Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Christmas That Taught Me How To Live

My life is essentially a Hallmark Christmas movie.

Except for the fact that Hallmark doesn’t really include sad love stories about girls who get ghosted and eat paleo chili for dinner every night in their line-up. But when it comes to finding Christmas spirit, I’m your gal.

A lot of people ask me why I love Christmas so much, and I never know how to answer them. The truth is, Christmas is actually the most boring part of the Christmas season. It’s my least favorite day of all. And not every Christmas season has been a good one for me.

One year I got lost in a religious shrine (I was a little kid and my mom LOST ME). I was wearing a bright yellow hat… and my mom lost me. Another year, I dealt with devastating loss. Another year, I had to have surgery, followed by pain medication and waking up to my best friend’s dog licking my face. Those weren’t great years.

But all-in-all, Christmas is a special time of year for me. It’s just so extra. And I’m pretty extra. It’s when the maximalist, optimistic side of me really gets to shine. Everything’s all sparkly and glittered up for the season. We’re forced to be more social. We’re allowed to drink more. We can start spending money on sequins and velvet that we’ll wear for only a month. It’s great!

That being said, I was a bit worried about this past Christmas season. For some reason, I was feeling anti-tradition and out of sorts. I didn’t feel like watching the same old movies I always used to watch… like The 12 Dates of Christmas starring Zack Morris. Obviously. I was sick of my 24-hour Christmas playlist. And by this year, I’d seen every single Hallmark Christmas movie so there was no joy in them anymore. (Just kidding, there’ll always be joy in them. Literally. In every movie at least one character is named Joy.)

I had also been a bit sad, and I was worried that it would take away from the magic of the season. So I had a choice: wallow in my own self-pity… or enjoy my favorite season in a different way.

So I made a decision to set my expectations really low and not overwhelm myself with holiday spirit and tradition. And you probably know where this is going, but by doing that - my Christmas spirit was better than ever!

In previous years, I would listen to Christmas music non-stop and watch nothing but Christmas movies every night in an attempt to FORCE Christmas. This year, I listened to my usual podcasts and audiobooks but sprinkled in holiday music whenever I felt like it. I ended up listening to whole albums at a time and finding new songs I loved. I slowly decorated throughout the season, adding little things here and there rather than taking everything out and blanketing my apartment all at once.

I also tried new potential traditions (if I feel like it), like having my sister and friend over to bake Christmas cookies. I went to Los Angeles and visited my friends where we drank cocktails and I walked his dog in 70-degree weather. I also continued watching Hallmark Christmas movies (and yes, I used the app to check off the ones I’d watched)... but I also kept up with other important shows like Vanderpump Rules and Scientology: The Aftermath.  

I was a season mixed with plans and downtime. Christmas-themed content and regular life. I never felt overwhelmed, my expectations were low, and I never felt that pang of sadness that soon it would all be over (which usually happens as soon as it begins) because I was being present. Maybe that’s the “present” that Jesus was talking about when he first talked to Santa Clause about bringing presents to children. That’s how the story went in the Bible, right?

The reason I love Christmas so much remains the same… it’s sparkly and pretty and festive and fun. But people tend to despise Christmas season because there is so much going on and complicated family relationships and whatnot. So, I decided to just calm the fuck down, lower my own expectations, be kinder to people and show lots of love to the people in my life in my own weird way. (Through baking them cookies and buying them sneakers, obviously.)

So, yeah, this Christmas ended up being a GREAT Christmas after all. I wore a Santa hat paired with a red plaid coat and a shirt that said, “What a man, what a man, what a mighty good man” with a picture of Santa on it. That is who I am. A Christmas Maximalist who brings the joy! But instead of waiting all year (and literally counting down the days) - I’m going to incorporate more of that spirit into my everyday life.

I’m going to live in the moment, lower my expectations, be kinder, wear whatever I want (no matter how EXTRA I am) and bring the God damn joy ALL YEAR ROUND!

But I’m still going to eat paleo chili every night. Because I feel like it. And it’s like, really good. It has squash in it! You love squash!

Ps. Remember that time my mom LOST ME in a RELIGIOUS SHRINE? There's so many things wrong with that statement!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Getting Old and Getting Wise

It has become a running joke (with myself) to mutter “I’m old” as a response to literally anything and everything these days.

