Thursday, January 22, 2015

Therapy Thoughts

When I was in high school, I had a therapist named Dominic.  I would go visit him at his office and when the school year started, he would come visit me at school.  We'd hang out in the empty auditorium and sometimes, he'd even endorse ditching the school building and having our meeting at the Dunkin Donuts next door.  He was awesome, supportive and even felt like a friend at times.  He made me feel less like a crazy person and more like an emotional teenager with depression issues.

I stopped seeing him because I was starting to feel more "normal" and was going off to college.  I didn't think I needed weekly therapy anymore and he agreed.  As the years went on, I had ups and downs with depression but for the most part - everything was still in working order.

Until this year.  After moving across the country, I started dealing with intense anxiety issues.  I'm not sure if it was the huge change, the total discomfort in an unknown area, the lack of knowing anybody or the increased amount of driving I was doing… but anxiety and depression started overwhelming me. There were panic attacks, nights where I'd go to bed just to be asleep and not dealing with life and all that fun stuff that goes along with anxiety and depression!

I thought it was about time I did something about it and started seeing a doctor who put me on anxiety medication that did nothing for me.  She sent me to a psychiatrist to get to the root of the problem and find the right solution for me… or prescribe the right solution for me.  California doctors love medication in my experience.

I showed up to the psychiatrist's office on one very inconvenient night.  I was going to a Bruin's game that night and when I tried to re-schedule, the woman told me that it'd cost $50.  So, I squeezed in the appointment in West Hollywood and quickly drove Downtown in ridiculous traffic which is GREAT for anxiety.

Oddly enough, the doctor kind of reminded me of Dominic… mainly because he had glasses and a gentle speaking voice.  I have only known two psychiatrists in my life, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that glasses are a requirement.  I assume they're there for doctors to take off and hold against their lips while they're in deep thought.  That's the only reason I wear glasses!  That and horrifying blindness that is getting worse with age.

The doctor asked me what was going on in my life, so I told him everything… because that's what you do in therapy.  As I spoke, and heard my problems out loud, I felt silly.  They just seemed stupid and inconsequential and #firstworldproblems.  "Oh, you're stressed about money?  Big deal!  At least you have a job!" said the mean bitch in my head.

Finally, when I had finished speaking, I felt a little more calm.  I realized that it doesn't matter what kind of problems I have, they're problems regardless.  They are things that keep me up at night and overwhelm me with stress during the day and that I don't have to keep letting them control me and that's why I was there.  I was finally doing the right thing for myself and was seeking out help and someone to talk to.

And that's when the doctor told me that he wasn't going to be my therapist.

"SEE!  Your problems are DUMB."  - Mean Bitch Patty Voice

It turns out that his only purpose is basically to prescribe me medication as he doesn't currently have any therapy appointments available.  I sat in his office for twenty minutes while he listened to me unload all of my problems and then he flat out rejected me!

Well, not totally.  He told me that what I was feeling was worthy of treatment and that it would get better.  So he prescribed me a new medication and sent me on my way and told me to check back in another month.  Which I did the other day… and was in his office for MAYBE ten minutes and all he did was up my medication dose and tell me that it "sounds like I'm doing okay."

I'm not opposed to medication, I'll give anything (except most things) a try once.  But the whole ordeal is funny to me.  I'm not sure if it's a California thing, or a U.S. thing or what - but the fact that the doctor didn't even try to offer me another available therapist and just gave me prescriptions seems backwards to me.  I'll give it a try and see how it goes but sometimes, I just want to talk to someone who is PAID TO LISTEN.

I miss the days of talking to Dominic over a horrible coffee from Dunkin Donuts.  Actually, I also wouldn't mind trading today's problems for some of these much easier to handle (at this stage of my life) teenage problems either.  I'd take being sad due to a fallout with a friend over general anxiety and fear of everything ANY day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Break Your Rut!

Life is full of ups and downs, ins and outs and a baker's dozen full of ruts.  That's right,  a BAKER'S dozen.  I have met so many ruts in my life that it's got to the point where I don't even feel like chasing any more dreams because I know that eventually I'll plateau within them and get bored and fall into yet another rut.  I'll never be happy with anything, so what's the point of even trying?  Right?  Right.

