Fun-Sized Advice

On fun sized advice

My childhood best friend and I had a stupid falling out and haven’t spoken years, but just today she finally deleted me on Facebook. Is it stupid to still be upset about this?
No, but grow the fuck up already. Call your former BFF and mend the fucking fence. The falling out was stupid. Put forth the effort, and fall back in. You don’t ever get to have more childhood friends. They are valuable. Reach the fuck out already. Apologize. Show a little remorse and regret, and you’ll be surprised to find out how easy it is to make up.

Your “Be Vulnerable” button scares the shit out of me. I’ve always been brash, unflappable, guarded; it’s my schtick and I mostly like it but I know as I age this is unsustainable. I know it is time to grow out of it but how do I start? How do I soften without melting? How do I deconstruct without falling apart? How do I actually become vulnerable?
You are already vulnerable. You are already a jumble of constructs. You are already soft. You don’t have to start doing anything to grow. Just stop with the schtick. Lower your guard. You’re not gonna melt. You’re not gonna fall apart.

When is the right time to tell your romantic partner that you have a mental illness? (Bipolar II). Are the rules any different for boys and girls?
The rules are not different for boys and girls. You don’t ever have to tell anyone about your mental disorder, but a good rule of thumb to consider is that if this is the person who you would list as your emergency contact, then they should probably know about any health conditions you may have.

Is your job supposed to make you happy? Is one person supposed to make you happy? Are you supposed to make yourself happy?
No, no, and yes, to the extent that we are each responsible for our own emotional states, but never forget that happiness is fleeting and often shallow. Happiness is not the point. Growth is the point.

Would you ever excuse the death penalty? Say, for an unapologetic racist who murdered nine people? People who hacked children apart? Ever?
Not by the state. Not ever.

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Australia. I’m in the mood to not give a fuck, and those crazy bastards make me happy.

What is your purpose in life? Overall or right now in this season? Does this blog fit in to what you feel your purpose is?
I thought for a while I was an explorer monkey, but it turns out I’m a helper monkey, so yeah, this blog fits neatly into that purpose.

Did Sarah Silverman just plagiarize you in her Netflix special?
I’m not the first person to notice that we’re insignificant specks of dust.

LA or SF? (as they both exist now)
Portland.

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64 thoughts on “On fun sized advice

  1. Anna says:

    Ha, I’m so glad you wrote Portland! I just moved there in January and have been miserable because of the lack of sun and not really going out because everything is so expensive. I’d been seriously questioning the move, but maybe it’s worth sticking it out…

    Also, so good to have you back!

    • DN says:

      I moved to PDX in September and oh boy, that snow…there were definitely days that I wondered if we did the right thing (also realized that my complaints of Seasonal Affective Disorder in Australia during those three weeks of wind and rain in the middle of winter were a little melodramatic).

  2. Chloe says:

    It seems silly, but you stating that Australia is the place you’d most like to take a vacation to makes me feel a little better and a lot braver about my choice to relocate there on a working holiday visa, soon.

    CQ, is there any part of Australia you like most? I’ve never been there before, but I’m planning to live in Melbourne (I thought a city made up of immigrants, of which I will be one, seemed the ideal place to live for however long they’ll allow me to stay).

    • PolicyChick says:

      Australia is brilliant! I migrated there myself back in the 90s. I’d live there today if I could…. Melbourne is nice but I’d suggest Sydney.

      • Chloe says:

        Hi Policychick,

        See, I looked at Sydney first and was quite set on going to New South Wales! The only problem I found was the rents in Sydney were almost double in comparison to where I live now, which is roughly £500-650 a month for an apartment, depending on the location within my current city. Sydney was basically London rent but with more sunshine and in my late twenties I didn’t want to have to house-share again. That was the main factor in my decision – Melbourne being slightly more affordable meant I could potentially not burn through my savings as quickly until I found employment to subsidise my trip. I know Queensland is a lot more affordable than places in Victoria, especially Melbourne, but from what I’d read, Cairns seemed very hot (and I burn easily) and Brisbane, from various comments I’d read, despite being a larger population than the city I attended university it reminded me of the place – which itself felt more like a large town more so than a city, where everyone knew everyone else. The smaller population was also what dissuaded my idea of Darwin, in the northern territory, too. Though it looked like a nice place to visit, even briefly. I’d read (and could be completely wrong about the situation since these particuar forum posts were published) that Adelaide could be difficult to find a job in, which sort of defeated the objective of moving there on a working holiday visa and Perth seemed a bit far from everywhere else in Australia, too. I’m not sure where you’re from, but I’m British so I’m used to four seasons in a day which I’ve read Melbourne has and any increase in sunshine is wonderful to me. I’d love to have the opportunity to visit the places I mentioned in my comment, though!

