January 3, 2013

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was 2012.

I haven’t written a word lately.
I’ve been trying this new thing. It’s called privacy. Pretty amazing.
My whole life has been on this blog for the past three years, and whenever I go on a date, undoubtedly the date knows way more about me than he ever should.

Me: So, do you have any brothers or sisters (why is that even a common question?)?

Guy: I know you don’t. Ok, I Googled you. (blushing) I also know you are from Chicago, you don’t like it when people sit on your bed in street clothes, you recently went to Europe with your mom, and you have a white patch of pubic hair.


The thing is, I don’t even have a white patch of pubic hair anymore. That’s what I’ve spent the last two years in psychology school learning: We are not our stories. I am not what you read here. I am who I am in one moment, and that moment is but a flash of time in my life. I am no longer sad about my mom selling my childhood home. I am no longer going through an existential crisis. I am no longer really into Renaissance fairs (okay, never was). I’m just whatever I am rightnow and that is already gone. To quote Mitch Hedberg: We’re younger in every picture. (his response when people say ‘This is a picture of me when I was younger.’)

My psychology program ended in August, and I’m still feeling the echo from its core. Nobody really tells you what you’re getting into when you start any type of psychological study. You think you’re going to learn how to help other people or figure out how to manipulate family members. But once you realize how the human brain works, you become aware of all the lies you’ve ever told yourself: I’m not good enough to ask for more money. I have to be prettier in order to have a boyfriend. People who invite me to events on Facebook don’t really mean to invite me.

Stupid shit that makes you feel like a stupid shit.

This is a huge awareness. You have to re-evaluate every thought you’ve ever had. You have to start everything over. You have to look at every single relationship/challenge/tragedy/goal in your life and ask if it’s really for-real-real. Was that really a big deal or did I make it out to be one in my head? Was that a real relationship or was I just feeling unworthy of a partner so I got married and played along? Is the relationship with my parents really that bad or am I holding them to unreasonable standards? Am I really insulted by someone’s political views, or is my ego just telling me I am? I MEAN EVERYTHING. Every. Damn. Thing. Becomes. A. Question.

I even took a step back from writing and asked myself if I’m writing this blog because I want to or because it was the easiest way to make me feel like a ‘real’ writer? Or is it because here I can say weird things about myself, meet others who relate, and then not feel so weird? Or, is it just for the validation I get when people say I’m funny, (quick! I need a joke right here SO PEOPLE WILL SAY I’M FUNNY!!)?

Do you know how torturous this questioning can be? It is blood curdling hard. Tears on the living room floor and while driving and while showering hard. It requires some super ‘roided out raging strength to sit down and be honest when there are millions of other things to do with your day. “No, I would not like to go to that movie with you. I think I’m just going to stay home and ponder my childhood instead.”

If I were to talk to my 2010 self, she would tell me that 2012 looks pretty pathetic. She would say that I don’t yet own a home or have a relationship or kids. She would say that I’m a failure (Uff, and the 1993 self would be devastated to know I don’t have six kids by now—- all with names that begin with N). But when I sat down on New Year’s Eve to make a list of everything I did in 2012, I filled up twelve whole sheets of paper (big ones). This year taught me that my biggest life accomplishments are invisible. And they all happened this year (So take that, 2010 Laurenne. And stop dating that DJ.).

I hardly made any money this year. I didn’t publish the book I wrote. I spent hours screaming in my car. But I let go of so much fear. I completely abolished so many misunderstandings I had about myself and the world. When school was all over, I sat down to tell myself the good things about me, and that conversation lasted an hour. Two years ago, it would have been less than a minute. I’m no longer hard on myself. I’m no longer trying to prove my self-worth to my parents, the world, or God. I felt every single emotion that exists at some point this year, and they all led to now. Now I’m feeling calm. Now I am truly just here. No story. Just here. And I’m cool with that. I have no idea where to go from here. I have no idea what I want. Yet, I’m still calmer and more optimistic than I’ve ever been.

This year was something that goes up and down (something less cliche than a roller coaster or tidal wave. I’M SO LAZY AND IM OKAY WITH THAT). I was selfless and really fucking selfish too. I was encouraging one minute and then missing the next. I was the most scared I’ve ever been and the bravest. I cried harder than when I was born, and I laughed more from my gut. I was the ugliest and the most beautiful. I felt confused one day and enlightened the other. I made horrible jokes. I asked impossible questions. I probably insulted you.

It was hard to be my friend during these past two years. And probably harder to be my family. So, I really and truly deeply thank you for being there. For talking with me. For pondering. For calling. For making me laugh. For taking me in. For making me get dressed and go out. For listening. For seeing me. For just showing up to life the way you do.

