#PlayingWithMyself

If you have that itch…

May is now over but orgasms are always something to celebrate. Last month was Masturbation Month. I started to write this piece then as an ode to the female-identifying body and the pleasure it feels. But, as it does, life got in the way and I’m finally publishing this today. Nevertheless, self-satisfaction will always be something that I want to write and talk about. I never shied away from the details my solo sex life (I’ve always been that person who’s fine with the nudity on television but never with the acts of gore and war). Despite the current stardate, I know that masturbation is still taboo and embarrassing to talk about. But by being open with my sexual habits, I hope to start chipping away at that stigma. Masturbation is a healthy part of one’s sex life, as well as positive contributor to one’s physical and mental health.  

I like to play with myself. Maybe a little too often. But I do it because I love myself. 

I’ve never been shy with admitting that I enjoy enjoying myself. As someone with chronic anxiety, I’ve been looking for the perfect cocktail of medication and meditation to help calm my demons. Masturbation IS good for you. I always believed that everyone deserves a fulfilling sex life, whether it was partnered or solo. But masturbation has always been a little bit more for me. It has been self-soothing, calming down my mind and getting me in touch with my body. It is one of the few times that I can completely emerge myself in the present moment and let’s face it- it’s the best form of exercise. 

I never felt pretty growing up and was a late bloomer sexually. In high school, my friends would talk about the various people that they were sleeping with and how sex felt for the first time. I’d listen, feeling jealous and alone but at night, I’d escape to the fantasy world that I created for myself. I’d shove my hand under the fabric of my underwear and break free. It was a place where I felt beautiful, sexy, desired and powerful. I could be whoever I wanted to be, as long as it wasn’t exactly me.

I had a typical west coast education- we had an okay sex ed program and learned about puberty and pregnancy. At the end of the school year, my health teacher, Mr. Padilla, had a Q and A where we could submit anonymous questions. There were plenty of asks about heteronormative sex; none about masturbation. We all asked questions about humping which probably two of the 30 students were actually doing. I guarantee the majority of us were masturbating, though. 

Throughout my 20s, I had various partners and an active sex life. Despite the frequent heartache I’ve experienced, it has never been truly detrimental because there was always masturbation. I’d relive certain sexual moments I had with a partner or fantasize about the guy I gave my number to at the bar. Masturbation is what I turned to when my most serious of relationships started to crumble. He didn’t want to have sex anymore and I thought about cheating. I’d lay next to my now-ex and think about being underneath him. I’d grab my breasts the same way he did, hoping to confuse my brain into thinking my touch was his. If I could only be as gentle as he was when he touched me. I often thought other people, mostly his friends, touching me as I touched myself. I’d feel guilty when I came, like I just shared a horrible secret.

Since that moment, I’ve approached diddling with more tenderness and compassion for myself, trying to not associate the attention for myself with the attention (or lack of) from a partner. Turning 35 was a game-charger. I often heard about that big sexual energy twist that happens in those few years left of fertilely- my body is saying, “you need to mate” while my brain is very happy in its little single bubble. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought about going back on Tinder to escape the loneliness. But then I would hear the small, muffled cries of my vibrator where it was hiding in my sock drawer. “Play with me instead! Keep yourself and others safe! We have more fun together anyway.” (How can I resist that sweet voice?!) I credit masturbation for keeping me sane during the pandemic.

As I age, I’m trying to figure out other ways to use this immediate rush of serotonin and endorphins to my brain- could the benefits of masturbation be helpful outside of the bedroom? One night over drinks, my friend and talked about our frustration with our jobs and how we managed the stress. I admitted to the occasional cigarette, a habit that I hate.

“I masturbate,” Christina said. 

I thought about it for a minute before replying. “I wish that I could do that. But it takes me forever to cum. Everyone would suspect why I’m gone so long from my desk.”

Christina shook her head. “I don’t masturbate until I cum. I just diddle myself until that mental light clicks on in my head and I’m full of good feelings again.”

