real life

Something that makes me happy

Exploring with my best friend for my birthday weekend last week:

A sleeping Red Panda at the Indianapolis Zoo. 


Sushi at Mikado not far from the Circle in downtown Indy. We were the only ones there! It wasn’t our favorite sushi, but good and good quality. 


We went to Funky Bones, which I’d never seen before, but was awesome!

We also went to an ice cream place called Lick, which was a strange experience to say the least. First, we got to the address and didn’t see anything but warehouse-like buildings. So, we called the listed number and they told us there was a sign out front, we had to drive around the block again but finally saw the tiny sign poking out in front of a little art shop. We walked into the art store and asked the person working who directed us down a hallway. It had a really school-in-the-summer type vibe, in that it was totally deserted with linoleum flooring, cream walls, and tube lights. At the end of a hallway and around a corner, we finally found it. Just one small room with a kitchen visible in the back. The decor was cool, a counter with vintage ice cream scoops stood in one corner and the wall had posters depicting the same. In the other corner was a small cart with four or five flavors of ice cream in it. The only person working was one of the two sisters who share the business. No one else was in sight. Just as we were thinking, this is odd, the lights flickered and the lady working went, “oh, hmm.” And then she murdered us. 

But not really, obviously, she was just a chill lady who was passionate about ice cream. We got a sweet corn cookie sandwich with salted caramel ice cream. And it was actually really good! 

That was a long tangent on ice cream; it was certainly a memorable experience. 


It was a really good day. 

thoughts

Goddamn Beautiful, pt. 2

In response to my post, “Goddamn Beautiful” (I can respond to my own posts, right?):

No, sadness, pain, and depression are not beautiful things. They aren’t anyone’s favorite chapter, or chapters, in their life. But I’m not saying they aren’t worth talking about or that they’re not important. I’m not saying I don’t need to talk about my own problems and read and relate to others’, I just want to see the good times, too.

I stand by my viewpoint that we shouldn’t try to make sadness beautiful, that is to say, romanticize it. Yes, it should be talked about in the right times with the right people. But I don’t want someone random to come up to me on a good day and say, “Hey, you were depressed, right? Why?” That’s different also from someone, even someone random, saying, “Hey, I’m having a sad day, and I know you’re all too familiar with these, what do you do to feel better?” In one, someone is interrupting my good mood to make me think about my insecurities because they’re curious or nosy or something???? In the other, they are reaching out to me and seeking help. As I see it, if I can use my experience to help someone, then that’s me turning a negative into a positive. Other than that, it can be hard to see the positives, and it’s easy for me, and everyone, to only think about the negatives.

They aren’t the best parts of our lives, but the lows in life are just as important as the highs. In fact, I think they make you more grateful for “good times.” I think I’m able to appreciate the beautiful moments in my life, like the one I described in “Goddamn Beautiful.”

I guess what I’ve been trying to say is everything in life can’t be beautiful, but the times that aren’t make you more grateful for the ones that are.

real life

You Are Here Tour

Jenny Lawson is on tour for her latest book, You Are Here, and last night she was in Louisville. My best friend, Haleigh, who encouraged me to read her book Furiously Happy, lives in Louisville. I had to drive about 6-7 hours round trip to make it there, but it was so worth it.

She did a reading of the introduction to her new book and then jumped right into the Q&A. People asked about everything from her cats and raccoons to advice about writing and feeling better. There were snafus with the way the signing was organized and having to wait and the music being loud, but I would do it all again. I don’t think my retelling can do it justice, but it was a great night.

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There wasn’t time for her to get to my question, but when she was signing my book I did get to talk to her.

“Mostly because of Furiously Happy, I recently signed up for my first ever counseling session,” I told her.

“That’s awesome! Signing up for the first one is the hardest part and finding your right therapist is like finding a best friend.” Jenny Lawson seemed so kind and genuine and like a real life human, not like some untouchable celebrity or android or octopus or something. If you haven’t read her books, I highly suggest you do so and see her on tour, too, if you get the chance.

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Here’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Furiously Happy, and You Are Here all on Amazon. I listened to the first two on Audible (they’re read by the author!).

therapy

Counseling?

I signed up for a counseling session at the center on my campus.

Students get 12 free individual sessions a year, or unlimited group sessions. I think individual sessions will be best for me; it’ll be hard enough for me to talk to one person let alone many. (She said, posting about it on the internet for millions to see.)

I’ve never done anything like this before, so I’m pretty nervous about it, but I think I need this. I’ve always been weird and anxious and a little messed up, but I didn’t grow up in a family that talked about mental illness, or if they did, it was just my dad telling people on commercials for depression pills to  “just stop being so down all the time.” As if it were that easy.

I know what depression looks like for me though.

In high school, specifically sophomore year, I had a long stint where I would go home in the middle of the day because I felt sick. But I only felt sick, there were no tangible signs, like throwing up or having a temperature. I just didn’t want to be anywhere or have to do anything, I had no energy and felt listless and tired and pointless. I just wanted to stay in bed and nap and read books and forget about my insecurities and the evil voices in my head.

My depression is like an ugly little monster in the back of my brain, who whispers mean things to me and makes me think they’re true. He tells me my friends don’t like me, that I’m bad at my job, that people who are nice to me laugh at me when we stop talking. I fucking hate that guy.

But, I’ve been really happy in the last few years. I’ve gotten occasional visits from that little monster, but nothing too extreme. Recently, though, he’s been around, not saying anything very specific, just draining my energy and filling my head with buzzing noises to distract me from my real life.

My family went through some loss in November and December of last year, and that’s what kind of set me off on this particular bout.

Lately, I’ve stayed home from work and school some days. Coming back to this semester has felt pretty overwhelming, and my social life has suffered because I’m throwing myself into school and work, and they’re taking all my energy.

I am reminding myself to try to be calm, happy, and confident and to do the stuff that helps with that:

Stuff that makes me happy: thinking putty, My Little Pony, watching YouTube videos, tiny mystery toys, Pinterest, talking to my best friend about everything (even just over text), making people laugh

Stuff that makes me calm: reading, book binding, coding, writing, being with my boyfriend, learning all the words and singing along with songs

Stuff that makes me confident: makeup, Instagram (@racheltheharvey for ordinary life stuff, @rachelswatches for makeup), feedback (even if it’s critical, so long as it’s constructive), being productive, helping others learn

 

My first counseling appointment is in the middle of March, and I plan to continue going at least semi-regularly for at least this semester. I hope it will help me have more calm, happy, confident, normal days.