Thank you to everyone for existing and being part of my 2012 and my life. Here’s to doing crazy shit in 2013 and analyzing it later.

I love you.


Alfred Jacobs January 3, 2013 at 1:13 am

And I love you Laurenne. Thank you for sharing yourself and your life and thank you for shining your brilliant light of humor in very dark places.

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm

I love you so damn much, Alfred! And miss you too.

Dan January 3, 2013 at 3:36 am

Sounds like a great year to me–a real jumbo jet. It goes up and down, but also goes a long way fast.

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:28 pm

ooh… a jumbo jet. I’ll take it. you’re so less lazy than I am.

Madgew January 3, 2013 at 8:03 am

I say enough analysis and psychology. I say just live your life everyday with joy and lust. I love you Laurenne and have missed you while you went underground in your mind. Psychology and therapy force you to face your life and once you do that, it is done. As you age you will find you don’t need to analyze anymore. You can just be. I spent years doing what you did in two years so feel thankful it didn’t take you years of therapy to settle on loving yourself. Now have some fun. I for one am glad you are back in any form.

Marsia Garcia January 3, 2013 at 9:00 am


laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

love you tooooo!

Jane Cross January 3, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Love you, Laurenne. Glad to have been a little part of your 2012 life. I found you to be so real, funny (yes!) down to earth, honest and all around fab human being (no, wait – divine being having a human existence!). Big hugs!

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:32 pm

She said FUNNY! Phew. I love you too, Jane. Please keep me posted! We’re in this whole quitting advertising thing together.

Liz January 4, 2013 at 1:29 am

I really fucking adore this post.

So honest.

So raw.

So dark.

So light.

So beautiful.

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I think we’re the same because I think the same about your posts. Can we meet one day?

Andrea January 4, 2013 at 7:23 am

I’ve loved you since the day I met you. Loved you then, love you now.

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm


Brain Wave Banana Phone January 4, 2013 at 8:21 am

Love you, my brilliant writer friend! So proud of all the introspection and living you’ve done. Excited for what’s next!

Denise January 4, 2013 at 8:58 am

You are brilliant!

Caitlin January 4, 2013 at 10:17 am

I’ve missed your writing! What you say here resonates with me so much. Being 30 something is really something.

laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

It really is, isn’t it? Imagine 40! Woohooo! Oh wait, present moment. Present moment.

Katie January 4, 2013 at 11:53 am

I love you right now in this moment. Those other moments too – the ones in the past, and those in the future, my forever friends.

Thank you for your courage your laughter your white patch and your stories.



laurenne January 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm

there is no more white patch! I SWEAR! laser hair removal, bitch! love youuuu

Katie January 4, 2013 at 11:54 am


shit! i feel like a stupid shit!

*forever FRIEND.

P V G January 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I truly do love you LS. Here is to doing crazy shit in 2013…

mambert January 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Glad you made it out of the tunnel, but know that I will love you forever and would come in after you if you had decided not to emerge.

Lyra January 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Love!! You truly speak for us!! Can’t wait for that book you’re going to write eventually. It’s going to be funnier than eat, pray, love for sure!

Janice MacLeod January 5, 2013 at 12:16 am

I remember those two years so well. I bawled the big bawl every friggin’ day. The same big bawl as when I watched Steel Magnolias or Beaches. Heaving ab work bawling. But, now… a few years later… I can’t remember the last time I bawled. So good on ya. You went there. Good stuff is coming.

laurenne January 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Way to look on the bright side, new friend. My abs are fucking killer right now. Thanks for being there!!

Emma January 7, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I wondered what had happened to you.

I thought you might have come back from your fabulous trip and found that you were different from before and weren’t that bothered anymore about blogging. I was sad about that. I like reading what you write very much, though sometimes it sears the skin and your brain power with the words is kind of overwhelming.

I agree with all above, especially Liz when she says: I really fucking adore this post.

I totally burned myself out this year, buuuurrrrrned. Yeouch, and for the past six months have been questioning, questioning, piecing myself back together in a new shape, with prof help to do that in a safe way…but still, holy hell it hurts like a mofo a lot of the time. Making new boundaries is hard, looking at my own part in things is hard, accepting I can’t change my mother is so hard.

So…thank you for being so honest, and writing about it with such eloquence and wisdom…and humor!


laurenne January 9, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Oh you’re right in the thick of it, my friend! THERE IS THE OTHER SIDE! I promise. The moment I realized I couldn’t change my mother, our relationship got a million times better! Right, mom? Right?
Thanks for coming back to me and not forgetting me! We’re here in questioning solidarity, my friend!

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