How I Survived 2016

2016

In the prophetic words of Kylie Jenner, 2016 was the year of “like…realizing stuff.”  Gigi realized she really did love Zayn.  Brangelina realized they wanted their own names back.  Drake realized maybe he didn’t love Rihanna…maybe he loves J.Lo.  And for me, at 28, I realized I was riddled with anxiety and not doing anything about it.  So my year was spent keeping my head above water and retraining my brain.  Oh, I also realized I should’ve been filling in my eyebrows this whole time.  FML.

There were a number of things that helped me survive, and even enjoy 2016.  These things kept me smiling even when the world felt like The Twilight Zone – because holy shit, 2016 was fucking weird.  I came out of 2016 a far better and happier person than I entered.  At one point, I had someone ask me what I used to do for fun when I didn’t feel so much anxiety.  Turns out, I wasn’t doing those things anymore.  Now, I remind myself of something my mom taught me – no matter how hard the times, you still need to have fun.

These are the things I’m #grateful I had last year.  In no particular order.

Small children & animals – I would’ve believed you if you had told me getting a pet would be beneficial to my mental health, but I didn’t know HOW beneficial.  We got our cat, Marilyn, at the end of 2015 and she is perfect.  She’s an incredibly calming presence and she keeps me to some kind of schedule, which I have never been able to do.  I am also lucky enough to have a 1 yr old nephew, a 2 yr old niece, a 6 yr old cousin, and my best friend’s 1 yr old to play with and/or stare at.  These kids bring me more joy than they will ever know.  I am so grateful to their parents for all the pictures and videos – if they were physical tapes, I would’ve worn them all out by now.

John Mayer & Katy Perry – Weird, right?  Let me explain.  When I travel by plane, I will often have an anxiety attack of some degree.  At one point this year, I was traveling alone to SLC and I totally lost it just before boarding.  I had no choice but to suck it up and board the plane.  I started panicking until I remembered I had a couple albums downloaded to my phone.  Actually, I had two.  JM’s Paradise Valley and KP’s PRISM.  I know both these albums backward and forward, and listening to them literally saved me from a full-on meltdown at 10,000 ft.  They may not love each other anymore, but damnit I love them!  Paradise Valley is now my go-to SOS album.  I highly recommend finding yours.

HeadspaceHeadspace is a mindfulness app.  How many times have you heard the word “mindfulness” lately?  If not, you will.  It will probably get obnoxious, but believe the hype.  Mindfulness can be magic.  I had tried to incorporate mindfulness/meditation into my life multiple times, but as I mentioned, I’m terrible at routines and nothing stuck.  I tried Headspace on a whim – you get 10 free 10-minute sessions, then full access costs around $6/month or $90/year.  The cost is substantial, but I.  Was.  Desperate.  I’ve now used this app for just over 100 days in a row.  I love it so much and truly look forward to it every single day.

The Life of Pablo – I probably would never suggest this album to anyone.  Not because I don’t think it’s effing genius, because I do – it’s just not super accessible to everyone and I’m not about to argue with anyone over Kanye.  This album was my motivation many, many days.  I had multiple cathartic cries to “Waves” and “FML” and let’s be real, “Famous” made 2016 way more awesome. The way this album flows, by the end, I feel like I’ve let go of a lotta shit and I’m ready to go chill with KKW.

Views & Drake in general – Drake REALLY did it for me this year.  Views is an album that can chill me out when I have ZERO CHILL happening.  It’s SO long and keeps the most relaxing, chill tone throughout.  Not to mention you get RiRi if you stick it out to the end.  Drake’s wordplay is some of my favorite of all time.  I honestly think you could survive a whole day only speaking in Drake lyrics.  “Welcome to Chick-Fil-A, how may I serve you?:  Number SIX SIX SIX!” “What do you think of my new boyfriend!?: More immature than Marcus Houston.” “Are we there yet?:  Just Hold On, We’re Goin’ Home.” “Excuse me, are you looking for something specific?: I’m out here looking for reveeeenge.”  “How long are you going to talk in Drake lyrics!?: All summer sixteen.”  THEY DON’T WANT US TO HAVE A BIGGER POOL THAN KANYE.     

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries – My mom and I LOVE a good murder mystery series and, between us, we have seen a good 80% of them, which is saying a lot.  Miss Fisher is basically the Murder Mystery of my dreams – A sassy, sexy, independent lady detective solves crimes in 1920s Melbourne.  I have watched every episode at least three times (because there are only three seasons) and it is my absolute favorite escape.  Sound like your jam?  Netflix that shit.    

Books – For Christmas 2015, I got a number of memoirs and I loved them all.  I’ve always been more of a fiction reader than a non-fiction reader, but in 2016 I realized that a good memoir/self-help/bio can be incredibly motivating.  This was the first year I had non-fictions in regular rotation and now I’m converted.  My personal literary cocktail is some non-fiction in the morning to get you going and then fiction at night to escape real life.  That’s the ticket.  So thank you Khloé Kardashian, Drew Barrymore, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, and Emily Gordon.  Boy, that would make a funny dinner party.

