“I am woman, hear me roar…” ~ Helen Reddy

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Photo by Nadine Wuchenauer on Pexels.com

So, I’m very confused.  Yes, I know it’s not a new state for me to be in so maybe I should have said that I’m confused even more than usual.  However, that’s a very confusing sentence and I’m confused about whether or not I should have stuck a comma in there somewhere, but anyhoot, confused is what I am.  😀

Answer me this:  why are we constantly being bombarded by ‘motivational quotes’ and people’s posts that say we’re all beautiful and wonderful and talented and special, etc. but then when we say it about ourselves, we’re called narcissistic?  In other words, I’m supposed to ‘think’ I’m all of these incredible things, but if I say that I’m any of these things well then by golly, I’m being conceited.  Really peeps, does that make sense to you?

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When did it become such a bad thing to say good things about ourselves?  I always give compliments to people and I mean every one of them I say.  I tell my students how amazingly wonderful they are (which they really are…funny thing:  every single semester for 25 years I have gotten the BEST students in the college in my classroom 😃)…I tell my son how incredibly talented he is (his photos blow me away 😮), I tell ma how beautiful she is (and she is…except for the way she does the sides of her hair…”Ma: for the love of all that is holy, don’t comb them back, just scrunchy them and let ’em go.  Just sayin’ 🙄), and the list goes on.  But if I compliment myself?

Look at what we say to people who do:  “Well, you must think a lot of yourself!”  “You’re full of yourself, aren’t ya?”  “Who do you think you are?”  “Don’t get above your raisin!”  “Remember, pride goeth before a fall!”  “Gee…you’re so self-centered!”  And on and on and on.

What the hell?  So, let me get this straight:  I’m supposed to take in the messages that I’m beautiful in my own way, understand that I have talents and things to offer, feel good about myself and have high self-esteem, but if I SAY any of these things are true, I’m pretty much looked at as an egotistical maniac?  Okey Dokey.

C’mon peeps.  I’m here to tell you something you might never have heard before.  Are you ready?  It’s OK to have pride in yourself and to talk positively about yourself and feel good about yourself.  So there.  Got it?

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I’ll start it:  I’m beautiful.  Well wait a sec…let me rephrase that:  I’m a 6 out of 10 after I take my shower, wash my face with micellar water (the freaking best thing ever…I’m going to buy stock in Garnier 😳), blow dry my shampooed/conditioned/twice rinsed/gelled hair…curl it up with my curling iron…apply my ‘blur’ moisturizer to lessen the looks of my laugh lines (a.k.a. wrinkles)…put my mascara on with a double coat and then use my eyelash curler which looks like a little S & M device…put oil absorbing powder on my face since I’m a shiny person…put on my all day lipstick (L’oreal  #50)…slather gloss over that…pick out my clothes and make sure I have something on that’s dark because I’m a ‘winter’😳…and there.  I’m beautiful.  Sorta.  🙄 (Now…I’ll bet you each a donut that ma writes a comment to me on FB saying how beautiful I am just because she’s so freaking sweet ♥).

So please Pinterest, quit telling me I am every time I open your app.  I’m average (or a tad under) but I’m OK with that.  I’m ok saying I look ok instead of saying I look like crap when someone compliments me:  “Hey Kristi…looking good!” (I heard that once…a LLLLOOOONNNNGGGG time ago but I digress).  “Hey, thanks!”  So many of us women will say:  “Aww, no I don’t!  I didn’t get much sleep last night!”  Or, they’ll point out specific things.  “My hair just won’t do anything today!”  It’s almost a given to counteract a compliment instead of agreeing with it.  BUT, we’re told that we ARE beautiful so what are we to do?

Another one:  I’m talented.  Not in the way I want to be:  on stage singing and dancing with Taron while he whirls me across the floor at Carnegie Hall, but in other ways.  Like, I’m a talented professor.   “OMG, Kristi…quit bragging!”

