side effects and the main ones listed were all things I thought were reasonable to expect OR had such a small chance of occurrence that I wasn’t concerned. But now that I was hunting specifically for one side effect, there it was. And I started to think that maybe I fell into that 2% of anxiety stricken pill-poppers.

Doing more Googling led me to message boards where some people expressed that they had experienced side effects in a MUCH worse way than I did when taking this med.  That was terrifying to see and all the support I needed to immediately take myself off.  And now – a little over a week later – I am feeling so much better.  Not 100%. And I don’t expect to be 100% yet because I know it takes time for medicine to cycle out of the body. But I have not had the heart-flutters for quite a few days. And I’m now attempting oil pulling as a natural way of calming the skin ( a suggestion from this smart lady who got the suggestion from THIS smart lady) and we’ll see how it goes.

All I know is having clearer skin is not worth living in a state of considerable anxiousness and agitation that is seemingly spurred by nothing.

So this is my PSA reminder to always investigate the side effects of any drug you take and if you notice a change in your body or mind – even if it seems somewhat reasonable due to external circumstances – do more research.  Please.  It saved me from spending more time in a terrible head-space and I would hate to see anyone else suffer unnecessarily.

Doooo-dooooo-dooo-dooooooooo!

Doooo-dooooo-dooo-dooooooooo!

Inked

For years I’ve wanted a tattoo.

In high school, I wanted a Chinese character for something or other.  I can’t remember what specifically. Which is why it’s a good thing I didn’t get a tattoo then.

In college I thought about a phoenix or a phoenix feather on fire.  I still like that imagery and idea, but it never excited me enough to actually do it.

I’ve always known that I would *know* when I stumbled upon the perfect idea to start me down the slippery slope of inking myself up.  And I finally did.

Over the last two months, I kept coming back to the poem INSTRUCTIONS by Neil Gaiman:

Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never

saw before.

Say “please” before you open the latch,

go through,

walk down the path.

A red metal imp hangs from the green-painted

front door,

as a knocker,

do not touch it; it will bite your fingers.

Walk through the house. Take nothing. Eat

nothing.

However, if any creature tells you that it hungers,

feed it.

If it tells you that it is dirty,

clean it.

If it cries to you that it hurts,

if you can,

ease its pain.

From the back garden you will be able to see the

wild wood.

The deep well you walk past leads to Winter’s

realm;

there is another land at the bottom of it.

If you turn around here,

you can walk back, safely;

you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.

Once through the garden you will be in the

wood.

The trees are old. Eyes peer from the under-

growth.

Beneath a twisted oak sits an old woman. She

may ask for something;

give it to her. She

will point the way to the castle.

Inside it are three princesses.

Do not trust the youngest. Walk on.

In the clearing beyond the castle the twelve

months sit about a fire,

warming their feet, exchanging tales.

They may do favors for you, if you are polite.

You may pick strawberries in December’s frost.

Trust the wolves, but do not tell them where

you are going.

The river can be crossed by the ferry. The ferry-

man will take you.

(The answer to his question is this:

If he hands the oar to his passenger, he will be free to

leave the boat.

Only tell him this from a safe distance.)

If an eagle gives you a feather, keep it safe.

Remember: that giants sleep too soundly; that

witches are often betrayed by their appetites;

dragons have one soft spot, somewhere, always;

hearts can be well-hidden,

and you betray them with your tongue.

Do not be jealous of your sister.

Know that diamonds and roses

are as uncomfortable when they tumble from

one’s lips as toads and frogs:

colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.

Remember your name.

Do not lose hope — what you seek will be found.

Trust ghosts. Trust those that you have helped

to help you in their turn.

Trust dreams.

Trust your heart, and trust your story.

When you come back, return the way you came.

Favors will be returned, debts will be repaid.

Do not forget your manners.

Do not look back.

Ride the wise eagle (you shall not fall).

Ride the silver fish (you will not drown).

Ride the grey wolf (hold tightly to his fur).

There is a worm at the heart of the tower; that is

why it will not stand.

When you reach the little house, the place your

journey started,

you will recognize it, although it will seem

much smaller than you remember.