Christina is clever and I often follow her advice. The following week, after a particularly awful team meeting, I slipped into the last stall in the restroom (the office’s private family room was unfortunately occupied). I bit my lips and went at it. The pain of my boss’s shrill voice vanished. I wasn’t a screw-up. I feel good. More good. I felt great. Everything was right in the world again. I didn’t need that cigarette. I was better to my body. I treated myself to the best feelings human have experience. I felt beautiful, powerful and satisfied. 

I then washed my hands and walked back to my desk with a smile on my face. Masturbation made my frown flip upside down.

I’m not going to ask you if you do masturbate, dear reader (because I know that you do). But what are your thoughts about breaking the taboo behind it? How do we start talking about the positive sex experiences in our lives?

#LoveLetterToThePassingYear

Dear 2020,

You were a year of calm. Okay, it was the year of absolute utter bullshit but it’s the year that I became calm. Well, calmer.

My mental health was something that I took seriously this year. I became really conscious. I paid close attention to my thoughts, to the words that came out of my mouth, to what I put in my body, to the actions and people that were lifting me up and putting me down, to how much movement I was doing every day, to the things and moments that made me feel truly happy and alive…

Back in February, I just discovered this song and have listened to it at least ten times a day since. One of Nao’s lyric went like this: “I wish that perfect was enough for my own heart.” It got me thinking about perfection and how much I self-sabotaged demanding perfection all the time. I think back on something my friend Lisa once said- don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Yes, I didn’t get the “dream” job that I wanted but I was able to work and buy the things that I needed (I got new glasses!). I didn’t find my perfect Mr. Right but I met some really cool and kind people. I found my hobbies again, as well as my tribe here in Austin, after being lost for such a long time. I also got more into biking, finally finished a painting and really celebrated my Puerto Rican background this year- three things that I’m really proud of. I feel good.

I learned a lot. I learned what I really wanted out of my life: the type of career I wanted, the relationship that I desire and deserve, the kind of lifestyle that I wanted to live. I may not have an exact five year plan but I finally defined my goals. I learned how to breaks- I took a social media break over the summer which was a godsend. I learned what triggers my depression- mostly finances but surprisingly, not loneliness as I once thought it did. I learned that I have a voice in my relationships and with the world around me. I learned that our country, though incredibly divided, will stand for what’s right. Black Lives will ALWAYS Matter and I’m hopeful about the state of our country. I do believe that we are slowly healing from the hate, as well as COVID-19.

In short, we keep fighting. We are intrepid. We carry on.

To end on a positive note (because the world needs more positivity), I hope we take the lessons that we learned from you, 2020, and keep in our hearts. I hope we continue to keep each other safe and let everything know that they’re loved.

Thanks for the memories. You were a dumpster fire of a year but I loved you, Andrea

#CuffingSeason

You said it, Marilyn.

It’s winter. It’s cuffing season. My social media feeds are filled with couples being cute and cozy, leaving us single people feeling lonely and unwanted. Usually, I’m one of those singles pinning away for someone special to spend the holiday season with but this year, I haven’t experienced that feeling. Maybe it was the last couple of months I spent dating and the heartbreak that came with it. Maybe I might be a little bitter, broken and bruised. But can I be enlightened, as well?

I wrote in my last post about my big plans to be single. I was finally going to do it! Get off the apps. Stop giving out my number. Etc. But then at the end of October, I was bored, lonely and horny and hopped back on Bumble. I met some great guys and had a couple flings that didn’t pan out for various reasons: we were not in the same place emotionally or in our life timeline. We were both playing games. I was ghosted a few times. It finally got to a point where I was so emotionally exhausted that I canceled a date a few hours before we were supposed to meet, explaining my truth: I just wasn’t dating place anymore (sorry, Jose).

