Anger

This has been a confusing year. I struggle to write, I’m afraid of what will come out. I am angry. Very angry. I try to push aside the reasons why I’m angry, but some days they hit me all at once while I’m taking a shower and of course that’s fucking useless. It’s hard to get myself to sit down and let this all out because it’s not a pleasant feeling. Sitting here, at my computer slamming on the keys so loudly I might wake Kaker up from a sound sleep. But here we are, so let’s see if I have the balls to post this.

I went to a great school for writing. I don’t think going to Boston University necessarily made me a better writer. I think I learned useful tools and I became a lot more savvy in formatting and ‘tricks of the trade.’ I learned how to create a polished script. I met people who will probably be successful someday because they went to Boston University. But no, my education did not make me a better writer and I’m not sure if that’s even what I was expecting in the first place.

I was (do people still use italics in this way?) expecting help in my career. WHY ELSE DO YOU GO TO COLLEGE OTHER THAN FOR HELP IN YOUR CAREER? PLEASE ANSWER ME THAT QUESTION WITH ANYTHING LOGICAL OTHER THAN TO RAGE YOUR FACE OFF.

The main reason why I ultimately chose Boston University was because of the LA Internship program. In a sick and twisted turn of events I can honestly say that internship program was one of the most hellish experiences of my entire life. That’s not entirely BU’s fault, it was a combination of things (eating disorder, long distance relationship, being broke as shit, eating disorder.) Let’s talk more about BU for a second though.

Boston University sells you on the idea that they will hook you up with your first internship. They will give you the proverbial “foot in the door.” They sell you on the 500+ LinkedIn connections the internship program coordinator has developed across the industry. What they don’t tell you is that at the end of the day your internship quality depends entirely on the bias of that program coordinator (and that she is insufferable and unhelpful.)

I told her my interests (horror films, death, and violence) and she gave me the names of 3 people who I had to reach out to personally and set interviews up with. I guess you pay for this ludicrously expensive program on the hopes that she hooks you up with a solid email address? I didn’t get anyone solid. The one interview I set up from her ~contacts~ sent me to a small apartment in mid-city with three middle-aged men and a small yappy blind dog named Tiberius. They called themselves a production company, I call them four weirdos who were too delusional to get a real job. The only upward mobility at that place was into one of their beds as their night time companion. I don’t even mean that in a sexual way, I mean in the “let’s stare at the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and talk about hypothetical philosophical scenarios” way.  

For the BULA program I had to “take initiative” (entertainment folk are big on taking initiative which really means doing someone else’s job for them) and go find my own internship. I found mine by browsing Entertainment Careers (the equivalent of entertainment Craigslist.) The only reason I chose to intern on The Jeff Probst Show was because they hired off the phone and it was with CBS distribution and at least I’d heard of CBS before. Everyone had, Jesus.

I don’t really want to talk about either of my internships other than to say they were utterly useless and demoralizing. (Has the highlight of your day ever been walking onto the empty set of Judge Judy to avoid being yelled at by an angry cab driver you refused to give your cell phone number to?) My night classes with Boston University were no better… At one point my “professor” (a washed up entertainment lawyer) gave us a breakdown of how much money we should expect to make our first year out of college and how far that income would take us in LA. He literally drew out a pie chart of all of our expenses. This wonderful chart showed us that we would barely make enough to live on. And that was IF ANY ONLY IF we were lucky enough to get our dream job as a Production Assistant. For reference, the average PA makes $15 per hour which is roughly $30,000 per year. For more reference, the cheaper end of rent in a safe part of Los Angeles is $1,000 per month… Meaning over a third of your income is devoted solely to making sure you’re not homeless. Again, that’s if you are #blessed with such a sacred opportunity.

Fuck. At the time I thought this was all worth it because I loved writing so much and it was the only thing I REALLY knew how to do. Since I was a little girl (who looked like a boy) writing stories of my cat taking a dump so large his litterbox couldn’t contain it. Since my second grade teacher praised my mediocre story about a penguin following a trail of pizzas to a cave of jewels. Since my sixth grade teacher gave me my only A+ ever and told me that he wanted a signed copy of my book when I was a famous writer someday. Failure wasn’t an option because so many people expected me to succeed. Failure was never an option.

Until it was. I felt myself failing, I felt myself accepting that I was failing. Since I officially gave up on writing as my career I have not shared a single new piece of writing with anyone. That was on June 1st of 2017. Since that day I’ve tried to reconcile who the fuck I really am behind all of this anger and pain.

Can I still be a writer even though this town has essentially told me, no? Do I even like to write anymore? Am I even a good writer? Was I ever a good writer? Am I just a simple white girl from Minnesota with made up problems and excessive angst?

