Random thoughts - life and such.

(Top: Bratislava, Bottom: Prague)

Eastern Europe!
Before my obtusely nonsensical spiel, have some eye candy from our whirlwind trip to Eastern Europe that we took after my final PhD defense. I loved Slovakia and Poland the best though I surprisingly didn't take any decent photos in those places - probably too busy getting touristy wasted on cheap wine and beer. Interesting factoid: when we visited Auschwitz, the tour guide told us that a lot of the survivors hated striped clothing for the rest of their lives; it made me rethink my relationship with breton tees.

On buying a new house
So we bought a house... I sometimes wish we hadn't only because after we signed the documents, did the inspection and visited the house multiple times over the last few weeks that I realized we had a place that needed so much work done I could start a lifestyle/DIY blog and make bank. You know what, maybe I will. I read somewhere - who knows, GOMI maybe - that bloggers make the natural progression from fashion to lifestyle to mommy blogging. That's right, the natural progression of blogging niches corresponds with the rate of body sag and accumulation of body fat.

That said, in our neck of the woods, anything that is remotely updated with a good location in the city and enough space so that you're not peering into your neighbor's porn collection will cost an upward of $600k - often times more, with no contingencies attached (Waive the inspection! Waive the financing! Waive the appraisal! Bend over Grey-style and get screwed twice! It's the market!), over 20% downpayment and occasionally, a complete cash offer over asking price.

I mean obviously I'm just being an ungrateful snot because we're so goddamn lucky to own a house but when you're standing in front of a blackened fireplace, faced with barf-colored walls and four different kinds of cheap berber carpeting and sagging kitchen cabinets that don't close, how your life sucks is really all you can think about in that moment.

On anxiety, existentialism and being faux-emo
I'll confess I've been struggling over the last few years with deep-seated emotional issues stemming from a bad grad school experience and from several inherent character traits that have been downright self-destructive for me. I don't think real-life struggles get talked about enough; I don't trust anyone who makes everything seem like it's always rainbows and sunshine and kittens when it's really boxcutters, drippy mascara, Bright Eyes on repeat and tubs of chocolate ice cream. I tried Headspace for two-minutes, got even more annoyed at that British bloke (Reddit always makes me side-eye everything) and decided I needed to see a therapist instead. I think the therapist has been good for me, there's no prescription meds or talking about childhood trauma - it's about building a plan, facing up to responsibilities and being a little less hard on myself.

This is going to sound so obnoxious and self-aggrandizing but I'm pretty harsh on myself and tend to want everything to be perfect. I'll stop short of calling myself a perfectionist (I'm not, I let a lot of things slide, I think...) but a lot of what I do borders on crazy. I need the edges of my towels (bath towels, hand towels, kitchen towels, blankets, sheets, etc., etc.) to line up perfectly and folded once lengthwise and three times after that. They also all need to be white. I got so tired of trying to correct my husband's folding that after he folds them, I redo ALL of them. Which is why I never get any real work done - I'm too busy fucking folding towels in thirds. Jesus Christ. And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

My therapist made me realize that I don't have control of everything and I beat myself up if things don't go my way. So I got all existentialist on her, yo. "What's the point of anything if I can't control things?!" I sobbed, wah wah wah.  "Influence," she said wisely. "You can always influence the outcome." I think I love my therapist.

My absolute avorite written works (and secret bibles) in the entire history of mankind are 'Paradise Lost' and 'Maldoror' and I think subconsciously, I veered towards those two books because they seemed to speak most closely to my nihilistic approach to how I viewed the world and the existence of a higher authority. Perhaps after my therapy sessions ends, my new bible would be something by Emerson... hahahahahahaha *wipes tears from eyes*.

On stuff
Moving is a damn bitch. I hate it. I hate the sound of tape pulling over boxes, I hate standing in line to buy boxes, I hate bubble wrap and newspapers and being scared that my gazillion potteries will break when it falls out of the U-Haul. Moving makes me want to stab my eye with a pencil and yank out my hair and run around screaming like a crazy person. I would pay for professional movers but we just spent all our money buying a house and fixing a shitty bathroom that I can't justify paying someone to pack my shit and load/unload them so I can go back to folding my towels.