I spent Christmas weekend thinking about what I learned about love this year- the love I have for myself; the kind of relationship I want to be in; new revelations about dating. I definitely know, more than ever, what I want in a partner and out of a relationship. I took a hard look at my dating and attachment styles ,and what my expectations are with meeting new people. A big part of my identity is tied to my dating history. My friends always ask me for dating advice, or who is latest dude that I’m seeing. Dating is as much a hobby for me as a low-key addiction. I do get buzzed when I match someone on Bumble. If I’m not getting “high” from it, dating then only adds a low-key anxiety to my life.

When you’re truly honest with yourself, you realize that you are an asshole sometimes and have developed a lot of bad habits. I know that I have with dating and being a girlfriend. I’ve had the wrong idea about love all along. I thought that being alone was the worst thing in the world. Growing up, I would listen to all cheesy 90s pop songs about falling for someone and how was the best thing in the world. It was the key to happiness; the end all, be all. That’s bullshit. This year, I found myself happier being single, doing my own thing. Although I really cared for the men I dated (especially for Amit), I feel lighter and more free being single.

My final breakup with Amit taught me a lot about the stigma the world sees when relationships end. I started seeing my “failed” relationships as end points- and that’s it. I’ve had a lot of successful relationships, ones that taught me a lot. I have a lot of good memories from them. I’ve been able to experience a lot. Because of those relationships, I know exactly what I want in a partner. I think people assume that breakups are sad and depressing (which they can be) but mine this year have been major pillars of growth. I found a part of my voice during my breakups.

There is still a lot of things that I need to work on with dating. My choice in men definitely says a lot about me as a person- I’ve been reevaluating the type of people that I’m flocking to and getting naked with. That goes for sex. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had partners that don’t care about my pleasure. Although I was eager to have sex and get them off, I felt like a human FleshLight to them. Life is too short for one-sided sex. My orgasm is important, too! If I’m expected to act like a porn star, I at least deserve kisses during and to be held for a while afterwards. I deserve to be savored and need to hold out for someone who will treat me that way.

I’m at the point where dating and relationships should be fun and stress-free. As much as I want to be partnered and am looking forward to one day being married and raising a family with someone, I’m happy being alone. I’ve been debating whether or not to take a break next year from dating and/or hopping on Reddit for a hook-up. I’m thinking about how much of a challenge this would be for me since I do get lonely pretty often. But being lonely and dealing with those feelings are only part of the dating experience. It’s all a learning lesson and I’m determine to be the best relationship student I can. Love can be troubling but through those trials when we grow.

How is your dating life, dear reader? What did you learn about love?

#PlanB

Ever since my parents’ divorce 24 years ago, I dreamed about creating a happy, nuclear family of my own- one with my husband, four kids and a barn filled with animals. That was always my dream; that was always my plan.

Of course, life never goes the way you plan.

I’ve had several long-term relationships throughout my adult life but nothing lasted. The older I get, the more I feel like I’m not going to find that man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with, that one I’m supposed to have a family with. That thought used to bother the hell out of me but over the past year or so, I’m beginning to feel better about it. Nevertheless, I always felt like I was supposed to be a mother and have my family. I am going to be a mother one day.

When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, my doctor recommended me to get a full hysterectomy. If I didn’t, there is a greater chance of the cancer coming back. I’m stubborn and opted not to get that (instead, I got a cone biopsy). I will need to get a hysterectomy sometimes before my 40s so I’m on a timeline to get pregnant.

My new life trajectory is find a better job, save and fix my finances (which aren’t too bad. I’m almost done paying off my student loan and have no credit card debt). Have a baby. Maybe move back to Nevada to be closer to my mom. Perhaps buy a house. And I’m going to do all this alone.

I know there is a great risk raising a child alone, especially mental health and financial wise. I consider myself to be my best 100% self when I’m single- it’s when I’m happiest and feel my emotionally strongest. I have given so much of my time and energy into finding someone in order to fit this perfect daydream I have. But that’s all it is- a dream. And I have new ones to pursue. I’m not completely voiding myself of a relationship- if I meet someone great and things positively progress forwards, then great! But I decided that I’m no longer going to actively pursue romantic relationships. I just don’t want the stress and complications of dating and relationships anymore, especially now that I’m working toward this new goal.

