Home

My mind has gone in a million different directions the past two months.

Actually, scratch that. My mind has toggled between two opposite directions the past several months, maybe years.

Which path? I cry. Which path which path which path.

I don’t want to regret it, I wail.

I want to love it, I say.

I have this idea for how my life should go. And this year—well, it’s been a hard year. I don’t say that like I’ve had much outside stress. There are many people in this world, in this country, in my own circles, who have had much harder years. I’m just saying, for me, it’s been a hard year.

This year I didn’t laugh enough. I didn’t get outside enough. I didn’t hug enough. I hate those feelings because it’s like I’m not enough. My life isn’t enough.

So instead of focusing on the realities of my situation or, you know, doing anything about it, I went into daydream land. I’m very good at daydream land. In daydream land, I can give you a beautiful interview after I’ve just won an Oscar. It’s very humble and giggly and full of phrases like “why yes, I did happen to get engaged on the same day I was nominated!” (I know.)

I like to daydream. I don’t want to stop daydreaming either. Daydreaming can be magical and creative and immensely helpful to writing.

But I don’t want daydreams dictating my life. I feel like I’ve buried myself under layers of okays and fines and talk laters. I’ve covered myself with interviews on Conan and sappy acceptance speeches (for awards and proposals) and Pinterest boards (the secret kind).

Maybe this is too painfully honest. Maybe this seems pathetic. Maybe it really is.

For once in my life, I’m okay with being pathetic if it means looking it reality right in the face. I don’t want to be lost in daydream land anymore. I want to be grounded in reality, but still be able to daydream. I think that’s called being happy.

The thing that I’m realizing though is that this kind of happiness has very little to do with where I am or what I’m doing or any external factor. Those things are important. I’m not denying that I actually want success as I define it for myself: writing full-time, performing, getting married to a good guy, becoming a mom, showering my ageing parents in love, laughing until I pee my pants at game night with my siblings. I want those things so badly my chest physically hurts when I think about them.

But here, in this moment? I can choose success too. I can choose to be happy and to laugh and to face my dirty room and weird thing smelling up my fridge and facial hair and unsolved problems and still say that I like myself.

I can choose to coax my sensitive heart out from under the covers. It likes to sleep in these days. I made it that way. I let it believe it wasn’t cool enough or smart enough or famous enough or pretty enough or just enough. I let it believe it was stupid and ugly and unimportant.

But I choose to be gentle to it now. I will protect it from well-meaning harsh words and not-so-well-meaning ones. I choose to tell it to have fun, stay awake awhile, love on people, and love on me.

Tell me your thoughts, little heart, I say. I will still love you no matter what, you know?

Funny, I find that the most precious phrase in the world, but I never say it to myself. Today I do. I’ll still love you, I whisper.

Home or here? Home or here? I ask it. I’ll still love you.

My little heart opens its scratchy throat; it hasn’t been used in a while.

Home, it whispers. Home, please.

Okay, I say. I still love you.

Advertisements

Giggles Abound

I’m in a giggly mood.

I get in those, especially when tired. In my masters program, I had to step out of the room more than once to get the giggles under control.

Today I’m giggling at myself over two things.

One:

Last night I was lying in bed in complete silence, willing myself to stay in one spot. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep lately, so my strategy was to lay still with my eyes closed. (It’s a brilliant strategy.) My mind was wandering, as it often does, and I was thinking about Regis Philbin. (Yes.)

In particular, I was thinking of this episode of Regis and Kelly when during their early casual conversation Regis mentioned that one of his strategies to stay fit is to ask for a box with the meal when dining out. Before he would eat any of it, he’d put half of the meal in the box for later. I was thinking about this last night and becoming enraged.

Okay, Regis, maybe the reason you can eat only half of your meal is because you’re a miniature-sized person?

Do I want to take health tips from the Daniel Radcliffe’s of the world? No. No, I do not!

You don’t know about my body, Regis. How dare you try to tell my how I should eat on those special nights when I go to a restaurant!

This is when I started giggling. Regis Philbin. Regis Philbin has been retired from Live! for almost five years. This was a comment he made once, and I’m guessing it was close to ten years ago.

Yesterday wasn’t a great day. It was a little low. I had a headache. I hadn’t slept well the past few nights.

But just when I thought that this is the new normal, this sort of low, sour, frustrated mood, I get mad over Regis Philbin.

And then alone in the dark, I shake and laugh until I’m crying because life has returned. Laughter is back, and I have Regis Philbin to thank for that.

Two (because I promised two giggly things):

The Property Brothers are appearing at Bookfest this year. (I went two years ago, and it was incredible.) Jill mentioned the Property Brothers the other day when she was watching House Hunters, and I was the epitome of class when I didn’t say a word about them. This time, in our group text with Katie, she mentioned they’d be coming to Bookfest. I went on a rampage that was a very truncated version of this:

I hate Property Brothers. I’m not sure why. They rub me the wrong way. They’re like the HGTV version of the Kardashians without the intriguing family dynamics.

I don’t like that they’re so schmoozy.

I don’t like that one has a beard in an effort to distinguish himself. You’re not fooling us. We know you’re twins, and we still can’t tell you apart, okay?

I don’t like that they’ve written a book because it seems like a money grab. They’re sooooo into fame.

I don’t like that one of them is in a made-for-TV Christmas movie. Can’t I have anything that’s my own?!

I hate that they go over budget every time!! Like, these are supposed to be experts in their field. They usher in the trusting buyer. It’ll be great, they say. We’ll fix it up for this price, they say. Buy it, they say.

And then…

“There’s unexpected mold.” “Uh, these pipes just won’t work anymore.” “You know what, all the wood in your house needs to be replaced. Let’s just go ahead and burn this place to the ground and start over.”

Hate these guys.

Then I realized how ridiculous this hatred is. I really dislike them because they go over budget on a TV show?? Really??

Cue the giggles. Cue the life-giving power of laughter.

I figuratively put my feelings about the Property Brothers in a bubble and watched it float away.

Just kidding. I still irrationally dislike them, but at least I’m able to laugh about it, right?