For 11 days after the election, I could barely get out of bed. I lay tangled up in the covers, sweating out recreational Vicodin and medicinal marijuana, dreaming feverish dreams of a large, orange Godzilla destroying city after city on the plains. The Wife and I kept a bottle of bourbon and two shot glasses on the dining room table, and any time either of us walked past the table, no matter the time of day, we’d look at the bottle, shrug our shoulders, and say aloud “Might as well.”
We went through three bottles of bourbon in 11 days that way.
I went to my pot club the other day. They sell weed Twinkies. They sell weed everything. For those of you who have never been inside a medical marijuana dispensary, let me just tell you: the future truly is here. You can get weed-infused tea, bath bombs, brownies, smoothies, gummi bears. Even weed pizza. Though, that begs the question: if you eat the pizza to get stoned, what do you eat once you’re there?
Nothing to see here.
Anyway, I bought the weed Twinkies yes, out of curiosity, but mainly because they provide some serious bang for your buck. They’re like $14, but you get two Twinkies, and each one contains roughly 600 mg of medical marijuana. To put that in perspective, The Wife sometimes enjoys the occasional pot blueberry before bed at night and can barely make it from the couch to the bed once it kicks in. Yeah, one of those blueberries is 5 mg.
So I don’t eat the whole Twinkie, obvs. But I take a larger bite than I probably should and put in my trippy-hippie bling-bling music, as The Wife calls it. You know the genre--it’s played in every spa and yoga studio and is supposed to bring you to a calm, relaxed state. And I’m lying in bed, listening to the chanting and bells and shit, and I decide to start thinking about gratitudes, which is something that also calms me.
And then my shit kicked in.
I have eaten and do eat a fair amount of weed. With edibles you never really know how they’ll hit you; there are too many variables--how much pot butter was used, how long it was cooked for, how much or how little food you have in your stomach before you eat them, etc. In short, you can never be too sure what kind of high you’re gonna get. That's why medical marijuana is so great--you always know what you're getting.
The Twinkie offered me such a glorious high. You guys, it was like floating on little cloud over the planet. All of the sudden this warm, blissful feeling came over me, and it was honestly the best I’ve felt in months. I just felt like everything was gonna be okay, like I was at peace finally. So then I started, naturally, with the supposition that maybe if I ate one of these every day, I could somehow stay happy during the entire Trump debacle. The pragmatist in me immediately went to work: obviously, I would have to titrate and experiment so that I could nail down the exact dosage I need to be blissful while still allowing me to be productive. Take too much, and I’d wind up sleeping for four years straight...not that that would be a bad thing, but not practical.
These Twinkies do not fuck around, nope.
So then, my mind pinballs--as it usually does--over to the topic of finding my passion, that balance of finding something that feeds my soul AND does something to make a difference in the world. Leaving my mark has been a constant theme for me on this journey. I want to do something besides take up space on this planet until I die. I know there’s something out there that I’m like fucking Mozart I’m so good at; I just haven’t found it yet. And I’m sure that this thing--this thing I’m better at than like 99 percent of people on this planet--will also be the thing that affects change, that makes this a better place to live for those people whom I’ve helped.
But I haven’t found this thing yet. And so I beat myself up all the time about how I’m not trying hard enough, how I’m not disciplined enough, how I lack the motivation, how I shirk away from things that are Too Hard. And then it just because that old, familiar Shit Spiral wherein I convince myself that I will grow old and die on this planet not having made a single contribution.
And in my mind this thing, this passion of mine, this ethereal quality I have yet to discover, is always HUGE. I’m not just a blogger; no, I have to be Hemingway. I’m not just a protester; I have to be Cesar Chavez. I’m not just a podcaster; I have to be Mark Maron. My first attempt at a novel can’t just be this little thing I self-publish on Amazon; it has to be The World According to Garp.
