Joy to the World: A Real Life Would you Rather

It’s 1 am and I can’t stop thinking about my hypothetical future children.

Ok, not really. But sort of? Allow me to explain. It all started with this question:

Would you rather have a child that is resiliently kind but incorrigibly slow? Or a child who’s deeply intelligent but incorrigibly cruel?

The intelligent child will most likely excel academically where other children struggle. They might be clever and quick-witted which will lead them down a bright path of monetary wealth and career-related success and who doesn’t want that for their future children? However, a lack of compassion as well as a shrewd and cold personality might also result in a series of shallow and meaningless relationships throughout their lives. They may never know true love because they don’t truly know how to love, themselves.

On the other hand, the “slow” child may live a considerably more difficult life. They will be fooled, manipulated, bullied and belittled. By societal standards, they may only ever merely get by. Existing only in the average, an anonymous water boy in a sea of valedictorians. But this child is also born with something you can’t possibly learn in a book. They go into the world never hardened by all of life’s disappointments. They continue to laugh and smile and share true joy with those around them. To the naked judgmental eye, they may never go anywhere in this life, but yet, you feel their goodness inside of you regardless of where you are. And don’t we all want our children to be so joyful?

I struggled not because I am honestly considering my future hypothetical children (can’t put enough LOLs here) but because when I flip the mirror back on myself, who would I personally rather be? And if I had to choose, in the broad spectrum of each individual trait, what’s of greater use in this world to the next generation? What’s more important to living well?

I guess it comes down to your definition of what living well entails.

It’s been said, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I personally think the same can be applied to kindness. What good is surrounding yourself with brilliant people if they don’t portray an ounce of moral clarity? And what does that say about yourself?

I love a stimulating intellectual conversation with a total stranger. It’s interesting to me to hear how others think. From where their opinions stem. How it can mold and enhance my own thoughts and ideas on the world. But even more than that, I love seeing selflessness from someone I don’t know. I’d rather see more simple random acts of kindness in this world than people talking intelligent theoretical philosophical smack at each other about why their opinions are correct.

I saw this documentary about series of individuals in one neighborhood in Houston, Texas. One particular segment was about a mother and her son, a disabled grown man. Despite the majority of the story line suggesting that this man’s life was generally filled with a simple happiness most of us will never know, there was one scene that really stuck with me. His mom was telling the camera that he’s aware that he doesn’t mentally move as fast as others. She spoke of a time in his frustration, where he balled up his fists and squinted his eyes and started to belly cry. “My life hard,” he sobbed.

I consider myself an intelligent person. I also think there is an infinite amount of education in the world for me to continue to learn for the rest of my life. But I believe kindness is something you can choose regardless of intellectual capacity. It doesn’t make one naive or idiotic or simple or stupid, to be kind. It doesn’t make me inexperienced and uneducated, if I choose to be good. My kindness is a conscious choice not a naive uneducated delusion.

I wanted to go find this man and tell him that. I wanted to tell him it is more important to have an altruistic heart, than a brilliant mind. That no amount of reading about love can make you feel it for yourself. What good is intelligence if you don’t have the compassion to guide it?

In 2016, I’d like to be a better version of myself. Wouldn’t we all in some capacity? Richer. Smarter. Skinnier. Stronger. I’d be lying if I said I don’t wish for a little of all of that as well. Life would be a little easier if we were all a little better. Life is hard because we aren’t. Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.

But happiness and kindness isn’t something you have to build up to attain. It’s a choice. Something you can do immediately. Someone you can be immediately. You can be a better person right now. A kinder person. A happier person. A person who chooses joy even if all the intelligent experience tells you to harden up and barrel on.

If I had to choose between being the kindest or the smartest person in the room, I want to be the kindest.