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Why?  I’m a really fucking great teacher (sorry ma, but remember that I said how sweet you are 😳).  It’s what I’ve wanted to be all of my life and I’m very very proud of going from being a high school ‘D’ student who barely graduated, to a Professor who earned her Master’s Degree while being a full-time mama to a 1 year old son and maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA.  School is my thing, peeps, and I’m really good at it.  📚

Is that bad for me to say?  Why?  Aren’t we supposed to have pride in what we do?  You know, I was a really fucking great waitress too while I was in college.  I didn’t have the boobs to help me get better tips, but my service was great.  Hello!  I’m bipolar and being a manic waitress is awesome!  Water glasses were filled immediately…I could handle 10 tables at once…I was quick to bring extra ranch dressing (everyone always wants more ranch…Hmmm.), etc.

And on another note…why is it wrong to be self-centered at times?  My sweetie neighbors are wonderful.  WONDERFUL.  (R, if you’re reading this, I have another succulent cutting for you 🌵).  The guy has been working hours and hours restoring a car and he’s an amazingly talented man…the car will be perfect!  We were yakking over the fence the other night and he said he felt selfish restoring this car for himself because of all the time it was taking.  I said:  C, it’s not selfish to do what you want!  To work on something that’s so important to you.

And it’s not!  What’s selfish about pursuing things you want to do?  Eating what you want to eat?  Saying no to commitments you don’t want to go too?  I’m not saying you should be so self-absorbed that you are shutting out other people, but I’m tired of treating others better than myself.  Tired of allowing them the leeway I don’t give myself.  Guess what?  I’m going to start being a bit more selfish.  And I think that’s healthy!

Look my sweetie grasshoppers, I’m not saying you should be an egotistical asshole.  But I do think you should have pride and self-assurance and a sense of being pleased about who you are and what you have accomplished.  I think it’s OK to be your own cheerleader.  To be your own support.  To be your own fan.  (I bought a fan the other day and was blown away by the price.  Get it?  I’m funny too! 🙄).

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I saw this quote on Pinterest:  “The more you like yourself, the more other people don’t.”  What the fuck?  You told me to love myself!  That I’m wonderful!  BUT, if I LIKE myself, others won’t?  So, using my deductive reasoning skills: if I actually LOVE myself, others will hate me.  Right?  Sheesh.

Why are we like this?  Why do we preach to others about how important it is to build up a high self-esteem and feel worthy and have pride in ourselves, but then put people down when they achieve it and show it?  I’m done doing that.

Look, I’m 53 years old (blech 👵) and it’s time I started saying I’m a pretty cool person.  No, I don’t think I’m awesome or amazing or the ‘best’.  But I do think I have a lot to offer…have some talent…have some things about me that are pretty boss (like my use of groovy slang and emojis) and by golly, it’s time to be proud of who I am.  For all of us to be proud of who we are.  Out loud.  🎺

Kristi xoxo

 

“The things we fear the most have already happened to us.” ~ Robin Williams

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Dear Robin,

So I’m writing this to you smack between the day you were born and the day you died since I couldn’t decide which one was more appropriate.  Maybe neither of them are, but I always think about you around this time every year and wanted you to know it.

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I remember the first time I saw you; my sis and I loved watching Happy Days together and while she was crazy about bad-boy Fonzie, I was a Potsie girl (I think I’m more of a Fonz gal now and sissy is definitely married to a  Potsie 😳 ).  One night someone new was on the screen, Mork from Ork, and I was suddenly besotted with an alien who had an adorbs face and a twinkle in his eye.  Sayonara, Potsie…I’m going another way.

Anyhoot, I became a fan immediately and loved loved loved following your career throughout my life.  When Mork and Mindy came on, I wanted to be Mindy so bad!  She had this great apartment, LONG shiny hair, and you.  That was the best part.  You made her laugh and love and cry and I thought that’s the kind of man I want.  Someone who can make me feel good no matter what else is going on (plus, I really loved your hairy arms 😉).

When you started showing up on the big screen, I didn’t miss any of your movies.  Seeing you portray Adrian Cronauer who made Vietnam soldiers laugh was amazing and there were so many times I held my breath while you worked to make catatonic patients feel alive again by playing Dr. Sayer.  As a fancy-schmancy professor, I really found myself drawn to Dead Poets Society and I watch it periodically to remind myself of the influence I can have in my sweetie student’s lives.

