I’m not a terribly vain person except when it comes to two things: My skin and my hair. I pride myself looking roughly 10 years younger than I am and that (mostly) has to do with taking my vitamins, drinking loads of water, and taking good care of my skin religiously. (Mostly.)
My hair, despite the years of bleaching, coloring, and other misdeeds, has not been destroyed and still retains its lustre and gorgeousness no matter its length. Even when when it’s binded up, it still looks brilliant.
I love my hair. I love my skin. But the last year of stress, lack of cash, bad haircuts and dye jobs coupled with the general malaise has compounded into dull skin, crazy hair with far too much grey. I have not felt comely in months.
With my general moping about such things, TheExHusband thought it was a good idea for me to take a half-spa day to get some rejuvenation. I booked the appointment for an hour long facial, eye brow waxing, and finishing with a hair color and cut. (GTFO grey.)
The thing about skin care is I’m a cleanser and moisturizer kind of girl. No eye serum, no night cream, maybe BB cream if I’m feeling extra girly before going out. If I do makeup, it’s usually primer, thick eyeliner, and mascara. When I’m rolling in the cash, I do microdermabrasion and get the ‘stache lasered, but the day to day is pretty minimal.
One of the downsides of spas is they want to upsell you their specially formulated, organic, free range, paraben and SLS free products with the cost ranging from outrageous to ridiculous. Imagine my surprise when my aesthetician stated I had some age spots and sun damage (!?!) and suggested over the counter products to purchase rather than the spa’s concoctions. After she gave me a few brands to check out, most of which could be purchased at Target, with specific directions on how to (better) take care of my face. I hied thee to Target to stock up, leaving with a day cream with SPF, eye serum, night cream, and a good cleanser.
Feeling so much better about my physical appearance, I came home and decided to clean out my make-up container which came with interesting results. If you’re curious, that’s 20 shades of eyeshadow, liquid liner, and color pencils; four mascaras, four lipsticks, liquid blush, and highlighter.
Good thing orange eyeshadow is making a comeback.
We’ve recently discovered RuPaul’s Drag Race, which shockingly I haven’t been watching before this. If you need to get your fix, seasons 4 through current are on Hulu. It’s like Project Runway, but much cattier and funnier; an obvious perfect complement.
Expect my mouth to get raunchier thanks to new phrases and saying I’ve been picking up, like “cock sucking dick pigs,” courtesy of Jinkx Monsoon! Which speaking of Ms Jinkx, the episodes we’ve seen so far (seasons 4-6), she’s by far my favorite queen. There is something about her, even though it would seem Sharon Needles or Bianca del Rio are more my speed, that grabs at bits of me and wakes me up.
(We’ve started on season 7 and in one word: meh.)
The resonation of Jinkxy comes from a few weeks ago when someone on the internet made various disparaging comments in regards to my writing. (I know, I know, I KNOW.) The sum of which can be distilled down that I was/am a pompous, illiterate hack. The thing was this didn’t feel like your average internet trolling — this felt personal. Very personal. The person, of course, hid behind an anonymous name but I have my suspicions. I may be way off base on who it was but the commentary hurt. A lot. It’s been banging around my brain as if none of the small steps I’ve taken have amounted to really anything or what’s been published is worthy. I have my fans but then again so does Dan Brown.
This phenomenon is known as imposter syndrome which according to Wikipedia is, “…a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” I first became aware of this in the tech community, primarily women, who struggled with their accomplishments in a male dominated world. I didn’t really see myself, then, as having a modicum of feeling under accomplished but stepping back recently in this new world I’ve created for myself, I can see it whole heartedly.
The biggest of the impostering happening is for my writing, which is why the anonymous c0ward’s comments was a broadsword into my side.
A few weeks ago, Jim C. Hines, in a nod to the Hugo awards kerfuffle, discussed a recent conversation within the SF/F community about the “cool kids.” The tl;dr breaks down that several of the sad puppies accused the more well-known of authors / personalities within the community of being too cliquey and why Hines, and others, reject theses ideas presented.
I remember in high school (and after) always feeling extremely left out of everything. No matter what group I was hanging with, there was always a clique within that group that seemed cooler than me. It never occurred to me those I deemed more awesomer of having their own insecurities, issues, and even jealousies. Basically the same as me and everyone else we know. Their feelings just felt impossible to believe they shat like the rest of us. All we ever see is the finished project not the pain, sweat, and tears that went into them.
It’s always hard to feel your worth, that your contributions are worthwhile, thatyou are worthwhile or matter. It’s hard to shake the demons snapping at you as you run towards your dreams.
Isn’t it easier to “what if” your way into not doing anything? Isn’t it easier to presuppose your failure before anything happens? Isn’t it easier to lock yourself in the closet of your brain and not do anything, ever?