The only thing I knew for sure this year was that I am an athlete. I could not prove anything else. I embraced the one part of my identity that was clear and obvious to me. I slowly chipped away at the parts of myself that detracted from being an athlete. I quit drinking, I ran screaming from all things entertainment, and I embraced those who accepted this new version of myself. The brooding and pseudo-artistic part of me took a backseat, only escaping for brief moments of “what the fuck?” My frustration turned slowly but surely into unbridled anger. All negative emotions were recycled into a giant heaping blob of Anger.

Kaker lovingly calls me an angry bitch. My male teammates tell me I play best when I’m angry. My coaches are begging me to channel my anger. You’d think at this point I would constantly be foaming at the mouth. Unfortunately I am a complicated woman and my brain often does the opposite of what I’d like it to do. But I’m sick of suffering from my own mentality. I’m sick of being victim of my own insecurity.

I’m sure as hell done being a victim of other people’s insecurities.

I have nothing to lose anymore. I’ll never be someone’s assistant again. I’ll never serve as another woman’s emotional punching bag. I’ll never be that resume that someone looks at and thinks “I’ll hire this girl because at least I know she won’t quit after putting up with my bullshit.” I’ll never comprehend why any of those women thought it was ok to treat another human being the way they treated me and every assistant they had before or after me. You call yourselves feminists but I call you imposters.

I wake up on Saturday morning for my tackle football practice and I think of these women. I think of the 10 dollars per hour I killed myself over, I think of the walls of iMessage I would receive at 2:00 am on a Saturday, I think of the lies and deception I witnessed firsthand but stayed silent for. I feel myself growing angrier and angrier.

When I line up across from a girl in a tackling drill, I think about my first boss in Los Angeles. The one who started it all. I visualize her name, I repeat it over and over again in my head. I can feel it stuck to my tongue like spoiled milk. I think of how many times I had to clean up pee soaked potty pads from the floor of her apartment, how many plates of disgusting microwaved dog food I had to concoct and make palatable for two dogs with a higher net worth than me, how many useless tasks I was assigned on half-baked ideas that would never amount to anything. It’s hard not to want to beat the shit out of someone.

The problem with my anger is that sometimes it gets stuck and forms into a funnel cloud in my brain. That funnel cloud grows more and more ominous each time I fuck up. After enough frustration and failure I’ve got a full on tornado swirling around in my brain. The tornado that screams

“What’s wrong with you?”

“Why are you so stupid?”

“Why can’t you figure this out?”

“What the fuck is your problem?”

The easiest person to be angry with is yourself. I find myself randomly frustrated that I chose to go to school for film, I find myself randomly frustrated that I drank myself stupid most weekends since I got to college, I find myself randomly frustrated that I allowed employers to treat me the way they did for so many years. What do I do with this anger? How do I move past my own transgressions when the laundry list seems to grow by the day? How the fuck do I turn around the goddamn funnel cloud?

If you are similarly struggling with these questions, I encourage you to stop living in the past. Stop fixating on the things you did wrong and focus on the things you’ve done right. Realize now that you are on the top of a mountain, you are looking over the destruction. It’s easy to get stuck in the chaos and never pull yourself out, but you have done that. Being angry at your former self does not help your future self. Anger is not the opposite of happiness, but you still cannot let the anger consume you.

I have a hard time admitting that I’m proud of myself because I still feel like I haven’t done enough. I don’t feel like I can truly be proud until I have accomplished the things I set out to accomplish. I am happy that I am moving in the right direction but I’m not done. I’m not ready to sit back and accept this. I have grown stronger from the bullshit of the last 5 years, even the self inflicted bullshit. All of the bullshit was worth it to feel like I have purpose and a future.

Writing this didn’t feel great, but it’s a start. My instinct is to make sure this never sees the light of day, but who knows. Maybe someone else can benefit from reading this, or maybe someone who was wondering how I am doing behind the social media facade will feel enlightened. If you didn’t feel like reading every word- the summary here is:

  • I’m angry
  • I’m going to write again
  • I’m scared

 

I Was Buried Under a Pile of Monkeys

I don’t think it’s normal to learn a lesson from your dreams, and I’m not even sure that I did learn a lesson. My dreams are startlingly realistic, most of the time they cling to me far past sleepytime and I momentarily forget whether I’m in dream world or reality. My life is like a melodramatic remake of Inception where the main character, Katrina, an oblivious white girl, works at an ad agency in Los Angeles and compulsively chugs tea out of an enormous Iowa mug her mother accidentally sent her.

Sometimes I can control my actions in my dreams AKA “lucid dreaming.” These dreams are the most memorable because they genuinely feel like a second life. There are certain things that exist in my “dream life” that don’t exist in my actual life. For example, my childhood home always has a pool in the backyard in my dream life but not in reality. This has been the case since high school, so it kind of felt like waking up and realizing you didn’t actually get that golden retriever puppy in real life. Every, day.