Walk up the path, and through the garden gate

you never saw before but once.

And then go home. Or make a home.

And rest.

The poem was introduced to me by one of my best friends and favorite people and it has been a touchstone in recent times with chunks of it becoming mantras. It’s technically the breakdown of a fairy tale; it’s also about being on a new path and trusting/learning from others but remembering to be a good human and to trust who you are at your core to get you through. And I love it. So much. I relate strongly to many parts of the piece and if I had the cojones, I would probably get the whole poem on my person.

But I don’t have the cojones.

So about a month ago I had narrowed down ideas and I knew I wanted “Trust your heart, and trust your story.”  I have always had a strong intuition and a gut/heart I can rely on – sometimes it’s a freakish sixth sense and there are jokes about the women on my Mom’s side of the family being witches; it runs in the blood. And while everyone has their own stories because we are all our own unique universes of thoughts, feelings, and histories, I am typically able to work to a clear, balanced, able-to-be-trusted story – partially because I over-think, over-analyze, and try to put myself in others’ shoes. I try to approach my reactions to difficult situations from a collection of information and that has always helped lend clarity and understanding in tougher moments. Not to say that I am always correct or that I don’t have moments of dramatic weakness. But on the whole, I can trust my story. And sometimes I forget this.  Or – more likely – I let others give me a different story or sway me from my gut. And that has never turned out OK for me. So having this reminder and mantra carved into my skin seemed natural. And I knew I wanted it in my own handwriting.

I also played with the idea of shape and had settled on the idea of a heart with the bottom slightly open, the words creating the shape (still in my own handwriting), as a reminder that no matter what is going on, you have to approach life ready to let love out of your heart and into the world and let love from the world into your heart, too. Because at the end of the day, I want to live my life steeped in love. And I  mean that in a much greater way than the day to day – though that is important, too.  I want to live with an open, flowing heart because you only get one crack at this life – so why not live in whole-hearted love?

It’s cheesey. But it’s true.

So I had my consultation at Cirque Du Rouge with their fabulous apprentice, Cas Loll, and came armed with a slew of handwriting samples as instructed.

Before meeting up, I had read Cas’ bio:

Like a magical woodland creature, passionate curiosity about the fiddly bits of everyday life and an endless hunger for knowledge fuels me.

I’m obsessed with all things whimsical, mystical, eerie, ancient, good-hearted, and seemingly inconsequential.

Cas also mentions on her website that she’s available for “Petting your cat or other cute small mammal.”  Needless to say, I felt good about her.  And then during the consult, when I started talking about the poem, she shared that she recently bought the INSTRUCTIONS book for her nephew.

Done.

We set October 14th at 6:00pm as the date/time and until then, she would workshop the heart (with a back-up of just the text) in as close to my handwriting as she could get while still having the text tattoo-friendly (size/spacing).

The 14th rolled around and here is what I typed out on my work computer as the hour neared:

5:22pm – I have eaten 2 extra strength tylenol; a thing of mac and cheese; my stomach is queasy and churning and I am sweating like a monster.  I am wondering if I should have gotten a second thing of mac and cheese. I have been so distracted all day at work. Nervous and excited to see the final stencil of the tattoo ideas.  Am giving myself full permission to walk away if I don’t love the design. Am also downing diet green tea with ginseng and honey.  Will leave at 5:30pm. Have done very little focused work today. This is not a personal challenge. This is to prove nothing to anyone. There is no pride in this. “If you turn around here, you can walk back, safely; you will lose no face. I will think no less of you.”

Unrelated – my purse is full of cat food and both my bunny slippers and rainbow eyelashes have arrived today.

I am not afraid of pain. I am not afraid of pain. I am not afraid of pain. I am not afraid of pain.

I was *very* afraid of pain.

I got to Cirque and saw the designs and knew I would need to see the artwork on my body before deciding anything.  The heart looked great but was easily distorted with movement and that bugged me. I wanted to love it. And I really liked it. But if I wanted the placement I wanted (left ribs), it was not going to work the way I had envisioned.  We tried the shoulder, but still, I wasn’t in love with it.  And Cas was LOVELY about letting me take my time and had a zero-pressure approach. She was friendly and welcoming but very clear about this being my decision – and a bigger decision – so she would be happy to re-design or scrap the idea altogether. We were on the same page.

