The Unicorn Blues

Every now and then I’m struck with the crippling, overwhelming feeling of “not enough” or “less than.” Usually it’s relatively fleeting and can be silenced by a weekend getaway or a really good movie. Or frozen yogurt… sometimes frozen yogurt is all it takes.

And then there are those weeks when you turn 31 and you just, like, CAN’T BREATHE for a second. Which is silly because you have no gray hair or wrinkles yet, were born without a biological clock, and are actually living a pretty perfect life right now. Wait, did I say you? There’s a chance I might be talking about myself here.


Let’s not dwell too long on the fact that I have never attempted to write a book, have been consuming more calories than I burn, and have yet to install those “Learn French” and “Learn Italian” programs my dad bought me. BUT WHY AM I SO WOEFULLY UNACCOMPLISHED IN LIFE????

Seriously, where do those thoughts come from? By all accounts, I’m doing just dandy – better than most even, depending on how you look at it. But that’s just it – it’s about how you look at it. For whatever reason, this birthday temporarily messed up my perspective, and I seem to have misplaced my bedazzled, rose-colored glasses.

Part of the reason I’m having a harder time shaking these thoughts this time is that 31 sounds so much OLDER than 30 to me. 30 was a big deal – it was a milestone, a celebration of grandiose proportions. Seriously – I threw myself an over the top masquerade ball, complete with DJ, bartender and photo booth. And I was focused on celebrating all the positives in my life: my relationship, my career, my friends and family. And the reality is, since then, those things have gotten even better.

So why this strange melancholy over the big 3-1? Why the inability to look at things in a positive light? Honestly, I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that the multiple ankle surgeries, constant pain, and subsequent weight gain have a little to do with it.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had to battle some depression when my second surgery rolled around last fall. It was tough, but I made it through. And Gil and I didn’t kill each other, so that’s a real accomplishment. But all signs point to recovery (as slow as it may be), so I can’t really blame it all on that. And I can’t exactly put my finger on what else is going on, but I have some ideas.

Mainstream media would have me believe that it’s just my constant dissatisfaction as a millennial – my belief that I’m a special little unicorn and deserve more out of life somehow than just a good life. Well, I AM A SPECIAL FUCKING UNICORN. A BIG PINK ONE. AND I DO WANT MORE.

cartoon magical unicorn

If you ask me, this is not a character flaw of the millennial generation. A blatant sense of entitlement, an unwillingness to put in the legwork or the inability to be open to constructive criticism are major character flaws, but those are separate issues. The true belief that one is special and can accomplish anything is pretty damn powerful. And because we live in the age of social media, we can see the results of that power every day. I can see when every single one of my peers gets promoted (thanks LinkedIn). I know when anyone decides to travel the world (hi Facebook). I even know what they paid for their dream house (helloooo Zillow).

And I can also see this information about strangers. People my age or younger who are starting their own businesses, writing books, travelling the world, and following their dreams. These become weird, out-of-context, unattainable benchmarks. Not in small part due to the fact that I’m only seeing one very shiny version of reality on my computer screen. There is no way to keep up with that. And there’s no point either.  Comparing myself to others isn’t going to get me anywhere. Except maybe a shrink’s office for Xanax.

Using their success as an inspiration isn’t a bad idea though. I just need to adjust my perspective.

I need to track down my bedazzled, slightly smudged rose-colored glasses and look at those success stories as inspiration instead of another reason to put myself down. Instead of “not enough” I need to train myself to think “not yet” – because it IS possible whatever “it” may be. I AM A UNICORN.

Or rather, I CAN be, if I put in the time. There are more opportunities than ever to succeed and excel in ways that weren’t ever possible before. If I really want to write a book, I don’t have to get picked up by a publisher – I can self-publish and promote on social media and oversee the movie version starring Scarlett Johansson as me. Or you know, the lead character inspired by me. Whatever.  I mean, I have to WRITE the book first, but I don’t want to get too bogged down in those details.

I need to move past this destructive idea that I need to be achieving the same things I can see other people achieving on the same timeline in order to be special.

Maybe I’ll never write a book. Maybe I’ll never lose all the weight. Maybe I’ll only ever speak one language. The reality is, some days when I get home from my office job after my hour plus commute in the evenings, I am MUCH more inclined to take off my bra than take over the world. Some days bad TV and a glass of wine are going to win out over French lessons.  That’s OK. I’m already pretty special, every pound and all 31 years of me.

Truly Madly Deeply

I don’t know for certain, but I have a feeling that not everyone gets to experience earth-shattering love in their lifetime. I know there was a time in my life (not too long ago, in the grand scheme of things) that I thought I was going to be one of those people. And while it was kind of a bummer thought, I didn’t really know what I was missing so I wasn’t all that concerned with it.

I was having semi-regular orgasms and was pretty pleased with where my life was headed. And then one day some drunk groomsman at a wedding started aggressively making out with me on the dance floor, and everything changed.

I mean, I’m not trying to brag (she types as she’s clearly getting ready to brag) but I am the LUCKIEST girl in the world. I met someone I fell madly in love with, and who I keep falling madly in love with every day. Like truly, madly, deeply. (sigh…. remember Savage Garden??)

Anyway, it’s what prompts me to write emails like this for no reason:

I hope you know how much I love you. It’s probably not even healthy. I love you so much your farts don’t even really bother me that much even though I pretend like they do.

I love you so much that I don’t even care if my career falls apart, because you know what? I’d still have you, and you’re so supportive and encouraging that I’d figure a new career out. 

I love you so much that even if you lost your dick in a tragic logging accident, I would still want to be with you. Because you have a wildly talented tongue and fingers like a god. And you’d still have a smile that melts my heart. And I’d still have a vibrator, so we’d be ok.

I love you so much that if I had to choose between ever having a Diet Coke EVER AGAIN IN THE HISTORY OF MY LIFE and you, I would always totally choose you.

I love you so much that sometimes I just sit around and think about how much I love you. How I actually feel like a more complete person since I met you. More daring, more beautiful, more alive.

I love you so much because my life and my future got so much richer once you showed up.

I really hope that everyone gets to experience that kind of ridiculous, overwhelming, shout from the rooftops, life-changing kind of love at least once in their lifetime, but I don’t think everyone does.

So on days when he leaves out the tortilla chips AGAIN and I bite into a stale one, or when he’s blasting his YouTube videos while I’m  trying to work, or when I’m in a particularly irritable, bitchy mood for no reason at all (shocking, I know) I always remember that. Not everyone gets that kind of love. And I stumbled into it somehow, on a dance floor. In a bar. After a wedding. Go figure.

So I guess that means the suffocating farts and his affinity for hyper-gory, terrible movies (think “Hobo With A Shotgun”…  yes it’s real, and yes, I’ve seen it) are just a small price to pay. I’ll take that deal every day of the week.