FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: The Stories We Tell Ourselves To Live

Last week, Carolyn talked about how having favorites can kind of force you into a box you don’t want to be (or stay) in. Thinking about it this way gave me more permission to ask you something that’s been floating around my head lately: What stories do you tell yourselves in order to do what needs to be done? (This is broad in definition! What story do you tell yourself to go to work, to make it through a 9-5, to go for a run, to calm yourself down, to do…well just about anything?) They can be tweets or gifs or articles or fic or anything really!

I always get anxious cause I’m like I need to share the best stories ever because they are reflective of me as a person, but that’s suffocating and ya boi needs to breathe so! At this very moment, these are the stories I’m hyped about:

  1. Beyonce keeping Tiffany Haddish from throwing hands because it reminds me to also be calm when I want to mess people up.
  2. How Elena is keeping her head up even after how her dad treated her as a reminder that I can and will do the same.

  3. This letter that still makes me laugh because this kid is who I want to be when I grow up.

  4. And how black Black Lightning (are you reading Carmen’s reviews? cause you should be) is and all of these black stories are making me feel home and powerful and vulnerable and human and how I’m nowhere near prepared for Black Panther because if I’m this emotional over pictures from the premiere, how will I go on? (I must, but how???)

This will change within the next ten minutes but let’s not think about that now. We’re not worried about stagnancy, ’cause here it doesn’t exist! Every moment counts! No existential dread foolishness here!

Don’t feel like doing that? That’s cool too! I wanna hear about your week, about you, whatever’s in you that’s like “it’s sharing time!” ’cause I’m the caring part of the sharing is caring line and I’m ready to listen to all that good/not so good/what have you stuff! Get in here!

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A. Tony Jerome

A.Tony is a black nonbinary artist out here to do good and to do gay. They are a 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Fellow, 2020-21 Afro Urban Arts Lit From the Black! Fellow, and have worked with Roots.Wounds.Words., Words Beats & Life, and Winter Tangerine among other places. You can find more of their work on their website and listen to them scream about poetry & other interests on Twitter.

A. has written 47 articles for us.


  1. It’s my birthday! I celebrated last night in the best way possible, with a presentation I produced of my favorite musical (Next to Normal) by an all-star Broadway cast, benefiting an organization that prevents teen and young adult suicide. The composer was in the audience. It was an incredible evening, and I can’t believe I made that happen. I made the hat. I was not just in the room where it happens – I made it happen. I’m so f*cking proud of myself. It’s my biggest accomplishment to date. And then at the after party, the clock struck 12, and I turned 28. I went to work for half a day today, ate a catered lunch provided by work (which I’m going to tell myself was for me, hehe), and am seeing Hello Dolly on Broadway tonight, starring my theatre idol Bernadette Peters. AND I’m going backstage afterwards with the possibility of meeting her!! (I already met her once.)

    What a whirlwind of a week this has been. I’m so grateful to have support from friends, family, colleagues, and strangers. Happy birthday to me!

    • HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM honestly I would pass out if Bernadette Peters even glanced at me and Next to Normal??? One of my favorite musicals in the entire universe this is so great I’m so glad you’re having such a great birthday!!!!

    • Everything about that is amazing and I literally squealed out loud when I saw that Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber were taking over Hello Dolly. I must get to NYC and see it!!
      Yay for you! Yay for finishing the fucking hat! Happy Birthday!

  2. This week can be summed with up: I Am Tired And I Don’t Know What I’m Doing.

    I am thinking of quitting my plans to major in web design and going into library science instead. I feel like half of the reason I’m headed down the path I’m on is because a). I’m good at it and 2). I don’t want to disappoint all the people who I already told I’d do it. SO MUCH ANGST. I just want someone to tell me what to do sometimes!