The truth is that ruts are about as easy to break as a lifelong acne problem.  You probably should go ask your doctor to put you on Accutane, but you're too afraid of all the dangerous risks that go along with it (like not getting pregnant and suicide.)  I get it, I've been there... I'm there right now.  But it's not the end of the world.  There are some significant ways to change your life without too much effort.

1. Challenge yourself.  Ruts stem from monotony, so challenge yourself to do something that you don't do every single day.  Instead of ordering take out, challenge yourself to use a pot and a pan and cook yourself something.  Trader Joe's has great frozen meals and hey, it's not technically cooking but it's a start.  Or, challenge yourself to exercise every single day.  Challenge yourself to read books, bake breads or date a different ethnicity every week.  Or maybe something less oddly racist than that last one!

2. Take a class.  When I was bored and chubby at 19 years old, I decided to take improv classes and also walk along the Mystic River every single day.  I lost a bunch of weight that summer but I also started a career in comedy.  So hey, sometimes when we take a class that we're afraid to take - we find new career paths and cults to join that you make you feel better and more important than everyone else. 

3. Join a dating site or download a dating app.  Maybe you're in a rut because you're single.  That sounds offensive, but I don't mean it that way.  Hey, I'm in a rut and I'm in a relationship that is turning two years old very soon!  But if you want to start dating but you're not meeting anybody at the three places you go on a regular basis (work, Target and the liquor store) then start going to bars with less friends or download some dating apps.  They seem to be popular among the youth... and a lot of people have found some luck and not one of my friends has died yet!

4. Look for a new job / apartment / life.  If your job is boring you, and you think you could get paid more elsewhere, look for a new job!  Now's the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile and remove all those joke skills that your friends added to your profile for you.  Although I'm sure that an employer will be impressed by how many friends think I'm skilled at Microsoft Word.  If you hate where you live, or have run out of wall space for your printed Instagram pictures, then hop on Craigslist and find yourself a new place and maybe even a free couch or aquarium  If your life sucks, well then I'm sorry but there has got to be an app for that, right?

5. Get pregnant.  If all else fails - get pregnant.  There's no better way to shake up every single thing in your life than by birthing a child! 

Monday, January 12, 2015

$200 Pants

I woke up on Saturday morning to a rainy day and a huge headache.  I had a thousand things to do, but I didn’t want to do any of them.  I got up, took a shower, hung out in a towel for two hours, slowly sipped on coffee and then decided to just get out the door (after putting on clothes, obviously). 

My boyfriend was getting out of work at 1pm, which left me two hours to get shit done.  My building is getting new mailboxes installed, so all of our mail is being dropped off at the post office for the time being.  The first thing on my list was to pick up that mail.

Then I had to re-fill a prescription at Target that I couldn’t just call in (as per usual) because I lost the prescription number.   
Then, I thought I’d go to The Grove and kill some time.  I had a gift certificate to Nordstrom so I thought I’d poke around and see if there was anything I could use.

And that’s when I found the $200 pair of jeans. 

Originally, I went inside looking for boots.  I found zero boots.  ZERO!  It’s boot season!  Why were there no ankle boots?!  There were some ankle boots, but they were either ugly or $300.  I thought about the fact that I could pay $300 for REALLY good boots and they’d last me forever, but I thought it was just crazy. 

But I had 45 minutes left to kill.  I’ll just go up the elevator to the women’s section, I decided.

I poked around the expensive clothing racks and thought, “Meh.  There’s nothing I need.”  Then I strolled over to the BP area (the teenager section, basically) and thought about buying a fancy sweatshirt that said, “YAY” on it before realizing that I’m not a teenager and NO.

Then… Joe’s Jeans.  I’d always wanted a pair of Joe’s Jeans.  An old co-worker used to have a pair and they looked killer on her but I never justified buying them.  But there I was… with this gift certificate…

“But I never wear jeans!”  The sane voice inside of my head proclaimed.  “But they look like they’d fit so well…” The not-so-sane voice proclaimed.I tried them on and they were a little too big!  “Well, Nordstrom does free alterations!  You could get them taken in!” 

Somehow, the not-so-sane voice won.  I never get things altered or tailored, nor do I ever wear jeans, so the fact that I bought a pair of REALLY expensive jeans with the idea that I would get them altered is pretty hilarious.

I returned home and took the tags off and wore the jeans within seconds.  So, I didn’t even let the purchase sit for a day to see if I wanted to return it.  I wore them and ruined everything and you know what?  I love them.

