I need a little break.
Just a teeny tiny break from this body. From this life. From this diet. From this grief. From all of it.
I took a little break from writing in here. Sometimes I see if the words want out. If they don’t, they don’t.
Also, I found out a non-fan discovered this page and I got a little worried.
I considered closing it all down and starting a fresh page. I was also going to go through and delete stuff, which I may do a little bit. I feel embarrassed about things I’ve written. Worried that things would come back to bite me. Worried about revealing the sapiosexual thing. I told a friend who is super open minded so that’s a factor because she thinks it’s awesome when I’m really open. Her response: why would you hide your words!? Leave them!
And we decided that the sapiosexual thing isn’t like…well, I try not to be close minded but there are a few things I don’t understand in the fetish world which I’m pretty sure the majority struggle with as well.
We decided that this wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I guess there’s still that old-fashioned part of me that can’t believe I’m writing so openly.
I feel that push and pull between the old self and the new self. I never know what this newer version is going to do next. The old me is like WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING!?!!?!? STOP THAT NOW!!
And the newer me is like: bitch shut it, you had 47 fucking years. I GET to be in charge now. And if we’re dead soon WHO GIVES A SHIT what I say before I leave?
Maybe this is weird to have my old self battling with my new self. Maybe I’m struggling with reality. Maybe I have an undiagnosed mental illness? Or is the grief just getting to me? And the hunger? All of it so hard on me. I have no idea how I’ve managed to get this far without having a significant psychic break.
I know somebody - amazing woman who I really like so I’ll make sure there are no identifying information - who had it happen. I mean, I’ve known a few but this one really struck home because her and I have a lot in common. And it happened in New York City.
If there was ever a city that will break you….
I remember when I first moved there, I heard these horror stories of friend’s friends leaving town with only huge credit card debt and a drug problem. Another with a closet full of clothes she couldn’t fit into anymore because she’d been walking everywhere in NYC but in her new city, not so much. Or, even one friend of mine that got fired after a series of mistakes - her boss was a complete bitch, straight out of the movies - and that led to her having to leave the city.
This other friend who had a serious episode was living in a swanky apartment a family member was renting to her. She had a fantastic job making good money. She’s adorable and was always dating.
She lost it. Fortunately, the family friend came over. But I’m not sure the next part is how things should function.
I think they took her out of the apartment in an actual strait jacket. I think. I’m not positive. But I DO know that they had the people that take away people come to the apartment and led her out.
I’m never sure of the jacket detail because even when I heard the story from her, she said she doesn’t remember that night so well and I didn’t want to pry too much.
It’s absolutely petrifying living in a country where we don’t take care of our sick and mentally ill properly.
There was another incident that I also have to be careful about sharing. A young person called me with scary information. They were concerned they’d hurt themselves. I did what I thought was best and called an aid car - I specifically told them NOT to send law enforcement because I didn’t want to scar this person. I was sobbing on the phone with the 911 operator, unsure what to do. They handled it VERY well and said: we promise, we’re just going to check on them, that’s all. Because I’ve heard stories where they make the situation worse, I didn’t want to be a part of that (it was a white kid, lord knows I would have had to figure something else out if it’d been a kid of color but this one doesn’t live near me, so I couldn’t get to them myself). But if the person hurt themselves and I’d done NOTHING?
I couldn’t live with myself.
These are the things I rarely share, but I’m often the person that’s getting a call like this and handling it somehow.
Ultimately, the person on the phone said: I think you need to sign off on it. You can call us back and check in, I promise we’ll just have the paramedics check - it’s a thing we do, just check on people.
So I did it.
I got a call from a very, very angry father a short time later.
I wasn’t thanked for helping this young person.
I was shouted at.
I held my own with him, but as soon as I hung up, I started sobbing.
This young person is doing much better now and calls me time to time to check in.
The young person trusts me implicitly now.
It takes it’s toll though. I took the hits. I knew I was likely going to upset the father when I was making the call. That was part of my struggle to make the decision.
So many hits, when speaking out. So. Many. Hits.
I’m worried about my mind. I know that I’ve gone through SO MUCH and I need to go easier on myself.