“I fell asleep while reading and went to bed at 9pm last night. I’m so old.”

“Go out in the city?! On a weeknight???? I’m too old!”

“I stay in on Friday nights because I’m too stressed and tired from the week. I’m old.”

“Ugh, so much drama in your friend group… I’m too old for that shit.”

The truth is that it has nothing to do with being old, and everything to do with my personality. I was never a fan of late nights and have always preferred staying in and watching cheesy Christmas movies. My age has nothing to do with it.

Yes, I’m aging. That is just a fact. But my body is actually stronger than it’s ever been (due to actually working out) and my mind is a hell of a lot sharper (probably because of all the podcasts I listen to.) The older I get the more I realize that the pain of getting older isn’t about the aches in the body or the hangovers that are actually significantly worse. It’s about the knowledge we gain from the experiences we’re forced to go through.

To be fair, I’m a 32-year-old single, white female with no children so my life lessons are likely much different than others my age, or in general. Yet, I still think the toughest part of growing up is not our sagging skin or aching bones. It’s the shit we have to experience.

But what makes me feel old is all the shit I know now that I didn't know back then. 

Such as:  

Everyone's path is different. Sometimes, our friends look like they’re more successful than us because they’re married, or having children, or have higher titles, or are working out all the time, etc. I often get so caught up in comparing myself to others without thinking of the fact that our lives, priorities, values, industries, etc. ARE ALL DIFFERENT. How can I compare myself (a facilitator in the sports industry, or HR Manager, or improv comedian) to my friend who is a dental hygienist or public information officer for a police department?

Or, when I was performing, I would look at other people’s success as my own failure. At the same time, I was doing NOTHING to further my own career. I wasn’t taking any classes, I wasn’t trying to get representation, I wasn’t creating my own material, I wasn’t networking AT ALL. I would do shows here and there and created a web series with my friends. But my own lack of hustle/interest in my career was why I was “failing.” Eventually, I realized that I didn’t even really want it all that much… so why was I upset that I didn’t have something that I didn’t want?

Sometimes we have to go backward to go forward. When I realized the above (that I didn’t want to be an actor in Los Angeles), I moved back to Boston because I re-organized my priorities. Doing that meant nearly starting over and taking a step down in my career in order to get where I wanted. It feels like a total failure at the time but straightens itself out over time.

Patience. Speaking of time, patience is a bitch of a lesson to learn. I’m a fast-paced girl in a slow AF world. When I get ideas, I want to act on them RIGHT THEN AND THERE. When I want something, I want it then. But other people aren’t on my schedule, and pizzas don’t need to be ordered for dinner every single night. Raises will come, higher titles will come, people need to grieve, medication will eventually work, exercising will pay off, people will calm down, etc. I can’t control anything and I need to stop giving up when things don’t go my way in a timely manner.  

We need to respect (and believe) what other people want, and what we want. When someone gets mad at me, I have fought and fought until they responded or liked me again. A strategy that has never been successful, or made me feel good about myself. So I stopped doing it. When someone tells me what they want, I need to respect their feelings and stop fighting for them to change their views. If someone doesn’t like me, I can’t make them like me.

And for that matter, I need to be honest about what I want, respect what I want and clearly communicate what I want. I can’t keep ignoring what I want in the hope that someone will eventually come around.

We need to take accountability. When we hurt people, whether it was our intention or not, we need to accept responsibility and apologize.

And finally (for now), “that’ll never happen to me” doesn’t exist. I’ve been drugged and sexually assaulted. My best friend has had skin cancer. My aunt had breast cancer. My father had a heart attack. My ex-boyfriend went completely blind in his early twenties. My cousin committed suicide. Friends have died of drug overdoses.

Horrible things don’t just happen to other people. They happen to us, too. We need to take care of ourselves, make the best decisions we can, and also be more generous with ourselves and other people when things go wrong.

There are things we can control, and things we can’t. There is no use in blaming other people, making judgments or excuses, but there’s also no use for getting defensive and beating ourselves up. We need to accept that things happen to all of us, and the people we’re close to.

