The Green Convertible

I remember seeing my first car skid around the corner as my dad drove it home from the dealership; I sat in our blisteringly hot garage and watched as that forest green 1999 Saab convertible came around the corner blaring “Back in Black” by AC/DC out of its rickety stereo system. I was too afraid to drive the car home myself, which admittedly is a terrible omen considering it was about to be mine, but my parents decided that I was old enough to start lugging my own butt to school and back every day, so I’d have to get over this fear quickly.

Dad had been around cars his entire life, he’s essentially a self-taught technician, avid mechanic, and genius of all things engines, so I knew I was in good hands when it came to choosing my first car. Naturally though, this vast vehicular knowledge and the fierce paternal instinct to put me in a safe car made choosing the right one quite the ordeal. I wanted a 1969 Chevelle with tan leather bench seating, and Dad wanted something that wasn’t a death trap that gets four miles to the gallon.

We settled on that dark green convertible Saab, which kept me safe for many years. Unfortunately though, despite the many quirky features of the car that captured my intrigue at the dealership, the stereo system did not. CD’s had just faded out of style, and we were entering the auxiliary cord movement; nearly every friend’s car I stepped into has that seductive cord laid out along the center console waiting for an iPod to be plugged in. The Saab, however, did not have such modern contraptions; after taking a visit to the dealership to look at the car for the first time, my heart sank gazing into the dark slot on the dashboard. Was I seriously about to be left with an empty CD player and not one tolerable CD to my name? To put it lightly, every CD I owned was from elementary school and had the word “Disney” somewhere in the title. We went home that night and I saw my bleak future, a future of music-less drives, and in my sad stupor I went to my dad and told him of my teenage troubles.

I had prepared the speech in my head, the one that was going to convince him to choose a different car and save me the humiliation of driving to school while playing either static AM radio or “Disney Mania 6”. He cut my story short, and ran to the garage with a spark of excitement in his eye. I droopily followed the sounds of rustling boxes coming from the garage to find him proudly holding a box of CDs I had never seen in my life. He set down the box and invited me over to start rummaging, excitedly pulling out the albums of Blondie, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Devo, Madonna and many others that I can’t even remember. Despite my skepticism, Dad went to slide the first CD into the massive garage sound system, and by the first song I was completely hooked. “Holy crap, I didn’t know music could be this good?!” I remember shouting over the chorus of Blondie’s “Call me”, I could hear every instrument of the band individually, but layered together they created the absolute coolest and most badass music I had ever heard. Every repetitively churned out pop song I had listened to before seemed like a distant memory, I no longer wanted to cling to the newest chart-topping pop hits, because I had the power of classic rock and what Dad just calls “good music” on my side. This new love of music and of Dad’s carefully curated album collection sparked more excitement over my new car than I could have imagined. I was ready to pull up to school in that quirky convertible, blasting CD’s that were nowhere near the end of their time like I had previously thought. I was ready. When the next week finally caught up to us, and Dad was on his way back from picking up my new car, I remember the instantaneously joy I felt when I heard the music rounding the corner, so loud it nearly raddled the side mirrors off, in the best way of course. 

Great enough even for ‘The Great Gabsby’

The (almost) Story of My Life

I’ve sat down to write the “story of my life” more times than I can even count, and every single one of them has failed. Not that the writing was a failure in and of itself, it was probably pretty good, but being the neurotic anxious perfectionist that I am, of course I was never going to see its merit. It was a failure only in the small sense that I decided it wasn’t perfect, and therefore should not exist. I stared at those words on that page, that one single combination out of an infinite number of combinations of words, and I decided right then and there that it wasn’t perfect, and therefore it must be annihilated. So that’s exactly what I did, I took out my eraser and annihilated every word on that page. This then continued about a dozen times over the course of the last year. Every time I sat down to put pencil to paper it ended the same dismal way, I even paid upwards of $8.00 for a goddamn latte so that I could sit undisturbed at a coffee shop! All of this in the desperate attempt to put myself in the perfect environment to cultivate brilliant thoughts.

I’ve come to realize that every one of those endings panned out in an identical manor not because of their imperfections, but because of my inability to see the beauty and greatness in life’s imperfections. From an early age, I trained myself to believe that imperfections are a byproduct of brokenness, and that I was somehow the only one inflicted with the “broken disease”. It was a lengthy and occasionally heartbreaking journey to realize that life was really just one imperfection after another until we look back to see what we’ve created. I may never be able to tell that whole story. I can at least hope though that even if I never write that story, I continue to live it every day. 

The strained smile of someone who just emptied their savings account into a cup of coffee

Life and Lemons

My mom planted a lemon tree several years ago. That tree sat in its dainty planter, existing in a state of mild happiness for years and years. This kind of mild happiness was the kind that doesn’t quite kill you, doesn’t even necessarily make life worse, but doesn’t quite get you to grow lemons either. The tree was a shrub for many of those several years, it had leaves and branches like any other tree, but wasn’t really flourishing in the ways we knew it could. It wasn’t until last year when, almost overnight, we awoke one day to see a tree, flourishing with life, thriving in the soft breeze of our backyard, and growing its lemons like a beautiful Lemon Queen. We still don’t know what changed for this lemon tree, whether it be the sun, the sky, the soil, or its own will to live? We will never quite know, but every time I look at this tree now, and every time I pick a perfect Meyer lemon, I thank it for finding what ever it was that it found. I thank it for growing, I thank it for creating, and I thank it for giving. 