    • ASAF says:

      You won’t regret moving to Melbourne. It has music and food and art and SOUL. From the child of a fellow migrant. 😉

    • DN says:

      Australian piping up here! Melbourne is a great city! Make sure you visit Adelaide too (don’t listen to what east coasters tell you about it – it’s beautiful, easy to get around, and much cheaper). And Tasmania, DEFINITELY visit Tasmania.

      • Chloe says:

        Thank you for all your comments, they’ve all been appreciated and I feel much better about my decision to travel such a distance than I did before! 🙂

    • JC says:

      Yep, that was a strong contender in the guesses. I guess enough time has passed that she feels safe to reveal where she is now. Portland is a lovely city (recent news notwithstanding.)

    • JC says:

      Portland is not the capitol of white supremacy. Chicago gets my vote.

      The article does raise one (and frankly only one) good point, which is that a place can be liberal and racist. In the south, they’ll just call you the n-word to your face. In the midwest and the west, they’ll just build a freeway between the white neighborhood and the black one. Liberal places are shockingly segregated, and the racism is coded in language about “good schools” and whatnot.

      • Feetish says:

        Look, I agree with what you’re saying, but I still wouldn’t send my kids to a bad school in a bad neighborhood.

        • JC says:

          Where I grew up, the schools were desegregated by court order. There is now a lottery system where kids from “bad” neighborhoods can get into “good” schools. When you don’t concentrate all the poor kids into the same school, they do much better. It’s the same thing when you mix higher income and lower income housing into the same neighborhoods — you get less crime overall.

          The entire idea of “bad” neighborhoods and “bad” schools enforces a status quo that segregates and marginalizes lower income people, particularly people of color.

      • Chris says:

        Totally agree. I live on Long Island, and after having moved from Louisiana it’s weird.

        It seems that Yankees are simply better at racism.

  3. RocketGrunt says:

    I am 100% behind CQ on the first bit of advice. Reaching out to your childhood best friend is the best possible choice there. My childhood best friend and I drifted apart, and then went pretty much a decade without seeing or talking to each other. I always felt dissatisfied with that at best (and regretful at worst), so I reached out and we decided to have coffee. We had fascinating conversation for two hours straight and it was wonderful. Now my only regret is that I didn’t reach out sooner.

    • KittyNinja says:

      ok, so this response gives me hope… My best friend and I drifted apart and I still blame myself (I never really thanked her for her friendship). This gives me hope.

      Would you mind sharing more so I can embolden myself with your story?

      • Chris says:

        KittyNinja, if you have good reason to reach out maybe put out a feeler email. I had a friend who I spoke to about every day from 2001-2006, and then we stopped after a business issue that came up – namely, I stopped having involvement. The separation was natural, but when I was reaching out he finally wrote back saying he didn’t want to talk to me anymore.

        I told him, “hey man, I’m here when you’re ready, and I’d like to talk again.”

        About a year later I visited him and his wife, met his baby, and it was nice. It’s not like it was, and it shouldn’t be, but we’re back in each other’s circles.

      • Chris says:

        On another note, I had a falling out with childhood friend a couple years back, and am very glad not to be in contact with him. As the distance came between us I could see things very clearly and really regretted the time I’d put into the relationship. It was sticky because I was in the process of negotiating to buy his father’s company, and it ended up not working out. Later, his mother asked me to partner with her in another project, which was really just a bad deal, but I’d have likely said no anyway.

      • RocketGrunt says:

        This response is nearly three months later, and therefore useless if you’ve already reconnected with your friend, but just in case:

        I sent him a short message through Facebook chat. I asked if he was in the area at the moment (he travels) and said we should catch up because “it’s been like ten years.” It took me forever to write three sentences, but that’s all it took.

  4. On “the rule of thumb” – as a good feminist, I implore you to stop using this phrase. It is said to have derived from the belief that English law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick so long as it is was no thicker than his thumb. I’ve missed you and hope no rules or sticks have kept you away!