I’m trying my best to consider all my options, as well as keep them open. I talked with some of male friends about them donating their sperm- they would have no legal right to the child and their names wouldn’t appear on any birth records. I know that I don’t have to conceive traditionally (even though I always wanted to experience pregnancy). I also started looking at foster care training programs in Texas- I would love to give a child in need a home and possibly adopt them (like how I was adopted).

I read countless studies of the benefits of raising a child in a two parent household and I don’t want to be that stereotype of a Black single mom but screw that all. I know that I will be a great mom one day and that I have a lot fo love to give a child. I used to think families had to look a certain way. Now, I know better and differently. Family is whatever you make it. I look at the people I call my family- they consist mostly of my best friends from college. I may never get married or find my “soulmate,” but I am determine to create my own family and my own happy ever after.

If things haven’t worked out for you, dear reader, do you have a plan B?

#55Days

The 2020 Presidential Election is 55 days away- are you ready?

First off, are you registered to vote? Find online voter registration for your state (as of today, 40 states allow you to register to vote via internet. If you’re not registered and don’t see your state on this list, you can register through your local DMV).

If you’re not able to vote in person, request a mail-in absentee ballot ASAP. If you are able to vote in person, consider early voting– this is a good way to avoid lines on Election Day.

Before you go out to vote, you can find your polling location. If you need a ride to the polls, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are offering free or discounted trips for voters in need. When you do get to the polls, make sure that you have your ID and any other required identification in order to vote.

Second, poll workers are desperately needed November 3rd.  If you’re like me  and looking for ways to serve your community, sign up to be a poll worker in your city. You will be paid for your training days and for the days you work.

Third, do your research and make the best, informed decision for you, your family and your community. Get a sample ballot. Before you head to the polls, get a sample ballot so you know in advance all the races you’ll be voting on. There are smaller races for local offices and propositions that could have an immediate impact on your life but don’t get as much news coverage. Fill it out in advance and show up at the polls prepared to make your decisions.

This time back in 2016, I was chasing after people in downtown Reno, registering them to vote. My friend, Monique, and I would be out during the drinking crawls with our clipboards in hand (and me with a shot or three in my stomach), getting the word out. This election, I’ve been avoiding others due to the pandemic but I still feel that civic responsibility to encourage others to vote. To put it blunt, our country is a mess right now and voting may be the only way we can make things better. It’s is our responsibility as Americans. When you vote, you are vocalizing what you need, want and believe in. You’re standing up and demanding to be counted. But this system only works if we participate in it. So, are you ready to vote?

#Chadwick

Chadwick Boseman died on August 28th from colon cancer. He was an actor, a philanthropist and beloved around the world. I first saw Chadwick in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” My friend, Ashley, dragged me to the theater to watch the movie. At the time, I wasn’t a fan of the Marvel Cinema Universe but when Chadwick appeared on the screen, I was charmed by his performance. I quickly became a fan. When “Black Panther” came out two years later, I watched the movie three times in theaters. When I heard the news of his passing, it felt like a friend died.

I usually don’t get caught up with celebrity deaths but for the past week, Chadwick has been on my mind. I’ve been thinking about his legacy and his incredible work ethic. As a cancer survivor myself, I am impressed that he continued to work despite his illness. It makes me realize two things: 

