A Few Fuck-Yous…


…Brought to you by international air and train travel.

1. Fuck you for wearing your skunk perfume on a plane (also on the train…I’m looking at you, passengers of renfe who showered in old man cologne). I’m glad you’re making an effort to smell good but we’re all hurtling through the sky in a coke can so everyone can smell everyone else a little too well and I will sneeze on you.

2. Fuck you for wearing your nicest heels and jewels through the security line. I’m glad you’re wealthy and old, but there’s really no reason to hold up the line with your nonsense just so you can stick your fake nose a little higher in the air.

3. Fuck you for looking nice on an airplane, honestly. This isn’t so much of a fuck you as it is a how is this possible? I look like a gremlin who was caught in a flood and a tornado and a hornets nest. It’s just rude to look so much better than me, and to make it all look so effortless. I’m wearing socks with sandals, goddamn it, because I’m tired, these shoes were too heavy to check through, and my toes get cold. I’m a wreck. This is a PSA.

4. Fuck the system. Or…yeah. Fuck this whole first class business class nonsense. I get it, because I, too, would like to actually be able to stretch my (very long) legs out whilst flying. But I can’t, because I don’t have money flying off of trees and landing in my wallet.

5. Speaking of first class, fuck the stupid curtain. “Okay so what we’ll do is take the rich people and put them up front and then keep the plebs away from them with a mesh curtain.”

6. Fuck airports that don’t have free unlimited wifi. Sorry I have a six hour layover and wanted to write on my laptop but only had 30 minutes to do it, JFK. Sorry. So sorry I refuse to pay $5 an hour for shitty wifi. On that note, fuck writing a blog post on your cell phone whilst using data.

7. Fuck. I’m so fucking tired. I’m in that mood where nothing matters so I don’t understand why people put any effort into anything non-essential. Also I broke a nail and I’m annoyingly emotional about it.

8. 12 hours down, 8 to go. There’s no place like home. Fuck everywhere else.

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Who, What, Where (A Brief Autobiography)


Contrary to popular belief, I am indeed still alive and well. It’s been a rocky road (unfortunately not the ice cream, though I desperately wish it was), and I have absolutely not fulfilled my resolution to continue blogging more often, as it’s been about 4 months since my last post. I’ve said this before (so many times) but this started out as a humor blog exclusively, but as I’ve gotten older and faced adult challenges, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to be constantly hilarious. I’m still hilarious, but am faced with the fact that I am a multi-dimentional, emotional human being. Of course, that’s okay. Less entertaining at times, but okay.

So what have I been up to? Dealing with multiple mental health crises, honestly. I stay pretty private about it for the most part, mentioning it only in passing unless talking to specific people about it, but you’re all part of the internet so I feel a little more anonymous and lately am less concerned about talking about it anyway. I don’t feel any shame about it anymore, but I also believe it is my story to tell when I want to tell it, and only when I want to tell it.

I was diagnosed with Bipolar II at the very end of 2016 and began various methods of treatment at the start of 2017. It’s been difficult, to say the least. Everyone has their misconceptions about what bipolar even is and I’ve received a lot of unnecessary and unsolicited advice from both strangers and those close to me. Be warned: the comments section here is not a forum for advice, but is perfectly allowed to be a place of kindness and support if you really feel the need to speak to me on this subject. This is not a dialogue. It is absolutely a monologue, and I feel perfectly fine drawing that boundary.

I will give very brief and basic introduction to what Bipolar II looks like for me. I know a lot of people don’t understand the disorder (or didn’t even know it existed in the first place):

I live my life in one of three states at any given time: hypomanic, stable, or depressed. I also occasionally experience mixed episodes, which cause me to swing from depressed to hypomanic within short periods of time. Hypomania is sometimes defined as “mania lite,” but I find that definition both overly simplistic and invalidating, as it implies that it isn’t distressing or difficult to live with. During hypomanic episodes, my symptoms range, but can include extreme irritability (what I call “road rage whilst walking”), insomnia, restlessness, compulsive speech, persistent risk-taking compulsions, increased focus on projects (I’m talking picking up an activity and not stopping for days — I’ve acquired several lovely hobbies over a short period of time) and lack of appetite. These episodes last for at least 4 days, but typically last longer for me. I also rapid cycle and at one point had 5 or 6 episodes within a two month period, which was super fun except when it totally wasn’t.