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Even though so many people loved your performance in Mrs. Doubtfire and think it’s your best, I don’t and here’s why:  I hated the entire premise of that movie.  I watched it once and cried after others had told me how funny it was.  So, I watched it again and cried again, and won’t even consider clicking on it when I’m perusing movies on amazon.  I thought it was tragic how a dad of your caliber who clearly loved his kids and made a fun, comfortable life for them had to resort to being someone else to see them.  It royally pissed me off and I thought it was a horrible premise for a comedy.  I know, I know…I’m a party pooper 💩.  No surprise there.

And even though I didn’t want to watch One Hour Photo since you were playing a sociopath, I finally did and came away with a much different view.  I didn’t see you as villainous at all.  I saw you as a mentally ill, lonely man who desired a family so badly you resorted to anything you could to feel that connection and believe you belonged.

Finally, here’s a confession about your movies:  I still can’t watch Patch Adams.  Still.  Seeing you so vulnerable after your love was murdered is something I can’t bring myself to watch because after what happened to you, it hits too close to home.  See, I think you were murdered too.  It wasn’t a psychopath or a serial killer (I guess that’s pretty much the same, huh 🙄), but a monster named depression and that son-of-a-bitch is relentless.

It’s common knowledge that you suffered from bouts of depression but many professionals believe you actually had bipolar disorder which many creative people have.  Those bouts of high energy and racing thoughts and fast thinking are evident in your stand-up comedy and whenever I have watched your performances, I feel an almost a frenetic vibe.  So much of your ‘acting’ was improvised and I can actually see in your eyes that you aren’t just trying to make people laugh…you are channeling this avalanche of energy into something you have an obsessive need to accomplish:  laughter, acceptance, applause.

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You never came out and said you were bipolar and I understand that because it’s so fucking stigmatized in our society…right up there with schizophreia (sorry, ma.  My ma hates that word and my guilt using it makes me apologize every time 🙄).  See, I have bipolar myself and it took me almost losing my life before I wanted to admit it.  Please don’t think I’m being cocky here, but I see a lot of me in you.  There were so many times growing up that I didn’t know how the hell (ma doesn’t mind that one…it’s in the Bible) to channel all that was in my head.  I’ve tried time and time again to explain to others what it feels like but I can’t.  How do you explain this tornado?  This storm?  This incredibly huge amount of ‘something’ that you have to direct or you feel like you’ll blow up?  It’s such a frantic feeling and when I have it (which is actually now…I’m in a manic state right now and work on my house 12 hours non-stop a day but can’t sleep), I’m almost delirious with the energy.  In so many of your performances, I see this delirium in you as well.  To be honest, it breaks my heart.

But underneath this, the fucking (I’m a rebel 😎) darkness remains.  How did you act so happy and make so many people laugh and feel good about themselves when depression was still dragging you down?  Most people believe that when someone is in a manic phase, their depression is buried.  Bullshit.  The depression is always seething under that intensity…it’s just biding it’s time until it shows itself fully again.  I think that’s why those of us with bipolar are always being asked if we’re OK.  See, our eyes give us away and as much as we think we hide it well, our eyes tell the full story.  As my mentor would have said:  the little bastards.

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That depressive fucker showed itself to you one last time, didn’t it?  And when I read that it had won, I was devastated.  After you committed suicide (I don’t believe in sugar-coating stuff by using euphemisms) you wife said you were killed by the ‘terrorist’ inside your brain.  What a perfect way to put it.  You didn’t commit suicide.  Your depression killed you.

I remember how quickly sentiment about your death turned from grief and sympathy to being judgmental with people saying things like ‘he was so selfish to do this.’  OK…that might be one way to look at it and if I ever experience a suicide in my family, I can only imagine how incredibly angry and lost and confused I’d be.  But I also know this:  when you are in the state where you want your pain to end because it’s finally too overwhelming to bear, you don’t see anything but the dark hole you’ve been bull-dozed into.  Nothing.  Robin, I know you weren’t being selfish because I understand how you were no longer able to fight the depression beast any longer.  I’m so sorry for that.