    Since I was a little kid I had a variety of storylines going on in my head constantly. I never once just went to the grocery store with my mom, I was always on a quest to rescue my loyal dog who was kidnapped. I never drove in the car, I was being chased by an evil magician who was turning everything to ashes. Around the time my friends decided to stop playing in the woods and start talking about boys and pop music(13? 14?)(not anything technically wrong with that, except I wanted to keep running around the woods and talk about girls instead) I decided that I, too, must “put away childish things” and live in the “real world”. Recently I came back to having fantasy storylines going through my head while going about my day, and telling myself these stories makes things more bearable sometimes(these days I’m slaying dragons disguised as conservative white men though).

    • I patooey on that line about living in the real world, you’re always in the real world! (Someone just explained that to me recently/it helps me to think like this, so I thought I’d share that with you) And if “childish things” are what gets you excited about continuing to live in the real world, then I 100% think you should go after it (in whatever capacity you can)!

      I get the disappointing part/wanting to do something because you’re good at it and I know it’s a hard choice to make but you got this.

      It’s a difficult decision to make, but in the words of Topanga Lawrence: “Listen to your inner voice, it always reveals what is true for you.” Whatever you choose to do, I’m supporting you!

    • You can do it all Robin ! Librarians with web ninja skills are so kickass. You will be loved and adored and much sought-after.

      And I’m so glad you’ve gone back to your secret quests, it’s what life’s all about ! We should never “grow up”. People who do, pretty much stop living ; they just drag along for the rest of their physical lives, with nothing going on inside. Bleah.

  3. It was my birthday yesterday & I celebrated for the first time in years. I’m at an arts residency for a month and my lovely fellow residents baked me a cake, took me out for dinner & a bluegrass jam session, and just generally made me feel special all day. <3 It was such a gift.

    Also, after discovering HerStoryPersonals (thanks to a hot tip from @FriendOfMelissa in the “Describe Your Types” article), I’ve started to try and write a catchy personal ad to submit to them and discovered it is really, really difficult to do. Props to all the folks on that account who sound so effortlessly cool!

    Finally, I am really digging my long-awaited foray into Queer Futch Cowboy fashion; pictured (if the link works) are my new jacket and boots!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!


      And this queer futch cowboy outfit IS A LOOK I LOVE IT and your caption reminds me I need to watch Brokeback Mountain but I keep putting it off because like…….I know its a classic and everything I would probably love but also I need a good chunk of a day to prepare for crying (I’m assuming, I’ve never seen it)

      I’m so glad you had such a great celebration and people recognized how special you are!

      HOW HAVE I NEVER SEEN THESE PERSONALS now i know how i’ll be spending my weekend, thank youuuu

      • Thank you, Alexis! :)

        Brokeback Mountain does make me cry but it’s one of my favorites so I rewatch it anyway.

        And the personals are SO GOOD! If mine gets picked I will share about it in a future open thread!

  4. OMG I have so many feels about this question. I think I misread it actually at first lol. I thought you meant like, “what lies do you tell yourself to get through this life?” and… I do that all the time.

    I lie to myself CONSTANTLY, in order to survive. I have depression and have been suicidal. I’m also a “highly sensitive” person and an empath or whatever, so all of the suffering in the world stresses me out constantly. If I let myself become too cognizant of reality – my insurmountable six figure student loan debt, or the fact that a huge swath of the country – including in the government – literally want me dead… I would probably give up again.

    So I just… ignore reality a lot? I don’t watch the news. I deleted my Tumblr. Am very selective of who I follow on Twitter and fb because I just can’t take the constant barrage of bad news a lot fo the time. Honestly I smoke cannabis like every night to help me sleep cuz if I didn’t I’d THINK about all of the real, terrible things happening in the world and I’d be overwhelmed. I can’t be an activist or go to rallies or whatever anymore because it’s too triggering and frustrating and scary.

    So the story I tell myself is… that it’s not happening. That everything going on around the world and in my neighborhood and in DC just isn’t happening? And I don’t need to concern myself with it sometimes?

    I write and create art to process through stuff but… honestly my political praxis is basically oriented around SURVIVAL basically and to do that – to survive and be happy as a trans woman of color, which is radical and is movement work in my opinion – I basically just focus on myself and having an OK time and taking care of me and the ppl immediately around me.

