A Steaming Cup of Blankey

It’s official. It happened. I’ve been waiting for it. It has been barreling toward me for a while now. I’ve dabbled in it before, you know, tested it out just a little, enjoyed over-priced substitutions. But at last I’ve reached the milestone from which there is no return. I feel like I’m finally inducted into some secret adulthood club and can actually call myself a real member.

I’ve officially reached the point in adulting where coffee is basically holy water.

Ah, coffee.

Growing up, the aroma was glorious, but when you tasted the dark liquid from your Dad’s mug, you sputtered and gaged, because that’s just nasty. Why doesn’t it taste like it smells? Why do grown-ups drink this crap?

“It’s an acquired taste,” my Dad would tell me.

So… you drink foul black fluid until you trick yourself into believing you actually like it? What’s the point?

Now, sitting here sipping a steaming cup of joe twenty years later, I get it.

A cup of coffee brings an adult comfort like the way our blankey used to bring us comfort. Apparently, when you become an adult, it’s frowned upon to carry around your blankey. So, instead, we keep it in a drawer and we pour a soothing cup of coffee. We inhale the splendid fragrance, and enjoy a taste we used to hate but now can’t live without.

“Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.”

“Okay, I’ve had my coffee. Now don’t talk to me, because now I have to poop.”

“Okay, I pooped. But don’t talk to me, because I don’t like you.”

Ah, adulthood.

A spectrum of ups and downs and undefined in-betweens that rush us, whirl us, and leave us breathless in their wake.

It’s a lot. Too much, even.

But nothing a steaming cup of blankey won’t fix.


Make It Go

Inside, I feel a little like the wick of a candle when the wax is gone and the fire fizzles out. I’m short and charred, and would crumble between two fingers.

I am burnt out.

I’ve put so much in. Everyday another word, another hope, another idea.

Everyday another page.

Sometimes I’m not sure there’s enough in me. Someday I’ll dip my bucket into the well and I won’t pull up any more words.

I’ll be dry.

I’m giving this all I have. I’ve been blazing for weeks, a flickering heat with endless fuel shedding light in darkness.

But today, I’m burnt out.

I gave it everything, and now I sit and anticipate familiar rejection. And when it comes, I hope I can catch a spark again.

Because I don’t know what I’m doing.

“I don’t know what I’m doing with my life,” I sighed a I struggled to keep up with my sister’s stride. Her Brittany Spaniel, Ruby, was trotting at her side and my Doberman, Chevy, pulled me along.

“I don’t think anyone really knows what they’re doing with their life,” Sarah replied, glancing at me out of the corner of her eye.

“It’s just weird,” I continued. “I want to be successful. I want to work hard. But I don’t know what I want to work hard at.”

“Just do what makes you happy,” she offered as she halted to tear a twig from Ruby’s mouth. “The world would be a much better place if we all just did what makes us happy.”

Who’s the older sibling, here, exactly?

“Writing makes me happy,” I said, patting Chevy’s head and looking at the bare trees around us. The faded imprints of autumn’s leaves still lingered upon the concrete beneath our tennis shoes.

“Then do it,” Sarah told me.

“It’s not that simple,” I retorted. “I have to be real about this. What are the flipping odds anything I write is going to go anywhere beyond my office?”

“You make it go.”

I’ve been told before to keep trying. To never give up. That I can do it. But these 4 words in that small slice of time on the trail struck me. They collided with my body and left me stumbling.

I make it go.

Right now, I’m tired. I’m so burnt out I don’t know what I’m doing anymore.

But I will recover.

And I’ll keep at it.

Because that’s what we do as humans.

We pull strength from empty places

and we make it go.

Mechanic Bills and Buying in Bulk

“Get your ass offline,” I messaged my co-worker when I saw her online during her day off.

I’m so professional.

“I’m going!” She replied. “Just wanted to quickly log on and send the team some information… I don’t want to be the reason anything gets delayed.”

I know adulting = responsibility, but is there ever a time this immense weight lifts from our shoulders? Our work culture has evolved to the point where so many of us cannot even relax on a vacation day. Out of a 52-week year, we already only get 2-3 weeks of vacation. Why are so many of us STILL WORKING on those vacation days? Stoppit!