I guess I’ll be wearing a lot of this one pair of jeans this year.  Get used to my butt, everyone. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Stop Being A Dick

The other day, a casual friend approached me to have a “serious” conversation.  I know her pretty well, but not that well.  Yet, still, I know everything about her personal life while she knows virtually nothing about mine.  I started feeling uncomfortable as I gave her advice.  Who am I to tell her what to do here?  Sure, I had my opinions, but why did they matter?  I don’t know her – or the other person in the situation – so it seemed like a bad idea to give her real, honest advice.  The whole thing weirded me out. 

I went to turn around and tell my friend how weird the whole thing was.  “Why is she telling me everything about her life?  She barely knows me!”  I would have said.  But I held my tongue.   My other friend is actually a very nice human being and I know from previous instances of me being a dick that she is the type to provide answers, possible reasons and even worse… solutions.  Which isn’t something you want when you’re venting or complaining.  You just want someone to agree that EVERYTHING IS WEIRD. 

So I bit my tongue and thought about how much of a dick I am.

Maybe this girl and I don’t know each other very well, and maybe I certainly wouldn’t divulge all my personal issues to her – but it’s quite possible that she just needed someone to talk to.  It’s also possible that she sees me as someone she could trust and who might even be able to give her good advice.  And I do love giving advice.  Helping people is my jam. 

The other truth is that I’ve been young and in her situation before and made the mistake of telling too many people situations that I was going through in my life… real personal situations.  But that’s how I learned to keep my trap shut – or as my roommate declared, “treasures locked up.”  One day, I’m sure she’ll learn the same thing.

So, yeah, I’m still a dick.

I talked her through what she was going through.  I helped where I could and gave advice with the disclaimer that I don’t know her well enough and anything I said was from my own personal experience so to take it all with a grain of salt.  I would have helped her regardless, but I felt good about the fact that I didn’t basically roll my eyes while doing so while exclaiming, “This is so weird!” to everyone around me.

Yet here I am, writing a blog post about it.  So essentially, I’m still doing it.  But at least I’m pointing out how wrong I was and how backwards my thought process was, right?!  It's something I do a lot.  I think people are weird for doing things that I wouldn't necessarily do.  I'm super introverted, so I think it's weird that people want to go to clubs and dance and meet        other people!  I mean, that's just an insane activity that insane people do.  Right? 

But my goal this year (and for the rest of my years) is to try to be less of a dick.  I want to stop silently judging people or verbally judging people while I’m a tiny (lot) bit under the influence.  I want to consider the answers, possible reasons… and even worse, solutions to why someone might be making certain decisions that I wouldn't make.  On the other hand, I realize people won't be doing this for me - and my other goal is to accept that.  People can't change who they are!

Unless they're horrible racist, sexist, bigoted assholes...  and in that case, there is no consideration!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 Post-Resolutions

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I like the idea of setting high hopes for a new year.  After the holidays are over, everything just gets sad.  So it's nice to focus some energy into resolutions that keep your spirits high… even for only 2-3 weeks.  Or days.  Whatever. 

In January 2014, I was getting ready to move across the country - so I didn't feel the need to set additional resolutions because well, my life was already twist-turned upside down.  But, I'm going to do a new thing.  POST-RESOLUTIONS!  

Here are things I didn't necessarily plan to change or do in 2014, but somehow did: 

1. Move to another part of the country.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  The west coast is very different from the east coast and as corny as this sounds, it's hard to feel a "connection" with this city and/or coast.  But I'm getting there.  It feels a heck of a lot more like home now than it did last year, so I did it.  I successfully moved and lived in a different part of the country. 

2. Make new friends but keep the old.  I have a lot of new friends.  Really good friends! Friends that I plan on inviting over for dinner and BoJack Horseman marathons.  But I also stayed close with a lot of old friends and got closer with friends from Boston who also live in or moved to Los Angeles the same time as me.  Great all around. 

3. Take a non-yoga group exercise class. I have always been afraid of them.  I don't like the idea of working out with people because I like to be good at things so when other people are better than me, I feel angry and less than.  But I took a SoulCycle class this year. It was weird! 

4. Take a skateboard and surf lesson.  Never wanted to do it.  But I did it. 

5. Take a road trip.  I took mini road trips to Twentynine Palms and Newport Beach.  But I also took a bit of a longer road trip to Las Vegas.  Nailed it. 