And then my mind drifts this-away and a-thatta-way for a while longer, and I start thinking about how I’m friends with 700 people on Facebook, many of whom I’ve never met. For one reason or another--usually it’s a mutual friend telling that person “you have to friend my friend Kathryn on Facebook; she’s the funniest person on there”--I have a number of people as friends that I wouldn’t be able to pick out of a lineup.
And then I think about how many people have sent me private messages on Facebook over the years--some friends from real-life and some from the people I’ve never met--asking me for advice or comfort or inspiration. You think I’m kidding? I’ve had women I’ve never even met tell me they’re cheating on their husbands. I’ve had a mom with a 12-year-old kid who just came out as bisexual ask me for advice. I’ve had people tell me about the abuse they’re suffering from their spouse, tell me they just found out their father wasn’t their real father, tell me they think they might be gay but aren’t sure, tell me they’ve thought about killing themselves, ask me for advice on what to do about their Trump-supporting relatives, tell me they have PTSD, tell me they had an abortion, tell me they were raped.
I’ve also had people, since the election, tell me that they’ve never once gotten involved with government, but because of my Facebook posts about what actions you can take to contact your senators, they’ve gotten involved and have started making calls. They’ve started using the links I’m posting to protest the madness that is our government, and they did that because I inspired them. I’ve had people tell me they’re more open about their own struggles with depression or chronic pain because I’m so honest about mine. I’ve had people with chronic pain writing me for marijuana advice like I’m some kid of drug guru. Truly, the topics are all over the map.
I’m not a shrink and have never claimed to be any sort of expert on anything. If I were, I wouldn’t be Struggling Buddha. I’d be Omniscient Buddha or Confident Buddha or something. Yet, people write to me to ask me for advice or simply to confess something as though I were a therapist or a priest. And I’m pretty sure they’re doing it because they know I won’t judge them. I’m not going to recoil in horror when you tell me about your affair or the fact that you were molested by your father. I’m just not gonna. I’m too busy judging you for your choices in shoes and haircuts.
I kid. But I do think that’s it. All of us just want to be somehow absolved, to be told that You Are Not a Freak, to be reassured that there are others like you out there, to be consoled that you’re not doing anything wrong or that you’re doing the best you can.
And then I start thinking about all the times I’ve comforted people in this way, by telling them that they’re doing the best they can, that it is enough, that they are enough.
And then I just keep thinking “It is enough; you are enough” over and over in my head. And I think about how, if that’s the advice I give to other people, why am I not heeding that shit my own damn self? Why do I not see that *I* am enough if I can see it in others? I mean, I know, we’re all our own worst critics, I get that. But I start thinking about Facebook and this blog and the things I’m willing to write about that many would consider too embarrassing or too taboo and how just those small acts might give someone across the country courage somehow. And I think “Why can’t that be enough?” Here I am struggling to leave my mark like I’m fucking Eckhardt Tolle or Shakespeare when the fact is that there already are things I’ve done that have left my mark on people.
Why shouldn’t I be proud of that shit? Why shouldn’t it be enough? Here I am beating myself up because I’m so full of fear when there are things I write about that others perceive as courageous and find helpful. That should be inspiring and flattering.
Look, it’s human nature to want to improve yourself. We’re always striving to be more--more organized, more ambitious, more productive, a more perfect parent, more fit, more wealthy, more, more, more... And with those goals is always the idea that we are somehow lacking, that we are not good enough. So in trying to better ourselves, we’re already approaching the starting block as Negative Nancy. What’s wrong with simply taking some time to sit back, take it all in, and say “This is enough. I am enough.” I know, it sounds hippie as fuck. But I, for one, am sick of the hamster wheel of self-flagellation constantly spinning in my brain. I want to get off, please. Think how nice it would be in your head if instead of your brain nagging you all the time, it just kicked back once and a while and said “You done good, kid.”
So I'm telling you this in case no one else does and in case you don't tell yourself: YOU ARE ENOUGH, ASSHOLE. Everyone else sees it; it's about time you started seeing it too.
And if all it takes is one-quarter of a pot Twinkie to make me take that pause every once in a while...well, that’s called a twofer, my friends.