If something good could ever come from the ‘rona, I hope it’s that we learn to re-evaluate our priorities and re-calibrate our work-life balance.

“Fine,” I typed back. “When you’re done, log off and go day drink or play Zelda.”

“Ha. I need to get my car from the shop, then venture to Costco. Talk about a PARTY.”

“You wild animal.”

This is what we’ve become. Our days off are no longer bottles of wine and Nintendo Switch adventures, but rather mechanic bills and buying in bulk. I hope we can all find once again what really matters in life. Take care of yourself, be with your loved ones, and leave time to find those Korok Seeds in Hyrule.

“At least spending $2k on my car will prevent me from going overboard at Costco,” she added.

“Hopefully this will have your car good to go for a while.”

“Fingers crossed.”

Cheez Itz and Diet Coke

The towel unraveled from my sopping hair and fell at my feet. A feeling of insecurity washed over me as I studied my naked body in the mirror. I turned to the side and studied the excessive curve of my shape and the way my thighs rested together.

I knew I wasn’t fat.

I knew that.

But I also felt




I pressed a hand to my belly, tugged at my flab, then sucked in my gut, imagining the way my body used to look.

I lost over twenty pounds just for the wedding.

And worked out three times a day and ate only 1000 calories to do so.

It should come as no surprise that such a lifestyle is not sustainable.

Like, at all.

So, I put it all right back on.

I think I felt ashamed, standing naked in my bedroom with a towel at my feet, because I had worked so damn hard for my wedding body, and somehow, I managed to let it slip through my fingers like sand. How quickly I let that motivation and determination leave my system and render me vacant.

It took me a long time after our nuptials to finally accept that my body simply is not designed to be slender and muscular. It just doesn’t want to be 130 pounds of muscle. It would much rather be a little squishy.

The way his arms hold me at night tells me that’s okay.

Let’s face it: without the motivation of a beautiful dress on a beautiful summer day, it is incredibly difficult to justify slaving away at the gym three separate times a day and living on hardboiled eggs. That doesn’t make me happy. You know what does make me happy? Cheez Itz and Diet Coke. At what point are we willing to sacrifice bliss for the stereotypical perfect body? I may not be slender and muscular like I was (again, for a hot sec), but I am curvy and no less beautiful.

That wasn’t easy to come to terms with. It’s almost natural to get stuck in comparisons of what you once were or what your friends are or what your sister has always been. Once I stopped comparing myself, I could just look at me for me and focus on liking what I saw in the mirror.

What am I saying here?

Love yourself.

You’re beautiful.

Be confident and let yourself shine as you tackle adulting.

And buying yourself a perfectly fitting power suit won’t hurt, either.


Today, I ventured out into the real world.

And I didn’t like it.

I’ve been #adulting and working on a refinance for our home to take advantage of the lower interest rates. We close on Monday, so like a responsible adult, I suited up and left my home for the first time in weeks to get a cashier’s check for the closing costs.

Now when I say “suited up,” I mean I had to rummage through my closet in search of a pair of real pants that actually fit. Once I managed to squeeze into some jeans, I then welcomed the dystopian vibes as I grabbed a pair of gloves and a face mask.

Banks are only conducting business via drive through around here. I knew the outside world was going to be different from how I left it, but I was incredibly unprepared for the wrapped line of cars around my credit union.

About 45 minutes later, I was finally pulling up to the pneumatic tube transport and reaching for the canister. I dropped in my ID and a note detailing exactly what I needed (because I even have anxiety about executing a drive through transaction) then sent the canister away. As it flew overhead, I glanced up toward the window to see a line of tellers inside.

All eerily wearing facemasks.

I knew they would be. But nothing really prepares you for the realization that even our tellers inside the locked bank must protect themselves.

While I was out, I figured I might as well stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things and make an adventure out of the day.

It felt like I was preparing to enter battle as I situated myself in the store parking lot.

“Alright, boys.” I said to no one. “We don’t know what we’ll find in there. Best be on our toes and ready for anything. Move out!”

