Mental Health Confessionals | Two | Performance Anxiety

WARNING: explicit language, descriptions of anxiety attacks, and mention of suicidal thoguhts

Someone one day will go back and notice that this post happened almost two weeks two late and that it appeared on what is most definitely not a Wednesday, and it’s shit like that that we’re going to talk about today.

I like to be stupid (and think that it’s clever) and nicknamed this part of my life Performance Anxiety. It’s the conflict between high-performing anxiety and deep depression that forces me into a sort of cyclical stand-still. In essence, I really want to do the thing, but my body just won’t let me. But before I try to explain that, I’ll talk to you a little bit about how my anxiety and depression work separately.

My anxiety is one of my biggest motivating forces, and without it, I kind of forget how to be the person that I think I am. I’m fucking terrified of failure. I know that that’s a really basic fear that a lot of people have, but it’s kept me up for days at a time. It’s made me sick to my stomach right before big tests. It’s thrown me into terrible anxiety attacks in the middle of in-class essays so that I have to drive myself home from school right after so that I don’t pass out in class because anxiety attacks legitimately take so much out of me that it can cause me to pass out. Because of this, I’m incredibly organized and thorough and dedicated to school. The higher my anxiety is, the better I am at everything except for taking care of my poor, exhausted body.

My depression, on the opposite end of the spectrum, mostly manifests itself as self-loathing, isolation and loneliness, and exhaustion. I don’t experience feelings of worthlessness so much as feelings of absolute rage and hatred toward myself. When my depression gets bad, I yearn for the me who knew how to wake up at a decent time and the me that could write six papers in one night. I feel as though I’ve lost myself and can’t get myself back. Most importantly, fatigue is a huge problem with my depression. I sort of shuffle around all day and night wanting desperately to sleep but utterly unable to.

Both of those descriptions are pretty basic understandings of my own mental health issues, but let me put into terms easier to understand if you’ve never had mental health issues. My anxiety is like experiencing the high of taking a shit ton of Vyvanse and the crash all at once. My depression is like being a self-aware zombie.

Together, they make my life incredibly hard. When I’m experiencing both in tandem, I am incapable of doing everything I usually do to excel in school/speech/my job/etc. I don’t have the energy or the motivation or the know-how because my depression sucks all the life out of me. But I still feel panicked. I feel like I’m not good enough. I feel like I’m ruining my life and disappointing everyone that I love. It’s really hard to come to terms with.

Most importantly, it makes me bad at consistency. It makes me a bad student, blogger, employee (I still write), and Youtuber. This makes me really sad because I take a lot of pride in being really good at most of those things. And I love doing them. But I find myself more often than not apologizing for being late or missing things or turning in poor quality work. It hurts me to have to do it. But it’s become a really necessary part of my life.

Recently, I’ve taken a really big step in my life towards getting better and not over-doing things, and hopefully it’ll give me a lot more time to work on my mental health and also work on the things that are really important to me like my dreams, my job, and my passions. But until then, I’m just trucking on through the Performance Anxiety and looking to the horizon for the end of it.

Thanks for reading if you made it all the way through this. Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience and what you did or are doing to get through it!

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Mental Health Confessional | One | Beauty Queen

This is a picture of me! It is approximately three years old. My eyebrows are third cousins and not sisters, I know. Love me anyway.

My beauty routine includes upwards of 400 regular products and 1,000 supplemental products. It starts in the morning when I take 5 vitamin pills (one iron, three hair/skin/nails, one D) and 3,000 mg of Vitamin C. I take a number of measures throughout the day to keep my skin, hair, nails, and insides looking and feeling as good as possible and it doesn’t even end when I go to sleep at night because I use a night cream, an eye cream, a leave-in conditioner, etc. It’s excessive and crazy and costs me a ton more money than I reasonably have as a freelancer in college. But you know what? I enjoy it.

But I only do this some of the time. I have Major Depression and more than one anxiety disorder. Neither of this is really pretty. I don’t mean that in some kind of metaphorical sense, but in real life. My anxiety and depression do terrible things to my body. Here’s a list:

  • I lose hair in clumps when my anxiety is high.
  • My skin is always really dry, either from stress or sleep deprivation or what-have-you.
  • My weight can fluctuate 20-30 pounds up or down each month depending on which mental health issue is winning the race to kill me.
  • I have thin, brittle nails.
  • I have stiff joints and muscle pains that make my walking unnatural.
  • I have discoloration around my eyes.
  • My skin is often sickly and pallid and color.
  • My hair breaks easily.
  • My eyebrows are thin, dry, and grow very differently.
  • My eyelashes shed like crazy sometimes.
  • My face can swell or bloat from exhaustion or water retention.