Essentially, I don’t sleep, I don’t eat, and I can’t shut up or stop moving. Sometimes this all feels really fun and freeing, because suddenly I’m the life of the party. Often, though, I feel scared and get the sense that I don’t know who I am or what I’ll do. In general, emotional swings that severe are really distressing.

It ain’t easy, folks. It’s taken a lot of dedication and effort to work toward stability and feel like myself, but I’m getting closer every day. I think. My goal is to keep the hypomanic and depressive episodes fewer and farther between so I can remain stable longer. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t. I barely slept for the past three weeks, and started absolutely losing my mind until I finally found the perfect combination of relaxation, essential oils, tart cherry juice, and ocean sounds to get 9 hours of sleep for the past four nights…this is probably the only reason I’ve found the energy to write this post in the first place. That combination may not work forever, though, as I’ve learned in the past, and I’ll have to switch things and work even harder. Extra medication is sometimes involved, sometimes not. It’s hard to know what will help at any given time.

I’m finding plants have helped me heal a lot lately. Doesn’t matter how hypomanic or depressed I am, potting a plant will make me feel sane, if even for just a few hours. Plus, I gain little green friends and purify the air in my house all at once. An unexpected but absolutely appreciated medicine, for sure. Celebrating life and maintaining my creativity has been essential — there’s a lot of art, bass playing, and journaling that goes into my stability. I remain vague about other parts of my treatment because it ain’t nobody’s business but those are also difficult and frustrating at times. Support groups help the most.

I’ve had a lot of revelations over the past 8 months…about life, my will to live, what and who I love, what I deserve in this life and the next, what I want to focus on and what I want to leave behind. I’d 100% prefer to not live with bipolar, but if I have to, at least I’ve done a lot of soul searching and self exploration to learn how to manage it.

Hopefully I’ll write again before another four months have passed, but you never know. Either way, know that I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m more than just this disorder.

xo

If you’re interested in learning more about mood disorders, NAMI is a really great resource. If you happen to be a person living with bipolar, DBSA meetings have benefitted me more than I can ever explain. 

Can We Discuss Disney Princesses Though


I was on the phone with my dad yesterday crying (surprise) over my lack of romantic luck recently. He gave me some really wonderful advice, the most hilarious of which came when he said, “The worst thing Disney ever did for society was write those stupid happy endings.” Or something to that effect — I tend to describe things a little more sassily than he does.

Anyway, it got me thinking: according to Disney, everything works out in the end if you’re a quiet woman in a patriarchal society. I am not quiet, and I’m actively attempting to smash the patriarchy at every turn, so I’m a little concerned about what this means for my love life. Also, I’m not exactly straight so I just wanna know what Disney would recommend if I’m trying to woo a mermaid, but I doubt I’ll be getting any answers on that front any time soon.

I’ve never wanted to be a princess, but I’m realizing that in a Disney world, I would have to be in order to fall in love, so uh…here we go. Now, there are a few (million) necessary adjustments I must make to my life in order to attain princess perfection:

