Sleeping ~ Instead of Living: a vlog story

Yesterday I published the first full episode of my new vlog series, entitled "Living ~ When You Just Wanna Sleep." Of course, since I'm me, before sharing it with the world, I shared it with a few friends to get their opinions, and they were fans. Which meant the absolute world to me. So, girded with their supportive fortitude, I sallied forth into the world of publishing vlogs! It's a scary world out there, scarier than the world of being painfully open and honest in writing, because in the world of videos, people see your face; they see the way your eyes droop when you're sad, the way that circle of fat around your (my) belly makes you (me) look like a Pillsbury dough boy, the way your hair floofs out of control and has to be tamed, repeatedly, during one 30-second filming...they see all your pores, the literal and metaphorical ones.

It's terrifying, but for someone like me, who thrives on being known intimately, it's also thrilling.

Ever since I was in high school, I had this need, bordering on compulsion, for people to know what was going on behind my eyes. It's fascinating to me, how little we can truly know about someone. They can smile and laugh and inside they're mentally throwing knives and screeching and pulling at their hair and sobbing but all we see is happiness. It's fascinating and more than a little heart-breaking.

And back in high school, my depression was beginning to make me act different, act weird, and I had this intense desire that they should know why.

So in college I began writing about it, and well...the rest is history.



These videos are going to be a monthly installment, and hopefully each one will be better than the last. I'll film bits and pieces and flashes of my life throughout the month — images of myself walking through NYC, myself with friends, myself at home being sad or ultra happy or what have you — and then a narration thread. It's going to be an inside look at depression; at what it's like, really and truly and as unfilteredly as possible, to live with depression.

To live, in short, when you'd rather be sleeping.

This video has a few holes, one of which being that I don't really go into why quitting my job helps my depression, because I've talked so much about my love for pizza-slinging. It's confusing, if you don't know what all happened in the last few weeks.

Basically, it just...became too much. A combination of the management, angry customers and me being overworked conspired to create a fissure in me, one that needed to be soothed by taking a break. And when I went back to wasn't the same. I wasn't in love anymore. I was stressed, having panic attacks in the hours leading up to my shift. I was scared of getting yelled at by any number of people, scared of messing up.

I also lived with a constant fear of losing my job. I can't go too in-depth as to why, but let's just say...the restaurant business is a tough one. For everyone involved, from upper management to lower management to employees to guests. It's fast-paced and high-intensity and it breaks you quickly and easily.

So my mind was filled with a constant rattle of noise, a constant stream of fearful thoughts and confusion and stress and sorrow and BAM! depressive episode.

[Someday maybe I'll tell you guys what triggered it. It's a doozy. And yes — it's work-related.]

So that's some background on why the vlog in general, why the job-quitting, why all of it...

I know not everyone understands my compulsion to share. Let's just say, that it helps me as much as it might help others. And if it does help you, my sharing: tell me! It gives me strength on the days when I fear I'm doing nothing but hurting this world. On the days when my brain is eaten alive by lying zombies which hiss that I'm a cancer on society, I remember messages, comments, emails saying the opposite...and I am comforted.

Thank you for that comfort, dear readers and friends and followers. I'm doing this for you. And also for me. :)

A thank you to my pizza regulars

img_6347I can't call you by name, because I don't know (most of) your names. And to the ones whose names I do know (looking at you, S.) I'm not sure I'm allowed to share it ;) I don't know your life story; I don't know where you work or what struggles you've overcome or what your day-to-day looks like.

I know very little about you, except for this: you brighten my day.

In the midst of slinging pizza and trying to coordinate things so that the kitchen stays happy and cooking, the waitress is stocked with everything she needs for the restaurant and my fellow counter staffers are busy and smiling, I can easily succumb to stress.

Enter one person who yells at me because I won't let them use the bathroom, or spits on my counter because I won't take their fake $20, or swears vengeance via Yelp because I've run out of tables, and my day could easily crumble.

And then there's you; my superhero without a cape, my knight in shining regular clothing.  You swoop in and smile and your familiar face (and order) just smoothes away all the stress and pain and hair-pulling-out-ness that comes with customer service. Suddenly, everything is fine again, because you're here.

And for 10 seconds to a few minutes, I can have a friendly conversation with a familiar face, someone who doesn't know me but seems to care.

I love you, friendly man who defends me and my store to the woman trying everything in her power to get a free slice.

I love you, Columbia student with the great accent who tells me it's OK to take time off from school.

I love you, signora who always gets the same slices and lets me practice my Italian.

I love you, D.O.C. and glass of rose buyer who helps me smoothly transition into my shift by standing at the counter and raving about the pizza.

I love you, everyone who comes in and understands. Understands that I am human and therefore prone to failure; understands that life is hectic and rules are rules; understands that sometimes all it takes is a smile to brighten a day.

If just one of  you enters my store during a hectic shift, it's the difference between ending the day a knot of nerves or feeling like I've just gotten a deep-tissue massage.

This is my love note to you; I'll come right out and say it: I love you. You're my favorite. You make my life a spot more joyous.

I love my job on every day, as I've mentioned. It's a blessing, straight from God, and I adore the people I work with, I adore the busyness, I adore the responsibility that's so removed from everything I do as a writer. I just...I love my job. My pizzeria is my home.

You guys — you're like my family away from family. You rock.

Here's a picture of pizza to make you happy.

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