By the way, for anyone who thinks this sound “cool” I would gladly trade you this ability for ANY one of your marketable skills… Like the ability to do math for example. Or maybe ability to write code. Programming. Anything of that nature.

ANYWAY. For this dream, I was in Africa with a few friends (no I’ve never actually been to Africa) and we decided to go rogue on a safari. Dream Katrina is constantly putting herself in vulnerable situations with wild animals, not sure if that means anything, but she sure likes to do it. For the safari we were walking through a desert savannah and kept spotting monkeys in the distance. They disguised themselves as trees before attacking their prey… It was as acid trippy as it sounds, yes. Picture Kirby’s World for NES in that level where the birds all shoot out of the tree when you pass it (if you get that reference please notify me, ASAP, I’d like to make you my husband.) There were also alligators, rhinos, plenty of shit that can kill you. But we were prancing carelessly around like we were in a fucking Minnesota cornfield.

My friends rushed ahead of me and out of sight. In real life this wouldn’t be a huge issue because I’m fast as all fuck, but in this dream I might as well have been 95 years old with metal knees. While I fruitlessly rushed onward, I accidentally stumbled under what looked like a harmless tree, but was actually an aggressive nest of monkeys. This troop of monkeys leapt onto my back and paused for a moment while I pretended to be dead. They chattered amongst themselves, probably deciding how to best feast on my innards. What the fuck else could the monkeys of my subconscious possibly have to say? 

Unfortunately this was a very heavy pile of monkeys, and I needed to breathe, so they quickly figured out the truth as they felt the rise and fall of my ribcage underneath them. I braced myself for contact, which is a horrifying prospect if you’ve ever seen anyone who survived a monkey attack. Monkeys rip faces off.

For reference, this is sort of what the monkeys looked like:

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Before you make fun of the size of this monkey, let’s discuss a few things.

  • Look at its fucking teeth
  • Look how angry he looks
  • Imagine at least 12 of him on your back (you’re completely alone)
  • He is a wild animal, so the fact that his mouth is about the size of a cat isn’t relevant because this motherfucker will tear into you barehanded with reckless abandon on INSTINCT
  • He is defending his nest

Anyway. I’m deflecting because I’m trying not to be too morbid. This entire post is a little off, sorry mom, these are the things that keep me up at night (or not? these are the things that haunt me while I sleep?) 

The moment underneath those monkeys felt so real that I genuinely thought I was going to die. I felt those near-death thoughts flying through my head. How disappointed my parents, friends, family would be that I died in such a reckless way. I thought about how my last moments on earth would be wasted by my own ignorance and overzealousness. I would be just another white girl who thought she was invulnerable and could run around unknown territory without any repercussions. Just like when I used to walk home alone from Allston back in college at 2:00 am and get into strange cabs who offered free rides.

Most of all, I thought about how this was the real, black, immanent, void. The end.

I came to that lonely realization that I imagine most Atheists have in the back of their mind (but are too busy playing World of Warcraft and blaming ~society~ for their problems to admit.) When you reject religion or a higher power as a concept, you reject the belief in an afterlife. You truly believe that when you die, you just rot in the ground and that’s it. Maybe people scatter your ashes or whatever, but you cease to exist in any way shape or form. Bleak. As. FUCK. (I’m really fun at parties.)

When I was younger and a “practicing Lutheran” I had these types of dreams, I’d get to my Monkey Pile Moment and I’d pray. I’d pray that God would save me or that somehow this wouldn’t be the end, and many times when I did this I’d be rescued or brought to some other reality within the dream. But now, at 25, I feel that crushing defeat of ultimately losing faith. I don’t believe anymore, I genuinely don’t, and having that vividly illuminated in a dream is startling. 

On the optimistic side, I realize the importance of self reliance. Being able to find solutions for yourself and work your way through The Monkey Piles Of Life (I hate myself for just saying that… I feel like I just wrote a fucking sermon which is some pretty tasty irony for you literary fiends out there who might be picking apart my work trying to decide if there is any deeper meaning! There’s not, and I’m sure that’s not what you’re doing here.)

Let me try again without getting all preachy. I woke up from this dream covered in sweat, with a very sore throat from some sleep-apnea-esque snoring (I’M SORRY, I’M ACTIVELY WORKING ON IT OK?) and I felt myself actually relax a bit. Whatever the hell gets thrown my way, whether it be an entire tree full of monkeys, a knee injury (please no), or a career change… I’m gonna make it work. I’ll be ok. 