We just need more empathy. Just because we haven’t experienced something ourselves, why can’t we understand other people’s points of view? Why do we have to judge other people who are going through something we literally know nothing about? It just doesn’t feel productive to me.

For example, sometimes I listen to true crime podcasts and think, “I would have definitely been able to fight that guy off!” Sure, I have horribly weak arms, but my legs are as strong as tree trunks. I’d claw him with my nails! I’d throw him off with my charm and wit!

Uh, not likely. I have no idea what would happen if I were faced with the same situation as those women. I could have the strongest tree trunk legs in the world, and a whole escape plan in my mind, but it doesn’t mean I’d survive. After all, even trees are sometimes uprooted by the strongest of winds.

So, yes, I’m old! Old but strong! Old but tired. I look back on my 22-year-old self and laugh at that person who thought she knew so much but had no idea what she was going to go through. I’m sure when I’m 42, I’ll look back on my 32-year old self and laugh at her for writing this post when she was about to go through so much harder shit.

But that’s the point. The lessons we learn through LIVING make us older, but wiser. Stronger, but exhausted. And hopefully better equipped to handle the more life we must go through. But life is still going to surprise and shatter us. The biggest tool we need is compassion for ourselves, and others, to get through it.

So, no, I still won’t go out in the city ON A WEEKNIGHT. But if you want to do that… more power to you! I understand where you’re coming from!

(No, that I still don’t understand.)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Germany & England & Ireland & Germany

Before this September, I had never left the country.

Sure, I had booked a trip to the Bahamas when I was in high school and then backed out of it the night before because I was afraid of traveling with a former best friend who hated me… but that doesn’t count.

I blame my lack of international travel on anxiety and being afraid of language barriers and immigration and all the overwhelming nonsense of traveling abroad. Now that I’ve done it though, I’m ashamed because it’s literally nothing more than a SMALL extra step upon arrival in a new country. When I arrived in Frankfurt it was no big deal, and when I arrived in London it took almost an hour… but the actual process went a little bit like this:

“How long are you staying here?”
“Have a good time.”



Traveling far away from home, in countries where I couldn’t take my phone off airplane mode, helped me truly relax. I could just give in to new experiences because I had no other option. I was 5-6 hours ahead of my usual time zone, barely had internet access and couldn’t call my family or friends. This would typically bring me great anxiety, but for whatever reason (Cymbalta) I chose to LIVE MY BEST LIFE.

The reason for this trip was primarily work. Back in April or so, my colleague (Judith) and I found out that we’d have to travel to Herzogenaurach, Germany for work in early September… and that we’d also have to be there two weeks later. That left a week in between where we’d be in the U.S.

For me, traveling back to Boston would have been a minor inconvenience… but for Judith (who lives in Portland), we’re talking about a 9+ hour flight. I decided that I’d do some traveling in between because I’d never been abroad. Judith also had some convenient arrangements (a son whose father lives in England, a partner who was traveling to London for business during the week we’d be there, a sister who lives in London with spare bedrooms, etc.)

So, that is how a three-week trip to Europe happened for Ms. Patty Barrett.


Did you guys know they serve meals on transatlantic flights? For free! With wine! And refills of wine! And Baileys! Followed by another meal?!?! I was shocked. I actually don’t remember if the food was good because I was too excited. The flight was only about 6 hours, which is basically the same as the flight to Los Angeles or Portland, so I couldn’t believe all the additional benefits flying over an ocean brought.

My cross-country expectations have now been raised, and it is doubtful they will be met.

I landed in Frankfurt at 5:00 am and took another quick flight to Nuremberg and eventually made it to my hotel around 7:30 am… which was about 1:30 am in the U.S. So, naturally, I slept away my first day in Germany. That is until my boss texted me and asked if I wanted to, “Go on an adventure for snacks.” I thought he was embellishing a quick walk around the corner, but he actually meant we were bike riding through the German countryside to an Aldi.

It sounds pretty, and it was, but I haven’t ridden a bike since I was a teenager and I was terrified of riding on a bike that I was too short for... in the street… without a helmet.

Whatever, I’m alive.

