Lately, I've had a hard time sleeping. I've also been coming home every night after work, planting myself in front of the computer and reading every news story on Facebook. But I'm sure those two aren't related. Democrat or Republican, alt-left or alt-right, I think we can agree that the recent news cycle has been like riding an old, rickety roller coaster you're sure is going to come apart at any moment. All you can do is close your eyes and pray the wheels don't come off.
Last weekend I marched with 750,000 of my closest friends in the Los Angeles Women's March. By "marched," I mean shuffled excruciatingly slow. It took about an hour before the crowd started moving, and during that time, it felt like I was just standing in the world's longest taco truck line. The entire route was smashed with people, and eventually they had to open up other streets to allow us to do what we came to do. The activist in me swelled with pride. The introvert in me wanted to curl up in a ball and scream, "Stop touching me!"
Every year I make New Year's resolutions. In 1999, I wrote in my journal that I was going to, "Be more confident and not care what other people thought." Yeah, still waiting on that one. Six years ago, after a few too many cocktails, I announced to my friend Noah that 2012 was going to be about, "Mental health and wearing more earrings!" I'll let you guess how that went. This year, I tried to make sure my resolutions were things on which I could follow through. I didn't promise to go the gym (yeah right) or cut back on caffeine (hahahaha).
Last week I went to the doctor. My husband Jason and I are still struggling to get pregnant and as the holidays approach, my emotions are right at the surface. Buying gifts for other people's children has required all my Midwest stoicism to keep it together in the toy aisle at Target. So I decided to make a difficult situation more difficult and sign us up to see a professional. Nothing says happy holidays like a fertility doctor.
The holidays can be hard. If you've ever lost someone you love, you know what I'm talking about. This year, my husband Jason and I hosted Thanksgiving at our house. It was the first holiday since Jason's father, Ron, died in July. My mother-in-law flew in from Arizona to join us along with some of Jason's cousins and a few of our mutual friends. It was going to be exactly the kind of Thanksgiving I liked — full of friends, family and a wanderer or two.
Whoa. Is everyone okay? A lot has happened in the last few weeks — and I'm not just talking about the turkey coma I'm in or the Brad and Angelina divorce. The election is over. Finally. But it feels like something else is just beginning. Healthy dialogue? Maybe. The fiery End Of Days? Some people think so. All I know is that after the election results, I engaged in my first ever Facebook fight and buried myself in bed with a bottle of wine to binge watch "The Crown." But I'm still here and so are you.
I've been working for a television comedy for almost five months now. It sounds glamorous, but it mostly consists of me getting home at 2 a.m. and spending my days thinking about what color is the funniest color, what animal is the funniest animal, and how many bathroom jokes is too many. I work as a writers' assistant, which means I'm in the room with the writers as they write each episode. It's a great job that I'm lucky to have, but I'm looking forward to the day I can take the word "assistant" out of my title.
I've always been glad I was born a girl. Being a boy sounded so boring. It included all the things I was already doing — getting dirty, climbing trees, playing sports — except without wearing my mom's old prom dress while doing them. Which, frankly, seemed like a lot less fun. In retrospect, I was a little 5-year-old feminist.
Last weekend I flew back to Fargo for my 10-year college reunion. I was in town for less than 36 hours but it was worth it. A word about my college: I'm crazy for it. I'm one of those freaks who hopes my children will go to the same school, and their children will go to the same school, and we will take a three generations photo in our matching college sweaters, standing in front of the bell tower. (Or something. I haven't really thought about it.)
I've always been messy. Even as a kid, my parents had to bribe, threaten and beg me to clean my room. My desk at school was a pile of crayons and old math tests, and my father once found a box of chocolates I'd hidden away in the back of my closet seven years before. I wish I could say I've improved, that I've grown up and out of those habits but unfortunately that's not the case.