Now, i’m not a lemon tree (to the best of my knowledge at least) and I don’t plan on growing lemons any time soon, but damn do I want to know what this lemon tree found within itself. . . and I want to grow my own damn (metaphorical) lemons. I see that tree every day from my bedroom window, and I think about that tiny little branch that grew into something so beautiful and full of life. Sometimes I even wonder if I were that tree in that planter, if anyone would look down on my growth and admire what i’ve become just as I admire this tree. 

I’m finding myself very close to saying “I wonder if anyone would want my lemons”, and even for me that’s a bit weird. I think this means i’ve extracted everything I can out of this metaphor. I will leave it be, and in the meantime maybe even go make some lemonade, because we all know what to do when life gives you lemons. 

I have some feelings about self help books.

I’ll admit, i’ve often been seduced by the promise of a positive mindset, a fulfilling future, and a happier life; these transient promises are the life force of self help books. My silly shifty mind has far too frequently latched on to these vibrant book covers adorned with images of the illusive “perfect life” that exists for me just beyond its pages. There’s a reason why this deceptive trend maintains its presence on bookshelves, and that’s because for many people, myself included, they work. Self help books have had decades of experiences catering to the minds of the anxious and the hearts of the lost, so why do so many of these so-called “helpful” books keep pushing their readers to race toward one singularly restrictive image of what it means to be successful?

Success is relative, it always has been, just like beauty and deliciousness, so it should make sense that the goal at the end of each person’s self-help journey should be relative as well. Everyone’s ideas of success deserve to be perfectly curated places of peace and whatever they deem worthy of their hopes and dreams. It’s become so tiresome to see self help books deciding that success is only ever comprised of (but not limited to) having a powerful job, an equally powerful spouse, a hot body (whatever that means), traveling the world while you’re young and simultaneously saving money and preparing for your future, only eating leeks but never depriving yourself, saving the planet, being the perfect mom, “having it all”, and especially… all of the above!

. . . And how the HELL is somebody supposed to do all of this AND meditate for six hours a day?! Okay, technically no book has ever told me to do that, but behind all the muck, doesn’t it feel like self help has become a race? A race for too many different and unique women, toward too narrow of a finish line. Is there a self help book out there to help me dictate my own finish line?

Quarantine Mornings

Ever had one of those mornings when you wake up, let the calm sunlight soak your dull sleepy skin, and decide that it’s the perfect day to make oatmeal? That little bowl of mush has somehow become the gateway to your perfect and productive day, and baby, you’re ready for it. You’re not quite rejuvenated enough to change your life and start that diet you’ve been telling yourself to start for a year, BUT you do feel good enough to make that little bowl of oatmeal like the sexy health guru that you are. You’ve seen all of the commercials, you are enticed by the promise of being “full and focused” for hours, and nothing can stop the greatness of this morning. Everything’s perfect. . . until that swift moment when your pot of squishy goodness is gently bubbling away on the stove, and you turn your back for five seconds only to return and be greeted by an absolute milk apocalypse rapidly spreading the entire surface of your stove. Why is it that the exact moment you look away is when the milk decides to make its rage-fueled escape and boil over the side of the pot? Every time! Why milk, why? Everything was going so well, and now you’re hastily cranking the stove down, unsuccessfully blowing onto the growing pile of bubbles rising over the lid, and experimenting with every combination of expletives you know. After a few minutes of grumpy facial expressions and deep sighs you throw your hands up and reside to eating a granola bar; spending the rest of the morning scraping dried milk off your stove and every adjacent surface. You accept that (solely because of the oatmeal incident) today just isn’t your day, but hey, there’s always tomorrow. Anyways. . . that is basically what every day of quarantine feels like.  

Ask Me About My Generation

As you already know, I’m Gabby (“Gabrielle” if you’re reading this because I asked you to hire me ). I’m a young Millennial on the cusp of Gen Z, which means exactly what you think it does: I believe that liking coffee is a personality trait, I would rather dismantle the Patriarchy than make my own appointment at the dentist, and I wake up in a fundamentally better mood when I know I have a ripe avocado in the house. I fit into a decent amount of generational stereotypes, but I think we can attribute most of that to the fact that I find comfort in laughing along with complete strangers on the internet about how bleak our futures look. Then again, I’m also regularly reminded that I seem to exist on a different plane than most humans my age. I was born in 1995 and rarely ever listen to music past 1980, even though I’ll admit that every time I hear Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” I sing “You have won a tiny Dundee” in my head. I also begrudgingly navigated the Eighth grade with the sarcasm of a full grown adult, and I’d rather wear a tee shirt that says “going to therapy is dope” than any item of clothing mentioning brunch and/or mimosas even though those are admittedly two of my favorite things. I’m an enigma, I’m an extroverted introvert and an introverted extrovert all at once, and I’ve been in love with Harry Styles for almost a decade. It’s nice to meet you. 

Hello, I’m Gabby

Hi there, I’m a 24 year old artist, writer, dancer, and full fledged caffeine addict from San Francisco. I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression my entire life, and as much as that shit sucks, i’ve learned a hell of a lot of pretty cool things about the human mind. Sometimes crippling depression can be such a drag, it turns your life into an uncontrollable shit fest (metaphorically of course, but just as obscene). Then again, eating egregious amounts of chips and guacamole also makes me feel like shit, and I “can” control that, but don’t see myself stopping any time soon. One of the only tolerable things about depression is that it makes music sound so much better, but the secretly great thing about having a mind with these emotional tendencies is that, under all the gunk, It’s actually pretty incredible. And with that information I present to you, my blog. Behold, tales of depression, discovery, self love, self loathing, humor, compassion, and all of the beautifully horrible moments that make up life.  

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