It’s hard, I know, to move forward and do what you want. It’s hard to believe in yourself. I know it’s hard; I still don’t believe in myself 99.999% of the time. It’s hard to shake off the old demons that reverberate from your entire life. But you matter. Your work, your dreams, you matter.
Water off a duck’s back. Water off a motherfucking duck’s back.
Re: Today’s title. It’s been languishing in my drafts for years (and I don’t recall what the original intent of the piece was going to be) and comes from a very earlier incarnation of this site (1999ish) when you could throw anything in the meta tags because you could. It was not about SEO, following HTML rules, but about being clever and perhaps a bit naughty. At one point I had t-shirts printed with a spin on the wording.
So there’s that.
Sunday finds us a bit lethargic as we laze about the cabin if you so please. We are both on the mend from ThePlague but it seems even going out and about, even for a little while, is exhausting. I have several appointments this week I cannot reschedule again (they were reschedules from the previous week when ThePlague was in full bloom), including an appointment with a local therapist.
I’m a bit unsure about this local therapist thing. When I called to reschedule, the scheduler seemed a bit, how do I say this delicately, like he didn’t give a shit. “What time is available?” I says. “Anytime you want,” he says. Err, okay. Do they not get crazy people up in here? Aren’t the therapists have at least some bookings?
I hope this isn’t a waste of my time. Am I in crisis? To some extent yes, but I need to feel a bit assured as I search for support. My experience in Louisville this summer was emotionally debilitating:
Things came to a head when TEH and TheBassist both insisted I up my Lamictal to the last dosage as approved by doctor in Grand Rapids and take myself to the free clinic to talk to someone.
The free clinic in Louisville is designed mainly for the homeless and those on their last hopes. As a walk-in, I was told they could see me when first available slot came open. Four hours later I requested more info to discover the therapists were all at lunch and they closed at 3:30. Would I liked to make an appointment? Sure, why not. Okay, we can fit you in two weeks. Two weeks? Yes. What if I came back tomorrow? You’ll have to start the waiting process all over again.
I called six places in Louisville and every single one was booked out for weeks and months. If I was suicidal, which I wasn’t but I was in crisis, I could check myself in at the local emergency room who could throw me in a locked ward for 48-72 hours. THEN I could get help.
Being your own advocate about your mental health is a full time job. Every little process, every move, every counsel, every everything needed to keep your brain in a place where you can at least function on a daily basis Is. Up. To. You. So how in the hell can the system expect those who are really sick to keep up with this? The short answer is: They can’t. They fall through the cracks. Lives are destroyed, dignity is stripped, and humanity is pummeled.
I will have been at Throbbing Cabin for two solid months. Was it stupid of me to pull this while in the midst of starting therapy? Absolutely. That’s something I have to take on as my responsibility. But it shouldn’t be that hard to get even temporary help.
It’s even worse when you have no insurance.
This Day in Lisa-Universe: 2005
This was first published at Exit, Pursued by a Bear
I'm on a spree to clean up half-dead posts in my drafts folder, so if my posts seem a bit lackluster from their usual intense energy, that's part of the reason.
Today is leaving the house for the second time in a week day. Laundry, grocery shopping, other needed errands capped off with seeing The Martian is the agenda. I'll report back tomorrow how well that went over. Hopefully I don't have an allergic attack to leaving the house and wearing pants longer than 15 minutes.
For most of the northern hemisphere, October signals decorative gourd, pumpkin anything, donut, cider, and cord month. But for me it always the start of big life changes. October 1999 I started at UUNet/WorldCom and moved in with TheExFiancee2. He and I lasted until October 2001, same month I found out I was accepted to Aquinas College to finish my undergrad. My job at Barnes and Noble began in October 2005. I met TheEx in October 2006. I moved to the east coast October 2014. And I'm moving again this month.
Lots of other little stuff always happens in October. When the 1st rolls around, I am giddy with excitement knowing that thing that will happen this month, whether minute or on a grand scale, is going to somehow change my life.
We made it through laundry and TEH reported he wasn't feel all that great as ThePlague was doing him in. We opted to skip the movie and do the grocery shopping before heading home. So there we are in TEH's jeep, Jasper, when it started making a loud racketing noise. TEH keeps driving and as we were about to turn onto M72, sputter and dead. Smoke discharging from the engine.
Jasper is deader than Bill Cosby's career.
Five separate cars, including the local sheriff, stopped to help us. After the first car, who helped us push the jeep to the side of the road, we waved the rest away. I was floored by how many people were just so kind to us while we were hanging out waiting for AAA to show up.
I'm flabbergasted, really, to think in 2015 someone being kind is so shocking. Dontcha think?