    OF COURSE it’s not that bad I mean, I write about real shit and I present at conferences and I do this and that but it took me a LONG time to get over the “you’re not trans/queer/radical enough bc you don’t go do xyz activism” or whatever but I’m 30 years old and I’m over it. What’s the point of fighting and struggling constantly if you’re just miserable and suicidal because of it?

    Sorry this turned into a whole long rant or whatever but I have ALL THE FEELS

    • Okay, but I’m with you on this. I can’t watch the news, my head is almost always in some other story because any time the reality of what’s happening sets in for too long, I unravel quicker than I can keep myself together.

      Focusing on yourself and the people around you and taking care of yourself and having an okay time is literally the best thing I think you can do and I’m so proud of you for doing that and thankful that you do that. Cause, as you know, in world that at best, tolerates you and at worst, destroys you, those are some of the frigging best things you can do and I’m with you! It’s too much but you’re doing the work and I see you and just yes I’m sorry for rambling but I’m also saying all the feels because this some real sh*t! Thank you for your honesty and just damn I hope you have a great weekend <3

    • What Adèle and Alexis said! Survival is absolutely resistance, and you should be able to live well and be happy.

      The world is pretty scary right now, and we have altogether too much information about it to be good for our mental health. Setting limits is super important, so I admire you for that. (I’m terrible at it, personally.)

      Anyway, I hope you’re having a good weekend!

  5. How is everyone’s week going? Mines has been fairly good, despite running into the dysphoria monster again a couple of times. I spent Saturday night with a few friends and we had a girls night in and watched L.A. Story(Steven Martin from the early 90s). Very good movie and night. This Sunday I am going to Cuties Coffee(The Planet) for Puppy Bowl, where there will be queers, donuts, and puppy videos(maybe some puppies in person too). Should be good as many in my lgbtq circle will be there.

    I mentioned last week I thought was being ghosted, well I switched from texting to whatsapp and I guess I am not ghosted. But, now I have the same problem Elena has in the new season of One Day At a Time. I got a group of emojis as reply that I am not sure what it means. I asked one friend/person I dated, and she said to reply back with random emoji’s just like on the show(I’m guessing she saw the season 2 also). So, maybe the writers are using their actual experience here? I didn’t reply random emoji’s because I don’t want to play a game of emoji chicken. Still not sure if she into like that or as a friend(she not straight). Either way it’s a win, cause this lady is pretty cool and more friends is always good.

    I spent my Sunday in nature as it’s been pretty much late Spring/early Summer here. A relative and I took a short hike and we sat in a field under the sun and meditated. Then headed to the beach to watch the sun set. I was very good.

    Saw a family of deer.

    And the sunset by Malibu

    Thank you for viewing an reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • That dysphoria monster is a rude one, popping up when you definitely don’t wanna see them. I’m glad you were able to hang out with friends and tHE PUPPY BOWL SOUNDS LIKE THE PERFECT THING TO DO ON SUNDAY I didn’t know on Tinder they were having this like promotion where you match with puppies in your regular scrolling and I was ready to adopt fifteen puppies before someone pointed out they’re probably not even really near :/

      I wish I could be more help with the emojis but I’m so confused by them too! It took me years to understand what the eggplant means haha

      I hope the situation works out! I’m glad you’re pretty optimistic either way cause you’re right, more friends is good too!

      Thank you for sharing those pictures, they’re gorgeous!

      • Yes, I noticed the puppies on Tinder too. At first I thought it was just someone who used a picture of their puppy as their main photo until I read the profile(yes I read profiles).

        I think we all get confused, even the person who sent it. Like the first emoji in the group would have been an acceptable reply, the rest that didn’t make sense?

        Thank you for the kind words.

    • So, I would say that Monster Truck rallies were created by rednecks, making it a facet of redneck culture. However, in the Venn diagram that connects lesbian and red neck cultures, Monster Truck rallies, flannel, and functional boots fall squarely in the middle-commonality region.

