to sit with yourself

the best way to transition

is to do it with kindness.

to allow yourself time

to accept the change that is occurring inside of you,

to turn your healing into love,

and give it to those who need it.

jumping back into romance

that is not really romance,

is not the answer to your problem, dear.

do not let strangers kiss your lips,

only for you to pull away from the foreign taste of their mouth,

only for you to feel bad about it in the morning.

 

 

 

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Stories

I have trouble filtering myself,

trouble keeping a good story in my mind,

trouble keeping myself from “crossing a line.”

I don’t see the point.

I want to be myself so hard

that sometimes,

I won’t even know who I am.

I want to fall in and out of crazy like a man falls in and out of addiction.

I can’t see a better way to be.

So, let my demons run free.

Let me tell you stories,

of love and pain,

of humor and peace.

Let me tell you so that you are never embarrassed,

so that you know you are never alone,

so that my insides won’t explode.

I have so much to say.

Please don’t make me filter myself.

Just let me make love to you with my words.

The Integrity Test

I applied for a job recently at a Professional Home Health Care Center.

Basically, my job would’ve been visiting clients'(old peoples’) homes, and giving them professional health care, whatever that means. I think the last time I took a CPR test was in the 7th grade, so personally, I find the title slightly misleading.

I was told that my job was to basically help these old(er) people with the annoying household-type stuff that your parents made you do when you were little, like Clorox the bathroom and scrub your two-day old lasagna off your plate.

I won’t lie, though, I was actually pretty excited about this. Helping someone wash their delicates and make them dinner brings me a weird sense of pride and joy.

In exchange for helping out the elderly folk do their dishes, vacuum their carpets, organize their ancient book collections, water their 1,450 plants, I was also told that I may leave smelling like a marijuana dispensary because, “Remember, this is Colorado.”

My first interview went really well. I could tell that the woman who I met with liked me a lot because we talked about salt water taffy and the changing color of the Aspen trees in October. I feel bad that I don’t remember her name.

Following our 25-minute bonding session, she told me that I would be a great fit and so I was pretty sure that I had the job.

All that was left was for me to take an online integrity test, and pass a standard background check.

I’m not a criminal, I’ve never been fired or arrested, and I don’t think the government has anything on me, so I was pretty sure the second part was a no-brainer.

I’ve never had to take an “integrity test” online before, but I also assumed this was a no-brainer. No part of me was nervous about the invasive questions I was about to receive regarding my intergrity.

There were about 60 or so questions. Over 50 % of them said something along the lines of these:

“Have you ever hit a co-worker before?”

“Have you ever lashed out at your co-workers in a violent manner?”

“Have you ever been physically abusive?”

….and now, think of at least 15 other variations of those questions, and that was over half of the test.

The other questions asked me things like:

“Have you ever stolen money from the register at work before?”

“Have you ever yelled at anyone in the office?”

“Have you ever been verbally abusive to a co-worker or manager?”

“Have you ever gone behind your manger’s back and done something unprofessional?”

“Have you ever taken anything from the workplace that doesn’t belong to you?”

These questions were yes or no.

I literally laughed my way through the test at the absurdity of these inquires. Even if I had lashed out in violent rage at my co-worker, why would I ever say yes?

(Just for the record, I have never done this before).

There was one question out of the whole batch that I said “yes” to.

The question was this:

“Have you ever gotten frustrated at work before?”

First off….what kind of question is this? I am a human being…so yes, I have gotten frustrated at work before. How am I supposed to feel when the computer freezes seven times in an hour? Happy?

So, a week passes by, enough time for the background check to go through, and I give the company a call to find out the results.

Will I get to bond with 75-year old Martha who used to be a Go-Go dancer in New York City?

The anticipation was killing me.

24 hours later I receive a voicemail from the woman who I was initially supposed to interview with, though she never showed up.

“…blah blah blah…unfortunately we are unable to move forward with the hiring process because you did not pass the integrity test.”

I sat on the campus bench, shocked and confused, while my ego plummeted onto the ground and rolled onto the sidewalk where it got stepped on by several passing students.