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Two Truths and a Lie: On living alone, on feeling alone, on eventually becoming Olivia Pope

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This part of my life is entitled ‘7 Minutes in Heaven’ when it comes to giant tubs of hummus and ‘Never Have I Ever’ when to comes to sex and also, truth I might have dared to dance around in my underwear to a Backstreet Boys medley for an hour last night. it is also entitled ‘Two Truths and a Lie’ because everything I say, do, and write can and will eventually be used for awkward company ice-breaker activities and/or high school coming-of-age drinking games.

My editor that I don’t yet have will tell me this is entirely too long of a book title because I’m not Fiona Apple and I’m definitely never going to sell one copy of any publication if I can’t at least tweet the name of it in less than 140 characters.
And alas, my fake, imaginary editor has a point. I would have killed it during Shakespearean times. Lengthy, floral writing FTW. Less thus and thous. Same general metaphorical concept. Thine word game is divine ninja-level. Nay, I digress.

I have officially lived by myself for four weeks and three days. And it has been nothing but instance after instance of pure unadulterated ecstasy. Because as it turns out, I am absolutely spectacular at living by myself. There is a simple kind of joy that comes with turning the key to a place that is all yours full of material possessions that are also all yours. Even the air in the place is mine. My plans are mine, my food is mine, the day is mine and I’m just seizing it into submission.

It is delight.

There are struggles. As with any change. For instance, wearing dresses that zip up the back and spending nearly ten minutes of interpretative zipper-related gymnastics with the simple goal of freeing myself from the garment I personally imprisoned myself in.

Some nights, I get a little scared. Irrational fears beyond burglars and homeless transients staring at me as I sleep but rather more along the lines of the grudge girl slowly but surely taking up real estate in my furnace room and plotting her attack on my brain. Also, zombies. Always zombies.

No one wakes me up when I’m late and no one can help me make a game time fashion decision. Luckily, I rarely sleep in and my fashion sense is impeccable, so neither is a huge concern.

The concept of being alone is both an illusion and a reality. In reality, I live by myself. I am alone. I am one person living in one place. I make meals for one. I watch solo television. I dance and I sing and I laugh all by myself.

Society’s perception of being alone will tell you this makes me damaged. I am the scene in The Holiday where Kate Winslet’s character starts weeping (because British people do not cry, they weep) into her stove and starts intensely inhaling carbon monoxide briefly intent on ending her solo misery with suicide. I am Bridget Jones frumpy diary. I am Liz Lemon’s Chinese leftovers. I am Elle Woods post-break up, Mia Thermopolis pre-makeover, Julia Stiles before Heath Ledger, and the entire Never Been Kissed plot before what’s his name finally makes out with Drew Barrymore finally ridding her of that horrible nickname- Josie Grossie.

Society’s perception of being alone will also tell you this makes me empowered. I am the scene in Charlie’s Angels when Cameron Diaz dances in her superhero underwear because she freaking can! I am Juno MacGuff’s hamburger phone. I am Erin Brockovich’s leopard print bra. I am Carrie Bradshaw post-breakup, Hermione Granger pre-makeover, Veronica after JD, and the final dance scene in The First Wives Club.

Because the truth is, we believe what we want to believe and we see what we want to see and my truth is different than yours but absolutely correct and yet somehow your truth is much truer than mine but all of it is true because we decide it to be.

I can be both needy and powerful because it’s all about how I see myself. And how you see me. And how I choose to let how you see me, make me see myself.

If that made no sense- which it probably didn’t- allow me to explain.

You meet this guy. This girl. This person. Whatever. You really like them. No, I mean you REALLY like them. You think about them in a way that your brain just does that thing in Mario cart where you just drift into a median and keep crushing (get it) your little heart cart against the idea of this person which is really just a wall but all you see is windows and star power.

And you’re texting them trying to be relaxin maxin chillin all cool but really you’re internally freaking out because omg, Mario cart is jumping off every race track into the great abyss of love. And you’re all do they like me? Why aren’t they texting me back? Why didn’t she call me? What does his text mean? Screenshot. Snapchat. Long drunk conversation with stranger who doesn’t give two shits. Compulsively checking iPhone in a similar fashion to the day your online shopping order will arrive. Where the hell are my shoes?