I marched in with gloves on my hands and a mask over my face. I grasped a cart and tried to move as swiftly as possible through the store.

When you’re navigating through produce 6 feet away from a strategically spaced crowd in masks as the intercom defines social distancing, you feel like you’re in some sort of a YA dystopian novel, and you’re eventually going to have to choose between the two guys you like, one of whom is in the next aisle.

Trying to practice social distancing while following the new directional aisles and searching for the damn bread aisle was exhausting. Navigating a grocery store during the ‘Rona is like playing PacMan. You’re PacMan, trying to collect all your groceries in this confusing maze, and EVERYONE ELSE is killer ghosts closing in on your personal space.

I barely made it out with my life.

And my groceries, of course. Can’t go home without HotPockets.

I don’t think I will be going back out there. Reality is a little too bizarre for me right now. I will enjoy the chaos safely from my own home, and play PacMan on the old N64 instead.

Stay healthy, friends.

For The Boscos

You couldn’t pay me to go back to high school.

But I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to do it over again, only with the mindset I have now.

There are so many things that seem like the end of the world when we are navigating those musty halls and squeezing by crowds to get to the bathroom. (Then punching the hand dryer once inside to hide the sound of our pee.)

My anxiety was through the roof the first day of 10th grade as I entered the cafeteria with my books and sack lunch. It was the moment I had been dreading all day: the selection of a lunch seat. I moved from Ohio to Michigan in the middle of my Freshmen year of high school, so I was not walking into a crowd of familiar faces. I was diving into a writhing sea of the worst kind of antagonists: high schoolers.

I paused only a moment, hurriedly scanning the horizon of bobbing heads for a familiar face. I found no one. Biting my lip, I sat down at the nearest empty table. Alone. I was that girl. That poor loser without friends quietly eating lunch and reading a book. This was before smartphones, so I couldn’t even scroll to look busy. I felt the heat of an invisible spotlight as I munched on a carrot stick and felt a cold sweat on my back.

As an adult looking back, I recognize how ballsy it much have seemed to sit down by myself on the first day, and I’m proud of that. But now it seems so strange to think we ever dreaded sitting alone at all. I WELCOME it, now. Don’t sit by me.

If I could go back, I’d stride across the cafeteria with a bag of Bosco Sticks in hand (because I freaking miss those delicious rods of grease). I’d sit as far away from the crowd as humanly possible, then smile pleasantly to myself as I enjoy my quiet lunch in solitude.

But the anxiety of high school was, and probably will always be, overwhelming.

Where am I going to sit? Who is going to be my partner? What topic should I choose to present to make me look cool? Which people should I talk to? Should I even try out for this play? What if no one asks me to the dance? Will the groups for this project be assigned? Should I make eye contact with this person walking down the hall? What English elective is going to look better on my transcript? Do you think people will like these pants? Are seats assigned? Does this teacher like me? Who’s my locker buddy? What if lunch boxes are nerdy this year? What if I have to poop during this test?

I cannot believe how much time I wasted worrying about things that didn’t matter. The anxiety is devastating, and I wish I could do it over again knowing exactly what matters and what doesn’t. I wish I could pass this knowledge down to others, but it won’t stick. It never does. I can’t tell you how many times my mother tried to tell me it wasn’t the end of the world. I was convinced it was, and no one was ever going to tell me different!

Perhaps it’s a rite of passage. Maybe going back and doing it like a carefree loaner wouldn’t give me the necessary experiences needed to develop into a successful adult. I guess on some level, high school builds character.

Well. I’ve got enough character in me at this point, thanks very much.

You couldn’t pay me to go back.

Might do it for the Boscos, though.

Perplexing Paradox

Maybe it’s the dissonance between my adult brain and my child heart. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism meant to protect me from hurt or disappointment. It’s possibly a lack of self-confidence, or insecurity sprouting from a quarter-life identity crisis.

I don’t really know the reason.

But the way I feel today is different from the way I felt yesterday. The way I will think tomorrow will be diverse from how I am thinking now.

Yesterday, there was fire. It was a blazing passion in my eyes and at my fingertips. I was rabid resolve and fierce fortitude, dancing in flames and writing in smoke.