But what if this is just how I am now? What if they take me away and I’m put somewhere that’s awful and I can’t eat the food? And I’m medicated to the point that I can’t manage my food and digestion piece?
It’s only being a white skinned lady and those 45ish years as an able-bodied that protects me now. All the networks I’ve formed, the amount of leverage and credibility I have in the outer world, all of it protects me.
I want to think about what I’m writing in here more intentionally. I really do. I just don’t know if I can.
I want to think about how to create strategies around what I’m writing and what I should submit to publications. [[I’m editing this but I’m leaving this sentence because it shows how whacked my brain is - I can’t even write a proper sentence ABOUT SUBMITTING FOR PUBLICATION! Shit.]
I want to record some videos on mental health.
I want to travel.
I want to not be scared to leave my house because I’m worried I’ll get trapped in traffic or trapped without food or trapped somewhere I can’t get home.
This scares me. How scared I can get now. All these things I want to do! But I’m barely making the phone calls I need to make, ordering the supplements I need to order. Barely keeping it together.
People see me as brave. But really, I don’t feel brave at all.
I think I’ve always felt my mortality more than people my age. So I always come back to: if I’m not around in a year, would I do this? Would I say this? Would I call the aid car for someone who may need it even though I know I’ll get toxic shit flung at me for doing it?
It’s what I’ve done for years. Stood my ground and taken the hits. Protected people. Made hard calls.
One time, shit I might have told this story fuck I will likely repeat myself in here. it’s going to happen.
One time at that director of culinary arts job in New York City, we had a boss that had no idea what we really did as program directors.
It was a new facility so the job didn’t just require us to run our programs, we were also developing processes and streamlining everything between the marketing department, registration, all of it brand new.
I LOVE start up energy. I’ve been involved in new endeavors for most of my career. I’ve created tons of different programs from scratch for years. I’m good at it.
Let me rephrase that: I WAS good at it. I have no idea if I could handle it now in the outside world. But essentially, I guess that’s what I do when I launch a podcast from scratch or a campaign. All of it, start-up energy in some capacity.
It’s a lot of what I rely on now.
How am I going to create a system for getting broth?
How am I going to create a system to find doctors?
But I’m struggling, man. I feel like I don’t have the bandwidth I used to have. I don’t know if I will end up being someone that can’t hardly leave the house.
I look at my closet with all these cute clothes and I just get depressed.
If I want to wear them, I figure I can take some photos and post them on Instagram. But that sounds hard.
Other than that, it’s just me and my pajamas and work out clothes for the most part.
Everything sounds hard right now. This medication, the fluticasone, is messing with my head. And it’s not even a hardcore drug!! It’s fairly mild for a steroid.
Give me some and put me on the Senate floor after showing photos of my dad and I’ll make these little boys - oh I’m sorry men who act like little children - run for the hills. Don’t need to resort to violence.
Scared little boys, that’s how they appear to me. I can’t believe how bad things have gotten in the world, and continue to get bad!
I spoke with a male friend awhile back. A man around my age. Divorced, teenage kids.
He admitted that he didn’t know how to do the dating thing. That if something happens spontaneously, that’s fine. But the rest? Scared him. He was fine admitting this openly which I admired.
I’ve seen enough to know that this isn’t a one-off.
What is going on? I’m trying to figure this out because I related to what he was saying. What happened to us? Why am I the same way? What did the 1970s do to us?
Or, is it that many of us are having to deal with things at mid-life that most people haven’t done in history. Huge populations of single people of all ages running around with little computers where they can find hundreds of potential mates, overwhelming for our brains that haven’t caught up with technology?
The human life span wasn’t that long up until 100 years ago. You married, had some offspring, toiled away and died pretty young.
I’m going to try and focus better in here, which may not work, but I like to dream big.
I dream too big. Bite off more than can possibly fit in my mouth. Stubbornly keep chewing it like a little kid who refuses to spit it out. NAAHAHHAAH I GOOOT IT, chew chew chew, fuck I’M CHOKING!
Still wouldn’t spit it out. I’m so stubborn. I totally admit it.
Back to the old job.
We were in a meeting with the woman who was savvy enough to keep rising up through the ranks but never did actual work or understood what we did all day - anyone that’s worked in an office knows exactly who I’m talking about.