The week was spent working in a training space titled “The Shed” so what I’ll say about my week in Germany is this:

  • Tiny German towns with medieval towers give me heart eyeballs
  • BUTTER PRETZELS are delicious
  • I love glass bottles of Coke Zero and glass bottles of EVERYTHING
  • Any country that provides cold cuts for breakfast is good with me
  • I love tiny little Nuremberg sausages! And that is not a euphemism
  • My favorite German word is “Feurwerzeufaht” which essentially means firefighter access… I just think it’s a fun word


I could write a love letter to London.

It was the first city I’ve visited in quite a while where I just fell completely in love and wanted to move immediately. I kept saying everything was “delightful” and “charming.” My friends kept laughing at me for being so smitten. But it’s true, everything was delightful and charming! Have you been? Don’t you agree?

Before leaving for my trip, I watched The Crown for the first time. People have been suggesting it for years, but I never cared much for the British royal family. (Meaning, I had no feelings either way.) However, since I was traveling to England and the queen the show is about is still reigning, I thought it’d be cool to get a quick history lesson.

To no one’s surprise, I loved the show and became obsessed with the British monarchy. The entire time I was in London, I also watched Victoria (because it was available on England’s Netflix) and fell in love with the Victorian era. And yes, I did travel across an ocean just to lie in bed and watch Netflix. Deal with it.

The coolest part about this trip to London was that I stayed with Judith’s family in Barnes/East Sheen. Normally, I’d be afraid of burdening someone with my presence for that long - but she convinced me that we’d be very welcome and that I’d be foolish to turn down a free stay in London.

 I took her up on her offer, and I’m so glad I stayed with strangers. Hilarie (Judith’s sister) provided me my own little (delightful, charming) room and staying there was my favorite part of the whole trip. Not only did I get to experience London for the first time, but I got to know new people (including Hilarie and an 11-year-old girl named Lucy, who is basically my spirit animal) and I was able to have experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Experiences like attending a high school rugby game at a private school in the country (which would have been creepy under different circumstances), seeing Tom Hardy at a posh restaurant, ordering curry while watching Strictly Come Dancing, taking the tube and bus everywhere, and having a drink at a local pub filled with men who did not want me there! 

Other highlights from my ten days there:

The Tower of London was by far the coolest experience ever. We saw the crown jewels, a traitor gate, an old chapel from the 1300’s and a TORTURE CHAMBER. It’s always nice to spend a Sunday afternoon in the place where King Henry VIII murdered his wives!

Warner Brothers Studios Harry Potter Tour was unbelievable. I got to see all the sets and costumes and learn new facts that I never knew (like all the crew members are the people in the portraits at the school.) It also had a HUGE model of Hogwarts that they used for all the exterior shots. It was unreal. It was also funny to visit with Judith’s son, Beau and his dad, Noel (who is Judith’s ex-husband.) Hilarie was there as well. It was a funny little crew, and I had such a great time.

Harrods, where I was finally able to buy a Paddington Bear stuffed animal surrounded by women shopping at Hermes.

Dinner at Murano, a Michelin star restaurant.

Fish and chips at a “posh” pub where Tom Hardy was also drinking a pint with his wife. I didn’t believe Judith when she said it was him, but then her nephew Hugh said he saw Tom Hardy touring his boarding school that day.

Marks &Spencer. Judith talked so much about Marks and Spencer (a food market/department store) and then we finally went and I tried on hideous velour dresses with Hilarie while Judith shopped for “knickers”.

Sunday roast dinner by my lovely host, HIlarie.

My time in London was seriously special. I can’t wait to go back!


I have yet to mention that Judith and Hilarie are from Ireland. They have the most (charming, delightful) Irish accents. It was so much fun to hear them talk to each other. They both spoke so quickly and I had no idea what they were saying most of the time… but it was still fun.

Judith felt that since we would be in Europe, she’d be remiss if she didn’t stop by and visit her mother, who is ill. She invited me to tagalong for a night in Limerick and since I’m of Irish descent and have always wanted to visit Ireland, I figured it would be a missed opportunity to not go with her.

And I am not kidding when I said it was the coolest, most hilarious 24-hours I’ve spent anywhere in my life. The Irish were hands down the friendliest people I’ve ever met. It was incredibly noticeable. It was more than waving or saying hello… it was clear that anyone would go out of the way for a complete stranger and was actually interested in what they had to say and where they were from.

