Friday, July 1, 2016

Note To Self: To Remember When You Are Sad

Sometimes when you're sad you want to hide, but other times there's this pent-up, "I need to SAY things" kind of pressure that goes with it.

I'm pretty sure that's the healthier kind.

You don't want to bring anyone down, of course. But you want to get it out. But it's not a big deal. But it would be nice to talk about. But then people will THINK things about you. But it would help. But... well, you get the idea.

Sometimes a series of mildly unfortunate events conspire to poop on your parade. I've had a few days of those now. Little things. An angry comment. Some new aches and pains. Shopping for summer clothes (ug). A post I had to take down. Losing a favorite Disney thing. Bad dreams.

This morning I woke up crying. Coming out of dreamland with tears on your face and that hiccupy thing going on in your chest is oddly soothing, though. Like my body and subconscious figured they were DONE with all this "holding it in because ADULT" nonsense, and just started cleaning house without me. I can dig that.  

But now I have to write funny stuff. That's the way of this job. Of any job that requires entertainment or creativity. And for over 8 years, whether someone just died or I'm doubled over in pain or it's just a terrible, awful, no-good day, John and I get the job done. (::Hamilton high five::)




Truth be told, most of my funniest posts were written on my unfunniest days. Anger, pain, frustration - somehow they give me an edge and a clarity I don't otherwise have. (And an extra helping of snark, of course.)

I read a great quote recently. It said - and I may be paraphrasing here - "Everyone isn't against you, they're just for themselves." I know that sounds terrible and pessimistic, but wow is this important - and something I remind myself of often.

That person who cut you off in traffic or just yelled at you on your craft tutorial doesn't hate you, doesn't even mean anything personal by it; they're just more concerned with their own thing than they are with yours. What's more, that's true for all of us -  it's just most folks aren't as vocal/awful about it.

So when I write, I write for you. I write to give you something that will help with that thing you're carrying. Maybe you need a laugh. Maybe you need to know you're not alone. Maybe you need one little spark of inspiration. Whatever it is, you're reading these words right now because you need something, and writing these words gives me what I need. It's a beautiful symbiosis. The circle of blogging, no baby lion power-lifts needed. (Though ALWAYS appreciated.)
 
 
 (Couldn't resist. Sorry/not sorry)

Maybe we are all inherently selfish, but we also have the capacity for unimaginable kindness and compassion. I've learned that more online than anywhere else. Because when you meet someone's needs - when you help them lift that burden, even for just a moment, even for just the breath it takes to laugh at a silly cake or ooh over a pretty costume - they will reward you tenfold in beautiful, unexpected ways.

So I'm going to go to work now. I'm going to crack jokes and brainstorm puns and pretend the world isn't upside down or quite so scary. I'm going to give people a five-minute break from their stress-filled days with a bit of silliness. I'm going to meet some needs, including my own.


And yes, I DID just give myself my own pep talk. I do that a lot. I think some of you need to see it written down sometimes, though, so you can practice giving your own.

Let's go meet some needs, peeps. [blows nose] [gets to work]


 *****


[Note: I wrote this a week ago. As always, I have to let personal stuff sit for a few days while I gather the courage to hit "publish." I can't say things are better here, but I can say I *feel* better, and re-reading this post is what I needed today. Hope it helps you, too.]



73 comments:

  1. (((Hugz))) I hope things start to look up soon!

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  2. I'm pretty clumsy at writing/verbalising empathy - the more I want to say something encouraging the more awkward I feel. I'm more of a silent support 'I'll be there and do whatever you need' kind of person. Which doesn't work so well over the internet. But I'm one of the legion of predominantly introverted enthusiastic supportive geeks and crafters who follow you, Jen. Cake Wrecks is wonderful daily humorous relief and Epbot is pure joy. You're brilliant (am I'm super awkward right now).

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  3. Beautiful. I had to share that "for themselves" thing with other people. Thank you for sharing with us!

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  4. Jen, I rarely comment...I just silently nod my head, snicker, cry along with you, or are in awe of how creative you & Jon are whenever I read your posts. But I invariably leave your blog(s) with a lighter heart, and I would like to thank you for that! No, I NEED to thank you for that.