    • I agree with the answers before me, I mostly came to say the only experience I have w monster truck rally is that one episode of Kim Possible and I’m pretty sure Kim was some kind of gay so yes, it’s gay.

  6. I don’t know what stories i have, especially any that keep me going. The only one that really comes to mind is actually The Lord of the Rings, & Middle-earth in general. (I then read The Silmarillion in 8th grade as my independent book report project, because it had to be a book i hadn’t read yet. So i couldn’t do LotR because i’d already read it in 6th & 7th grade lmao.) What Harry Potter is to a lot of people my age, Middle-earth is for me. It’s always there, even when i forget about it: when i remember, it feels like i’ve been given a little dose of strength.

    A sucky story is that a cousin of mine reported back that my sperm donor apparently did leave for another woman. A 23 year old one. The language i’ve used about this is not good, because it’s the only way to express my anger, hurt, & disgust. That’s someone more than half his age. He’s caused so much fucking pain, told so many fucking lies….. all for. This…. person.

    On the up side, this week hasn’t been too bad. Today is the most irritable i’ve been at work this whole week, & also the one day i forgot to take my multivitamin in the morning. It makes me wonder if there’s any kind of connection, depending on what my body may be needing, but i’m not a scientist or nutritionist, so.

    I’VE FINALLY BEEN INTRODUCED TO ALDI. Which i keep calling Aldi’s but whatever. IT’S AMAZING & THEIR CHICKEN SALAD IS SO GOOD & it’s so magical. My fiancee filled out a job application for there, i think; it would be $4 more per hour than she’s being paid now. She suggested i do the same (+$3/hr for me), especially since i Need to Get Out of this job. There’s a lot of things that aren’t good about it, & things that seem worrisome & sketchy.

    Meanwhile, i keep trying to plug stuff like my Etsy, Redbubble, & Patreon. I’m considering opening up commissions, but i don’t know that anyone would buy, considering the pricing.

    I keep checking books out of the library when i have a bookshelf primarily populated by books i haven’t read yet. I might have a problem. (But inter-library loans are AMAZING, though!) Is anyone else on Goodreads & wants to be friends? :)

    • Okay you’re like the fifth person I’ve heard bring up Aldi, I’m gonna have to check this out

      I’m sorry about that sucky story, that’s definitely not fair and just. I wish it were better.

      Yes, plug your stuff! Do you have twitter links? I can retweet you, if you’d like!

      I know nothing about Lord of the Rings, but I’m glad you have that story. I love how you said: “”when I remember, it feels like I’ve been given a little dose of strength.” that’s so lovely and I’m so glad it does that for you.

  7. I definitely downloaded spotify just to make a playlist of all the songs Hayley Kiyoko has made gay music videos to and it has given me LIFE this last week. Being an introvert working an extrovert’s job is rough and that burn out is real, y’all so having a gay dancey playlist is really giving me that extra little boost to make it through the day.

    Also, I’ve been reply meaning to take some time off but I ended up picking up two shifts as favors for people yesterday and like, do you ever ask yourself WHY YOU GOTTA BE LIKE THAT??

    • That is a brilliant idea! I honestly don’t understand how people do extrovert-type jobs. I talk to one person and I’m ready for a nap.

      Do you have a favorite H.K. video?

      Oh no! I hope those shifts go okay and you’re able to take time off soon!

      • People are always asking what I do on my days off, but it’s a little hard to be like “I did nothing so I could feel like a human being again.” I love my extrovert friends but they just don’t get the STRUGGLE.

        I think I’m really digging Curious, mostly because I’m realizing dancing in sync with my squad in the middle of a house party while a girl who did me wrong watched jealously across the room would have really improved life in my early 20s.

        (Honestly though they’re all so delightfully gay that I couldn’t possibly choose!)

