"Please spare me from anyone who would like to be in a relationship with me." — Jen Kirkman, I Seem Fun Podcast
Note to self: The people you are attracted to are generally not good for you. Think of it like that Groucho Marx quote: "I wouldn’t want to be part of any club that would have me as a member." If there’s someone you’re attracted to and it seems like they might be into you, that is your indication to jet immediately.
I might have unrealistic expectations for what people want. Was that vague enough? If I like someone, I tend to go for broke. My last boyfriend, I’d known him for a few years with neutral feelings about his existence, and one night I decided that I was in love with him, and just went and told him so. “You. I pick you,” I said, and after a month or so, he was like, “Okay.” That was that.
My roommates often talk about crushes they have where they don’t ever want to meet or pursue the person they’re into. That’s pretty foreign to me. There’s a Tina Fey quote where she says she has “confidence beyond her looks and abilities,” and that’s sort of how I operate. I’ve certainly been rejected and I don’t brush that off easily but I find it more frustrating to never get the chance to even try and woo someone I find attractive. Someone I’m seeing right now, I just met him after a show and was like, “Hi. You’re cute.” Another one I met via Twitter. Another I met via an ex. I know I’m lucky to have that sort of openness about approaching potential romantic interests — that forwardness and aggression. That’s the short game. The long con is what I have trouble with.
I’m pretty genuine and if I like someone, I tend to speak off the top of my head — I’ll ask lots of probing questions or say sort of outlandish things. I had a tweet once that encapsulated this:
Don’t get when girls freak about what to text a guy to seem cool. Text the craziest shit you can think of, and if he gets it, he can hang.
This seems very confident and secure of me, but truthfully, it’s a way to weed out the people who will inevitably disappoint me, and it’s a defense mechanism. And more often then not, it doesn’t work out because the other person can’t get on board. I’m very up front with what I’m looking for, and I forget way too often that not everyone out there is.
I’m gonna write thoughts on Bates Motel this season. Last night was the first episode so here we go:
"Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind. Don’t assign me yours." - Clementine, "Eternal Sunshine”
The first aspect of the second season premiere I want to talk about is, oddly, a character I expected to be a two-dimensional throwaway representing Norman’s problems with women; and that is #teen dream Bradley Martin.
That was bleak! I had other plans for writing this morning and on this Tumblr (which I want to do more of). I always promise to write more here, but truthfully Thought Catalog was great for working the muscle because I HAD to write three pieces a day and I haven’t felt as regimented since I left my job there more than a year ago. It was nice/stressful/probably good for me to have to write every day at that capacity and for that audience.
I was maybe going to write about dating but that’s a whole can of worms I don’t even know if I want to open. I will say that I’m constantly pleased by the realization that relationships I’m in don’t have to look like relationships I’ve seen before — in life or in media. I think sometimes I only felt the way I did because it was how I thought I was supposed to feel, but there’s no “rules” for dating. You can make it up as you go along and there’s no “right” way.
I mean it all sucks and human emotion is terrible and we should all just be sex robots, but until we reach that plane of delightful icy heartedness, it’s cool to mold relationships into whatever we want or need them to be.
Thank you for talking about your mental illness issue. I honestly did not know it was NOT normal to have suicidal thoughts as a child... it only makes me gather courage to seek a therapist as fast as possible, because my life has been a big mess since I'm young and I'm starting to consider that maybe, just maybe, it's not because I'm a big fat failure. I'd rather be a failure than to be mentally ill, but if I do have a condition, at least something can be done... thank you <3
You are so welcome. Talking to a professional really helps. Even depending on what the issues stem from — a support group of some kind can be really great for seeing you’re not alone or getting a handle on what is or isn’t behavior that needs to be worked on.
Hi! If this isn't too personal, I was wondering if you could talk about your experience with mental illness — how have you gotten better at dealing with it over time, when did you first find out/think you had it, any advice for other people dealing with that kind of thing?