I love what you say to Matt Damon near the end of Good Will Hunting when he’s trying to come to terms with the abuse in his life: “It’s not your fault.”  What a powerful statement that is.  Four little words but an impact that can’t be measured.  How often I’ve wanted to hear those words myself and when you say them in the movie, I think there are a lot of people who respond to them like Matt does.  And Robin?  Just for the record, it was not your fault.

So thanks for the memories, Robin.  Nope, I didn’t know you personally but you impacted my life a great deal and I’m so grateful for the time we spent together.  You once said that if heaven exists, it would be nice to know there was laughter…to hear God say, “Two Jews walked into a bar…”.  You know what I think?  I think heaven is real and I also believe that because of you, there’s laughter there.

Kristi xoxo

 

I’m not always annoying…sometimes I sleep.

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So, my family is going to be dumbfounded by this as will the many many husbands I have had.  It’s extremely humbling for me to admit this but I’m a big girl and I need to come clean.  Now that I don’t have ‘roommates’ anymore I’m starting to find out how annoying I am.  You see, there’s no one else here to bug me.  No one to roll my eyes at and sigh at and say “OOOKKKAAAYYY” too.  Instead, I am getting on my own nerves which is quite surprising to me since I’ve always thought I was really easy to live with.  I mean HELLO.  Just ask my husbands. 😳

I don’t know if I’m alone in my eccentricities or if everyone has them, but I think I might have an awful lot of them I never recognized before.  Take brushing my teeth.  For some reason, I simply can’t bring myself to do this with my glasses on.  I’ve tried…and I can’t.  I’m really not sure why this is but I’m convinced it’s not the fear of getting toothpaste spittle on the lenses since my glasses are pretty gross anyway.  But anyhoot, the glasses have gotta come off before the brush goes into my mouth (I could make some naughty jokes right now, but I have a feeling ma would call me and yell at me, so for the sake of a headache I don’t feel like having, I’ll refrain.  However, you all have fun.).

And another thing with tooth brushing is that I love to do it in the shower (another opportunity for a joke…I’m not going to be able to hold back much more, ma 😏).  For some reason, they just feel cleaner when I do.  I brush and brush and brush with my Hello Kitty toothbrush since I need a super soft one and I can’t find one like that for adults here (actually, I haven’t really tried since I like Hello Kitty anyway) and after I’m done brushing it feels sorta good to spit it out all over my feet.  Go figure.

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Another shower secret?  I have a very strong feeling (I am a bit psychic but let’s save that for another post) y’all do this too but might not want to admit it:  I love to pee in the shower!  I don’t know why.  I think it’s because when you’re a girl and you have to pee outside, you have to either bare your butt behind a bush or scootch your undies out of the way and pray you don’t pee on your hand, soak your jeans, or squat in poison ivy.  And, no matter how careful we are, things can ‘go wrong’ since we can’t ‘direct’ our flow quite like guys can.  Confession:  I’ve always wanted to pee my name in the snow…sigh.  Anyhoot, maybe peeing in the shower is my way of saying “See you guys, I can do it too!”.  What an accomplishment.  (Ma…how proud are you right now? 🙄)

I’ve also come to realize how ‘picky’ I am and I know my son and ma are muttering something under their breath to the tune of “No shit, Sherlock” at exactly this moment.  I can’t STAND a dirty counter or table.  If there’s a tiny sticky spot, I’ll clean the whole damn thing.  Sticky things are my downfall.  I can take some grime…some smears…some splotches…but sticky stuff?  Huh uh.  It’s gotta go.  Along the same lines, I hate to see dishes piled up in the sink, and even though I could wash them once every night after my dinner, I can’t bring myself to do that.  I have to fill that sink up to my elbows and scrub away after every meal.  (My house is over 60 years old and there’s no room for a dishwasher 😐).