        • yes! Curious is a dream and they all are so delightfully gay but I think Gravel To Tempo is my favorite just because I still cannot imagine getting up in front of the popular girls and being like “hey whats up im gonna dance cause im cool like that” and not faint

          yes! introvert feels! those days are so blessed and necessary yes

  8. The story I tell myself is the story of what my life will look like 6 months from now – the life that I’m actively building out of the wreckage of the life I’ve lived up until this point.

    I got divorced this week. That whole process started nearly a year ago when I came out to my husband, and it has been a long year in so many ways, but during that year, I kept telling myself the stories of what today would look like. And now that today is here, I tell myself the stories of what six months from now will look like.

    It may not look anything like the stories I tell, but the stories get me through, and the stories remind me that I am the author of this life. And I can’t wait to see how it turns out. :)

    Happy Friday, everybody!

    P.S. I got my A+ sticker in the mail today. THANK YOU!

    • Hi there!

      I was also married to a cis man, came out to him, and got divorced. This all happened pretty quickly at the start of 2017, and last year was really damn hard in a lot of ways. But I’m doing awesome, finally feeling like I’m living life how I need to, and even though some things were very painful (and some still are), I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.

      So keep on looking forward to the future, and be proud of how much you’ve been brave enough to do to get to today. It got better for me and I hope it gets beautifully better for you, as well.

      Take care & also I’m happy to talk more if you’re interested! I know there are more of us out there, but I’ve not met any other folks in the recently divorced/recently out situation.

    • Congratulations on getting your divorce and creating new possibilities for yourself. It can’t have been a walk in the park but you made it happen. This is such a big deal, I hope you take the time to absorb that and feel pride about it. I admire your tenacity and have high hopes for you. May the future bring you wonderful things.

    • Congratulations, because it is hard as sh*t to do any of this and look at you go. You are amazing and I love love love this comment so much.

      “It may not look anything like the stories I tell, but the stories get me through” YES YES YES thank you for being here

      P.S. I’m so glad your sticker came!!!

    • Congratulations and best of luck. I’m hoping you’re feeling OK. I’m married to a cis guy but he and I were both well aware of who I am, even though may eventually mean separation for us anyway. We are plugging away in counseling and raising kids together so I don’t imagine separation will happen anytime soon. I do imagine how things would be on the other side and it consumes most of my daydreams. It’s such a hard situation. Sending lots of supportive thoughts.

  9. Thing about me stories is that creativity infects my brain, then I analyze what it came up with just a little bit and see it’s often something I needed on sub-conscious level.

    Some I think are catharsis because I’m an encyclopedia of terrible things and it’s my mind trying to cope, at a later point in my life, with those things I know.

    The rest is hope and big ol’ queer as in fuck you to the state of the world.

    But stories not my own that I think about to get through my days

    Oh the story of Joe Medicine Crow

    All he did during WWII then he comes back home to be pillar of the community as a historian and founding member of the Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth.

    Being badass isn’t just about the ability to commit violence.

    Dr. Hawa Abdi made a militia back of and apologize for damaging her hospital.
    I don’t have enough words to explain how amazing Dr.Abdi is, I just don’t.
    She’s a super hero but real.

    • I wish there was like a text message service that would share a badass of the day/rejected princess with you everyday because I love this sO MUCH


      • You’re welcome ^-^

        Stagecoach Mary is bound to be in one of them.
        She’s a “wild west” figure that even if you take the near mythic elements out of her life story she’s still a fucking legend that needs to be on a really nice postage stamp especially since she was the first black woman employed to carry US mail. Her route was very dangerous b/c bandits and well the weather(Montana), but she lived to be like 82 and a very beloved member of the community.

        I’ve read the stamp subject selection criteria just now and I believe she meets them.

        I hope the post master general isn’t a 45 appointee…

      • Wow these links are so amazing ! Lots of great inspiration for the revolution.

        I’m much smarter and fiestier thx.

  10. I don’t know if I tell any stories to keep myself going. I feel like I’m mostly alive by default.

    • <3 <3 <3

      Is that okay with you? Would you want stories (I can find some if you'd like!)? Regardless, I'm very glad you're alive.


