A wandering thought-bubble and writer’s block walked into a bar..

I’ve been suffering from a rather mild case of writer’s block lately. The last handful of posts I’ve shared, while heartfelt, were more forced than flowy. Yes, even the one about my favorite little five-year-old. I found myself wanting to write the last couple of months or so with a purpose at hand but when it comes time to take a seat, nothing comes out the way I envision it. I don’t know what that means. Writing has always been my outlet, even pre-blog. I’ve never been impressive off-the-cuff but I’ve always taken pride in what I can scrounge up if you give me a few minutes to breathe and organize my thoughts.

I’ve found that, over the years, my best writing comes from a place of pain and heavy-heartedness which, makes sense. I mean, even as a child, I’d put myself into a corner to write out my feels because I felt so broken from the child-size versions of Karen’s and Terry’s out there taunting a kid who desperately just wanted to disappear. I never even wanted to be seen in that way or to be one of the cool kids. I simply wanted people to be nice; something I thought everyone was born with, kindness. I found out that wasn’t really a thing and if it wasn’t possible, I wished people could just pretend I didn’t exist. I think I figured if I was invisible, it’d be easier than being ridiculed for looking so differently than the stereotype.

The thing is, I know I’ve come a long way since the days of summertime sadness. Of winter and fall and springtime sadness, too. While I may not be totally healed from the bummers of my childhood, I eventually figured out a way to overcome it and adopt a treat-everyone-with-kindness mentality, most of the time. But that, too, has gotten my heart into trouble.

The details aren’t nearly as important as the grief of realizing how mishandled your emotions were relationship after relationship, friendship after friendship. I learned how to show empathy and help people when they’re down but that only later put me in situations where I tried to fix people that were broken from their own unaddressed trauma. And the thing is, no one tells you that you can’t cure people that aren’t ready to travel down the yellow brick road of healing.

Those experiences taught me to keep my opinions to myself, they taught me to be quiet, they contributed to the diminishment of any self-esteem I bothered mustering up as a teen and young adult. I often found it hard to connect with girls; I still don’t know how to actually have a female friendship. Don’t come at me for this but woman are complicated. And mean.

I know it probably doesn’t make sense but all of this feels like some sort of twisted mind-fuck ripple effect.

Our parents start us out in this world with so much hope and joy for what their babies will grow up to be, maybe even how they’ll be. But so slowly, one small action causes another and another. The first weird look or hurtful thing turns into more than you can count on your fingers and toes. I’d rather have sticks and stones be thrown because contrary to the popular lies we’ve been told, words really do hurt. Pretty soon, those little babies are so self-aware and self-conscious of so many things that they don’t quite know what’s right and what’s not; what’s normal and what’s weird. When did all that happen? How?

Sometimes I wonder if parents-to-be ever think about the balance between protecting their children from the hate of society and allowing it to happen, because it will. Even the most sheltered of kids eventually are subjected to it.

Anyway, isn’t it weird? I often wonder if the reason I’m an perfectionistic constantly-observational overthinker with niche nerd pathways and anxiety-ridden tendencies is because of something that happened in 2nd grade. Or when I was 15. I wonder if I’ve always had the spirit of a vagabond and the mind of an organized spaz by nature, or by nurture. I wonder if I feel like I’ll be alone forever not because I’m not capable of loving but because I’m unbearable to be around. And why would that be? Is it because I gave too much of myself to other people throughout my time here on earth; like the wishes of a dandelion being blown in the wind?

The thing that really gets me though is while my best writing has always come from a place of hurt and I’m far more healed now in life than I ever have been in 31 years of millennial existence, I still experience all sorts of wounds in my wanna-be-tough-girl mind on a way-too-often basis. So why have I found it more difficult to write lately?

These wounds, they are more streamlined now though. Through a whole lotta faith and a little bit of therapy, I’ve had an opportunity to deal with some really crappy shit head-on. Which has been fulfilling to work through and overcome but where does that put me with the thing I enjoy most, writing?

I think I really just want to be heard. My whole life I’ve felt both seen and unseen at the same time. Seen for reasons I didn’t want to be and unseen because no one quite understands me. I figure if I spill my guts out to a white page somewhere on the internet, what? Someone, somewhere, will finally be like “girl, I get you.”

What a wild dream that’d be.

I didn’t wake up like this.

The first photo in this post is a pre-my-brother’s-wedding trial makeup run back in August because I’d never had my makeup done before and was nervous about it. Jordan with Grin & Bare It absolutely killed it. She made me feel beautiful and see myself in a way I never had before. She made me look on the outside how I felt on the inside.

I know this isn’t my real, everyday-life look. I could never do my eye makeup like she did and for the first time ever, I was able to say my eyebrows were on fleek. (Dang, I feel old actually typing that out.) But seriously, the day that I got this done, was such shit and I’ve been trying to figure out since then how to talk about it.

I was in yet another 2020 slump for like, the fifteenth time in however many isolating pandemic-y months. Feeling alone, hating my body, constantly frustrated and forever sad, or so it seemed. I was making excuses for myself and throwing a daily pity party about everything in life I either didn’t have, couldn’t do, or was jealous because of.