After deciding the heart wasn’t for me, I asked to stencil just the words on my ribs …and I looked in the mirror … and I gasped.

I loved it.

I imagined this must be what some of the brides on Say Yes To The Dress feel when they find their gown. Except I was standing in the front of a tattoo shop in my held-up, unhooked bra and jeans looking in the mirror at a tattoo stencil on my ribs.

Side-note: my comfort with this situation was joked about by the ladies in the shop – they said they could tell I was a theatre person. Hilarious.

Anyway – I got chills and was ready to forge ahead but because I’m a little a-type sometimes, I needed to compare the stencils to my handwriting samples a few more times to be sure it was just right. And after being completely satisfied – I said “Let’s do it!”

I was still *very* afraid of pain.

But I should not have been.

Honestly, it was not bad at all. It was not comfy and at times it “zinged” a bit much, but I used the 30/40 minutes as time to breathe and meditate. And as I was laying there, I started contemplating what my next tattoo will be…because that is how willing I’d be to do it again when I find the next perfect thing.  And I think the heart idea is still lingering, taking a slightly different form…

But for now – I’m good. And am instituting a “no new tattoos for at least 6 months” rule. Maybe I should make it a year. Because a little over 6 months and I hit my 30th. Which could be grounds for some new decoration…

Seriously, I’m so thrilled with this tattoo and could not have imagined going to a different artist or shop.  So thanks to Cirque Du Rouge and Cas Loll and all those who gave me tips on going in for the first time or helped me workshop my ideas.

And I’m glad that I waited 29 years to come to something that feels just right. It is perfect. And perfectly me.

Trust you heart, and trust your story

Trust you heart, and trust your story

New ‘Do, New You!

Sometimes I get confused.

When looking at online sources or magazines for potential new hair styles, I sometimes think that by getting the same haircut as a celebrity or model, that I will look EXACTLY like that celebrity or model. The delusion was a bit thicker in my younger years and that is why I ended up with misguided hair styles and/or colors at times.  For example:

Blonde, short and curly? Really? Brilliant.

2003 blonde, short and curly? Brilliant. Also – nice roots.

And I was PROBABLY trying to look like this:

Because I adore Drew Barrymore.

Because I adore Drew Barrymore.

Or sometimes I have grown my hair out super long to try to get what I now refer to as that voluminous Adele look…a look that my hair will never accommodate for. Such is life, I suppose!

I’ve gotten a bit better about this and now tend to at least make sure the hairstyle I’m drooling over is displayed on someone with a rounder face…or a “moon face” as a dear old friend once termed it (it’s cool – she has one, too!).

That being said, I am getting my hair cut tomorrow and am feeling the pull to do something a little different than what I’ve been doing just to have something fresh going on. New ‘do, new you!  However, with that pull comes ridiculous ideas. Like bangs.

Exhibit A: Jennifer Lawrence

Do I really want bangs? Or do I just want her face?

Do I really want bangs? Or do I just want her face? And that body? And that dress?

Exhibit B: Zooey Deschanel

Do I want bangs? Or do I just want *her* face?

First off, my hair is not that long, not that thick, and not that color. Second, having Zooey Deschanel’s bangs will *not* magically give me a New Girl situation. So, while I’m at it, I should stop looking on Craigslist for apartment openings with three dudes. I don’t really want to go there.

Exhibit C: The Last Time I had Legitimate Bangs

Do I look happy about those bangs? NOPE!

Do I look happy about those bangs? NOPE! There is a reason.

Other styles that I am considering that are probably not achievable without a significant amount of work, product, and selling parts of my soul to the devil:

My skin is not nearly that luminous.

I think I just want her skin? (is that creepy?)

A bob AND bangs? Do we HATE ourselves? Why is this even on your Pinterest board?

A bob AND bangs? Do we HATE ourselves? Why is this even on my Pinterest board?