  1. You have no idea what someone is going through. Chadwick worked during his cancer treatments, making the Marvel films and several others in a four year span. I think about the pandemic and how so many of us are struggling while keeping a brave face on, trying our best to get through the day. Knowing what he went through reminds me to be kind. These days, everyone is fighting some kind of battle. 
  2. I have to admit that when things get hard in my life, I tend to shut down. I push people away. I’ll spend hours crying in my bathroom. I’ll neglect my self-care and spend all of my free time sleeping. I throw myself pity parties and tell myself that I’m worthless and a screw-up. My cancer was caused by HPV. When I was first diagnosed, I repeatedly told myself that I was an idiot for not insisting that my previous partners wear protection: if they wore condoms, if I treated my body and sexual health better, if I loved and respected myself like I should have, I wouldn’t have had cancer. While I don’t know how he dealt with his diagnosis, I admire that Chadwick continued to work. He may have been in pain but he continued to show up and keep fighting. He may have had some break downs but he still put in his best every day. That is inspiring. Seeing that energy fuels me to keep going. Chadwick lived unapologetically, to the best of his capability, to the very end- may we all do so.

In my culture, death is not the end.” – Black Panther/ T’Challa

Rest in power, King

#AllTheTimeInTheWorld

My weekly to-do list is at least a page long and I prioritize things in this order:
1. My day job (because, you know, I have bills to pay)
2. Job hunting (I’m trying to find full-time, 8-to-5 Monday through Friday position in marketing or editorial with health benefits)
3. My boyfriend, Amit
4. My friends (and not just spending time with them but giving them my full, undivided attention)
5. Sleep (I’d like to get a full eight hours per sleep cycle but I usually only get five)
6. Chores (grocery shopping, cleaning my apartment, beauty treatments like my plucking eyebrows which unfortunately take a long time, etc.)
7. My hobbies (running, writing, painting, filmmaking, volunteering, etc.)

Yeah… it’s a lot.

I never feel like I have enough time anymore even now with the constraints of the Coronavirus. At the start of the pandemic, I was excited for all the “free time” I had to get stuff done. But now, as life is returning to “normal,” I’m being pulled in a million directions. My work hours have increased, which I’m grateful for, but I rarely have weekends and nights off. My boyfriend and the majority of my friends work standard business hours so our schedules conflict. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve turned down multiple invitations out. I’m missing the early days of summer where I could just hop on Zoom for an hour or so, catch up and that was that. I didn’t have to incorporate travel time and other random events that popped up.

I only hang out with my boyfriend once a week, usually Sunday evenings when I can sleepover. I’m grateful that Amit is low-key and is fine not seeing each other in person every week. We text each other all the time and keep it old-school with talking on the phone almost every evening. Although we live in opposites sides of Austin, he doesn’t care that I don’t have a car (which does bother me severely- it would make my life so much easier. But I can’t afford one). Amit is happy to pick me up, even if it takes him an hour roundtrip (which it does with Texas traffic).

I’m trying to find my permanent job position (which is another blog post in itself) which takes up a lot of my free time. I know that my life will be better when I am not only making more money (to buy a car) but also have a consistent schedule to plan time for my friendships and hobbies. One of the biggest anxieties of my life right now is trying to get everything done while maintaining a positive mental health. I know that I can’t get everything done nor make everyone happy. But I’m not happy.

I’ve been trying to figure out better time management skills even though I’m not doing a good job with it. I do prioritize. I use my calendar to plan ahead and keep (most ) appointments. I try to set time limits with certain tasks (especially with job hunting. Being on Indeed all day can be soul draining and I need breaks from my computer). Yet, I have daily panic attacks where I don’t feel enough- like I’m doing enough or am a good enough person (employee, girlfriend, renter- ugh, the state of my kitchen, friend, creator, etc.). I feel guilty all the time and it’s a feeling that I can’t shake off.

How do you manage your time, dear reader? How do you get your to-do list completed while keeping your important relationships happy and healthy without giving yourself an anxiety attack?

#TheUmbrellaAcademy

You had a toxic parent, too?

I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix this summer. I was especially pumped up for the newest season of “The Umbrella Academy” and gobbled down all ten episodes in one sitting the Friday it came out. The show is about a group of children who are born with super powers. They’re adopted by this billionaire who exploits the children and forces them to become vigilantes. The children grow up and have complex and complicated relationships with each other and their toxic adoptive father.

