The Face I’m Stuck With, Unapologetically.

Posted in General with tags , , , , , on May 18, 2016 by jezzywolfe

I’ve become one of those women who posts a LOT of selfies on my Facebook. Sure, I refrain from ‘ducking it up’, but still, I cringe when I think of the impression I’m making on my audience. I’d like to think I have sound rationale behind my blatant social media narcissism. Doesn’t everybody?

Up until a couple years ago, I did not post current pictures of myself. If anyone tried to take a picture of me…friends, family, you name it…I protested. Loudly. Usually with threats of bodily harm. I was absolutely terrified. I was afraid I’d have to see me as they saw me. And that what they saw no longer resembled who I used to be. Who I still see in my mind when I study my reflection. 

My weight changed. I’d gotten older. The features I used to think might be considered attractive, disappeared behind the face of a middle-aged, heavy set, completely unimpressive woman. When I went anywhere, I realized I’d become fairly invisible amidst the crowds. No one sought me out. No one noticed anymore. 

I disappeared.

Focusing on writing allowed me to forget that, sooner or later, I’d emerge from my cocoon, only to discover that I stopped paying attention to my appearance. And while that sounds perfectly acceptable, (and for most, it IS perfectly acceptable), for me, it was a heartbreaking disappointment. But before you brand me completely superficial, hear me out.

My experience in middle school was a continuous nightmare lived out over the course of two years. Pure torture. Puberty didn’t just hit- it beat me to a pulp. Imagine an entire school ripping into you day after day. Calling you cruel names. Whispering behind your back. Thrusting you into the center of all their jokes. You were THE school reject. It sounds so petty now. But after so much time spent humiliated and betrayed time and again, I entered high school completely terrified. I was crippled by insecurity. 

All I wanted was to be liked. To have friends. To not be ‘Pizza Face’ for the next four years of my education. I wanted as much distance from the girl that everyone hated as I could get. So I hid. I hid behind a curtain of heavy hair. I hid behind a desperately applied mask of makeup ANYTIME I left my house. That meant at least an hour every morning just piling that shit on. It wasn’t that I was trying to look “pretty”. It wasn’t that I enjoyed the feel of all that gunk seeping into my pores. Or the expense of carefully budgeting my money so I wouldn’t run out of makeup. As you can imagine, that would’ve been a true crisis for me.

But I just wanted to look normal. You know, normal as in ‘unexceptional, but still not freakishly plagued by bad skin’. I should have been grateful for big blue eyes, and naturally straight teeth. But I couldn’t get past my skin. And I didn’t think anyone would accept me for what I was. 

Flawed. Human. 

“So, what’s with all the stupid selfies, Jezzy?”

Even as an adult, I still don’t have perfect skin. And now, just to make it that much more fun, I have crows feet, laugh lines, those creases between my eyebrows from squinting in the sunlight. I look older. I’ll admit, I may not look quite my age, but I definitely look closer to my age than I used to. And while that shouldn’t matter, and maturity should have graced me a certian amount of self assurance, I am still that terrified woman who looks at her image and only sees the signs of time. I don’t see past the wrinkles and gray hair. I can’t see past the scars left by so many years of chronic skin troubles.

I warn people all the time, I am so far from perfect. I constantly complain about being ugly. Most times, I am told that I’m not ugly. That I should take them at their word that I’m a reasonably attractive individual. I want to be able to see that in myself. But I’m regretting too many things that are beyond my control.

I regret the loss of youth. Even though we all lose that, regardless of what we do.

I regret the loss of physical awareness. I allowed my weight to escape me, and now finding that smaller me is a serious struggle.

I regret, perhaps most of all, that I never learned to appreciate the qualities I did possess before I woke one day to realize they were long gone. And that, had I realized how fleeting it all was, I could’ve been comfortable in my own skin. I could’ve been that girl who was confident. 

Imagine how successful I could have been, if I didn’t constantly see myself as a requisite failure.