Listen, I consider myself blessed with thick, healthy hair and nice skin. Genetically, I got really lucky. But the worst part about my mental health issues’ war against my body (as far as appearance goes) is that I don’t have the energy to combat it when I’m down. It takes enough effort for me to drag myself out of bed that the idea of doing much more than brushing my hair and teeth is incomprehensible. Not even that sometimes. Having depression can be downright nasty. I’ve gone weeks without showering before just from the lack of energy and interest. I’ve left my hair un-brushed for a month. I’ve skipped brushing my teeth more than one day in a row. I once lived in a shirt for almost two weeks without washing it or taking it off. I got really good at hiding the fact that I was a total slob.

But then, after a while, I’d slowly go back to being my old self. It happens gradually, with regular showering and teeth-brushing. Then I’ll start doing masks and face washes again and then creams and makeup will come. To other people, it seems like a really weird, slow-moving elevator ride. For me, it’s more like being on a roller coaster that doesn’t work going uphill so I’m left to figure out how to get back up and over the next hill on my own.

And so, when I do have the energy to take care of myself, I do it very well. Simply because I’m not sure how long it will last.

Weekly Series!

Hey, everyone!

I’ve not been blogging like I’d like to, which is really disappointing because outside of school and work, I really don’t write for myself much. I have some long-term projects and a recreational activity that really get shoved to the back-burner a lot, and so blogging was really meant to be a way to make sure I was regularly putting out something, even if it was short, that was my own.

And here I am, not doing that.

Fear not, little wanderers. For I have found a solution to my dilemma; weekly series. Before I introduce the first one, let me lay down here how they’ll be organized. Today is Wednesday! So I’m starting the first series next Wednesday. They’ll run once a week, at a set day and time, for a month. (In fact, the first one is already written and queued.) After that month, I’ll check out how the posts have done and make a decision about whether or not they’ll be continuing. This first one, however, I’ll be keeping no matter what the reaction is because it’s going to be kind of a personal outlet for me. At the end of the month I’ll also be looking into adding another weekly series until every single day of the week is filled up. It’s gonna be a long road! I’m hoping to achieve a pretty good balance of work/life/fun posts throughout the week, so it’s possible that a weekly that ran three months in a row could get cut for something I need more of.

Here are some of my ideas for the future:

  • what’s it like to write porn for money? how do i do it? what are some of my weirdest experiences? what do clients expect from me? etc. (name suggestions welcome!)
  • Free Game Friday! this is something that I already do over on my joint twitch account with my boyfriend. I pick a game on Steam every Friday to download and play. I think it’d be cool to also have a place to come back and review them.
  • Proper Prompts: I was thinking about doing a blog each day from a funny or weird prompt i might dig up online just to keep my juices flowing

Let me know what you guys want to see and feel free to suggest topics I haven’t mentioned!

AND NOW. For the moment you didn’t even know you’ve been waiting for; WHAT WILL NEXT WEEK’S BLOG BE ABOUT?!

The series will be called Mental Health Confessionals. I have been diagnosed with Major Depression and more than one anxiety disorder, which are the two most common type of health issues in America if not around the globe. MHC is going to be an avenue through which I can discuss my own experiences–everything from my worst anxiety attacks to telling people about my mental health–and hopefully reach others who have the same issues. PLEASE LET ME KNOW if there are any mental health issue topics you’d like to see me discuss in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to get started with it. It’s going to be a huge, kind of scary journey for me and I’m pumped to get to share it with the big wide anonymous ocean of the internet.

See ya in a week!

Feelings on Injustice [TW]

Trigger Warning: death, murder, shooting, and allusion to rape

There are two anecdotes essential to the understanding of this piece. The first is harder to write about it.

Six years ago since last month, my uncle went missing. I can’t express how many times I’ve said or written that sentence in some form and felt immediately heavy afterward. He was on a fishing trip that he never came back from. From the very start, there were complications with the police. First, it happened outside the parish where he resided and it was nearly impossible to get the two police departments to cooperate. Then, upon first visiting the crime scene, my parents found that police, locals living in the area, and even park rangers were acting suspiciously. It was around Easter time, and allegedly this meant that every police officer in the world was off, so instead of waiting at home to hear back from a search party, my parents and a handful of their friends went out or days on end on four wheelers searching for my uncle or his remains.