EAT – In 2014, Jimmy and I released EAT.  It was our first feature film and it has now lived on the internet for just over two years.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading what people say about EAT. – good or bad.  And some people really hated EAT.  We get tweets/emails/reviews at least a few times a month and it keeps us alive and ready for the next one.  Best of all – we were MEMED this year!  So yeah, I love my little horror movie that could.

I can’t wait to see what new things I find to help me through 2017.  I can tell you one thing, it will have a lot to do with this Kylie Jenner calendar on my wall, the John Mayer tickets currently in my email, and whatever Katy Perry has up her pastel pink sleeve!

Hang in there, everyone!  2017 is going to be bumpy, but don’t throw out your party pants.  Never throw out your party pants!

PVOTD: “Cold Water” by Major Lazer ft. Justin Bieber

 

I promise your Monday will be better if you watch this video.  I’m not sure who is running Justin Bieber’s camp right now, but I bow down to them.  I love every video that came out of “Purpose,” and think his concept to do all dance videos (that barely feature him) is incredible.

BUT.  THIS.  VIDEO.  THO.  It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.  This video had to have cost an arm and two legs, and there is ZERO product placement.  Which means Biebs, or Major Lazer, or both, shelled out a lot of cash just for the sake of an incredible piece of art.  And can we talk about how COOL these girls are!?  UGH.  It’s actually too much.

I’m just really grateful this exists.

Well Done, MTV.

Selena

I love me some Selena Gomez.  And so do a BILLION other people.  Selena is the Queen of Instagram (aka she has the most followers) with 97.7 million.  That’s basically a BILLION.  Within the last year or so, it was revealed that our favorite pop star was diagnosed with Lupus.  For anyone who knew about Lupus, the reaction was most likely, “Whoa, that’s rough.”  She did a great interview, and basically said “thanks for all the dodgy rumors about why I was in the hospital or not around – I was getting chemotherapy.”  Flash forward to the last few months where she’s been on tour.  World tour!  If you’re not sure what that’s like, please reference the documentary, “Katy Perry: Part of Me.”  It’s exhausting for a healthy body, much less one wrought with an autoimmune disease.

Yesterday-ish, the announcement came that Selena is pushing pause on the tour.  Why?  Well because, among a bunch of other awful physical side effects, Lupus can cause anxiety and depression.  I can understand performing through physical pain – hell, most of them do it nightly, but mental pain is another story.  Anxiety can cause you to freeze up like  you forgot how to talk, or scream because you’re full of emotions you don’t want – just depends on the time of day.  It also requires much more than just a pill to get a handle on it.  That brings us to MTV.  If you’re not a Snapchat user, there are all kinds of little news feeds on Snapchat from outlets like MTV, Buzzfeed, People, etc.  All the gossip you need!  Today, there was an entry from MTV about Selena.  Along with the news of her break, they also did a list of “13 Things People with a Chronic Disease Wish You Understood.  It was great.  I love MTV for taking this opportunity to teach millions of young minds about chronic and/or hidden diseases.  Because you know what sucks?  Having anxiety and/or depression when you’re in the peak of your social years.

I’ve dealt with some level of anxiety/depression the majority of my life.  I’ve missed plenty of social activities, trips, events, etc. and usually blame it on something else.  Why?  Because that’s way easier than trying to explain what it means to have anxiety.  When you’re 13, “Sorry, I have anxiety and can’t handle a movie tonight,” doesn’t seem like a valid excuse.  “My mom won’t let me” is much better – shout out to my mom for sometimes volunteering to let me blame her!

So here’s what I would love – I would love for anybody who reads this little Snapchat blog to have an “Aha!” moment.  The hardest part of having an ailment nobody can see, is that they can’t see it.  I didn’t realize that what I was feeling was anxiety until I was well into my 20s.  The second hardest part – every day is different, and no one can predict the future.   So if one seventeen year old reads this, then doesn’t give their friend shit for turning down a party invite because they thought to themselves, “maybe they have a good reason for not coming,” then God bless you, MTV.

PVOTD: “Cool Girl” by Tove Lo

 

My list of women who are effortlessly sexy is as follows: Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Tove Lo.  This might be the best sophomore comeback I ever could’ve asked for from this girl.  The song is so effing good, but THAT.  VIDEO.  THO.  We are living in a new era of music videos where the EDM world has infiltrated the Pop world and made the most attractive, talented babies who are using more artistic choreography, more artistic directors, and simple setups to make some of the best videos I’ve seen.

Also, the award for sexiest dance on a car (which is actually a tough category) goes to Tove Lo.