So here’s the thing. I write all this now knowing full well that there is a 50/50 chance of me doing something a bit ballsier/playing it safe when I get to the salon tomorrow. And I will continue to look at pictures tonight and tomorrow morning but most likely I’m going to go for a long, angled bob.

But in my heart of hearts, I will always want my hair to look like this:

Should I give up? Or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads not to this hair?

Should I give up? Or should I just keep chasing pavements? Even if it leads not to this hair?

What do YOU think? What style would you like me to try? What style have YOU always wanted to try but keep yourself from doing?

Happy Found Ya, Got Ya, Takin-Ya-Home-Without-Thinkin-Bout-It-Much Day, Fabs!

Four years ago I was touring with a theatre company called Wandering Souls in a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Part of what made Wandering Souls brilliant is that its purpose was to bring shows to underserved communities in DC – nursing homes, homeless shelters, etc. – and so on September 14th, 2010, my castmates and I found ourselves in SE preparing for a show at an after school program for at-risk youth.  A group of us were chatting before entering the venue when one of my colleagues saw a kitten (surrounded by young kids) about to run into a road. And she was NOT having that.  So she politely excused herself and came back to the group with the kitten in her arms, curious as to what to do with it; the kids had told her that their mom had thrown the cat out and my castmate already had two cats at home herself so could not take another.

Without thinking much, I said: “I’ll take it!”

I’d never had a cat before – let alone a kitten – but have a bleeding heart and was a few months out of a messy romantic situation feeling that I needed some sort of anchor and source of affection. So I took home a semi-feral feLion. And thus began the epic adventures of Fabian Raven Ittameh Bittameh Kittameh, The Duchess of Things and myself.

First night with the Faba - curled up all cute-like on my lap.

First night with the Faba – curled up all cute-like on my lap.

Fabs is by no means the easiest cat.  She’s gone through phases of extreme violence-against-people (mainly me) and stretches of peeing on my bed – which is the *last* thing you want to come home to at the end of a long day. She is not friendly with others, yet asks for their attention and I have to give warnings to anyone who enters my home regarding her erratic behavior.

And I leave notes for repair men that look something like this:

Yup.

Yup.

And have created a way to track attack patterns.

I can't even really excuse this...

I can’t even really excuse this…but 41 days is pretty good!!

Don’t get me wrong. Fabs is affectionate in her own quirky way – she sleeps with me, sometimes on top of me, likes to cuddle on the sofa and be pet; occasionally I get head nuzzles.  She gets really upset if I have been away from home for too long and will want to curl up on my chest and near my face for comfort.  She loves to chase lasers and play with her toys; sometimes she’ll drag her toys into my room in the middle of the night in an attempt to get me to play. Not to mention she is more entertaining than any other animal I’ve ever met. Most recently, I switched her on a low-grain diet. I was sitting in the family room when I heard commotion in the kitchen and I went running in to find that she had dug into the cabinet and pulled out whole wheat pasta which she proceeded to gnaw on.  Seriously?!  Seriously.  She’s a smarty-pants, goofball with a slight anger-management/impulse control issue and I love her.

I mean – look at this face:

She thinks she's pretty.

She thinks she’s pretty.

Fabian – in all her semi-feral glory – has also taught me so much. It’s weird to say, but I have learned more about dedication and love and persistence and honoring promises from this KitBit than from any person. During some of Fab’s “dark times”, people encouraged me to give her up; to let her go to a different home or to give her over to a shelter.  And during one stretch, I was at my wit’s end feeling like I wasn’t giving her the right home and maybe she’d be better elsewhere. But the thing is, no matter how frustrating and difficult things got, I had made a promise that I would take care of her for the rest of her life. And I’m big on keeping promises.

Things aren’t always simple with my main kittenlady, though they’ve been better in the last two years. But at the end of the day, Fabs is my family and I would be missing out on something really special if she was not a part of my life.

So, rock on with your bad (please be good!) self, Fabian!  And happy 4th Welcome Home anniversary, you feisty feLion, you!

