Happy New Year and Stuff!

It's New Year's Eve.

This is the time when we make all of the promises, to ourselves and to others, about how much better we're going to be, because right now we are not good enough.

I mean, that's basically what a New Year's Resolution is, right?

How can I be better than who I am right now.

I was thinking about going into the New Year and how much my life has changed over the last year and the thing is...

I'm good.

I don't have any resolutions. For the first time in a really, really, REALLY long time, my soul feels light. My heart feels open. My mind feels peaceful.

And this is why:

I needed help and I finally asked for it.

I left facebook and turned off all of the noise of one thousand people's opinions about absolutely everything. I quit shoving my opinions about absolutely everything at one thousand people who probably never really cared.

I realized that I care far too much about what other people think and that I should definitely stop doing that. Because the things I worry about constantly are not things that most people care about, anyway. 

I stopped feeling obligated to make sure everyone else was ok and started making sure that I was ok.

I love people. So much.

I got a bunch of plants!

I mean...I just overcame the last hurdle to this peace something like two days ago, so by no means do I have this locked in.  The thing is - I have been anxious and sad and overworked and stressed and trying too hard and traumatized and freaked out and depressed and holding it in for most of my life. Who am I if I'm not that girl?

And as an artist, how do I transition from all of that pain to this...peace? And will anyone care?  How do I keep connected without all of this darkness?

I got scared, you guys. I've been embracing my love of color and make-up and music and laughter and joy and solitude and I had this moment where I one is ever going to take me seriously again.  I'm this weird mash-up of "bring me all of the joy and let me love you  and everything is amazing but also, please stay away from me because I get anxious and depressed and I don't like to be around people."

And then I said "fuck it."  I don't care.  I can't constantly try to keep shifting everything around so that everyone else is comfortable.  I can't hang out with people all of the time and pretend that I totally love social events when in reality I fucking hate them. I can't pretend I don't like rainbows and make -up and mythical creatures and bright red lipstick and crazy hair and cake with sprinkles just because some random person might not take me seriously. I can't not feel what I feel or not be all fucked up and weird because I just am fucked up and weird.

I've been so tired. But now I'm rested. Now I'm here. I think I'm ready to be me. Finally.

I'm excited to enter 2017 exactly like this.

Happy New Year. Whatever it brings you, I hope it includes peace and joy and happiness, a couple of mythical creatures and at least one slice of cake with sprinkles. You deserve it. And if you're a fucked up weirdo, I hope you embrace it. And also, I'd probably like to be your friend. From a distance. Because you're people.

The choices we make to stay healthy

Someone recently got really, REALLY angry with me. As part of their anger they told me how absolutely fucked up I am, how I'm crazy, how I have so many problems with so many people and I am surely seeing a doctor and medicated because of all of my crazy.

This person actually doesn't know me that well.

But they've read my blog.

I worry sometimes about what I write on here. That showing the world my struggles and insecurities and flaws could completely blow up in my face. That it could be used against me and that perhaps the safest course of action is to just post some recipes and talk about dogs and going to the gym.

I'm not really that great at taking the safest course of action. Ships are safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for and all...

And besides, the "me too" is too important. If I pretend that nothing is wrong, then that encourages other people to pretend that nothing is wrong, which encourages shame, which encourages "fear of people finding out what's 'wrong' with me," which depression and anxiety actually feed off of and then nothing is wrong with anyone but everyone is actually miserable.

It's totally unhealthy.

So here's what's 'wrong' with me right now: I am, once again, really uncomfortable around people. I've just been waking up more and more lately and thinking...I can't. A little depression, as well.

I'm ok in small doses. Work is fine. I can still go to the gym. I can function. But things that feel a little more social And I've pinned it down to "not enough." Which I've traced back to social media.

I don't think it's any secret that I want to save everybody, all of the time. And that that sort of thinking has taken me to some really unhealthy places.

The thing about an election season is, it makes you pay more attention to the world. At least that's what it did for me. And the world is hurting. And if you are the type of person who veers towards thinking you can save everybody, all of the time, then more exposure to a hurting world can take you to some really dark places. Some deep sadness. Some hardcore feelings of inadequacy. Of not being enough. It can lead you to ignore the hurting and struggles in your own life, because there is always someone who is suffering more.

Because you have friends who care about refugees, about Aleppo, about Standing Rock, about foster kids, about kittens, about dogs, about the homeless, about the mentally ill, about veterans, about child trafficking, about addiction, about Planned Parenthood, about marching on Washington, about climate change, about the ACLU, about the NAACP, about poverty, about immigration, about hunger and why aren't you doing something about all of that? All of it. And more. Why?

That's what it feels like. Like...LOUD. And that I am not doing enough. And I start to abandon what's needed in my own life because I am so consumed with the struggles of others and it is a spiral is being on the plane and running around frantically trying to save everyone while neglecting to put my own oxygen mask on and in the end, saving no one...not even myself.

So the choice that I'm making now to stay healthy and to do real good is to withdraw from all of that noise. To acknowledge that the world is hurting, but that I cannot save the world. I'm one person and I have limited resources, both financially and mentally. I have chosen something that I feel will be the best use of my resources, and that is what I'm committing to. And in order to keep myself focused, I need to shut out the rest of the noise for a little while.

It doesn't mean I don't care. It doesn't mean I don't love. It's just... I can't do anything if I'm not healthy, and I can't be healthy if I can't focus. We can care about people, but we are not the saviors of the universe. We are not Superman.

So I'm taking a 90 day...thing. I don't know what it is, exactly. A cleanse? A sabbatical? It's kind of like Eat, Pray, Love except I can't actually afford to do that sort of thing so I'm just going to take this journey in my house and in my mind.

A while ago I posted something on facebook about the desire to read real books more and to stop scrolling. And then there was this election and I was the queen of the scrollers. Facebook was my home. And so I've realized that I can't just taper down my time on facebook. It has to be eliminated. At least for a little while (My personal page. The Hey Lola page is still active).

That's the first thing. The next thing, which I've been working on for the last two weeks, is to reduce the amount of stuff I have. Too much stuff is also noise. I'm reducing the noise.

And after that...I don't know. We'll see where the road takes us. But as always, I'm proud to acknowledge what's wrong, to say "this part of my life is kind of fucked up right now and I feel inadequate and sad" and to then take steps to get my brain to a healthier place.  There's nothing wrong with that.

There's nothing wrong with being human. There's nothing wrong with seeking help. There's nothing wrong with taking care of yourself and there's nothing wrong with talking about your struggles. Don't let anyone tell you differently.