I’ve been feeling a bit shitty and down the last two afternoons. All the procrastination and anxiety in my brain have avalanched over my soul with little prompting from real world experience. So, to counteract feeling down in my own dumps (not literally, that would be gross and unhygienic) I thought I would put together a little list of things that make me feel brave and inspired when I am filled to the brim with anxiety and self doubt.
This is my brave list.
Books obviously come first because they are awesome and I’m a librarian. The written word gives me a semi when crafted correctly and a full on lady-boner when done with humour, style and chin-up, hands-on-your-hips fortitude. In the face of personal doubts, crippling career doldrums and general feelings of smallness I read or reread the following:
Caitlin Moran ; How to be a woman.
Discovered by me only 18 odd months ago but the amount of times she makes a total twat of herself but still retains her self belief and could not give less fucks about being embarrassed works well for me when I need my anxiety to shut the fuck up and let me get something done. Added to the fact that she became an award winning writer just by writing, working hard and telling people she was fucking fantastic gives me hope for my future as Glorious Leader of the Self Help literary world.
Heather Havrilesky ; Ask Polly on The Cut
Not a book per say but a series of piece I go back to for balls, bravery and a laugh every few weeks. Heather’s relatively recent move from The Awl to New York Magazine’s The Cut hasn’t blunted her acetic wit or her genuinely great advice for everyday issues. I know ‘everyday issues’ makes it sound like something from New Idea or the Women’s Weekly but you won’t find any “Why does my Grandson like that nasty death metal music?” in Heather’s column. You will however be told to get fucked if you ask a stupid question. Love.
Kelly Oxford ; Everything is perfect when you’re a liar
A relatively recent discovery but she had me at ‘pissed her pants in the petrol station trying to buy cigarettes, then lied about having a life-threatening condition causing her to piss her pants.’ Her general attitude of ‘get on with shit and it’ll be ok eventually’ makes me feel brave and helps me on the days when rolling up into the black cave in my brain created by my anxiety seems the only answer. I force myself to recall the story about how she was ignored by 15 model scouts only to hassled them with inconceivable positivity until they took her on anyway.
Blogs are something I like but weirdly something I don’t spend nearly enough time searching for. As a blogger I need to and should spend more time reading other people’s work and building a community but as a super socially anxious person, I’m not the best at that. There are however a couple of places I go when I’m feeling uninspired and a bit blah about how things in my world look. These collections of eye-sexing beauty cheer me up on a cold grey shitty work day with colour, clever design and animals.
Kaylah’s hair colour cheers me up on the shittiest grey day. Add to that a collection of her favourites from around the web and a massive shared interest in all things anatomy/medical and I get an instant pick me up, like a lightening bolt of happy kittens right in your face holes.
Kate has returned to the world of blogging, thank god. I was so happy when I saw this post pop up on my facebook page, new hair, new outfits but the same gorgeous design and amazing pastel existence. It’s like climbing inside a macaroon and creating a comfy little home to binge watch net flicks with your cats.
There are usually things coming and going in my life that help me feel brave. I’m watching Deadwood at the moment which I missed when it came out however many years ago. Al Swearengen may be a total bag of dicks but over the last few episodes he has shown a glimmer of humanity and kindness albeit from the dark pits of his whore-mongering heart. How can I not like a man who calls that many people cocksucker?
It’s shitty quality but this scene really got me yesterday, it spoke directly to my anxiety monster with a semi-sharp knife in the guts.
Rewatching 30 Rock makes me happy any time of the day or night. Liz Lemon’s night cheese, Jack Donaghey’s amazingly crafted but somehow lovable psychopathic tendencies, or any Tracey moment of defiance shakes away the cares from my day and makes me want to drink whiskey while staring ponderously out a window.
If all else fails, go home, put on your pj’s, eat a fuck ton of cheese and drink a bottle of wine. The world will be a better place in no time.