  1. Become tiny. Which might be difficult since I’m 6′ and not exactly slender. Maybe I can cut my legs off at the knees, which would successfully reduce my weight and height in one fell swoop. It would also allow me to become helpless. Maybe my prince would be down to push me around in a wheelchair for the rest of eternity (which is obviously also how long our love would last).
  2. Replace my sweet mother with some horrible woman who wants to lock me in a tower or make me mop her floors and take care of her fat, evil cat. I could probably start looking for that type of woman at the local Chicos clothing store. The more chunky jewelry, the better, I’d assume.
  3. Become straight. And probably develop a dwarf and/or squirrel fetish.
  4. Don’t leave the house unless I look immaculate (note to self: find fairy godstylist). Only do housework if forced to. Allow mice to take up residence in my apartment.
  5. Immediately unlearn every self defense skill I’ve ever been taught. Walk into forests alone at night. Take food from strangers. Make deals with weird octopi in ocean caves. Make out with frogs even though they probably have weird swamp bacteria all over their bodies. Totally wander into random cabins in the woods without worrying about some racist hillbilly coming in and axe murdering me while I’m fast asleep.
  6. Let teacups teach me about love. Employ candlesticks for both light and therapeutic advice. Become easily impressed by silverware. Become way too obsessed with my hair for anyone’s good (this one might not be too tricky for me).
  7. Stop talking. This might be hard, as I don’t think I’ve spent more than 3 hours in silence at any given time. I even talk in my sleep, for goodness sake.
  8. Assume kissing men will always be magical and totally save my life. Because obviously everyone knows how to kiss me the way I’d like. None of them will shove their tongues down my throat (princes don’t actually possess tongues, anyway) or drool on me (and yes, before you ask, that has happened to me and I really don’t want to talk about it). Let random twerps kiss me just in case it helps my situation in life.

I think that’s it.

And yes, I’m super serious about the squirrel fetish.

Webs


Three spiders have made their homes outside my apartment windows. Sometimes, I watch them spin their webs in the dark, orange streetlights barely illuminating the fibers. Usually they’re sheltered from the rainy Oregon weather but every so often, when it rains sideways, huge holes appear in the meticulously symmetrical designs. I’m always so amazed at the spiders’ diligence. They never stop. They’re never deterred. I’m assuming they’re never discouraged, though I don’t have much understanding of spider brains and emotions.

I’m proud of them. I’m inspired by them. They’re my little friends, my little roommates, and I root for them every night while I fall asleep. I hope they know how much I care about them. I hope they know how much they matter to me.

I hope they feel me, silently cheering them on in solidarity, because if they can rebuild, so can I.

Think Less, Live More


Cosmetology school is hard. Not “bachelors in psychology” hard, not “this statistics class is so confusing” hard, not “I live in India and have had E. coli for 3 weeks” hard, but it’s hard. It’s a different form of learning and living.

I don’t always want to touch people. A lot of times, my anxiety is through the roof and hearing a thousand blow driers doesn’t exactly help. Sometimes clients are rude, ungrateful, weird… Sometimes I don’t want to give a hand massage to a total stranger. Sometimes I think I never want to give another haircut again in my entire life.

But I try to remember that every moment is temporary, so I can choose which ones I hold on to. I can constantly think about the client who was rude to me after I gave her the raddest highlights ever, or I can think about the client who squealed and hugged me after I colored her hair cherry red and gave her a cute bob. I remember my nice clients; they come back to me, and they’re excited to see me and chat. I don’t need to hold on to the bad experiences, because they’re just memories…neither of us wants to see the other again.

I’m lucky to have some amazing friends, both at school and in other parts of my life, who give amazing advice. They remind me that I’m new at this, so nothing will be perfect. They remind me it’s totally normal to be scared, because if I wasn’t terrified I probably wouldn’t try very hard. They tell me I’m gonna be a badass stylist someday (and they’re right). They tell me they’re scared too. They say, “Think less. Live more.”

Analyzing the unknown is futile. There are too many possibilities to predict what could happen, and it would be a waste of my life to even try. So every day, I’ll work harder to just live. I’ll prepare myself the best I can, but the rest is out of my hands.

This might be tricky, but I’m gonna try it out.

Free to Be You and Me…Until You’re Uncomfortable?


I’ve noticed that people tend to be all aboard the gay rights train until their kid or friend or coworker comes out to them. For whatever reason, we can theoretically accept strangers for who they are but are unwilling to tell loved ones that they’re still important to us and that we love every bit of them, even the gay bits. I can guarantee there are several sociological studies on this phenomenon, and I’d be interested in seeing WHY we do this to each other.

It’s fucked up, y’all. Sorry, but I have to say it. Also, I’m definitely not sorry. Nope.

Denying people the right to come out to you is not-so-subtly implying that you disapprove of who they really are. It means you’re scared of the truth, that you’re unwilling to let them live a happy and full life, that you’re being willfully ignorant.