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Another icky thing I can’t stand is dirty windows; unfortunately, Edward can reach almost every window in my house and there are constant snotty dog smudges for me to see.  I’m actually thinking about buying stock in Windex since I use a boatload every week (it’s gotta do better than the bitcoin stock I bought 🙄).  The other day, I was washing one side of the glass door while the dogs were smearing the other.  Then, being the brainiac I am, I worked on the dirty side after letting the pooches out which meant they could smear the clean side while I was wiping down the dirty.  It was like a never-ending window washing nightmare and it took me a few times to realize to keep the damn dogs on the side I’m washing.  Look, as my ma says:  “Kristi, you are so smart…what the hell?”  And I say: “Ma…my fucking Master’s isn’t in common sense for piss sakes!”  I won’t tell you what her reply is.  Let’s just say it’s not meant for all ears.

You are going to be gobsmacked to hear this one, but I love to talk, yap, gab, and chatter.  And, since I’m alone with 2 dogs?  I’m yacking to them all day long which is actually working out quite well since they can’t interrupt or judge me for the inane things I like to say.  Hubby 3 would bet me $50 I couldn’t be quiet for 5 minutes straight.  I’m not lying when I say I usually couldn’t last for a minute.  It was like I was running out of oxygen or something, but I would have to say something.  So why is this all annoying?  Well…because I like voices.  NO!  Not voices in my head for fuck sakes…but using voices when I’m talking.  I have a voice I use for Dottie (and she talks back in a voice that only I’m capable of since she can only bark but I always know what she wants to say.  More proof of my psychic abilities 😱), a voice for Eddie, a song I sing when I let them outside, a song I sing when I see them in the morning, and the list goes on.  Look, if I was living with someone else who was doing this I’d probably take a swig of Ny-Quil every afternoon and pray for a 3 hour nap.  Now, can this get even worse?  Of course it can!  ANYTHING can be worse when you’re bipolar.  Anyhoot, I have a ton of plants.  A ton.  My house looks like a jungle or the set of Gilligan’s Island and I talk to them as well.  I swear I think they are so healthy because I do this (of course it might be the water, sunshine, and fertilizer I provide but I’m pretty sure my melodic voice has something to do with their greenery).

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And I love love love to sing!  LOVE it!  My dream is to be on America’s Got Talent (which I don’t have), belt out “I Never Promised you a Rose Garden” (which no one knows anymore) and get a standing ovation from the audience (hell would have to freeze over first).  Two of my hubbies were quite mean about my singing.  I think one called it ‘caterwauling’ and another said something about how it made his skin crawl, but Hubby 3 loved it.  He would ask me to sing something, tell me how good it was and how talented I am, and then we’d end up in the bedroom doing something very naughty.  Some might think he was ‘lying’ to me to get me in the naughty room, but I truly believe, with all of my heart, he just had an ear for beautiful music.  Note:  now that we’re divorced, he has never asked me sing again during our weekly conversations.  Hmmmm.  🤨

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My ‘straight’ bangs.  And this is a GOOD cut. 🙄

Messing with my bangs is something else I do which is probably very aggravating to others, but I blame my ma for this and I know my sissy will back me up.  When T and I were little, ma would literally take a piece of freaking scotch tape, stick it over the hair on our foreheads, cut the damn thing off, and voila…we had our bangs cut.  OK…couple of problems with this:  ma had no idea how to level the fucking tape so my sister and I went through the first 10 years of our lives thinking our bodies were slanted.  Ma thought ‘short’ bangs were fashionable, so T and I looked like a merchant marine from the front.  And finally, even though ma only had to make a ‘straight’ cut, she always forgot a chunk and we looked like we were inbred.  So yes, I fuck with my bangs as does T.  We trim, snip, thin, and cut until there’s nothing left and then we cry to each other about how we are not going anywhere in public until they start growing back.  To be honest, it’s hell.  Every husband has thrown away my scissors and J even did too.  But every time the scissors were gone, I simply trotted down to Walgreens to buy some more.  So there.

My lord, as I’m reading through this to proof it, I’m realizing why I’m living alone with plants and dogs.  I’m sorta understanding why my hubbies decided to part ways and why, to this day, all of them still are a bit shaky.  I’m a freaking nightmare to live with, and I just pray Dottie and Edward never learn to push the back door open.  After all, what would I do then?  Buy more plants?  Hmmmm.  I’d probably have too.

Kristi xoxo