This is me today. This photo is not filtered. I wear makeup, yes, but I no longer need a mask of it. And maybe I’m no Olivia Wilde or Scarlett Johansson, but I’m not grotesque. I take the selfies to learn to accept who I am, and who I am no longer. I post the selfies to show people that I am willing to put myself out there. I’m willing to be more than just a name on a screen. I am willing to let you see that while I’m not perfect, I am real. 

And I am not a duck.

  

WARNING: This Post is Full of Marmosets. Pretty Cool, Right?

Posted in General, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2016 by jezzywolfe

When it is all said and done, what everyone will remember is I FORGOT TO BUY THE RIGHT BEANS!

How do you do that? Seriously? I stood in that store, thinking ‘How lucky is FullSizeRender(1)it they actually have a four pack of my lucky beans?’ In reality, that was only a lucky four pack if I was looking into some home loved version of a burrito. Don’t ask. It makes sense in my head. That’s all that matters.

I’m 15 shots in to the evening. Plus half a vodka beverage. I figure 16 shots is good. Don’t you? You figure, right? Yeah. We all do. It’s what we have in common. But you know what we don’t have in common? Leprosy. And that’s good, cause hella contagious. We’d have to start our own colony. But it’s okay, because I like you. If you want to start a colony, I’m totally down for that.

So anyway,  bought the wrong beans. I said, this year, I was taking no chances. I’d be following all the proper protocoals. The correct beans. Proper ham. Appropriate intoxication. 2016 would roll in with some big-ass approval, and I’d be making. Last year, it could have destroyed me. Sure. You’ve been through worse. But I’m a wimp, and it was bad enough. No more, please and thank you. I survived it, and ‘fuck you, universe’, for trying to wreck my train. It will take far more than you (or even you) to bring me off.

Somehow, I think that’s a bad participle.

IMG_2214Will I resolve anything? Fuck no! Do any of us, ever? We thrive on drama and pain. It’s true. Don’t be a fucknut here. Pull your head out of denial’s ass and see for yourself. We ARE Shirley Manson’s brain waves. I love her. Shoutout! But really, think about it. Life is boring when it’s good. We don’t recognize the good, even when it’s honey glazed and steaming on a fucking gold leafed platter. 24 karat perfection, and we are looking for the flawed gemstone in the crown.

But it’s not because we are emo hogs. I’m not. Neither is she. The reality is, we don’t grow when there is only light. We wither under too much warmth. Rain, pain, all that guts us, isn’t that what teaches us to grow? Not because we are smart enough to see that shit for what it is, but because, in hindsight, we get it. Rear view, bitches. We emerge the tumbled obsidian in some hippy’s hemp choker. And that’s okay. That shit’s beautiful! You go, with your shiny, black self. You’d look great on my finger. Just saying.

I looked at the end of this year with incredible dread. I hate ends. Even FullSizeRenderwhen it’s the end of a very bad thing. 2015…well, it wasn’t a great ting. But still, I didn’t look forward to ending it. And now, it’s a new year. There are no imminent apocalypses. BORING. But also, anti-climatic. I miss a good Mayan/Hopi prophesy, don’t you?! When it was one of those ‘piss or get off the pot’ scenarios? But with banderos?

Do or die. And we all did. Most of us didn’t die. Hemingway was loving it. I don’t know why, exactly. But he was. I might be loving it. I can’t tell.

Shot #16. One for every year this century has fucked me. I’m still standing. A little wobbly, sure, but alcohol. I’ll be standing when the sun comes back up. And most of you will, too. Unless you’re really hung over, in which case, HA! But not because I’m mean. I’d still give you a hug. I like you. Really. If you only liked me half as much, we’d be golden. Maybe, one day, you will.

In the meantime, I won’t resolute. I will drink responsibly. Meaning, when I drink, I’ll be serious about that shit. (And, no, I will NOT drive.) I have some goals for myself, and they will be good ones. They have to do with finishing a novel. Possibly a short story collection, too. AND ever a poetry collection. Why not? I sometimes string words in unexpectedly coherent ways.

And you thought you were the only ones.

So, here’s shot #16. My goal was not to be able to remember tonight. I’m getting close. I need relief. My heart beats too hard for this. Sometimes the palpitations leave bruises under my skin. Here’s to feeling less, at least for just a little while.