People also tend to be very accepting of gays until you tell them you’re bi. At that point, they tend to act like you simply like to slut it up with both genders, or they ask you if maybe you’re just going through a phase.

Yes…I’m going through a phase that has lasted my entire life. Look, I knew I was bi before I knew that being bi was a real thing. I knew I liked both women and men when I was five years old. If five-year-old Cappy knew, then 22-year-old Cappy knows, and 99-year-old Cappy will still definitely be on that bi train screaming “choo choo” at the top of her lungs. You know, to carry on with this weird train metaphor that I started at the beginning of this post.

I don’t have a whole lot of openly bi role models. Bi people tend to be pushed to the wayside because we’re not “fully straight” but often aren’t classified as gay either, so it puts us in this weird limbo where nobody wants to accept us as part of their group. The governor of Oregon is an openly bi woman, which means a lot to me. It’s nice to see bi people doing amazing things with their lives regardless of the fact that they’re majorly discriminated against by several large groups. I remember she got criticized about being openly bi, though, because people said that wasn’t an important factor in her identity so they didn’t feel she should be open about it.

While I understand that people say these things in an attempt to be accepting (“I’m so accepting that I don’t even want to know if you’re gay or straight”), they are actually being discriminatory. Nobody says that to straight people. If we can’t be out as gay or bi or trans or whatever we really are, then we likely cannot date openly or share this big part of ourselves with friends and family. It encourages people to stay closeted, feeling like they’re living a lie and experiencing huge mental stress. Saying there’s no reason for people to come out is like saying you don’t care about them, because you would extinguish a huge part of their identity. It’s selfish and wrong to expect sexual minorities to just shut up, put their head down, and go about life as if they were straight or cis het.

Basically, the rule of thumb should be this: are people letting the straight people do it? Marriage, dating openly, having sex, talking about their sexuality…we’re letting the straight people do it, so we should let gay and bi and pan and trans and all the people do it. And for goodness sake…when someone comes out to you, don’t push your insecurities onto them. Tell them you love them. Tell them they should be open and wild and free with their gayness. And if you’re feeling uncomfortable with all of it, talk to someone! There are like…500000000 online forums and information centers for you. We want you to be comfortable, too. Just not at our expense.

Moving


I found an apartment in Portland! I’ll be living at 1326 I’m Not Telling You Lane, What If You’re A Creeper City, OR…But whether I tell you the area or not, I’m so excited to be moving there. It’s nice to have a better idea of what my life will be like in the future — I move down in a little over a week, and then…uh…well that’s the next part.

I had an interview today with a place (again, mind your own business, you snoops!) and I think it went really well but it could have also gone horribly and I might have insulted the interviewer’s mother. I’m not sure, because I think I blacked out from nervousness. I find out either way in a few days.

Anyway, yay! You guys are great, Portland is great. I went to the zoo and saw a goat, I met a dog named Fluffy, I had vegan tacos that knocked my socks off…this is gonna be a great new step.

xo

I Live in Mist


What is it about weather that inspires us to write? More specifically, why are we always moved by rain? I suppose rain symbolizes new beginnings as it cleans the streets and helps the crops and flowers grow. I think there’s something more, some other reason that we like to write poems and songs and entire novels about rain. But I have a feeling that by the end of this particular post, that reason will remain a mystery to me.

It’s absolutely pouring here. Monsoon status rain outside my window…and I don’t take monsoon rains lightly, having been caught in several during my stay in India…but I don’t think I’ve ever seen rain this powerful in this tiny little town, and I just love it. All my windows are open, and I went outside on my tiny porch to feel the mist on my face. It’s just…wonderful. It made me write.

I’m scared and anxious lately because I move out of my college town in three days, and within a few weeks will be living in Portland. I want everything to be for sure: I want a nice, cheap apartment in a good part of town. I want a job (literally any job). I want to be happy there. I want to know things about my future in Portland, but unfortunately that’s the weird part about making plans for the future…you never really know anything until it becomes the present. It’s exciting, all those unknowns, but in another sense it’s really really not. It’s just terrifying.