I was feeling all of the feelings about all of the things but I tried my best to “hide” it all. I constantly feel like it’s either too much for anyone to know and be burdened with or I put this unrelenting pressure on my shoulders to remain positive while everyone isn’t, at least on the outside.

I’ve looked back at the photo above dozens of times since I took it. On one hand, I wanted to share it because I loved the photo. I actually felt like a bomb ass bitch and Good As Hell after this. It was like a pretty face could wipe away all of the insecurities and feelings of worthlessness that the day held. But, on the other hand, I didn’t want to post it because it was only temporary and it was just another perfectly angled selfie.

I didn’t want to only share half of the story. You know? The filtered version. The face-shot. I don’t know what the right balance is. I don’t want to share every detail of my life on the ‘gram because for one, it’s not that damn interesting and two, no one wants to hear me whine about my insecurities day in and day out. When I am in those down-in-the-dumps days, looking back at the things I’ve shared actually do help me. The unbelievable places I’ve been to, the moments of pure joy radiating from my nieces four-year-old little self.. The adventures I’ve been on, the people I’ve met.. They help. If I looked back at a feed full of full-body shots accentuating every single thing I hate about myself, it wouldn’t help lift me up so that’s why I don’t post stuff like that. Yet. I do opt to be rather vulnerable in many of the posts I do share via the captions, at least. It’s a start. But, how many people scroll through Instagram as if it’s a picture book, neglecting the story? I’m guilty of it.

That’s the part I’m still working on. Finding that balance. And not by the way of “omg is my social media too filtered” but really working at what’s going on inside. That’s the thing that I only recently started addressing in therapy; my immense sense of self-hate and embarrassment.

I tried the whole fake-it-til-you-make-it thing. I tried daily affirmations, not looking at the scale, went on a follow-binge of body positive influencers. I even tried not looking in the mirror for two full weeks in August. This summer and early fall, I focused on fitness harder and more seriously than ever before in my life and did a pretty damn good job, if I do say so myself thanks to the encouragement of some really incredible humans. But, that didn’t change what I saw in the mirror. The scale moved then, which felt good for the one second a week I looked at it but nothing changed internally.

They say that it doesn’t really matter if you are curvy or thick or fat or whatever cringe-worthy descriptor you choose, if you can’t love yourself as you are now, you’re not going to love yourself when the weight comes off. Ouch. That hurts to hear over and over again. As our queen Lizzo says, though, Truth Hurts.


When my brother and his wife got their wedding photos back, I was mortified. I know what I’m about to say is sprinkled with selfishness but I genuinely felt like I ruined their wedding day by literally being in it, because of how I looked. A pretty face didn’t hide the fact that that’s all I was, all I am. All I think I am. I pick and choose what version of myself I let sit on the internet, requiring tagged photos be reviewed before they show up on my timeline. The queue of unpublished photos is ridiculous. I purposefully don’t post full-body shots because body-dysmorphia is so fucking real, guys.

I usually see thin women make reference to it, BD. Detailing out the struggles they face when they look in the mirror and their feelings are so valid, they are. But it’s not the same. The freshmen 15 amount of hate and disgust when you look in the mirror is not the same as the decade-115. Flexing in one photo and unflexing in another whilst looking identical in both photos is not the same. It’s just not.

I don’t see people like me on the internet. And the BoPo influencers that are around, they love themselves. Or appear to. They’ve accepted their bodies as they are and embraced it. They don’t give an F about societal norms and fitting into a size 6. I mean, maybe they do. Honestly, it does appear to be quite unavoidable but they own the crap out of the bodies they’ve been blessed to live in and they are gorge inside and out.

When I share my insecurities with others specifically about being overweight or not loving the body I’m in, a typical response is to tell me I’m beautiful. But the thing is, I didn’t say I’m ugly. I said I’m uncomfortable in the body I’m in, in the shell that holds all that I am. But I’m working on overcoming all of that. I’m trying to believe that people don’t just pay compliments to pay compliments. I’m trying to remind myself to say “thank you” instead of “whatever.” I’m listening to my therapist and treating myself with the grace and kindness that I treat others with. I’m trying all the things and feeling all the things so that I can be all the things.

The photo below is from yesterday. A makeup-less selfie that I wouldn’t dare post on social media until now. It’s taken from the exact same spot in my apartment as the top photo in this post, just 4 months later. It’s still just a headshot and not a body shot but it’s a step. The difference between these two photos is more than just four months.

It’s hours of tears in front of my computer with a counselor I’ve never met in real life. It’s dozens of pages in a journal trying to pinpoint the exact moment that I was first tormented in elementary school because of how I looked. It’s sitting in silence to allow myself to grieve and forgive those that have hurt my heart. I grew up in a town full of blue-eyed and blonde-haired little girls who were born to shine, whose mothers didn’t teach them to be kind. I grew up hating my name and my hair and my freckles and my body. I grew up feeling ashamed that my parents didn’t have the money to pay for me to pretend to fit in. I grew up full of angst with no way to define it or deal with it. Until now.


It’s still just a selfie. But, I feel more confident, more sure of my worth, and more compassionate towards myself in the photo I took yesterday verses the one I took four months ago.