And meanwhile, this other person you so desperately want to play with is off pretending to be Zelda or something like not even on the same gaming platform because they are pursuing someone playing monopoly who is pursing someone who doesn’t like games at all but just prefers to drink beer.

And you’re over here analyzing everything and thinking, alright, alright, alright-I think they like me! When in reality, you’re dazed and confused and they don’t at all and they never will but you can’t see that truth until you finally cross that heart racetrack finish line and hang up your delusional joy sticks and finally turn off the game you’ve been playing and look a different truth, in the face.

Because perception- much like cheese on macaroni and sweatpants on couches- means everything. And perception, much like the size of your…truck and Tinder personal messages- means nothing.

I like living by myself. But I don’t consider myself alone. You might never want to live by yourself because then you’d have to see yourself differently. That’s the truth for you. You choose to believe it. Just like you choose to believe someone cares about you or someone doesn’t care about you or that you aren’t alone because you have a roommate or that you are alone because you don’t.

This part of your life is entitled, I see things the way I want to, until one day I don’t. That’s called experience. That’s called change. That’s called adaption and maturity.  That’s called reality. That’s called perception. But above all, that’s called life.

And on that note, this part of my life is called, I’m happy. And despite other’s perspectives on my reality, at least for today- that is nothing but the simple truth.

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On playground politics, regretful hairballs, and being your own story’s superhero

I wish I could say it’s the first time I’ve been here.

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Or the second.

Or the third.

The truth is I’ve probably been in similar positions dozens of times my entire life and I conveniently forget how difficult a previous experience was to make room for feeling sorry for myself in a current situation.

I remind myself of the facts again.

I have talents. I am intelligent. I am articulate and well-spoken. I am manically passionate, recklessly impulsive, fiercely loyal, occasionally quick to anger but equally fast to forgive.

I also know I am flawed and imperfect but unceasingly resilient in regards to improving those shortcomings. I believe recognizing your strengths and acknowledging your weaknesses keeps you humble. I also believe it gives you something to work toward.

My name is Meg and I honestly believe that tomorrow will be better than today.

However, right now, on this super fun Saturday morning, I feel sorry for myself and despite my pathetic scratching feeble attempts to escape, I have concluded sitting down cross-legged in this wallowing dirt hole of NOTHING IS GOING RIGHT is in fact, my destiny.

… For now.

When things go wrong (as they often do), I think it is human nature to first blame the situation. When similar situations happen again, I think it is also natural to find that fault in yourself. Different place, different time, different people, same story, same Meg.

The logic is there. It makes perfect sense. But yet, it’s a slowly growing hairball in the back of your throat and the more you dwell on it, the more you hack and cough on its presence. It’s counter-productive, and ultimately, it’s choking you.

Because it’s only when you let it go and get it out, that you can breathe again.

…Or at least that is what I assume, as I am not a cat and have never hacked up a giant hair ball, and let us all take a moment to thank God for that.

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Did you guys ever watch the TV show, Recess? It was a Saturday morning cartoon about a ragtag friend group and amid all the slap-stick humor that is Saturday morning cartoon television, offered up some (in my opinion) pretty profound advice to the youth of the late 90’s.

A particular episode entitled, “Nobody doesn’t like TJ” has always stuck with me. TJ Detweiler (main character, cool kid with backwards hat) spends an entire episode attempting to convince the one kid at school who doesn’t like him, that they should be friends.

And TJ really chucks his “A-Game” at this bro. He truly throws out his best bag of friend-related tricks. It’s impressive work. As a 10-year-old, you’re kind of watching going woah, I wish TJ was MY friend!

At the end of this particular episode, TJ, in so many words, asks this kid, “Yo, so are you Team Teej or what, homie?” And this guy responds “Yeah, I had a good time. But I still don’t like you.” AND THEN?? HE. WALKS. AWAY. Like… what!!! Damn kiddo, that is some straight-up cold cereal.