  5. mostly says:

    i’ve been in portland for almost 2 years now, and i really dislike the scene here. my perspective is definitely tainted, in that seriously nothing has worked out like i would have hoped, but idk i just can’t really recommend this city. there is a huge identity crisis, a bunch of people who just don’t want to grow up. and im not talking like career wise or whatever, i mean people who just don’t want to grow as humans.

      • mostly says:

        for sure. my clinical depression, im sure, has also contributed to this perspective. but one thing about portland is their weird strong dislike for outsiders. all my friends have mentioned this, almost all my tinders dates have mentioned this. transplants are enemy number one and it can really make you feel unwanted. its pretty immature.

        • alittlebit says:

          the anti-outsider attitude is nothing especially unique to portland. anyone who has ever lived more than 10 years in new york city complain about outsiders, and then the actual lifers (who were born and raised here, roll THEIR eyes even harder). southern californians groan about “zonies” (people from arizona) and kooks taking over the beaches in the summertime. this is just how people are.

        • DN says:

          I’ve found the same thing but quickly learnt to ignore it. Usually the people who were showing disdain about people moving to Portland in droves have only been here themselves for 2 years. Bizarre sense of superiority.

          • WhoAmI says:

            Yeah, the same thing exists everywhere in the goddamn world that there is a big city that attracts a lot of new people for several years in a row. Don’t get me started on people who work in Paris.

          • Nona says:

            I have to disagree about Paris. Are you talking about the people who live in Paris or those who work there and resent their commute ? The former are usually very warm, except the uptight bourgeois and the crass bohemian bourgeois (ie: the white people). When you get into the bowels of the city, it gets into you, and voilà, you’re a Parisian now.

          • WhoAmI says:

            I’m exactly speaking about those people who have been working in Paris for six months and call people they have more in common with than anyone Provinciaux. As far as I know native Parisians are the ones who will help you carry your luggage out of the subway and shit and are pretty chill. Bobos are trash but hey ! Don’t tell the Americans, they masturbate on them too much.

          • Nona says:

            Oh non, c’est encore d’actualité à Paris le débat parisien vs provincial ? Je savais pas dsl ^^
            Je suis française de sang, née et élevée en partie à l’étranger. En m’assimilant, j’ai appris à voir Paris et la province comme le ying et le yang de la France. Je comprends tj pas certaines attitudes.
            “Provincial” isn’t a bad word. And trying to hide the fact you are not used to Paris is worse than just letting your new Parisian friends take you on an adventure. Do people actually chose the course of action you are describing?
            (Also, to be clear, we help you with luggage, directions, and carrying your pram up and down the stairs, because we don’t care for slowness and inefficiencies in this teeming city. We really make an effort towards seeming nice, but underneath we are complete and utter assholes.)

          • WhoAmI says:

            Oh no, I do get that Parisians are polite and nice, not kind (at least to people who are only visiting). I never stayed In Paris for more than four days in a row for a good reason.

            Also I know too many gay guys who come back from Paris and start complaining about Provinciaux and the Province and shit. I do complain about the small city mindset too, but I don’t pretend like Paris isn’t actually 20 small cities merged together in disguise.

  6. Diggin says:

    The crazy bastards welcome you with open arms. Join us in spring time (November). There’s a particular not giving a fuck vibe in the air.

  7. Kristen May Lee says:

    Portland was my guess where you are,for some reason I also thought maybe you made a super extreme move it to New Orleans.

  8. Wren says:

    Party in Perth with us, Coke. (Or, if you’ve hung up the party hat for good, come and eat/hike/swim/cast your eyes across the landscape. It’s pretty here.)

    On the death penalty: an unapologetic racist who ALLEGEDLY murdered nine people. Mistakes get made, innocent and otherwise. Imagine dying at the hand of the state because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. People have lived this nightmare.

    • Poopshoes says:

      Portland is fun! I know the population is mostly weird, I mean white, but I know a ton of brown and black people who live there and enjoy it.

  9. Lucy says:

    Please PLEASE come to Australia. And let us know when you get here (specifically to Sydney). I’ll feel so happy knowing that we’re breathing the same air.