A week from now, everyone is going to be posting about how much 2020 sucked and they aren’t wrong. It really has been quite shit. But, I started to love myself in 2020. I’m still alive in 2020. I’m forgiving myself for myself in 2020, accepting myself. This year has been filled with more sorrow, more conflict, more death, and more division than any year I’ve been alive, perhaps topping 9/11 if I dare compare. Even that event brought the country together while this year has quite literally broken the world’s heart and I for one am trying my very best to find the silver lining in it all the only way I know how, self-care.

I didn’t wake up like this. It’s taken me years to even address the issues at hand, my insecurities. But I will love myself as I am now. There really isn’t any other choice.

Holidaze: An Intro

I decided to pull out my ol’ keyboard and start this series to share a little bit of my world with you all. I love to write more than anything, I find it therapeutic and it helps the socially inept side of me connect with others but I let the monotony of a mostly isolated life take up my time. Think: work, tv, bed, repeat all from the same 750 square feet, day after day. I’m tired of it and I need to make an active effort to change the bad habits I’ve adopted over the last nine months.

‘Holidaze’ is a series about navigating the weird time we’re in these last few weeks as 2020 comes to a close. The holiday season meets a state of confusion right in the middle of a pandemic, or something like that. I hope you follow along if you’re into it and feel free to share with others!

The holiday’s are always so tricky for me. On one hand, this is the time of year that brings me a lot of heartache (more on that another time) and reminds me of how lonely I am. The holidays definitely weren’t made for the single ladies.

But, on another hand, I love every single second of it. I love getting together with family and friends. I love the quiet days in with the fireplace crackling, a cup of hot chocolate steaming, and a sappy Christmas movie. I love the holiday festivals and events. The gift exchanges and the cute cards and the unknown of what my sister-in-law will decide to make for Christmas dinner! I love the celebration of a New Year and the tradition of Advent. The season truly is a magical time.

Unfortunately, a lot of that isn’t happening this year. And the parts that are will be different and unusual. It’s uncharted territory for us all and I know I’m not the only one that is and will continue to struggle throughout this season both in the holiday spirit sense and in the ‘winter = situational depression’ sense.

This season, I hope to invite you into my weird little world a little bit. I hope to connect with people I haven’t had an opportunity to connect with in a long time and I hope to make it through this pandemic alive and healthy with each of you. I hope to remind myself of all the wonderful things this world has to offer, of the bittersweet memories of days past, and of the many blessings we have in life.

Thank you for reading! -Ori

Sometimes.

Some days go by so fast that I’m not ready for them to be over. Some weeks I have more things to do, more plans, more people than I know what to do with. Sometimes I wonder when the last time I had a night or two of nothing to give myself a minute to breathe. Some nights I don’t even remember what it was like to be with someone because my days and nights and mornings are filled with pleasant distractions.

And then some nights.. I feel like I’m the only one in this world that is alone. The only one that doesn’t have a person. No one to turn to, no one to have lunch or dinner with, no one to go to an event with or to seek advice from. No one to share my successes or shortcomings with; or selflessly love me regardless of the comment that comes out of my mouth next. No one is there to send stupid memes to or literally chill while watching Netflix. No one is around to be on my side always, to love me forever, to know me better than I know myself, to get me the way I get them. I feel so much for so many people all of the time but I’m afraid no one in this world will ever feel ‘so much’ for me.

And if you’re asking, the answer is no, I don’t miss him anymore. Each month that passes, my eyes are more open to the red flags that lingered around far too long. But I do miss the companionship, the personal cheerleader, the presence of another human. I miss knowing that I could say and feel and act however I wanted and I wouldn’t be looked at the way a stranger would look at me. I wouldn’t be judged or questioned or ridiculed the way a friend or family member would judge or question or ridicule me. I miss knowing that I had a person. A non-perfect in nearly every way, but a person nonetheless.

The emptiness and void doesn’t seem to go away. Perhaps it’s masked by all the “stuff” I have going on in the spurts of too busy to think but when the slow times come; when nothing is happening and no one is around.. it hurts. All of it, everything.. hurts. The feeling of standing still while everyone else, everything else is moving on.. it’s so real and it feels as if there’s all this noise around but eerily silent at the same time.

Some days I say goodbye to everyone at work come 5:00 and don’t say another word until ‘good mornings’ 15 hours later. Some weeks I wish people would do what I wanted to do or say what I needed to hear instead of it always being the other way around. Sometimes my tears are too big and the room is too dark. Some nights I wonder if I’ll ever feel better.


About This Post: For so long I’ve been writing in a personal draft without publishing anything. It’s nearly 20 pages long. Full of ramblings and sadness; memories that are good, bouts of depression from both sides.. Moments I knew it should’ve been over, doubts I had never said aloud. From day one, I’ve had so much to say but didn’t dare say it thinking if I at least get it down and out, I’ll feel better. Similar to the concept of writing something down and burning it forever. It doesn’t work. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or damage anything by writing it out on a blog that I’m sure no one reads. But the more that time passes, the only person I’m damaging at this point by keeping all of it in, is myself. Thank you for reading. More to come, probably.