6. Buy a car.  Well, I leased one.  And I did it all by myself! 

7. Take control of finances.  I'm still working VERY HARD on this, but… well, I'm getting there.  I'm aware that my finances need some work - and that's the first step, right?!     At the very least, I stopped spending as much on nails and hair and random purchases at Target.  AS MUCH. 

8. Cook more meals at home.  This year I did MOSTLY grocery shopping and went out to eat a lot less.  I learned a few key recipes that I re-did over and over, like the perfect pan roasted chicken thighs and roasted brussel sprouts and not going to lie, really awesome burgers.  If I learned anything this year, it's cooking is easy and awesome and everyone should own a cast iron skillet. 

9. Get a new job.  I literally had no choice in the matter, but I also got a new job this year. It helped me stretch a lot of underused muscles - like stalking and going through an entire pad of post-its in a week.  But hey, I really enjoy the company and I learned a lot and I have so many ideas of things I want to do in the future running through my brain.  

10. Simplify. I left a lot of crap in Boston.  And my new apartment has basically no furniture.  And that's not intentional, by any means, but I've learned to live without a bunch of unnecessary shit.  I have a couch, a coffee maker, a coffee mug and a bed.  What else does one need? 

Ugh, so much.  


This year, I have resolutions in my head.  Like do more performing, write more, travel more, explore California, create a fitness routine, etc.  But I think it's best to keep those in the back of my mind and see everything I can accomplish without the pressure.  Turns out, we can do a whole damn lot in a year without even thinking about it.  

Maybe next year I'll be a famous scrapbooker.  Here's to 2015. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This Year, I…

performed in my "last" MainStage show at IA. 

moved to los angeles, california. 

started a new job.

visited santa monica.

shot a really fun web series with my friends (and clover.)

adopted the perfect kitten and named her ruthie. 

spent my birthday weekend at crystal cove in newport beach.

…and disneyland. 

visited boston a few times.

saw steve martin at the hollywood bowl.

took a surf lesson at manhattan beach… and a skateboarding lesson at venice beach.
in one day.

watched movies in a cemetery.

had a few awesome visits from friends.

played the most epic game of monopoly.

made some new friends

went to vegas for marty's birthday

went to an adorable harvest festival.

hiked runyon canyon. 

spent a lot of time in my building's pool and hot tub.

saw my first bruins game (in LA naturally)

performed in my first los angeles improv show

leased a car.

Damn guys.  2014 was insane.  So many changes, so much awkwardness and weirdness and adjustment and ugh, it was just WEIRD.  But looking back through my Instagram and seeing all those moments makes me really happy.  This year was full on crazy, but it was full of awesome stuff.  I had so much fun and Los Angeles has really started to feel like home (almost a full year later.) 

Try something new this year.  It might be weird and difficult… and really hard while you're IN it - but at the end, when you look back, it was TOTALLY worth it.  And more great things tend to happen when you shake things up than not. 

I'm super excited for 2015.  Especially since I don't have a major move planned and have a year in Los Angeles under my belt.  I love a new year!  It's so hopeful and exciting and almost always disappointing as the year goes on and gets completely monotonous!  But whatever.  I like getting excited about things.  I might have some resolutions, I don't know - but all in all, I would like 2015 to be a very good year?  I guess that's safe to say.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Your Company's Holiday Party

 The holidays are here!  What better way to celebrate than by spending time with all the people you hold near and dear to your heart... and co-workers!

Despite the fact that I'm almost completely socially inept, I do enjoy holiday parties.  But that's mostly because I like Christmas music and open bars.  And wearing sparkly dresses. However, it's difficult to practice restraint in an open bar situation when you're basically poor and could never afford a night out in a fancy establishment with non-stop drinks otherwise.  

I have messed up quite a few times.  I have drank all the wine until I got so drunk and angry that I threw my last glass of wine at the floor.  That's right, AT the floor.  I have done splits in short, sparkly skirts.  I have sang karaoke with a group of girls, ultimately stealing the microphone completely because I was really feeling a Spice Girls song.  I have told people the truth.  The bad, drunk kind of truth.   

So, while I thoroughly believe you should go out and make your own mistakes to hopefully learn from - here are some tips on how to behave at your company's holiday party - and some interesting information on holiday parties in general from the folks over at TinyPrints! (Such as 75% improved office friendships, errybody!) 


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