Last Thursday, I woke up in a notable funk. As soon as I opened my eyes and took my first conscious breath, it was evident it was going to be ‘one of those days.’ There was no explanation for feeling the way I did, so I just rolled with it, thinking that the next day would be a better one. Well, Friday morning brought more of the same, and it was the beginning of my slide to hell in a handbasket. (Does it sound more dramatic if I went in an actual basket?) The person looking back at me in the mirror flipped me the bird, and I was like, ‘WHAT ARE YOU GETTING PISSY WITH ME FOR?’ There was no way for me to shake it, so I accepted my fate and the fact that I was going to have to feel things I really didn’t want to.
The ache in my heart was intensified a couple of hours later when I read on my Instagram feed that, Lawson from the Goats of Anarchy (www.goatsofanarchy.com), died. Lawson was a goat, and I had never met him, but this news was catastrophic and upon reading the words, ‘Lawson just died,’ my heart shattered into a million pieces. Leanne Lauricella, who began Goats of Anarchy so she could dedicate her life to saving disabled and special needs goats is one of my heroes, and she was broken.
Friday turned into Saturday, and my plan was to write, but my gloom was palpable, and words eluded me. So instead I began reading ‘we are never meeting in real life’ by Samantha Irby. She is a woman after my own heart. She has a potty mouth and loves to talk about poop and anything else you wouldn’t ordinarily dare speak about – it was a match made in heaven.
The first word that came to mind after devouring the last word of her book was ‘WOW.’ Her honesty impressed the hell out of me, and I wondered how she had found the courage to write so openly about, well…everything. My god, I was astounded. Her ability to make me laugh and break my heart all at the same time was heroic. She had managed to catapult herself onto the same pedestal upon which I hold Jenny Lawson.
But then goddammit, the inspiration I had gained from her quickly evaporated. ‘YOU CAN’T WRITE!’ ‘YOU SUCK!’ ‘WHO GIVES A SHIT ABOUT ANYTHING YOU SAY?’ ‘Ohhh, and…haha…YOU ARE NOT FUNNY!’ are the things the asshole side of my brain began relentlessly repeating after hijacking my thoughts. Then I started crying. It was as though all the air had been completely sucked out of me and I was clawing at the sidewalk desperately hoping that a gust of wind wasn’t going to send me spiraling into the abyss. I was a complete and utter horror show, soon to be devoured by a monster, never to be seen or heard from again.
The only good thing is that I recognized my brain was having some serious issues and that I was acting like a total self-sabotaging asshat. Didn’t mean I could stop it though. My mind was completely out of control. If Samantha Irby had been there, she would have said, ‘Bitch, you need to pull your pitiful self together. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING ME!’ And with a snot-laden and tear-stained face, I would have looked at her while hysterically scream-lying at the top of my lungs, ‘IT’S ALLERGIES, SAMANTHA!’
After regrouping and washing the pathetic off my face, I settled back in with Harry Potter. Hogwarts always makes me happy, and considering my current instability; this seemed like a safe plan. Harry though was all mad because Lord Voldemort tried to kill him (rightly so) and he was facing expulsion for defending himself against a Dementor. But he was taking it all out on Hermione and Ron, and wouldn’t let up. ‘STOP BEING SO MEAN, HARRY?’ I kept yelling in my head. A chapter later, with no change of attitude in sight, I slammed the book shut and with a huff, began scrolling Twitter.
*I would like to take a moment to pass on this vital ‘The More You Know’ message.*
NEVER GO ON TWITTER WHEN YOU ARE DEPRESSED. Christ almighty, what was I thinking?
After a mere three minutes on Twitter, I wished that every Canadian could pick up a piece of the country and Fred Flinstone it the fuck away from our neighbours to the south, who are currently being led by a bat-shit-crazy incompetent straight for the Apocalypse. Pre-emptive strike on North Korea? Oh, goody! While you are at it, please take hockey away from us so WE. HAVE. NOTHING. LEFT. TO. LIVE. FOR.
Twitter lately reminds me that the world has completely lost its moral compass and that the standards are now set so low, nobody has to be accountable for anything. And those like Leanne, who give all of themselves with only kindness and love, are rewarded with heartache and pain so intense it threatens to destroy their very souls. Why? NOTHING was making sense, like, at all.
The wind began to blow, and I was holding on for dear life, trying not to fall further down the rabbit hole. My heart was hurting, and darkness was closing in.
Days faded into one another, and I knew I had to do something. The clouds weren’t lifting. So, I set off to the one place I knew I would find some clarity.
Instantly I felt the grip of darkness loosen its hold on me. Then, 4 Non Blondes reminded me that nobody really knows what the hell is going on and that we are all just trying to find our destination. That place where we belong. As their lyrics blasted in my ear, I remembered that this is my life. My one shot. And that I have a choice to make. I can continue repeating the words, ‘I can’t,’ or I can put on my big girl pants and fucking go for it.
Admittedly, I have no idea what the hell is going on in this world, and why nobody is doing anything about it. Our lives may soon come to a catastrophic end at the hands of an ill-informed egomaniac, but sitting around worrying about it isn’t going to get me anywhere. I am here. In this moment. Acutely aware that the next one is not a guarantee.
Pain teaches us that we are strong, resilient and capable of so much more than we ever imagined. And as Leanne recovers from her devastating loss, I find myself inspired by her ability to keep moving forward and remaining committed to helping those who can’t help themselves, when all she wants to do is give up. There is no answer for Lawson’s loss, and the lesson from it has yet to be learned. But there is one. There is always one.
What I do know, is that I am going to continue supporting her and believing in life and love though it tends to rip your heart out over and over again. And next year, when I am there volunteering, I am going to wrap my arms around her and say thank you, for what she has given me and so many others.
We are here. And we are alive. So let’s make the most of it and maybe change the world a little along the way.
The clouds have lifted, and there is light all around. My big girl pants are securely on, and it is indeed a happy day.
Today I choose to go for it.
Life is short, eat the cake – Becci Mincher (thank you, my beautiful friend).