It’s not too personal. I’m just never really sure where to begin. I think I had problems as a kid, definitely. (Some genetic, some home life.) I have little memories of being drawn to commit suicide at very young ages — in 4th grade standing at the top of the stairs at school and thinking I wanted to throw myself down them, etc etc. Vague suicidal ideation which people always sort of brushed off because I was so young and what 10 year old kills themselves? (Many, it turns out.)
I only really “lost it” a couple years ago. In the wake of that, I got really good at taking care of myself: eating breakfast and doing yoga and going to therapy. I’ve relapsed a few times and I end up in my bed for a few days or weeks. I’m on meds, but that’s been it’s own journey. Right now it’s Zoloft and Wellbutrin and it’s been pretty okay. I think they’re not working as well as they first did, which is disappointing. I’m the type of person who’s like, let’s fix it, let’s cure it, and let’s move on. But mental illness doesn’t work that way!
It’s also not only one thing. I kept trying to put myself into a category like, “Okay. I have depression. This is how you make depression better.” But then I also have anxiety, and various other mental health related stuff. I guess my advice would be you’re never going to be perfect, and with or without mental illness, no one is. You’re never going to “get back” to where you were or what you were like “before,” which is so often what I’m fixated on. I think I can work my way to neutral and be “normal” again, instead of accepting that this is normal right now, and that’s okay and I can live a pretty good life.
hi gaby! i'm another fan of yours who you followed recently -- thank you for that :) i was wondering if you had recommendations of good things you've recently watched and/or read. also, how do you find the west coast?
I started posting these weekly round ups with cool videos and articles, if you look back in my posts a bit, you’ll find them!
I actually really love LA. I think I like it more than New York, which I know is heresy. I find it more relaxing. Not that there aren’t times when I’m super homesick for New York, and the people there that I love. I miss NYC very much when I think about it. (But there are definite advantages to the more suburban, relaxed life I’m living in LA.)
Did you take improv classes or acting workshops or did you always just know you could be humorous and jumped on stage? Any advice for someone who's curious about trying it out?
I took improv at the People’s Improv theater and even took comedy classes in college weirdly enough. I also took one acting class and HATED my life during it so that was that. I think a big thing to consider is the type of comedy you want to do — improv is fun because it’s inventive and builds community, and stand up is fun because you have more control over the presentation and get to parse out ideas you specifically want to share. The biggest mistake I see people trying out stand up make is to get on stage without anything prepared. Stage time is good, but mics should be for working out material you have actually put time into writing. Consider it homework. It’s not enough to just show up, you should also have your assignment, y’know?
How do you feel about Thought Catalog these days? What do you think about the ways its changed since you left, and would you still be willing to write for them if you had the chance?
Complicated question. I had a lot of mixed feelings when I did work for TC. I am immensely grateful for the opportunities they gave me, and for the freedom I had to publish my work to such a wide audience, but I frequently struggled with the content we chose to run and with focusing just on what I could control about our editorial process. That said, TC became a very big part of my brand and that made me increasingly uncomfortable, because I felt lumped in with other writers I did not agree with.
I’d write for them again, sure. I think the audience is so large and it’s a great way to get out messages you want seen — for instance my pieces on mental illness and bisexuality. I think TC knows what it’s doing and has a game plan. I just didn’t feel right there anymore.
How do you feel about your experiences as a woman in standup comedy?
I’ve talked about that at a few places, and honestly I think the best approach is to not get too caught up in it. Not that we shouldn’t speak up and talk about the unique problems women face in a male-dominated field like comedy or point out sexism when we see it/experience it, but honestly, after going to enough open mics I can firmly say that men aren’t funny either. To me, women are way funnier, and I’m always happier to see a woman take the stage at a show. That’s just where I’m at right now.
Thank you for the follow! I first heard of you from the interview you did with The Annual's Emily Perper. In the interview you said "Whatever you want to be doing, already be doing it." or something like that and it has stuck with me and often pops up in my head when I need inspiration.