    As a fellow Hashimoto's sufferer (who is currently fighting a systemic inflammation flare-up) I was so happy for you when I read that you lowered your anti-bodies w/o going G-free! I have not been able to do that :\ so I was SOOO happy that you did.

    It gives me hope.

    You & Jon give me (and so many others) hope & smiles!

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  5. First of all, Jen, loads of smooches to you. You're a light in the dark places of the internet.

    Second, your Hamilton gif gives me an opening to ask if you've read this: http://joeposnanski.com/hamilton/. And he has another piece I think you'd enjoy: http://joeposnanski.com/joevault/?p=13. More places to feel good on these interwebs!

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  6. You're the best. We are virtual bestie, even if you don't know it yet. If I knew what kind of clothes you want I'd go shopping for you.

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  7. Jen, I haven't written you in a while, but this is Your Fan (who used to be) In A Wheelchair, thanking you again for helping me to get through a really hard time and sending you hugs, hoping that it may do a small amount to support you in return. You've built an incredible network of strangers who care about you. Hang in there.

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  8. Tell the 'Butt faced cretins' to "Suck icing!" As much as I love Disney they can be doody heads too. I have hashi's and a host of other fun stuff going on. Your posts keep me afloat. Share on warrior queen...share on!

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  9. *big hug* I know we've never met, but I feel like you're a friend. You are amazing; I would never have the courage to share the way you do. THANK YOU!!!

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  10. thank you for writing for both of us. i love that you get a boost from making me smile. pretty great.
    i find that the lower i get, the more i seek out online people to give encouragement or empathy or love. makes me feel better.

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    1. p.s. sending so much love your way. hope you feel it!

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  11. You spread so much joy. Those who read your blog connect to you in some way. Your openness, your sprite, your creativeness and the love between you and John, give a lot of us hope. The world needs more Yates.
    Let the negative folk say what they need to say. Not everyone will like you and that's okay. The world would be pretty boring if we were all the same.
    Let the jerks be jerks. Let the nerds be nerds. Let the glamorous be glamorous.

    People talk. People hate. Let them. You're nothing but beautiful.

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  12. Long time lurker coming out to say "Thank you."

    What you write always comes across as truth, because, you never seem to write "crap", -what you think will garner clicks or more readers, you write what is your reality. Sometimes this reality is extremely generous with ideas you share, or praise for other's accomplishments, and sometimes it's the raw joy or pain that you have walked through. It is always a pure emotion here. Vulnerable, harsh, joy filled, or inspiring... you write your truth...

    ...and it's because of that truth that you have followers who read every word. Thank you for being who you are.

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  13. Jen - Your posts are where I go when someone "poops on my parade" or my anxiety gets overwhelming. You remind me that that I have to fight to push the "Peaches" out of the way and find my way back to the laughter, inspiration, silliness and beauty of the world.

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  14. Thank you. There aren't enough words to express my appreciation, so I'll just leave that there. Hugs and Prayers. Teapotjan.

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  15. I really appreciate people like you and the Bloggess who are willing to open up and share with the blogging community your issues with depression and anxiety. It really helps when things are bad in my world to remember I'm not 100% alone in the world feeling the weight of so many emotions. I recently got offered a new career position in CA that turned out to be true to the old adage. If it sounds too good it probably is. I sold everything that wouldn't fit in my car, loaded up my son and cat and drive from TX to CA. We ended up with no job, no immediate prospects and penniless. With a little bit of luck I made it back to Texas. Now trying to find help and a job, home. I know it will work out but until then it's hard not to feel defeated. Thank you for listening, sorry to dump my problems here.

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  16. Sometimes, as adults, we need to have what I call "an ugly cry." Life sucks and you just need to let it out before it explodes all over your helpless family/friends. It's cathartic.

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  17. There are those of us who comment, who send love, who try to let you know how much you have touched us. But there are SO MANY MORE people, who will never write and tell you the affect you had on them. You are a Candle in the Darkness. And you Light a Glorious Way!

