Alice

I was one of those teenagers in the 90s who burned incense in her room and wore black t-shirts with weird art on them and really loved the Violent Femmes and Alice in Wonderland and spent a lot of time in her own head, drawing and reading and writing.

So I’ve been reading this book, Alice. By Christina Henry. It’s a novel. My brother, one of the few people I talk to regularly who would remember me as a teenager, gave it to me for Xmas.

Seriously, I love this book.

It is not the sort of thing that’s generally in my taste. For example, there’s a lot of violence. And no sex, at least not the tortured kind between people who are awful to one another and can’t get out of their own ways. And no people with neurotic personalities. And nothing I generally like to read about. I’m a literary fiction snob who’s been on a memoirs kick for like the last 5 years, and I’m really fine with that.

Alice is fantasy.

But the writing is hypnotizing in its vividness, and it’s clever. It’s not literary exactly, but it’s not formulaic; it doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator. It takes brilliant and artful liberties with Lewis Carroll’s original characters.

It equates magic with societal otherness in a way that reminds me of this TED Talk by Liz Gilbert.

Alice is a BAMF. I love books by women about BAMFs. Alice’s companion is a fascinating character. They are both broken in their own ways, but as the story rolls on, they get comfortable in the necessity of their brokenness, and the necessity of their awful violence, and the comfort that exists in life’s hopelessness. And there’s a backward sort of hope in that.

That backward sort of hope resonates with me at present. I’ll take it. And I can’t wait to read the next one.

April #DGAF 2017

I’ve spent a lot of time reading about blogging, following the rules, trying to control my content, trying to paint a particular picture of what and who I am.

Why? I don’t know now.

The rules say 500 words. The rules say you gotta do a picture. The rules say keep it approachable. The rules say certain times of day. The rules say tagging, metadata, SEO. Keep a schedule. Don’t post too much. Don’t post too little. LOTS OF WHITE SPACE PEOPLE CAN’T PAY ATTENTION!

The rules are a nag. They are useless to me.

A few months back, I turned 36. So for a few days, I posted on Facebook & Instagram with the tag #DGAFage36.

Here’s an example from Facebook, Nov 2, 2016:

I get real big anxiety about peeing in cups, peeing outdoors, and peeing in portajohns. I have since I was little. When I was pregnant, my biggest worry on a regular basis was whether I’d be able to, and if I could, whether I’d hit or miss. #DGAFage36

At this moment, on Feb 21, 2017, I am a mess. I went from starting the birth year feeling very empowered and content and hopeful to losing my way, spectacularly.

I need to retrieve my confidence. I am afraid in ways that I wasn’t afraid 10 years ago. And not the normal, getting-to-know-my-own-mortality shit, either. Some days, I’m afraid to go out into the world.

I have a few strong, powerful, good women in my life who have helped me realize that I need to DO SOMETHING. So since I still have 2 weeks until I can get into therapy, I’m starting here. With a public declaration that I am actively working to retether. And that part of this work is not giving a f*ck.

This is accountability. This is practice.

So henceforth, this blog won’t be about anything specific or focused, not that it really ever has been. But I used to try.

Trying is good at work, when there is a thing, person, or cause to keep you moored. When trying as part of a team means something in a defined structure.

But in my life, I’m discovering that trying is inextricable from people pleasing, and it will drive me bananas–trying toward my own slave-driver, neurotic standards, or what I guess about others’ standards, or the internet’s copious, contradictory advice about itself, is a surer way to land at the bottom of whatever abyss I’m approaching.

Today, I want to write about writing about whatever the f*ck I want.

Tomorrow, it might be something else, like how much I’m enjoying Anthony Bourdain’s old CNN show Parts Unknown on Netflix. Or how much it makes me want to stab myself when people compare me to Lena Dunham. Or nothing at all.

Or maybe I will never write about either of those things. I don’t have to, you know. And I #DGAF.

Comment if you want. But no pressure. Not closing w/ a question to drive engagement. Not following dem rules. #DGAFage36