Their best skill is manipulation. They finagle their way to the top of the food chain but often don’t know the actual details of the job that they managed to score.
She wanted us to add on MORE work that didn’t make sense. I won’t go into the details because well I’m tired and it doesn’t really matter.
The point is most of us were already working more than 8 hour days - I often worked 10-12 hour days, and even Sundays and still barely got done what I needed to get done - AND we weren’t paid all that great.
That’s how it goes with a lot of prestigious jobs in New York City - magazine, television, a lot of so-called “glamorous” jobs.
They knew there were hundreds of people lined up behind us to take the spot if we couldn’t handle it.
And there often were.
If you can make it there…and NOT lose your mind, or entire bank account or whatever, then you’re made of steel. I feel lucky that I ended up limping out of the city with a decent resume and a few bucks in my pocket for my move to California.
The tasks my boss wanted us to do would have involved dealing with the public and fielding questions. It made zero sense given our roles as program directors where we created events and classes.
I looked around the room and I could see my colleagues making faces at each other like: WHAT THE FUCK??? I barely get home as it is these days!! Eyes wide and frustrated.
So, of course, I raise my hand.
Designated asshole, I have accepted the role even though it sucks.
I said: um, we’re already super swamped and I’m not even sure how that would work since many of us aren’t at our desks that much so it’s not going to happen.
She started to speak and I shut her down.
My boss. In front of the entire room.
No, it’s not going to happen, we have a lot of other things to worry about first like hosting classes that generate money.
She moved on.
I’d always bring it back to a business angle, which worked well in the non-profit sector.
This is why I didn’t get promoted a lot!!! Haha! I remember one boss, who was absolutely lovely, but kept asking me to take care of personal tasks. I was still relatively young but I knew that I was not ok with that.
I’d already spent most of my life being an extra pair of hands for personal tasks.
I met with him and said: if a task is necessary to help the company, I’m totally fine with it. But I won’t do personal tasks.
He said: ok, no problem. And we moved on from it.
When we all left that meeting, my colleagues were slapping me on the back, thanking me: Julie! Thank gd you said that! What the heck was she thinking?
And I said: totally happy to help.
But inside, I remember thinking: couldn’t you back me up a little?
The room was silent when I spoke out.
So many hits.
Too many hits.
My mind is so fried. My heart so battered. My soul deeply disappointed in humanity.
I know it’s hard for people to hear, but I can’t help but think: why should I stay?
Why should I stay and help humanity?
I’m not going to do anything to myself! I promise. But I need to at least ask that kind of question.
I need to PONDER this from a philosophical perspective.
Why? This country thinks that life is about INDULGENCE.
I think it’s about SERVICE.
We are diametrically opposed in life philosophies.
Why should I stay in this country that wants to indulge, indulge, indulge? Until the planet can’t take it anymore and decides to start over.
The majority of my life now is running to appointment to appointment, or I’m in bed. There is so little indulgence. I work so hard to digest what I eat. I work so hard to get enough calories.
I made my pudding last night with an entire can of coconut milk. I ate the whole pan because I didn’t walk so I didn’t have eggs. I try to make sure I over-do the calories in some way on those days.
But I feel kind of sick afterward because it’s so rich. At least it’s not COLD! And it’s a different flavor!
Weight is still the same today.
I keep thinking I’m doing better but I remember that the medication I’m on makes me puffy because it helps me retain water. I like how I look now better than when I’m shrunk down! Ugh. I hate that look on me.
But it fucks with my head, that medication. As soon as it’s more days of 70s and not creeping into the 80s, I’m dropping it. For now, I’ll move it down to once a week instead of twice a week. It builds up in my system so it’ll last a little longer after I quit it.
I’m trying to figure out what the hell to do next with this page. With my words. With my writing. With my podcast. With EVERYTHING. I feel overwhelmed and confused and not sure what to do.
The world is such a mess. I’m such a mess. How do I do ANY of this? Why stay? I’ll stay because of the kids, but in my heart, I can’t help but wonder: why? I’m going to work on a video about mental health with a teen this weekend. I have no idea if I’ll have the nerve to post it. I’m always so fucking nervous to share some other aspect of my pain.