I called my dad, crying hysterically, wondering where the hell my integrity went, and asked in between sobs- “Is it possible to buy a new one?”

A Tale of Rejection

When I was a little girl, nobody told me that chocolate cake does not fix low self-esteem. Actually, nobody told me that self-esteem was something I had to actively work on. Most distressingly, not a single person warned me about the embarrassment that comes along with infatuation. I learned this the hard way. I have stumbled through life, falling for boys, and in turn, falling on my face.

The first time I tried to win a boy over was in preschool. I spent the entirety of story time batting my eyelashes at a bald boy named Hampton. He had big chocolate brown eyes, and I adored him. I guess I thought if I fluttered my eyes toward him long enough, maybe he would like me back. During that time, I developed some serious upper eyelid strength and Hampton developed the hots for the teacher’s pet, Sara Clinton.

I thought I learned what boys really wanted in kindergarten. On the weekends, I took my neighbor, Daniel Hopken, out for long rides in my Barbie jeep. I would speed down the driveway like Danica Patrick and let the wind mangle my long, brown hair. I even shared my goldfish with him. In exchange, he taught me how to use spy gear to listen to my parents’ private conversations through the wall. Things were going really well, until one night at dinner, he told my parents about what we’d done. I lost my allowance for a week and Daniel didn’t really talk to me after that.

In middle school, I was convinced that I was in love with a boy named Ryan Lowry. We were both in Mr.Pitt’s eighth grade English class. During reading time, I would stare longingly at the freckles on his face and dream about our future children. One day, I passed him a note down the line of desks. Written in pencil was my AOL instant message screen name ‘alwayzbeinme333.’ I never got a message from him, but I remained hopeful.

A few months later, we were at the same birthday party at UNO pizzeria. I made sure to sit across from him at the table and coolly mentioned that one of my best friends, Caroline, lived on Mapleton Lane where Ryan also lived. I knew this because I looked up his address in the school directory just in case his house was on fire and I needed to run in and save his most prized possessions.

“Caroline’s house is amazing. I’m there soooo much. I even know her address,” I said. “It’s 80701 Mapleton Lane.” At the time, it seemed like a normal thing to announce during dinner. Ryan was in the middle of a conversation with his friend and turned his head to look at me. “Wait, what’s her address?” he said. When I repeated it, he looked kind of surprised and then hesitated. “That’s my address,” said Ryan.

“I must have the wrong house number,” I whispered. I looked down at the pepperonis on my deep-dish pizza which matched the color of my face, and began picking nervously at the crust. His friend Shane looked over at him and snickered. “Be careful, she’s probably going to memorize your phone number next.” Too bad I already had, I thought, and got up to go sit in shame in the bathroom.

When I turned 20, I started dating a guy named Steve. Steve was a soapy TV actor and was used to having girls fawn all over him. He was also really old and had a horrible case of narcissism. But, his body was like a Greek god and his Australian accent canceled out his ego. I just liked lying in the park next to him and delusionally talking about how we would go to Bali together.

One night, I met him at a bar in West Hollywood for one of his shows (he was also in a band). The bouncer did him a favor and snuck me in, and I drank cranberry juice while I watched Steve “make the rounds” with every person in the room except for me. After an hour of being ignored, I left.

Before he left for a summer in Europe (without me), I bought him a journal and inscribed a little note inside, so that he would have a piece of me and our tiny little romance while he gallivanted around France fornicating with Parisians.

Putting my heart out on a silver platter and passing it around the party is like asking to be half-eaten and put into a napkin. Not everybody is going to like me. But, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have to like me.

Rejection is not fun, and it’s not easy, but it also doesn’t define who I am. When a boy turns his head on me, it doesn’t mean that I have to turn on myself. It doesn’t mean that I’m not beautiful, or smart, or intelligent or funny. Only I get to decide that.

This is the lesson that I have learned from all the boys who have told me no. For now, it’s just me and my Netflix hanging out on Goss street. I can only move forward from here, swiping right for my next victim, and laughing in the face of rejection.