At the tender age of 10, I got this adult thematic lesson loud and clear. Not everyone is going to like you Meg. Not everyone is going to want to be your friend. Not everyone is going to have your back or have your best interests in mind. You can put on a smile, compliment, include and welcome them and those same people will continue to do and say thoughtless, manipulative and unkind things just for the sake of pissing you off and getting ahead.

Yet, you have to rise above it. You have to adopt your superhero good-before-evil mantra, imagine you can fly, appear to be invincible, focus on your passion, find your people, turn your ball-cap backward, and shake it off.

At 10 years old, I got that. At 25, the playground of life is a bit more intricate. I like you and I don’t like you are no longer as one-dimensional as Saturday morning cartoons suggested. FYI to all nursery rhymes–no one’s really throwing sticks and stones anymore because it’s not the Middle Ages. These days, we’re all throwing words and yeah, our limbs are just fine, thank you, but our hearts and our minds have seen healthier times.

And despite the lessons I continue to learn as an adult that I thought I understood as a child, I still find myself wanting to be TJ Detweiler. I still desperately want the approval, admiration and acceptance of everyone I surround myself with even though I know in my scarred, bruised and beaten heart, what a fool’s errand that really is. And time and time and time again, I find myself exhausted and defeated, sitting at the bottom of a wallowing hole that I personally put myself in, wondering wait, how did I get back here?

These words are my rescue ladder out. My reminder to myself that the facts above remain true. That I need to continue to work toward being the best version of myself regardless if others like or want to associate with that person. To work toward solutions and not being a part of a problem. To being a superhero in my own story and being ok with being the villain in someone else’s. To always being the main character and not just some anonymous victim stranded in a manhole waiting for someone to rescue me.

Remember why you’re here. To laugh. To smile. To learn. To grow. To adapt. To change. Not to wallow. Not to choke. Not to dwell on lost friendships, ruined relationships, missed opportunities, stupid mistakes and all the kids on the playground that just don’t, for whatever reason, like you and just never will.

“You can’t have a better tomorrow, if you keep thinking about yesterday.”

To today–

m

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This one goes out to the people who never quit. photo 3

The people who stick it out. Who stay around. Day after week after month after year. The dejected soldiers of routine, they trudge on through a grey world, where they are bound like prisoners of their own resilience.

And yet, you never hear the freaking end of their ongoing, monotonous, self-absorbed victimized battle. They play their perseverance to their insipidly toneless cause like a never-ending song on the most out of tune piano ever. Look what I’m putting up with! Listen to what I’ve been going through! Look at me! Feel bad for me!

And I’m unfortunately about to lay some real life truths down right now. For the love of all that is various social media cries for attention, please stop complaining and make a freaking move already. Stop venting about a situation that you have the ability to change. Quit. Just quit! Quit whatever you are doing that is making you so very unhappy that you feel the need to fill each space that you are in with your incredibly palpable negative attitude.

You want to know why I can say this stuff? Because by all definitions, I am a quitter. I couldn’t take the heat. I couldn’t weather the storm. I couldn’t handle the pressure. Whatever cliche you want to staple to my forehead, go the hell ahead. Seriously. Label me a quitter. A loser. A drop-out. A failure. Nothing anyone can say about me is anything worse than what I’ve already at one point labeled myself.

But here’s the difference between you and me. While you’re out weathering the storm, fighting the good fight, keep on keeping on-ing, I’m actually enjoying my life whereas you’re just surviving yours. I’m over the labels that you create your very identity by. Because guess what? I could quit a hundred more times and no one’s really going to be sitting at home thinking, man that Meg, she just doesn’t have her shit together. And you want to know why? Because we’re all way too self-absorbed in our own quittings and winnings and self-actualizations to even consider how many wrong turns someone else is really taking.

One day, I hope you wake up and make your happiness your number one concern. Follow what gives you joy. Because if you do that, and stop worrying about fullfilling some societal unspoken code to follow through at some shit job you hate that’s essentially a dead-end gig full of people who could care less what your next career move is, maybe you won’t be such a kill-joy to the people who surround you who DO want you to succeed. Maybe you’ll actually be, I don’t know, happy! What a novel idea.