I went to India basically on a whim. I mean, I was heavily invested in going, and I researched a lot, but there’s no way to be prepared for what India presents you with. I just sort of showed up, very white and very naive, with a lot of sunscreen and Pepto Bismol in my suitcase. And I was fine. I survived. I got e. Coli, which was absolutely horrific and not really an experience I’d recommend to a friend, but I totally survived. And I loved my time in India. Every experience was new and exciting, every conversation challenging and beautiful.

So I guess I just need to pretend that this massive new step in my life is like traveling to India. It’ll probably be easier, now that I think of it. I’m relocating from one town in the Pacific Northwest to another (albeit much larger) city. My apartment was dingy, plain, and randomly full of tiny lizards in India…wherever I live in Oregon will be a step up. I’ll have my health. I’ll have a fantastic roommate who cares about me and will look out for me if needed. I’ll have every new opportunity I could ever imaging presenting itself to me, all while wearing the cool vibe of Portlandia…

I’m still terrified. But maybe I can be terrified in a way that at least puts things into perspective. I had this same mini-panic a few weeks before I went to India…this time last year, actually. I just sat there and thought, “I cannot do this.” But I did it. I’m kinda awesome.

It’ll be more than fine. This new part of my life is going to be epic. 

You guys, I figured it out. Just now, totally unexpectedly as a breeze ran through the window I’m sitting next to: it’s rain smell. Rain smell, combined with all those other cleansing qualities and new opportunities that rain represents. It’s rain smell that inspires us, with its woody, green notes and crisp coldness. No matter where I travel, rain smells like the Pacific Northwest. Even when I was in India, rain brought me home.

Happy Happy


I just wanted to sit down and write something in the middle of the night because…I’m happy.

I’m happy because I’m warm in my bed and it’s absolutely frigid outside. I’m happy because I’m going home this weekend to visit my family and exist outside of this college town for a few days. I’m reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes Please, and every page I read reminds me of who I’m going to become — spirited and wise and silly. I played so much guitar yesterday that my fingers are still sore today. I’m listening to The Doors, Peter Paul and Mary, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young…and realizing how much beautiful music has made my life worth living. I spent the day with my roommate studying at a coffee shop and actually got a lot of work done. I’m happy because I’ve got two exams this week and feel enormously unprepared for both of them but…when has that ever stopped me? There’s always time.

I’ve found people I love and I spend time with them. I tell them how I feel about them. They feel the same way back.

I smell like incense almost every day because I bought champa flower oil and haven’t been able to stop sniffing myself for the past year. I worked out and ate cookies today.

I’m happy because…I’m me. And I’m a happy person. Even the word “happy” looks happy and that makes me happy, too.

Little Squeaks


Last night, I was really worried there was a mouse in my apartment. A real one, with little ears and whiskers and possibly rabies, and it made me very nervous. Now, remember, I pride myself on not being creeped out by bugs or snakes or small rodents (except squirrels, because they’re always up to no good). But when there’s a possibility that one is hiding under your bed hoping for a nighttime snack, it’s a whole new situation.

I heard a few squeaking noises, which I initially thought were coming from my toilet (and let’s be honest, that’s entirely possible…my plumbing isn’t exactly up to par) and then I heard something fall down (another moment of honesty: things fall down a lot in my apartment because I apparently don’t know how to hang stuff properly). I never figured out what fell, exactly, and I was incredibly sleep deprived from an insane two weeks of manic test-taking, so it’s very possible that I’d been hallucinating or something. 

I was still pretty paranoid, and I have to admit I did sit on my bed in terror for a few minutes (hours), and I looked under my bed half-expecting to have one of my eyeballs gnawed off. After walking around my apartment (crouching, really) kicking everything to make sure my mousey friend wasn’t hiding in or under it, I came to the conclusion that there’s a 99.9% chance that I’m losing my marbles and there is not a mouse in my house (har har). 

So I guess if Little Squeaks (that’s his name, obviously, especially because I’m hoping he’s really small) does live here now, he and I will just have to coexist for the rest of the semester. I do have plenty of cheese.