I explored the city and visited a medieval castle, potato market, riverside walking path and an old church. It was really beautiful. There were even swans in the river! But the best part of all was dinner. I assumed Judith would be taking me somewhere very local and Irish… and she did. We went to Jasmine Palace. The best Chinese food in all of Ireland.

And you know what? It was really good Chinese food.

We met one of her other sisters, her friend from college and friends from childhood and had the best night. Upon hearing it was my first time in Ireland, they refused to let us go back to the hotel and sleep for our early flight. They took us out for a pint (which is Guinness, you don’t even need to specify in Limerick) and all the pubs were filled with laughing Irish folk of every generation. It wasn’t like Boston, where everyone goes to their own spots geared towards their age demographic. Every generation was out in the same pubs. We saw bachelorette parties, groups of old men, old women, people in their thirties, young kids… and everyone was SO RIDICULOUSLY NICE.

It made my heart swell, and it made me proud to be Irish.

The girls all promised that if I ever came back, I had tons of places to stay. Now that I’m less afraid of being a burden, I may take them up on that. But even if I get my own place, I am definitely calling them to drink some pints and eat late-night chips covered in various gravies.


On Sunday night, when we were heading back to Germany, I was likely in the worst mood I had been in during the whole trip. I could have cried, and not just because we were back at London Stansted flying on RyanAir which is the worst airline and the worst airport. Officially.

But somehow, I found the strength to be a good friend to Judith… just kidding, she was a good friend to me and let me be miserable while also telling me to get my act together. But really, I got the strength because right before our plane was about to board they changed the gate (those fuckers) and I literally JUMPED the stanchion and RAN like I’d never run before so that we’d be first in line at the next gate.

We were. Judith trailed behind me laughing her ass off.

Getting to Nuremberg from London was a disaster that I don't need to go into, but RyanAir is quite an experience and I wouldn't recommend flying them if you can avoid it. But, then again, the tickets are SO CHEAP.

We spent our first day shopping in the town center of Nuremberg which is full of cobblestone and gothic cathedrals and even a castle! But more importantly, I bought a NEW COAT from a saleswoman at Zara who made me cry and then I fell while entering a restaurant and almost sprained my ankle! 

Our next four days in Germany were spent sleeping, working, complaining a little bit, eating schnitzel and the best Italian food we've ever had (?), drinking tons of Coke Zero and finally calling it a trip. 

Oh, and I also found out through a StrengthsFinder assessment that my top 5 strengths are: Strategic, Input, Empathy, Intellection, and Developer. My strengths lie heavily in strategic thinking and relationship building. So, that’s a cool thing I know about myself now.

One of the questions I was asked, now knowing this information, was “What can people expect from me?”

“A socially awkward, emotionally intelligent, highly aware and lively individual who promotes others and builds relationships through shared personal experiences.”

So, all in all, it sounds like this trip was far more than a European adventure. It was an adventure… to my soul.

Nope, sorry about that.


Traveling for three weeks was exciting, amazing, eye-opening, lovely, CHARMING, DELIGHTFUL and tough AF on my anxious heart. I thought a lot about the good parts of living in the U.S. (and the dumb parts that are super dumb) and my perspective has increased immensely.

There was also something oddly cool about working in Germany and having my own badge to get into the campus. I felt like I had arrived. Where? I don’t know. There was just something about this trip that clicked for me. I finally feel like I’m in the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time.

But the best part of the whole trip was spending so much time with my pal, Judith. I met her this year… on Skype. She works in Portland, and I work in Boston. We had only been together in person three other times this year. Yet, I don’t know a person I have ever felt so instantly bonded to.

On my second trip to Portland (after only meeting each other once), she was insistent on picking me up every day from my hotel and driving me to work with her. We call each other at least once a week, and not because we need to for work. Our jobs are totally independent of one another. I feel so lucky to have met this warm, lovely, wise and hilarious friend this year and have spent 3 full weeks abroad with her as my support system at work, and then staying with her sister, meeting essentially her entire family, and then becoming part of it.