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  18. you are wonderful and I love you. WE love you! Thank you for all that you add to our lives. You add sparkle, beauty, laughter, and poo wangs (yep, I go back and check them out when I need a good gufaw). You inspire me each and everyday and you make me feel not alone.
    Thank you for being you, sharing you and letting your light shine... "even in the darkest of times."

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  19. Jen, it's perfectly okay to write for YOU. You are worth it. You deserve it. I'm just grateful to be able to witness it, and reap the benefits. Because of you, it seems I've found my tribe. It doesn't get more helpful than that.

    Introverts, unite! (In our jammies, on web pages.)

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  20. "Those who choose, even on a small scale, to love in the midst of hatred and fear are the people who offer true hope to our world."
    ~Henri Nouwen

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  21. I cannot believe anyone has anything bad to say to you. It boggles my mind. And "C" is right, for every one of us that comments on how you inspire us, there are 3 that feel the same way, but don't think their voice matters, or that you don't need to see the same sentiments repeated. I will never demand that every post is happy, fun filled and upbeat. We like knowing *you*, the girl behind the funny.

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    1. upvote!

      -Just Andrea

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  22. I needed this so much today. I've been super bummed because I've tried overcoming my issues to reach out and make plans with people for my child's sake this summer, and despite the other person having promised numerous times that we'd get the kids together it hasn't happened. Sure, she keeps proclaiming how good of a friend I am to her and how great it is that our kids met in school, but she won't return texts, or even answer the FB message I sent. Having a rough time mostly because I'll deal with rejection and get over that maybe they don't like me (since anxiety brain wants me to think the world hates me in times like this), but it really sucks majorly because my kid is hurt and doesn't understand why we don't see best friend. Thank you Jen for reminding me that it's not me, that everyone is out for themselves and that I just need to keep doing things I love and being my weird self.

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  23. Jen, thank you for being you. You give us entertainment, inspiration, comfort and acceptance. Don't ever change. And thank you John for being John :)

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  24. Big kiss and even bigger hug for the both of you.
    Thank you for sharing life and inspirations.
    Inge

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  25. Jen, you are one of the good ones: never forget that.
    hyphen8

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  26. I have had some dark periods of loss, grief and worry. Every single time, when I need some light and laughter, I go to Cake Wrecks. You have brought me so much joy and I am ever grateful for you. Thank you.
    (PS, I'm in that place now. Thank you for writing this).

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  27. Thank you for this. Thanks for being real and reassuring the rest of us that we're not alone and that it's OK to not be OK 100% of the time. :)

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  28. Hope you're feeling better now! ((hugs)) You and John thoJ are some of my favorite internet peeps!!!

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  29. We've been having one of those weeks where everything seems to go wrong. It's frustrating and stressful. But then I see and hear of other people having the same terrible week (just in different ways) and I realize that I'm not alone and this will pass. Thank you for your encouraging words, and I hope and pray your week turns around too. We love you Jen!

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  30. Sorry you have been have a challenging time lately. I had made you a little "thank you for being you" gift and dropped it in the mail to you earlier in the week. It should arrive in your PO box tomorrow. Make sure you send John on a post office run.

    Hint- I made it in your favorite colors.

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  31. Lurker and fan - hope you are feeling much better. Your stuff brings light to other people in dark places. I second what TheHappyHomemaker said. Thank you for all you do.

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  32. I was talking to a new friend the other day, and she asked if I knew Cake Wrecks...She said her whole family loves reading them and laughing and also ogling the Sunday Sweets. I thought it was amazing to find someone else who liked this random internet thing I like. And of course, I directed her to your blog. You make lots of random people happy, with this stuff and your "real job". And I'm glad you have a place to write about the sad things as well, without having to feel bad about it.

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  33. Thanks, Jen. I've had a sucky week (totally not the same as what you have gone through, I'm sure) and CakeWrecks has helped. As has this post.
    Maureen S

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  34. One of my camp counselors (I teach summer camps) walked around this morning asking for high 5s--he needed to stock up his bank. It made me happy and laugh and wish we really could put away some of our extra joy for when we're down.