  11. I sing harry nilsson’s “gotta get up” to myself nearly every morning to convince myself to wake up. Does that count??

  12. This week was… too much. Some great things like registering for A Camp and an unexpected paycheck(holiday bonus? Honestly don’t know but yay $). But also totally behind on my school work, got a papercut and blister yesterday, and im worried about people i love. All together, just too much.
    I told myself it was great idea to drive 30min both ways in Friday traffic across town to get the best pizza in town. It was. It was a perfect idea! Pepperoni Pineapple pizza does fix everything

    • I’m happy for the good things, but sorry the week is too much. So happy you were able to make it to the end of it though!

      I’m glad pepperoni pineapple pizza does indeed fix everything!! I hope the weekend and next week treats you much kinder.

  13. I’ve been sick all week, which is why I’ve been around so much in the Comments… Haha !

    In other news, as part of my marriage breakup, my ex and I have been working at untangling our finances. So we’re in the process of separately filing for bankruptcy. This is a huge step for me because, catholic upbringing. That kind of morality bites, I tell you. I’ve started to let go and accept that all this needed to be done ; I’ve become much calmer and more livable as a result. Shout out to all the gay divorcées ! Ours is a bold stance.

    A good thing about the divorce is that I have to start thinking about me for a change, just me. It feels weird and wonderful after nearly a quarter-century in a partnership (I know…) ! I’ll need to find a therapist soon to unpack all the feelings I’ve been glossing over to get things done, but the rumbly sense of liberation is pretty neat.

    Plus my birthday is next week ! (Shout out to all my fellow Aquarians in this thread, you’re the best).

    What I tell myself a lot these days is a little something I picked up here at Autostraddle: “You got this !”

    Damn right. I got this !

    • Happy almost birthday fellow Aquarian!

      We can make worlds!

      Good luck and Best Wishes for your new, next life. Thinking of you.

    • You’ve got this, fellow Aquarian gay divorcée! :D Have a great time celebrating your birthday next week!

      • Thanks Astra and Katrina for your good wishes ! They make me feel super awesome.

        Every now and then I see a vanity tshirt cross my facebook feed, like “Never trust a Bowie fan born in February” or whatever, but I think this would be far better on a tshirt : “Aquarian Gay Divorcée”. I should make that happen

    • Yes to the rumbly sense of liberation! I hope it hums within you as long as you want it to!

      Happy early birthday!!!!


        • A bit got cut out, probably faulty html:

          “*does cartwheel for the rumbly – that gif has obviously forever changed my subconscious*”

  14. Hey everyone, I cleaned off my car four times before lunch today, and so the stories that I tell myself are generally about spring, and how once the snow melts, I’m going to spend every possible moment in a rebuilt camper with my family out in the woods somewhere.

    I’m working through the last of the courses that I’ve been taking and looking forward to THE NEXT BIG THING. I’m still not sure what I want to be “when I grow up” even though I’m nearly 30 and I have three children. Deadlines are everywhere, I’m a bit overworked from several different angles, and I wish I could see the future so that I could be sure the things I’m working for are worthwhile.

    This has been my first year as a sole parent (shoutout to the divorcees that commented above: I’ve decided I like that word, it makes me feel far more sophisticated and wealthy than I am in reality). Anyway, I am still carrying too much guilt about the whole situation to make time for dating, but I desperately miss adult human contact. I have running buddies that I consider friends, but … I want more and I simultaneously feel like I don’t deserve it. So that’s been especially hard these past few weeks.

    And also, why do people go out so late at night? I keep meaning to treat myself to a night out, with the intention of meeting people, but I am in a life stage where 6am = sleeping in, so. This is going to take some planning.

    … the most ridiculous part is that I’m like, trying to make serious career decisions while battling with a sexually frustrated subconscious that is whispering unhelpful advice such as “don’t get a master’s degree! Instead, you should do [a completely unrelated military thing] because there will be athletic women in uniform!”