Experiences like that are a dime a dozen. And even though I’m not writing a guidebook any time soon based on my travels, I feel like I had a trip that could never be duplicated and an experience nobody else could have. I won!

As expected, I have been bitten by the travel bug and I’m already looking up flights for my next trip to London… and basically everywhere else in the world.

If I could leave you with any advice, it’s this:

Sometimes, it’s GOOD to take candy from strangers… as long as they adorably call them “sweets” and offer you a spare bedroom.  

And, do something that scares you. Get out of your comfort zone. You will grow tremendously and become A WIZARD 'ARRY! ... or just a new person. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

But also, who cares?

Back in L.A., I was seeing this great therapist next to a car wash in Playa Vista who didn’t wear shoes and had a cute husky puppy that was sometimes in the office with her.

When I was debating if I should stay in L.A. or move back to Boston, she asked, “What is keeping you in L.A.?”

“I have no idea.”

“What’s holding you back from moving?"

“I think a lot of my friends would make fun of me, or make me feel bad about it.”

 “Well, they sound like shitty friends. But also, who cares?

For a long time, I believed that. I thought, “Man, I’ve surrounded myself with the world’s meanest friends! They call each other out for everything and make fun of each other and never consider that people might be going through something…”

But it’s not true. I mean, I did it too. I judged people for no reason whatsoever.

“I don’t know why anyone would move to New York when they’re just going to move to L.A. eventually,” I said as if I had any idea what I was talking about.

The truth was that I was projecting my own deep-rooted insecurities and shame on them. They’re actually quite good friends.

Sure, they may have made fun of me. They may have rolled their eyes, spoke amongst themselves and said they didn’t understand why I was leaving L.A and that I was making a bad decision. They may have even called me a loser and an untalented piece of shit.
But, they’re human. But also, who cares?

I was also just making assumptions, based on previous experience of judging people with them but assumptions nonetheless. Of course, they didn’t say anything to me about moving, other than supportive statements or telling me they would miss me. I was just afraid of what they might possibly say. Things like:

I was giving up on my dreams. 
I couldn’t hack it.
I was stupid.
I was settling.
I was naïve.
I didn’t even give it a real shot.
I was a loser.
I wasn’t talented enough to be out there.
I moved to LA and all I got was this HR Manager hat.   

Some of that might have been true. But... who cares? What does it have to do with them? It would just be an assumption or a quick judgment that they were making. And I was living my life to avoid being judged by other people.

A judgment I didn’t even KNOW FOR SURE would be made. Just something I ASSUMED.

God, how did I make it to 32? I’m fucked up, man. Shame is a bitch.

Brene Brown, the doctor/researcher/author of many great books, said in her Ted Talk, “Guilt is saying ‘Sorry, I made a mistake.’ Shame is saying, ‘I am a mistake.’”

And that is exactly how I’ve felt for a very long time, and how I felt when I moved back from L.A. It put me in a deep depression, as I’ve talked about here before. I told myself that I was, in fact, an untalented ass clown who gave up on her dreams because she couldn’t hack it in L.A. so she was settling in Boston with nothing to show for her time in California but an HR Manager hat.

Who needed friends to judge me behind my back when I was doing it so well on my own?

Dealing with shame has been a process, one that I’m still working through. But I have begun to understand that I can’t resent other people for something I’ve created in my own mind. Until it’s a reality, and I hear it first hand, then I can’t be upset with anyone over something they never officially said. And even if they did, it doesn’t matter. Just because they voice an opinion doesn’t mean it’s real. But also, who cares?

More importantly, I realize that I can’t live my life to avoid being judged. It has held me back from SO MANY THINGS. I didn’t go to a workout class until I was 31 because I was afraid people would laugh at my inability to keep up.  

I have never spoken up for myself (like asking for a raise or telling someone I was offended) because I was afraid of rubbing someone the wrong way.

I wouldn’t wear something I wanted to wear (like the beautiful leopard print faux fur coat in my closet) because I was afraid everyone would make fun of me.

I’d delete many an Instastory because I was scared people were making fun of me or unfollowing me for posting another picture of my face, or video of my cat.

I'd apologize for EVERYTHING. Like being bumped into, or having plans when someone asked me to hang out, or for texting sweet nothings to someone I had a consensual romantic relationship with while they were busy, or sleeping. 