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  35. Your sites are two of the bright spots I go to just about every day (the only other being Go Fug Yourself which is like Cake Wrecks, except for red-carpet clothes). I'm currently getting to the end of chemo for (just Stage One!) breast cancer, and I'm often too tired to do the things I enjoy - sewing and crafting. A side effect even worse than losing your hair is the loss of your taste buds...just when you'd want to console yourself with yummy naughty treats, they all taste awful!
    You express yourself as often as you need to. We are here for you, and we understand. Thanks so much for sharing so much!

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  36. Jen, I think you need this. Just go watch that for a few and everything will be fine.

    Also, you are awesome and I,for one, love your tutorials.

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  37. I did need to read this, actually. One of my favorite places on the internet is closing its doors today, and I definitely needed the reminder that it wasn't the only site with wonderful content and lovely commenters. (It also doesn't hurt that their last submission was submitted by Hillary Clinton. :D) So, thank you for making this a safe space and frequently reminding us of that fact. <3

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  38. Thank you Jen & John, just thank you.

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  39. Thank you for this. Thank you for all the awesome things you do. There are so many little things that happen and make me think of this blog, and then THAT makes me smile. Sometimes, a smile is really the difference between being able to take a deep breath and realign your mindset, and just bursting into tears from frustration/overwhelmation (New word? New word.) and general feelings of defeat. So thank you for all the smiles that you give me! I hope this place and these people do the same for you.

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  40. You rock: I wish I was half as brave as you.
    Wishing you like an entire week without any issues/triggers/anxiety/etc whatsoever (MAN, wouldn't that be a nice vacation?!),
    -me

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  41. Just wanted to say - my reasons for hitting the internet, be it my fav blogs or the FB or Insta, are mainly to make me laugh, teach me something new, remind me that beauty exists in the world, and that there are other people like me out there. Cake Wrecks and Epbot are at the top of my list for all of those things. Once again, I'm inspired by your willingness to be vulnerable and by the wisdom of letting things go. Thank you for being you.

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  42. Someone yelled at you in a craft tutorial?! Thems fightin words.

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  43. Reading this makes me want to give you a hug...which would be weird because we don't actually know each other but it sounds like you could use one. I had a weird night of anxiety dreams last night and could sorta use one myself. So virtual hugs...even if it IS a little awkward.

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  44. Thanks for being open and honest and for working through the tough times.

    Thank you also for some gut-busting laughs (the Whoops above and the last couple of days on CW).
    -Zippy

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  45. Jen and John - you guys are awesome and we are here to read whatever fun, inspiring, or wise words you have to impart. It's definitely not always easy, but as Jared Padalecki says, "You are enough", and "Love yourself first". Keep being awesome! Now I'mma just sit over here and wait for you to share more of your awesome in whatever form you choose to provide out in. :)

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  46. LMAO! That Lion King fail gif is cracking me up. You're so awesome for posting ALL of this. Thanks for the laugh. Even when you're not trying to be funny, you're funny. LOVE YOU!

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  47. The first gift to give yourself and others: acceptance.
    The second gift: love.

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  48. I give myself pep talks too! And sometimes I give myself permission to not be totally awesome. I have decided that right now I would rather be a little chunky than overstressed trying to lose some weight. And the other day I was having a rough day and I told myself, "I'm not strong enough to be tough today. And that's OK." We don't have to be superheroes every day.

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  49. You are wonderful! Thanks for sharing and have the wonderful day you deserve.

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  50. Long time stalker, Always just a little to afraid to comment. I have to say this really comes at a time of need. I was starting to think that no matter where I go drama finds me, maybe I am the problem. The one key factor is me. but the "Everyone isn't against you, they're just for themselves." is probably more what is going on. I'm trying to be my own cheer leader and I'm hoping that will help get me through this. I hope you keep posting, I love all the crafts you make and the wonderful people you get to meet.

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  51. Thanks, I did need that. Been are hard week so far and so many things aren't going right (I was at the hardware store at 7am buying a plumbing snake today, and I think that's all you need to know to imagine how this week is going).

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  52. You're unbelievably awesome. Gorgeous post.