I even wrote letters to the governor, senators, and chiefs of police about the situation. I received a phone call from the police who had spoken to the governor and promised to put more effort into the search. Of course, this was as empty as every other reassurance my family received.

A year later, when we were finally going to get a canine unit to search, the dogs were instead used to search for a missing, young, blonde, beautiful white woman in the area without our prior knowledge. We later hired our own group of dogs, to no avail, because the police would not allow us to dig where the dog got a hit, even after proving that there were traces of human remains in the area.

There were countless injustices, the worst of which is that, six years later, my uncle’s sister, parents, and children have no answers as to his whereabouts, what happened to him, or even if he is alive. The two men who were with him on the trip have walked freely for the past few years, and so has everyone else involved in the suspected murder case, only one of whom has been interviewed by police in the last six years concerning the case.

This next story occurs more recently. A young boy in my area, now 21, shot at three high school students and killed one of them. The stories vary, but I am going to leave both sides–that of the shooting survivor as well as the shooter–out. Neither side matters. I was originally upset by this case when I heard, ten months ago, that the shooter (who will from now on be referred to as X) would be charged only with manslaughter, and would be sentenced to 13 months in jail, which he could dwindle down to six months at the most.

Today he walks free.

Let me start off by saying that this is not a piece on how much I despise X. It is not a piece about how I feel about the case or his freedom, though both will be discussed. This is a piece about how I grieve in tandem with the loved ones who survive the deceased (Y). This is a piece about the horrific way in which this case was handled. I personally don’t mind that the justice system was generous and modest in their punishment of X for a crime he committed at such. What I do mind is the way that it happened, and the disparity between this case and others.

Let us first acquire a brief profile on X: He is a young, white, upper-middle-class young male who played sports on a popular high school team. In fact, I went to school with him in high school. I went to school with him last year when he continued to attend classes in an effort to make a case for his character. I will continue to take classes with him in the fall when we both return to school.

He is exactly the kind of character that people protected during the Steubenville case. He fits exactly the profile of boys who get away, every single day, with crimes that others are lynched for. He represents the mass of people who America strives to protect because he represents the mass of people who control the justice system.

A 15-year-old boy died at his hand. He heard popping noises, went outside, and shot at the nearest truck to “scare” them. He was aiming for the headlights, but hit y in the back of the neck, left a hole in the side door, and injured the other passengers.

The fact of the matter is, you don’t shoot more than once when you aim to scare. You shoot once. You shoot up in the air. You yell and you curse and you get angry. X did none of this. He shot in the direction of the boys in the car, and, even after missing the headlights, continued to shoot.

But men and women rally around him. They cry for their beautiful son, who was so young, and so scared. They cry so hard for their beautiful son that they forget the other one.

It is y who I grieve for. Y and his family. After today, they will have to face the prospect of casually bumping into the man who killed their son in the grocery store. Or seeing him graduate alongside their other children and family. They risk going into a future accounting meeting and coming face to face with this boy. Not only is he free to walk about their community as if no life were ever lost, but he has the wholehearted support of those around him. Those who knew him not as the murderer of their child, but as an athlete, a young man with a future, and a white boy.

I will be awake night and day for the next few weeks thinking about my uncle and those same feelings that I have about his killer. I will be up, lamenting the grievous blindness from which my community suffers. My community, that, just a few months earlier, rallied together in support of the victims of a movie theater shooting. I am appalled. I write this not to point fingers at X, but to scream, once more, about the horrible injustices imposed upon his family.  Upon my family. And upon the families of all those to come, who will have to watch the killer of their loved ones walk away.

I will be awake night and day for the rest of my life thinking about the justice system that I have no faith in, about the boys who lost their lives, and about the families who can not grieve in peace because their son is not one of the ones whom we protect. I will never be okay with this. I will be bitter for a long time. But at least I will never carry the ghost of a high school freshman boy on my guilty shoulders because I was careless with my toys.

I removed the names from this piece not to protect confidentiality from a public case, but rather to eliminate any bias from readers until the end. If you would like to know more about the case, click here. If you want information about my uncle, who is still missing, click here.

 

I was Late to Class to Buy my Brother Cigars

Disclaimer: I am not ashamed of this. I am only happy that I was around.