I put myself in dangerous and uncomfortable situations because I was afraid that if I said “No” then I’d upset the person. (And I’m talking really dangerous, uncomfortable situations.)

Like I said, I’m still working through it. But while this year has been annoyingly self-reflective for me, it’s also been extremely freeing. 

It feels amazing to put on a quite short denim skirt and not be afraid that someone thinks I shouldn’t be wearing it. It’s awesome to work out almost every single day because I don’t care if someone judges me in their mind for using the 2lb weights during barre that day. And it feels GREAT to say “NO” when I don’t want to send someone a picture of my junk, or accept a drink on their tab, or follow them to a bathroom to give them a blowjob (yup, that was asked of me), or receive an unwanted kiss.  

Doing new things, and putting myself in scary, vulnerable situations is all of a sudden very exciting. I don't assume people are thinking anything at all about me. The world doesn't revolve around me, BELIEVE IT OR NOT. (Don't tell my parents.) 

But even if I were confronted with a situation where someone was judging me, or assuming something about me, then I'd just ask myself the ultimate simple question... 


Just kidding. 

"Who the FUCK cares?" 

I used the F word. So you know I'm serious!!! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Generate Light; Not Heat

I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who is exhausted by the news and social media feeds lately.  Just this morning in Massachusetts news, there were three fires, an officer-involved shooting and an 80-year-old man who was brutally beaten for no reason in his neighborhood.  And that’s just on top of all the Trump-related nonsense which makes me want to throw myself into the garbage and call it a life.

I came across a quote the other day, in the notes of a workshop that I co-wrote so I probably should have seen it before, that said, “Generate light; not heat.”  It hit me fast and it hit me hard.  How nice does that sound?  Sure, the quote was pertaining to relationships with difficult people but isn’t our relationship with the world/United States of America the most difficult one of all right now???? 

How can we generate more light instead of heat?

I don’t know the answer for everyone.  And you probably shouldn’t listen to me anyways because I just choked on everything bagel seasoning.  How does one choke on a seasoning blend?  Good question.  Welcome to me.  

But I’m attempting to generate more light by being myself, and not giving a shit what anyone has to say about it.  I don’t have much, but I do have an ability to craft jokes that make people laugh. We all need to laugh more.  So I’m going to do the best that I can to bring as much humor as I can to every situation! Even the uncomfortable ones.  ESPECIALLY the uncomfortable ones. 

I’m praising others whenever I get the opportunity to combat the trolls of the universe.  This means telling people how much I like their outfits even if I don’t know them, commenting positive thoughts on blog posts that I read, responding to people’s Instagram stories in agreement or praise and having more positive conversations than negative ones.  (Meaning, instead of starting a conversation at work with, “You know what I hate? Outlook!” I’m going to say, “You know what I love? Cheese.”) (Or something like that.) (Probably that though.)

I’m raising my endorphins.  I’m working out, going to barre classes, walking more, listening to lots of high-energy music and dancing in my living room to disco music. Just kidding! (I’m not kidding.)  Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!  Happy people just don't kill their husbands.  (Thanks Reese Witherspoon.) 

I’m signing out of my social channels when I need a break and putting my phone on airplane mode for a few hours a day so I can get work done without distraction. 

I’m choosing to not complain.  If traffic sucks, oh well. If I had a stressful day, then guess what? It’s over.  If the air conditioner on the shuttle is leaking on me, and only me, and it's too crowded to do anything about it but my butt is soaking wet... OH WELL.  Sit in that still water, Patty!  Nothing puts me more on edge or sucks energy straight out of the room than someone entering with a complaint… so I refuse to participate.  Even if it means I have to wait TWO weeks for a new episode of Younger.  TWO. WEEKS.

I’m watching happy things, listening to happy things (which to me is a great murder podcast) and focusing on GOOD SHIT. 

Everything is crazy right now and we’re living in a dumpster fire.  But there are good things going on in the world.  People are doing the best that they can and making a difference.  It all seems so overwhelming and scary and I can’t stop feeling like hiding because I just don’t even know where to begin.  So, this is where I’m beginning. 

I’m going to generate light; not heat.

And I guess I should probably do laundry too.


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