All my love to you. Stay strong. Your light always makes a difference to me.

 

 

 

Revisiting

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 7, 2015 by jezzywolfe

I’ve been combing through my files again, namely files saved from my old Xanga blogs. I must have been drinking some special brew back then. I wish I could remember what it was…I could use more of it now.

So last night, I reformatted a completed story and submitted it to its first market. There’s a number of stories that need edits, some that need re-writes, some that need to be completed. I’m so distracted by everything around me, I’m afraid I’ll botch something up beyond repair. So I continue reading old files, trying to decide what is worth resurrecting, and what needs to go away for good.

For instance, this ridiculous blog post, which most likely made an appearance on TobyWillBiteYou in 2005. After too much caffeine. Or alcohol. I can’t tell now. All I know is I must have been on something…

 
 

“A Small Haiku in Honor of a Faded, Rumpled Ten Dollar Bill”

This whorish bill gives

Me a perverse little thrill

Then it says “buy-bye”.

JW 2005

 

Nothing like a title with as many syllables as the entire poem.

I have always loved the smell of money. Not new money, mind you, but money that has been around the block more than once or twice. Yeah… I like my dollars flimsy and easy and well-handled. And I’m not greedy; they can be all ones, as long as they have that particular ‘smell’. Sure, go ahead and try to tell me it is the mass accumulation of germs and microbes and God only knows what else contributing to that papery coppery aroma. Won’t make any difference to me. I will still fight the urge to bring each bill to my nose and breathe in that fragrant scent before I hand them off to some unappreciative cashier in exchange for goods not nearly as aromatic.

Tonight, I stared at the forlorn face of Abraham Lincoln. My bill had an identity crisis, wrinkled and creased, ink rubbed off from overuse. I loved it that much more, silently thanking it for the meager unworthy purchase of both baking powder, AND baking soda. A very powerful bill, indeed.

But our time together was brief, and passing. Imagine my child-like joyous surprise as I beheld the two bills given back to me. A five AND a one… it was my lucky day! I felt as if I had won the lottery. But I resisted the urge to spin around and plant a wet one on the complete stranger behind me, and shoved the wonderful additions carefully into my pocket. They are snuggly tucked in there, still.

I can’t part with them right away, you know. There’s a lot of sniffing to be had.

 

The more things change, the more they are different. But I still love the smell of used money. 

It’s Not Very Funny

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 12, 2015 by jezzywolfe

The suicide of Robin Williams a year ago shocked and devastated a world that revered him for his outlandish movie roles, his hyperactive stand up comedy routines, and his endearing compassion for others. No one anticipated such an announcement. We were all shaken.

People assume the funny ones are such happy folk. But we’ve lost a lot of comedians to depression and addiction. We are horrified every time such news is made, and confused. But we shouldn’t be. Truth is, creative professions have statistically higher numbers for depressive and bi-polar disorders than most others.

Writers are particularly prone to severe depression and addiction. According to Health.com, polls indicate that Writing ranks in the top 10 professions with the highest rate of depression and suicide. Researchers indicate that writers are 10 to 20 times more likely to suffer from depression and depression related illnesses. Sylvia Plath, Ernest Hemingway, Anna Sexton, Hunter S. Thompson, Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allen Poe (even though the cause of death in his case was never confirmed)… Wikipedia alone lists over 300 authors that died by suicide.

Writers are typically introverts who spend a lot of time locked in their heads. In the end, they second guess the product of all that solitude, glazing all that hard work with self-loathing and degradation. And not for the love of money, or fame. There is little of that to be found. E-books and online publishing have turned the craft into little more than an arts and crafts class in grade school. Publishers are dropping authors, and the money that used to be out there for a writer is dwindling.

Those still at it are doing it for the sake of art. Perhaps for a bit of immortality. For the need to expel their own inner demons on someone else’s unfortunate storyline.

To create something that wasn’t.