    • You totally deserve it! Everyone deserves friendship and peers and connection.

      Have you considered doing a morning activity instead of an evening one? I used to work at a few climbing gyms, and it’s common for them and yoga studios to open early in the morning for the AM crowd. Or midday/afternoon activities on weekends?

      • Yes! We have an awesome new climbing gym in my city and I love it. But, the last time I went out to a social event I ended up hitting it off with an awesome woman who is really into Jesus and not at all into lesbians. . So I’m *specifically* trying to make it out to LGBT events, but they are all really late at night for some reason. Probably because they all take place at the only gay bar in my city.

        • Maybe you could take the initiative and organise a daytime event on a weekend once it starts getting warmer. Maybe a Spring picnic in a local park or something similar and advertise it at that local gay bar or on the Autostraddle events page for your area.

    • As Larisa suggested maybe a day event is what you are looking for. I’m sure once the weather warms up a little you may find a lgbtq day at the park or a gay/drag brunch(if your area has a Hamburger Mary they usually have brunch events). If you have fb account, the events section(and if I remember correctly there is also a dedicated events app now) can be fairly good at finding a local event you might interested in.

    • You deserve friends and good things!

      I would like to say I can definitely see where your subconscious self is going and I’m also rooting for you to stay focused maybe you will find your athletic woman in uniform while idk browsing the library (is this what’s done in master’s programs?), I literally could only think of that scene in Black Lightning where Grace and Anissa meet, so sorry that’s all I’ve got but yes! You’re doing so great and I hope you get to where you want to be soon, I hope you get some rest soon

      Also a rebuilt camper sounds amazing I hope you have a great time in the woods, soon!

  15. I don’t know that I’m getting through things so much as stumbling from one medical appointment to the next and looking forward to when maybe there is more to my life than that (and also that various organs will stop needing to be removed bc listen i only have SO MANY ORGANS BODY and i kind of need them).

    I am now not in the grips of the flu thanks to tamiflu (all hail tamiflu the antiviral savior), so this Friday is a vast improvement over last Friday. But otherwise. Meh.

    • I’m happy you don’t have the flu anymore and I hope there’s more to your life than medical appointments very soon <3

  16. I’ve been having a weird week. I’m considering maybe changing jobs again, about a year in, specifically because I know some people on my team are going to leave this year, and we’re already short-handed.

    The switching jobs part of that I’m actually not scared of, the part I *am* scared of is that I’d probably want to move because optimizing for a short commute is the single most important thing I can do for my happiness. That said, moving really sucks, and I’d have less (meaning almost no) help doing it this time, though admittedly it would be within the same geographic area as opposed to East to West Coast, and I wouldn’t need to be acquiring furniture at the same time. Still, I hate packing so much.

    I want to go to A-Camp, but if I do change jobs, I won’t have any vacation time built up, which sucks. Meanwhile, I’m going to be an aunt soon, and I foresee that also potentially consuming vacation time. Oh, and I’m also looking at major surgeries in the next year or two (being trans sucks), so, blah.

    Somewhere in here I also need to start like, dating and stuff. I don’t suppose anyone knows any good photographers in the South Bay for that? To preempt “just takes selfies” comments, I’m a terrible photographer and unattractive to start with (being trans sucks), so this is definitely one of those situations where I just want to pay someone to ameliorate my problems for me.

    • Sounds like a weird week indeed. I don’t have any answers (not that you asked) but I hope things turn around for the better for you soon

      If I come across photographers in South Bay, I’ll try to send them your way!