I was brushing my teeth when my brother called, which is honestly a rough time to be answering a phone, what with the necessity of speech. But it was a short conversation; he needed cigars because he was out, and he wanted to smoke. This would be a good time to mention that my brother is still six months below the legal age at which he can purchase his own.

Not tobacco, folks, but that terrible big green monster that so many people think is evil. I’m not going to lie and say that I’m an expert who has read a ton of research about marijuana. I’m not even going to lie to you and tell you that I smoke it, or eat it, or whatever else it is that kids are doing these days. In fact, I only really want to push for legalization because it would be an economical decision. Money makes the world go ’round when you live in a capitalist society.

I do know, though, that it has been an incredible benefit to my brother’s mental health. He has an incredibly fragile mind. His life right now is not looking very good. He dropped out of school a couple of years ago, but never took his GED test because his anxiety made it physically impossible for him to show up and take it. He has no job, despite his incredible brain. He has few friends that aren’t gamers from a website called Twitch. He is exactly the stereotypical nerdy lives-with-his-parents-until-he’s-forty kind of guy, except that he really isn’t. And every other guy you thought was, probably wasn’t either.

You might be thinking that I’m a terrible big sister. (Or a great one, depending on what side of the blunt you sit on.) You may also think my parents, who are aware of and facilitate his self-medication, are terrible people. But listen to me when I say that I prefer my brother, smoking a natural substance that’s been proven to help thousands of people, in his almost-happy, capable-of-everyday-activities state. The alternative is a boy, on mind-altering drugs that cost my parents a fortune in medical bills, who is not only miserable, irate, and unreachable, all while taking medications with ingredients that appear in the likes of battery acid, explosives, and noxious fumes.

So, when my professor looked me in the eye and publicly embarrassed me in front of my class for being tardy, I smiled as I sat down at my desk. I rest easy knowing that my brother won’t have to spend an entire day of complete misery than I do, knowing that my dick professor thinks I’m a good student.

[TW] Open Letter to a Man who Lost his Daughter

Trigger Warning: suicide, self-harm, mental health

I mean to write to you in a respectful manner, because I understand what you are going through. To lose someone the way that you did feels a lot like suddenly losing the ability to breathe. I know, because I, too, have lost someone with what feels like nothing or no one to blame. No illness, no accident, no real answers. And it has happened to me more than once.

But allow me to tell you about the one loss that really matters, because you actively contributed to it without thinking about the consequences of your actions.

When my brother was eight, he started vomiting every time he left the house. Social interaction terrified him so much that his body could not physically handle the idea. It was something that we got used to dealing with as a family. But, all at once, things got much, much worse.

He was making attempts on his own life more frequently than anyone would like to admit. A girl, five years older than him, started a relationship with him in which she molested him and emotionally abused him and manipulated him into staying with her by threatening to kill herself. Then, our uncle was murdered. And this stupid thing called life continued to strike him down over and over. And he was not responding well.

When he was 11, a doctor diagnosed him with bipolar disorder and prescribed drugs to him that were essentially a contemporary, chemical lobotomy. And for a long time, I lost my baby brother. In a home filled with physical, emotional, and verbal abuse, he had been my only salvation for a long time. And for reasons completely unclear to a young teenage girl, I had suddenly lost him.

And, though you can not possibly care, I tell you all of this to let you know that I understand that terrible ripping sensation you feel in your abdomen because you have stretched yourself so far trying to find your daughter. And I understand that you make yourself sick going over the ways that this might not have happened. And I know all too well how angry you are with the world for taking her from you. Because I have experienced this loss more than anyone should have to in a lifetime.

And so I understand why, when a young boy’s phone number appeared in your daughter’s suicide note, your first instinct was to pick up the phone and yell at him. To tell him how much he has cost you, and how it was his hand, somehow, from across the country, that tipped the bottle of thirty dangerous pills down your daughter’s throat.

What I don’t understand is how you could bring yourself to act on it. How you could possibly think that my young brother, who tells me on a daily basis how badly he wants to leave this world and his suffering behind, would learn some lesson from your actions. I don’t know what you thought to accomplish by blaming this 17-year-old boy for an act that, though tragic and incomprehensible, he had no real hand in. It is a tragic coincidence that his phone was off that day, right when she needed him. But where were you? Who else’s phone might have been off? Who else could have been there for her when she needed them? This does not fall to the singular fault of an ill-equipped boy who has barely managed to keep himself alive these last 9 years.