Today, I have only burns, the blaze of yesterday a faint echo around piles of ash in my brain. I am aching to rekindle the bliss of before with only scars on my palms and dust at my feet.

Dreams and reality.

Madness and rationality.

Hopefulness and pessimism.

Heart and Mind…They are at odds, two vital beings tugging my soul in opposite directions. I can feel it in my ribs, this stretching tension as I wobble in the center, tilting one way or the other each day.

Back and forth.

I am a perplexing paradox.

Yesterday, I could do this.

Today, I can’t.

Tomorrow, I don’t know.

Sometimes it feels as though we must choose between chasing dreams or living reality. It seems impossible to make room for both. And in those moments, the mind shouts louder than the heart and we wonder if it is all a colossal waste of time.

Might I live a simpler existence if I leave it all behind? Shall I drop the pen, chase humbler dreams, search for meeker purpose?

Then forever wonder what might have been.

I don’t know if I can do this. I cannot yet recognize if this truly is a waste of time, and if one day I will come to accept that of myself and let the words run dry. But for now, even on the days I don’t really think I can do this, I keep pushing.

Because it’s a journey, and we take it one step, one word at a time.

The Identity Crisis

As I rise to a more advanced level of adulting (you know, like this is a video game or something), I find myself yanked toward a less adult-like view of my life and the direction I should be headed. It’s strange; one would assume my delusions would decrease as I age, but these days they seem more prominent than ever. They are a thriving, twisting essence existing above my mind. I try to reach for them, my fingers nearly grazing the aura around them, but I never quite grasp them at their core.

I have always been a motivated individual. Like most, I am inspired by money to a certain extent. But to a higher degree, I am driven by titles and the perception of success. Paycheck aside, does my title and achievements portray an image of an efficacious adult? This is the mindset that pushed me through grad school and countless interviews for my dream job. This is the point of view through which I strategically mapped a ten-year career path with my company, and this is the vision which has propelled my exceptional work ethic each day.

Knowing these qualities and this drive within myself, I should be craving leadership. I should be after the management position for my team as soon as it opens. I should be meticulously following the plan, ready to play the game, anxious to dive deep in a black lake of politics.

But I am tripping in this spot.

The older I get

The more I write

The more creativity I bring into my role at work

The more I realize I want nothing to do with the political game attached to management in a corporate setting. It’s a toxic, obligatory appendage that could never be amputated, and I don’t think I want it.

And here lies the identity crisis.

There are two things I want more than anything in this world, more than I want to be a leader or a manager.

To write, and to be a mama.

My adult brain is telling me I am supposed to keep pushing my corporate career and become a successful leader…But my heart is screaming to be a successful creator. I fear leadership will offer no room for creation, and this is terrifying me.

Tripping me.

I love my current role, because I get to build something meaningful from scratch. Am I willing to trade that satisfaction for an executive title with a knotted mess of strings attached?

There is an invisible line drawn between passion and profession, and I am dancing on it. Sometimes, we find ourselves believing our passion cannot possibly be our profession. Creative writing completes my soul while the corporate game pays the bills and builds this mirage of success.

​Could passion ever be profession?

Let’s find out. 

Bizarre, Babbling, Bumbling Band of Baboons

We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re a bizarre, babbling, bumbling band of baboons trying to figure it all out. But we’re not alone.

Adulting is this bizarre status we all thought we wanted. When we got it, we wanted to return it, but didn’t have the damn gift receipt. If anyone knows where I can exchange adulthood for childhood at the age of 28, please, for the love of God, let me know.

Sometimes, adulthood slowly creeps up on you. Here’s a list of twenty things that tell you that you are, in fact, adulting now. Good fricken luck.