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So go on, say what you want about me. But I get shit done in my own way. I do what’s best for me. I know myself. I know when to keep fighting and when it’s time to move on.

I’m always moving. I’m always thinking. I’m planning and plotting and considering my next step and then you know what? I’m taking it. If I don’t like something, I stop doing it. If I’m good at it, I pursue it. But you won’t see me sitting around complaining and moaning about something I have the power to change. You’re going to see me going after it, or leaving it behind. And if that makes me a quitter, so be it.

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To all the people who never quit, this one’s for you.

m

gimme the beat.

Friends, lovers, strangers, random men who are reading this from Tinder–

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(Not to be confused with the hacked app)

Every single day, I have about 300 bizarre ideas pop into my head. Most I keep to myself. Some are far-fetched entrepreneurial plans that I know I will never put into action. Many are songs. Some are stories. Often, it’s an outfit or a food that I desire. (Just now even, I left this post to make myself some pickle toast. Which is toast with pickles on top. No, I am not pregnant or high. Yes, it IS delicious!)

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I have book ideas, and television show plots, and intricate plans to win the affections of Evan Peters from American Horror Story (who I know is blonde and that’s UNNATURAL and feminine or something but I’m into it, so buzz off), little lists to read certain books, sad nostalgic letters I write to previous friends, sudden reminders to call so-and-so back, grandeur pitches to editorial heads of magazines and online publications showcasing my writing wit and lengthy, limitless train of ideas. All aboard the Maggie Express, we’re going nowhere, and we’re going fast. 

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Sadly, most of my ideas, never see screen. They are passing shooting stars in the galaxy of my sleepy brain and on the verge of awakening, I quite often lose them to consciousness. It is a sad reality of having a head like a 25-cent grocery store sticker machine. Full of one-dimensional, glittery viscid cursive typography that never get to see the light of day. 

However. Sometimes! I have an idea and it sticks. Actually, it’s more like it bounces. With rhythm. I can tell a really good idea by its bounce. I’ll forget it for a second. A day. A week. But it keeps coming back. To the beat. That beat in my head.

 

 Today marks year 3 of LeftoversFromFriday. It is still the longest relationship I’ve ever had. I read back through old entries, reading 22-year-old Meg, gives me a certain clarity that I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in order to reach better ones. I read her hope that we can keep college alive, by living each day as if it’s a glory day. And I appreciate her near-sighted cliche adorable idealism, but 3 years later, I can confirm she is missing the big idea here. 

And that is that, you really can do everything you want to do. You really can ‘live the dream’. The problem is nailing that dream down. Keeping the sticker stuck. Permanently inking that idea to your forearm and looking at it everyday. Bouncing it again and again off your head until you have a rhythm you never get sick of and never want to stop playing. And eventually putting whatever it is onto some paper (paper of course, being whatever canvas you choose).

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Yes, therein lies the problem for many of us. The whole WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE/WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO seemingly endless limitless unanswerable question that used to keep me up in the middle of the night, burrowing into my brain like a sickening slow-moving ambitious virus that was the reason for and bane of my existence. The unbearable reality that I was wasting my youth, while also simultaneously not enjoying it the way I should be because I was so worried I was wasting it while also acutely aware that there were others my age doing bigger and better and more successful things, while I was simply wondering what it is I should be doing in the first place. 

Perhaps the problem is that our parents told us we could be anything. Maybe they should have told us we would all be disappointed, and therefore we’d all be satisfied. Imagine our ambition and drive and direction, if we all met our expectations by not meeting expectation! It’s economic inception. It’s the career-related matrix. I’ve discovered the loophole! Call Obama! Anyway.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve always known that writing is something that gives me energy and a high on a level that is far beyond “traits and skills you might have for -insert this job here-” I’ve always been very aware of my strengths and weaknesses. What I don’t and do want. 