My suggestion to you is to ask yourself how many teachers, doctors, family members, and other responsible loved ones looked at your daughter. Saw the signs I’m sure were there. Listened to her say what were probably terrifying things about not wanting to live. Watched her drown in her own thoughts. And didn’t do a single thing? How many systems has she been through–school, work, medical–that have failed her by not paying attention? How many people has she encountered who were not educated about mental health issues or suicide rates or teen anxiety and depression who might have helped her otherwise?

I understand how it must feel easier to blame a singular entity for your loss. But understand that you will not get your daughter back by yelling at or hating my brother. What you will do is make me miss school, lose my job, and stop sleeping to watch over my tormented, desperate brother, because those systems and those people failed him, too. You can not get your daughter back. But you can keep others from feeling this same terrible frustration by working to educate others. Or work to fix these systems. Or even to try to look for these signs in the children of those around you because 1 in 4 children your daughter’s age are suffering the way she did and so I know that you know a few.

I’m sorry for your loss. I’m sorry for what your daughter went through before she passed.

I want you to know that I have already forgiven you for what you so carelessly did to my brother, my family, and myself.

Writing Porn for Money

One of my closest friends (and oddly enough least favorite humans) not three minutes ago told me I sold myself out as a writer.

And, you know. I have to very confidently and happily disagree.

My stance here is similar to my stance on people who strip or sell their bodies or pose in porn or anything like that for money. It may just be something that I really enjoy. Or it may just be part of a larger picture; a stepping stone on the way to something greater.

For me, it’s a way to pay the bills. No one called me a sell-out when I started writing blog posts about makeup and beauty or click-bait. And I don’t think that there’s a great big distinction between any of that and writing erotica for money. For one, it frequently pays a little bit better and is more consistent work. But more than that, none of it is really what I want to be doing with my writing. Which is a big part of freelancing, no matter what you’re writing. Since you’re being paid to write a piece of work for someone else on a subject they want, it isn’t really your work in the end. But it is writing. And that’s the important part. No matter how you’re honing your skills and doing what you love, you’re doing it.

But enough of that. What I’m really writing to tell you all about is the kind of assignments I sometimes get. Because occasionally they are downright hilarious.

As a precursor, I’ve never communicated directly with a client when writing erotica and so could not possibly be giving out any identification, accidentally or on purpose. Additionally, if this sounds like an outline you gave to someone rest assured that I’ve written several of these and many of them are incredibly similar.

With that being said, here are a few of the outlines I’ve written (or read and rejected) over the years.

  • 15k words, bad boy stripper meets good plain jane girl who gets pregnant and they get together
  • 10k words, alien species invades earth to procreate with women and continue their race, alien master falls in love with slave girl
  • 8k words, two vampires fighting over young half vampire girl, her fave dies tragically so she settles for his friend

Each one, as you might have guessed, gets more and more ridiculous. Really, these are the plotlines that sell. But some of the requirements and stipulations for the stories (3.5 sex scenes at least, make sure that the heroine doesn’t know she’s pretty) are even more hilarious.

But I don’t regret taking these projects. They’re incredibly amusing, and sometimes really fun. Plus, it truly is a challenge to take a bad outline and turn it into great writing.

So I hope you all enjoyed my two cents on the topic. Thanks for reading!

 

The Great Big Text Nightmare

I use the word nightmare because I’m a wishful thinker, honestly.

But, no. I did this in real life. I screwed up so hard. A couple of nights ago I drank approximately a bottle and a half of wine. For those of you who don’t drink, or for those of you who have a vastly different tolerance level than I do, this puts me just about at Incredibly Irrational, but nowhere near Blackout Rage. I, however, was definitely past Comfortably Numb. I remember most of what happened. Conveniently, I had forgotten, however, that I had attempted to contact and old friend just before going to bed that night.

Until he texted me today.

His name is saved as Shithead in my phone. So from now on, he’ll be referred to as SH to protect both myself from embarrassment should he or someone I know find this and his identity. Although, I suppose that is out of the window. I once wrote his phone number with directions to contact Big Daddy for drugs (which he does not sell) on the inside of a big plastic playground in a park in a town he no longer lives in. He still receives strange texts from time to time, asking about Big Daddy.

But here’s a little bit of backstory. For context.

SH and I met in high-school, which right now means we’ve been friends for four or five years. I don’t know. I’m bad at math. It’s been a long time. Basically, I met him after a really nasty breakup with an ex that you all will learn about in due time. And we became very fast friends. He came over to my house the first time we hung out, licked my cat and peed off of my back porch. He acted as though he were in physical pain anytime I tried to hug him. But he was so incredibly great to talk to. We connected on a level that I just really needed to connect with someone in my time of need.