But I think more importantly, moving and packing makes, made, whatever... makes me feel bad about myself. It exposes me in ways that make me feel uncomfortable because when you're standing there staring at heaps of glassware and plates and cake pans and throw blankets, it doesn't lie. You can't escape the shelves of sparkly wine cups and gleaming ceramics sitting there serenely and winking wickedly, conspiratorially at you. Amanda, you have a shopping habit. The reason you can't afford movers or an expensive lamp is because you bought ALL these porcelain goodies from Crate and Barrel or DWR and you don't even like them anymore because there's even more porcelain goodies from Crate and Barrel or DWR to buy. So it goes, as Vonnegut says.

Maybe those people at GOMI were right, I've been using blogging all the while to justify a shopping habit (Alright, you hams win!!!). I'm actually pretty mortified at how much junk I have, it's really gross on some level. Maybe crazy cot lady and all the insufferable spartan minimalist holier-than-thou Instagrammers were right. My life would be so much easier and less revolting if I only had to move a couple of Aesop products, a shoebox of kitchen utensils and a Fjallraven backpack of clothes.

But in all seriousness, as I've pointed out before, I'm glad I'm realizing that buying all these things haven't made me a happier person even though just a few years ago, I thought that they did. I know I'm going to accumulate some junk in the future because it's the natural progression of life despite what all the insufferable spartan minimalist holier-than-thou Instagrammers say, but I think the horror of moving and having to clean and pack shit when I'm already so tired and fed-up with everything is going to keep me in check. Yes, it's going to cost me blog readers and Instagram followers because I'm not posting pictures of expensive candles and flowers and plates  and macarons (not macaroons you damn morons!) anymore but at 32, I think I'm old enough to realize that those fleeting moments of validation are an illusion and really just not worth it most of the time.

On this blog
After laying all these things out (and actually having a full-time job, woot!), I think it's safe to say that I should and probably would be hanging up my finely-polished Marni shoes and calling it a day. I'll probably still update occasionally with some pictures on how things are progressing with the house/dog/dog/dog/life/growing zygotes/organic gardening because it's fun and I'm a braggart. I'm debating about starting a new blog  I kind of want to keep things going only because I like having a outlet where I can just moan about the same thing for the umpteenth time and not have anyone cancel lunch on me. Maybe this time for realz, the blog about home decor with my shoddy DIY skills should be called, Assembled Haphazardly.

* Apologies for the potty-mouth of late, I'm trying to get my teenage-angst out of the way.

23 comments :

  1. "That's right, the natural progression of blogging niches corresponds with the rate of body sag and accumulation of body fat."

    Officially unfollowing whatever occasional updates you plan to post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome! I'm glad you're not even remotely curious about how this pans out (I'm not either!)

      Delete
    2. If I wasn't already following you, this would make me officially sign up. ;)

      Delete
  2. Congrats on your house! I feel you on the west coast-real-estate pain: we just bought our first house in Portland last summer, and it was a three-ringed circus with all of the offers, etc. We got lucky, and found something cheap close to a freeway, but I have a Portland realtor friend who told us a story a few weeks ago about putting an offer in on some property $100,000 over the asking price. I kid you not! (it must have been a fairly expensive property to begin, I'm hoping) Anyway, congrats on finding a place to call home, officially.

    Blog about your house, if it floats your boat - I'm sure it will be thoughtful, entertaining, and interesting like your other posts! Best of wishes with the new home, job, life changes, etc. And if you feel like you have too much stuff, have a garage sale. You'd be amazed by how people will come to your house, take your things away for you, and pay you in the process. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ugh, you are basically me. I had an interesting grad school experience as well (just finished but it was only a masters so NBD) and just bought a house. I too have spend too much monies on fancy clothes (some of which I don't wear), fancy shoes, and other things I don't actually need. I have some serious plans for DIY.

    Maybe my brain is just making this up, but are you in Seattle?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm in Seattle! I'm an awful DIY-er and I find that every time I try to DIY, I end up hating it so much I go out and actually BUY something... hm.

      Delete
  4. I love this post! The satire is great, and I wouldl love to see what´s next for you. And I am more into dirty wellington boots, half-done houses and ugly gardens than pretty candles and curated whatever. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not really into ugly gardens... but can I interest you in stories about my struggle to remember watering my plants and keeping strawberries alive?