The lights go out. The arena’s dull roar turns to exasperating chaos. A woman in her 40s wearing librarian glasses, a leopard blazer, and work-heels raises her gin and tonic to the air. The gay men start screaming “YAS, GIRL, YAS!!!” A group of…
My girl Jill reviews the Bangerz tour and talks Miley Cyrus and feminism. I read many iterations of this piece and they were very entertaining as is this final draft. <3
what were some of your favorite, perhaps lesser known, films of last year?
Oh good question. Just going off movies that didn’t get recognized from last night: I liked Warm Bodies, Breakup At A Wedding, Fruitvale Station, Frances Ha, Crystal Fairy (which is great!), In A World, and Afternoon Delight. I wanted to see Stories We Tell, but it’s on my to-do list. All HIGHLY recommended.
Also Enough Said and Inside Lwelyn Davis. That cat was robbed of an Oscar!
I’m working on some stuff and half-watching last week’s Elementary but I’m down to answer questions on here for a while, if anyone has anything to ask.
Edit: I don’t know where your ask button is, so I say: Have you seen Pacific Rim? It’s pretty good. Some movies I like are True Romance, Rebel Without A Cause, The Shining and Ferris Bueller. Depends on what you’re in the mood for.
I’ve been wanting to write something longer for a few weeks now, but I haven’t really been able to come to any conclusions about where I’m at or what I feel, so any sort of neatly wrapped up post here would feel false or stupid. Writing this might be stupid too, but you can’t make gold without spinning shit first. I think the great Maya Angelou said that.
I haven’t been feeling that good lately. I jokingly call my depression either “a bell jar” or “the dark crystal” because it seems silly to be so sad for no real reason. This weekend, I mostly wanted to be in bed, but at the same time I wanted so badly for someone to reach out to me. It’s such a selfish spot, to wallow in being lonely but then not do anything to change that loneliness and then start feeling pathetic for even being lonely in the first place. Lonely for what?
I’m sure I’ve disappointed people throughout my life, so it seems whiney to wonder why people are often so disappointing to me, but it feels like this endless cycle of me expecting people to keep their word, and them having no intention of doing so from the very beginning. Or maybe they really do believe what they’re saying at first, but then I’m too…boring, or annoying, or snobby or something for them to follow through.
In high school, I once asked one of the girls who constantly neglected to invite me to things why I was left out and she responded honestly: “Because you think you’re better than everyone.” On Wednesday, I asked a brand new friend, who’s only known me for three weeks, what his impression was of me so far. He said, “You’re a person who doesn’t tolerate weakness in yourself or in others, but it’s a front and it’s bullshit.”
I’m probably, in some ways, pretty unlovable. (I don’t want to be convinced otherwise or have my depression romanticized, I’m just saying what I feel.) I have to work on tempering expectations, although many therapists have told me I should be more open and more vulnerable with people, it’s almost like one of those dogs with the electric collar; Every time I’ve decided to try, I’ve been devastated. How many times am I supposed to repeat that action before I realize I’m being electrocuted?
What I want is to feel like I can trust people, and to feel wanted — really wanted — by friends, by co-workers, by people I’m romantically involved with. The only conclusion I can come to is there must be something fundamentally wrong with me or the way I approach other people because the rejection keeps happening even when I don’t ask for much, the little I do ask always seems to be too much. I’m charming at first, I know that, but what’s underneath? One friend once told me that I come across as closed off, or aloof and that people don’t include me because they assume I don’t want to be included. So then I remain alone, by my own doing I guess.
Anyway, these are just some words in order with no conclusion. Unimportant.
I wrote a personal essay about polyamory, it was originally on spec for a major women’s magazine… but this ended up not working out :’( What should I do with it now? Here are some out-of-context bits from the piece….
Our therapist closes the door to her office “So,” she asks. “What is going on…