I can relate, being adopted by a toxic parent. It’s trauma that I’ve been unpacking for the last several months with the watchful guide of my therapist. My biological mother wasn’t fit to take care of me. She most likely drank while she was pregnant. I never knew my biological father. My adoptive mother didn’t want children but my adoptive father insisted that I stay in our family (my adoptive mother is my biological aunt). More trauma when my parents got divorced. It was really nasty, especially when it came to custody. I went to live with my mom when I was in high school and didn’t see my dad often. At that time, my mom get remarried to an abusive man. I can still remember them fighting. One night, I was watching television in the living room when my mom stormed out her bedroom, with her husband screaming her. She hopped in her car and drove away, leaving me. I ran down the block after her, sobbing. She eventually came back and apologized.

I want to say that I love my parents. I really do adore my family and am grateful for them. I know they did the best they could even though I was troubling. I was a difficult baby. I spent the first two years of my life in foster care before I was legally adopted. My parents don’t know exactly what happened during those two years but I was developmentally delayed in some areas (like sleeping. I shook a lot in my sleep, waking myself every couple hours. I continued to do so throughout my childhood and my teenage years and still occasionally do it now. I never can get a good full night’s rest). I had a speech disorder and refused to talk until I was about five years old (I still lisp every now and then). I couldn’t be alone when I was a toddler. I was mean to animals. Miraculously, though, I did well academically. I loved school. I felt my first sting of depression when I was eight years old. I slept a lot. I couldn’t keep friends. I kept to myself. I was awkward (still am). I lied a lot. I had severe abandonment issues due to my adoption (with my bio mom leaving me) and my parents’ divorce. I went puberty at a young age and was body shamed frequently. I started starving myself in middle school. Binging soon followed. I also begin self-mutilating then and had my first suicide attempt in my preteens. Despite all this, my parents continued to love me and support as best as they could.

I now know that a lot of trauma in my life has been either a direct action or inaction by my parents, biological and adoptive. I wasn’t held enough as an infant so I developed bonding and empathy issues. My body issues were caused by my mother’s shaming, which she received from her own mother. I know that some of my self-esteem issues come from my parents not saying that they believed in me enough. I rarely felt- and still don’t feel- enough in my family which has affected all of my romantic relationships and my professional life.

It’s taken a lot of time to get to the root of my issues and I’m so, so grateful for my therapist (the key to healing is finding the right kind of help!). It’s been a lot work, a lot of tears. I don’t blame my parents for everything wrong with me and my life- I certainly have made a lot of bad choices, choices today that I’m still trying to mend. Even today, I will make the choice of dealing with a toxic parent even though my siblings don’t. My mom can still be pretty narcissistic. But I remember that my mom is human and has been through a lot of trauma herself. I’ve forgiven her and do so every day. I remember to put up boundaries with her- I tell myself, this is my life now and this is the way that I’m living it.

I ask myself if I have children of my own day, will I be a good mother? I know that all parents screw up their kids in a way, some more than others. But still… Will I raise my children to be confident and kind, strong and successful? I like to think so. I hope to take the mistakes that my parents made with raising me and my sisters and give my children not only a happy childhood but a strong sense of self-worth. I want to show my kids that there is actually someone in the world who cares, cares deeply, and can provide for them all of their emotional and physical needs.

Have you grown up with a toxic parent, dear reader?

#FallingInLove

Over the weekend, my boyfriend and I were having a “discussion.” One of the things that I love about Amit is how we talk about the things that bother us. For the first time in my relationship history I’m trying to fix problems, not my partner. It’s a difficult trait to change in myself but I feel like I’m a better girlfriend because of it. At the end of our talk, I was so filled with emotion and Amit was smiling at me in the most goofy way. I just blurted out, “I love you!” 