And that’s what we were to each other. For a long time. We leaned on each other when we needed each other. And, honestly, I have always felt as if the universe somehow pushed us together at the exact right moment to be there for each other.

But at some point we stopped needing each other.

And then he moved out of the state and I felt abandoned because I take everything very personally even though he was just trying to pursue his own happiness.

There’s more to it than that. But that’s for another time and another place.

So back to today. I’m sitting on my couch, minding my own business, when SH pops up on my phone. My heart stops beating for a second, because it’s been months since I’ve spoken to him, probably. Last time we made contact, I told him that we weren’t friends anymore. (Also another story for another time.) So I was startled, to say the least.

But I made sure to reply to all of my other texts and emails and Facebook alerts first, because I was kind of scared to open his text.

It read, “I’m not really sure how to respond to any of that…”

My eyes briefly glanced over the above text messages, and my stomach twisted as I started to remember texting. And calling. And texting quite a bit more while drunk. Remember the one and a half bottles of wine?

Without reading any of it, I typed a response.

“same.”

I looked up into the brown and unjudging eyes of my wonderful mutt, Tater Thot, and begged her to tell me that this was okay. She didn’t. Because she is a puppy and her only skills are loving me and pooping. But it still felt nice.

Being the brave soul that I am, I looked back up at the texts that I had sent. They were cringe-worthy. I all but begged him to pay attention to me. I’ve long since deleted them, though they will probably float around in my memory like the terrifying tyrants they are for years to come.

Just for a taste, the worst one had to be, “We were supposed to be friend soulmates but then you left and so now we’re not and you’re the only reason I thought those existed and I know it’s not your fault you left me here for [your current state of residence] but it feels like you just did it because you hate me. come back and be my universe.”

After I read over the texts, I sent a follow-up message that I am an embarrassment. Drunk me is an embarrassment, to be exact. Because real me would never have done that. I’ve always said that the actions you make while under the influence are forgivable. Getting so far under the influence that you make them is what isn’t. Put that on a cool text picture and link people to this.

He responded, “yeah.”

I sent a couple of other follow-up responses. At first, I was cold and reserved.

“We can go back to not talking if you want to.”

Then, I kind of backpedaled. “If you want. I’m sorry.”

And, finally, I caved. “You can still text me if you ever need anything. I don’t know if that means anything to you but.”

Part of me really wants SH to text me back. He hasn’t yet. And he probably never will. As long as I never get drunk enough to think that texting him is a good idea again, he’ll never have a reason to. And that really makes me sad. Because, for a while, he was the only real friend that I had in this world. Not only that, but I like to think that I used to be special to him, too. And it’s really hard to lose something like that. A vacancy like that is a much different experience than the absolute frustration that death feels like. It feels more like a cramp than a hole in my heart. I’ll always be yearning for what was and what could have been our friendship.

The other part of me never wants to hear from him again. Not because he hurt me or anything. But because I want to think that he’s better than to let someone who would abandon him the way I did back into his life.

Chances are though that I text him as soon as I publish this post because I am weak.

Getting to Know a Writer

It is the sixteenth of April, 2016, 1:14AM at present and I can already feel my future self reading these words and giggling drunkenly at my present self’s past-ness. My two puppies, Tater and Nugget, are asleep on the floor in my rented townhouse living room. My sliding glass doors are open because it’s a little hot and the dogs sometimes walk outside to poop. Everything is silent, except for me and the discontented buzzing of a too-loud TV next door.

And I have very little to say for myself. This is my very first post, and I really wanted it to be great. But, honestly, I can’t even figure out how to correctly configure my timezone on this website. How am I supposed to make you all fall in love with me?

I guess I could start with the basics. I live in America. I want to write. I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I have a younger brother who means the world to me. I’m really bad at maintaining friendships even though people are everything to me and I frequently sob about how grateful I am to my Facebook friends for the fine company I sometimes keep. I’m a sucker for stray dogs.

But I guess this blog isn’t really about me. And, anyway, you’ll hopefully fall in love with me as time goes on and this blog unfolds. I want to tell you guys everything. Not from the beginning. Not all at once. But hopefully on a semi-regular basis and with mostly positive feedback. I hope you’ll all have fun here. I certainly plan to.