Your story is not already written for you. If you’re an Atheist or even just someone who is questioning faith, spirituality, etc… If you’re feeling like you have nothing to fall back on… You do. But either fortunately or unfortunately, that thing is you. As I’ve said many times before, if you don’t like your life, it’s time to grab it by the haunches and hump it into submission. Because you can, no one else can.

Genuinely beautiful song about loving yourself even though everyone else might think you’re a lunatic ❤ (and they might be RIGHT)

Insecurity Manifesto

On February 9th I remember feeling particularly horrible. It was one of those days where I didn’t necessarily know why I was so upset, but everything seemed to set me off. The biggest emotion I experienced was intense insecurity, just being incredibly unsatisfied with myself. I felt alone, afraid, and beaten down.

In the New Year I’ve tried to make it a priority to escape from these lows by finding strength within myself. I haven’t been great about that, I rely a lot on other people to help me out. It’s ok to depend on other people, but it’s essential to have a sense of stable security from within. On February 9th, I wrote up a “manifesto” of sorts to remind me of the things I wanted to change that were causing me to feel insecure.

I never planned on sharing this, but I’m feeling confident today. Very confident. I have worked on maybe 4 or 5 of the bullets on this list and I already notice progression in myself. While maybe this is a cheesy Seventeen-esque list, I figure if I can get some value out of it maybe someone else can too.

I have made progress with some of this, but there are several things on the list that I blatantly disregard on a daily basis. Change comes slowly but surely, and I’m optimistic. Oh did I really just say that? I feel optimistic? What a breath of fresh air!

Take a look at my list, and decide for yourself. You can follow mine, or you can make one for yourself. You don’t need to tell anyone, you don’t need to make any promises, just refer back to it once in a while to remind yourself what matters. Remind yourself what gets you to that negative place, put those reasons on your list and attack them.

Let’s fuck shit up, I say!

My Personal Insecurity Manifesto

  • I vow to communicate clearly and express my needs without fear
  • I vow to not invest time worrying about what people mean, but rather will listen to what they say
  • I vow to demand respect from a partner, sexual and romantic alike
  • I vow not to let the way a man treats me define how I go about my day and feel about myself
  • I vow to value myself and celebrate my strengths
  • I vow to stop calling myself an idiot when I make a mistake
  • I vow to stop apologizing when I’ve done nothing wrong
  • I vow to start taking the advice I would give to a best friend in my same situation
  • I vow to stop making exceptions for behavior that bothers me
  • I vow to stop placing my personal worth in the way others view me
  • I vow to stick to my priorities and quit shifting them to accommodate other people
  • I vow to recognize when I’m spreading myself too thin and make an effort to lighten the load in any way possible.
  • I vow to stop projecting my insecurities into my interactions with other people
  • I vow to acknowledge when I’m feeling lonely and learn to be okay with feeling that way
  • I vow to enjoy myself and be fully present when I’m with friends, not letting my mind drift to negative places
  • I vow to stop being so hard on myself when things don’t go the way I want them to
  • I vow to use my mistakes as learning experiences, rather than replaying them in my head over and over.
  • I vow to actually take action on my insecurity rather than pushing it aside
  • I vow to stop giving in to my vices to numb the pain I’m feeling
  • I vow to be patient when I slip up
  • I vow to make my self confidence a priority in my life

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USA Women’s Soccer

What better way to start off this section of my site than some badass bitches demanding what they deserve? For those of you who are out of the loop,  five of the biggest stars on the USA Women’s Soccer team filed a federal complaint against the US Soccer Federation for paying them less than their male counterparts. 

And guess what? This complaint is FINALLY being taken seriously. I mean, come on. They just won the fucking WORLD CUP. Oh yeah, they’re also Olympic champions? Casual. The men’s team has never made it past the World Cup quarterfinals. At least they tried! Let’s throw more money at them to see if they play better.

I was a three sport athlete growing up, and I can’t tell you how hilarious it was to hear guys constantly tell me how “pointless” women’s sports were. It was consistent to the point that all of us had no choice but to laugh along with the boys as they insulted our talent. We were the punchline of jokes, our accomplishments were undermined by the fact that we have vaginas. We were compared directly to men and because we physically could not match their stats, we were inadequate.

Cheers to the Women’s Soccer team for doing what all of us have always wanted to do: Stand up for ourselves. They have the stats to back it up, as well as overwhelming public support. Wage discrimination is illegal, but we’ve turned a blind eye to professional sports for as long as women have been ALLOWED to play.

USA Women’s Soccer started a conversation that can’t be ignored. They’ve opened the door for professional basketball and tennis players to demand the same (don’t get me started on that.) They’ve paved a path where female athletes will be taken more seriously than they ever have before.

Ladies of USA Women’s Soccer, you’re fearless as fuck. Thank you for being brave and making me proud to be a human with a vagina.

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