My own personal theory… achieved by no amount of research or polling… is that many artists suffer depression because they attempt to create worlds that don’t exist, in hopes to lose themselves there. And perhaps they never achieve that euphoria of escape because they were present for the creation. There is no magic for them. It’s all syntax and structure and endless editing.

As a reader, you can lose yourself in images and emotions.

As a writer, you are lost in production. Stuck in the green room. Stranded between the realms you create, and the reality that they will never exist. It’s like when you first realize there is no such thing as Santa. Disenchantment is a bitch.

I recently recognized that the depression that I’ve fought has returned. It’s a culmination of stress and dissatisfaction, and I have experienced these swings much of my life. I’m not clinically depressed, so I can still function, but it’s harder to get out of bed. It’s harder to go to bed. All changes in momentum are almost terrifying. Even slight hiccups feel like ominous pitfalls. I’m not interested in a litany of doctor’s visits or pills, so I’ll navigate this some other way. Maybe this time, I will find the right answers.

Mr. Williams did not. It took some time for his medical condition to come to light. Chances are slim anyone could have changed his mind. He was a lantern out of oil. If there is any consolation, it is that his passing will teach millions not to take anything for granted, or at face value. Don’t ever assume that person you know will be there tomorrow. Appreciate who they are now. There usually isn’t a goodbye.

I miss his smile. He had a fantastic smile.

Thanks for being here, Robin Williams.

Disillusionment Amuses Me

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 30, 2015 by jezzywolfe

My, my… so much drama. Look at all that emotional turmoil! Way to go! Everyone is a hot bucket of piss and moan.

Makes my bellyaching a bit mundane, by comparison. So thank you.

You probably think I’m referring to the recent changes to same sex marriage laws in our country. Or perhaps the debate/debacle that is the Confederate flag uproar. Wanna know my positions?

I’m completely in favor of same sex marriages. No harm, no foul. The country has MUCH bigger issues than whether two men or women can get married. It does not destroy the fabric of our unity… if anything, it solidifies us.

And that flag bit? Really? It’s a friggin flag. It’s a symbol, nothing more. It has no magical powers, other than covering that big ass hole in your wall. It’s a glorified flappy towel.

(I have a feeling I’m going to regret saying that. But think about it. You know I’m right.)

The polarization of recent years has become comical, in the most dangerous way. There is no longer a gray area in any debate. It’s one extreme or the other. I am typically at odds with even my family over views, but I do not apologize or back pedal. Will I temper my tolerance with their outrage? NO. Blood does not equal wisdom. How does being so angry and offended all the time solve anything? How can anyone see changes such as same sex marriage as a decline in society?

I recently have heard from a number of people, the refrain, “This country is going to hell.”

Really? For whom? Ask any African American, and they can tell you it has always been hell, from the moment they were brought here. Ask anyone in the LGBT community, and they can attest to the fear and violence that they, and their loved ones, have lived with.

And now they say this country is going to hell?!

My dear, dear pseudopods… this country IS hell. It has always been hell. From the moment we slaughtered millions of natives to steal their homes, to the BULLSHIT religious persecutions we execute TO THIS DAY, despite the well documented fact that this country was founded intentionally to avoid all that uptight hoopla. Christian nation, my ass. Jefferson would be infuriated.

Going to hell. Heh. Maybe we’re not going to hell…

Maybe you’re just waking up. Finally.

Rise and shine.

My Management

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 7, 2015 by jezzywolfe

Sometimes, things we do by chance are not just a coincidence. We don’t know it going in, but at some point, that revelation is made. 

Never fails to shake me, it does.

I’d had a long day. Not a bad one. But I needed to relax for a bit. So I cued up Netflix. I tend to watch a lot of comedies, but tonight I decided to pick something random and give it a shot. 

I picked Management.

Management stars Jennifer Anniston and Steve Zahn. I hadn’t heard of it before. Now that I’ve watched it, I’m sure it will air repeatedly on cable, cause that’s the way it works for me. I was antsy going in, and about ready to lose patience and turn it off. I’m glad I didn’t.