But still, I’ve struggled with what degree I want to pursue my creative side. And how? And when? And where? It’s not so simple saying you want to write it turns out. It’s certainly a big step. But it’s like finishing a flight of stairs and your entire career is the Eiffel Tower and you don’t even know why you’re in Paris and you haven’t eaten and some foreign guy keeps shoving flowers in your face but when you take one he yells at you in french and you’re like ok I’ve definitely seen you on tinder before and you totally speak english, asshole. 

 

…Mass confusion. Everyday. Even if you don’t want to pursue something creative, you know what it’s like. Like I was supposed to be someone by now. I was supposed to have my shit a little more together. A little more direction. I certainly know that feeling well. Has it stopped me yet? Have I hung up my hat and settled for administrative purgatory and just writing in my diary on the side? Hell no. 

I have a lot of ideas. A lot of creative thoughts that surge through me every single day. But recently, I’ve been noticing a pattern. A distinct beat. A rhythm for a particular idea.

And that is that I’m very skilled at not only believing I’m on a path of finding my own dream and pursuing it, but also encouraging and believing that you all will find yours. If that’s really what you want. I think we are a generation that despite economic and employment disappointment, despite absurd outstanding debt from the colleges that were supposed to get us our “dream jobs,” despite being supposedly surrounded by others who society would have you believe to be doing and making more, refuses to settle. I think the previous generation often sees this as laziness and entitlement but I disagree. 

I believe that more than any generation before, we can achieve big things. We can make the big ideas in our heads our reality. You don’t have to take the first job you get out of college. Or keep the second job. Or stick with the third. Or screw it, even go to college. If you have the drive and the passion, history has shown us through successful person after successful person that a college degree and a resume of experience can be irrelevant. 

You just have to have an idea. And make that idea into a beat. And turn that beat into a rhythm. And keep creating that rhythm until you find a stride that you never get sick of and never want to stop playing.

And then one day, you’ll wake up and ask yourself that same question. The one question that used to wake you up in the middle of the night.

What do you want to do?

And you’ll answer, well.. I’m doing it.

And the beat goes on…

Happy 3 years-

m

2+2=5 (I know. I don’t get it either.)

Outside patio, day-time:

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This episode in my life begins with me on my suburban home and garden patio, soaking up the midwest sun before it fades into yet ANOTHER FREAKING RAINSTORM which is becoming borderline absurd if not, at the very least, incredibly annoying to my suntan and more importantly, my hair. As the final days of my unemployment draw to close, I reflect on my crazy anti-career victory lap that went entirely too long; though now closing in on the finish line– I can see something that looks like vaguely like a purpose.

I still don’t know exactly why I’m here. I think about that a lot, knowing how much I love LA and being in a big city, and yet somehow, for some explanation, I forge ahead where I’m at. There’s reasons things don’t work out and there’s reasons things do and unfortunately (and also fortunately) those reasons only really become apparent as time goes on.

I think back to 3 years ago and graduating, when I first started writing Leftovers From Friday and what a confused little character I was. Often, I wonder just how much progress I’ve really made. I mean, if I was watching a tv show of myself right now and at the end of the 2nd season I end up back in Denver– living with my parents (the horror, really) I would be sitting on the edge of my couch in suspense. Uh, whoa Walter White. Carrie Mathison. Frank Underwood. Did NOT see that one coming! What else are you capable of? The television version of my life is plot twist after unbelievable plot twist. I can’t stop watching. Because seriously, what happens next?

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Yet, here I am. I continue to surprise, astonish, and shock even myself.

It’s the greatest show I’ve ever seen, this whole not having a 10-year or even a 5-year plan. I like to pretend I’m an hour-long drama at times, but if we’re being real, I’m just a 30-minute sitcom, with no laugh track. I’m the real-life Seinfeld, a show that’s kind of about nothing, but also applicable to everything. Hilariously, I still keep trying to make life plans despite the fact that since graduating college, since leaving formal education, pretty much nothing in my life has gone according to “plan.”