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  53. There is some connection between sad people and funny people. I wonder if there are any people who can truly make us laugh who do not suffer sadness. Maybe that is what makes them dig into humor the way people who are not sad do not need to do. I have a list of things to do when I'm sad, (recipe to increase happiness) and one of them is read cakewrecks until I laugh so much my cheeks hurt. I'm glad you can write something funny even when you are sad that helps me feel better when I am sad, I just wish I could do the same in reverse and it would help when you are sad.

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  54. I completely understand how hard it is to have to put on a brave face when all you want to do is crawl into a hole. Working in the medical field, you can't let your pain, sadness, anger, etc show. You have to bravely go on so that the patient has a positive experience. When 9/11 happened, I was working in NY. We watched the towers fall from our windows and then had to turn around and continue on with our day, even though our hearts were breaking. Sometimes, you've just seen that a patient has head to toe cancer in their bones, yet you can't let them know from your expressions that their life will never be the same. We're not allowed to discuss their results. We have to pretend that we're happy almost on a daily basis, and it really, really sucks, so, yeah, I understand.

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  55. I'm a long-time reader, and while I've started/stopped reading other blogs for various reasons, I keep checking in on yours, because of...well, this. I also have battled with anxiety and depression, and your posts do help provide a little distraction in the bad days, and a familiar place to land in the good days. A haven of all things geek that I can ooh and aah over for a few minutes- and where my load is lightened, if for a few minutes. And it is much appreciated. Thank you.

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  56. Big hugs from thousands of miles away! I know exactly what you mean, and I've been having some stressy days the last week or so, too, because of a big unexpected house repair we had crop up. Just wanted you to know I'm sending you good, feel better vibes!

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  57. As someone who also lives with anxiety, I relate to this post on so many levels. I'm a teacher, too, which makes for really great teaching days when I have to put on a brave face and not let my kiddos see that I, too, want to break down and cry and hide in a corner because I can't Adult today. No one tells you that you have to be an Adult in times like these when you're a person like us. Like all of us. Thank you for putting it all into words. Thank you for continuing to do what you do FOR us. Thank YOU for being a bright spot in so many worlds, mine included. Thank YOU tremendously for sharing these not-so-funny moments with us. While you may not feel like a rockstar, you are to so many of us out here on the internet. We all stand with you, Jen.

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  58. So today sucked. Well the whole of last week sucked, but today sucked particularly. My granddad died last weekend, and today was the funeral. So reading this made me feel not so alone. Thank you

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    1. Sending you a hug from across the internet. Hope you feel better.

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    2. Thank you, it's muchly appreciated. I keep crying at random times, after thinking how I'll never get to see him again.

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  59. Thank you Jen. Last night was up and down and I am grateful to have you in my life, even if it is only virtually. I hope you continue to feel better and better and that things around you get better also. ((((((hugs))))))

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  60. Thank you for being so honest, Jen. I have a group of websites that I come in early to work every day to read (obviously including this one) ... it sets me up for the day and helps me to calm myself down (yep, GAD experiencer here). You matter to so many people and I know that doesn't necessarily make you feel any better on any given day, but I still think you should know. You and John are Good People. Thank you.

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  61. I honestly don;t know what I would have done without CakeWrecks and Epbot to cheer me up some days. So THANK YOU for girding your loins and writing for us when you really don't feel like it. xxx

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    1. Amen, Kate H. I couldn't have said it better! Thank you Jen, for everything. Hugs!

      -Jo

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  62. One of the many things I love about your blog is the honesty mixed with the humor. It allows me to relate to you and your blog community gives me a sense of belonging. I have some great friends but many aren't as neridly inclined as I am. I look forward to every post. I empathize when you express down moments and cheer when you have a triumph. Thank you for always sharing, whatever it may be!

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  63. Thank you, again, Jen, for making me feel good about being human! I'm glad that you have an inkling of how many people you're able to touch by reaching out and sharing yourself, or as the love of my life says "all my lumps and warts". It's fully being human, entirely- the good with the not so good - that makes it all worthwhile. Thank you for really being there for so many of us! And for again renewing my hope in humanity. Sending you lots of hugs, Deb

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  64. I needed this so much today - so thank you, Jen for the pep talk. You often light up my days with wit and humor, creativity and realness. You two are great pepole. Hang on! I hope you get better soon! *digitalhugs*

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