But if it helps even one person.
Then that’s worth the pain I go through when I speak out. Getting passed over for promotion. Getting yelled at by a furious father for PROTECTING his child (I kept saying: a lot of parents would be thanking me… But I was really thinking: WHY DID YOUR KID CALL ME AND NOT YOU? Think about that dude. ). Getting admonished.
The good news? Most of my non-fans are lazy.
I’ve noticed that. I’ve known this. My long rambling was a little bit of a way to protect myself while still sharing nuggets. My messaging to one particular young person who I can’t talk to much. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! YOU ARE LOVED!
If you’re reading here, I’m pretty sure you are, I love you kid. So much. You know how much.
That’s why I take the hits.
Because I so desperately wanted an Auntie Julie for so much of my life. Someone who’d tell me the real deal, not bullshit me, guide me through my confusion, help me realize I’m not that weird just unique and that’s a good thing.
Who would say out loud to me: NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR END UP BEING, I LOVE YOU.
If I can do that? If I can help one kid, one adult, one anyone, feel a tiny bit better about themselves? Feel less awkward and confused? Or like something is wrong with them because they don’t want the downloaded script to be THEIR life? Or like they can’t share their pain without something worse happening?
Then I guess that’s the answer to my WHY STAY.
I really wish I could get in a time machine and find that Kennedy kid. The 22 year old who committed suicide. Or find Erika Garner whose family JUST got a tiny bit of justice - the cop that killed her dad was finally fired - before she had a heart attack at age 27.
I would tell them to hang on a little longer and ask them how I can HELP them make it through. That the world is at the breaking point - between the old way and the new way - that they are SO NEEDED. That the world won’t be the same without them. Can I put this in a video? It’s so strange how so many things I’ve said sound so WOAH at first, then people adjust.
But it hurts me a lot. To take the leap. To do the really hard task of saying what needs to be said.
I can’t stay the same. I can’t crawl back into the cocoon. My wings are still floppy and wet, I’m uncertain if I can fly. Or if I do, if I’ll fly straight into a Mac truck windshield. Or be sprayed with pesticides and die a slow, and agonizing death in the wheat fields with the clouds passing me by above, the other bugs buzzing around, going on vacation, while I lay in the field, wondering why this has happened to me, why so many bad things have happened for so long now.
I took a photo of the tattoo and didn’t realize what my biceps look like now.
A soldier. While so much of the country has stayed soft, I’ve had to make myself hard. Tough. Can I do what needs to be done?
Or will I lose my mind for good? Or will I need to go away?
I think of those guys. The half-cooked ones. What happened? Why? Are we all going through a collective break-down in some way? Is the outer world pushing too hard on too many psyches?
What is really going on?
I saw a whole bunch of boys that I’ve called out over the years. They’re all in their 40s now! Non-relatives, the friends of my relatives. One was like JULIE NEGRIN and gave me a huge hug.
His little boy went by and we were commenting on how his hair looked just like my friend at his age.
The small child was maybe four or five years old.
I nodded along, the image of this guy in my head, and realized Shit, I’ve known these guys since they were SO small and they’re fucking FORTY now. We were used to argue, this one who yelled JULIE NEGRIN.
I have no idea why we argued. He clearly didn’t remember either. We’re just family. That’s what we do.
It was so strange to see them with graying hair and remembering them as small kids, while they’re holding their own small kids!
I realized the ones older than me are not worth my time. I’ve got to give up on that. Either they’re already helping and working to get woke, or they’re not. If they can afford to stay asleep, they’re going to stay asleep.
The ones I’ve been nurturing for their entire lives? The ones I’ve had some very small part in shaping how they view women and the world? All those years I cared for so many kids. Entire globs of them running around.
I may have been strict, but even back then, I was still very loving.
I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
I really don’t.
It could all be made up. Maybe I’m really writing gibberish here. Maybe nobody is reading, not even my young person. Maybe I’m just a sad disabled woman who needs to create a narrative that may not be true in order to feel like I still exist, still matter, still visible to the outer world.
I don’t know.
We shall see.
My story, clearly, is not done being written.