But yet, as time unfolds, as the show goes on, I’ve learned that part of figuring out life is just as much figuring out what you don’t want to do, as what you do. It’s figuring out who you can count on, as much as figuring out who you can’t. Some episodes, I let people down. Others, I’m the one whose disappointed. I’m both the villain and the hero. Because you’re kidding yourself if you think you are always the protagonist in your own story. I can be my own (and my only) worst enemy sometimes. I can destroy myself with just my thoughts. Drive myself insane when things don’t go as I wanted them to, as I expected them to. Throw down mental static interference when 2 plus 2 equals 5.

“But it’s supposed to be 4!”, I scream to no one. Usually in the shower. I was told it’s 4! 18 years of education and my entire life still equals 5 and my commitment remote is broken, and what is that even and I don’t like who they’ve cast as the male lead in this show because… oh right there is no male lead and then I’m just like ok Liz Lemon, drop the hot dog, let’s take a step back and breathe here.

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And it’s here that you find me on my patio in suburb USA. Remembering and reflecting that I can not binge-watch my entire life although god knows sometimes, I try. I can’t speak for myself in 5 years. Just like I couldn’t speak for myself 3 years ago. And maybe there will come a point where I see the point, but until then, all I can do is watch what’s in front of me.

And what’s playing in front of me right now is a new job in a completely new city. There’s going to be a whole new set of stories. And characters. And failures. And success! And personally, I think that’s a pretty good premiere episode to season 3 of Leftovers From Friday.

And so in conclusion, I don’t know about you guys, but I’m definitely going to keep watching to find out what happens next.

Rainstorm begins. Ominously? Refreshingly? Cleansingly? Forebodingly?

Regardless…end scene,

M

dear dad

Dear Dad,

I thought for a really long time tonight what I wanted to get you for your birthday. I know you didn’t want a gift, and I know we both love gifts and honestly, it makes me a little sad to get you nothing so I thought I would write you this little letter in hopes it can be a placeholder for something much better someday when I can buy you an RV or a monkey, or a monkey-themed RV, or a lifetime supply of donuts, or a dozen Daisies (the dog, not flower… though nothing can compare to the one we already have).

And while I want to say happy birthday in the best way I know how, I also want to say how grateful and thankful I am to have a father who supports me regardless of how many times I am the human version of a run-on sentence. The kind of Dad that knows his kid is a little on the outskirts of normal town, but still makes it a point to leave a light on when I make it home.

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That I’m not your darling debutante daughter, twirling in frilly academic accolades and basking in the opportunities of the corporate career spotlight.

That I stumbled and knee-crawled through most of my formal educational hallway but the way you smiled at my college graduation let me know you were proud of me regardless of all the Pomp and Circumstance it took to get me there.

That one time when I wasn’t approved for a lease for my first apartment, you left a message on the potential landlord’s voicemail saying I was going to be a famous writer someday and then she’d be sad she missed this opportunity.

That you read an article in the newspaper by a women who had written a book about following your dreams and then you went and bought me that book and sent it to me because you believe I should do the same.

That you’ll read this, because you read everything I write because you’re very simply, my greatest fan.

That there are countless, numerous, endless other ways I could thank you for being there for me and for believing in me and that just saying Happy Birthday just doesn’t feel like enough.

And I don’t want this to get sappy and corny and like some kind of Hallmark commercial or room temperature cheese (though I know we both love both) so I will conclude on this:

My entire life people have told me you are so much like your Dad!!! And when I was little, I would be deeply offended fearing an impending inevitable lady mustache. But now I see a man who never takes no for an answer, who always gets a job done right, who makes those around him laugh effortlessly, who is confident, who is kind, who is bright and who is, above all, a good husband and a wonderful father. And I want to be just like him. Minus the mustache. 🙂

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So on that note, Happy Birthday Dad!

Thank you for being my biggest fan.

Love,

Megan