I knew that I felt this way about Amit for the last couple of weeks. Our relationship has been an interesting one. We talk often about our future as couple and what that looks like. For the majority of my life, I thought that relationships like this: You meet. Date for a couple of months. Fall in love and express it to each other. After a year of dating, move into together. Live together for a year and get engaged. Plan your lavish wedding and get hitched. Two years later, have a baby. And a few years later, have another. And during that time, you are completely devoted to one another, absolutely happy and in love with each other.

Well, that “perfect” relationship doesn’t exist.

I’m letting go of a lot of relationship “truths” these days. I thought the perfect relationship had to look a certain way (ie: that you have to be head over heels in love with your partner all day, every day and be together constantly as a pair, or that a relationship has to be completely and totally equal, with equal give and take). But there is no wrong way to have a good, strong and loving relationship.

After I told Amit that I loved him, he didn’t say it back. Instead, he told me that he really cared about me and was happy to be my boyfriend. Old me would have been upset with him not saying that he loved me back. But new me is feeling secure with his response and where our relationship is headed. I’m no longer putting my expectations on to a timeline. I just want to enjoy hanging out with my boyfriend and not put rush into anything. Of course, I want him to love me. But I know that he needs to feel it- and say it- on his terms. I know that our relationship isn’t perfect but that this moment, it’s perfect for us. 

How is your love life, dear reader?

#CoVOID

It is certainly a weird time to be alive right now. As the world and myself slowly move out of our COVID-19 quarantines, I’m still lost on how I should handle “normal life”- is it safe to go out to my favorite places? Can I make plans to visit my sick mom a few states away? Am I able to hug my friends again? With all the information out there, am I being informed or misinformed? I feel stuck. I’ve felt stuck most of my life but this time, I’m a hard time shaking this off. 

When I first started quarantining back in March, my introverted heart was ecstatic. I get to spend all this alone time doing hobbies and not seeing anyone in the flesh. I quarantined with my boyfriend, which proved to be disastrous (we broke up but got back together a month later. We don’t quarantine together anymore). Even though I love hanging out with him, I realized how much I miss my friends and what a vital part of my good mental health they attributed to. I’m lonely for them. 

I’ve been fortunate to work during this time. While I have issues with my job (ie. my hours have been slashed to very part-time), I’m grateful for my position. I can still pay my rent and buy groceries. I’m still job hunting for something better, something in marketing or editorial with full-time hours and health insurance. I send out applications every day and average an interview a week. I should feel lucky with getting interviews but I know that so many people are not working right now and are applying for the same positions I am. My Imposter Syndrome kicks in, mixing with my depression- I honestly feel like I’m not going to find that job until sometime next year. I’m worry about my finances. 

I stopped reading the news. I usually know what’s going on in the world and now, I don’t (I didn’t know about the explosion in Beirut until two days after the accident). I’m off all social media platforms except Twitter (hey, I need one vice). I don’t make much of an effort with my appearance anymore. I stopped wearing makeup since my mask covers must of it. A good day for me is one where I can make it through work and then still have the energy to put in applications and maybe clean my bathroom or have sex in the evening. 

Needless to say, I’m in this black void. My depression before all this was high. The coronavirus has definitely elevated those feelings of sadness and despair. It’s a fight every day to stay positive and remind myself of the good in my life and in the world right now. Most days, I just want to sleep and not take care of myself and my responsibilities. But somehow (God only know), I manage to wake up, stumble out of bed, brush my teeth, call my mom, get to work, do chores and cuddle with my cat and my boyfriend. I remind myself that I’m not alone- the rest of the world is hurting; some more deeply than me. I’ve been listening to Michelle Obama’s new podcast right now- she is going through it, too. I tell myself that this mess of a year will be over with- a vaccine will come and politics will be soon shifting in a more progressive direction. I will get that job and be able to introduce Amit to my family in person. While it’s difficult to see, the future will be better.

How are you doing, dear reader?