  17. My girlfriend broke up with me three weeks ago today. We weren’t together for very long (four months), but it was my first relationship and it ended pretty suddenly. As it’s my first breakup, I’m having trouble figuring out how to deal with this. I am so ready to be over it, but I’m trying to just let myself be sad and give myself time.
    I’ve been trying to go to the gym as a way to deal with all the extra time I have now, and also to distract myself from wanting to talk to her. Compensating for the extra exercise by eating a lot of peanut butter and chocolate and watching Gilmore Girls.
    I just want to talk about my feelings (there’s a lot of them) all the time but I don’t want to depress my friends by talking about how sad I am every day, and also I feel like after three weeks the wallowing period should be over and I should be moving on to the moving on.
    Pretty sure this isn’t relevant to the topic of this open thread but I just needed to vent a little, and ask for tips if anyone has them. Also reassurances that I’m not being a big baby by making such a big deal out of the end of a relationship that barely lasted a season.

    • The end of a first relationship is always a significant blow, no matter how short it is. This is a miserable rite of passage that we all go through. Even Demi Lovato surely went through this after that one cool summer.
      Of course you’re not a baby and don’t need permission to be sad. There’s nothing wrong with sharing your feelings with your friends and if you’re worried about overdoing it, just make sure you’re making time to talk about other stuff too. The sadness will fade, especially if you steer clear of your ex’s instagram and don’t call her. And for peanut butter’s sake, don’t take your coping cues from Rory or Lorelai: just ask yourself, what would Emily do? You will meet new, wonderful women who deserve your company, I promise.

    • In the scheme of things, three weeks really isn’t that long. Even if the relationship wasn’t very long either, if you felt strongly about her then of course it will take time to get over. Be gentle with yourself.

      My last relationship was seven months and I felt like I should be totally over it after one month, but things just don’t work that way. (Which was pretty optimistic in my case, since the relationship was very toxic and we’re in the same dance scene, so I was still running into them several times a week. Bleh.)

      Distance is good. Additional activities are also good. I often find it helpful to try to expand or cement my social network to remind myself that I still have strong connections and am valuable. If you’re worried about being a downer with current friends, try hanging out with an acquaintance you like—someone you want to be pals with, but don’t feel close enough to vent about Big Emotions with. Sometimes having an extra social barrier helps me have more self-control about verbally processing stuff not everyone wants to listen to in detail.

      Above all, recognize that it will take time and it’s okay to mourn and to feel a little fragile now. You got this.

    • You’re not being a big baby and I’m glad you feel okay enough here to share.

      You’re not making a big deal out of this because if you’re feeling something, then it matters. Doesn’t matter if it was for a short or long while, it’s still something you experienced and there’s nothing wrong with it taking you a while to heal from it.

      If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends, are there other ways you can get your thoughts out? Sometimes writing or arting or creating anything can help. I think the gym is good! But talking about it in any (safe) way you can could definitely help you heal.

      There’s no countdown on the wallowing period, if anything I think worrying about spending too much time feeling something, just makes you feel it longer cause you feel guilty for not not feeling it, if that makes sense.

      Okay, i got a little off track but you’re not a baby, it’s okay if this feels like a big deal and that matters, and I can’t make this go any faster I’m sorry, but you are doing so great, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

      Hope things get softer soon <3

  18. whenever shit’s rough with my parents or my depression (so… often) i listen to A Better Son/Daughter by Rilo Kiley (or just read the lyrics if i’m not in a place where i can listen to music)

    and whenever shit’s rough with the world in general, Matches by SIFU HOTMAN is fuckin gold, especially the last part:

    “There are no stories told in a vacuum
    There is no prophecy lighting our way
    There is just a lot of darkness to be afraid of
    so it’s a good thing we are not afraid.

    There is no superman in that phone booth
    There is no rewarding our faith
    There is no one who can save us
    so it’s a good thing we don’t need to be saved.

    There are no starships in low-Earth orbit
    no aliens to save us from ourselves
    There is no voice willing to speak for us
    so it’s a good thing we know how to yell.

    There is no chosen one, no destiny, no fate
    There’s no such thing as magic
    There is no light at the end of this tunnel
    so it’s a good thing we brought matches.”

    • WHAT IN THE WORLD I LOVE THIS IM KEEPING IT FOREVER thank you for sharing!!!

      And yes, my goodness, A Better Son/Daughter has seen me through much I love that song

      I hope you’re well!

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