  10. G.T.Getomov says:

    I mostly, somewhat kinda disagree about letting your partner know about having a mental illness.
    It’s right it’s private, but it can be a deal breaker and if you keep it to yourself you’re not giving them the opportunity to make up their own mind about you. And if you’re lying by omission, then you’re not starting out on the right foot in the first place.
    Having had relationships with people who have had issues from depression (for which their doctor gave no counselling, instead gave them free reign with their dosage and repeat prescription, but shitty doctors are a different issue) to what is clinically termed as ‘barking’ who only told me once we were at the introducing one another to the family stage of a relationship that they’d been hospitalised not once, but on a few occasions and were still taking drugs strong enough to make them stop feeling anything emotionally, good or bad I firmly believe that you should put your cards on the table at the earliest. It protects you as well as you don’t get entangled with someone who doesn’t feel able to support you if you’re ill.
    The thing is, if you’re in a partnership, you’re not the only one who suffers from an illness, you both do. And I know nobody asks for it, but keeping it as a surprise to be discovered at some unknown point in the future when it all goes tits up is kind of a dick move to play on someone you share your life with.

    • Nona says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, but I strongly believe in privacy regarding health issues. And even when a person has decided to disclose health issues, they are allowed to chose when and how to talk about it.
      You need to realize that you can’t chose what happens to your family (children, parents, spouse, friends), you can only support them. Accepting that makes life easier. For instance, let’s say you don’t want a profoundly disabled child. You can chose the healthiest sperm donor in the world, have all the genetic and prenatal screening possible, have a healthy live birth, and still discover a few years down the line that the child is profoundly autistic. Well guess what? Tough luck, it’s still your child. Let’s not even get into the subject of caring for ageing parents.
      So screen your partner all you want, be as much of a dick as you want, regarding disability and mental health. Life will still catch up with you.

      • G.T.Getomov says:

        WOAH!
        I didn’t realise that suggesting people who keep skeletons in their closets might be storing up trouble for the future was such a controversial idea!
        If someone has a visible disability it’s out there in the open. So you were in a car wreck and don’t want to talk about it? Fine. You had a disease as a child? That sucks. It’s congenital and may affect your decision to have children in the future? Cross that bridge when we come to it.
        But the stigma that surrounds mental health means that you have to keep it secret, affecting your ability to have an open and honest relationship with someone for fear that they’ll find out you’re depressed, have bouts of delusion, or paranoid episodes? That’s not healthy for the individual or the relationship.

        • Nona says:

          You have skeletons, I have skeletons (figuratively, I wish I really did have one to display apart from my own…).
          Have you ever gone on a date with someone in a wheelchair? If you pursued the relationship, at what point did you expect them to tell you in detail about that night the car derailed and he lost four friends in the crash? Of course, over a couple of years, the details of the subject would come up, especially with the host of symptoms that results from paraplegic or tetraplegic injury. Doesn’t mean that a person with physical or mental illness needs to immediately expose all and every detail on a first Tinder date, right ?

    • Poopshoes says:

      No one owes you any explanations, and it is not their fault nor problem that you have decided to be goal-directed in your dating.

      It doesn’t sound like you’ve had “relationships”. It sounds like you’re describing one codependent relationship in which your partner suffered from depression and received inadequate care. Based on your nuanced and sensitive argument, I’m sure your response to your partner was kind and understanding, and I can’t think of a single reason why they may have delayed telling you about their past hospitalization. By the way, if you wouldn’t have noticed that they were taking drugs that “made them stop feeling anything emotionally” unless they told you, why the fuck should it matter after they told you? Were you that blind in your relationship?

      It sounds like you are ignorant about the nature of mental illness, and it is this type of ridiculous thinking that adds to the stigma and misinformation around mental health issues. Mental illness itself is not the deal-breaker, although someone refusing to be accountable for their mental illness can be.

      I’m calling bullshit on your whole argument. Too bad they don’t have pills for being an asshole.

  11. Nona says:

    I need advice ! I’m going to spend a week in SF with my mum in July and I’m supposed to organize the trip. What do you guys think we should do and see in SF?

    • Chris says:

      Alcatraz.

      Sorry, that’s all I got. Was there for a day, and managed a migraine (the first one I ever had – it’s more than a headache it turns out) between sales calls while the other guy drove with the radio off.

  12. KCD says:

    If you haven’t already been, I agree that Alcatraz is worth a visit, along with Fisherman’s Wharf, Farmers Market, Lombard St, Chinatown, Golden Gate Bridge (naturally) and Sausalito – and I’m sure there are plenty of other cool places. Have fun 🙂

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