A Fauxdult Girl’s Favorite Things: Break-up Edition

Here is my Oprah-style favorites list for what you need in the wake of a break as you try to adjust to a new approach of living your life.

A FAUXDULT GIRL’S FAVORITE THINGS: BREAK-UP EDITION

Flowers – Buy flowers of a non-romantic variety – like gerbera daisies in bright orange – and put them somewhere you will see them as soon as you enter your home. They brighten the mood and are a subtle reminder that many good things that bring happiness are not designed to last forever –  and that is a-OK; in part, that is what makes them beautiful.

Furballs – There is nothing better than curling up with your highly sensitive, typically grumpy but now oddly affectionate cat, playing with your fosters, or working with some shelter adoptables to help ease your soul. Feeling sad? Hold something furry! Tears coming? Let a pup lick them away – they like the salt!

Mambo is the best therapy dog and she gives amazing kisses.

And you thought you wouldn’t be kissed again for a long time… look at that!

 

Elastic waistbands – Ladyboo – you are going to want to be comfortable. Loose fitting clothing and loungewear are your friends. Don’t judge – wear anything that makes you feel comfy. Bust out those faux business pants and skirts that look like they have real-people fasteners like zippers and buttons but secretly have elastic and wear the hell out of them. But make sure you feel GOOD about what you are wearing. Don’t wear sweatpants too much. That will make you feel worse. Yoga pants are your buddy at home.

Deep Steep sugar scrub in passionfruit-guava – This stuff is luxurious –  it makes your body feel amazing and your skin super-smooth while smelling absolutely delicious. It provides a nice escape for a few minutes in the shower and is a great way to Treat. Yo. Self. Because you certainly deserve to Treat. Yo. Self.

Delicious

Delicious and cruelty-free

 

Bourbon – Bulleit or a bottle of Four Roses (better when brought by one of your Meg(h)ans). Mix with bitters (better when brought by a friend). Pop some star-shaped ice cubes in there and a glitter swizzle stick and breathe. Enjoy in moderation and best when shared with a buddy. Bourbon is God’s way of letting you know that He/She exists and that humans are deserving of love. Relax.

Waterproof mascara – Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Splashes! waterproof mascara – cruelty free and phenomenal.

Cry-proofing perfection

Cry-proofing perfection.

 

Privacy settings on social media – Use them. Privatize albums and photos. Deactivate accounts for stretches of time. Limit your own access to people’s feeds and streams and change alert settings. Technology is pretty intense and there are ways to make sure you don’t see things you don’t think you can handle yet. Do not be ashamed to use all the bells and whistles to your advantage.

Smudge/Sage – All aboard the Ritual Train to Hippy Dippy Break-up Town, USA!  Doing something to clear the space and create a blank slate is useful if not for any other reason than to clear your own brain. After the Ritual Boxing of Items and Ritual Exchanging of Things, when your physical space is clear of tangible items reminding you of what is now past, burn this shizz around your apartment and make intentions for now and the future. Breathe.

To new beginnings, a clean space, a clear mind, an open heart, a strong spine, and remembering to be kind to and respectful of the obstacles this year has brought.

To new beginnings, a clean space, a clear mind, an open heart, a strong spine, and remembering to be kind to and respectful of the obstacles this year has brought.

 

Family and Friends – I have touched on this before, but let people know about the break-up and be honest with them about what you need. Message it out to your nearest and dearest and others who will be affected by your lack of full presence in the immediate. It is OK.  Most everyone has been there and will understand.  There will also be lots of hugs. “And YOU get a hug! And YOU get a hug!  AND YOU GET A HUG! EVERYBODY GETS HUGS!!”

INSTRUCTIONS by Neil Gaiman – Read this poem. Read it and take heart.

"Trust your heart, and trust your story."

“Trust your heart, and trust your story.”

 

Respect – Respect what is past. Respect the relationship you had. Treat it with care because it is broken and fragile. When you get sad or mad or frustrated about losing someone you love, check yourself and temper your response. Be human.  Be honest. But be kind and loving. To yourself and to the person and relationship you lost. Never stop giving respect. Ever. And respect yourself and the wishes of others enough to have a clean break and start moving on.