Life Will Be the Death of Me… And You Too! by Chelsea Handler (audible)
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (audible)
Counting Descent by Clint Smith III
As the weather took a turn towards a bit more warmth I found myself getting more audible reading done than anything else. I’ve been trying to incorporate a nightly walk and it was going pretty successful in April, May has been another story so far. But let’s dive in….
I love Chelsea Handler. I was excited for this book because I was curious what she has been up to since her Netflix show ended. This book just might be my favorite of all of hers, not because it is the funniest but because it is just so damn real. Turns out since her show ended Chelsea has been spending a lot of time on her therapist’s couch, a thing I can relate to. Chelsea was trying to figure out how to heal herself, she was processing her traumas. She also eats a lot of oranges, proving even more that she is my kind of person.
My favorite chapter is the one called Moving Hillsides- it’s a particularly interesting conversation with her therapist about things like, her irritability, her ability to sleep for 24+hours, and her need to always input her opinion- basically why she just can’t shut the fuck up. He points out things to her about like how she’s been staying so busy so as to avoid having to actually sit with feelings and FEEL them- and they even get into how she is perpetually single and never gets serious with anyone because she can’t take experiencing loss again.
The chapter rang home. I think this year (2019) hasn’t been anything like what I expected it to be because on so many levels I’m finally being forced to just be alone. Everyone has had kids, or found their person and on most days in Boulder my life is just me. I eat lunch alone, I go home alone, I go on walks alone, I cook and eat dinner alone. One thing I had gotten really good at before was filling my calendar to the brim with people to go to dinner with or go to yoga with- and all those people have moved into new phases of life. And so here I am. Alone, and feeling the shit out of my feelings. And it’s depressing.
So yeah, Chelsea’s book resonated. I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever been through a season of profound sadness. And maybe buy a bag of oranges to go along with it, they will make you feel better.
Next up was David Sedaris- I went really big on audible books in April because I was really trying to make going on evening walks a priority. All I really remember about this one was that it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. This is supposed to be classic, vintage Sedaris, right? Perhaps I need to give it a listen again sometime when my brain doesn’t feel like it was in a thick fog. This was the month that I decided to take myself off of anti-depressants. I can readily admit that I was not the most focused human in April, I was mostly only focused on how shitty I felt. It’s decided- someday I will re-listen to this book.
And lastly, Clint Smith III. I LOVE Clint Smith III on the Pod Save the People podcast. His deep voice, his intellect, his awareness about all things regarding human rights. And then you add into the mix that he writes for The New Yorker Magazine and writes poetry. Is this guy for real? So, April is National Poetry Month and coincidentally Write Bloody Publishing was holding a contest. Send proof of purchase of a book from one of their poets (à la Clint Smith III) and send in 10 poems that you wrote and you could be chosen to have your own book of poetry published and go on tour performing your poems. Such was my state of mania that I literally spent like my last 15 dollars in April on Clint Smith III’s book thinking that if I just submitted these 10 poems (that I hadn’t even written yet) that surely I would be picked and then my whole life would change. I could leave behind my thankless job, I could leave behind the woman I still carry a torch for, I could leave behind all these people that make me feel less than I am. I would show everyone. I would be on tour promoting my book. So like Carrie Bradshaw I bought poetry instead of food, I just felt this would sustain me more.
Well…. Clint Smith III’s poetry is beautiful and profound, and after reading it I realized how little I know about poetry or suffering. How little I have to say. And sadly, the message that my work beats into me everyday, that I’m not enough… began to play on overdrive. And all I could picture was me having one of my hard days, one of the days when I can’t even get up. When I just want to cry.
Could you see me performing a poem on a day like that? I couldn’t either.