  1. Realizing how wrong you were to be in a hurry to grow up.
  2. When consuming an entire bottle of wine in one sitting is normal.
  3. Realizing boredom is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
  4. When you start referring to technological advancement as a “Capitalistic Ploy.”
  5. Accepting the frigid reality of having just 2 weeks’ vacation out of a 52-week year.
  6. Choosing a movie on Netflix based upon its runtime so that you aren’t up past your bed time.
  7. Doing laundry before you run out of clean underwear.
  8. When you start referring to the teenagers in the streets as “hooligans.”
  9. That moment you’re standing motionless in front of the wall of toilet paper at the grocery store, trying to figure out what the best deal is.
  10. That moment you’re standing motionless in front of the wall of toilet paper at the grocery store, because it’s fucking empty thanks to the ‘rona.
  11. Having the daily “we have food at home” talk with yourself on the way home from work.
  12. When “putting on your big girl panties” is both literal and figurative.
  13. When talking to yourself becomes “consulting the expert.”
  14. Using adult-like excuses to get out of plans you really regret making.
    • i.e. “Sorry, I can’t make it, I have to meet with my financial planner this afternoon.”
  15. Realizing just how wrong you were when you refused to nap as a child.
  16. Pretending you don’t have any money so that you can keep your money.
  17. Buying a Costco membership.
  18. Thrusting your eyes open and panicking at 6 AM when you hear the garbage truck coming down the street.
  19. When you regularly use words like “refinance,” “equity,” and “investment.”
  20. Developing a professional verbal filter and corresponding dictionary.
    • “Per my last email” = “Bitch, can’t you read?”
    • “I’m fine.” = “Fuck off.”
    • “I would be happy to sign a Non-Disclosure agreement…” = “You can keep your shit.”
    • “I can work with it and see.” = “You don’t know what you’re talking about, but I will make it happen because I’m awesome.”
    • “I will prioritize this.” = “I’ve got so much shit on my plate, but don’t worry, I can make your problems my top priority right now.”
    • “I need to use a sick day.” = “I’m completely healthy and just don’t want to see ya’lls faces today.”
    • “Thanks for that valuable input.” = “STFU.”
    • “Let’s do lunch.” = “Wanna GTFO and talk shit about everyone in this meeting?”
    • “What a creative concept.” = “How far up your ass did you reach for this idea?”
    • “While I appreciate your feedback…” = “Yeah, well, that’s, like, your opinion, Margaret.”
    • “I never thought about that…” = “No one asked you.”
    • “What’s on your plate for today?” = “Get ready, I’m about to drop a bomb on your entire kitchen table.”
    • “I am happy to spearhead this project.” = “Move over, bitch, let me drive.”  
    • “Allow me to process this.” = “Why are you talking to me before I’ve had my coffee?”

Like, follow, and share if you can relate. We don’t know what we’re doing. We’re a bizarre, babbling, bumbling band of baboons trying to figure it all out.

But we’re not alone.


Reasons Why I Drink (Today Edition)

As the clock displays 5:00, I shuffle down the stairs and into the kitchen. (I may or may not be wearing pants, and it’s fine, because, ‘Rona.) I scratch my Doberman Pinscher’s head, then rummage through the wine fridge.

Today, I am uncorking this bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon because I am waiting.

I am waiting for a closing date on my refinance.

I am waiting for someone to come hook up my fiber internet.

I am waiting for two agents to get back to me about my manuscript.

I am waiting for someone to finish building my pole barn.

I am waiting for my insurance company to call me back.

I am waiting for the credit union to mail me my stupid debit card.

I am waiting for quarantine to end.

I am waiting for that damn Amazon package.

I am waiting for warmer weather.

I am waiting for Susan at work to finally respond to my email.

I am waiting for Netflix to load, because I still have shitty internet.

I am waiting for my friend in Vietnam to wake up and see the hilarious meme I left on her Messenger.

I am waiting for this damn zit on my face to go away.

I am waiting for 10,000 followers to fly out my ass.

And my mind is exploding, because I am an adult who uses words like “refinance,” “fiber,” “building,” “agents,” “insurance,” “debit,” and “Quarantine” in complete, exasperated sentences while I drain an entire bottle of wine.

Sometimes it feels like all we do is wait. We are constantly anticipating the following moment, the coming week, the next greatest thing. We are waiting for this to end, for that to start, for this to come, for that to leave.

I think I’m waiting to stop waiting.

I am waiting for the day there is no longer anything to wait for.

Does that exist?

Wait and see.