      Delete
  5. It's rare I read anything that's truthful without all that gloss these days (my life is so wonderful, life is perfect, I'm gorgeous blah blah blah). So thank you for sharing because I can relate to what you're going through. I was such a control freak but religion, aging, deaths, serious illnesses, having a child pretty much cured me of that. I'm definitely more chilled these days.

    I HATE moving too. I hate it so much that I drive everyone mad culling all their junk. I live with 2 hoarders. I start hyperventilating when I look around my flat too carefully because they bring home junk every other day. When both the husband and child are out of the house, I go around with a garbage bag and start chucking things out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marlene, I haven't had to deal with a lot of real problems I think, just very superficial ones which is why I can spend all my time freaking out over every little thing. I hope I'll be able to mature into someone more sensible, wise and calm like you are when life throws me a curveball.

      Delete
  6. Congrats on the house. That's hilarious about the towels... I do the same when it comes to organizing jars in the fridge (long story,) so it's good to know I'm not the only one :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for just being honest!

    I'm sad that we weren't able to get together last week - I would have made you listen to my story about sobbing uncontrollably as soon as we closed on our first house - how did I not see the cracks in the floor?!

    Five years. And you can email or call or text and I'll always listen to your whining .. and promise not to be too snarky :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am going to set aside a night and read this entire post soon to make sure I don't come up. dog/dog/dog...hah!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on the house and the therapist, despite all the heartache. I loved my therapist, I would send him Christmas and birthday cards if it wouldn't be so wildly inappropriate. And hey, of mommy/D.I.Y blogging doesn't tickle your fancy then I would read any pottymouthed rant of a book writted by you. I bet you could write a great fictional autobiography from the point of view of a disillusioned lifestyle blogger.

    My life has also sucked of late. Yes I got to go on holiday, yes I still have a job and all my fingers, blah blah. Life was still a stressful cesspool of never-ending drama when I returned home last week. Wanna start a an emo band with me? We can call ourselves "Stressful Cesspool" and I can wear striped fingerless gloves.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I always enjoy reading posts like this - injecting that bit of truth into a world that is so glossy and often so far removed from reality. Congratulations on the house - and I hear ya, moving sucks. Luke just told me he wants to move once our lease is up at the end of this year and I swear I thought I was going to have a panic attack at the thought of shifting place all over again.

    I've barely bought a thing this year - mostly, I feel like I've talked about buying things and then just.. haven't (let's ignore my bulging make up stash shall we?). And you're right; it definitely doesn't make you happier. Dealing with the loss of my mother this year has really hit me pretty hard and brought a lot into perspective, although I suppose that also comes with age.

    And if you did start a lifestyle blog, I would definitely read it. Just sayin'

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. congrats on the house! echoing what everyone else has already said. i think growing into 'adulthood' is never smooth or easy or something we're 'ready' for. just gotta jump in and allow yourself to make mistakes along the way. here's to a not too crazed move and hopefully more inspiration once the dust settles and you settle into the new house > home :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. I just found your blog, and have only read this post and the previous one, so for me and from these two posts, your blog is refreshing, and well, real. I like to read honest things, however imperfect they are--actually, because of how imperfect things are.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just discovered your blog thanks to a GOMI cross-reference post where you intelligently talked about the sheer stupidity of replacing a couch with a fucking cot. I legit was enjoying your posts and am sad to see you go. Best of luck to you in life, fellow hamcat!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ha! I always have to refold the towels that my husband folds. And I thought your blog WAS called Assembled HAPhazardly. There's dyslexia for ya.

    ReplyDelete
  16. So, found you on some minimalist gomi thread...and can I just say that you are EXACTLY the kind of blogger that shouldn't quit. We need more people willing to speak truth (and who actually live in the real world). I think you've still got something meaningful and important to offer, even if it's on an only-once-in-a-while basis.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Please start blogging again. I have yet to find another blogger with the same profound, yet subtle wit that comes across in your writings (suggestions??) Anyway, I would love to hear about your musings on impending motherhood and other life stuff :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Obnoxious whining post. You travel the world, use expensive makeup and skincare, bought a house. Please watch the news and think about this post.

    ReplyDelete

Fact: Bloggers thrive on comments. Thank you for making my day. For personal questions, email conspiratorialwink[at]gmail.com