It’s a sweet romantic indie film, has that ‘I might air in an art house theater but never on the big screen’ appeal. The soundtrack was equally as quirky. It worked with Zahn’s character, who has grown restless working at his parents’ motel, so he follows Anniston back and forth across the country, trying to win her over. They are leagues apart. Doesn’t seem like the story would have a good ending.

His mom dies. She marries her ex. The whole story feels like a handful of people sharing the same life from different cubicles. It’s all very… lonely. 

But Zahn makes a true friend. And through that friend, joins a Buddhist monestary to find what’s missing in his life. He stays for months. He heals. 

Maybe…

He’s having a talk with his elder, who praises his progress, but then tells him that he still dwells. He hasn’t let go. He is ‘stuck’. His elder says, 

“Let go. Move on.”

I think I lost it, then. 

Not for Zahn’s character. He’s obviously going to be okay. I wouldn’t have loved the movie so much if it had a sad ending. I’m a sentimental fool.

But at that moment, I heard that for myself. And broke down.

Everyone bears their crosses. We all carry them differently. I let mine weigh me down so much I can’t see the horizon any longer. I fight for things I cannot grasp, and never will, as much as I hate admitting it. I can try to fit those molds, and do a damn good job, but in the end, I’m left holding heavy bags filled with burdens I don’t need. Insecurities I could do without. I feel like I’m not good enough. Insecurities about my appearance, my virtues, my value, my feelings…

Fuck it. I’m done.

If I can’t be good enough for them, then maybe my mission is maligned. Maybe that’s their flaw, not mine, if they can’t see who I am. I take their rejections as a personal character assessment, rather just their biased opinions. 

Because I haven’t taken the time to figure out who I’ve become. I’m not the girl who graduated high school with the romantic notion of being a starving artist. I’m not the clerical business suit looking to divide and conquer. I might still be a singer, if I could get past the fears, but that’s tied down by that rejection I still haven’t learned to ignore.

I could pour all this into a tragic heroine and write some epic Harlequin saga. But pouring myself into a story doesn’t alleviate my demons. It won’t numb the pain. It only memorializes it.

I need to be my own friend first. I need to light this match.

Let go. Move on.

It’s time.

L’absence rend le coeur plus affectueux. Mais il vaut mieux pour faire oublier le cœur .

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 30, 2015 by jezzywolfe

And so it goes. 

When habits become destructive, and distractions become painful, sometimes it’s best to know when to walk away. That’s a hard thing to do, especially for me.

I’m a stubborn cuss. I don’t like giving up, not when I know what I’ve invested into a situation. But sometimes, every hoop I set on fire and cartwheel through will still not be enough to garner the rewards I seek. And as desperately as I’d like that not to be the case, it is out of my hands.

If my best isn’t good enough, does that mean I’m not good enough? Am I really subpar to everyone else? I spend a lot of time convincing myself that I have a right to feel equal. That my intellect and emotions are not annoying drivel to be ignored. I’m not stupid, you know. My jokes are not coincidental… if I’m playing the butt of your jokes, you can damn well believe I was aware of that going in. I’m not afraid of your laughter. I’m not so uptight that I don’t know how to let go. I am THE QUEEN of letting go, in fact. 

The problem arises when I realize I’m the only one laughing. It’s not because I’m ill-mannered or uncouth. I’m not a degenerate. This is just how I cope. I look for humor. I seek laughter with the edges of a panic attack creeping in. I seek the comfort of a soft voice and memorable laugh. And when I find them, I commit them to memory and hold onto that like a plastic glow stick. Eventually, it fades. But while it glows bright, it is magical. I hold on to the useless glow stick long after its expiration, hoping that some chance fate will revive its glow. In that way, I am always the optimist.

But the glow sticks I’ve been clinging to are a dull haze. There’s no light to be found there. I can either seek new glow sticks, or just adjust my eyes to the dim and move on without them. What is life without that glow? Where is the warmth I need to fuel the optimism I survive by? 

So there it is. I carry these plastic tubes. They used to light my way. I loved these glow sticks. They were magical to me. They were my breath, my life, my laughter. But they don’t glow any longer.

It’s time to let them go. 

I just hope I can forget how much they meant to me.

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